“Control-Alt-Delete” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 12)

14 01 2015

POI banner

The Samaritan Trilogy did not end with Samaritan winning or losing, Shaw being found, or even a Johnny Cash song (see The Devil You Know). No, instead we got a fitting tribute to Shaw’s first appearance, when that episode randomly focused on her (then an unknown character) instead of our regular team. That was her intro, and now her farewell (for now or for good, not sure)  focused on Control (Camryn Manheim), with Team Machine out of sight until the second half. Did it work? Yes, yes it did. We saw her kid, her minivan, and her stressful job- only her work is taking out suspected terrorists with no questions asked. There wasn’t really the emotional weight I thought the show would go for over Shaw’s departure, but instead we got a memorable episode that moves the main story ahead while expertly pulling loose ends together.

We got a callback to the Nautilus episode from the beginning of this season, discovering that Claire wasn’t the only one who joined, and a good description of how the operation worked. Was Claire eliminated as well? I really hope not, because I’m still holding out for a reappearance of the former POI. Speaking of recurring character, how about Shaw’s old friend Grice (Nick E. Tarabay) showing up!? His fight with Reese was great, reminding me of a good ol’ Jason Bourne duel. I wonder when they’ll eventually team up…unless Grice is the Samaritan mole (but my money’s on his blonde partner).

The cage scene was obviously the best scene, flipping the earlier experience between Root and Control. Amy Acker showed us a darker side of Root, a side that’s somehow darker than her original psychotic (but cheerful) self. Finch and Control’s interactions were also spot on, and then of course you have Reese and Grice beat up each other a few feet away. All is well.

So where do we go from here? Control now has considerable reason to doubt Samaritan and plot how to destroy it, or at least all of its moles. Reese and Root will continue looking for Shaw, only to find out that she’s pregnant with twins. Or, more accurately, Sarah Shahi is pregnant, so obviously Shaw is out of the picture for a couple seasons. It’ll be interesting to see how the show writers explain her absence. As I said in the previous review, it needs to be done carefully or the emotional impact from last episode will be lost. Also, here’s hoping Root won’t be as brooding as Reese was after Carter (RIP).

 

ctrl-alt-del Amy Acker Season 4

Another trilogy, another wounded Reese.

Points of Interest:

1. Creepy Kid now wants to see the President. Couldn’t Samaritan just send a text? And where are this kid’s parents?

2. Finch wasting his whole tech speech on Fusco was priceless. “Were you talking to me?”

3. I want to see more of Reese/Root teamed up. They’re so opposite personally but equally awesome in butt-kickin’ abilities.

4. I wonder if anyone’s going to replace Shaw, or if the team will stick to four people again. My short list of possible candidates? Fan favorite Zoe (yay!), Claire from Nautilus (doubtful, but another female lead), or Grice (for his close connection with Shaw). Also maybe throw in the new police chief and Reese’s therapist (both of whom we haven’t seen for a few weeks), who are solid side characters that haven’t really been used as much as they should be.

5. The next chapter of this story won’t air until February 3rd…thanks CBS.

 

Final Score:

POI four half bear





“If-Then-Else” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 11)

7 01 2015

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Holy cow, I just started breathing again. The Person of Interest writers either jumped the shark or set up one of the most epic trilogy conclusions ever. Don’t believe me? Check the Twitter-verse. However, I think the whole multiple simulations format was brilliant writing. The initial shock value when Fusco got hit, the “simplified simulation,” the running gag of the painting, and everything else was awesomely executed. And then…that ending.

Shaw and Root- the dragged out wink-wink relationship finally culminated in a kiss that blew up social media with positive and negative comments. And then Shaw sacrifices herself for everyone in a genuinely moving slow-motion finale. But then…that preview.

“The Search for Shaw”? What does that even mean? Did that last, dramatic gunshot mean nothing? Don’t get me wrong, I love Shaw’s character and hate to see her go, but wouldn’t a random act of mercy by Martine and a generic rescue by Root and Reese sort of take away from this killer ending? Everything led up to how a sacrifice was inevitable. This was the end of Shaw’s evolution- from sociopath to sacrificial hero. I never was a fan of their thing- I’m still not (ducks)- but Root’s humanity and pain suddenly returning to her in the elevator sent chills through me. Where would they go from a predicatable rescue- everyone goes “yay” and they share another sloppy kiss? Meh.

There’s simply too many good parts here to cover in a hurried review. Here’s hoping that the finale will be worthy of this trilogy.

shaw reese finch amy acker who dies

(Ding)

Points of Interest:

1. “Sadistic remark.” “Witty sign-off.” Haha oh the simplified simulation…

2. Favorite part? Gotta be Fusco kissing Root- because he’s in a simulation, why not?

3. I feel like shippers took control over this episode- only thing keeping this from a perfect 5 Bears.

4. Only Finch could make a game of chess so compelling. Awesome moments.

5. Next episode has some huge shoes to fill- will it measure up to “The Devil’s Share?”

 

Final Score:

POI four half bear





100% Accurate Movie Predictions for 2015

4 01 2015

Well it’s that time of the year again, where I make shockingly-on-point predictions about upcoming cinematic offerings. These have all been carefully selected using Google and an impossibly low level of effort. Are we in for a treat this year, or a big, steaming pile of sequels?

