The episode begins right where the last one left off. Camryn Manheim aka Control has Harold, Arthur and Shaw at gunpoint. She thinks she’s lucky. Control went after Samaritan and now she has Harold to tell her where the working Machine is. Unfortunately, Harold doesn’t know where the Machine is anymore, since it moved itself. No matter because they can get Samaritan and fix it, but Arthur can’t remember what happened to his project, Samaritan. The questioning leads no where, so she turns her attention to Shaw. Shaw is disposable. Control orders her death when Root comes to the rescue. Shaw and Root make quick work of the guards and hurry out with Harold and Arthur in tow. Hirsch realizes the Machine is helping Root and shoots any surveillance cameras, so Root doesn’t see him coming when he shoots her from behind. She pleads for Shaw to take Harold and Arthur out safely and allows herself to be taken captive.
Back in 1979, young Harold made the difficult decision of putting his father in a home, but his Dad doesn’t remember. Harold tells him it’s only for a short time and that he won’t be alone, he’s almost done building the memory machine for him, but it’s more than a memory machine, Harold hopes it will even be a friend to his Dad.
Arthur, Harold and Shaw are free. They ask Arthur about any backups, these two drives that Control thinks exists. Arthur confirms that they do exist and that it is in the hands of their old friend.
Root is now in Control’s custody. She refuses to cooperate. Control knows that she has administrative access to the Machine, so they’re willing to go a long way to get what they want. Since she won’t tell them, Control injects her with a drug. In a matter of moments she blacks out.
Harold, Shaw and Arthur arrive at a bank, where Arthur lets them know that the drives are in a safety deposit box. Shaw, still skeptical thinks the info won’t be much help without a key, but Arthur still has a few secrets up his sleeve. He breaks his medical alert device to reveal the key.
Root wakes up to Control where she explains that she’s injecting Root with barbiturates and amphetamines. A roller coaster for the heart and it can only take so much before it explodes. Root enjoys it and still won’t give anything up, so Control administers the next dose to make her black out.
Harold and Arthur follow the bank manager to the security deposit boxes vault. The box belongs to Rudiger Smoot, a fictional person that Harold, Arthur and Nathan created as a bet to open a bank account with a fake person a la Shawshank Redemption. Shaw has their back as she mans the bank floor, but she’s not alone. A Vigilance team is also there. Under the guise of a bank robbery, they take over the bank. In a rather quick response, the police and FBI surround the building, until Hirsch steps out of the car. Vigilance and Control is too much for Shaw to handle. Harold doesn’t have a chance to escape the security deposit vault. There’s only one solution and that’s to lock themselves in the vault. As he closes the vault door, a vigilance member fires into the vault and hits the bank manager in the leg, but can do no more harm with the door closed.
Lionel and Reese are still in the small town jail after their bar scuffle. Lionel wants to go home, back to Harold and Shaw. Reese has no interest in going home or going back to helping people. Reese explains that all they were doing was delaying the inevitable. They save one person only to let another die. Lionel gives up, has the guard free them and lets him go free, but one last thing. It’s been a while since he’s heard from Harold and that’s really odd and unlike him. Reese and Lionel both know that can only mean that Harold needs their help. But what does Reese care, if they help it’s really only delaying the inevitable.
Harold helps the bank manager tend to her gunshot wound. Then he tasks Shaw to find an escape route. Outside the bank, Hirsch makes contact with Vigilance. They don’t play games and get straight to it. Vigilance knows they don’t intend to let them walk out alive and that they have the upper hand. They’ll get to the drives and expose the abuse the government has perpetrated. Arthur finally opens the security deposit box and takes out the two drives, along with a note in Arthur’s writing. “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in broken places”
Control continues to interrogate Root as there is now a large pile of empty syringes. Control will stop if Root gives them her username and password. She gets a good laugh from the question. Tells control that she is the interface, if Control wants to talk to the Machine she just needs a phone. Control brings one to her, but before she hands it over she wants to know how Root is using the machine. Root explains that she’s not using the Machine, but that the Machine is using her. The Machine is the boss. Control wants to make clear how serious she is, she cuts out Root’s ear bone, without anesthesia. She’ll only have one good ear left to hear the Machine and won’t hesitate to cut off the other if Root doesn’t do what Control says.
