“Mors Praematura” – Person of Interest Review (Episode 6, Season 3)

30 10 2013

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“Mors Praematura” again reminded me why I love this show so freakin’ much. Like last week, we had an interesting POI that ended up connecting to one of the story arcs (actually two, but we’ll get to that). Yeah, it was a good story with the estate investigator and him trying to find who killed his foster brother, but the more memorable parts of the show focused on Root (Amy Acker) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) working together, and the reemergence of the shadowy organization introduced earlier this season. Turns out these blokes call their group “Vigilance” and have a real thing for the American Revolutionary War. Picture a Tea Party splinter group that is nothing like the normal Tea Party member, in that they only care about government surveillance and privacy. Oh, and they’re skilled in hacking, assassinations,  and setting death traps of doom (never go into a random storage shed). It’s obvious now that they’re much larger in numbers than initially teased, so honestly I don’t think this problem will go away anytime soon.

Leave it to Person of Interest to juggle multiple story arcs and somehow tie them together. To be honest, I wasn’t completely into this episode until Root got into the cell beside the POI’s brother, and I realized the seemingly random plots were leading up to this. Why did The Machine keep both parties in the dark? What is the “third category” (besides relevant and non-relevant) that Root was talking about? My guess is the third category has something to do with The Machine’s new sense of preservation- Vigilance would want to take out The Machine if they knew it existed, and I dare say The Machine is gaining a bit of a personality (now that it’s not erased every night). Finally,  the show ended on an intriguing moment- the tables are turned and Root is now captive to Finch, right in the library, with an ankle bracelet and no technology. She almost looked like a bird in a cage, but how long will she be grounded?

Sarah Shahi Amy Acker POI Season 3

This can’t be good.

Points of Interest:

1. Carter’s relationship with the HR rookie took an interesting turn again, with him seeing what Simmons is willing to do to people. He even revealed there were 12 Russians planted in the police force (including himself). Could he become an ally?

2. Fusco had a super short appearance in this episode, giving Reese information. I kinda wish Reese wouldn’t treat Fusco so flippantly- after all hasn’t he proven his worth by now?

3. FYI, there are roughly a ton of factions out there that could come into play at any time: HR, Elias, Vigilance, Decima Technologies, Dirty CIA, Russians, and whatever category Root falls into. Just in case anyone’s keeping count.

4. Overall, good episode.

Final Score:

POI four bear

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“Razgovor” – Person of Interest Review (Episode 5, Season 3)

23 10 2013

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Don’t mess with Carter. At least if you’re part of HR, because she’s tired of that crap. “Razgovor” was a shot in the arm for Person of Interest, because it’s one of those episodes with a solid case of the week that also naturally ties into the bigger picture. When a immigrant Russian girl’s number comes up, it’s up to Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to protect her from mysterious thugs. Turns out, those are Russian gang members, who also happen to still be working with HR, and the girl’s got evidence tying them to a drug operation (bath salts, oh snap!) This turns into full-blown war with some Russians and HR getting some serious beatings from a pissed-off Reese and Shaw. I had flashbacks of Terminator movies when Shaw moved through the plant with a shotgun. Reese also had some, well, Reese moments, from the corn syrup to his classic Batman-style disappearance after pawning Officer Simmons.

The two stars of the episode really had to be Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Shaw though. We finally got to see a flashback of Shaw, highlighting her (tragic?) non-emotional state. She worked well next to the spunky little girl, who thought she “may be a robot.” With Carter, we finally pick back up on her overarching mission to take down HR, all the way up to the elusive head (who she unknowingly met earlier this season.) The end of the episode is where it all went crazy, with a very unexpected confrontation between her and her new partner/HR plant. She showed all her cards, let him know she had been on to him since his sorry butt “showed up in her squad car.” And then when the other HR thug pulls a gun on her, we see her shoot to kill- then blackmail the rookie for the murder. I’d like to submit this as maybe the best Carter moment of the series so far. It was good to see the writers not drag out the character being a snitch.

Finally, at the very end? With Root (Amy Acker) taking Shaw?! Looks like we’ve got another crazy ride on the POI train next week. With a tight plot and several strong character payoff moments, “Razgovor” was probably my favorite episode of Season 3 so far.

Rookie and Carter at Bar

He’s about to regret asking for that drink.

Points of Interest:

1. I didn’t even realize until the teaser, but where was Fusco this episode? Kinda miss that guy.

2. Traditionally, I haven’t cared for the episodes with children POI’s, but this young actress pulled it off better than others.

3. So Root’s recruiting Shaw according to the teaser. How does that even work? And how does Root not see that’s a very bad idea?

4. I loved the part where Finch listens to the “Gross!” tape. “Read the labels, Finch.”

5. After watching Simmons fight Reese, I’m inclined to think he has military background too. That was a much longer (and better) fight than I thought it would be.

Final Score:

POI four half bear





“Reasonable Doubt”- Person of Interest Review (Episode 4, Season 3)

16 10 2013

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The moral we can take from “Reasonable Doubt” is that a prosecutor should never marry a defense attorney. This week felt a little like Season 1 Person of Interest, when more episodes were spent not knowing if the POI was innocent or guilty until the very end. To be honest, it was kind of nice to have a legitimately difficult time knowing exactly who was the perpetrator (and no, I did not get it right at all). Somehow I never considered the final few twists, though I did think the POI was lying in a few spots during her vigilante trial. And what about the “justice” Reese decided to let happen at the end? Gray areas!

