Person of Interest: Honor Among Thieves

"We should get a puppy, Shaw. Can we? Can We?"
"I guess there are things I care about here.”

I know this episode was meant to all be about Shaw and sexy thief and their robbing and flirting and avoiding death from vengeful partners and/or governments assassin who were treacherous slaves in a past life, but all I could see was Root and Shaw sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

I know their interactions weren't a huge part of the episode (three scenes at the most), but that isn't going to stop me from devoting a huge chunk of this review to Root and Shaw simply because I love Root and Shaw, together and individually. To me, they are the Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate of Person of Interest. They, and the actresses that play them, are the reason I started watching this show in the first place. If these characters had been played by anyone other than Sarah Shahi (who I loved in Life, one of the many shows that was cancelled too soon) and Amy Acker (if you're a regular visitor to this site you'll know why we all love Amy Acker) I probably never would've decided to give this show another try.

If 'Prophets' was meant to show how far Root has come since we first met her, then 'Honour Among Thieves' was designed to do the same for Shaw. While that episode managed to wrap Root's personal story around an exciting PoI case that linked to the series arc, this episode gave us standard Person of Interest fare that was perhaps too similar to 'Provenance' from last season. Just replace "save the kid" with "stop the virus that is not Ebola getting out" and they are virtually the same episode.

What made this episode for me was the Root/Shaw scenes, brief though they were. Shaw spent the majority of the episode with Tomas, her eyes fixed firmly on his....personality, and Root's jealously could be seen from space. I was howling when she started interrupting Shaw's "date" with Thomas to do nothing more than say "yeah, he's hot, but I'm hotter and I like to do all the naughty things you like. Remember the iron, Shaw? Shaw? Did she hang up on me? She hung up on me. I hope they both get food poisoning". You could just tell this episode was written by David Slack, who has made his desire to see Root and Shaw happily married loud and clear.

One of the things I love so much about this relationship is that it's painfully obvious that they both deeply care about each other, but neither is willing to admit it. Root flirts like crazy, but always stop short of telling Shaw exactly how she really feels about her. As for Shaw, she rolls her eyes whenever Root flirts, but will peddle like a bat out of hell to New Jersey to keep her safe from harm, all the while insisting that she is just doing it for the sake of the mission. For these two this isn't so much a courtship as it is a contest, and one that both sides seem determined to win.

That little knowing smile they shared at the end makes me hope the writers are finally going to move this relationship beyond flirtation. As much I would love that to be true, I can't help remembering what happened the last time two main characters on this show openly declared their feelings for each other (we still miss you, Joss). Samaritan is now on Shaw's trail thanks to Grice blurting out her name. With sweeps just around the corner, it's a given that it will find out her cover identity and send every operative it has after her, probably around episode 10 because that is usually when something big happens. I just pray we don't lose anyone this year.

It was nice to see what the relevant operatives are to up to these days (Control still seems to be, well, in control) and to see a Spartacus actor pop up on a show that isn't Arrow (although Nick Tarabay will guest on Arrow later this season). Judging by the way he questioned their orders, Grice looks to be a Reese in the making. I hope that doesn't get him killed because I kinda liked him and wouldn't object to seeing him again. We need someone to replace Hersh after all.

The b-plot with the tablets was a little undercooked but worth it just to see Root as French Mary Poppins Barbie. I liked that Finch questioned whether or not they really did some good by destroying the tablets. It is unclear what Samaritans' ultimate plan was for them (Brainwashing? Recruiting potential operatives?), but it will likely see their destruction as a minor setback. But for poor Gerald Wilkins this is a devastating blow. He just wanted to do something beneficial for the children of New York state and now his dream has literally gone up in smoke. The war between our heroes and Samaritan has claimed an innocent victim. How many more will it claim before this is all over?

Notes and Quotes

--Although I doubt she would have ever ran off with him (she would never leave Bear), I can see why Shaw was attracted to Tomas. H was a professional and professionalism, along with guns and fast cars, is a big turn on for Shaw.

--Reese was left on the sidelines this week. That seems to be happening a lot lately.

--Fusco and Bear. A pairing we need to see more of.

Root: "I just couldn’t bear it if anyone hurt you. I mean, besides me."

Finch: "Fine, we'll commit your felony."
--He is so the dad of this team.

Marko: "Do you know how painful it is to fake your own death?"
--Shaw's face after he said that was just priceless.

Fusco: "Who are these guys?"
Reese: "Highly trained government assassins with orders to kill."
Fusco: "It's not cool that you ask me to do this stuff with you, man. Not cool!"

Root: "Ooh, he’s hot. I mean, not hood and zip ties in a CIA safe house with 10 hours to kill hot, but… I kind of get it."

Two and a half out of four viruses that are not Ebola.


Brandi said...

I would rate this 3.5 or 4 just because of Shaw and Root, I love them so much. I am worried though that we will lose Shaw especially since Root has said in the past not everyone will make it through this alive. I love Root and Shaw so much, I love the actors that play them and I just love that the show is going there.

Billie Doux said...

Just got to this episode last night (too many of my favorites air at the beginning of the week now, including two shows that I review, so I'm not getting to Agents of SHIELD or Person of Interest until later in the week!) and I also just loved it because it was Shaw and Root. I honestly think I would have given up on this show by now if they hadn't added Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker, and of course, Bear, to the cast. They add so much to the show. I do of course love Michael Emerson, but I've always been lukewarm about Jim Caviezel. As far as I'm concerned, they could write Reese out tomorrow and I'd be okay with it. But please don't write out Shaw or Root! Or Bear!

I also felt bad for that guy on the "relevant side" who let Shaw go. I kept thinking his blonde partner was going to kill him.

Is anyone else tired of the "real life jobs" thing? It's supposed to make their lives more complicated and add to the drama, but except for Shaw and her life of crime, I don't care much for it. Well, okay, I sort of like Reese working with Fusco, who was a lot of fun in this episode, too. Okay, another addendum, Root as French AuPair Barbie was great. Maybe I should just delete this paragraph because it's becoming increasingly pointless.

Maybe it's just Harold working that is bothering me. He should be able furnish that underground batcave with comfortable furniture and imported delicacies and spend his waking hours directing operations, not holding down a day job.

Josie Kafka said...

What a delightful episode! The Shaw/Root focus was lots of fun.

I'm pretty sure the idea of the really impressive thieves was taken from a recent group of thieves who stole mostly jewels from European resort towns. I read an article about them a few years ago. I think they were more violent than Thomas, though.

And if anyone is interested in a real-life example of tablets for kids, check out this $1.3 billion dollar mistake in the LA public schools: