Person of Interest: Most Likely To

“The government has a secret surveillance system that spies on us every hour of every day.”

Now this was a four star episode. Wow. It started off silly (arguably too silly) but evolved into a jaw dropping episode. Literally. My jaw dropped.

The stuff at the reunion was a bit of fun, the kind Person of Interest hasn’t indulged in for quite a while. It required a bit of suspension of belief, but once you got over the idea that no one would question Reese and Shaw as Frank and Betty it was quite enjoyable. It was especially fun watching Reese get slapped. It reminded me of that running joke from Pirates of the Caribbean: “I don’t think I deserved that.” Shaw’s connection with Matthew (aka Nestor Carbonell aka Guyliner from Lost) was interesting, if a bit random. People with excellent bone structure will always find things to talk about, I suppose.

Plus, after what seems like a thousand years, we finally get a perpetrator. Not just a perpetrator, but a perpetrator who at first appears to be a victim, turning PoI’s usual pattern on its head. The story of Clare, Matthew, and Doug wasn’t wildly fascinating but it was well above the norm for Person of Interest.

But onto the main event. I spent the last few minutes of the episode in a state of shock. It was obvious that Person of Interest was building up to something like this but I thought it would take them at least until the end of the season if not into the next season. There are four episodes left. What in the world is going to happen? I’m unsure and I find that sensation dramatically unsettling.

The scene between Collier and Finch was electric. I forgot to breathe for a bit. I’m not even sure what made it so amazing. Part of it, surely, was Collier’s word for word recital of the series’ saga sell. Remarkable performance by Leslie Odom, Jr. It gave me chills. Every time Finch has been in real danger, I catch myself worrying about him despite the fact I know the main character of the show won’t be dying in the middle of the season (although since Carter, I’m a little less secure in that belief). Well done, Mr. Emerson, well done.

Now the existence of the Machine is out (definitely did not see that coming). The scenes of the reporting reminded me strongly of when the news of Prism broke over the summer, particularly Senator Garrison’s less than convincing denial. I’m sure that was an intentional choice.

What did Control shredding Collier’s file mean? How long has she had it? Did she know that he was a threat earlier? If so, why didn’t she take any action? It seems like a crazy idea, but could she be working with Vigilance? Or she might’ve just majorly dropped the ball. I’m thinking of a certain memo entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.”

And how exactly did Control shut the Machine down? It moved itself, it taught itself to remember (or rather, un-taught itself to forget), shouldn’t it be able to keep itself on regardless of what the US government wants? It looks like it will remain at least partially operational; the last shots of the episode show the words “Primary Operations Compromised” before rerouting a fuckton (the technical term) of information to Root. So will she be responsible for the all the relevant numbers now? Will “Secondary Operations” (aka Finch, Reese, and Shaw) be affected?

Bits and Pieces:

The death of the episode’s first person of interest, Leona Wainwright, truly shocked me. Leona’s death marks the second time Team Machine has completely failed a number. Both times, they’ve been foiled by Vigilance.

Am I alone in finding Control not that scary?

I laughed out loud at Reese and Shaw’s identical packing techniques.

During the shoot out in the chem lab, Shaw was barefoot (presumably she kicked off her heels at some point). That’s a lot of broken glass to dance around.


Fusco: “Got the car all packed. AC/DC or Dixie Chicks?”
Finch: “I believe I’m the one being punished.”

Toke: “Matthew was her man, but Doug was her Duckie.”

Shaw: “Got the scoop on why all these women are so fond of you, Frank. You gave the brunette a promise ring, then slept with her best friend, the redhead, before having a fling with the blonde.”
Reese: “Well that’s not too bad.”
Shaw: “Whose mother you seduced.”
Reese: “Oh.”

Matthew: “How do you handle stress?”
Shaw: “Every once in a while, I shoot someone.”

Toke: “Dudes, you’re both like scary ninjas!”
I really liked this guy.

Matthew: “I’m not a killer.”
Shaw: “Lucky for you, I am.”

Shaw: “I’ve killed lots of people but my friends keep telling me it’s wrong.”

Fusco: “That is one scary chick.”

four out of four gun filled suitcases
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


Mark Greig said...

I way I saw it the Machine itself wasn't shut down, but the programme it was built for was. To put it another way, the government is no longer taking the Machine's calls.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see Matthew callout Shaw on not being old enough to be "class of 1994". Their inappropriate ages were really bugging me when they first arrived at the reunion. Obviously Reese is too old, but I guess I could believe that it wouldn't register with people as quickly as a person being underage.

Ren said...

This episode was equal parts hilarious and awesome. The *only* thing that bugged me was Shaw's ultra cheese-tastic "A night to remember just turned into a night for revenge". GROAN.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see Matthew callout Shaw on not being old enough to be "class of 1994". Their inappropriate ages were really bugging me when they first arrived at the reunion.
Class of '94 grads would actually be around 38-39, which is just barely closer to Shaw's age (Shahi is 34, but her character seems 35) than Reese (Caviezel is 45).

They probably should have used a 30 year reunion, but I was having so much fun with the episode that I didn't mind.

Billie Doux said...

I loved it, too. Best episode in awhile, and it was nice to have another mini-Lost reunion. Even though the whole thing was terrific, my favorite scene was Shaw and Reese unpacking their identical suitcases together.

The age thing bothered me too, but as others have already said, I enjoyed it too much to mind.

sunbunny said...

Ren - The *only* thing that bugged me was Shaw's ultra cheese-tastic "A night to remember just turned into a night for revenge" Ughhh yes that was horrible. That was like CSI: Miami cheesy.

Freeman said...

This was a fun episode. I always love episodes with Shaw and Reese being awesome operatives. I also laughed at how their packing methods are practically identical. It's also amusing seeing Shaw and to a lesser degree Reese in a sorta fish out of water scenario.

I agree that Command (or was it Control) isn't that scary. She's kinda too disapproving mom more than anything. Not to mention she totally got defanged by Root and the Machine in that earlier episode. I suspect the implication that she's let Vigilance run wild is because she wants the Machine gone so she doesn't need to follow through on whatever she promised it back then.

My biggest beef with the episode was Collier somehow eluding the FBI even though they were like 10 feet behind him. Not to mention he somehow managed to not get shot by crackshot Root when he ran. I'm still kinda confused why she didn't bother to chase him and decided to basically just say hi to Harold and Fusco. That's the second time she's let an easy mark get away "just because."

sunbunny said...

Freeman - You're absolutely right. "Command" is from Scandal. I've corrected the error. :)

Josie Kafka said...

I feel bad: I didn't love this episode as much as y'all did.

I loved the individual parts, like Reese getting slapped, and the Richard Alpert/Shaw sparks. (And--wow!--how gorgeous did Shaw look with her hair loose around her face?) The more serious parts I also loved, like the Collier/Finch face-off scene.

But I didn't love those two types of scenes--the funny and the serious--mixed so heavily in one episode. It was tonal whiplash for me.

M said...

I'm really surprised that they had the existence of the Machine go public at the same time that Samaritan was going online. And that the Machine is shifting Root to the relevant list.

I hope the combination of threats leads to an ep or two where the Machine and Harold work directly together. I really enjoyed the one episode showing Harold training/raising the Machine, and would like to see them tackle the current crisis together.

ChrisB said...

This really was a fun episode. Yes, the ages were a bit off, but it didn't bother me as much as it seemed to some of you.

I am really enjoying the Reese/Shaw partnership. Everything they did, from the coin toss to the unpacking, made me smile. Their individual snarks mesh perfectly as well.