Person of Interest: Mission Creep

“Not every ex-soldier meets a reclusive billionaire.”

If the last episode was all about Finch, this one was Reese’s turn under the spotlight. It was a sad week for him. Or sadder.

Last week I discussed the idea that good cases-of-the-week reveal and/or change something about our characters. We learned quite a bit of Reese’s inner turmoil by witnessing how much he saw himself in Joey, our machine number guy. He knew what it was to fight overseas and come back to a place that changed without him; what it was to sacrifice a lot and have little appreciation in return. That’s why he was much more willing than Finch to look further into Joey’s situation.

The biggest difference between them besides the company they had? Joey’s girlfriend waited all those years for him,whereas Reese lost Jessica, who is still alive, making my list of “things I misinterpreted in the pilot” get only bigger. At first I thought he overreacted a bit, falling into vagrancy because his girlfriend had left him. Then I figured that if you only have one person to go to, one thought that held you back when you’re away fighting, and this person abandons you, you lose pretty much your whole world. Finally, I realized this was not the case, as he was shaved and bathed when he ran into her at the airport in 2006. Oh, the mystery!

At any rate, you can’t blame her. He didn’t argue when she said he’d just left. And she was willing to wait for him if he asked. I wouldn’t blame him either. Asking someone to wait for you when you have a high risk of dying sounds rough.

At the heart of the show is 9/11. When the towers were hit, many movies and TV shows referenced it. Lately, as we reached a point where historical distance is more noticeable, the focus has been less on the attacks and more on how the world changed because of it, how everybody’s lives were affected by it.

Something that strengthens this aspect is the fact that Latimer was not the top dog, he answered to some military man higher up, making this the third week in a row where a conspiracy is behind the crime. You have to give credit to a show that constantly references both 9/11 and conspiracies, but doesn’t fall into the pit of implying the attacks were an inside conspiratorial job. Although I may bite my tongue later on, they mean that those conspiracies were facilitated by the climate and policies that followed that terrible event.

And I’m sure the name Elias M. will pop up again in the future.

Bits and pieces

— Detective Carter was in the Middle East as a soldier as well. She’s a fine detective, too, inching towards Reese every week, as her screen time increases. I feel she’ll be in the body of my reviews soon. But, native speakers, enlighten me: is it just me or does her accent sound really fake?

— No Lionel this week.

— Legs shot: 0 (!). Unless you count Teddy, but it was not Reese’s doing.

— Caviezel looks much more relaxed now, but more depressed. His cardiologist must be relieved, and his psychiatrist thinking of buying a yacht.

— It’s good that they didn’t show the ex-soldiers as poor things that were only trying to survive. Greed and cold hearts were featured. Loyalty, too. Not much character depth, but light years ahead of many shows.

— Finch and Reese are beginning to influence each other positively: Reese tried to make amends for ruining Finch’s front job, Finch took up exercising. That was nice.

— The scene where Reese and Joey meet was a stare-off.

— I just realized I’ve written Reese’s name more than 10 times.

— A wink at Lost fans: Reese mentions Tikrit, Sayid’s birth place.

— The bankers at the bar were too evidently sock puppets. The part where Reese uses his head, as the banker suggested, saved the scene, though.

— They identified the soldier because he was left-handed? How many left-handed soldiers are there? For all they knew, it could be Josie!

Quotes

Reese: What are you doing?
Finch: Nothing.
Reese: Thought you said you'd never lie to me.

Reese: I got a new job.
Jessica: One of those jobs you can't talk about?
Reese: *utter silence*

Reese: I've got my reasons.
Carter: Maybe you do. But every killer I locked up thought they had a good reason.
What I said about our guy being boring – I take it back.

Sorry for the lateness of the review. I figure I'll pick up the pace soon.

Three out of four legs shot.

9 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Another good episode. And I'm also starting to like Carter. Her accent doesn't sound off to me, BTW.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this show~and I'm liking it more and more every week. It's one of my new favorites. Of course it doesn't hurt that JC is super hot with intense eyes that either scare you or break your heart. He puts a lot of emotion into those eyes!

I can't wait until you review last night's episode. I think it was my favourite so far. Funny lines, fast paced and lots of action.

I am also really liking the slow developing relationship (built mostly on suspicion and mistrust) between JC and Finch. They have great chemistry.

JK said...

You weren't wrong about Jessica being dead; Finch stated it explicitly in the pilot. What we know now is that she was still alive circa 2006.

Got to say, this is may favorite new show of the season - and it just keeps getting better. I'm looking forward to both the next episode and your next review with great anticipation. :)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who played Joey's girlfriend?

ChrisB said...

I'm beginning to see what everyone is raving about. Although the pilot was a bit weak, this episode grabbed me and moved me much more than I would have expected. I even teared up a bit at the end when Reese watches Jessica walk away.

I was confused when I saw the Jessica flashback as I had assumed (1) that she was dead and (2) that Reese had been in the army until he went off the rails. I watched the beginning of the pilot again simply because I hate ret-con and I wanted to figure out what had happened.

They are obviously together on 9/11, but then something happens and they run into each other on the West Coast in 2006. I think she dies around 2007 for two reasons. The first is that in the second episode, in the scene where Finch and Ingram are discussing the irrelevant people, Jessica's picture is on one of the screens that Finch turns off. The second is that, in the pilot, Finch says to Reese, "you were halfway around the world when she was killed." My guess is that her death and probably something else led to Reese's disillusionment with his "government job."

I am looking forward to seeing more of both back stories. The world thinks Reese is dead and he is shown as MIA in the opening credits. I'm also interested in Finch and what made him change his mind to help others. Was it the death of Ingram?

The relationship between the two men is beginning to gel in a wonderful way. I like the way that Reese brought Finch coffee; the way that Finch takes Reese's advice about exercise; the humor when Reese busts him for doing it. But, I loved the fact that Finch put himself into danger to warn Reese. They are beginning to form a true partnership.

While the story itself this week was a bit predictable (and, I don't like seeing Captain Montgomery as the villain!), what it did was give us the chance for all of the character development between our two leads. And, it's all set up against the backdrop of New York. Not Vancouver posing as New York, the city itself. What a difference that makes!

sunbunny said...

ChrisB, this is one of my favorites among the early episodes. I'm glad you're liking the show! The relationship between Finch and Reese only gets better and, don't worry, no more of our Castle favorites moonlight here as baddies. They do use New York beautifully. I love it when shows film in the city they're supposed to be set in.

Josie Kafka said...

Well, this is embarrassing! I hadn't watched this episode until now, and so I just discovered the left-handed shout-out.

Yes, I rob banks in my spare time.

celticmarc said...

Very interesting !

While we're at it, also a very interesting review Gus ! (And reading the reviews here on this site is a GREAT way to complete a visioning of an episode. Didn't have this in the early 90's)

I was happy to see a "dead" Captain from Castle. The actors playing Joey and Straub both appeared in In Plain Sight, a TV show That I mention often and that I also highly recommend.

Your "relaxed" paragraph made me LOL.

Iceman said...

"Mission Creep" still isn't Person of Interest at its best, but things are improving for sure. Joey Durban is a far more interesting 'person of interest' than either of the previous two-as such, this episode is infused with far more tension and suspense than "Pilot" or "Ghosts", even if the episode is still too by-the-numbers for its own good. There's also a crucial flashback with Reese's past, in which he informs Jessica of his fatalistic worldview-"In the end, we're all alone, and no one's coming to save us."

3 out of 4.