“I suppose if the city’s going to have organized criminals, they should at least be diverse.”
Person of Interest returns to the world of organized crime with a bang. And what would be a PoI mob episode without everyone’s favorite big boss?
Yes, Elias is back. The writers of PoI certainly give the audience credit for remembering its recurring characters. We haven’t seen Elias in almost seven months, yet there was no awkward exposition. ‘Elias? You mean that mafia boss who tried to take over all organized crime in New York and who we put in prison after he had Carter’s son kidnapped?’ Unfortunately for me, I happened to catch Enrico Colantoni’s name on the credits and spent the first half of the episode eagerly awaiting his appearance. I hate when that happens, don’t you?
It was Finch who went face to face with Elias in prison. That really surprised me. I thought for sure he’d send Reese or Carter. Finch and Elias have a really interesting dynamic. Both are controllers. Elias controls half the city’s crime and Finch controls Reese (more or less...). The scene between the two was very good. I almost found Elias threatening. The lighting was major league creepy and his smile at the end was delightfully disturbing. It seems that Elias agreed to help Finch for a game of chess. I like it. Very intriguing. Was he trying to figure Finch out? Looking for weaknesses in the Finch/Reese system? Hopefully we won’t have to wait seven months for Elias to reappear.
Enough about Elias, let’s get to this episode’s story of the week: a mobster in love. It was good, very PoI. There were times it veered from classic tragedy/romance into hackneyed tragedy/romance, but the acting was decent enough for me to forgive them. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but the best episodes of this show feature victims (or baddies) with more than a little grey in their lives. Riley is not an innocent man; he’s a killer, but his love for Annie is innocent, good, and worth protecting. At least for Reese, Finch had some doubts.
Finch is still suffering from his ordeal with Root. It looks like one late night stroll with Reese and Bear doesn’t fix everything instantly. Finch’s gradual healing is so far, so perfect. It’s believable without getting old. For me, the magical overnight healing of psychological wounds is just as annoying as letting the healing drag on and on and on.
Now that I’ve gushed enough over the awesomeness in this episode, I have to address the anti-awesome. Something was off in the beginning of the episode. It was driving me crazy trying to figure out why I was bored and distracted. Finally, it hit me: 42 minutes. That’s how long we had to wait before Reese had any contact with Riley or Annie (unless you count Riley shooting Reese). Reese spent the majority of the episode as some weird combination of stalker, guardian angel, and sniper.
The show’s best when we see Reese interacting with his weekly persons of interest. They ask Reese “Who are you?”, he comes up with a snappy but evasive reply, he fights for them, he connects with them. That’s the show’s formula and that’s, typically, why it works. This week, Reese was just too above everything. He was basically Finch, and we already have a Finch. This episode was missing a Reese, or at least it was for 42 minutes.
Bits and Pieces:
Massey’s teeth were so, so bad. Doesn’t the mob have dental?
Fusco called Reese “Mr. Tall, Dark, and Fearsome.” I love it. New code name?
Lots of examples of this show’s typical comedy. Snappy two-liners, courtesy of Finch and Reese.
Bear didn’t have much to do this week but smile for his close-ups. I find this a gross injustice. His agent should really demand more screen time.
“What do you suggest?”
“Mr. Reese, I may have found something.”
“That’s good, Finch, because I may have lost something.”
“He shot you, John.”
“It wasn’t personal.”
“He’s a killer. He’s just bad code.”
Root may have kidnapped and traumatized Finch, but at least she gave him a fun new catchphrase?
“Don’t tell me you’re with him.”
“Okay, I won’t, but I still need your help.”
“You got a detective in your pocket?”
“More like on my back.”
Aww. I’m going to assume Reese meant ‘on my back,’ like backing me up and not like consistently pestering me.
two and a half out of four chess pieces