So I’ve been MIA on the review fronts of Person of Interest and Grimm of late, as well as Supernatural – which was always to be done on the basis of if I have the time. Real life has been extremely busy which does not leave much time for writing, as well as the fabulous weather arriving, after a particularly brutal winter, which makes me simply want to be outside as much as possible. Needless to say, I’m behind in writing. Also, full-episode reviews are my least favorite thing to write, so I’ve decided to try something different. Instead of focusing on one or two shows’ full episodes, I’m going to pick from whatever I managed to see and pick a scene or perhaps more (as in this past week’s PoI, “Terra Incognita”, for the entire episode is superb!) a comment on that. That will leave you the opportunity in the comments to comment on any show or scene you want to highlight from this past week.
This past week I am still quite behind, with shows such as The Following, Arrow, Elementary, and Grimm still waiting to be watched, so those are all excluded from this article. I am slightly diverse in my viewing mixing some genre with procedurals so I have some thoughts on NCIS:LA, The Flash, iZombie, Person of Interest, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries at this point. So here we go.
When this show debuted in 2009 I really, really hoped for a good, old-fashioned buddy/action cop show. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for buddy shows, which is why I watch what I watch. However, NCIS:LA has been very disappointing to me as far as the writing, acting, continuity and whatnot, so it has fallen far out of favor. I cherry pick my episodes now, and this past week’s Rage was one I watched. Overall it was good, still lacking in depth, both in writing and, sad to say, acting, but it was enjoyable. Standout moments for me: Sam was interrogating the loathsome white supremacist and declaring that Callen, under the alias here of Steve Walinski, was his (Sam’s) partner and his brother. LL Cool J does convey the concern, fear, loyalty, and love he has for his long-time friend and NCIS partner. Second standout: Callen revealing to Sam his first encounter with Hetty. Yes, it does retcon much of what was introduced in the Season 1 premiere (Hetty was not part of the backdoor pilot episodes), as well as other points along the way, but I’ve gotten used to Shane Brennan simply making things up as he goes along. Seeing young Callen meet Hetty and then present-day Callen trying to explain to Sam why he identified with the now dead, but prior young and impressionable Charlie who was so like Callen – he had no one who cared about him, no parents, no family, and the people he fell in with gave him family, a place to belong was moving, and here Chris O’Donnell upped his game, something he failed to do other placed in this episode.
I like this show. I know nothing of the comics, so everything is fresh to me here in regards to the characters. With that said, I’m admittedly concerned about what’s going on with Dr. Wells, as I truly enjoy the actor in this role, so I fear he’ll be gone. I am, however, really thrilled with remembering that it only took Oliver Queen a few minutes in the presence of Dr. Wells to confess to Felicity that something is off, or not right, about “that guy.” This week’s standout moment for me was Iris telling Eddie that they were either completely honest with each other or… We all know what the “or” means, and Eddie does too. I hate it when the trope of keeping a secret from someone to protect them, which only ever puts them in greater danger, is used as a way to drag something out. Here, Eddie was the one telling Joe that keeping Iris in the dark doesn’t protect her; it actually increases her danger, as well as Iris making it clear she is not be left in the dark.
I like this show way more than I thought I would. At first, while seeing the previews, I thought it would be utterly ridiculous, but it is quite fun. The opening theme could be thrown aside, especially as we have the voiceover, which so far isn’t as annoying as other voiceovers (*cough* Arrow *cough*) but that may try my patience as the show continues. Still, Liv is fun in the role and I enjoy watching her live a bit through those who are now dead. This week I enjoyed each of her bike rides as she lived out a bit of her dead sorority sister’s personality. As a bike rider myself, I could appreciate her moves as well as her joie de vivre.
Person of Interest
“Terra Incognita” is just another in a long line of episodes that exemplify why I love this show! I wish it were back at 9:00 p.m., as not only do I think it would improve its ratings, but also because staying up to watch it is difficult for me as I frequently have early mornings – but hey, I have DVR, so I can overcome. While I love the thrilling twists and turns of some of its more mytharc-focused episodes, the ones I come back to time and time again are the ones that delve deep inside the character of John Reese. This is why “Many Happy Returns,” “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” and “The Devil’s Share” (which gave equal focus to Fusco, Finch, Shaw, and Reese) are standouts for me. “Terra Incognita” was excellent from top to bottom.
We saw John walking in Carter’s shoes as he investigated a cold case from her files. Throughout were scenes in the car with John and Carter and seeing their relationship through John’s hallucinations sheds some light on just why he was so devastated over her death. He truly believed that she was someone he had opened up to; that she was more than just a friend you talk about the game with. It also illuminates more of why Jessica’s death still profoundly affects him so many years later: “When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different, someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?” Jessica was the last person in John’s life that connected him not only to the world, but to himself. Since her loss from his life, at first when he voluntarily cut ties with her, but then after she was killed, John has drifted without connection. He and Finch are close, but they are still friends who talk about “the game”, Fusco may have struck a deeper connection after events in Lethe and Aletheia, but he is still shut out from the real John Reese – John wouldn’t even share Jessica’s photo with Lionel. Root and Shaw similarly are simply colleagues and fellow fugitives from Samaritan. Joss Carter was the closest John ever got to connecting again with a person, and even then he maintained a cool distance.
As a fangirl, I cheered (to my dogs and cat) when I saw that envelope drop out of Carter’s journal. I knew it had Jessica’s picture in it. I had been waiting for John to get that photo back since the conclusion of Season 1’s Many Happy Returns – also the antepenultimate episode of the season, so when it appeared here, I was beyond happy. Oh, thank you, writers and creative team, for the continuity. Also, I cheered for every moment that Taraji P. Henson was onscreen. While at times throughout her prior 54 episodes she was underutilized, here she was magnificently utilized as John’s lifeline as well as truth-teller, not once letting him get away with the lies he had been telling himself. Whether John changes in any way because of this latest near-death encounter remains to be seen, but so far PoI has done a fine job of slowly moving its characters forward, so I am hopeful as this show concludes this season and enters into its fifth (I am convinced it will be renewed even as I have come to reconcile myself that we will have to wait until the May upfronts for that renewal) that we will see changes, slow but sure, in John because of these events.
Person of Interest’s “Terra Incognita” is my episode of the week this week. It is superb for all its subtlety as well as the emotional punches if delivered so accurately.