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201The Contingency” (Finch) 209C.O.D. 217Proteus
202Bad Code” (Root) 210Shadow Box 218All In
203Masquerade 2112πR 219Trojan Horse
204Triggerman 212Prisoner's Dilemma” (Reese) 220In Extremis” (Fusco)
205Bury the Lede 213Dead Reckoning” (Stanton) 221Zero Day” (Finch/Ingram)
206The High Road” (Finch) 214One Percent” (Finch/Ingram) 222God Mode” (Finch/Hersh)
207Critical 215Booked Solid
208Til Death” (Finch) 216Relevance
God Mode

POI 0222 Main.png



Air dateMay 9, 2013

Running time43:43

Production code2J7222

Written byPatrick Harbinson
Jonathan Nolan

Directed byRichard J. Lewis


Images (86)

Did you know?

— Finch, to the Machine

Season Finale. "God Mode" is the 22nd episode of season 2, and overall the 45th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on May 9, 2013.


Reese and Finch team up with surprising allies in a race to save The Machine from Root and the mysterious international organization Decima, who have both re-emerged with dangerous agendas. As the POI team faces off against enemies old and new, the nature of Finch's relationship with former partner Nathan Ingram is revealed along with his original motivation for wanting to save The Machine's irrelevant numbers. Meanwhile, in her mission to bring Cal Beecher's murderer to justice, Detective Carter finds herself up against the criminal organization known as HR.

Origin of the Title

In some types of gaming, God Mode is a set of rules (known as a mechanic) that make a character god-like or invincible.

Main Plot Points

  • Shaw and Reese in god-mode fight their way out of the library while Root and Finch escape them on Root's mission to locate the Machine.
  • Reese wants to find and protect Finch but the Machine keeps Shaw and him busy with numbers along the way.
  • Root tracks down Lawrence Szilar, the last remaining person outside of the Pentagon who knows about the existence of the Machine. He is killed before she learns where the machine is located.
  • Reese and Shaw return to the library where the Machine directs Reese to a safe containing a map to the Machine's location.
  • In flashbacks, the audience learns how Harold Finch develops his characteristic limp and how Nathan Ingram dies; also why Finch is no longer in contact with Grace Hendricks
  • Sameen Shaw first becomes aware of The Machine which is immediately indicated by the color of her box in the Machine Point of View.
  • Carter saves Elias from being murdered by HR and the Russians.
  • When the teams meet up, they find that The Machine has hidden itself without informing anyone where its new location is.
  • The Machine has chosen and reached out to Root to serve as the Analog Interface


Flashbacks to 2010 reveal the events behind the ferry bombing that killed Nathan Ingram and separated Finch from Grace.

Episode Notes

  • The name Ernest Thornhill is a combination of two names both related to the Alfred Hitchcock movie "North by Northwest" where the name of the lead character played by Cary Grant is Roger O. Thornhill and the name of the writer of film is Ernest Lehman. "North by Northwest" appears again in “4C”.
  • Lawrence Szilard may have been named for Austro-Hungarian nuclear physicist Leó Szilárd, who was a contemporary of Albert EinsteinRobert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller. Szilárd did early foundation research on the nuclear chain reaction, contributing to the development of the first atomic bomb. Leó Szilárd spent his later life advocating for international arms control, and opposing the militarization of atomic energy use. Lawrence, the character's first name, could be a nod to another Manhattan Project scientist, Ernest Lawrence, after whom Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is named.
  • In this episode, three real-world sites were identified as possible locations for the Machine: 1) Yucca Mountain, Nevada (Used for long-term storage of radioactive waste) 2) Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Washington (Once manufactured plutonium used in the early research) and 3) Comanche Peak, Texas (A nuclear power plant)
  • By the end of the episode, four entities have an interest in the Machine: 1) Finch, Reese and their new-found ally Shaw; 2) Special Counsel and the Project; 3) Root and; 4) Greer and Decima Technologies.

Acronyms and Vocabulary

  • NLP (Natural Language Processing): The capacity of a computer to understand spoken or other forms of natural human language, that is, a computer's ability to understand spoken or written input.  
    In this application, it refers to the Machine's ability to understand input such as the text embedded in the blue screen codes or Finch's spoken commands.  
  • HMT (Hybrid Machine Translation): The system by which a computer can translate one natural language (e.g. English) to another (e.g. Spanish) using a combination of machine translation paradigms.  In the scene pictured, the Machine analyzes the shooters' Macedonian dialogue (NLP) and translates it into English for the audience (HMT).  
  • Nuclear Reprocessing: Extraction of residual uranium and plutonium from spent fuel rods, used in nuclear power plants, in order for it to be reused for other purposes.


