“ShotSeeker”- Person of Interest Review (Season 5, Episode 6)

20 05 2016

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After last week’s roller coaster Shaw-centric episode, “ShotSeeker” was a return to form for Person of Interest, as we got a number of the week, computer battles, and a twist that was my favorite development so far this season. Spoilers, ye be warned.

First, the number’s profession (using technology to detect gunshots in the city) was highly appropriate for the show. In a way, this was the human version of The Machine. They listened with sensors and microphones throughout the city, looking for crime in ways normal cops on patrol couldn’t. The guy himself probably won’t be in the Hall of Fame for Most Interesting Numbers, but at least he was trying to do the right thing by investigating an obvious error in reporting a (probable) murder.

My main criticism of this hour was how long it took Team Machine to catch on to Samaritan’s presence here. Honestly, there were so any digital red flags that surely Root or Finch might have at least thought of the possibility, considering their whole lives lately have been focused on fighting Samaritan’s influence. Between guessing this twist and the whole simulation twist last week’s, the writers have dropped the “surprise” ball lately. It also doesn’t help that CBS constantly spoils surprises and announces upcoming twists, all through their marketing. So, thanks for that.

BUT. ELIAS IS BACK, HOW ABOUT THAT JUNK?! Not only is he alive, but he’s been hidden by Finch and Reese and Fusco this whole time, making my wildest hopes for my favorite character’s return come true. Elias has been around since like episode 3- he’s the biggest side character this show has got, not to mention the first heavyweight villain they faced.  Enrico Colantoni‘s  character has gone from nemesis, to frenemy, to ally, to dependent, giving Root a run for her money on the development side. Whether he’s offing other crime heads or making pasta, Enrico also nails the presentation of everyone’s favorite mob boss. I expected he might return from the shadows, given the position of his shot, but did not expect Fusco and company to be the ones to cover it up.

Speaking of Fusco, this was definitely a high point for him. His speech to the other officers about finding Reese was soaked in loyalty and emotion, and he nailed it. It’s past time for him to learn what really is going on, but hey, at least Reese finally thanked him! The Fusconator definitely earned that much respect.

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I’ll have the “Man in the Suit” style cut.

Points of Interest:

  • What role will Elias play in the last few episodes? Somehow, he has to contribute to taking down Samaritan I’m assuming, because why else bring him back (besides him being an awesome part of the show?)
  • If Fusco gets killed off, I’ll be depressed. If Fusco meets his end before finding out what he’s been helping do this whole time, I’ll be pissed.
  • Anyone still loving the ominous Finch/Greer opening titles? Some shows don’t contribute this level of effort. Dang, last season.

 

Final Score:

POI four bear

 

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“6,741”- Person of Interest Review (Season 5, Episode 4)

17 05 2016

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An alternative title for this episode could have been “Fan Service For All You Shippers,” so hopefully you all are happy with Root and Shaw’s scene. As someone who never watched this show for the relationships (besides the tragic ones), I mostly just waited for the cheesy one-liners and awkwardness to end. Why awkward?

Person Of Interest has always distanced itself from other shows by not getting mucked up in random network sex scenes, so for some it was weird to see (help me if I’m forgetting) the first sex scene between main characters on the show. It screamed fan service, and honestly it fell flat for me.

Now before I offend people who love the couple, let me offend everyone else by saying the episode overall felt like a different show. It was darker (suicide, execution), more violent, erotic (according to Michael Emerson’s Twitter, hah!), and had glaring plot holes/reality jumps. Shaw initiating and being googly eyed about the relationship? All we had was a grudging farewell kiss. Tumbling around hours after getting head surgery in a subway? Yeah, not buying that. Lame lines delivered by the normally fascinating Root? Disappointing. BUT…

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Shaw, please don’t shoot the real us.

…It was all a dream! Honestly, this was a relief more for the above reasons then the death of Shaw, Greer, and maybe Reese. All of a sudden, it made sense. The off-kilter episode was intentionally so- even the intro was missing- to reflect the skewed reality, created by Samaritan. This boosted the past hour for me, but ultimately was not enough to give it flying colors.

Yes, it’s good to see Shaw again. And of course, the action scenes were great, and Root’s face when Shaw shoots herself brought massive feels. However, “it was all a dream” endings lost their punch for me after seeing them for the fourth or fifth time in a show/movie/book, and this was rather telegraphed, unless you think they could continue the next 9 episodes without Reese, Greer or Shaw. The good thing is, if you liked this episode, great, but if you didn’t enjoy this one, pretend it never happened. Because it didn’t, really, not even 6,742 times.

Points of Interest:

  • Where’s the Fusconator?! So much hate.
  • This did interest me into how the actual Shaw reunion will go. Obviously, it will be different, but in what ways?
  • The rest of this final season will probably affect my view of this episode, but for now, I’m tired and grumpy.

