Summary: HR takes a job to murder somebody, a psychiatrist named Turing. Reese contacts her and saves her life but is seen by security cameras. Donnelly goes after him and the FBI trap him in a building. Finch helps Reese escape and plans to take Turing to safety while Reese fights back. Finch is confronted by Alicia who wants him to shut down the Machine. Alicia is killed by Turing who is revealed to be Root and was responsible for everything that happened. Root takes Finch. Fusco and Carter discover they are working for the same person. Together, they hep and save Reese. Afterwards, Fusco anonymously lets the FBI know of HR's corruption. Simmons is taken down. Reese asks the Machine for help saving Finch and he receives a phone call.
The Good: Well this finale came right out of nowhere and completely caught me off guard. This episode felt like "Witness" in a lot of ways (I'll elaborate later), only it was more refined, paced better and had much more emotional impact. The action and character scenes were much stronger than usual and I was left feeling breathless by the end of this.
I'm usually not a fan of show's showing us a glimpse of the future in the opening scenes of episodes, but I didn't mind it here. The opening scene allowed us to see that Reese would be in genuine trouble later in the episode and that made me more invested for the early parts of the episode since I was curious to see what happened.
The way the episode ratcheted up the suspense and tension after the opening scene was incredible. This must have been one of the very best tension-based TV episodes I have ever seen. Reese's investigation of Turing was engaging due to the psychology of Reese's meeting with Turing. Both characters were probing each other and Finch added the extra tension by trying to ensure Reese doesn't reveal something he shouldn't. Reflecting on the episode, that scene would be even more intense while re-watching considering what we discovered about Turing.
That meeting was only the first part, as the chaos exploded afterwards. Reese quickly found himself trapped with HR and the FBI both closing in on him. Reese became quite desperate and had to do some genuinely clever things to get out alive with Turing. I enjoyed seeing him get help from Carter and Finch to ensure that he doesn't make the wrong move. I loved the moment where all of the stories converged. HR had set up the bomb and the FBI were ready to engage Reese in a gunfight. The countdown that they used to build it up had me on the edge of my seat. The pay-off of Finch shutting off communication in the city was unexpected but extremely satisfying as it provided a welcome and creative way for Reese to survive and escape.
As if that wasn't intense enough, we also got to follow the Carter/Fusco storyline. Carter slowly began to clue together that Fusco was involved with something and that led us into a good confrontation in the bathroom. I really enjoyed Fusco trying to defend himself, owning up to past mistakes and saying how he sometimes saves people now. Kevin Chapman performed really well and it was a great catharsis to see Fusco genuinely defending himself as somebody trying to do good after he started the show as a dirty cop.
What I appreciated the most about the drama in the episode is the way it resembled "Witness". That episode had a similar setpiece with Reese being trapped with his POI in a building under assault. Only this episode didn't go as smoothly as Reese planned which allowed it to be a lot better. I was expecting Reese to easily escape once the helicopter was mentioned and I was a little disappointed by that, but I was subsequently impressed when the FBI locked down the helicopter to ensure that escape wouldn't be easy. It was after that moment that the show was able to show us what it had learned throughout its run by getting the drama to hit a whole new level from "Witness".
And like "Witness", this episode stuck the landing with an excellent twist that I probably should have seen coming (it was exactly like the Elias twist). But I didn't see it coming, so the Root reveal worked really well and provided an important ending to the episode. Every confusing aspect of the episode clicked into place with that reveal and it left us on an epic cliffhanger with Root taking Finch.
The Bad: Some aspects of the story weren't fleshed out enough. The downfall of HR was too sudden and out of nowhere. It's a good moment for Fusco, but it probably should have had more focus. The Alicia story ended up being pretty weak. While her character entering the episode gave some more tension, she didn't give us anything particularly useful. Her motives were shallow and I was confused as to why she wants to destroy the Machine. After all, she seemed to acknowledge the real enemy (see: The Unknown) anyways. Why not be afraid of them?
I was glad to finally see Reese get identified by someone. But did they really have to catch him on a random street camera? It really begs the question of why Reese was never noticed in any of the other episodes. Furthermore, why wasn't there somebody from the FBI watching over Reese through the cameras? Instead, only Carter is able to do this and she is able to warn him. It's glaringly stupid.
The shootout scene didn't work for me. While I liked seeing Fusco and Carter showing up to save Reese, I've never found these shootouts where every bullet seems to miss to be any good. It makes the characters seem too invincible and it removes the drama.
The Unknown: Did the Machine get Ingram killed? How? Did it also cause Finch's injury?
Who are the enemies that Alicia referred too? Was it Root? Or was Root's arrival just a coincidence and there is somebody else.
What does Root know about the Machine? Has she known about it for a long time, or only recently? Or did she just find a way to hack into it? What does she want with Finch?
That ending was excellent. Did it just imply that the Machine is sentient? Now that is a big surprise. How will this affect the series? Will the Machine actually help Reese save Finch?
Best Moment: The Root reveal was awesome. There were plenty of epic moments to choose from, but this was the best.
Character of the Episode: Fusco.
