Person of Interest: Asylum

“We’re in the belly of the beast.”

After watching the penultimate episode of the season, I find myself wondering if maybe the Person of Interest magic is gone for good.

It was certainly a better episode than we’ve been subjected to as of late, even with the Brotherhood/Elias storyline. Let’s begin there. Like most of you, I am sick to death of the Brotherhood. Dominic is just a slapdash rewrite of Elias, this time without the backstory. It says something that they only thing Dominic has over Elias is that I don’t associate him with the loving father of a 2000s teen drama. As threatening as the show tries to make the Brotherhood, its scariness is ultimately undermined by the simple fact that no matter what they do they seem to always be foiled by a ragtag team of misfits (and a dog). And here, Dominic, supposedly so smart and such a good criminal, falls for the most obvious set up in the history of set ups and ends up killing his best lieutenant. Really, Dominic? Really? You give criminals a bad name. At this point the best possible outcome for the massive war between Elias and Dominic that has been raging for months (mentioned maybe three times on the show) would be to have Elias take out Dominic and his lackeys and disappear. Maybe forever. I’m that annoyed with the whole thing at this point.

Harper reappeared to question Reese and Fusco which seems like an odd choice for the Brotherhood. She’s a con woman not a sociopathic interrogator. Whatever. She sort of half interrogates them and then reveals that the Machine promised her a lot of money to save their butts. The whole thing just didn’t work. I don’t hate Harper and I didn’t object to her presence per se, but something just felt off about it. Like it was too convenient. They had set up Harper working freelance for the Machine several episodes ago so I definitely can’t fault the show for not planning ahead.

All the boredom I felt during the Elias/Dominic/Reese/Fusco story I expected. I did not expect to be so disappointed in Root, Finch, and the return to the Samaritan arc. It certainly wasn’t bad television, but I’ve come to expect more from Person of Interest than what we got. My main issue was that we’ve been away from Samaritan for so long, the audience needed a reminder as to why it is so very, very evil. We did not get that, at least not to my satisfaction. The entire time Root was talking about the Machine being destroyed all I could think was “so?” Would that really change things that much at this point? I’m sure it would but it’s the show’s job to make us fear the Machine’s destruction and Samaritan being in unilateral control and, to my thinking, it did not do that.

One thing I loved unequivocally was that the Machine was willing to sacrifice its location to save the lives of its operatives. The Machine could definitely have an ace up its sleeve (I say as I think of Shaw) but regardless, it’s a move that should prove once and for all that the Machine cares. I don’t know why I should be so moved that a gigantic computer cares about five people (and a dog), but I am.

Finally, we had a series of scenes between Control and Shelly Spencer which…blah. Dramatic posturing from a character we haven’t seen in months. I didn’t really care. Even with Dominic in play, these scenes were the most boring of the episode. Lots of monologuing, minimal movement. I had to force myself to pay attention and even then I kept drifting off. Here is where they tried to throw in the ‘remember, Samaritan is super dangerous’ stuff but it was in the midst of so much boredom-inducing blather, I couldn’t really bring myself to care about the impending “correction” on May 6th or Shelly’s suggestion that, under Samaritan’s authority, the entire world will be controlled like Maple.

Bits and Pieces

Root was terrified when she realized she and Finch had walked into Samaritan’s headquarters. But, really, where did she think they’d keep Shaw?

At least Root finally got to kill Martine. The neck snap was brutal, but still somehow satisfying.

Shaw’s definitely not brainwashed. I’m 98% sure. I don’t know what her endgame is, whether she’s working at the Machine’s bequest or what, but there’s something going on there. I’m like…97% sure.


Root: “Harold taught you blackjack and chess. I wonder if he ever taught you how to play chicken.”

Doctor: “Who exactly is after you?”
Finch: “The Brotherhood, the federal government, an artificial super intelligence, obviously.”
Doctor: “What’s your name, sir?”
Finch: “I go by many names, all derived from species of birds.”
Root: “I’d mark him as a John Doe. He basically lives in the subway.”

Finch: “This might mean nothing, but they’re holding a compact Persian sociopath in room 914.”

