‘Class Of ’09’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending, Explained: Do The Class Graduates Defeat The System?

The season finale of Class Of ’09 was released today, and it’s the final stand of humanity against an autocratic machine that commits large-scale injustice. In the penultimate episode, Tayo Michaels, the FBI Director, was removed from his position for trying to shut down the system, and now it’s him and his fellow graduates from Quantico who go up against the machine to try and take it down. It’s 2034, and predictive arrests have become the biggest concern for the country as human rights have been steamrolled. Will the graduates be able to topple the system, or will machines reign supreme?

Spoilers Ahead


Why Does Vivienne Leave Tayo? 

Class Of ’09 Episode 8 begins with Tayo meeting Poet in a restaurant shortly after the attack was made on his life. Here, he explains the reason he’d joined the bureau: Tayo’s father, a cop, was shot dead by a man with an unchecked gun that two police officers hadn’t flagged because the man had said it was a defense against African-American criminals. The biased and prejudiced system was what Tayo wished to change, and Amos Garcia’s machine-learning system would be the key with which he’d solve the problem. Tayo is offered the position of FBI Director, but in exchange, there are certain people who need to be kept excluded from the system’s grasp. Not willing to let go of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Tayo agrees to exempt the necessary people who’ll be above the system and goes home to tell his wife, Vivienne, of this victory. 

However, Vivienne, who was possibly pregnant, lets Tayo know in no uncertain terms that she wishes to be safe, and such repeated attempts on their lives isn’t something she can deal with. Tayo makes a stand and says that he won’t be backing out of this chance to bring justice and equality to everyone and that he’ll go ahead with his mission, even if his wife doesn’t support him. Vivienne realizes her husband is too drunk on power to listen to reason and decides to leave. This explains why the two were living separately in the future. 


Why Do Hour And Poet Fight? 

Moreover, Tayo arrives in the room where the system’s data is stored and lets Amos know that some people need to be exempted from the system. Amos, however, couldn’t agree to this stipulation because it went against the very fundamentals of machine learning, where everyone is treated as equals. However, Tayo won’t listen to anyone in this current situation and has his men remove Amos from the premises because he is no longer in need of the man who created the very system Tayo would be using. This also gives a reason as to why Amos turned rogue in the later years and why he was shot down as a suspect by the system.

Hour and Poet have an argument in their office because Hour doesn’t want to see the system she’d created to help humans make better decisions be used as a tool to arrest people based on a machine’s intelligence. She requests her best friend Poet to speak to the newest FBI Director, but even Poet has been awed by the system’s capacity to arrest the serial killer who’d been targeting women in Episode 7, so she doesn’t see anything wrong with the system. Hour pleads with Poet to intervene in Tayo’s efforts to make the system go live and harm the people based on what they might do instead of what they’ve actually done. Poet refuses to budge, and Hour walks out, resulting in the 9-year-long rift between the two that we’d seen earlier.


How Does The System Turn Autocratic?

Through a montage of news reports, we’re given the timeline of how the system moved from being a white-collar crime investigator to a device that arrests people based on their thoughts or what they’re inclined to do. These “thought crimes” that the system arrested people for are based on the dystopian society that was mentioned in George Orwell’s 1984. In 2034, when Vivienne and Tayo were moving in together after Tayo was removed, the system suggested arresting Vivienne based on a book she was writing and her associates who’d voiced opinions against the system. Director Warren greenlit the arrest, and Viv was arrested on their doorstep while Tayo was tasered by one of the system’s drones. She made it clear in the courtroom that she was never going to receive any justice here because she’d been previously determined guilty.


Do The Class Graduates Defeat The System?

Enough was enough, and Tayo, Hour, Poet, and Lennix got together to make sure this cankerous system was exterminated for good. Tayo knew the original location where the mainframe data was kept, and Poet brought up the device Amos had handed her before being killed, the device that could be used to send EMP charges to fry the system. Once fried, it’d have to be manually rebooted, thereby wiping clean all the exemptions that the system wouldn’t judge. If everyone became equal, the highest-ranking officials would no longer allow the system to be active, so it’d have to be shut down. Sounds like a foolproof plan. The four graduates snuck into the original location while shooting down the advancing drones. After distracting a few more drones inside, they fried the system and then rebooted it manually, wiping clean the corruption. The four were arrested immediately after stepping outside and taken in. However, the system had been cleansed and was immediately declared unfit to remain active. Every arrest that’d been made based on predictions was nullified, and the prisoners released, including Vivienne. 


‘Class Of ’09’ Episode 8 Ending Explained

Poet became the new instructors at Quantico, to the batch of 2034, where her role was to train the new students to return to their roots and make use of human judgment, which always needs to reign supreme. In this new age, machines will once again take a backseat, as recent experience has taught the people not to grow over reliant on technology, and the FBI needs to train its students on the necessity to make decisions and judgments based on logic and thought and see the person before them as humans. Treating people as binaries led to a nationwide fiasco, so once again, people became the most important resource, as is the law of man.

In the end of Class Of ’09, FBI and in essence, humanity returns to the grassroot levels where man’s judgment takes supremacy over machines and that’s the biggest stand humanity has over AI. If man begins outsourcing all his responsibilities to a machine, there might come a time when the machine begins removing man from the equation altogether, which makes AI an enemy of the future. With self-driving cars and bionic arms and eyes, the future might seem like the place to be, but one can’t feel safe when it’s a computer with binaries deciding the fate of a human. A real person has feelings, emotions, and the ability to take in everything about their surroundings before making the decision, while AI sees only in black or white. The gray is where humanity dwells in, so the human touch is the most important necessity for society to exist. 


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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