Conclusion: This was "Witness" only bigger and better. This episode felt like a season finale and it delivered one of the best tension-based hours of drama I have ever seen. While it still suffered from some of the show's classic problems, it was a big success that makes me want to tune in for season 2.
This season was a bit of a rollercoaster. It's amazing to look back and see my scores for early in the season. The show wasn't satisfying back then and it was flawed beyond belief. The series steadily improved as it went on, but it did so in a surprising way. Rather than correcting the issues I had with the show, I noticed that the show instead chose to work around the issues. A lot of the complaints from the first few episodes still hold up in these later episodes (plot movement is too rapid and sometimes tedious, Jim Caviezel is a bad actor, the show skips over some important details). Rather than fixing these problems, the show found a way to make the show become enjoyable in spite of these issues. Reese's character was used and explored in a way that almost makes Jim Caviezel look good, the rapid plot movement was corrected with an increased amount of emotional connection, and the important details are (usually) addressed with a single line of dialogue rather than being shown. Despite the methods of improvement, it's great to see that the improvement is there at all. 15 episodes ago, I wouldn't have expected myself to continue on with season 2. But after several consistently good episodes, I can't wait for season 2. Despite all of its flaws, "Person of Interest" ended season 1 on a high note.
Summary: Flashbacks show Finch preparing the Machine for the transfer to the government. Ingram decides to make a back door into the Machine as a backup. Reese continues following Finch and discovers that he gets the POI numbers from a payphone. The next POI is a man named Peck who is being targeted for asking too many questions about something. Finch eventually realizes that he has uncovered details about the Machine and it is going to get him killed. Reese attempts to save him without revealing himself but it proves to be tougher with government assassins hunting him down. Peck arrests himself for safety and eventually realizes that the Machine is real. Reese gets him out but Peck escapes. Finch meets with Peck and confirms that the Machine exists and in exchange Peck goes off the grid. Reese discovers that Finch had a woman in his life but he had to leave her to protect her.
The Good: This was another really strong episode. While not quite as good as the previous episode, this one told a great story with a combination of plot and character development.
First, we got some really important plot developments. Now we know where Finch gets the numbers, and the answer was not what I was expecting. The idea that a payphone provides the numbers is really interesting and it also provides a good reason for how Finch is able to access the Machine without being detected. I'm interested to learn more about this (see: The Unknown). The flashbacks were also quite good. We got some key information regarding the confidentiality of the Machine, while also getting more information on who Alicia Corwin was. Additionally, there was a nice reveal about the creation of the Machine's back door. It seems set up for the back door to cause some trouble and I'm unsure if this trouble is what led to Ingram's death or if the trouble will be coming in the present day.
The character aspect of the episode was also really good. This episode seems to have concluded the storyline of Reese following Finch. The story ended on a high note as we got the surprise discovery that Finch had a woman in his life who he was forced to leave. Finch's story at the end was pretty tragic and it made his character a little bit more human by giving us a glimpse into the life he had lived outside of the Machine.
The POI story in this episode was good, helped by its connection to the Machine. I liked the idea of Reese having to save Peck without revealing himself since it created a different sort of tension than the usual. Of course it didn't last very long, but it did lead to the funny moment of Reese immediately revealing himself as Finch tells him not to. The action sequences in this episode were some of the strongest in the show. By having other professional assassins challenge Reese, we got some of the best choreographed action sequences in the episode.
There were a few other details I liked. I really loved the idea of Peck getting himself arrested to ensure his own safety. I thought that Fusco dismissing Peck's very correct guesses about the Machine was hilarious.
The ending provided a great cliff-hanger. I'm very interested to see what Alicia does now that she knows that Finch created the Machine.
The Bad: Some bad clichés in this episode. Reese following the guy only for him to vanish when the truck went by was pretty stupid and improbable. Where could he have gone? Also, the running away cliché featured again, though it made more sense this time. Still, it's present in nearly every episode which is laughable. Also, it's really dumb for both Reese and Finch to follow Peck so openly, especially when he is looking around for people following him.
The Unknown: How does Finch get the numbers through a payphone? Was that the contingency plan? Or is this something else? How are the numbers sent through payphones? Is it only that one specific payphone that provides the number? Is it any payphone? Is there a set time that Finch needs to be there?
Did Ingram or Alicia tell somebody about the Machine? If so, who?
What will result from Ingram's contingency plan? I imagine the government could find out which would lead to trouble.
Who is the boss of the assassins? Was it that man at special counsel that Finch mentioned?
What does Alicia plan to do?
Best Moment: Finch's speech at the end about Grace was wonderful and it provided more insight on the show's most mysterious character.
Character of the Episode: Finch.
Conclusion: "Person of Interest" remains consistent. The show has found its groove and it has delivered another very enjoyable episode that provides a lot of suspenseful action mixed with insightful character development.
Summary: Flashbacks reveal that Jessica was accidentally murdered by her abusive husband Peter. Reese learns this and seemingly kills Peter. In the present, Donnelly involves Carter on his investigation of Reese which leads to Jessica's murder. She eventually learns of Reese's relationship to Jessica. Finch gives Reese a day off since the next POI case is a woman running from an abusive husband. Reese gets involved anyways and lets his emotion take control. Reese captures the husband, Marshall Jennings, and plans to kill him. Carter meets up with him and convinces him not to. Reese ends up putting Jennings in a Mexican prison.
