Kudos to Person of Interest for continuing to increase the scope and complexity of the overall mythology while maintaining the intimacy of the characters. It is a testament to just how deep the well is that this show can continue to dip into Finch and Nathan’s backstory, as well as the building of the Machine, and not ever feel stale.
Learning about the earlier iterations of the Machine goes a long way in shedding light as to why Harold is so hurt by the Machine now. We know from season 2 that he taught it to save everyone, not kill anyone. What we learned now is just how hard it was to teach it to care. However, he also gave it a sense of self-preservation and it is that which is driving it now. True, the Machine is balancing its own survival with the survival of seven humans, but I do believe that if it felt anyone of those humans was a risk for its own survival, it would destroy them. Remember, in Wolf and Cub the Machine tagged Reese after it “saw” that Reese was investigating Harold. In a world with no morality and no value of life, kill or be killed is the way. Right now the Machine has “friends” and it is protecting them, but I have no illusions that it would continue to protect them if they were a danger to the Machine. Let’s hope I’m never tested on that.
While at times I feel like Reese is written as a bull shark,barging into everyone and everything and knee-capping with abandon, I also realize at other times that that is exactly the point. Jim Caviezel has stated in interviews that Reese is kind of like a shark, he has to keep moving or else he’ll die. When I watch some of these episodes where Reese is side-lined I begin to see what Mr. Caviezel means. For instance, in Prophets, the logical maneuver for Reese, when he is benched and ordered with a psychological review, is to follow orders. He was an international spy; he knows the importance of maintaining a cover. He is very well aware of how important his new cover is, and yet in this episode he was barging in on crime scenes andclearly putting his cover in jeopardy, if not from Samaritan, certainly with the NYPD. Why did he keep doing it? Well, once again, Reese provides the insight: It is his job to save everybody. Everybody he can’t save is a failure directly linked to his very existence.
His mission has not changed from when he first began in The Pilot. He remains driven by his past failures, the ghosts that only he sees and hears and believes himself responsible for. He is not responsible for Jessica’s death, any more than he is Carter’s, but he holds himself directly responsible nonetheless.
With all the gun fights and smoke and grenades, crashing cars and masked vigilantes fighting in the alleys, it’s easy to get caught up in the window dressing and miss the heart, but Person of Interest maintains the balance, all while moving the story relentlessly forward.
Samaritan not only is building an army of operatives such as Claire and the mysterious and deadly Martine, who appears more and more of a robot as the appearances continue) but also is building an army of clueless and weak politicians (an apt description if ever there was) poised at critical places throughout the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you have not already grasped the obvious, this is no longer a procedural. Each person of the week this season, with the likely exception of Cooper, has tied in some way to the bigger picture, both of Samaritan and the up-and-coming Brotherhood.
It was a tour de Root this episode as we finally learn what her cover identity is and it is, well, everyone. She’s a flight attendant, a journalist, a pastry chef, and so much more. I have no idea how she has the resources to keep maintaining these covers, for no matter how much money the team took in a few weeks ago, all those changes must be hard, especially if she has to keep renting new places, or perhaps her “blind spot” is one that morphs as she does. Root is a survivor, and while I was concerned that her revealing talk with Harold meant she was heading for demise this episode, I also know that PoI is not that obvious. Doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods though for a death later this season – and perhaps in the next few weeks. Reese keeps putting his cover identity in danger, Martine is certainly aware of Root, and the Brotherhood is growing stronger and bolder meaning Elias is likely soon to be a target, much as Reese already is. Then again, it could all be subterfuge and Bear is going to get eaten by all the rats in the new headquarters – hey, it could happen! (But it better not!)
It was another thrilling episode of PoI that keeps the mysteries growing, the answers slowly coming forth, and the suspense at a boil. I wonder just what Harold and the Machine will say to each other; and just how it will communicate to him and keep Samaritan at bay. Tic Tac Toe anyone?
Quotes of Interest:
“I have a hobby: shooting people.”
“John can recommend a therapist.”
“My shrink isn’t going to like that.” (After Reese shoots someone) BWAH!
Until next week, thanks for reading, Elle2
POSSIBLE SPOILER…read on at your own risk
And, if you think I’m trying to soften up the ground for the death coming later this season…yeah, I so am. I have no idea who it is. I only know that it is someone. We’ll get ten episodes before winter hiatus (which is mercifully short), but something big is going to go down, me thinks.