“Blunt” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 16)

25 02 2015

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“Blunt” was a perfect name for this episode. The POI is connected with medical marijuana, Dominic returns and deals bluntly with everyone, and Reese hit everyone with blunt objects. Our main story felt like a classic, fleshed-out number of the week, and her story also benefited from being directly connected to Dominic, who’s been out of the spotlight lately. Person of Interest is in its element when the seedy gang wars are in play, and honestly I’ve been missing the Dominic vs. Elias plot line in the midst of all the Samaritan battlin’. That said, we still got some advancement on the machine war with Root’s new recruitment drive (more on that bombshell later).

This hour had POI at the top of its game by showing how effortlessly the writers can bring the best of procedural and serialized television together. The POI was likable, independent and untrustworthy, but we never may see “Harper” again. She was however instrumental with advancing Dominic’s rise to power and his heightened obsession with “Detective Reiley.” Their scene at the cafe pulled off a tense cat-and-mouse feeling (and was apparently inspired by a similar scene in the movie Heat). Dominic keeps branching out with new ways to make money and gain influence, so it will be interesting to see how Elias will respond. And Reese? Well, he was just BA this entire episode. Brawling in a club, daring Dominic to test him- all classic Reese moments that have been comparatively absent lately.

The real golden moment for longtime fans came at the end when Root brings her app to none other than Caleb Phipps from the stellar episode “2 Pi R” (see my rave review from Season 2 here). Again, this was only a payoff/shock for people that remember random details about an episode two seasons ago, but I feel like that one has become a fan favorite. I’ve heard a couple people say that the character seemed like he could become an asset sometime in the future, but to see the writers actually follow up on such a vague thread? Awesome direction. I wonder if he’s working for Samaritan, or if he’s about to unknowingly jump on the Team Machine train.

 

Jim Caviezel Season 4 Kevin Chapman

Weeding out the bad guys.

Points of Interest:

1. When Reese goes “clubbing,” he uses a champagne bottle. And there’s not much dancing.

2. Lionel has the best nicknames for the team. “What’s your pal Mr. Peabody doing?”

3. Will we get to see any more past POI’s show up? How many people is Root recruiting?

4. How DOES Finch know so much about medical marijuana? Well, he does have a chronic neck pain going on…

5. John Reese. The closest we’ll ever get to Batman on a television show (sorry Gotham).

 

Final Score:

POI four half bear

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“Q & A” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 15)

18 02 2015

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Remember “Nautilus”? That crazy cryptography game that Samaritan used to recruit hackers at the beginning of this season? That was one of the more memorable concepts for me (especially since some organization have used that tactic in the real world), but then they didn’t mention it again for a few months. Also Claire, the POI who was lured into joining Samaritan, seemed like she might return, but it looked like that thread would never be picked up again.   Well, Claire was back in “Q & A.” I admit, I really didn’t see her plight as an act, partly because she’s a character you want to root for, and the show had hinted that she would be put in danger by Samaritan eventually. So it wasn’t surprising to see her supposed disillusionment. Also, her scenes with Finch were great, and even more so when we (and Finch) started to second-guess her intentions. The gradual shift reminded me of classic Person of Interest episodes where the POI reveal was genuinely engrossing, and the mortuary setting gave a nice vibe. It was interesting to see how the former victim POI had become the perpetrator. It’s too bad, since I had been hoping she would maybe join the team in the future- I mean somebody’s gotta replace Shaw while she’s out, right?

The actual person of the week stood out enough as her own character (tech geek by day, MMA fighter by night), but the twist at the end sort of fell flat for me. Really, playing with suicidal people’s emotions would boost ad revenue THAT much? Enough to get people killed? It was just a little too trope-ish with the greedy corporate guy. I’d also like to know what he intended to do after he kidnapped/killed not only his CEO but an employee and a NYC detective.

Besides that, it was an entertaining hour that blended the procedural number with the serial mythology quite adeptly. It’s a little weird for us to know Shaw is alive for so long while Team Machine thinks she’s dead, but maybe Root did a little digging on her almost two weeks off. She mentioned that things had changed- I’m assuming for the worst. Although honestly, I’m not sure how things can get worse for Finch and company, as they’ve lost ground every time they gain it against Samaritan. I guess we’ll see next week- until then, I’m going to be playing my copy of Full Metal Hellcat 4.

 

Jim Caviezel Q&A Claire

Meanwhile, at the spelling bee…

 

Points of Interest:

1. Reese explaining away questions- “I thought you were a cop.” “I am, but this is more paperwork than I want to deal with.” Hah.

2. I was afraid that little creepy Samaritan kid was going to be in that charter school. I’m kind of over that character, and was actually relieved when it was only guys with guns.

3. Fusco: “Right hook, left hook!” “Nice, but your cross could use a little work.” “Well pick him up and I’ll have another go.”

4. Most of Twitter (and I) was predicting Root would show up and save Finch, but it was a cool moment since Root and Claire finally met. They’re two girl hackers on different sides of the AI coin.

5. I hope they do a little more with Claire- she’s an interesting character, and it helps expand the show’s universe when former POI’s can show up at any time.

