Person of Interest: Nothing to Hide

“You can’t fight the technology.”

Fifty minutes in, I was ready to write this one off as a total snooze. I was wrong. I think. I’m actually a little conflicted.

On the one hand, the majority of the episode was season one dull. On the other hand, the last few minutes were pleasingly shocking and set up (yet another) recurring baddy for the season. You know I’m a sucker for expanding the show’s mythology. Still, I’m beginning to worry we’ve set up too many recurring characters that haven’t recurred very much. I’m all for growing the PoI-verse, but maybe we should see some favorite characters come back before we add any more?

“Collier” (our latest addition to the ‘oh, I hope we see him again’ club) is a part of a group that targets those they feel have abused the public’s privacy through shady technological means. Mark mentioned on Twitter that he thinks the Machine is giving the group their information. I’m of the opinion that the group is independent of the Machine and will eventually find out about it and target it. What do you think?

The stuff between Carter and her rookie partner provided a refreshing break from the main story. Part of this was ruined for me by the overly sweet ending. I really hope the PoI PTBs do something more interesting with Laskey. Maybe he’s an ally of one of our villains. Maybe the Machine sent him to Carter. Maybe Root did. Maybe he’s HR. He’s entirely too earnest to not be secretly evil. Carter also finally met Alonzo Quinn, head of HR/Cal’s godfather/man who had him killed. I’m still not crazy about the HR story line. It feels too spread out and even somewhat unfocused. Maybe it’ll be better this season. Fingers crossed.

I said it last week, I’ll say it again: the way Shaw has been added in feels so natural; it’s almost like she’s been there all along. I’ll also note again that Shaw is not a high-heeled, red-lipsticked vixen with a gun. She is violent, abrasive, and thoroughly unglamorous, which I love. Having her be a glamazon does not seem right for the character. Oh, and can we please have her eating in every episode? I love watching her eat. Almost as much as I love watching Helena eat.

In any given episode of Person of Interest, the weakest point is generally the main story. Saying the show’s weekly person of interest stories are predictable is a bit of an understatement. This episode’s was one of the worst, discounting the game changing last few moments. It was so formulaic, it almost felt like a self-satire. Or perhaps I’m reading too much into things.

Is this the first time they’ve out and out failed? I know Dr. Nelson died in “In Extremis” but they did help him avenge himself upon his murderer before he died. Here, all they did for Kruger was keep him alive a few more hours. I’m actually a fan of this change. Here’s hoping that we go darker this season. I’m also hoping (however futilely) that the writers feel a bit freer to occasionally break away from their routine as in last season’s “Relevance.” Still, while most of the viewing audience would rejoice at the show taking a darker, more daring turn, it must be remembered that the show is on CBS, a network not known for risk-taking. For better or worse, once CBS finds a formula, they tend to stick with it.

Bits and Pieces:

For the second week in a row, the issue with the Machine being on the loose is not explored. Maybe next week? Pretty please?

No Root this week, but we got lots of Bear.

Alias reference: Kruger’s office was on the 47th floor.

When Shaw questioned the wisdom of saving Kruger, Finch derided her. In “’Til Death,” Finch suggested letting their persons of interest take each other out.

Apparently, cars are now hackable. Another good reason to drive a ’67 Impala.

It was ever so convenient that the bullet Reese caught a) went into his vest and b) was able to disable him just long enough for Kruger to take a bullet to the head.

From my notes: “Don’t you dare hit Finch. You deserve to die.” “Recurring baddy? Recurring baddy.”


Reese: “Want to go to a party?”
Shaw: “Only if you wear something pretty.”

Reese: “You doubt her ability to be discreet?”
Finch: “I doubt her ability to keep from shooting someone.”

Shaw: “You can’t expect me to shoot someone on an empty stomach.”

Kruger: “Anything to eat?”
Finch: “Just sencha green tea and a box of doggie treats.”
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate that Finch said ‘doggie.’

Finch: “This could be just the beginning.”

two and a half out of four doggie treats
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


Billie Doux said...

Spot on review, sunbunny. It felt like a season one episode (not that that's all that bad) but the twist ending with their failure and the introduction of a major baddie was a surprise. I kept feeling throughout the episode that the Machine was behind it, but why would it play two teams against each other? It would make more sense, if the Machine were behind it, for it (or her) to keep Team Finch away completely, wouldn't it?

