Person of Interest begins and ends with Finch and Reese; thus I enjoyed that this episode hinged on digging deep into their psyches and together bringing closure, of sorts, to Dr. Shane Edwards. The ending makes it clear that Finch has made peace with his ways – leaving Corwin alive and retreating from murder, while Reese continues to struggle with his. Yes, John left Alonzo Quinn alive in the wake of Carter’s death, but his murder of Jessica’s killer still defines him, as does her death. John has made steps forward, moving with the world in its never-ending forward motion, but he is still stuck in stop motion: a step forward here and there, and then a lengthy pause that almost sets him backwards as the events continue to haunt him. His comment to Dr. Campbell at the end, that he’s not sure he knows how to grieve, makes it clear: he is stuck. And as the deaths and losses mount, John becomes more and more mired.
Karma is a standard number of the week with no hint of Samaritan or The Brotherhood anywhere to be found, but it continues the tradition of delving deep inside the characters, revealing how the past affects their decisions in the present and reminding us that while Nathan, Jessica, Carter, and Shaw are all gone, some forever, others, well, time will tell, they continue to shape the choices of the team. Even Fusco, arguably the most grounded of the team, struggles with whether or not Dr. Edwards is doing the right thing. Fusco was completely focused in his pursuit and apprehension of Simmons post-Carter’s death; choosing to honor his partner rather than dishonor her through killing, but he is clearly rooting for Dr. Edwards here suggesting that one less murderer on the streets is a good thing and the ends do justify the means.
Finch is the voice of reason throughout, likely because he had his crucible moment (yes, that is an Arrow reference) and faced it head on. For all Finch’s paranoia, for all his hidden agendas and hidden identity his moral compass only ever wavered once, and, having overcome that event, he maintains his stance that they do not sanction murder. In Karma we see the Machine doing everything it can to stop Harold from killing Corwin, and yet in last season’s Death Benefit it all but ordered the team to kill Congressman McCourt. Another level of the Machine and Harold’s relationship, as it were, revealed.
We also see what likely pushed Corwin to flee to a small part of the United States, in West Virginia I believe, where there is no surveillance of any kind, no Internet, no wi-fi. After Nathan’s death and the subsequent threat to her life through Finch, we see her come to the realization that Special Counsel won’t protect her and that what she and Nathan set out to do, make the world a safer place, has grown beyond them. The world didn’t become safer, but much more dangerous.
Reese, my favorite character – but then that’s like picking which chocolate goodie from a sampler box is your favorite, I like them all – continues his unsteady walk towards the light, out of the darkness. I do believe that he believes that once that darkness has a hold of you, it never lets go. For all that he has made friends and managed to have revenge through justice rather than murder, Reese still leans to the darkness. In Dr. Edwards he sees a kinship of sorts. He recognizes that the man is lost, and even as he knows that killing won’t help the man find closure – as he told Dr. Tillman in Season 1’s Cura Te Ipsum – he can’t help but empathize and perhaps wish the man to fulfill his plan.
We also see how much Finch and Reese trust each other as Finch has no trouble criticizing Reese for not stopping Edwards sooner, and even suggesting that perhaps Reese let the man escape, but Reese takes little offense at that and arrives in time to back Finch up and even stand down and allow Finch to talk Edwards down from his plan. Their partnership has come a long way with both men acquiescing to the methods of the other at times, and Finch has become quite adept at breaking and entering.
There were some great lines in this episode, which was very light on humor, but that is in keeping with the darkness being explored here.
“Very funny, Mr. Reese.” Great moment with the carnitas to disable a security system: Hector.
“We should hire him, Finch; take the week off.”
“He doesn’t look like a killer; he looks like he’s lost.”
“Vengeance won’t bring closure. He can’t move on.”
“Don’t assume you’re the only one that’s been down that path.”
“So tell me, Finch: where did that path take you?”
Fusco had great moments as he helped keep Iris distracted while Reese stalked the threat to Dr. Edwards at the charity event, and his bruised knuckles after taking in Wyatt’s brother shows he got a bit emotionally invested this week as well.
I read a lot of comments regarding Iris and John and dating and how that was/is a violation, which I agree. However, it’s clear their attendance at the charity event wasn’t a date for either one of them, and with Fusco along for the event, it’s clear it was all business. I like Iris and John’s interactions because anything that cracks his dark psyche open allowing for a little peek inside is good in my book. Iris is a means to Reese continuing his path of redemption, just as many of the numbers have been.
This episode was a huge pause on any of the overall mythologies, but rather gave us some good character insight. I enjoyed it.
Blunt, our last new episode – and one I never got around to writing about, I’m sorry! — gave us a potential new ally as well as a sit-down meeting of Dominic and Reese. I love that Dominic called Reese out for giving Elias a pass and then Reese explained why he and Elias have a truce of sorts. Blunt was very much about recruitment, with Root recruiting allies against Samaritan, through the assistance of the Machine, as well as Dominic trying to recruit. It also upped the ante a bit regarding Reese’s cover identity as Dominic, Harper Rose, and Dr. Campbell have all made it clear they do not believe Reese to be a real detective. Psychologists, grifters, and crime bosses all have a common trait – they can read people. As good at Reese is in blending in, he has many traits that cause him to stick out plainly. Even Fusco was impressed with Harper’s assessment of Reese – and she was dead on accurate. I’m beginning to see an end to Reese’s ability to hide in plain sight as a detective, especially if Dominic ever gets a clue about Samaritan, which he is searching for the something that is just out of his grasp.
The arrival of Caleb at the end of Blunt, I’m afraid to say, fell utterly flat for me as I did not recognize him. I knew based on the build of the music and the framing of the shots in the scene that the reveal of the head of the company Root was interacting with was supposed to be a big deal, but I could not place him at all. Thankfully, many out in the POI fandom could, for the next day, when I searched some reviews, I found the answer, and it all fell into place.
I give great credit to this writing and production team; they let few opportunities slip through their grasp as they lay threads throughout the seasons and then, in moving forward, reach back and pull them forward weaving them anew into the present. Sometimes they simply take advantage of moments, such as positioning Dominic in Finch’s classroom merely through the use of dialogue – for we do not see the actor back in Season 2’s 2 Pi R, rather it is inferred in Point of Origin, but then at other times they clearly plant threads in episodes, Nautilus, for example, and pull it forward in Q&A. It’s masterful writing.
While at times I reflect on how much a shame it is that Person of Interest doesn’t have a wider audience – even as it is doing quite well at 10 p.m. on CBS — I am reminded that shows such as this usually do have a more selective audience. It would not do any better or any worse on another channel; although I do believe it would do a bit better at the 9 o’clock hour. Very few shows break any records in the demo or household numbers at 10 o’clock, and those that do – while not of a genre I enjoy – are to be given credit for their success.
Hard to believe we only have *gasp* five episodes left this season; at times the season still seems so fresh. I’m glad the writers and CBS hold the episode order to 22 normally, even with 23 on two occasions because the quality remains so high, but it does make it tough when there are still nine Tuesdays left in the season and only five episodes left to air. We’re in for an up and down ride with one new episode and then a break and then another new one or two and another break. It makes it hard to build momentum, but I’ll be ready when SKIP airs in two weeks – and I suspect many of you will be as well.
Until next time, thanks for reading, Elle2.