Person of Interest serves up another fun, and at the same time dark and dangerous episode all while showing us that fun can be had at the expense of our two assassins and that Finch and Fusco’s comedic chemistry from “Identity Crisis” in Season 1 wasn’t a one off.
Vigilance is proving itself an enemy worthy of a season long – or perhaps longer – arc as they manage to kill a number right under the team’s watchful eye at the beginning all as a means to gain access to her safe, and thus the Machine. The ever-powerful Control (wonderfully portrayed by Camryn Manheim) is bested in the end by this rogue group, who frankly have the right intentions as they seek to curtail the out of control surveillance state but at what cost, as their goals will cause the protection afforded by the Machine, for both relevant and nonrelevant numbers, to end. This is an interesting dialogue to be having on a television show: How far do we go to protect ourselves? How much privacy are we willing to give up? Who should have this power? Who defines the right motives?
Clearly Finch and Co. can argue their motives are pure: save lives that can be saved. Control similarly can say their motives are pure: stop another 9/11 from occurring. Vigilance’s point of view is that no one should have that kind of power. And Root certainly presents a compelling argument for that as she has been a character who has shifted from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ in her efforts. But then again, her efforts are now dictated by the Machine – something she willingly follows without question – but is the Machine truly benevolent, capable of nothing but the purest of motives? Or, is the Machine operating purely from the standpoint of self-preservation? I do think there is a reasonable argument to make that the Machine, while appearing to be utterly altruistic, is in contrast quite selfish. Its goals, when everything else is stripped away, appear to be utterly geared to self-preservation…or are they?
Granted the Machine tried to prevent, unsuccessfully, Samaritan from coming into being, which is a threat to its preservation. On the other hand, the Machine has had the opportunity – twice now – to stop its Relevant efforts. Each time it has reinitiated that communication, first with Control and now, with Control effectively offline, it has tasked Root with maintaining that side of the operation. Similarly, the Machine could have excluded Finch and Co. from the Irrelvant operation at the end of Season 2, but instead it chose to continue that work, and has even assisted through Root in some of the team’s efforts. So, what is the Machine? Is it a benevolent ‘being’ as Root would have us believe, or is it simply following the guidance of its complex coding and continuing the very work it was designed to do – all while adapting each time a new barrier is thrown in front of it? Is it truly learning, or simply following Harold’s coding?
I have no idea. But the mind exercises are a lot of fun. As someone who never watched Lost, I’m not interested in some mythical magical island with a wheel and other such fantasy. But, as someone who is currently living in the very surveillance state imagined by Person of Interest – for it is more science fact than fiction, I enjoy the weekly dose of what ifs.
If you’re not someone too interested in the dark complexities of surveillance and what it means to personal liberties, then surely you enjoyed the humor of this episode; for it abounded. First off, how great is the team of Reese and Shaw — complete with identical luggage. These two have come a long way from warily circling each other as two lone wolves to now flipping coins over who should get blown onto the hood of a parked car – erh, save the latest number. Follow that with an equal dislike of Mamma Mia on Broadway and an aversion to high school reunions – really, do people still do those things? Who wants to relive the years of acne and gawky social interactions? However, give them suitcases full of weapons and electrical equipment and a high school chem lab and they’re like kids in a candy store – and as loud and destructive as kids on a sugar high if let loose in said candy store.
Reese has been sorely missed in action of yet, so I really liked that “Phil” the imposter at the reunion commented that he had heard he was fast – and then Reese proved just how fast he was, not only in fighting but in adapting in the fight.
Shaw shined not only as the flirting possible love interest to their latest number, but then as she showed her true self: I don’t do relationships, and just because I can kill people and live with it doesn’t mean you can as she gave sage advice to the would-be killer, Matthew Reed. Ms. Shaw is learning how to socially interact.
Add the fun of watching Reese constantly be slapped while Shaw dealt with being the ‘ugly duckling’ of high school and it was one moment of fun after another as the reunion continued.
If that wasn’t enough fun, we got to see Finch and Fusco work together in the field again. They didn’t have nearly as much fun in 2piR as here, but they are an effective team.
Most Likely To was a great outing from Person of Interest, proving yet again that episode synopses are deceiving. If you tuned in thinking you were going to get an episode solely dealing with a reunion and a number of the week, you clearly got more than expected. If you tuned out, thinking it was a one off, well, you missed this outing that had Vigilance’s fingerprints all over it. Just like Root in Season 1, they are able to manipulate any scenario to achieve their end game. Unlike Root, however, I don’t foresee them deciding that Harold and Co. are acceptable to continue their work. It’s going to be quite the ride from here until May 13th – after this next, and last, hiatus that is.
Until the next new episode, thanks for reading, Elle2