It’s a gutsy move to take your main character and sideline him for the first episode back after a hiatus, even just a three-week hiatus.  Still, Person of Interest is not afraid to make gutsy moves.  As usual, it pays off.

While this episode won’t go down as one of my favorites, mainly because as another reviewer wrote, PoI works at its best when all of its cylinders are firing and that just isn’t possible when one of the four characters (especially the main) is out of the picture, but it is worth a re-watch or two simply to catch all the character moments.  It is a solid episode of PoI proving they have faith in all their characters to carry the load as well as patience to not rush a storyline.  Keep it up, PoI, don’t bow to pressure and rush that which will be best enjoyed in due time.

I intend to sit and watch this episode over the weekend again and simply soak in all the progress the characters of Finch, Fusco and Carter have made over almost a season and a half.  For example:  Carter is fully on board with derailing an FBI investigation.  Quite a departure from last season’s “Many Happy Returns” when she balked at the suggestion from Finch that she do the same.  Here she meets up with Finch and shows him that she’s proactively moved to protect Reese from Donnelly’s investigation having already deleted his fingerprints from the system.  And whereas last season she balked at unsealing a sealed juvenile file and was aghast at the thought of breaking into One Police Plaza (a federal offense) here she carries off the breaking and entering as she replaces Reese’s DNA with another’s. (Someone she drugged in order to do so!)

Next week’s “Prisoner’s Dilemma” will be intriguing not only because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Carter will protect Reese, as will Reese protect her and neither will come away unaffected if it becomes known that they are working together, but much of the intrigue will be in watching Carter walk that fine line of her loyalty and her curiosity.  Earlier this season Reese posed a question to her, “Critical,” 2.07, “how much do you really want to know.”  Next week we’ll get to watch her struggle to answer that.  Clearly she wants to know more; how to discover those mysteries without destroying herself and Reese in the process…well, that’s a job for the writers of PoI.

Fusco was highly enjoyable this episode.  He never complained about working all hours, night and day, to assist with the PoI.  There was no suggestion of other work that needed to be done.  He did not wonder what Carter was up to or where she was.  He simply investigated, followed leads and supported Finch at every moment on the case.  He was part Carter, part Reese and purely Fusco all at the same time.  Next week he gets to protect the lovely Karolina Kurkova; I say he’s earned that reward.

Finch ‘spun those plates’ as Nolan and Plageman said he would with great ease.  Last season during “Blue Code” he was a bit more harried having to switch back and forth communicating with Detective Fusco and then Detective Carter.  True, neither detective knew about the other so it was a bit dodgier for him, still this episode he carried on with the weekly PoI, drug dealers, depressed moms, suspect teachers, disengaged kids all while keeping tabs on Carter as she worked to free Reese.  He did it all calmly and with great confidence.  Finch was willing to go toe to toe with armed drug dealers to protect Caleb as well as confront  a teacher in an empty and dark school – with no true understanding of the man’s motives or capabilities.  Finch was fearless.  All without Bear to back him up!

I remember in last season’s Super Finch complained about having to tramp all around New York City following their PoI.  (I thought it was also a bit of an inside joke as not only did the characters trade roles in Super, so did the actors.)  Here Finch spent 72 hours out on the streets, in the school or elsewhere; there was no library to be seen at all.  Hope he managed to build an app to remind him to go back there and walk Bear a few times a day as well as provide food and water!  Poor Bear!  (I’m hoping to see sad Bear next week as he’s missing John or ‘tall man’ as he calls him on his twitter account).

There were plenty of little gems sprinkled throughout the episode that harkened back to earlier characters and moments.  When the discussion was ongoing about the hacker who turned the Internet on its ear, I wondered about Root.  Was she the great hacker or Finch?  It quickly became apparent it was Finch; still it was an interesting moment.  Wasn’t it Finch as the great hacker who wanted to ‘free something?  Hmm, and now Root wants to free the Machine.  Also, Finch has learned painfully that leaving others in order to protect them is not always the best option.  John learned that painful lesson and it cost Jessica her life and nearly destroyed him.  There is something redeeming about teaching others from the mistakes in one’s own life.

Donnelly is a man to be reckoned with.  He is possessed with taking down the Man in the Suit.  I’m wondering a bit if he’s goal isn’t so much concerned with the rule of law as it is about ego.  He states here that he has been burned time and time again in trying to catch the Man in the Suit. It is starting to sound a bit strident.  Is he unhinged slightly or is he truly desirous of the rule of law?  Don’t know but next week’s episode is sure to up the stakes on this storyline.

Welcome back, PoI, you have been missed.  

As always, thanks for reading, Elle2.

Scheduling notes:

Futon Critic has altered the lineup for PoI showing a break on 1/17 and 1/24 (“The Contingency” and “Bad Code”) and that episode 13 (Dead Reckoning) will not air until 1/31.  Not sure if that will hold but that is a change from a few days ago.  I try to remember (and console myself) that of the 20 Thursdays from January 3rduntil May 16th(the likely ending of the season) 14 of them will have new PoI episodes.  While we may not like that we don’t get a run of 6 or 10 in a row, there are 14 (provided PoI gets 24 episodes this season…if anyone hears anything on that, please advise) . 

That’s all I got this week!  Have a great week, see you next Thursday!

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