The Good: This was a really strong episode with some great storytelling. It almost felt like "Lost" at times because of the way the flashback story impacted the main narrative by explaining Reese's motivations in the present through a story from the past. The format worked for "Lost", and it worked just as well here, providing the show's best episode yet.
Reese's emotional journey was really strong. His utter disdain for abusive husbands was explained really nicely since abuse was the reason that Jessica died before he could come back to her. Better yet, the show capitalized on Reese's emotions to make him a proper loose cannon. He was burning hot with anger and that anger led to him behaving irrationally throughout the episode and that added a lot of tension. We could never be sure what Reese was going to do or what consequences he would be faced to endure due to his overly emotional state. This unpredictability is very different from what we usually get from this show, and it allowed this episode to really stand out and provide a more emotional experience than what we are used to.
Reese's evolution as the show has gone on has been wonderful to see. He started off as one of my least favourite parts of the show, an overly serious badass that had little to no charisma. But as the show developed a sense of humour, it has used some lovely repetition (lines like "hello Lionel" whenever Reese appears out of nowhere) and smart dialogue to make Reese a more charming character. They even managed to make Jim Caviezel's discount Batman voice fit with the character by structuring some dry humour around him. It has worked superbly well, and coupled with the familiarity effect, it has turned Reese into a character that I enjoy to watch.
Some of the tense sequences were really great. Finch's investigations are still some of the most exciting scenes to watch. I enjoyed watching him patiently track Sarah, and having him get caught by Marshall Jennings was really tense and I was excited to see how he would get out of the situation. I thought Reese's save was really good and I laughed at the idea of Reese just happening to have a police badge on him. Naturally, somebody like Reese would actually have a police badge on hand.
I was really happy to see that the police were notified this time when Reese did something stupid. I also like how it tied into Carter's story and got Donnelly away from her when she was investigating Reese. I like the idea of her learning more about Reese. Taraji P. Henson did a great job of conveying Carter's feelings for Reese. After learning more about his past, she has come to view him as another person and her opinion of him has changed.
Reese with a beard looked remarkably similar to Jack from "Lost" in that one episode. Those who have seen "Lost" should know. I found that to be a neat parallel, especially seeing how both characters were in similar states.
The Bad: I was surprised by how easily Reese was able to get away from the Marshalls. He just assaulted one of them, and they just let him go. Apparently nobody got a look at his face either which is ridiculous. Also, he certainly appeared on some security footage, so he should be a wanted man now.
Sharon started talking about Reese really suddenly to Carter. I understand that she would want somebody to talk to, but I felt that the scene was set up poorly. Sharon's emotional state wasn't clear enough for the scene to work.
The running away cliché featured again when Sarah made her escape.
The Unknown: Very interesting ending. Was Finch aware of Jessica's existence? Did she appear on the Machine? Or was he following Reese? Why? Was he casing for a new partner? Why was he in the hospital anyways? Evidently he had just had the injury which caused his limp.
What will Carter do now that she understands Reese more?
Best Moment: I really enjoyed Reese grimly speaking to Peter moments before he (seemingly) kills him. It was a very powerful scene that nicely displayed Reese's regrets.
Character of the Episode: Reese.
Conclusion: The show's first truly great episode. This episode was a great emotional journey for Reese while finally giving us all of the information we need to truly understand him. Even outside of the emotional subtext of the story, this was still a very enjoyable episode to watch which makes it a big success.
Summary: In flashbacks, Reese and Stanton are sent on a mission to retrieve a laptop which contains data about the Machine. They are both given instructions to kill the other by Snow. They discover that the CIA wants them both dead to erase all evidence of the Machine. In the present, Reese works on a POI mission where he investigates a man named Tommy. Tommy robs a grayling truck of over $1 million worth of platinum. Reese investigates but gets caught by Tommy's girlfriend Ashley. Ashley kills Tommy, but Lynch kills Ashley. Lynch was part of the deal to get a cut from the platinum. Lynch sees Reese and threatens to kill him but Fusco shoots Lynch. Reese is freed. Snow finds a lead on Reese and investigates but finds himself captured by Stanton.
The Good: This was another solid episode with plenty of things to enjoy.
The humour presented in the show has gotten better as it has gone on. I thought the opening scene with Carter and Reese was pretty strong and did a good job of showing Reese's sense of humour. The decision to give Reese more of a sense of humour was great as he has become a lot more enjoyable than in those early episodes of the show.
The POI story was pretty fun. I liked Reese's infiltration of the grayling services and his fear of a robbery allowed those scenes to have an appropriate sense of tension. I particularly liked the prank scene as it served to be a strong tease of an action scene. Perhaps more importantly, I thought the actual robbery scene also delivered. The explosion that derailed the truck was surprising and caught me off guard. The chaos of the ensuing scene was conveyed really well with a clever use of sound and cinematography which helped put us in Reese's disoriented state as he tried to save Tommy's life. I thought it was a very clever way to make us understand that Reese's usual ability had been lowered which left him vulnerable to getting shot.
