Last Call puts Finch front and center with this week’s number. Amazingly, for a man who once said human interaction was difficult, he finds himself connecting quite easily with Sandra Nicholson. I like a strong woman, even as she is slated a bit as the damsel in distress, and Sandra was just that – strong. To handle the job she has, she would need to be strong, and Melissa Sagemiller played her with authority and confidence, even as the character was shaken to her core.
In the manner of last season’s “Critical,” we have a mystery player pulling strings to complete a contract. Also in the manner of Critical, we have a new foe introduced who has taken a particular notice of Harold Finch, whereas Alistair Wesley (played by Julian Sands who appears a bit too busy of late to return. Please, please, please find a way for Alistair Wesley to come back and joust with Reese again!) targeted Reese and promised to ‘continue their conversation’ in the future, Finch’s new foe similarly promises to tangle again with Finch. Notable that in Critical Reese allowed Finch to hear Wesley’s taunt, but here, Finch keeps it to himself. Only the paranoid survive – the paranoid who trust their friends that is.
Reese and Shaw are in the field this episode, following clues and tracking possible suspects. I like that they separated to carry their specific tasks on their own and then rejoined to do battle together at the end. They have become a very good team, each willing to allow the other his or her specialty, although in this case, they could have easily traded tasks at the end with Reese clearing the room and Shaw disarming the bomb, but I did like the little moment when Shaw pulled Reese back and reminded them that they were a team. Our Ms. Shaw has come a long way from her lone wolf ways as she recognizes that while Mr. Reese is back at work, he may still be a bit unfocused at times with Carter’s death still hanging over him. It’s a subtle moment, but PoI frequently uses the subtle to make a point.
Speaking of Carter’s aftermath, it’s a whole new day at the 8th precinct: Fusco is the go-to guy for, well, everyone. I do think a part of him enjoys that – and he has earned it, however, no doubt Carter’s loss, as well as his own dark past, continues to haunt him. Was it a little too neat that this week’s number and Fusco’s young detective Padawan’s murder investigation collided? Um, yes. Sometimes PoI is a little obvious or clunky in the meshing of the storylines, but I disregard that now that I’ve observed it because more Fusco time on my screen is always a good thing. Plus, Fusco has earned this time, time to move forward, put his dark past in his rear view mirror and continue on the journey that first Reese and then Carter set for him. I like that Fusco smiled at the end in a way reminiscent of NYPD Blue’s Sipowicz – paternally and patiently.
Bear and Root were completely absent this week. That’s never good in my book but I do recognize that sometimes things just have to simmer quietly and wait their turn. This is part and parcel of having a show on a network channel: we get a plethora of episodes (22 to 23 for PoI) but they don’t all move the bigger mythology forward. I’ll still take 22 to 23 episodes of PoI over say 13 to 15, even with standalones that are most definitely standalones. Watching Finch threaten an assassin using his knowledge of electronics and the conductivity of water is a far cry from the Finch we saw in Season 1. It’s not often Finch threatens actual violence and possible death, but when push comes to shove, the man will defend to the very end. Shaw has fun kneecapping many, many people and Reese gets his workout in – and yes, while I love the fight sequences, I’ll keep a healthy Jim Caviezel on my wish list and be happy for the aftermath from time to time rather than the fight. I can fill in the blanks. J
This is the time of the season when we are all to take some deep breaths, enjoy some simple episodes that share tiny team moments or perhaps simply introduce a new foe for some future time to be determined. But don’t despair, before long we’ll be hurtling to the conclusion of another season (how odd that seems to say on the last day of February in what has been an interminable winter this year (I live in the Northeast USA) and the long, warm, sunny days of late spring and summer will stretch before us as we say…What? How? Who? And When does PoI come back? That long???? NOOOOoooooooooo
As always, thanks for reading.