Final Score:

POI four bear





“Guilty” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 14)

11 02 2015

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Tonight’s Person of Interest was an enjoyable throwback to the first season of the show. We had Finch, Reese, and Zoe (!) all focused on the week’s number in a largely procedural episode with a little bit of overarching plot development. I love what they’ve done with massive story lines like HR and Samaritan before, but this hour reminded us why we became fans of this show in the first place. Each scene with Finch and Reese mixed the drama with humor flawlessly, and this tight focus has always been the heart of POI. It started melancholy enough, with Finch reflecting that “It’s just us again,” but when we the audience knows that neither Shaw nor Root is dead, it was easy to just enjoy the break from so many characters. It’s great that these standalone episodes can still be strong contributions to the show.

Speaking of characters that haven’t had enough screen time, Zoe returned! Since Paige Turco is involved in other projects, it’s doubtful she’ll be back again for a while, but she’s a great side character that has been nicely developed in just the few episodes she’s appeared in (remember her first appearance as a POI?). Her appearance in this story made sense, since they needed her experience to outplay an unknown “fixer” who was disrupting a jury. Anyway, she has a natural chemistry with Jim Caviezel, and I always saw her as the Catwoman to his Batman- a sort of unpredictable ally. I figured the show was setting her up to be a potential love interest (maybe at the end of the series), but now with his therapist Iris (Wrenn Schmidt) in the picture, I’m not sure who to root for. I mean, when was the last time Reese was laughing?

Here’s hoping Fusco will finally be let in on the secret of The Machine. He’s still one of my favorite characters, and it was good to see him stand up for himself. Honestly, his life’s already been on the line enough times- couldn’t they tell him why? If anything it would help him take more precautions.

Guilty Season 4 POI

Out-Fixing the Fixer 101

Points of Interest:

1. “Give ’em hell, Harry!” “Don’t call me that Mr. Reese.”

2. “Zoe’s not exactly what you’d call innocent.”

3. Elias vs. Dominic got some behind-the-scenes development. Are we due for more of that war soon?!

4. Reese appeared almost instantaneously back at the hotel, didn’t he? I’m sure they allowed the proper time, but it wasn’t communicated that clearly.

5. Finch’s tactic to get out of jury duty by literally telling the court about an all-powerful AI controlling the government was the greatest meta-joke this show has had so far. Telling the truth to intentionally sound crazy was a hilarious decision.

Final Score: POI four half bear





“M.I.A.” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 13)

4 02 2015

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“Samaritown” would have been a great alternate title for this week’s Person of Interest. The pleasant town of Maple turned out to be a crazy “ant farm” for Samaritan to do a little sociology experimentation. Samaritan ruling through human puppets while manufacturing transponders/neural implants was interesting but a little underdeveloped. Reese and Root’s search for Shaw in Maple felt a little rushed with the details coming fast in the dialogues. They really could have let some of the developments breathe longer. Still, it was a cool idea, and I loved Reese and Root being a vindictive pair with a talent for dark humor. There were some kneecap shots, two kidnappings, and a giant shootout in a warehouse. What else could you expect from those two in 24 hours?

Back in New York, Finch got very little to do until the end, when he tried to reason Root into giving up on the cold trail for now. She didn’t seem impressed with the argument, to say nothing of her frustration with The Machine’s lack of concern. Is she really gone for a while, or will it be more like when Reese tried to leave but couldn’t?

There was a POI this week, and he was actually the perpetrator. It’s been a while for this show to have a perpetrator, so it was a welcome change-up. Even better was the reappearance of former POI Silva (played by Adria Arjona) from “Point of Origin“. She and Fusco made an entertaining duo, and it’ll be interesting to see if she’ll fill in for Shaw on Team Machine. I’d be all for that- I even noted in my review of her original episode that she reminded me of Shaw. Either way, I enjoyed her getting brought back.

Finally, Shaw’s truly alive and in her right state of mind (for now). However we know Sarah Shahi is pregnant with twins (notice we didn’t see below her chest), so she’ll be out of the picture for “a couple seasons.” Is she going to be turned through indoctrination (she had been sympathetic to Samaritan’s goal before), or will those neural implants actually turn her into a Martine-like agent for Greer? If that’s the case, will Samaritan still be around after one or two more seasons? That’s a long time to keep a storyline alive. Not to mention if the show gets cancelled before then, we’ll never get decent closure for poor Shaw. I like the guts they showed by revealing her fate, but ultimately it took away from the weight of her awesome swan song two episodes ago, and we know she’ll be gone for a couple of years. Now get ready for a million theories on how she’ll return to surface online.

Amy Acker Jim Caviezel Season 4 Shaw search

Fitting right in.

 

Points of Interest:

1. I like that they’ve been bringing back former POI’s more frequently. It helps even the standalone episodes feel more important. Again- bring back Claire from “Nautilus” in some way!

2. Speaking of returning POI’s, (minor spoiler from trailer) it looks like we’ll finally get to see Zoe next episode! While I can’t say for sure how long she’s been gone, I know she’s been out this whole season at least. Here’s hoping this isn’t an isolated appearance- her and Reese are always great together.

3. For those of us who have forgotten how psychotic Root was when we first met her, that whole drill scene was a good reminder of how there’s still some leftover crazy in her.

4. Shaw appearing with Greer in the final scene was heavily reminiscent of Kara Stanton’s first scene with him. Nice foreboding callback.

5. “When the bullets start firing, duck.” – classic Reese.

Final Score:

POI three half bear