I thought the climax of the story was strong too. I like the way that Fusco's story combined with Reese's at the end and it led to a lovely moment where Fusco willingly saves Reese's life. It was a great way to show how far their relationship has grown from that first episode. By waiting 20 episodes for this scene, the show was also able to use longevity to their benefit, making it appear that Fusco and Reese have known each other for ages. It makes it much more plausible that the two of them have grown attached to each other over the course of the show. The drama with Ashley and Tommy was solid too and there were some good twists at the end of the story. I feel like a terrible person for laughing at how sudden Ashley's death was when she attempted to run away.
The flashback story was really good too. It was important for us to know how Stanton "died" and to see what led to Snow's claim of Reese killing her. Learning more about what happened, it has become clear that Snow is the real villain here. Evidently he somehow got involved with some shady dealings regarding the Machine, and was willing to sacrifice both Reese and Stanton to keep the Machine hidden. It's a very interesting plot development that increases my overall interest in the show. I also like that this information was given through a story where Reese was put into conflicts regarding him wanting to help Jessica vs him not wanting to murder Stanton.
The ending was fantastic too. The reveal that Stanton is alive feels very important and it provides an exciting ending. I'm very excited to see how she slots into the story and I'm intrigued by what she has planned for Snow.
The Bad: Reese recovered unusually quickly from that gunshot wound. It stands out more since the last time Reese was shot, he was out of action for a while.
The Unknown: What is happening with Jessica? Is whatever this is the event that led to her death?
What is the CIA's involvement with the Machine? Were they doing something illegal with it? Who were the people that got the laptop that had information of the Machine on it? What did they learn?
Why has Stanton captured Snow? What will she do with him? Did she get him solely for vengeance or does she have other plans?
Best Moment: This episode had a lot of strong reveals, but the best one was at the end. Stanton surviving was a great twist and mixes up the story in an interesting way. The end of the season is being set up very strongly.
Character of the Episode: Reese.
Conclusion: This episode delivered good reveals, some solid character drama and a few powerful moments. This was probably the most consistently enjoyable episode of the show so far. I had a good time watching this and I'm starting to get pretty excited for whatever the show has planned for the end of the season.
Summary: Flashbacks show where Elias' hatred of his father stemmed from. In the present, Carter gets word that Elias has withdrawn $4 million and is planning something. Finch deduces that Elias plans to kill the five major mafia leaders after they are all declared POIs. Reese starts investigating and one of the men die. Carter brings the other 4 into police custody with Fusco's help. Elias kidnaps Taylor, Carter's son to get a hostage. Carter refuses to back down. Reese frees both Taylor and Gianni from Elias. Finch convinces the HR department to leave Elias' cause and they arrive to back up Fusco. Elias stands down and is arrested. Gianni is killed by a car bomb orchestrated by Elias.
The Good: This episode felt really big and important since it was the big blow-off for the Elias storyline. Because of this, I was immediately hooked into what was happening. The episode kept my interest in a way that no other episode has done so far. Elias had been built up so well, so I was excited to see what would happen when Elias finally made his move.
The set up for this episode was awesome. The whole episode was tense with a rapid pace and with many characters being in a precarious position where things could really come crumbling down. After Elias kidnapped Taylor, I thought that Carter may be about to face some huge consequences for not sticking with Reese by being a potential casualty of this storyline. Elias had set things up so well that I actually thought he might successfully take over the entire mafia. This sense of fear, helped by how capable Elias has been shown to be, made the first half of this episode extremely enjoyable and some of the best television that this show has provided.
The action was similarly strong. It was choreographed extremely well and that led to a lot of exciting moments that helped give this episode the climactic feeling it was going for.
I really liked the storylines for Fusco and Carter in this episode. They were cooped up together and were both under pressure. I thought that this episode may have also been building up to both of them realizing that they work for the same guy, but that didn't happen. Despite it not happening, the thought that it would happen did make the episode more exciting for me. Furthermore, Fusco's storyline was good here. I liked how Zambrano played Fusco against Carter and got me to question if Fusco was actually about to turn on Carter so that he may survive.
I liked the Elias flashbacks. It was good to get some backstory on his hatred for his father and why he wants to kill him and take over the mafia. His backstory helped deepen his character a little more which was useful in an episode which focused so heavily on him.
The Bad: The first half of this episode did such a tremendous job of hyping up whatever Elias was going to do that the conclusion ended up feeling really flat and disappointing. I was thinking that this was going to be the best episode of "Person of Interest" so far, but the anticlimactic ending left me thinking "that's it?". It's never good when a show does that to me.
I thought that Elias' arrest came right out of nowhere and was a very unsatisfying conclusion to Elias' storyline. After all that build-up, Elias was just another villain who was dispatched of in one episode. It's disappointing and it prevents Elias from being an even better character than he already is.
