“Who run the world?” Carter, Shaw, and Root, apparently. For a show that started out being about two men, Person of Interest has taken a fun and wildly welcome turn. As this season rolls on, I’m inclined to tell Finch, Reese, and Fusco to take a break. The girls got this. (Long review, everyone, sorry.)
In general, I’m not a big fan of the our main character(s) have to take care of a child and through doing so, learn how to love/care/what’s really important. They can be very moving when done correctly, but are all too often over adorablized. Person of Interest has already used this formula twice: “Wolf and Cub” and “Baby Blue,” both of which fortunately prioritized drama over cheese and character development over sugar. Did “Razgovor” follow the pattern? Yes and no, but mostly yes.
This week’s person of interest story is the second strongest we’ve seen so far this season (the first being last week’s, of course). It was not as clichéd or saccharine as it might’ve been, but it did push the envelope for me a little. Gen just seemed too obviously custom designed to appeal to Shaw. An orphaned ten year old who dabbles in surveilling the criminals of her building? It just didn’t seem believable to me.
Sarah Shahi was amazing in her scenes with little Gen though. She managed to hit the perfect spot on the emotional spectrum. By the end of the episode, she was truly invested in Gen’s survival without being all mushy about it. She didn’t magically cure herself, but she did become less and less awkward with Gen and even willingly gave her a less than comfortable looking hug.
One more caveat on the weekly story. While the dovetailing of Carter’s HR investigation and Reese and Shaw’s attempt to save Gen was fun, it just seemed too neat to me. Now that I’m done complaining, we can move onto the gushing about the crazy good parts of this show (which, honestly, was most of it).
Shaw’s flashbacks were great. As is common for PoI flashbacks, we learned remarkably little about her. Her original name was Sameen, her father was in the army, they watched football together, and they moved around a lot until he died in a car accident. What makes PoI flashbacks so good is not what they explain but how well they’re written and acted. Although little Sameen was good, the star of those flashbacks, for me at least, was the rescue worker who pulled her out of the wreckage. I don’t know how Person of Interest routinely finds such amazing actors for such thankless parts, but thank God they do. He was so determined to rescue Sameen, and so, so sad for her when he had to tell her her father was dead. Then almost immediately, that sympathy switched to apprehension and even fear. It really was remarkable.
I like that the show didn’t take the easy way out and make Shaw’s father’s death the reason for her personality disorder. That would’ve been just so...Disney. Instead, it was the event that pointed out to her and others that she was different, which makes sense. I’m completely certain the two psychology classes I took in college give me absolutely zero insight into Shaw and her personality disorder. Last season, she said it was classified as an Axis II disorder. I looked them up and the one that seems to apply best to Shaw is Antisocial Personality Disorder, but it still doesn’t seem quite right. Anyone want to weigh in on the issue in the comments? (Please?)
This week, Shaw repaired her injured shoulder with duct tape and literally stole blood right out of a bad guy’s veins and yet was only the second most badass woman of the episode. Ladies and gentlemen, Jocelyn Carter. I think I’ve watched that bar scene five times now. It was just awesome, in its original awe-invoking definition. When Carter shoots, she doesn’t go for the kneecap. She freaking killed that guy. She KILLED him. With this and Reese’s actions last week, Team Machine is definitely headed in a darker direction. I like it, but I can’t help wondering how the Machine feels about it.
I’m so glad Reese didn’t swoop in to ‘rescue’ Carter from Laskey. Carter doesn’t need rescuing, clearly. I loved her confrontation with her junior partner. She wasn’t afraid; she didn’t blink. Laskey, on the other hand, was scared shitless. And her framing of him was inspired! When she took his gun earlier in the episode, I honestly didn’t think anything of it. I just thought she was giving him a hard time because she didn’t like him.
As for the last scene, I have nothing to say but this: I cannot wait for next Tuesday.
Bits and Pieces:
I have to confess, the first time through the episode I wasn’t loving it. Until the end, of course. It’s impossible not to love that ending. This review is so late, actually, because I desperately didn’t want to rewatch it. I hate when Person of Interest lets me down. Much to my surprise, this episode wasn’t a let down. So, in future, maybe I should avoid watching heart-wrenching Supernatural episodes immediately before this show. It was hard to see and hear through the sobbing.
Anyone have any ideas on the meaning of the title? The only thing I could find is that Razgov is a village in Azerbaijan... EDIT: One commenter has informed me that “Razgovor” is Russian for conversation.
Gen’s been in the US for four years, yet has absolutely no accent? I can buy the perfect English (young children do learn languages much easier than adults), but NO accent? Really?
No Fusco at all this week, but, from next week previews, he’ll be back next episode.
Carter: “John, one of these days, I’m just going to shoot you.”
Reese: “I get that a lot.”
Reese: “You’re not going to believe this, Finch. Shaw just got made by a ten year old.”
Shaw: “What kind of a weird ass kid uses counter-surveillance tactics?”
Shaw: “To be honest, I’m only in it for the dog.”
The truth comes out.
Reese: “Bear found blood, Shaw. A lot of it. He seems to think it’s yours.”
And how did Bear the DOG communicate that he believes the blood belongs to Shaw? Did he bark it out in morse code or was it a Lassie-type situation?
Laskey: “Do you have any idea what it’s like?”
Carter: “What what’s like?”
Laskey: “Riding around all day with an arrogant bitch who doesn’t know her place.”
He is going DOWN.
Carter: “I spent enough time with you to know you’re afraid of me.”
Carter: “You don’t work for HR anymore, son. You work for me.”
Shaw: “Not every kid gets to become the ward of a reclusive billionaire.”
Am I wrong in thinking they might be setting her up to join Team Machine in a few seasons? I hear the word “ward,” I think Robin.
Shaw: “Am I fired?”
Finch: “On the contrary, Ms. Shaw. I think you finally got the job.”
Great play on the dual meanings of the word ‘got.’ It might’ve been Finch saying that Shaw has finally been officially hired by Team Machine, or it might have been Finch saying Shaw finally understands the ethos of Team Machine. (I think it’s the latter, myself.)
Finch: “Now about that bug in my library.”
Shaw: “Haven’t found it yet, have you?”
Is it in Bear’s collar? She did buy him a new one which seemed odd at the time. Although putting it there might introduce more background noise than would be ideal.
three and a half out of four badass alpha females
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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