I am loving Shaw to bits. She is perfect for this show. And I'm looking forward to episodes with lots of Shaw *and* lots of Root.

It was nice for Carter to have a subplot of her own, but you said exactly what I was thinking -- He’s entirely too earnest to not be secretly evil.

garyb said...

If I'd been rebooted every day, forced to wait for humans to reload my critical information (from paper) I might suffer from:

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder (MPD)

Which is to say, maybe the machine is unknowingly working against itself.

Nick said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one feeling that the season's been off to a slow start. I mean, I understand they want to keep it easy for folks to jump right in every week, but there comes a point where they have to abandon their procedural formula and dive in to the show's mythology a bit more. It was so rich by the end of season one - HR, the CIA, Elias, the Machine, Root, etc. HR has become a very oddly dispersed storyline - neither huge enough to be that major a threat, yet not finished for some reason. The team *knows* HR isn't dead - why haven't they pursued them?

The CIA subplot was seemingly wrapped up last season too with Stanton and Snow. And that one was a great lead-in to the final episodes, what with the virus and Decima and all that. Bit disappointed that Decima seems to have disappeared... or maybe they're behind this new organisation too?

The Elias story has likewise weakened. It's like they're not sure what to do with him, other than to keep him around as a convenient source of info for the characters. Here's to hoping PoI manages to put a little more substance into these subplots - maybe try to converge them a little?

But yeah, I have a sneaking feeling that Laskey is a plant by Quinn - he did show up right after Carter met him at Beecher's grave after all. We'll see.

I think everybody is loving Shaw though. If there's one thing that's been better so far this season, it's Shaw. Now if only they'd bring back other recurring characters, because some of them were great! There's Zoe of course. There's also the genius school kid Finch met last season, and the billionaire guy (if I can't remember their names any more, they've probably been gone too long). It's such a waste introducing great characters and then only giving them one episode's worth of development.

Still, it's early days yet for Season 3 so fingers crossed :) great review as always!

Vero said...

I'm with Nick, Laskey appeared as Carter's new partner right after Quinn met her at the cemetery and he realized that she was still way too suspicious about Beecher's death for his tastes. Laskey must be there to keep tabs on her. When he caught her on the phone at that crime scene after he finished puking, he had a look on his face that gave me chills.

BTW, what was Quinn doing at the cemetery? He had Beecher killed, he musn't have had deep feelings for his godson! Was he just waiting in case Carter showed up? Was he already following her?

Didn't they already have an episode where Reese had to deal with a car that was hacked? It was the feeling I had when watching that scene.

I admit it was a bit hard taking Leslie Odom Jr. seriously as a baddy (Collier) after watching him sing and dance on Smash!

Josie Kafka said...

Vero, in some episode Finch hacked someone's car. There were lots of (accidental?) parallels to Finch and both the POI and the folks trying to make the POI miserable.

I thought this was Season-One dull, too, although the last minute made up for it a bit. I hope that CBS allows the show to grow past its procedural roots.

Garyb, someone pointed out on another site that Root is labeled in the credits (by the Machine) as an 'analog interface.' Perhaps the Machine is going to develop multiple flesh-and-blood avatars to manipulate into doing its various wills. (That was a confusing sentence.)

Freeman said...

I feel like rookie boy could be a red herring. In fact I'd prefer it if he was a red herring. He's very rookie acting one second and then camera resting on him for too ominously long another second. So they could really go either way with him. He could also be an unwitting ally of HR.

Sure Reese was out for a convenient amount of time, but really, getting shot in the back without holding your breath or being ready for it probably would knock out out for a substantial amount of time. Not to mention his rib either broke or cracked. That doesn't sound like a party.

Still a little confused as to how Bear didn't tear off Kruger's whole leg and just managed to rip his pants a bit. Seriously how did Kruger leave the building alive?

And I do love Shaw's uncouth manner. She's like a little adorable pocket rocket of doom.

Billie Doux said...

Freeman, you just reminded me that I loved the little pile of ripped pants bits. You have a point that it should have included leg. :)

Mark Greig said...

No way should Kruger have got out of that room in one piece. There are some things I am willing to suspend disbelief for (like Finch's seemingly unlimited funds) but Bear not being able to take down a smug yuppie is not one of them.

ChrisB said...

There was a lot about this episode that felt forced, but I wasn't bored. I loved the idea they were setting up about too much of a good thing being horribly wrong.

How long before it all turns around on our group?