The ending felt anticlimactic because it made Elias seem so much more incapable than he has always seemed. Did he seriously attack Carter and Fusco with the grand total of two henchmen by his side? That's so stupid, because Carter and Fusco could likely beat Elias, even if he did break in. Also, if Elias was just going to break in, why kidnap Taylor? He surely has the guys to just kill Carter and Fusco, so why not kill them both? It would have saved him the trouble. Also, what the hell was the point of having his cops show up if they just stood outside doing nothing? It's just poor planning. All these failures make it even more painful that Elias would go right to the scene of the crime instead of letting his guys do the work.
I was also very displeased with how easily Elias' plans came crashing down. Elias waited so long before doing this, so surely he would have took more care in ensuring that he had a suitable number of guys working for him. But he didn't, and Reese had to kill just three guys (by my count) to free both Taylor and Gianni. That was sloppy. It seems that Elias relied extremely heavily on HR, which makes no sense. He had several guys tailing the HR people, so clearly he didn't trust them. So why didn't Elias have back-up men in case HR betrayed him like they did in this episode? The way this plot was resolved feels like an insult to everything that Elias had done right in prior episodes. Additionally, the way that Finch got HR to betray Elias felt way too easy and it didn't feel like a satisfying development. It's annoying to see Elias' plans gone awry so easily, especially sicne he took a long time to get to this point. Plus, now Fusco is free of his conflict without the character doing anything to earn this freedom. That's not how to resolve a character's inner conflict.
I didn't like the way Carter went back to Reese either. The reason she left was because Reese was trying to do what cops could do with greater efficiency. So naturally Reese has to prove to Carter that he is worth working for because he is just as good at justice. So naturally, the way to do this is to... help her out one time? That's quite sloppy and makes Carter leaving a pointless development which never went anywhere.
I don't like the idea that all of these gunfights and explosions can just happen in the New York streets with no witnesses or anything. Surely a wanted man like Reese would be spotted by several people.
The Unknown: Does Elias ever get out of jail? Where does his story go from here? Was getting imprisoned somehow part of his plan? He seemed pretty happy by the episode's end, but perhaps that was just because he had just killed Gianni.
Best Moment: It's tough to pinpoint a single moment that stood out in this episode. I'll go with Zambrano, Fusco and Carter all having their guns drawn and pointed at each other. The scene was insanely tense and it felt like a lot of different outcomes were entirely possible.
Character of the Episode: Elias.
Conclusion: I know I went off on a lot of things in "The Bad", but I still enjoyed this episode. It was really exciting all the way through and it was certainly the most engaged I have ever been in a "Person of Interest" episode. But so many things in the second half of the episode were disappointing, and I can't ignore that in my score.
Summary: Finch gets a new POI and discovers that the person, Hester, is actually two individuals and one is impersonating the other. Finch follows the female Hester and Reese follows the male. Reese discovers an ecstasy lab and discovers that one is a drug dealer. Reese suspects it's the male. Finch sees some men going after the female Hester, so he befriends and saves her. However, the female is actually the impostor and she drugs Finch to disable him, leaving him to die. Reese comes into contact with the male Hester and decides to help him take out the female, whose name is Tara. Tara is able to overwhelm Reese and Hester but they both escape and get the cops to arrest Tara. Fusco saves Finch.
The Good: The main storyline was really fun. Whenever the show decides to do something different from the usual POI formula, it results in a better episode. This continued that case as the impostor gimmick worked really well and made for some really tense and exciting viewing.
I thought that Tara was a really successful villain for a one-episode storyline. While I did see the big twist coming (see: The Bad), it was built up really nicely with a lot of hints that make the reveal blatantly obvious on rewatch. It was very satisfying storytelling that created an uneasy sense of tension as the episode went on. As it became more obvious that Finch was revealing himself to the wrong person, I became a little more worried about what was going to happen to him since Tara was clearly more than she let on. This helped engage me emotionally and made this episode mean so much more because of that. I think that Finch is criminally underused in this show. He is so vulnerable, so unlike with Reese there is some actual tension in his scenes because it isn't guaranteed that he will get away by being a superhuman.
I'm liking some of the scenes where the show addresses how Reese gets out of a pickle. Before, the show used to gloss over these things which left me unsatisfied. But now, the show has started to address them in fun, comical ways. This episode had the great joke regarding the sprinkler system which was briefly touched on to explain how Finch escaped without slowing the rapid pace of the episode. It's a win-win as I get satisfied by the details without the show sacrificing the style that it clearly wants to stick to.
Finch getting drugged ended up being surprisingly funny. It didn't add much to the story (minus the great ending reveal (see: The Unknown)), but it was pretty fun. Seeing Finch so vulnerable and carefree is really different from what we're used to and I think that's good. The show needs to be more creative to remain enjoyable. A lot of the jokes were pretty funny and I was pleased to see a fairly accurate representation of what ecstasy does to somebody, especially since the stink of what "13 Reasons Why" did with ecstasy is still relatively fresh to me.
The side storylines for Carter and Fusco were really strong. I enjoyed seeing Carter get back to being a homicide detective with a few thoughts regarding Reese, wondering if she did the right thing. But she is still comfortable with her choice which is the right decision. Let this storyline play out before Carter goes back to Reese (because, let's be honest, she is most likely going back to Reese at some point). Fusco had some good moments too as we get some nice metaphors regarding his position as a crooked cop who now wants to be seen as a good cop. His connection with the imprisoned Morris tied in to this story nicely and it gave him a good moment as he helped prove an innocent victim as not guilty.