One thing I was right about, however, was that Carter’s new rookie partner is a dirtbag already in HR’s control. He went from almost likable to remarkably punchable in one scene. There seems to be are more crooked cops in this police force than Gotham City. Besides that detail, there was practically no serialized development with any of the show’s mythology- no Root or government schemes, and Elias seems to be enjoying the shadows for now. Since we’re already four episodes in this season, it may be time for a good shot in the arm with a non-procedural episode, like when Root captured Finch or Reese dealing with his old partner Kara Stanton (who may or may not be deceased, in my mind). Person of Interest is just as capable handling the big stories as the standalone episodes. However, this was still a solid episode with yet another twisty plot that kept me interested.

 

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Candid Family Portrait

 

Points of Interest:

1. Best line goes to the old guy at his computer- “Oh, no, the little wheel is spinning.”

2.  Shaw does not fit in with the book club crowd. No surprises therethose “pseudo-intellectual glorified trophy wives.”

3.  Fusco should be paired with Shaw more often. They’re quite the odd couple.

4. It took me forever, but I finally noticed Root is in the opening credits. Don’t judge me.

5. Did I mention I want that little two-face rookie to get his knees taken out by Reese?

 

Final Score:

POI three half bear





“Lady Killer”- Person of Interest Review (Episode 3, Season 3)

9 10 2013

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Tonight’s POI was all about the ladies- both the charming and sociopathic ones. “Lady Killer” focused on a smooth rich playboy who may or may not be killing the women he stalks on social networks. While that may sound like familiar TV ground, Person of Interest isn’t in the business of the familiar, so instead we got an episode with as much humor as twists. Instead of following him around like they did with a similar setup in an earlier episode, Reese and Finch decided to “stack the deck” with their three assets-Shaw, Carter, and Zoe- playing bait for a potential serial killer. Somehow, this ended up as a setup for several humorous bits.

One of Person of Interest‘s qualities is its strong female roles that go against the tired old stereotypes on standard television, and that’s what made this episode work. These three characters aren’t damsels in distress, nor are they swooning over the male leads or merely eye candy. “Lady Killer” showed how different they really are and used that for comedy (my favorite part was when Carter got so excited about Shaw’s gun, prompting Zoe to show the taser John got her). Shaw literally scaring the POI away by trying not to look angry was great.

And then, we have Root pulling the serialized part along. It’s nice to have more Amy Acker as a regular wild card, and seeing her be creepy and dangerous, yet not killing those in her way was an interesting development. One thing I’m not quite sure about yet is her sudden deification of The Machine, She normally referred to it as a person, so this is kind of a jump in status, eh? I’m hoping it will wear off, or at least the writers could work on their subtlety. We get it, Root thinks The Machine is a “she”- no need to say it every other line.

 

Zoe Carter and Shaw POI

Girls Night Out. Plus Fusco.

Points of Interest:

1. This may have been my favorite episode with Shaw, even if she looked so angry. Her challenging Reese to row the boat really seemed genuine.

2. Hersh (Boris McGiver) finally makes his appearance this season! Unfortunately, he’s not looking like much of a threat, getting gunned down by Root. Must be hard for a government assassin to get taken out by a hacker.

3. Bear seems to be the only thing Shaw cares about, with his new tough-looking collar and “cow femur” (great line by finch).

4. I liked that Finch didn’t understand Shaw’s quip about hipsters and ironic facial hair. It just seemed to fit the character.

5. Fusco never seems to get lucky in this show, not even in the club.

 

 

Bear’s Final Score

POI four bear





“Nothing to Hide” – Person of Interest Review (Episode 2, Season 3)

2 10 2013

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“Nothing to Hide” could also have been called “Man Has Worst Day Ever.” Over the hour, we saw one data broker’s personal and public life being stripped away in deadly and callous ways (world’s most awkward anniversary party, anyone?).  Along the way the plot brought up some legitimate concerns with technology and our loss of privacy. I’m not even sure how the writers wanted us to feel about the POI; one minute he was super pitiable as a victim, the next he’s acting like a dirt-bag again. This was Exhibit A of why Person of Interest is not simply serialized- there’s still plenty of strong self-contained stories to tell, and this particular one played out like a thriller.

That’s not to say there weren’t any overarching story developments. Carter finally unknowingly met the HR boss (at Cal’s grave, no less), and gosh I think it’s about time for the boss to have some kneecaps taken out. She also has a new rookie partner- which sounds cliche, but I can see a show like this making good use of such a character, and he comes across as genuinely likable. Finally, yet another shadowy organization reared its head at the end, who seems to be something like Anonymous on steroids and with assassins. Well, put them on the villainous group shelf next to HR, Decima Technologies, and Control. Here’s hoping we get some faction fighting in the future.

Bear and Finch Nothing to Hide

A Finch and his Bear.

Points of Interest:

1. What’s the point of Bear being your guard if he lets people hit you with wine bottles? Bad dog!

2. Shaw seems to be fitting in more with the group- that said, I hope Fusco’s character doesn’t get shafted out of too much screen time. He’s good for more than comic relief, and I’d hate to see him get crowded out.

3. No Root or Elias this time around. That’s perfectly fine- better not to overuse these characters. I do wonder what happened with her therapist though…

4. There seems to be a subtle shift in the tone of the show post-NSA scandal, in how they portray technology invading privacy. The Machine is even more morally ambiguous in its free state, and of course this whole episode showed how easily personal info can be abused, and how some people will act to stop it.

5. Good stuff so far. Here’s hoping this season continues this upward slope.

Bear’s Final Score

POI four half bear