In Greek mythology Proteus is an early sea god, elusive, capable of constant change and assuming many forms. It is said he can foretell the future, something Carter and Finch pondered: “I don’t know what the future holds.” (Carter) “I wish I knew what that meant for the future.” (Finch)
The movie Rashomon influenced Proteus, specifically in the opening of the episode when it is raining and the end when the clouds part and the sun shines; identical to the movie. Lighting is also used to great extent in this episode, particularly with the chilling but effective shot of Finch deducing that FBI Agent Fahey was, in fact, Declan; all while the lightning illuminates Declan’s menacing presence behind him.
If you want to know more about Rashomon, hit Wikipedia. It sounds interesting, bound to keep one guessing as to what is real and what isn’t especially as it is told from the perspective of the individual, and each individual’s perspective is real to him or her but may not be reality; yeah, a bit of a mind bender.
Proteus was an homage to Greek mythological gods, Japanese films, a little bit of Batman (note the awning in the background as Finch and Reese leave the movie theater, it says “Gotham”) and a definitive nod to Agatha Christie. What I long ago learned is, pay attention to the little things that seem out of place, file them away, likely they’ll payoff in the end. That happened here as well. When Agent Fahey rebuffed Carter’s call, I wondered why and filed it away. I was right to.
I have read some fans’ comments that they had it all figured out at that moment and thus it ruined the episode for them. Not for me, there were plenty of red herrings and false trails to follow and discard, plus ‘Agent Fahey’ put on a convincing portrayal of desk jockey turned investigator – something that apparently was fact for the real (and now dead) Agent Fahey.
PoI had fun with the whodunit murder mystery while staying true to one of its core elements, dropping us (and the team) into a ‘moment in time’ in a person (or persons) life (lives). Owen Island was inhabited with people who were honeymooning, drug running, running for sanctuary, checking on their investment, living their lives and trying to keep the peace. Cast into this mixture was a murderer who was living an assumed life only to be chased down by a dogged, yet inexperienced, FBI agent seeking to earn his stripes.
Finch was right to ponder, had the Machine not had a glitch, would they have been able to save Agent Fahey? Then again, what of the victims prior, did it truly take the Machine six victims to identify the trend and alert them to the danger? Since Declan scrubbed his original digital fingerprint and the fingerprints of at least two of his prior victims, it is possible. Still, there are many questions. And were all the surveillance ‘outages’ from the glitch caused by Stanton or power outages? No doubt the virus Stanton uploaded has been having an effect.
I enjoyed this episode greatly. It was a murder mystery PoI style complete with Finch displaying some mad piloting skills as well as his own adaptability under pressure as he pulls off the charade of simply being an amateur storm chaser while all the time engaging in psychological warfare through his best lens, technology. Reese showcased his extreme cool under pressure as he calmly and professionally handles the opening encounter with ‘Agent Fahey’… “Which is it, hands in the air or show some identification?” Then later as he has a spear gun fired at him he coolly takes in the presence of the threat and then moves in to disarm. The man knows how to handle himself in difficult situations!
While Fusco was sorely missed, there were some moments to laugh as well; for instance, realizing the fisherman was telling the truth: after all, he did have a lot of money tied up in his ‘haul’. Then there were the dental hygienists…well, that wasn’t so much funny as had me flashing back to the not-quite-burned molars. Then there was ‘Fahey’ asking Reese to tell him what he knows about disappearing a body, bring on Cura Te Ipsum and Foe memories. Reese got in his own snark simply telling the fisherman/drug dealer to bleed if Reese was right about him. It’s dry humor but the type I appreciate.
Cal Beecher and Joss Carter seemed to have found a sort of uneasy truce. I do not yet know what to make of Beecher. He has some anger issues. Is he simply guilty by association with Quinn and by being a narcotics cop or is there more to it? I know this much, PoI knows how to pace the story; we’ll get to the bottom of it sooner or later.
PoI breathed a bit this week all while keeping us fully on track with the current storylines as we were succinctly reminded of Agent Shaw, the recently departed Kara Stanton, HR, Carter’s failed bid to join the FBI and that little countdown ongoing, 1,521:42:57 (a little over 63 days).
Kudos to the PoI production team for making use of the recent Hurricane Sandy for shots of the storm descending on NYC; for the actual rainy scenes, well, at least the ones shot outside the movie theater were pure Hollywood magic. I saw BTS photos in early February showing what I’ll call a ‘rain maker’. Pity the cast and crew, it was a wet episode, and definitely cold!
Proteus was another great episode of PoI. You can pigeonhole this show as a CBS procedural if you like, however, when you do, it makes me believe you aren’t actually watching the show. As much as I have been (and still am) a fan of NCIS, CSI and Criminal Minds, the only thing they have in common with PoI is the network they’re on.
As always, thanks for reading! Elle2