(Shaw throws her automatic rifle to Reese) "What's this for?" "To help you feel less inadequate while I drive this thing." (Shaw)

”Did you know?” (Finch to The Machine)

"Like him? He's the only reason I'm sticking around." (Shaw about Bear)

"We gave the government the ultimate power." (Finch)

"You never trusted anyone. Not me. Not the Machine." (Nathan)

"I always knew there was someone behind Ingram. Like a black hole. Invisible, but powerful." (Special Counsel)

Production Notes

  • According to the DVD commentary, the scenes with Enrico Colantoni (Elias) and Carrie Preston (Grace) were filmed at different times than that of the bulk of the episode. Preston's scenes for this episode and Zero Day were filmed several months earlier, before she returned to Los Angeles to begin work on the current season of "True Blood." The close-ups of Colantoni were filmed in front of a green screen after main production was completed; a body double was used for the longer distance shots of Elias from behind and with the bag over his head. Colantoni was in Portland filming a pilot during main production.
  • On the commentary, Jonathan Nolan frequently describes what the production refers to as "MPOV" or Machine Point of View, the scenes we see from the Machine's perspective.  
  • In a blog post, producer Jonathan Nolan notes that his only regret about the final version of the episode was that there was insufficient time to show "delicious" flashbacks of how the Machine moved itself.[1]

Set extension VFX [2]

  • At the end of the episode, the size of the vault was extended using visual effects.[2]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

The Book.png
  • In the flashback where Finch confronts Nathan in the Library, Nathan takes the picture of Anna Sanders off the board and puts it on the table. Then the camera angle changes and the image is back on the board.
  • When Finch follows Nathan to the ferry, he isn't carrying a bag of any kind, nor is he seen to be carrying a book. When Grace looks at the personal effects recovered from the scene of the terrorist attack, however, she finds the book into which Finch placed her engagement ring when he proposed to her. (“Zero Day”)
  • When Shaw shows Reese the boarding pass she took from Lawrence Szilard's briefcase she says that the airport in Portland is the closest airport to the Hanford Site . In actuality, Seattle-Tacoma is almost an hour closer.
  • Reese and Shaw are seen driving a facelifted Mercedes Benz W221 S-Class during the police pursuit scene, however after they exited the expressway by literally crashing off the side they were seen emerging from an older model Mercedes Benz - the previous generation W220 pre-facelift. The headlights of the overturned vehicle are a clear indication.
  • When Reese and Shaw steal the car, the Mercedes Benz 3-pointed star is correctly mounted on the hood. In the next scene, it is missing.
  • The Mercedes Benz has the same NY license plate as Finch's Lincoln Town Car (LXQ-2038).
  • When Finch awakens in the triage center he is bleeding from the back of his neck. However, when he gets off the cot, there is no blood on the pillow
  • The emergency alert with flashing lights, alarms, etc is suddenly all over between the time Team Machine enter the large empty storage area where the Machine was supposed to be and Hersh & Special Counsel go in; also, on their way out Finch and Root leave first, leaving Shaw to have quite a detailed verbal confrontation while Reese looks on. When the camera changes to show them from the other side, Reese and Shaw are first through with Finch and Root several steps behind them. (Admittedly there was the ante-room between the two sets of doors but there was no reason for Root & Finch to wait, and the ante-room is not large enough for Shaw & Reese to overtake them to that extent)
  • After being found, Special Counsel orders Hersh and his team to destroy all of their phones which Hersh complies with. However, at the end, Special Counsel still has a phone with which Control calls him.
  • The paramedics declare Ingram dead at some point after 11:00pm. However, the time code from the Machine's POV as Finch walks out of the relief center is 19:17:22 which is 7:17pm.

Dramatic Elements

  • When Finch comes into view with crutches at the beginning of the episode, asking the Machine,  "Did you know?" the narrative is constructed using in medias res ("in the middle of things"), a non-linear storytelling technique where the narrative starts in the middle of events and uses flashbacks to bring the reader up to the point of current.


From left to right: Greg Plageman, Richard Lewis, Jonathan Nolan.

  • Producers Greg Plageman and Jonathan Nolan along with episode director Richard J. Lewis, make cameo appearances as orderlies and a patient respectively when Root walks down the hallway in the psychiatric hospital.
  • According to the episode commentary on the season 2 DVD, in addition to the cameo by Plageman, Nolan and Lewis, this episode also features cameos by producer David Slack (as the Kidnapped Man), writer's assistant Brigitte Liebowitz (the first picture removed from the safe in Finch's office), writer/producer Amanda Segel (a woman walking into a building, from MPOV), and assistant director Michael Pitt (the groom threatened by the Jilted Man).  The scene with Amanda Segel was filmed in Los Angeles, where the writers are based.
  • Both the first and last episodes of the season begin with a flashback of Finch talking directly to the Machine. According to Nolan, this was originally planned for the pilot, but cut from an early version of the script.
  • The only episode where Finch is seen wearing three different Glasses Frames.
  • The day counter used in the flashback changes from 4138 (the days since the machine was activated) to day 1 after the hard reset.
  • In the pilot, the floor in the room containing the machine has white tiles. The presumably raised floor (often used in server rooms) is seem to be removed as well because in this episode the floor is all grey.
  • Harold asks The Machine, “Did you know?” In reference to Ingram’s death, the same as Reese asked the same question of Harold about Jessica in Many Happy Returns.