Person of Interest: All In

“Sometimes your luck just runs out.”

I watched the promo for this week’s episode three times and, in the week leading up to this ep, I still kept forgetting what it was supposed to be about. That’s not a great sign. There was nothing wrong with this episode, but I did not love it. I wanted to, I really did. It certainly had a recipe for awesome: Atlantic City, Leon, Bear? And yet, much of it fell flat.

Apologies for the lateness of this review. Blame the Doux Reviews Twitterati who bullied me into watching Veronica Mars. Man, that show’s addicting.

I typically love Vegas-y episodes of anything, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Sorry, PoI, better luck next time. Don’t get me wrong, it had its moments, but the writing seemed uneven. Perhaps it was the splitting up of our cast. Carter and Fusco were off in their own little world this week and Finch and Reese spent the majority of the episode apart. Despite their being in constant contact (via the miraculously invisible ear pieces made famous by Alias) something is lost when they are apart.

I was again confused by the HR side business. Am I just being blonde here? Was the blackmail of Yogorov related to Elias or was it just like Quinn said: HR needed money and the Elias connection was just a coincidence? Szymanski (the officer framed in this episode) was the cop shot during Elias’s abduction of Moretti in season one. In addition, Szymanski and Carter were the ones to arrest Peter Yogorov in “Witness,” the episode Elias pretends to be the innocent English teacher. It’s not just me, right? This is confusing? Also, could we have named Szymanski something less spellable? Geez. What’s wrong with Smith? Thanks, writers.

Adding to this confusion is Beecher’s involvement. If we’d seen him on screen with Quinn it might have been clearer, but all we get is one line from him to Carter about how he had a source saying Szymanski was dirty. I really think Beecher doesn’t know he’s being played. He seems like a stand-up guy. Speaking of stand-up guys, Fusco inadvertently gives Carter some help in tracking down HR, which he is still mixed up with. I’m getting so sick of this story. It’s gotten all tangled up and not in a fun way. I hope we end this mess soon and get back to the things I really care about: the Machine, Reese, Finch, and Bear.

Done with the bad, onto the good. Leon is back and bringing the guffaws with him. After his first scene, I was afraid we wouldn’t see him again (PoI does love to tease us that way), but he fortunately popped up later, still pining over a pink-haired hooker. Poor Leon.

I also really liked Makris’s money laundering scheme. It is pretty darn brilliant in its simplicity. I do worry, though, that’s it’s not environmentally responsible. Did you see the trash can full of pill bottles? If you’re not going to reuse those, at least recycle them. Just because you’re a crime boss doesn’t mean you don’t leave a carbon footprint.

You know, I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but gambling someone else’s money away doesn’t seem like a horrible job. Might be fun for a few weeks. Please contact me if you are a casino owning criminal in need of someone to launder your money. I’ll be needing a complimentary suite and a steep discount at the bar. I’m willing to drive to Vegas, but if you want me in AC, I’ll be needing a plane ticket as well. I await your call.

Finch continues to spend money like it’s going out of style (I hate that phrase but I’m using it anyway). This week, he loses three million at the casino (he gives one million to Leon to create a distraction, which I’m assuming is lost, and he gives two million to Lou whose winnings are seized as evidence) and he gives away the two million dollar watch he broke in “One Percent.” I think it would make for a cute episode if Finch had to do what he does without his money. He can’t get to it for some reason, so there’s no sending people off on free vacations, buying businesses for the deserving, or multi-million dollar distractions.

Bits & Pieces:

Finch is Harold Quail this week. I should put together a list of all his avian aliases. I wonder if, back in his spy days, all of Reese’s aliases were candy-themed. John Hershey. John Snickers. John Twix. John Pop Rocks. Probably not.

While I found funny the implied violence of the shot of Reese standing around bloodied men, it did make me wonder about a comment Billie made a few weeks ago. I wonder if the 44 year old Caviezel is having trouble keeping up with all the stunts. He still kicks ass, but he’s had remarkably fewer stunts recently than in the first season. Shades of Angel season five?

Leon gets pedicures. I exhibit no surprise.

Quotes:

(sorry, I know there’s a lot, there was just a lot of quippyness this week)

“Are you the Nigerian scammers? I can’t believe you’re actually Nigerian.”

