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301Liberty 309The Crossing 317Root Path (/)
302Nothing to Hide 310The Devil's Share” (Multiple) 318Allegiance
303Lady Killer 311Lethe” (Finch) 319Most Likely To...
304Reasonable Doubt 312Aletheia” (Finch) 320Death Benefit
305Razgovor” (Shaw) 3134C 321Beta” (Grace)
306Mors Praematura 314Provenance 322A House Divided” (Collier)
307The Perfect Mark 315Last Call 323Deus Ex Machina” (Collier)
308Endgame” (Carter) 316RAM
Mors Praematura

3x06 MessageOnTheWall.jpg



Air dateOctober 29, 2013

Running time43:29

Production code2J7606

Written byDan Dietz

Directed byHelen Shaver


Images (42)

Most of the time, I'm told what to do a second before I have to do it. The big picture, that's hers.

— Root

[Suggest quote]

"Mors Praematura" is the sixth episode of season 3, and the 51st produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on October 29, 2013.


Freed from her psychiatric ward confinement, Root receives a directive from the Machine that requires Shaw's assistance – by any means necessary – and takes extreme measures to gain her compliance. Also, Reese and Finch look for clues as to why a mild-mannered estate investigator’s number has come up.

Origin of the Title

Mors praematura the Latin medical term for premature death.

Main Plot Points

  • Root reveals to Sameen Shaw that The Machine is using her for another purpose other than pursuing the Relevant Numbers or Irrelevant Numbers which is to protect the Machine itself.
  • Finch goes undercover with Sloan, an estate investigator for the New York Public Administrator. Sloan starts to investigate the murder of his foster brother, Jason Greenfield. This is the first appearance of Jason Greenfield, who is rescued from Vigilance by Root and this is the first time the name Vigilance is used.
  • Root kidnaps Shaw and convinces her to go on a mission inherent to the survival of the Machine. Shaw reluctantly acquiesces.
  • Reese's protection of Sloan from Vigilance and Root's protection of Greenfield converge.
  • After Shaw saves Root when the mission is complete, Root is locked in a Faraday cage in the Library by Finch.
  • Carter continues her surveillance of HR while Mike Laskey starts to develop doubts about his bosses when they make him bury a friend. Laskey disillusioned reveals to Carter that he is Russian and HR is hoarding millions.

Episode Notes

  • Finch encloses Root in a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a structure of conductive metallic mesh designed to carry electrical energy away from whatever is contained within the cage. Constructed in a particular way, the cage can block mobile phone signals to the interior.
  • Shaw uses a thermal lance made from spaghetti wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and connected to an oxygen tank. A thermal lance is usually constructed using an iron tube filled with iron rods, which are burned using highly pressurized oxygen. They are often used to cut through metal requiring high temperatures, such as the iron bars Shaw cuts.  
  • Stun grenades, also known as flashbang grenades, such as used by Vigilance to knock out Reese and kidnap Timothy Sloan, are non-lethal explosive devices used to disorient an enemy for a short period of time. They produce a loud noise and blinding light without causing permanent damage, but temporarily blind and/or deafen their target, and may also cause dizziness.
  • Vigilance uses a The Onion Router (TOR) secure network to communicate with other Vigilance members nationwide which maintains the anonymity of the user's internet traffic from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. 
  • Raymond Chandler is an American novelist most notably known for writing crime and detective fiction. Finch referred to him once before while posing as a private investigator in “Identity Crisis”.

Production Notes

  • Production of this episode was shut down for a day by the Mayor's office when numerous citizens called 911 to report men with automatic weapons in the area of 47th St. and 5th Ave. Reportedly, the day's shooting was ahead of schedule and the NYPD supervisors who are required to be on scene for any exterior shots involving firearms had not yet arrived, leading to the shut-down.

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • In Jason Greenfield's apartment, Timothy Sloan talks about his foster brother while holding a framed photo of himself and Jason. On the table, there are two piles of books: on top of the left pile is a book with a yellow cover, and on top of the other is a book with an orange cover. Both have the front cover up. But as Timothy puts the photo frame on the table, the yellow book from the first pile shows the backside of the cover, and the top book from the other pile as a slightly different color.
  • Sarah Shahi's tattoo "Wolf" can be clearly seen on her left hand when Shaw takes Root's earpiece out at the CIA drop site.




  • "Miss Shaw may be violent and uncommunicative, but she is never tardy." (Finch)
  • "I suppose it's too much to hope she tased herself." (Finch, about Shaw)
  • "Energy and persistence conquer all things -- Benjamin Franklin." (Collier to Reese).
  • "We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us. -- Marshall McLuhan" (framed quote on the wall of Jason Greenfield's apartment)
  • "How can you be so certain, Ms. Groves, that the Machine does not wish you to be precisely where you are?" (Finch to Root)