How Can Person of Interest’s Season 4 Succeed?

17 09 2014

Banner POI Reese Shaw Root Finch Season Four

In one week, Person of Interest returns with its fourth season, but fans will know this time things are not the same. One of the biggest villains in the show’s rogues gallery, Decima, successfully convinced the government to adopt a new machine in last season’s finale. Since this Machine (called Samaritan) is a bit more hateful than Finch’s creation, the entire USA has become a sort of Orwellian nightmare of hyper-surveillance. Team Machine only survived because of some brand-new identities that Samaritan has been hard-coded to overlook (thanks to Root, because who else?). They’ve (sorta) officially disbanded the team and quit taking numbers, but of course that won’t last too long since CBS doesn’t want to end its show just yet. That said, Season 3 got a lot of things right, and a few things not-so-right (just look at some particularly vocal commentators on Facebook). So, like any fan with a blog, I decided to throw my wish list out there for Season 4, with the end goal being enough ratings for Season 5…

 

Keep balancing the serialized with the procedural

Jonathan Nolan has stated numerous times that The X-Files was one of the inspirations for the show’s structure. That is, there’s a crazy, evolving mythology with a main story (or stories) that connect the episodes, but also every hour there is a smaller case of the week. That’s awesome to me, because some shows burn through story so fast the latter seasons really go off the deep end or just starts repeating themes. Mixing the serialized and procedural storytelling helps even it out, and most shows haven’t been able to pull it off like POI has. Some fans have voiced concerns over too much extra big-picture story arcs and recurring characters, but honestly I think Season 3 balanced things nicely. Keep it there. And, keep putting some love into the weekly stories.

Finch and Reese time

One of the main reasons Person of Interest originally took off was how well Finch (Michael Emerson) and Reese (Jim Caviezel) work together as leads. Lately, they just haven’t had that much quality time together. Their characters naturally play off each other, so why not a mission where they aren’t split up, like in the old days?

Ease off  a bit on Root 

Yeah, I get that Root is a favorite of the writers, and some fans. Heck, does any guy not have a little crush on Amy Acker? However, since becoming Cyborg Root and in constant contact with The Machine, she’s become way too much of a crutch for the show to get out of rough situations. Basically, she’s way overpowered and stifles any sense of danger. Have her do her own thing- “Root Cause” was a great episode. But she doesn’t have to take center stage every other scene. I’d say out of all of the members of Team Machine, she overwhelms the scene/dialogue/fight the most. It’s not the Root show (see above).

Team Machine relational twists and turns? Please no.

Okay, let me start by saying I thought the kiss between Reese and Carter (Taraji Henson) was a little out of left field, but I didn’t let that spoil my day. That said, a lot of people hated that non-scripted addition (thanks Jim Caviezel) because they thought it was out of character, and it weirded out the team dynamic right at the end of her run. Everyone knows the audience generally loses interest after the will they/won’t they couple finally gets together (see The Office). I don’t want to see any more random pairings with other team members, please (including Root and Shaw). These are characters who are supposed to be borderline psychotic (Root), already in love (Finch), or just incapable of emotion (Shaw). We really don’t want to see another moment that changes what the show has already established. If anything, maybe a Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy flirty pal relationship could work between them, but gosh how long did the show take to continually show how incapable of emotion Shaw is?

Elias’ Return

This is self-explanatory. Elias was the first Big Bad, and he’s been rebuilding his empire in the background. He’d be great as a friend-enemy of Team Machine, depending if he still feels he owes them something. If an uneasy ally, he could help them stay undetected from Decima.

 

What do you think? Am I off base here, or would this be a dream come true for you? Either way, you can bet I’ll be watching the premiere next Tuesday…

 

Person-of-Interest-wallpaper-season-4

 

 

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