“Wait, you plan to kill me. Okay that’s a big mistake. You better get out of here while you still can.”
I love the earnestness with which Leon says this. He’s actually trying to warn the people about to kill him. Funny stuff.

“We have to stop meeting like this.”
“But I’m always so happy to see you.”

“I was an international spy, Finch. I know how to play baccarat.”
Is there anything Reese doesn’t know how to do? I want to see the episode where he and Finch attempt to put together something from Ikea or bake an angel food cake or something. It’d be nice to see them stumped for a change.

“Perhaps I should have considered a career in the clandestine arts.”
Finch has such a formal way of phrasing things that makes them inadvertently funny. “Clandestine arts?”

“I need you to tell me the truth about something.”
“There is no Santa; it was your parents.”

“I guess you’re not really with the IRS.”
“Is it that obvious?”

“So this guy’s dealing drugs?”
“That’s putting it mildly. Based on the financial information I’ve seen, he’s laundering profits on the order of eight figures.”
“Wow, I’m jealous...angry. Angry. He must be stopped.”

“A million? You trust Leon with that much of your money?”
“Absolutely not, but I’m afraid it’s the cost of doing business.”

“Hey dumbass, I cheated.”

“You gotta save me! That’s your thing!”
I do love Leon, but I also like that he’s used sparingly. He’d get a bit grating if he were a regular cast member.

“You know, for a genius, you’re an idiot.”
Yep. But we love our Finch anyway.

two and a half million dollars in chips
---
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl

6 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

"Is there anything Reese doesn’t know how to do? I want to see the episode where he and Finch attempt to put together something from Ikea..."

I would donate $100 to Kickstart a 2.5 hour movie of just that scenario, from start to bloody wobbly finish.

I'm so glad you're confused by the HR stuff, Sunbunny. I can't follow it myself, which is internal Josie-code for "I don't care enough to bother."

I did love Reese saying he was "always" listening to Finch. It was adorable in a creepy stalkerish way. Can you imagine living your life with someone always listening to everything?

celticmarc said...

You were inspired Sunbunny, lots of smiling on my part.

The HR subplot is indeed weird; yes, the machine's Mythology would be more appreciated.

"Go fish !"

sunbunny said...

Josie - SO glad it's not just me annoyed with all the HR shit. It might be interesting if it were a) moving faster and more coherently and b) if it were on a different, more boring police procedural. There are SO many interesting elements of this world, we're going to focus on the least interesting thing possible? I want to explore the mythology of the Machine, Finch and Reese's backstories or follow Shaw. Fusco's predicament just puts me to sleep.

celticmarc - Always happy to make another person smile. :D

Nick said...

I don't really find the HR subplot particularly confusing, but like you all I do think it's not been done very well. First they reduced its significance by having them almost wiped out at the end of season 1 - no problem there. But then they bring them back, try to build a story around them with just a few scenes peppered around some episodes - not good. I think they could make it work if they just had one big episode all about HR, and ended it once and for all. Then we can get onto the Machine subplot we're all waiting for :)

You're right though, this was a super quippy episode. In fact they're what made it okay - the story, like you said, seemed uneven, but there were great moments. I particularly liked Leon's opening scene with the real Nigerian scammers and him knowing Reese would swoop in to save him. I hope they bring back the other characters that they've hinted might come back - that kid from 2πR , the other billionaire (looks like I might need a refresh on their names, haha)

Oh, and I suspect your idea of having Finch be money-less will definitely turn into an episode some time - it's too good an idea to pass up. Great review!

Freeman said...

I actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit, though I also seem to be the only person enjoying the HR subplot. If anything the episode served to add that little extra sadness to Finch's pining for his love. I'm fairly certain that "Always." line from Reese was a callback to an older episode where Finch said the same thing to him in a similar situation.

Also, gotta pour one out for my favorite tertiary character, Szymanski. Seriously, there's always that one character in a show who's not particularly important, but I like anyways. They often die. Sorry Szymanski.

ChrisB said...

I await your call. Me, too! I spent a lot of this episode thinking that there are a lot worse ways to make a living. Sure, working for drug dealers would be a drag, but I could live in a denial for several weeks.

I thought the final two scenes of this show were so sad. Finch and Reese acknowledging, in their own way, their loneliness actually brought a tear to my eye. And, the final scene with Szymanski. I liked him and I was bummed to see Tierney involved with HR. Carter has had enough betrayal; I have a feeling that this one is going to really sting.