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 In the present, Carter gets word that Elias has withdrawn $4 million and is planning something.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.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.