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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 508 Episode Image.png



Air dateMay 24, 2016 (10:00 pm)

Running time43:36

Production code3J6008

Written byTony Camerino

Directed byKenneth Fink

Viewers4.92M (18-49: 0.9 rating)

ID(s) from IntroID.508/0223.16
James Ko
POI 0508 James Ko.png

Images (39)

"Reassortment" is the eighth episode of Season 5, and the 98th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on May 24, 2016.


Reese and Finch become trapped in a hospital that becomes ground zero for a deadly viral outbreak. Also, Samaritan’s newest recruit has second thoughts and Shaw continues to struggle with reality.

Origin of the Title

Reassortment is when genetic material is swapped between multiple species, especially strains of the influenza virus.

Main Plot Points

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

  • Person of Interest: James Ko, a Chinese businessman carrying the avian flu, whose trip to the ED triggers the medial emergency.
  • Jeff Blackwell returns as a Samaritan asset who is starting to have reservations, but agrees to do one more job at the quarantined hospital.
  • Fusco visited Elias and told about the death of his friend Bruce without the consent of Finch and Reese.
  • Shaw's escape plan is executed, and she surfaces in a jail in Johannesburg, South Africa, originally set in motion one episode earlier, with the help of Root and The Machine. From there, Shaw is seen driving in a vehicle at night at a high rate of speed, presumably to an airport.
  • Jeremy Lambert is killed by Shaw during her escape.
  • Fusco reaches the point where he can no longer tolerate being kept in the dark, and indefinitely chooses to distance himself from the team and asks for a new partner.


Episode Notes

POI 0508 Twelve O'Clock High.png
  • In a reversal of an earlier scene from “Brotherhood”, Elias gives Finch the novel Twelve O'Clock High.
  • When Dr. Mason realizes the nature of the flu her patients have, she contacts the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC, based in Atlanta, is the principal medical research body which handles emergencies that could become public health threats. The CDC was previously featured in “Honor Among Thieves”, when the Marburg virus was a potential threat.
  • When Shaw talks to Jeremy Lambert, she has a flashback of shooting a man through a wall. This was from “Relevance” when she killed a German bomb maker with the help of Michael Cole on the orders of the ISA.
  • To Samuel, Shaw says "I never was big on prison grub", which could imply that she spent time in prison at some point.

Production Notes

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • When Root tells Finch what to do to overpower the hospital administrator, he doesn't recognize that one of the words she gives him is a Dutch attack command for Bear. However, in “C.O.D.” Finch used the command to save Reese from Estonian gangsters.



  • Jenna Stern, who plays Dr. Mason, is the real-life wife of Brennan Brown, who played FBI Special Agent Nicholas Donnelly in Seasons 1 and 2.
  • The Patriot Act does not authorize quarantines. The authority to quarantine outbreaks is held by the CDC and other state and local public health agencies. However, the Patriot Act gives wide latitude of law enforcement against suspected terrorists. Reese was very familiar with this Act when he worked for the government. For some, it represents an abuse of power by the government which Vigilance was against. Reese's comment was tongue-in-cheek. In the end, the writer's reaffirm their beliefs about the Patriot Act when Jeff is told, "After 9/11, people were more than willing to allow the NSA to collect all of their personal data." This was only possible through The Patriot Act.


  • "Oops--think I skipped a step." (Shaw, upon knocking her nurse out and beginning her escape)
  • "Perhaps we should try altering one of the variables? For the sake of humanity. Or even just... us." (Root, to Finch)
  • "Sooner or later every ecosystem changes; it just requires the correct precursor." (Root, to Finch)
  • "Look man, if you're ever in New York, look me up." (Shaw, to Samuel, a prison inmate)
  • "After 7000 simulations, it's only logical that some of your old memories have been replaced by new ones. Now the two coexist, side-by-side... You're not sure of anything anymore are you?" (Lambert, to Shaw)
  • "Underneath all of that intellect, you're the darkest of all of us." (Elias, to Finch)