You know that feeling after you’ve been crying where you just feel drained and numb and you can still feel the dried tears on your face? That’s sort of what this episode felt like.
It was the darkest episode yet, and I feel like, for the most part, it was the episode we needed. Every character reacted and grieved in their own way. It was true to form that most of their ‘own ways’ incorporated violence.
I found Finch’s grief the most affecting. Root revealed last week that he’d lost partners before, but something tells me it wasn’t always like this. He walked around in a daze for a good part of the episode. He went through the motions, but with a look of utter shock and horror on his face. I cried when he picked up the phone to get Simmons’ number. He looked so empty, like he was wondering if it was even worth it anymore. And all of this was communicated without a word of dialogue. Michael Emerson, ladies and gentlemen.
Kevin Chapman’s performance also blew me away. I do not understand why they don’t give him more to do. Fusco is, all too often, comic relief. This man is an extraordinarily gifted actor, as this episode and last week’s episode definitively prove. Why is he consistently sidelined? Fusco’s speech about Carter to Simmons left me sobbing. Like Finch, Fusco knew Carter wouldn’t want Simmons taken out in a blaze of vengeful glory. Since I started reviewing the show, I’ve talked about Carter’s role as the moral compass of the group. It looks like it’s a job she’ll keep doing, even after death. I love that. It makes such a nice coda for her arc.
Reese was the most predictable of the bunch. As a follower on Twitter said last week, Reese went full on Dark Willow on Simmons. This wasn’t our Reese. This wasn’t pre-Finch Reese. This wasn’t even CIA Reese. This was new. This was terrifying. I’m curious to see where they take Reese now. He obviously won’t be back to the Man in the Suit we’ve come to know and love.
It’s interesting to compare Reese’s reaction to Carter’s death to his reaction to Jessica’s death. I think it’s fair to say that he blames himself for the deaths of both women, but Jessica’s death seemed to haunt him whereas Carter’s death possessed him. In season one, it was revealed that Reese had hauled off Jessica’s killer husband to a Mexican prison. He didn’t kill him, but I truly believe he would’ve killed Simmons if Finch hadn’t stopped him. Why the difference? I’m not comfortable saying he cared about Carter more than Jessica. Maybe it was just one bridge too far? Did Simmons being a cop have something to do with it? Was it because Reese didn’t think Peter would kill again and he knew Simmons would? Am I examining this too closely? Are you tired of me asking questions now?
The flashback scenes were the best flashbacks Person of Interest has ever done and that’s a damn high bar. I loved that we never saw the other person in the conversation. It reminded me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Conversations with Dead People.” Everyone is talking to someone different and the conversations aren’t obviously related, but they each reveal something important about a main character. In this case, we learn how each deals with loss. Again, Finch’s scene was the most moving to me. We see him at the worst time of his life. He’s lost Ingram. He’s lost Grace. He’s dealing with a serious injury. A whole bunch of people have died in a terrorist attack and he feels like it’s completely his fault. Very apropos to what’s going on.
Finch blames himself. Fusco puts up a tough exterior to cover the fact that he’s deeply affected. Shaw initially tries to hide the fact that she isn’t affected, but comes to realize that her lack of emotion allows her to get things done that might not otherwise be possible. Finally, Reese walks a line between Fusco and Shaw. He shuts down the emotional part of himself in order to get done what needs to be done. All of these flashback reactions are mirrored in the current time line, but not in a hit-you-over-the-head-type way. Very neat.
The episode was perfect, right up until the end. My heart sunk when I saw Elias in that hospital room. I’m expecting some disagreement here, but, personally, I hated that Elias killed Simmons. It did finally wrap up the storyline that wouldn’t die and it managed to do so without making one of our own a cold blooded murderer, but it felt too neat. More importantly, it nullified Fusco’s heroism and sacrifice in bringing Simmons in like Carter would’ve wanted. I’m truly disappointed with this ending.
Bits and Pieces:
The song that played in the beginning is Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” performed by Johnny Cash. Perfect song choice. Perfect sequence.
Taraji P. Henson’s name is gone from the credits, which made me as sad as anything.
Fusco referred to Reese as “tall, dark, and deranged.”
Did Root with two guns remind anyone else of a certain rogue demon hunter?
Fusco and Simmons’ fight was way too bloody for me.
Finch: “Does survivor’s guilt pass when everything that has happened actually is, in fact, your fault?”
Fusco: “You mean both your stray dogs are off the leash?”
Fusco: “You know, if you’d told me about the carpooling arrangements, I would’ve driven separately.”
Fusco: “You sure the big guy’s here?”
Shaw: “Pretty sure.”
Shaw: “Okay, that was kinda hot.”
No comment. Okay, brief comment: I’ve decided to call the Shaw/Root pairing “Shoot.” Carry on.
Fusco: “Carter saved my life. She saved me from myself, because she believed in me.”
I would’ve given it a four, but I have to take off some for the end
three and a half out of four way too graphic fist fights
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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