And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Person of Interest is one of the best shows out there today. “Deus Ex Machina” could arguably be the best episode yet for the series- at the very least it’s the most important one since the pilot. Before we get into the myriad of twists at the end, let’s talk about the trial. The stakes were high, as the entire rogues gallery (minus Elias) and Finch were all threatened with a death sentence by Peter Collier (Leslie Odom Jr.) in a mock trial streaming live to the world (or so we thought). After the first government head got shotgunned mid-sentence, I really wasn’t sure who was going to make it out. This was easily Odom Jr.’s best acting moment with that character, and he made it easy to identify with not only his point of view, but also surprisingly Control’s. Her behavior during the trial and shielding of Harold came as a huge surprise and showed us a lot about her motivations have been. Actually, the trial helped dig into all of those characters’ psyches in a way that didn’t feel like unnatural exposition.
Like last season finale, the writers decided to pair up the characters in a very entertaining way. Shaw and Root were great with their normal passive-aggressive joking, and Reese and Hersh (Boris McGiver), well, just kicked butt together. I enjoyed rooting for Hersh so much that it was shocking when he got taken out at the end. It’s always a shame when a well-written likable character is knocked off, especially when it appeared that he may join Team Machine in the future, but it just shows that nobody is really safe here. Farewell Hersh, you BA government hitman.
Now, what about that truly game-changing ending? What new identities are in the envelopes? How will Team Machine get numbers now, and how can they work together even if they do? Obviously, this conclusion turned the show completely on its head, so it will be interesting to see how this all works out next season. To be honest, I did not see Decima being responsible for Vigilance, and Collier was the last person who I thought would be knocked off, so kudos to the writing there. My theory was either The Machine or a Vigilance higher-up was Collier’s mystery contact, but of course that was nowhere close.
It’s weird to think how much this season has changed the status quo of the show. Season 3 of POI has brought us the masterful Carter/HR trilogy, the introduction of Samaritan, Vigilance, and now the complete breakdown of Team Machine. They’ve become less vigilantes and more like fugitives, and it’s unclear how long the writers will run with this. When even the Bat Cave (library) is abandoned and trashed by SWAT, you know things are not as they once were. Thank goodness this show got renewed, right?
Points of Interest:
1. I loved Commando Fusco and his sidekick Bear in a giant armored vehicle. Heck, I’d watch a season about just that.
2. Nice opening moment with Shaw and Reese kneecapping henchmen, only to have Hersh shoot them. All of their reactionary expressions were great.
3. How does this show consistently top itself? Hopefully their streak will carry over the break.
4. Here’s hoping that season 4 brings back Elias in some way. At this point he could still easily be a helper or a villain.
5. I think it’s fair to say that this has been nothing short of a fantastic season. Now to weather the long break till next season.