Summary: The next POI is a man named Walter. Shaw and Reese investigate and discover him snooping around a case involving a man who committed suicide named Abel. Walter is pretending to be a detective and gets involved in a dangerous situation. Reese learns that Abel was killed and was involved in smuggling in dangerous weapons. Walter has Abel's phone and the men want it because it will reveal the location of some missing weapons. Elias is also linked to the case so Reese inquires more information. Together, they take out the dangerous man who is known as the Armorer. Walter is safe. Elias realizes that the Brotherhood was behind everything so he meets with Dominic. Finch uploads a malware on the computer of Beth Bridges, who Samaritan is interested in.
The Good: This was an interesting episode. This show has been really good at slightly changing up its formula with new methods of storytelling from time to time. Last season, the show frequently introduced multiple storylines which were completely separate before uniting them by the end of the episode. This season has found a new pattern of starting off episodes with an unimportant feeling which will follow with an increase in stakes and importance as the episode goes on. This episode follows that new pattern, and as a result, I liked it.
The episode had a good sense of levity to it as well. There were a number of great lines of dialogue which made me smile, and some of the jokes were great enough to make me laugh. Walter in particular became a fun, quirky character by the end of the episode and I enjoyed seeing his antics throughout the episode. In particular, I thought the superhero joke was really well done, and I laughed at how the show made Shaw and Fusco's entrance so overly epic. The ensuing interactions between Reese/Fusco/Shaw and Walter were very fun, and I really liked things like Walter pointing out Reese's discount Batman voice and wondering why he and Shaw aren't dating.
The plot became really excellent by the end of the episode. I predicted that the Brotherhood would be involved with this plot, but I don't think it took away from the episode. Rather it kept my interest because I wanted to see if I was correct, and that made Dominic's arrival near the end of the episode much more satisfying. I've been critical of the Brotherhood so far, but if any show can make a great story out of something that feels lackluster, it's "Person of Interest". Just look at the outstanding conclusion to the HR story. I'm hoping that the Brotherhood storyline will go somewhere worthwhile, and with this new feud brewing with Elias, I have faith in the writers.
Speaking of Elias, his role in this episode is wonderful. I'm like a broken record by this point, but I'll say it again: Elias' involvement in the episode made me much more interested in the story. The character of Elias is so good because what he will do next is so unpredictable. He is more or less one of the heroes, yet he still has this mysterious darkness surrounding him which makes me believe that he could turn on Reese and Finch in the blink of an eye. His scenes are so interesting as a result. The highlight for me was his scene with Dominic which had some really terrific dialogue.
I liked that Reese actually got shot in this episode. Little things like this can add a lot of drama to the story since it makes Reese feel less invincible.
There were some obvious parallels to "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" with the character of Walter who was a super cool detective in his head. I thought that was a neat little nod.
The Bad: The first 15 minutes or so were ridiculously bland. I suppose that's bound to happen with the new format that season 4 is testing, but I just wasn't entertained in the opening parts of the episode. The pacing was slow, the stakes were non-existent and I was struggling to care. Furthermore, I felt that the episode just didn't click in its first half. The dialogue felt very obtrusive and poor in the first half of the episode, and a lot of the writing felt convenient and dull. Even the acting felt off at times. It's quite odd that the first half of this episode was so poor, especially considering how strong the back half of this episode was.
The Finch and Bridges story wasn't very interesting to me until the end (see: The Unknown). Their early scenes together dragged like crazy and were totally... boring. I understand the writers were trying to build up the story, but surely there was a more interesting way to do this. The only people who could possibly be entertained by Finch's discussions with Bridges are fellow professors and scientists. I couldn't care less about what they were talking about, so I was just drop-dead bored during their scenes, and I'm sure that many others will feel this way. Their scenes should have been written much better.
It's a bit odd to see Reese getting back into shootouts one episode after he had to visit a therapist over this problem. Did the police just choose to let him do his thing anyways? What happened to the threat of him losing his job?
The Unknown: What was that malware that Finch uploaded to Bridges' laptop? Is he preparing for an attack on Samaritan? Or something else? Why is Samaritan interested in Bridges anyways?
What is Elias planning to do? How will it conflict with the Brotherhood's goals? I'm very interested to see where this goes.
Best Moment: Elias and Dominic vaguely threatening each other in a great meeting.
Character of the Episode: Elias.
Conclusion: This episode was a story of two halves. The first half was weak, boring, and badly written. But the second half was intense, epic and funny. In the end this is a middling episode, but still fairly good.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.