 

Tak3n

Stop taking his blasted stuff!

January 9- Taken 3

Haha! That last question was a joke! Get ready for the third Taken movie- hot on the heels of the first mediocre sequel. So, what gets taken this time, besides Liam Neeson’s soul? Well it turns out the only thing taken this time (SPOILER ALERT) is Bryan Mill’s wife- permanently. Yep, remember those happy endings, where he saves his family and reunites with his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen)? Well, to quote the studios, “Forget that junk, let’s have Neeson get framed for her murder!” Meanwhile, the CIA, FBI and police all try to hunt down our hero.

Prediction: It’s Liam Neeson kicking butt, so you can bet this will at least enjoy mild success for a weekend or two. Word of mouth will ultimately kill it, because some people will miss the whole American-beating-up-foreigners aspect.

 

mila_kunis

I see we’re trying the Matrix outfits again.

Feb 6- Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is found on Earth by Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered action hero, who tells her she’s important (because of confusing reasons or something) and will “alter the balance of the cosmos” (I swear that’s a quote from the official description). Also, Jupiter Jones is a terrible name.

Prediction: The promos say “From the Creators of the Matrix Trilogy,” which isn’t the best reference, but honestly have the Wachowski siblings come out with anything else that’s worth mentioning? If all people mercifully remember is the first Matrix movie, and nothing else about the other two, you may get some tickets from an audience that’s willing to forgive Mila Kunis for her awful witch in Oz the Great and Powerful.

 

Feb 13- Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this article, you are already an educated and discerning individual who doesn’t need my sarcasm to know a bad movie.

Prediction: Some will say this embarrassing pimple of a film didn’t go far enough, and others too far. Either way, let’s have a moment of silence for all the poor bro’s who will get forced into the theater by their emotionally-unstable significant others.

 

Kevin James

Wow! April looks awful!

April 17- Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Paul Blart (Kevin James) continues his cautionary tale for washed-up comedians in the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Mall Cop. I sure hope there’s some fat jokes in this one!

Prediction: Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy will be jealous they weren’t involved. The positive side is you can instantly de-friend anyone on Facebook who mentions this film in a positive light.

 

Avengers_teaser

*Spider-Man not included.

May 1- The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and the rest of the Avengers reassemble to further build their retirement funds. Expect awkward conversations about why they didn’t assemble to help out on Thor 2, where the universe practically imploded, or why not even one of them called to check up on Captain America after his near-death experience. Also count on Captain Cameo (Stan Lee) making an appearance.

Prediction: Hah, you don’t need a blog to tell you that this movie will create a shower of gold bars over Marvel Studios, and will push them full steam into their next 75 comic book movies.

May 15- Pitch Perfect 2

Because the ladies need something to watch while their guy friends watch Avengers the third weekend in a row.

Prediction: See above.

 

Comic-Con

Because Disney World was closed.

June 12- Jurassic World

Imagine a world where citizens are willing to pay to see dinosaurs up-close again, even after one or two disastrous encounters where lives were lost. Imagine this awful business plan is again picked up by well-meaning but ultimately profit-driven people in suits who know that the jaded public will fall for anything. Are the story writers being intentionally ironic with us?

Prediction: Obviously this isn’t going to be better than the original, so the most I can hope for this is gentle critics and lowered expectations from fans. Because profits…find a way.

 

Jai Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator heads hate sunny fields.

July 1- Terminator: Genisys

It’s a new Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and a new Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke)…with an aging Terminator robot (Aging Arnold Schwarzenegger) in an alternate timeline. Apparently Terminators actually age now. They probably will have a crazy shootout scene in the Terminator Retirement Home, with all the other time-traveling robot assassins who couldn’t take out one dude.  At least the misspelled title will drive my OCD friends crazy.

Prediction: Arnold hasn’t been the biggest draw lately, and this is a tired series that should have gone to bed a couple of decades ago. They’ll probably draw a profit, but we won’t be telling our grandchildren about where we were when we first saw Terminator: Genisys.

 

Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence

(Cue whistling)

Nov 20 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

It’s the second part of a sequel to a sequel, based on the least popular book of The Hunger Games trilogy. Even with all that cynicism, you and I will probably be in the ticket line opening weekend.

Prediction: If I remember correctly, Part I didn’t do as well in theaters, partly because of the extra fluff inserted to make the book into two movies. However, it’s the last entry of the movie series, so it’ll draw in enough profit to finance a giant party in The Capitol.

Star Wars

Admit it. You just stopped breathing for a moment.

December 18 – Star Wars: Episode VII

Like a jilted lover who doesn’t know any better, the nerd in everyone will return to the Star Wars universe this winter. Our favorite characters are now 30 years older, but there will be no Jar Jar Binks or whiny pre-Vader. Could this be the movie that finally brings balance to the Lucas? Or is it a trap?

Prediction: It’s probably a trap. But a very effective trap that will take all our money.