“I guess it’s like you said. They never stop coming.”
You’re a show of middling popularity on a network known for being entertaining but predictable. So what do you do for February sweeps? Throw your audience a crazy curveball that shifts the entire premise of your show, of course.
During this episode, I kept flashing back to “Epitaph One,” an unaired episode of Dollhouse that pulled the curtain back and changed the way the audience (or at least this audience member) watched the show. “Relevance” definitely did that for me. Thus far, Person of Interest’s perspective has been relatively claustrophobic. We focused on Reese and Finch and their work with the Machine. It looks like we’re branching out.
Shaw and Cole are the official, government-sanctioned Reese and Finch. They are the ones who continually save the world from official terrorist actions. They take care of the threats the Machine was designed to detect. They’ve been told their information comes from Guantanamo Bay. But, there’s a problem. Cole’s beginning to suspect that the duo’s somehow always infallible information comes from a different source. Enter Pennsylvania Two. As we’ve seen, PT isn’t the kind of man to let anyone so much as suspect the existence of the Machine. So we must say goodbye to Cole and Shaw. Or Cole, at least.
The plot wasn’t that creative. Someone involved with the Machine is feared to know too much, is targeted for destruction, and saved by Reese and Finch? “No Good Deed” already went there. This episode was unique in its approach. Person of Interest has a formula and there’s no use denying that. This episode ripped us out of the usual pattern and tossed us into uncharted terrain. This episode was bold. Directed by EP Jonathan Nolan, it pushed pretty much every limit the show had. The show didn’t jump the shark, it blew the shark up à la Jaws. It really takes some guts to do an episode this confusing largely without your regular cast. I am seriously impressed. This was a big risk.
At first it was jarring not seeing Finch and Reese. Reese popped up not long into the episode, but we saw him through Shaw’s perspective. Now we know what it feels like to be one of the numbers. A random man in a suit pops out of nowhere, stares at you, and then disappears. It’s creepy. Carter and Fusco only entered at the very end, to help Finch and Reese fake Shaw’s death.
I’m loving Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi). We need another kickass female spy (RIP Stanton) and she seems like she’s going to be tons of fun. I hope we’ll be seeing her again soon. Speaking of returning characters, I think we set a record this week. We got PT, Leon, and the ever-fabulous Root.
If I had a complaint about this episode, it would be that the episode was too dark, both thematically and visually. PoI usually mixes in some humor with its doom and gloom. There wasn’t very much this episode. I also had some difficulty watching because it was just so dark and my TV is old. Was this just me?
Bits & Pieces:
Interrupting the saga sell was simply inspired. It was like a flashing siren screaming at us, ‘Pay attention! We’re doing something different here!’
I love that nothing was explained and I spent the first ten minutes or so confused out of my mind. This show really treats its audience like adults.
All the strong female characters on this show (Carter, Root, Stanton, Shaw, Zoe) are brunettes. Finch and Reese’s significant others are redheaded and blonde, respectively. Just a thought.
Root’s comment about “a sad taxi driver” was a reference to Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver who was held and ‘interrogated’ at Bagram Air Base, where he subsequently died.
“Always trying to be the hero, huh?”
“Ever have a staring contest with a fish? No eyelids. Kind of pointless.”
“Figured I was better at killing people than fixing them.”
She’s like a less broody Reese! Love her.
“I have what’s called an Axis II personality disorder.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means when I kill you and your friends, I’m not really going to feel anything.”
“You weigh what? 100 pounds?”
“9 mm round weighs about a quarter of an ounce. It gets the job done.”
“But your gun’s a .45, little girl.”
“I was talking about my backup piece.”
I can’t wait to see her and Reese get to know each other. They’re gonna get along just fine.
“You should know torture almost never produces good information. Well, almost never.”
“One of the things I left out of my file. I kind of enjoy this sort of thing.”
“I’m so glad you said that. I do, too.”
For some reason, this exchange really reminded me of Faith torturing Wesley in Angel. No idea why.
“Can you do me a favor? Can you not shoot me this time?”
“Give me a good reason.”
“I don’t know. I’m a really nice person.”
“The world looks like it did ten years ago, but, underneath, it’s become very strange, indeed.”
“I so don’t get paid enough for this crap!”
“We don’t pay you anything, Leon.”
four out of four syringes for sheer nerve