Person of Interest: Flesh and Blood

“You gonna choose the right side?”

I’m conflicted over this episode. On the one hand, the story wasn’t especially creative, humor was decidedly lacking, and I didn’t believe for a second Reese would let Elias hurt Carter’s son. On the other, this was a very important episode for our Elias arc and the acting was nothing short of stellar.

Jim Caviezel and Taraji P. Henson especially stepped up their acting games for this ep. I’ve often found her one-note in this show, but she was fantastic here. Her reunion with Taylor was beautiful. I’m not sure we’ve seen Reese as angry as he was when Elias dared to go after a cop’s family. The determination on his face was simply chilling. Note to self: don’t mess with anyone Reese cares about. Seriously. As for Michael Emerson, well, he’s always flawless, isn’t he?

So much about this episode centered around trust. Who do you trust? Is trusting someone else a form of weakness? Carter trusts Fusco, or at least she did in the beginning of the episode. I hope she doesn’t find out about his HR involvement before she finds out he’s working for Reese. That would not be great for their partnership.

She’s back to trusting Reese and Finch, but feels alienated from the rest of the police force. It was Fusco who ended up calling in back-up. It’s been an interesting ride for Carter. Early in the season, she had very clear ideas of right and wrong, trustworthy and untrustworthy. What was legal was right, what was illegal was wrong. Trust police, don’t trust criminals. Her experiences with Reese and Finch have really opened up her thinking.

While I still don’t find Elias threatening (I try to, I swear), he makes a for a very intriguing, dynamic villain. Who doesn’t love a bad guy with a good origin story? While his childhood traumas had been established earlier this season, "Flesh and Blood" showed us Elias as a young man. Even after having found his mother murdered, Elias wasn’t totally warped into the man we know today. It took an attempted assassination by his father to create our big bad.

I can’t help but wonder if some industrial-grade therapy could have stopped Elias from becoming a murderer and aspiring crime boss. He really is just seeking out what he’s lacked his whole life: power.

Bits and Pieces:

How many safe houses does Finch have? He has to be paying a fortune in property taxes on all these places.

Finch told Simmons to cut all of HR’s ties with Elias and they did leave him to Carter, but the guy who gave Elias the cell phone in jail was a cop, right? Did Simmons lie to Finch or is this guy just dirty on his own, unaffiliated with HR?

I love that Finch volunteered to use a gun; it really showed the lengths he would go to to save Taylor.

It takes a special kind of evil to pretend to be overjoyed your illegitimate son found you and then attempt to have him killed.

Why didn’t Moretti attempt to get out of the car? It probably wouldn’t have saved his life, but he might have tried. He was sitting next to his son! He couldn’t have said ‘Hey, Junior, your brother’s about to murder us. Maybe we should try to get out of here’!?

Quotes:

“Mafiosi don’t take kindly to people who approach them unannounced. They’re like feral dogs in that way.”
“No time for anything but the direct approach, Finch. Besides, I’ve always been good with dogs.”
I never would have pegged Reese for a dog person.

“You a cop?”
“Not even close.”
I love watching the people Reese helps trying to figure out who or what he is.

“It seems you’ve had something of an influence on her, Mr. Reese.”
“Thanks.”
“I’m not certain I meant that as a compliment.” 
Reese seemed so proud!

“I notice things, officer. Things the rest of the world ignores.”
This has been a recurring theme in the show. Violence is a mundane, everyday occurrence. It happens right in front of us, but we’re so used to seeing people suffering, we don’t even notice anymore.

“I get my strength from being alone.”
Elias may think he is stronger because he doesn’t rely on anyone else, but I think it takes more bravery to open up to someone than to remain so stubbornly self-reliant.

Three out of four dead mafia dons
---
sunbunny

5 comments:

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew L said...

I agree with you Zob, though I like Enrico Colantoni, every time he appeared as Elias, I kept hearing Greg Parker. :)

Even in scenes where he's threatening or being the bad guy, he still sounds like the nicest bady guy you'd ever meet. Like you would respond with "Awww..you're so nice, sure I'll do what you want." :D

ChrisB said...

I liked the Carter character development in this one. As you say, she is changing quite a bit as the series progresses and it is fun to watch.

I thought the final scene was lovely, not only for the reunion but for the look she exchanged with Reese as well. Speaking of trust, I think he's now earned hers.

celticmarc said...

Wow. Intense. Madly infatuated with this show now.

Iceman said...

"Flesh and Blood" is a real whopper of an episode that brings the Elias story of Season 1 to a masterful finish. Aside from being exciting as hell, and involving Elias (always a plus), and having astounding craftmanship for a network television show (that's expected with this series) it proves that Person of Interest is willing to explore big ideas. This episode leaves the audience with many things to ponder-was Reese right to begin with? They'd be ignoring the rule of law, but Taylor never would have been put in danger. It seems wrong to let people die without due process, but it also seems wrong to invest police resources in saving people as morally bankrupt as these. Overall, the rule of law must be upheld and everyone deserves due process-there can't be exceptions no matter who they are, but it's interesting to ponder these questions nonetheless. Elias is selfish and a ruthless mob boss, but he claims to genuinely want to reduce the collateral damage caused by gang wars. Elias is definitely not a moral or nice man, but in his mind, he's justified. That's what makes a great villain. The flashbacks help codify this-it explains why Elias places such an emphasis on family and loyalty, considering his background. A stunning hour of tv all around.

4 out of 4