In the bank vault, Arthur figures out the note. It’s dated one day before Samaritan was shut down. He remembers, he figured out how to make it work before they shut him down. Samaritan is alive.
1980 – Young Harold is working on his computer when it shorts out and even catches fire. He realizes he needs more power and uses his phone trick to connect to another computer. Arpanet, a government site.
In the vault, Arthur explains that his program was too perfect and that’s why it never worked, so he created mutations in Samaritan’s code and allowed the code to evolve and learn to survive on it’s own. They’re interrupted by a phone call from the Vigilance leader, he offers to work together. He has some time to think about it, but when time is up, they’ll blow the vault door. Harold corroborates the explosive story with Shaw, but it’s okay because Shaw can use it. When they blow the door, she’ll blow a hole down to the sewage line. She’ll help them sneak away from vigilance and escape down the hole.
Control plans to give Root the phone now, but any misstep and the team surrounding the bank will make sure her friends suffer. Root doesn’t care, it’s too late for Control because the Machine was already talking. It relayed morse code via a high frequency that the older Control boss can’t hear. It told her that Control fears her, so much so that she brought a knife in the cell with her and while Control cut Root’s ear bone out, Root slipped the knife from Control’s pocket. Root is actually free of her binds and lunges at Control. Pulls the knife on her and now has the upper hand.
As the situation escalates, Hirsch makes it clear that they’re going in once Vigilance takes the vault. Vigilance gives Harold one last chance to turn Arthur over, but Harold doesn’t budge. He then pleads to Arthur to destroy Samaritan, but Arthur can’t let go of his creation, it will all be lost. Harold tells him that it won’t be because he created it and used Arthur’s ideas. Harold tells him that he wishes he didn’t create it sometimes, but Arthur disagrees. The Machine is beautiful. Samaritan will get in the hands of the wrong people and be enslaved, is that what Arthur wants for his creation. Of course not, he decides to destroy the drives. Shaw gives them the heads up, Vigilance is ready to blow the vault door. They take cover as Shaw times her explosion with the Vaults.
Harold and Arthur are alright after the explosion, but in no condition to fight the Vigilance agents. Luckily Shaw is, she takes out two agents and leads them out of the vault. Moments later the FBI tactical squad enter and take out the other Vigilance agents on the bank floor. Shaw leads Harold and Arthur down the stairs when a stray agent sneaks up behind. While Shaw takes care of the agent, Vigilance surrounds Harold and Arthur. Arthur tells them that it’s too late, he destroyed the drives, but they have an easy enough solution for that, kill the others and take Arthur. Just then, two FBI agents hurry down the stairs and subdue the remaining Vigilance agents. Shaw grabs a gun, but they’re in no danger, it’s Lionel and Reese to the rescue. They escape down the sewage hole. In the bank, Vigilance makes its point. Hirsch has an agent surrounded, but it’s exactly what he intended. The agent is a suicide bomber and he blows himself up.
Root has no trouble taking out Control’s agents, now it’s just Root and Control. Control won’t talk, but Root says she’s not talking to her, she puts her ear piece in so the Machine can speak. It tells Control that it doesn’t belong to anyone and that it controls Control. It knows where to find the one thing Control loves, so she’ll do everything the Machine says. She is not to question its judgement, pursue it or its agents and to simply trust in it.
Arthur is now at the POI batcave in a makeshift hospital room. Arthur says he’s glad Harold was the one to build the Machine and that the world is lucky he’s the one who built it. Arthur’s memory is fading with every waking day. They’re interrupted again, but this time by Root. She informs Harold that someone got away with the drives, that the bank manager they were dealing with was not the real bank manager and she switched the drives. It’s her job to find them now. The Machine has one last message for Arthur, a touching memory of him and his wife.
Young Harold visits his father in the nursing home. He wants to let him know that men are coming for him and will tell him that he committed treason, but he shouldn’t believe them. It’s all for not because his Father doesn’t remember him any more, he doesn’t even remember the name of the birds he’d show his son when they were younger.
Reese returns to tell Harold that he only came back to protect him, but he doesn’t trust the machine, it doesn’t seem to know who matters and who doesn’t. He won’t stay and won’t give Harold a chance to change his mind and like that he’s gone.
We find the ‘bank manager’ in the shadows with the drives as she hands them over to an old enemy, Greer.