A billionaire software-genius named Harold Finch creates a Machine for the government that is designed to detect acts of terror before they can happen, by monitoring the entire world through every cell-phone, email and surveillance camera. Finch discovered that the machine sees everything, potential terrorist acts and violent crimes that involve ordinary people. When the government considered violent crimes between normal people "irrelevant", Finch built a back door into the system that gives him the social security number of a person involved in a future violent crime so he could act. Partnered with John Reese, an ex-CIA agent, the two work in secret to prevent violent crimes before they can happen. Eventually their activities lead to being hunted by the New York Police Department, CIA Agents in pursuit of Reese who was listed as dead, a computer hacker named Root who wants access to the Machine, and government officials who want to keep all knowledge of the Machine a complete secret.
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Did You Know?
Bar episode 6, which scored an 8.9, the final season has the rare distinction of having every episode rated above 9 by user reviews, with the season and series finale having the even greater distinction of earning a perfect 10.0. See more
Many times throughout the series, Whilst John is under fire and is low or out of ammunition, after subduing an antagonist, he never takes his weapon or checks to see if he has any appropriate ammo. See more
[Opening narration from Season One
You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people, people like you. Crimes the government considered "irrelevant." They wouldn't act, so I decided I would. But I needed a partner, someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret...
Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #29.160