Everyone was pretending tonight, well, except for Fusco and Elias. Once again, PoI gives us a complex episode layered with multiple storylines that intrigue as well as delight. The one-liners were fast and constant, the gun fights thrilling, and the twists continued to the end.
Walter Dang — no doubt meant to remind us of Walter Mitty, as in the Secret Life of, is effective on two fronts. First, he does good work in following leads regarding Abel Mindler’s death, ultimately leading to the truth. Granted, he is oblivious to the real dangers around him, and most assuredly needs John and Lionel’s assistance, however, he is dogged in his pursuit when others have sidelined Abel’s death as a suicide. Secondly, he assists John, who continues to struggle, albeit not drastically, with his cover identity and in recognizing his value. John hasn’t been adrift or off the rails as in the past when dealing with tragedy or trauma, but hiding in plain sight due to Samaritan’s constant threat has led him to make some questionable moves, and last week’s psych evaluation, while fairly innocuous, does reveal there are some gaping wounds still healing. A good reminder of his value was just what John needed right now, and Walter was a great character to provide it. It was a shot to the arm, so to speak, without the blood and damaged deltoid muscle.
PoI doesn’t simply stop there with the story; this is not simply a number of the week to give a main character some parallels or opportunity to grow, no, this number of the week also ties in with one of this season’s overall mythologies: Elias and the Brotherhood, both of which have direct ties to John, Reese or Riley, take your pick. John and Elias, and the ever-welcome Scarface (David Valcin, you killed it in that suit!) have reached a fairly amicable accord, especially as shown in this episode as Elias’s new headquarters are revealed to John, and he allows John to take the bulk of the weapons at the end and destroy them. However, the Brotherhood is only further given cause to seek the destruction of both, and that is certain to come to a head at some point this season. I’m betting on mid-season, but only using words. If I lay out actual money, no doubt I’ll lose it. We’ll call this part of the episode the B Story.
PoI is head and shoulders above other shows in regards to juggling multiple storylines because in this episode, as is the case in many of its episodes, we also get a C Story that is no less intriguing than the first. I give Harold’s story the C line, and not anything higher, because there is much about this story that is unknown. Whereas, I’m fairly certain Harold’s demand last week for a tete-a-tete with the Machine led to an actual exchange, there remains the questions of how and what. Also, we have no idea what he downloaded into Beth Bridges’ computer or just what it means to the Machine’s fight for survival against Samaritan, but we’re sure to find out, so stay tuned. (Not this coming Tuesday though. It’s election night in the US, and apparently we’re all going to be glued to our screens watching voting returns.)
Harold’s trip to Hong Kong not only provided the continuous slow-simmer of one of this show’s best overarching mythology lines, but it was a another showcase opportunity for Michael Emerson, who effortlessly switches gears between Harold’s intellectual prowess to sophisticated flirting and verbal and mental jousting with Beth Bridges only to shifts gears again and show us some physical prowess as Harold knocks the motorbike rider to the ground – granted, the guy was working for him, but that is still a risky move for both parties, and then gives us a coldness as he sends his well-compensated henchman on his way. Harold is part John Reese, without the guns, part Root as he does the Machine’s (likely) bidding, and he remains a man struggling with his conscience over what the Machine has evolved into since being set free.
Person of Interest is six episodes into its fourth season and is clearly not slowing down or losing any traction. Each episode links to the ones before and the ones to come and has enough in it to satisfy the casual viewer all the way through to the most ardent serialized fan. It’s popcorn and Chex mix all in one package. I’m a fan of both, the simple and the complex.
Notes of Interest:
· A bored Shaw is fun to watch: eating at the computer, stabbing a knife into the desk (what will Harold think?), playing with a tennis ball, cleaning guns, feeding Bear…finally the woman got a chance to go shoot a big gun!
· Loved the slow-motion strut of Shaw and Lionel – Lionel, love the shades!
· Lyric Diner appears yet again. That’s where Carter first came face-to-face with “The Man in the Suit” (Legacy)
· Aw, John and Walter have mirror image slings
· Walter hero-worshipping on John was fun, especially as John was alternately annoyed and confused by it: “How do you do that thing with your voice?” “What thing?”
· I bet John and Sameen each kept one of those guns, you know, just in case
PoI returns on November 11th and I’ll be back sometime after that with the next review. Until then, thanks for reading, Elle2