 

Final Score:

POI two half bear





“Truth Be Told”- Person of Interest Review (Season 5, Episode 3)

12 05 2016

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The final season of Person of Interest continues with one more look into Reese’s dark CIA days, but this time it’s with a little magic from Keith David, master of the cool voice. His guest role as Terrance Beale, Reese’s old boss’ boss, was menacing but layered, and makes me wish they had offered him the role seasons ago as a recurring character. The ending did leave them on surprisingly cordial terms, so perhaps he might return before the end?

Obviously there was some retconning here- we’ve never heard Beale’s name before, but honestly I didn’t care. Any new stories from Reese’s past are fine with me. I also loved how we got some more Kara Stanton (Annie Parisse) bits. They may have blown up a great character in season 3, but she’s definitely gotten an abundance of mileage out of flashbacks, and honestly it helps add to her mystique- always in the past, deceased in the present.

Technically Root and Shaw’s malware discovery was the only real advance in the war against Samaritan this hour, unless we see David Keith return in some way. I didn’t get a screen shot of of The Machine’s cryptic poem, so I’m not sure what to really make of it. Does it really have to do with wanting Samaritan’s malware code? Will we be seeing it adapt to be more like Samaritan? Will it combine with Samaritan? Will we hopefully never see that awful Samaritan kid again?!

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Reese, doing Reese things.

Main reason I enjoyed this episode? I like Reese. He’s always been a reliable character, played expertly by Jim Caviezel, and he just didn’t get as much love in season 4 with Root and other characters becoming more prominent. So this increased focus on him has been great- the more knee shots, hushed voice, and tortured soul, the better. Obviously Shaw will get her moment, but for the first few episodes, it’s been a nice return to original form.

Points of Interest:

  • Just saying, Root definitely puts more enthusiasm into her cover jobs than Reese does. She’s been a bear, bride,  and delivery person, yet somehow Reese always gets away with a suit.
  • I guess you could call this a lighter episode with the overall story, but I’m fine with a classic number episode with character backstory. This was the foundation that built this POI house.
  • Not to be that guy, but anyone have any guesses on who will actually make it through this season alive? I’m going with Reese, Root, and Fusco. And Bear. Obviously Bear.

 

Final Score:

POI four bear





“SNAFU”- Person of Interest Review (Season 5, Episode 2)

11 05 2016

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Two episodes in two days puts a strain on blogging- I’m writing as a fan, but I’m also not getting paid for this. Anyway, “Truth Be Told”s review will be up tomorrow, but I’d be remiss if we skipped over the gem of “SNAFU.”

This was unquestionably one of the funniest episodes to date, which is saying a lot with Person of Interest. The intro with all the character roles switched was fantastic. Jim Caviezel playing Fusco and Root playing everyone were great, and demand a rewatch later. So many other bits were scattered through the hour. Rooming with Root. Reese and Finch’s fist bump right before they perform a heist. Reese telling a kid to go to school, then to his room. The picnic at the end with Girl Scout Root and Bowler Reese? Perfect. Hopefully we’ll be getting a nice bowling scene with Reese and the Fusconator later.

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It doesn’t really get better than this.

However, “SNAFU” also contained some introspective moments for the series. Are our “heroes” really the good guys? Obviously they are now, but The Machine’s montage highlighted the darkness behind them, and how rules have been bent. It reinforced the show’s theme of redemption- Root, Reese, Fusco, and even Elias (however little) have all gone through transformations into better people.

I love how Finch used the numbers as an reference point for The Machine (I guess this AI didn’t come with a clock app?). POI started as a case-of-the-week type show, and slowly became more serialized, but the writers have made sure that the numbers matter- whether they become recurring characters (Zoey, that Pi guy), or moments like this. It’s satisfying storytelling.

If memory serves, POI enjoys putting us in our happy place, lulling us before pulling the rug out from underneath with some shocking development or twist. Enjoy this past episode, because we might be falling back into the sorrow pit in a couple weeks.

Points of Interest:

  • Will Finch ever reunite with Grace? The increased focus on her is nice, but it’d be tragic if they never end up together- it’s been one of my favorite ongoing story lines.
  • Maybe we should tell Fusco what’s going on, before he kills himself.
  • “I taught The Machine what it meant to be good, by being good.” (puts on ski mask)
  • Guys what are we gonna do when this show is over and there’s no new episodes?

Final Score:

POI four half bear

 





“B.S.O.D”- Person of Interest Review (Season 5, Episode 1)

4 05 2016

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Now that is how you kick off a final season. Endless action, pulsing music, faces from the past and one long chase with Samaritan spooks in suits. Picking up almost right after last year’s finale (how did they get past that last group of operatives?), we got one of the best openings of the show (besides that Johnny Cash one). Reese taking out assassins while protecting their Machine-in-a-Briefcase. Root being BA. Harold donning a crazy hat. All this was happening in a world fully controlled by an AI who can activate assets anywhere, anytime.