The Bad: The twist was a bit too heavily choreographed and didn't surprise me. It's not a bad thing because I think that the early realization allows for the rest of the episode to have some excellent tension. But the issue comes from the fact that Reese and Finch aren't able to clue into this. Being as smart as he is, it seems weird that Finch wouldn't have a more open mind regarding the case. Furthermore, I find it odd that Reese wouldn't communicate his very clear suspicions to Finch as he continued his investigation.
The climax of the episode was underwhelming, but it was always going to be. After Tara revealed herself, it was only a matter of time before Reese, Finch and Fusco took her down. That obvious sense of where the episode was going made the drama after the reveal substantially weaker than the drama before it.
Surely using Finch to follow a POI is pretty stupid. He has a limp and is easily distinguishable. I'm certain that I would notice this limping man following me after an hour, never mind an entire day. Why Finch and Reese never thought of this is beyond me.
The Unknown: The ending was very interesting. Does Finch calling Reese Nathan imply that Ingram was the man doing Reese's job before the series started? Does this mean that Ingram faked his death to work for Finch? Could he still be alive? There are some exciting directions that this story could go.
Best Moment: Finch realizing that Tara is the impostor was a wonderful moment to pay off of the tension which had been building up throughout the episode.
Character of the Episode: Finch.
Conclusion: This was a strong episode with good drama and a better story than what we usually get. I enjoyed this, and I want to see more episodes like this one.
Summary: Moretti is released from prison so Carter and Reese watch over him to ensure Elias doesn't attack him. Moretti is attacked but Carter ensures he is safe and move shim to a safe location. Finch notices that the next POI is Leila who is a six-month old infant in a hospital. Finch realizes she is in danger and steals her from the hospital. Reese tries to discover why somebody is trying to kill Leila. He figures it out but Leila is kidnapped. To get her back, Reese goes to Elias for help. Elias helps but threatens to kill Reese and Leila, only letting them live after Reese gives up Moretti's location. The baby is saved but Elias gets to Moretti and captures him. One of the cops Carter left to watch over Moretti is shot and she decides to stop helping Reese.
The Good: Now this is more like it. Whenever "Person of Interest" indulges in its long-term stories, it results in a strong episode. This was no exception.
The episode's dual storylines worked really well. It established tension at the beginning of the episode as Reese was worried about Moretti and Finch was worried about Leila. I really liked how both stories converged into tense moments which had exciting conclusions (the brief shoot-out and the hilarious reveal that Finch kidnapped a baby). Additionally, it resulted in a dramatic final act where Elias joined in with Reese during the baby storyline.
Elias is fantastic. I love his character because he is a genuine threat to Reese, which is pretty rare to find. Elias is currently 2-0 over Reese as he has outsmarted him twice now. That's really good because it means that Elias is a big deal whenever he shows up, since he is an established threat that we have been conditioned to take seriously. The conversation that Elias and Reese had in this episode was great too. I liked the way that Reese convinced Elias to join his cause, but better yet was how Elias betrayed Reese halfway through and ensured that he would be gaining something by helping Reese out.
I thought the ending was really smart too. Reese took a risk by working with the one man who has bested him before and he has paid for it by losing Carter's trust and loyalty. It was a surprising turn of events but it makes a lot of sense for the characters. Carter refusing to help Reese is logical, especially considering that she works as a cop whose job is to protect people, and she was doing a fine job of it before Reese came along. I'm pleased with this development as it shakes things up and increases my interest in what the show has planned as the season's final act.
I think Fusco has been given a strong storyline too. His involvement with HR has given him a good conflict to help explore his character by forcing him to be dirty. I like that Fusco has slowly transitioned from a dirty cop to a decent guy throughout the series as he continues to do work for both Reese and Carter. This character transformation got a great moment in this episode when Fusco refused to give up Carter's secret to Simmons, showing that he has no desire to be dirty anymore.
The action scenes in this episode were pretty solid and tense. I liked Leila's kidnapping scene, Reese's violent attack on the Petrosians and Reese halting the baby swap. They were all dramatic moments, as well as the scene where Elias trapped Reese and Leila in the refrigerated truck.
I thought that having the kidnapper put Leila in a zipped up bag was incredibly smart. It's such a reckless thing to do, and it immediately made me hate the guy who did it. This paid dividends when Reese shot the guy in the head. I was cheering to see the man die because the show added the extra detail to make me despise him, even though he only said like 2 lines of dialogue.
The Bad: It was weak seeing the same car accident trick two episodes in a row. Last episode, it was an attempt on Adam's life and this time it was an attempt on Moretti's life. Elias is going to need to find different ways to kill people.
I was really angry to see Finch walking around in public getting baby formula when he is a suspect for kidnapping a baby. Just send Reese to do this! It was really out of character for the cautious and paranoid man to do this.
