This episode seamlessly brought together our two Big Bads of the season, the amoral AI Samaritan and the crime genius Dominic. And holy shit were there some awesome shootouts. But I was left wondering something about the nature of chaos and order.
So first of all, we're now living in a world where Shaw's cover has been blown. Samaritan still can't recognize her, but Greer's best agent Rousseau has tracked Shaw down anyway — resulting in a satisfying machine gun fight in the middle of the cosmetics department. Root had to rescue Shaw, and there was much flirty ninja bonding. So now Shaw has to stay off the street, and Greer has given Rousseau a promotion to squad leader.
But that was just the backstory to my question. Because the real conflict in this episode wasn't between the Machine and Samaritan, but between the crime bosses Elias and Dominic. We get some good backstory on Elias' childhood at an abusive boys' home, and discover that one of his major protectors is a shady business genius who manages all Elias' money and is possibly a kind of "mastermind behind the scenes" Finch figure.
This is all stuff that Dominic knows now too, since he's been spying on Elias and has stolen all the NYPD's files on the guy.
When Dominic's gang finally corners Elias, Reese and Elias' number one (and best friend) in Elias' secret hideout, it looks like things are going to get seriously deadly. Everybody is trying to sacrifice themselves for everybody else, and Finch calls Elias up to talk him out of giving up his life for his friend. "Your presence in this city has brought order to the chaos," Finch says, then goes on to say that Dominic will destroy all that if he wins.
So wait, wait, wait. Why is Dominic a force of chaos and evil, again? Isn't he the smart, cool, Edward Snowden-quoting crime boss who united a bunch of gangs who had fallen into petty turf wars in Elias' absence? Isn't he the guy who understands the power of information and connections, rather than money? OK, sure, he was trying to import some seriously nasty armor-piercing guns into New York. But Elias has done equally horrible things. What makes Dominic so much worse than Elias?