I want to highlight how great Root’s subway car scene was, because it was there that we really saw how powerful Samaritan had become. It was downright creepy to see how it could alert and turn security guards and regular citizens against targets, never mind ordinary agents. Then, she pulls a Batman and steals a shotgun from the officer, because of course she does.

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Buckle up!

My favorite part of the show was how it brought back familiar faces in Harold’s flashbacks. How long has it been since we saw Nathan Ingram or Grace? This show always has handled flashbacks well, showing both great character moments and still tying in to the episode’s theme. Here, we got to see just how close The Machine and Harold were at the beginning, before he erased its memories. Of course, we know that eventually it found a way to reboot those memories each day manually (that’s a whole other story in a different season), but just imagine what it could have been without those restrictions. What will it look like this season, with Harold inevitably rebuilding it without those? Obviously, Michael Emerson nailed the emotion here with his conflict and instant regret, as this could have come across as a silly scene without his presence.

We didn’t see Greer, Control (if she’s still alive), or Shaw, but that’s just as well. We needed to see just how serious a threat Samaritan has become, and too many other story lines would have gotten in the way. We did get to see good character moments with Fusco’s inner conflict, and I really enjoyed seeing Reese and Root actually caring about the others safety, since in the past they’ve been less than cordial.

Overall, the show successfully got us back in the war, and set up an exciting new season. I would have liked to see how they got out of that near-hopeless firefight from last season, but I suppose I can deal with it, thanks to everything else that was great in this hour. At this rate, it’s going to be a short, sweet final season.

Points of Interest:

  • How long before Fusco gets in real trouble? It’s about time to at least warn him. They’re past protecting him from the truth.
  • Dang, so Elias is really dead. I was holding out hope, since it didn’t seem to hit any vitals. Gonna miss you, you crazy kingpin. You deserved a bigger sendoff.
  • If this is how they kick off the season, I can’t imagine how they’re gonna end it.
  • Check out POI Writer’s Twitter account- they’ve got awesome real life examples of things in the show, such as the nitrogen in NY, the forgotten subway station, and the Pentagon actually building a supercomputer with game consoles.

Final Score:

POI four bear

 





“YHWH” – Person of Interest Finale Review (Season 4, Episode 22)

6 05 2015

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Another Person of Interest finale, another game-changing ending. Dominic and Elias’ war finally ends in a deadly way. The Machine is all but destroyed, reduced to a miniscule fragment of itself. Samaritan takes out Control and all her cronies. Reese shoots half the kneecaps in New York City.

The “Correction” reveal was the cornerstone that explained how this episode (and kind of the entire season) fit stogether. The “Correction” wasn’t a massive terrorist attack, but a way to draw all the major rival players out and take them down at once. Samaritan may not have started the Dominic vs. Elias gang war, but it certainly exploited it. Not to mention how it also allowed Samaritan to neatly take out Control and her crew (RIP, Grice!). These all came off as genuine surprises, because most people had been expecting this to be the end of Samaritan and the beginning of Control working more on The Machine’s side. It looked like she had the upper hand, and gosh it was exquisite seeing her taunt Greer as he supposedly was beaten. Also, way to go away from the norm and not have Samaritan’s big plan be a large-scale attack. All signs were pointing to it, but instead we got a neat surgical strike on everyone Samaritan deemed to be a cause of wrong (except Team Machine of course).

I couldn’t believe it when both crime heavyweights got KO’d at the end. Obviously, we weren’t done when they were put into the police car next to each other (poor choice). When Elias’ henchman rams the car and flips it, I was surprised but satisfied. When they both stumbled out of the car, and then got sniped, my jaw  dropped. Dominic (Winston Duke) was an excellent rival to Elias (Enrico Colantoni), and their turf war this season was a highlight. He made a great villain for season 4, and there was definitely still some potential there, such as if he really had been in Harold’s class in 2 Pi R. But Elias? I refuse to believe he’s gone until proven otherwise. He certainly got hit in a less-lethal area than poor Dominic. If he did get killed there, the show’s going to have a big hole that won’t be filled in the criminal world.

Besides being a nonstop thrill ride with show-altering twists, this hour featured a heck of a lot of characters from Person of Interest’s rich lineup. Everyone from season 4 was here- Iris, Harper, Dominic, Elias, Grice, Control, etc., and then the writers even brought back the random POI Caleb from season 2. They all fit because they had a role in the drama. It’s not usual to have that many characters in one episode, so it was a fun event, even if half of them got gunned down. The Machine itself finally became a true character here, with an oddly emotional conversation with Harold as it lay dying. Dang, POI, stop making my eyes foggy.