The show loves to do the dramatic reveal of the POI escaping from Reese/Finch to leave us with a cliff-hanger before commercials. It's getting comical how frequently this is happening. I find it hard to believe that Leila would escape so easily from Finch, and I find it harder to believe that Finch believed that some small books would keep Leila inside.
Reese breaking into the Petrosians house was tense but also incredibly stupid. Now both Finch and Reese should be suspects who have been seen in public and can be recognized on sight.
The Unknown: So why did Elias contact Reese in the last episode? The cliffhanger went nowhere.
What is Elias planning to do? Is he just going to kill Moretti? Does he have other plans?
Is Carter actually going to stay away from Reese now? Will she come back later?
Best Moment: Carter deciding that she was done was a really strong moment.
Character of the Episode: Carter.
Conclusion: This was a good episode that was pretty fun. It gave the show some momentum and provided a fun story to boot. This was a solid return to form after a few weak episodes.
Summary: The next POI is Adam Saunders who is a businessman on Wall Street. Reese reads up on Wall Street and gets involved with Adam. He discovers that Adam discovered something he shouldn't have while researching where to invest and is now in danger. Reese protects him but his accomplice, Sydney Baylor is killed. The company where Adam invests his stock suddenly crashes and Ada loses his uncle's money and wants to get it back. Finch helps out by investing a ton of stock in the company and raises the price back. Carter gets a phone from a criminal and gives it to Reese. Reese calls a number and Elias answers.
The Good: I liked the idea that Reese had to study to blend in on Wall Street. It makes him seem more human since he didn't conveniently know everything about Wall Street before the episode.
The story throughout the episode is pretty good. I think it was more enjoyable than the usual episode since it had a lot of twists and turns, as well as a better POI story than usual. Adam was one of the better POIs who had a pretty good story to tell. The overall story left a good impression with me.
The ending of the episode was very strong. I'm excited to have Elias back in the story as it can give the show some much-needed momentum.
I liked the throwback to Virtanen in the early parts of the episode.
The Bad: The episode just doesn't engage me like a good episode of television should. I think the big issue is that the episode just doesn't feel important. With bigger storylines involving characters like Elias, Will, Snow and Root, these individual episodes don't give me a reason to care about them. Even though there was a story which had a lot of effort put into it, I couldn't get invested.
The other big issue was how complex this story was. Cramming so much story into 45 minutes is very exhausting for me and it can only work if the story has enough substance to it. Considering that I wasn't very invested, this episode didn't succeed in that regard. I spent too much time trying to follow the story instead of getting engaged, making it convoluted and unsatisfying. I've been saying this from the start of the show, but we desperately need multi-episode stories in this show. Something like this would have worked much better if it had some time to breathe.
The Unknown: What does Elias want with Reese? What was his involvement with Rasmussen? Why did he kill him?
Best Moment: The ending was exciting and promises that this story will pick up now.
Character of the Episode: Elias.
Conclusion: This episode was fun to watch on the surface, but emotionally it did absolutely nothing for me. Episodes like these are what make this show difficult to watch for me at times. This was far from the worst thing the show has done, but it's disappointing because I see potential for so much more than what we got.
Summary: Reese infiltrates a smuggling group operated by a man named Vargas. He is surveying a POI, Cahill who is part of the group but it also secretly a cop. The group is ratted out and are forced to hide in a warehouse. Vargas knows there is a rat in the group and Reese prevents Cahill from being discovered but nearly dies in the process. Fusco helps Reese save Cahill's life but is captured by a corrupt cop and is put in danger. Reese is able to save both Cahill and Fusco.
The Good: There were some strong moments of tension that made this fairly exciting. The gun shootout with the Asian man was pretty tense, as was the ending shootout. Fusco's arrest was a really good moment too as it added some unpredictability to the episode. Reese taking Cahill's phone was also good because I wasn't sure what he was planning to do. He could've framed himself, framed someone else or simply gotten rid of the phone.
I got a laugh out of Fusco and carter running into each other and giving each other suspicious looks as they parted ways.
I liked hearing "If I had a Heart" again, as I had last heard that song on "Breaking Bad".
The Bad: This was the weakest episode in a while. This episode fell right into all of the show's biggest traps and ended up being very unsatisfying as a result.
First and foremost, the episode was dull. It was tough to invest in the central POI story, and it was made tougher by a plot that was far more convoluted and fast-paced than it needed to be. Without any investment, I found it really tough to keep my attention on understanding the plot. It made the episode much more tedious than it needed to be.
Some of the show's worst clichés were involved in this episode. Reese conveniently infiltrating the gang without showing us how he did it was poor. It was explained away with a "cool" line of dialogue. I was really displeased with the scene where Reese watched Cahill break into his own house. Finch telling him to kill Cahill before he hurts any innocents only for Cahill to be acquainted with the innocents was very familiar. I can't pinpoint which exact episode, but I am certain that this exact scene has happened in a prior episode. I immediately predicted the reveal so it ended up being more cheesy than surprising.
