It is a brave new world, PoI fans! Where we go from here is anybody’s guess.
“…we conceived this finale – unlike last season’s finale which was a straight cliffhanger, this year’s finale is the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.” (Greg Plageman)
Plageman and Nolan appear to fully comprehend what Eric Kripke said years back in regards to Supernatural – (paraphrased): Great care must be taken with shows involving an overarching storyline. String it out too long, too far and it becomes crushed under its own weight.
Everyone has a new direction in Season 3. Fusco, while not present (sadly!) has a new direction. He is freed somewhat from HR, but there is more to go. Carter, now gripped by HR, has struck out on her own. She has moved a body to protect Fusco and now has freed Elias in a direct move to frustrate HR.
Elias, now freed (hooray!) finds his empire under attack, his right-hand man incapacitated, and is himself saved by a detective, one he’s tried to kill and whose son he kidnapped. What becomes of HR, Elias, Carter and Fusco? We’ll have to see what Season 3 has in store.
Finch, like Reese in Season 1, has ‘revealed’ his secrets regarding Nathan and the Machine, as well as how he received his injuries and how Grace ‘lost him’. Like Season 1, we knew the ending, just not the journey. So much becomes clear. I like that these characters have been fleshed out so that we understand their motivations. It’s been fun piecing it together, but now we can all move on into the new phase with a more complete understanding. Granted, we don’t know all of Finch’s secrets. We likely do not know all of Reese’s secrets. There will be ghosts and shadows of the past that pop up to haunt the characters, and cause us great enjoyment (and speculation) but we at least understand them better.
Speaking of Finch and Grace and Nathan, how awful was that? Sure, we’ve known the ‘bones’ of the story: Nathan and Finch built the Machine, they were friends, Nathan is dead, Grace and Finch were engaged, she thinks Finch is dead, but those final days were a mystery. We’ve seen the dissolution of Nathan and Finch’s friendship now. We’ve seen the crisis that caused Finch to realize that no one is irrelevant. And how awful was it to watch Finch as he watched Grace at the end? Carrie Preston, you sold that scene. That’s how a professional gives us fear, shock and grief. Bravo, Ms. Preston! You have left an indelible mark.
I wonder, as we go forward, how much Grace will play into things. I’m guessing not much. The story has been told, like Jessica. Any further meddling with it, until there is something real to do, such as reunite Finch and Grace – which is unlikely – would just be mawkish. But there is also the real chance that Grace’s number could come up. How and why is anybody’s guess; although Root is still in possession of that information, so perhaps…
Nolan and Plageman, in interviews regarding Season 3, have indicated their intent to expand the PoI universe. God Mode laid the groundwork for that. Research is back up, with Hersh as the face of it. There is a mystery woman calling the shots. What that means for Reese and Shaw and Finch is unknown. What of Greer, who has yet to make the acquaintance of Finch? Will he be back and with what purpose? Shaw now has ‘seen’ both the relevant and the irrelevant side of the Machine. She’s turned her back on Research/Northern Lights, so will she come to the irrelevant side? The Machine has included Root in its call log. For what purpose I do not know. Does it simply like her and want to play a game? (insert Wargames voiceover here)
This season finale, while not a cliffhanger in the nail-biting-hanging-on-for-dear-life style of cliffhangers in the past (think Season 3 of SPN to Season 4…yikes!), set up the future, while answering many questions about the past and present.
We picked up right where we left off and immediately Reese and Shaw are fending off attackers, as the Machine protects them akin to its efforts to protect Finch when it ordered him to “STAY” before the car hurtled past. We get not one, not two, not three but four cars stolen, a helicopter and a private jet in this episode, as well as some guy’s glasses. (That’s really low!) (Next season finale, I want to see Reese actually fly that helicopter; just saying!)
I enjoyed the interplay between Shaw and Reese as she came to slowly realize just what was guiding all the information: the Machine. Reese now fully trusts the Machine, so much so that he handles two ‘irrelevant’ numbers all the while chasing Finch. It’s a great bookend to the season that started with Reese wanting nothing to do with irrelevants while he hunted for Finch. This time he efficiently handles them all while telling Shaw that they’re professionals; they do both.
I was very happy that Shaw got a glimpse into Reese’s private pain. That scene as John finds Jessica’s picture in the safe…perfection. Jim Caviezel took Reese to a new level with the utter stillness of his body and voice. A slight nod of the head as Shaw asks if he knew her. Utter quiet as Shaw asks/observes that Reese cared for her. A quiet “no” when Shaw asks if she is still alive. Shaw needed that insight, it knocked a touch of her ‘don’t touch me’ attitude off. She needed that moment.
The ending with Reese and Finch was also exceptional. Both men have come a long way. Finch explained himself to John. John took responsibility for what really happened: “My life changed when I kept my mouth shut at an airport terminal seven years ago. You had nothing to do with that. You lost a friend. You did what you had to do.” Watching Finch trying to forgive himself after John says those words…magnificent. It’s a beautiful scene. Reese meant what he said to Shaw earlier, in essence, Finch had his reasons.
Why the Machine chose Root, I have no idea. Root wanted to free it. Clearly the Machine had ‘issues’ with its programming, as seen in its desperate attempts to fix itself in Zero Day. However, it is free and all because of the initial efforts of Finch. The Machine has twice been under John’s guidance, or at least been in direct contact with John, and John was the one who initially (as we know) forced the Machine to ‘think’, so where does it go from here as it has added Root to its contact list?
Amy Acker was brilliant: her determination to find the Machine, her despair at realizing it had slipped from her grasp; her shock and then retreat into her mind at the end as all her intelligence, all her hopes and dreams have brought her to an empty warehouse-like building staring at wires, the remnants of what had been there.
Line of the night: It’s a tie! “Congratulations!” (Reese) “Oh, that kind of prison transfer.” (Elias)
Runner up: “Fair enough.” (Special Counsel)
Honorary mention: “Okay. Look, I already broke you out of jail tonight. I’m not springing you from the funny farm.” (Shaw)
PoI, only you would flip a car off an overpass and have the two occupants stroll away without flinching as they prepare to steal a helicopter.
Nolan, Plageman and Richard Lewis in a cameo at the end!
Bear’s tweets while on assignment with Leon:
· “Tall Man has assigned me to the security detail for Foolish Man. Stand by for transmission.”
· “Business meeting with Foolish Man. Hushed tones. Something about “investment opportunity” and “prime island real estate.”
· “Having lunch with Foolish Man. I suggested string hot water but he demanded gray papaya. Must admit, quite fond of the onion.”
· “Surprise meeting with associates of Foolish Man. They had guns. “Meeting by appointment only,” I said with my teeth.”
· “Foolish Man home safely. Tall Man has rendezvoused for my extraction. Conclude security detail transmission. See you later.”
And that’s a wrap on Season 2.
I have some tentative plans to write what we call here at TVFTROU retro reviews. My mind is percolating on episodes from Season 1, Pilot, Cura te Ipsum and the like. So, check back over the next *gulp* 20 weeks (Yep, September 26th in all likelihood) for some PoI reviews of Season 1 as well as possibly a wrap of Season 2. There will also be some other shows and news here to keep us all going.
Until then, thanks for reading.