So what’s next? Team Machine is basically in the same position as last year, only a little worse. The Machine will have to be carried around and eventually rebuilt, but will it be the same? How will they still get numbers? Maybe we’ll get even more serialized in Season 5. Will Control ever come out of the deep, dark hole she’s about to go into? Are any of their cover identities intact?  And don’t forget Shaw- will they find her, and will she be with Samaritan now? And who’s the sniper dude? All I can say is, there better be a new season.

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Computer Club just got more intense.

Points of Interest:

1. “Detective Fusco, and you’re under arrest jackass!” – best line goes to Fusco

2. Finch: “Are you out of your mind?”    Root: “When has that ever been relevant?”

3. This show always uses songs perfectly to set the mood, and Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” was no exception.

4. The entire ending sequence was cool and dark enough to be a series ending, but I’m hoping we’ll get a bit more closure than that if POI is renewed this fall.There’s still a bit of ground to cover.

5. Person of Interest‘s finales simply do not disappoint. Period. Bring on next season CBS!

Final Score:

POI five bear





“Asylum” – Person of Interest Review (Season 4, Episode 21)

29 04 2015

POI bannerWhat happens when you take all the story arcs of this Person of Interest season and put them into one episode? Well, you get part 1 of the season 4 finale, “Asylum.” All the crap finally hit the fan tonight, and there’s a ton of material to go over- including the most “oh, snap!” moment from Root so far (haha!).

From the beginning it was obvious this was going to be a crazy ride. Control (always played perfectly by Camryn Manheim) has started her own aggressive investigation into Samaritan’s moles inside the government. She kidnaps a school teacher, and after redecorating the wall with another mole in front of her, starts asking questions. Even though it wasn’t revealed until the end that she was indeed a mole, I was pretty sure that Control doesn’t get people wrong. Next week’s episode was partly set up here with the reveal of a “correction” day (May 6th, the day after the finale), to be carried out by Samaritan. After her prisoner starts getting sassy, Control decides nobody’s got time for that and adds another body to her room. She’s sort of on Team Machine’s side at this point (they did tip her off to Samaritan), but she’s clearly not a “good” character yet. I’d say her chances of dying in the finale are substantial.

The next plot line played out what could be the finale of the Elias vs. Dominic war when both their numbers come up. Reese and Fusco come to “help” Elias (Enrico Colantoni)  by arresting him and getting him out of Dominic’s (Winston Duke) crosshairs but instead get captured and tortured by Dominic and his Brotherhood. Yeah, definitely cringed at that screwdriver part. By far the best part of this sequence had to be when Elias fools Dominic into shooting his own best friend/right hand man because he thinks his Number 2 is a mole. And then, he cheerily reveals that no, there was never a mole, and how does he feel now that he’s also killed his best friend too? Twisted, dark, and one more reason why I love Elias.

Finally, why not throw in a search for Shaw in with Root and Harold at an asylum? It obviously was going to be a trap, but did anyone predict that it would actually lead them to Team Samaritan’s control room? The bombs then started to drop. Shaw had told Greer all about them. Greer and Martine planned to somehow access the Machine by slicing Root’s head open. Root decides she’d rather snap Martine’s neck instead. Good gosh, get a light, because it’s getting dark in here! Root’s killed before, but seeing her do that so quickly after so many encounters was a shock- a good one, because lady Terminator needed to go. And then Samaritan gets interrupted by the freakin’ Machine, and suddenly we have one AI offering itself to another in exchange for Root and Finch’s lives. I love how the camera kept switching perspectives between the two AI’s.

Next week is the season finale, and Nolan has promised us even more deaths. Besides Zoe, basically every main character on the show appeared- Dominic, Harper, Elias, Greer, Martine, and Control all have equal chances of dying. I admit, I’d be really bummed if Elias got kicked, because his arc and character have brought some of the best moments of POI. Heck, I got choked up when his buddy Scarface was blown away. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what happens, because it looks like both the gang war and the Samaritan war are coming to a climax. Could they really tie up both stories in one hour? And if so, what’s next? Either way, this was Person of Interest writing at its finest.

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Definitely more hipster then homeless.

Points of Interest:

1. “They stole your spaceman!” Awesome moment with Harold.

2. “Looks like somebody shot your shoulder.” “Yeah, they’re dead now.” – Reese being a BA.

3. Does it make me a bad fan that I really don’t care about the Shaw storyline? In my opinion the show has had more focus without her…(braces for incoming hate).

4. Nice foreshadowing with Root’s game of chicken with The Machine, as Samaritan ultimately does the same thing.

5. I’m ready for the Samaritan story to either end or dramatically shift, but it’ll be a shame if the gang war finishes. It’s been too much fun watching Elias and Dominic try to out-think the other.

Final Score:

POI four half bear