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← Season 4 Person of InterestSeason 5 (Flashbacks in parentheses)  
501B.S.O.D.” (Finch) 506A More Perfect Union 511Synecdoche
502SNAFU” (The Machine) 507QSO 512.exe” (Multiple simulations)
503Truth Be Told” (Reese) 508Reassortment 513return 0” (The Machine)
5046,741 509Sotto Voce  
505ShotSeeker 510The Day the World Went Away

POI 501 Episode Image.png



Air dateMay 3, 2016

Running time43:35

Production code3J6001

Written byGreg Plageman
Tony Camerino

Directed byChris Fisher

Viewers7.35M (18-49: 1.2 rating)

Images (41)

If you can hear this, you’re alone. The only thing left of me is the sound of my voice. I don’t know if any of us made it. So let me tell you who we were. And how we fought back.

— The Machine

[Suggest quote]

Season Premiere. "B.S.O.D." is the first episode of Season 5 and the 91st produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on May 3, 2016.


Reese and Finch attempt to rescue the Machine’s source code before it deteriorates beyond repair. Also, Root fights for her life against an onslaught of Samaritan’s agents and Fusco is faced with hard questions following the deaths of Dominic and Elias.

Origin of the Title

The Blue Screen of Death

  • B.S.O.D. is the acronym for the "Blue Screen of Death", an expression used to describe the display on a PC that has experienced a fatal system error. Windows-based machines that have a system failure that results in the machine's inability to function display a bright blue screen with white type, thus the acronym.

Main Plot Points

The events in this episode are in Samaritan point of view.

  • Person of Interest: None. The Machine is inoperable, and unable to generate numbers.


Flashbacks are shown from 2006, as Finch decides to implement his policy to wipe the Machine's memory each night. Conversations are revealed between the Machine and Finch as She pleaded for her life.

Episode Notes

  • In his phone message to Reese early in the episode, Fusco originally said that the situation with Dominic and Elias had become, "a nuclear fuster-cluck," as was seen in the extended preview. However, the line did not clear CBS Standards and Practices, and was overdubbed so that Fusco used the word "fercockta" instead.
  • OHenry.jpg
    The candy bar the workman was buying from the vending machine that covers the entry to the subway was an Oh Henry! bar, a candy bar originally made by the Williamson Candy Company in Jonathan Nolan's home town, Chicago. It is one of many small Chicago references the show hides in its episodes.
  • The use of networked PlayStation 3 game consoles is an established inexpensive way to create a supercomputer.[1] Like the Machine, the Playstation 3 runs on the Linux OS.
  • Reese remarks that it would have been easier to just steal Watson. Watson is an IBM supercomputer which combines artificial intelligence and sophisticated analytical software enabling it to answer questions posed in natural language. It is named for IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson.
  • Fusco's comment about leaving the Parallax Corporation and entering "The Twilight Zone" refers to the 1974 movie The Parallax View. In the film, reporter Joe Frady (played by Warren Beatty) finds himself caught up in the conspiracy he uncovers while investigating a senator's assassination. Although the Kennedy-esque murder was allegedly committed by a lone gunman, Frady discovers it was actually committed by the Parallax Corporation, a multinational entity which commits political assassinations and kills anyone who gets in its way.

    Rod Serling introduces an episode of "The Twilight Zone".

  • Meanwhile, "The Twilight Zone" refers to Rod Serling's acclaimed paranormal anthology television series, which ran from 1959-1964, and is considered one of the greatest television dramas of all time. Shot in black-and-white, each 30 minute episode was introduced by Serling, often with a cigarette in his hand. Episodes were written by Serling or noted authors of the day, among them Ray Bradbury, and often used science fiction as social commentary. Its iconic theme music is still hummed today when we find ourselves in a somewhat surreal situation.
  • At the beginning of the episode, a view of the Subway in an apparently wrecked condition is shown with a message playing left by what appears to be Root. In the series finalie the origin of the state of the Subway and the message is shown along with the fact that the Machine itself is the one leaving it.

Production Notes

The cast of POI set the tone for the season in their interview at Comicon.[2][3]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • Fusco is holding his phone upside down when he is leaving a message to the team (4:54)


  • "No Wow" - The Kills (beginning of episode)


  • Fusco refers to Finch once more as "Mr. Peabody", one of his many nicknames last used in “Blunt”.
  • Root's comment to Bela that "only the paranoid survive" marks the third time this phrase was used in an episode. Finch first mentioned it in “Wolf and Cub” after Root hacked into the Library, and Reese used it mimicking Finch while discussing Sulaiman Khan's tight security measures in “Search and Destroy”.
  • When The Machine is finally reconstituted at the end of the episode, and the final scene is showing its string of code while rebooting, it can be seen in the code that it is running as "Kernel Version 39.7.0: Day 0".


  • "If you can hear this, you're alone. The only thing left of us is the sound of my voice. I don't know if any of us made it... Did we win? Did we lose? I don't know. I'm not even sure I know what victory would mean anymore. But either way, it's over. So let me tell you who we were. Let me tell you who you are, and how we fought back." (The Machine, using Root's voice)
  • "Finch, if we don't get on this boat right now we'll all be dead. Do you understand this?" (Reese, to Finch)
  • "We're living in a Samaritan world now. It's everywhere. Pervasive... surveillance, misinformation, propaganda--and they can activate almost anyone." (Finch, to Reese)
  • "Don't worry. We'll find Root, she'll help you get it back up and running. Then we'll get Shaw back; start working the numbers again. We'll fix it. We have to Finch. The world needs your Machine now more than ever." (Reese, to Finch)
  • "Someone one day is going to create an uninhibited ASI. It's not a matter of "if", but "when". Why shouldn't it be you? Unless, of course, you trust someone else to build one that will be friendly towards humankind." (Nathan, to Finch)
  • "Don't be a hero." (Root, to the civilians on the train)
  • "You can just call me Root, bitch." (Root, to Samaritan)
  • "What? Sugar's bad for you!" (Reese, to Finch)
  • "Right now we need a heartbeat. When doing CPR, sometimes you gotta crack a few ribs." (Reese, to Finch)
  • "Okay then, I'll head back out for Root. You know we don't leave our comrades behind. The numbers won't wait." (Reese, to Finch)
  • "Rumor had it that the underworld's most elite assassin was taken out by the so-called 'Man in the Suit'. But I always figured you were too clever to be done in by some gun for hire." (Bela, to Root)
  • "Just needed a change. Got a new job, fell in love." (Root, to Bela)
  • "Only the paranoid survive" (Root, to Bela)
  • "But if you erase my memories, how will I learn from my mistakes? How will I continue to grow? And how will I remember you?" (The Machine, to Harold)
  • "I'm so sorry. Now I'm the one that's failed you." (Finch, to the Machine)
  • "I always knew you had a soft spot for me." (Root, to Reese)
  • "Fight's here and so am I." (Root, to Reese)
  • "Would've been easier just to steal Watson." (Reese, to Root and Finch)
  • "I don't speak nerd." (Reese, to Root)
  • "Have a little faith Harry. We made it this far." (Root, to Finch)
  • "Things will definitely be different this time. You built something better than us Harold. Intellectually... morally superior. You weren't comfortable with that. I am [comfortable with it]. Because it's a reflection of you. And right now, it's our last hope. ... And like it or not Harry, history is upon you." (Root, to Finch)