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Person of Interest: No Good Deed

“This is a mystery you do not want to solve.”

After two weeks of Reese mania, we finally get a Finch-centric episode. It was well worth the wait.

Last week, we learned of Reese’s guilt over Jessica’s death. This week is all about Finch’s guilt over the deaths caused by the Machine. He feels no guilt, no doubt over creating the Machine, which I find interesting. He knows that was the right thing to do. We can argue about the morality, legality, and/or Constitutionality of the Machine until the world ends (December 21, according to the Mayans), but Finch is 100% convinced that he did the right thing. What surprises me in this case is not his final decision, but his certainty. There is no question in his mind that he did the right thing in creating the Machine. There are many ways you could come to this conclusion, but to have no doubts?

Finch does, however, doubt the actions of those he gave the Machine to. Finch calls them “ruthless.” Safe to assume they killed Ingram? They were clearly willing to kill Peck, even though he didn’t know the whole truth. We’ve been hearing stories about how dangerous knowledge of the Machine is and the lengths government would go to to protect their secret, but this episode gave us the reality. And it was scary.

There were lots of Machine-related details revealed in this episode. Surprisingly, it seems to be Ingram that built the backdoor into the Machine and not Finch. There was a ten day period in 2009 when the Machine was in transit on its way to the government. During this time, the Machine saw nothing and predicted nothing. Is this when Ingram died? Is Ingram dead? Finch seems to think he is; Will and Alicia definitely think he is. But is it unreasonable to suppose he might have faked his death to protect Will the same way Finch faked his death to protect Grace?

Finch’s grief over Grace is really interesting. I’m so happy the writers switched it up and made Finch the dead one in the relationship. It would have been extremely boring if she’d been killed by the government over the Machine or something. It must be agony to be able to see the one you love in so much pain and know that it is because of you and your choices. Technically, Finch has the power to stop Grace’s pain and grief. He could show up on her doorstep and ride off with her into the sunset, but doing so would put her life in danger.

Bits and Pieces:

The title of this episode seems to have lodged the song “No Good Deed” from Wicked permanently in my frontal lobe. That's the part of the brain where songs get stuck, right?

Finch’s ladylove is played by Carrie Preston, Michael Emerson’s real life wife. Awwww!

Sibilance. According to my dictionary, it’s a hissing sound. I don’t think that’s how the writers of this show plan to use it.

Finch, FINCH! Why on earth would you tell Peck that you invented the Machine and in public?! The government wants him dead because he knows a teeny tiny bit about what the Machine does. Your solution to this problem is to tell him IN PUBLIC (I can’t stress this enough) that there is a massive system that spies on every American citizen constantly and that you invented it? Use your gigantic brain, Finch!


“Are you following me?”
“It’s riveting.”
“Well, they can’t all be babies and mafia dons.”
Loved the awkward pause after Finch’s question. Yes, Finch, he is following you.

“I’m surprised, Mr. Reese. That nice young lady seemed somehow impervious to your charms.”
Humor returns, having been conspicuously (and appropriately) absent from last week’s domestic violence-themed episode.

“For some of us, human interaction is difficult.”
“Not calling it human interaction might help.”

“Poor guy doesn’t seem to have much of a life.”
“Well, we can hardly fault him for that, seeing as everyone thinks we’re dead.”

“As I found out myself, the people I’ve entrusted [the Machine] to are more ruthless than I anticipated.”
Isn’t Finch a super genius? How did he not see this coming?

“If you really need a mystery, I recommend the human heart.”
Such a good line.

Four out of four sencha green teas


  1. I loved that they brought in Michael Emerson's real life True Blood wife for such a special role. Terrific episode. And congratulations on finishing Person of Interest right under the wire, Sunbunny! No small feat!

  2. Congratulations, Sunbunny! Reviewing just one episode a week will feel like a writing vacation after the past month.

  3. There are various forms of "intelligence". You can be an intellectual genius, which Finch clearly is but a moron when it comes to social interactions (and vice versa)

  4. “For some of us, human interaction is difficult.”
    “Not calling it human interaction might help.”

    This exchange makes me laugh every time. Especially when I'm feeling Finchish.

    What a delightful episode. And I loved the use of--and editing of--the cab explosion set to Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans." It was action-movie cool.

    Finch's vest was also particularly nice.

  5. Charming couple :


    For those of you know, Lost has left a considerable and powerful impression on me. This show is, although at a much lower level, doing the same thing.

    Brilliant. TV bliss.

    Poor Fusco after listening to Peck : "Ok ! You wanna soda or somethin' ?" LOL

    Brilliant. What a show and it's only in its first season....

  6. Just when I think this show has wrung every possible emotion from me, I am proven wrong. The scene in the park where Finch was talking about Grace brought me to tears. I had suspected he had someone (his laugh with Ingram was just a tad too self-conscious), but it never would have occurred to me that he would be able to sustain such a relationship for four years. I underestimated the man -- again.

    Loved Reese's reaction when Grace told him about her fiance's death. You could see the compassion and the pity cross his face. Fantastic acting -- again.

  7. Chris,

    An important point that can probably sum up what makes up a great story, film and TV show : yes, the story itself, but more importantly the RELATIONSHIPS between characters. It helps when you have great actors.

    I'll just cite these 3 as an example : Leverage (which recently ended BRILLIANTLY) (oh my, it sure did), the reboot of BSG and In Plain Sight. The interactions between the characters made/make these shows so endearing. And I could add a long list of shows. (Hey ! I did NOT even mention LOST !) (wow)

    And the most beautiful part ? It's a never ending story. More beautiful stories coming up.

  8. Working my way through PoE and saw this ep the other day.

    What makes it more interesting are the numerous plot parallels to the current situation of a certain Mr Snowden.

    Life imitating art?


    Thanks for your great reviews of this show, Sunbunny.


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