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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 505 Episode Image.png



Air dateMay 17, 2016

Running time43:38

Production code3J6004

Written byAndy Callahan

Directed byMaja Vrvilo

Viewers6.97M (18-49: 1.1 rating)

ID(s) from IntroID.504/0220.16
Ethan Garvin
Mary Mulhall
POI 0505 Ethan Garvin.pngPOI 0505 Mary Mulhall.png

Images (26)

"ShotSeeker" is the fifth episode of Season 5, and the 95th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on May 17, 2016.


Reese protects an NYPD analyst whose investigation into a software glitch has drawn the attention of Samaritan. Also, Reese and Fusco are threatened by an ally of Elias’s, who is looking to avenge his friend’s death.

Origin of the Title

The title refers to the system used by the NYPD to detect, or seek out gunshots.

Main Plot Points

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

  • Person of Interest: Ethan Garvin, an audio technician for the City of New York. Garvin's hearing is so acute he is able to determine whether the city's "ShotSeeker" software is accurate.
  • Ethan Garvin has uncovered Samaritan's interference with ShotSeeker's software when he hears gunshots and Shotseeker identifies it as fireworks.
  • The gunshots are connected to the disappearance of Krupa Naik, a doctoral student in chemistry who discovered a revolutionary method to preserve food. Samaritan tries to make the research disappear, but reason behind that is unknown.
  • Finch has used the Samaritan code he copied with Root from the electronics delivery truck in Truth Be Told to create a mini-clone of Samaritan, and is using that clone to engineer a series of cyber-warfare simulations against a mini-clone of The Machine. He hopes that the results will allude them to a possible strategy to be used against Samaritan in the real world; however, so far over 10 billion simulations have taken place and each and every one has ended with an outcome in favor of Samaritan, leading Harold to believe they are fighting a war they cannot win.
  • Bruce Moran, Carl Elias's boyhood friend, returns, determined to learn who killed Elias. When he threatens Fusco, then Reese, they take Moran to the safe house where he learns Elias was rescued by Fusco, is still alive, and is in Finch and Reese's care. Elias warns Moran to remain in the shadows and not try to defeat their enemy, suggesting he is aware of Samaritan's existence.
  • Fusco has reached the point where he will no longer accept being kept in the dark about the existences of The Machine and Samaritan, and has begun to investigate so fervently that Samaritan has labeled him a "possible obstructionist".


Episode Notes

  • ShotSeeker is modelled after ShotSpotter, a real-world gunfire detection system installed in over 90 cities worldwide.
  • A freeze-dried food powder similar to the one in the episode was invented by a group of grad students who freeze dry nearly-expired produce to extend its shelf life up to two years.
  • Harvesta is a pseudonym for Monsanto.
  • The reason why Samaritan wants the Naik's research to disappear is only speculated : it's linked to Samaritan's New World Order and could be responsible of overpopulation.

Production Notes

Bloopers and Continuity Errors



  • In the beginning of the episode Reese says "A watcher watching the watchers." possibly referring to the famous phrase "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?" ("Who will guard the guardians?") from the Latin poet Iuvenalis' The Satires.
  • The intro ID suggests that this is the 4th episode of season 5, but it is actually the 5th.


  • "There is a new player out there, an adversary we can't beat, and one we best not try and fight." (Elias, to Bruce)
  • "A child, your child needs to learn to push back on the playground!" (Root, to Finch)
  • "I'm afraid we're fighting a war we can't win." (Finch, to Reese)
  • "You wanna talk about loyalty? I'll kill you myself if you ever go near Fusco again." (Reese, to Bruce)
  • "The Machine is infinitely smarter than us...if anyone here needs to re-code the Machine, it should be the Machine." (Finch, to Root)