David Slack wrote an emotionally satisfying episode that isn’t quite the filler that some suggest.  Person of Interest, at its core, is a character-driven show.  The mythology is wonderfully complex, deeply suspenseful, rarely ordinary, and ever evolving, but it is not what drives Person of Interest.  After all, a show with an amazing mythology filled with characters who the audience does not connect with is all flash and no substance.  A show needs a heartbeat; heartbeat comes from characters, not mythology. 

In Guilty we saw Finch, who appeared duly resigned to saving the numbers, although the light had gone out of his eyes, find his purpose again through Emma – and in turn aided her in finding her purpose.  Often the saving of the numbers is a dual salvation:  they’re saved in the immediate, but also in the long-term.  “Caroline had the courage to stand up for what’s right.  We’ll help you do the same.”

Reese continued coming out of his shell, even with the loss of Shaw heavy on his mind and heart, as he decided to continue his sessions with Iris.  Not only is he attracted to her – something the ever-observant Zoe honed in on, but I do believe he has reached a point in his journey where he no longer wants to go back to the shell he was after Jessica.  He has survived and honored Carter’s loss and memory and he clearly wishes to do the same after Shaw.  He’s smart enough to know that he needs someone to talk to, while at the same time maintaining a distance:  John chooses just how much to reveal, which gives him a semblance of control.  I think it helped that Iris revealed to him that she knows him not to be a police officer, yet made no effort to disclose that to her superiors.  Reese feels safe.  Now, let’s just hope she is real and not a plant by Dominic.

I loved John’s time with Iris as he revealed a childhood memory of driving a truck into a neighbor’s house – when he was eight.  His laugh and reflective gaze were a side of John Reese not often seen.  He was extremely vulnerable with Iris, admitted he doesn’t talk about people he’s lost; his pain was very clear.  “Habits are there to protect you, from life, from the way things go, from the fact that every time you get close to someone you…”  Oh, John, I just want to give you a hug – and a puppy!  Where’s Bear when you need him?

Fusco, also reeling from the loss of Shaw, is not willing to simply forget all that he and John and Harold and the others have been through.  He found his purpose again through John; his journey marching steadily forward and upward since Season 1, and he is not about to sit on the sidelines, nor is he going to sit idly by and watch John and Harold die without at least trying to back them up. 


Zoe was her usual refreshing presence, nailing Finch with her suggestion that he was from the Midwest – which, Ms. Morgan, he is, and similarly she skewered Reese as she assessed, rightly, that he was interested in someone, but that he was too much like her:  too closed off to allow anyone to get close.

David Slack’s tightly constructed script not only showed us an ordinary number of the week as the A storyline, with the B line being the emotional and mental space of our characters, but it also showed that the rest of the world continues oblivious to Samaritan’s ‘world domination’ plan as we are reminded, through three missing persons all loyal to Elias, that Dominic’s plans continue relentlessly forward as well.

David Slack used his dialogue organically and with great skill as we were brought up to speed at the beginning of the episode in regards to Root, Shaw, and the numbers during Samaritan’s latest foray onto the battlefield, as well as got insight into Finch and Reese’s headspace.  David Slack then bookends the episode (much as he did in Season 1’s Judgment) as Finch and Reese return to the same diner, sit in the same seats, and share much of the same conversation, although this time no mention of Shaw, and yet in this scene the men are different.  There’s a hint of lightness to them as they realize that despite the losses, they still have their purpose, they still have each other, and they still have friends willing to help along the way – and that what they do does, indeed, help.

Notes of Interest:

 “This isn’t science, it’s law; rational thought doesn’t apply.”  (Yup, that about sums it up; I work with attorneys, I see it firsthand.)

“Please stop pointing that thing at me.”  Don’t worry.  Pretty sure it’s not loaded.  (Ah, shades of Super and the poke him in the eyes technique – also written by David Slack.)

“But can you imagine how that would feel – to know that something bad was going to happen and that it was your fault if it doesn’t get stopped?”  (We know Harold walked this path before after Nathan’s death.)

“Why the hell would you save me?  Because I want to see you stand trial!”  (That honors Carter’s memory.)

“Look, I get it.  After what happened to Shaw, you and Glasses are worried the same thing’s going to happen to me.  And you know what?  It might.  And I’m fine with that.  You don’t get to decide what or who I’m willing to die for.  I made my choice a long time ago, so stop shutting me out.”  (Fusco, you’re no fungus to me!)


Guilty was an excellent episode, allowing the characters and the audience a chance to collectively catch their breaths and reconnect.  It also shows that despite all the super-computer-taking-over-the-world storylines, Person of Interest is still about people, individual, ordinary people who do amazing things right in their own pocket of the world.  Emma was just another in a long line of examples.

Until next week, thanks for reading, Elle2

Similar Posts