Woah, season 3 already! God damn.
This is very possibly my favorite season? I think so. Let’s get started.
The number is that of a sailor whose friend gets him in a tiny bit of deadly trouble. Shaw is now a part of the team, Carter is no longer a detective, and Root talks about The Truth. Among other things. You’ll see.
I have watched the whole show before, so SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN. Big spoilers will be blanked out but references and irrelevant spoilers are going to be out in the open.
‘Liberty’ opens with the tail end of two separate cases (which means they’ve been working for however much time passes between season 2 and season 3, obviously): John and Carter – who is now a cop, after HR makes her choose between demoting to officer or demoting to dead – save this guy from the cartel, and Shaw and Fusco save a random dude from a random mob. Shaw is working with Team Machine! Her and her fine as hell methods. What a gift.
The beginning of a beautiful friendship!
After those are done, they get the number of Jack Salazar, a Navy dude in NYC for Fleet Week.
Harold: The annual deluge of drunken sailors that somehow doesn’t qualify as a military attack.
I’m glad we feel the same way about this, Finch.
This case is also really not interesting. What’s interesting is, as usual, Root:
We go into The Machine’s files, how she categorize Root as a threat detected at first, then as a threat neutralized, and then it runs a diagnostic on Root and categorizes her as… Analogue Interface! Which is basically The Machine’s human form, so to speak. That’s exciting, and terrifying, and intriguing, and magical.
We go back to Root at the hospital where Harold hid/locked her. She is talking to a therapist, who asks her about who she’s talking to, and she talks fairly honestly, about how she has a direct line to a higher power. Which of course he diagnoses as hearing voices.
Root: It’s just the one voice, really. It wants me to stay here, work through some issues.
Therapist: And what issues would those be?
Root: Methodology. We’re discussing how I go about things.
I love this! The Machine clearly sees something useful and good in Root but has a very specific moral code that she needs to make sure that Root would follow as her minion.
The therapist babbles about how it’s common to have paranoia about “someone watching” with all the news reports on surveillance. Sweet summer child.
Here is the gist of this episode’s case: Jack’s ship mate stole some cigars that were really filled with diamonds, and some Devil Dogs (spec ops something something really bad guys) are not pleased with that, so they kidnap the ship mate and tie him to a bomb, and they threaten to detonate if Jack doesn’t sell the diamonds for them. Something something. I don’t care all that much.
One thing I do care about is Carter being friendsies with Elias now that she saved his life. Carter needs some information to help John and Harold with the sailor, so he goes ask Elias, who is “laying low” after Carter got him out.
Carter mentions how HR and the Russians took away her detective position. And Elias hates seeing talent wasted.
Elias: I could take care of HR, and the Russians, permanently.
I want a friend like that, who offers to kill those who wrong me. And I mean he does end up taking care of some of those things permanently.
On another side of town, “Robin” (the name Harold gave Root! Which is also a bird name!) gets caught having stolen the shrink’s cell phone. So he sends her to solitary confinement??!! What kind of shit doctor.
Root: You know, for a psychiatrist, you’re a terrible judge of character.
Back to the number of the week, Fusco defuses the bomb just in time! Bless his soul.
And Shaw shoots some bad guys with a sniper rifle, through a wall, in the dark. Bless her soul, too.
Shaw: I would’ve taken the head shot but Finch gets annoyed when I kill people.
Have I mentioned I love my wife very much?
Shaw: I’m hungry, you’re buying me a steak.
And after the sailors are rescued, and all is said and done, Elias’ right hand man enters the shot up pawn shop whistling, Nina Simone playing as a soundtrack, and takes both the diamonds and the money. This supports my theory that Elias helps the good guys when he sees some gain in there for him too. Not ’cause he absolutely 100% does not care about Joss, for example – we see later that he does – but just, it’s not just about being a precious cupcake. It’s about being a precious *opportunistic* cupcake. And I love him for that too, keeps things refreshing.
Carter gets home tired after a long work day, and John checks in. She seems tired, but says she is just fine. But then she opens her closet.
She is, naturally, very much looking into HR, trying to get at who the boss is. This is going to be a huge thing this season.
John and the sailor talk about the sailor’s future. With his talent, John says, he’s probably could be good at the military, and is probably going to be approached by the CIA. John, my poor lil’ traumatized pupper, tells Jack to say no to Langley.
And then hands Harold his first boilermaker, while he sets the literal tone for the rest of the show:
Harold: I have a feeling things are about to get more complicated.
Less and less standalone episodes, more and more big arcs and hidden meanings. Heck yeah!
And then for one of the greatest gems of a monologue this show has ever given us, we end with Root telling the therapist the truth.
If you pay attention near the end, you can see all the probabilities of different outcomes happening. I love these glimpses into the Machine’s “mind”.
Aaaaand that’s it for today.