The death tease was extremely bad. Unlike in "Number Crunch", I never felt like Reese could die in this episode so the tension was completely lost as I just waited for him to reveal he is alive. There were loads of problems with the execution as well. The idea that Reese would pass out from a graze is pretty stupid, especially for a man like Reese who was shot pretty badly back in "Number Crunch" and still managed to survive. Furthermore, Vargas is a total fool for thinking that Reese was killed without any bullet hole in his skull. Lastly, the burning of the car sucked. Any smart person would put the two bodies in the front seats to avoid any suspicion from cops. If the bodies are in the trunk, that immediately puts the cops onto them.
The climax was poor as well. Finch sets up that Reese can't save both Cahill and Fusco in time. So to solve this... Reese simply just saves Cahill and Fusco anyways. So what the hell was the point of Finch's statement? It was a cheap way to attempt to add tension. I expect stunts like these from downright bad shows and it disappoints me to see something like this from this show.
L.O.S. ended up being the most boring villain on this show. He was introduced towards the end of the episode and accomplished absolutely nothing to make me view him as a threat. But then he was revealed as CIA and I thought that perhaps he would be a major player because of this. But then he's unceremoniously murdered by Snow which makes me wonder what the point was.
The flashbacks didn't do much for me. I didn't learn anything new about Reese from them and they weren't very interesting.
This episode hardly had any Finch in it. That's a problem.
The Unknown: Did Reese and Jessica get back together?
Did L.O.S. just give away to Snow that Carter is helping Reese? What will Snow do about that?
Best Moment: Probably Fusco running into Carter. A nice moment.
Character of the Episode: Fusco. Nobody else was interesting.
Conclusion: This episode was really hard to care about. Add on the bad moments and this episode ends up being one of the worst ones so far. It's a shame to see two weak episodes in a row since the show was just gaining momentum. We need to get back to the Reese/Finch story, Elias, Will and others to help the show get back on track.
Summary: The next POI is a boy named Darren whose brother was murdered by thugs. Darren is seeking revenge and Reese befriends him in an attempt to help him and keep him safe. Reese helps get the thugs arrested and gains Darren's respect. Finch continues to meet with Will who gets closer to uncovering the truth about the Machine. Will meets with one of Ingram's partners Alicia who lies about the nature of the Machine. Finch monitors this conversation. Fusco continues to report to Reese. The Machine determines that Reese is a threat.
The Good: I thought Reese was really enjoyable as a character in this episode. Jim Caviezel has been very limited in his acting thus far and that took away from Reese's character in the early episodes. But now the writing seems to have found a way to work around Reese's dry lines and have finally given him an appropriately fun and charming personality which contrasts with Jim Caviezel's performance nicely. Instead of Reese being a boring badass with a Batman voice, he has become a cool and funny guy that carries a certain light-hearted way about him as he does his job. This new Reese is much more exciting to follow than what we had gotten before.
I liked Finch's scenes in this episode. I liked that Finch was forced to make a new system as it helps put over how threatening Root was in the last episode. The exploration of Finch's paranoia was very good and I liked how he started following Will to ensure that he doesn't uncover anything. The scene with Alicia raises some interesting questions and I'm excited to see if we get more answers by the season's conclusion (see: The Unknown).
The final moments with the Machine declaring Reese as a threat were terrific. I have so many questions about this and I'm really intrigued to see how things play out.
The Bad: The POI story was weak. Darren wasn't an interesting character, and without any involvement with Elias, Root or Snow who we are invested in, the story was impossible to care about. I tried to get into it but there just wasn't enough presented to make me care about what happens to Darren.
This storyline feels like it belongs in the first 5 episodes of the show. This episode did more to make me like and understand Reese than any other episode. It feels like something we should have seen much earlier than we did.
There were a few moments that annoyed me a lot. First was the way that Carter arrested Brick. The scene felt sloppy and I was confused to see that Reese and Carter communicated as friends in front of Brick. What if Brick mentioned this to the police? They are already suspicious of Carter. Furthermore, why wouldn't Brick call for a lawyer immediately if he has already been apprehended? He has been through this before apparently, so surely he should know to get a lawyer immediately. Also, it's hard to imagine Carter being allowed to arrest somebody with such a small amount of evidence.
This show loves the cliché of having the POI run away because they don't trust Reese. It's especially sloppy here because Darren has no reason not to trust Reese at this point. He just runs away because the story demands it.
The Unknown: Who is Alicia? How does she know Finch? She appeared to be unsettled by the idea that Finch was around somewhere. Why? Is she afraid of him? Is there a side to Finch that we haven't seen yet?
What does the Machine mean when it is monitoring Reese? Is it stating that Reese is a threat to the Machine itself, or could it possibly mean he is a threat to Finch? Does Finch have access to this information? Ingram was named as a threat in an earlier episode. I thought it meant Nathan, but it seems more likely that it was his son Will. And Finch immediately sought him out after this, so could he have been aware of that? Does this mean that Finch will view Reese as a threat after this? That could be really interesting.
Best Moment: The scene with Will and Alicia was the best moment. The dialogue was really well written and I was worried for a second that Will may actually uncover something big.
Character of the Episode: Reese.
Conclusion: This episode was a bit of a mixed bag. The POI story was a failure, but the continuation of the overall plot in the background of this episode was strong.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.