Fusco: “You got a loofah? Maybe you can wash my back while you’re at it.”

two and a half out of four shovels the Machine is really fixated on

sunbunny, person of interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


Anonymous said...

Martine's death was a sudden and unexpected twist

Anonymous said...

Two things really bothered me about this episode:

1) Root is clearly having a psychotic break when she gets up on the wall. If the Machine truly cares about Harold, why would it very help her when it knows that help will likely lead to his (and Root's) death?

2) The Machine spoke to Harold. THE MACHINE SPOKE TO HAROLD. That should have been the most bittersweet emotional moment of the whole series. Instead -- Harold stands there with his mouth open and ROOT answered the Machine. This is, IMHO, everything that has gone wrong with POI in a since instant. That Root gets to talk back to the Machine and not Harold.

2a) A side note to that scene -- the most powerful AI in the world can still only speak one word at a time? And -- the final battle of the AIs is played out on monitors in an operating room? With all its little humans literally standing around looking at said monitors? THAT's the big pay-off we've been promised? Really?

Ren said...

I am so sad about the direction Person of Interest has gone... It's just lost the magic to me. I don't care at all about Dominic or Elias. Even the Machine story and search for Shaw just don't feel as powerful as they should.
POI has become one of the shows I put on in the background while I do other things *sigh.

garyb said...

TV Line has Person of Interest renewal chances as "Could go either way."

At this point, I'm ok with PoI going away. It really lost a lot when Carter died.

Hey, something has to go so they can make room for SuperGirl.

migmit said...

I liked Root blackmailing the Machine with her own death. Kind of what Reese did in the beginning of season 2. This time was a bit different — Root wasn't the last chance, there were others.

But yeah, I'm also disappointed with the general direction of PoI. The main problem I see here is the don't win. Not even the slightest. Them constantly ending the episode in a worse situation than it was in the beginning — it's repetitive. The previous episode was actually better — nothing got worse, things stayed mostly the same, allowing us to enjoy the details.

Some are mourning Carter, but I'm more disappointed about Fusco. We know he can be VERY cool — so, why isn't he now?

tripper said...

This review came fast, but I suppose it's better to get over drudgery--which POI unbelievably has become--first. Lazy writing. So many cringe-inducing moments. (Suddenly stupid Dominic and petulant Elias? Reed-thin Root in hand-to-hand? Nope. And that cheesy brain-saw interrogation.) I have to agree with all the comments, except the Carter one. (Can't we finally give that dead--no pun intended--horse a rest?) What I left with: Martine really was better as a blonde, character-, looks-, everything-wise. I'd like to see how Control gets along with those 'friends' of hers. And good ol' Fusco.

Josie Kafka said...


I'm really, really far behind on PoI. I think I have six episodes stacked up on my DVR. But I've been skimming the reviews and comments as they come in, and I'm feeling really sad. It sounds like the show just isn't the same as it used to be.

Should I watch the past six episodes to catch up? Or is PoI done?

tripper said...

Josie--definitely backburner. Even if POI manages to pull a bunny out of the hat with the season finale, you wouldn't have missed much if you watched only the last two (better) eps.

milostanfield said...


Definitely watch the one before "Asylum", which has Taraji P. Henson (Carter) as a guest star. I don't think you would miss too much otherwise. The writing got a bit crappy after Shahi left to have twins. Seems like they were caught by surprise and never recovered. Plus all those mini hiatuses.

If you're gonna watch the finale you should probably watch "Asylum" just to know what's going on. So that's only two.

I would love to disagree with the review and all the negative comments here, but sadly they are all pretty spot on. Such potential wasted with POI!

Freeman said...

Anything with the Brotherhood is just bad, though with how much of a joke Dominic is, it was satisfying to see him screw in such a strangely stupid way. Honestly the only parts of the episode I truly enjoyed were the parts with Control. Though come on guys, that part where Finch spilled the beans to the doctor was hilarious.

Headscratcher of the day: The choreography of that Martine and Root fight. Good Lord that was bad.

Headscratcher of the day - the sequel: That necksnap. That was the most hilariously awkward necksnap in the history of ever. Today we learn that Martine's body was made out of spaghetti.