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Person of Interest: Risk

“You want to get in the game, you gotta spin the cylinder.”

Just when I thought I had PoI’s POV on Wall Streeters down, they give us a banker with a heart. Sure the man still has his stereotypical flaws: he gloats over his coworkers, gets into bar fights, and drives like a complete jackass, but he also remembers where he came from, cares for his family, and feeds homeless people.

The writers did a really good job developing the character of Adam Saunders. I loved the little details of his life they threw in: the secret train trip to find his father in New Mexico, the stacks of $200 he’s kept intact all these years. I really felt for him when his uncle turned on him and accused him of being a Saunders and not a Sowoski, and I was really happy when they made up at the end.

Despite our stereotype with a soul, we did get plenty of populist social commentary this week. The SEC is a powerless organization full of corruption, most Wall Street bankers (presumably those without uncles who own food trucks) are reckless with their clients’ money and willing to kill their friends for a few hundred million dollars...etc., etc. Actually, the writers didn’t hit the whole Wall-Street-is-evil theme as hard as I thought they would. If you remember scenes from earlier in the series ("Mission Creep", "Cura Te Ipsum"), they haven’t always been super subtle in this.

I actually didn’t see Elias coming this time! I don’t know why I was so surprised. As Sowoski pointed out, everyone knows you need to diversify. Why should Elias stick to organized crime? You’re much less likely to get arrested committing white collar crime.

I’m really missing Reese and Finch moments recently. I feel like the writers are sacrificing those little gems for a better developed story of the week. I wish they would knock it off. I’m pretty sure I complained about the opposite thing in "Root Cause", but I’m allowed to change my mind, right? The character interactions are what make this show more than a standard issue crime procedural.

Bits and Pieces:

How cute was Finch dressing Reese? I had no idea suit tailoring was so complicated! The only two things I know about men’s fashion are that you can’t wear a brown belt with black shoes or white socks with black shoes unless you’re wearing jeans. Or something like that.

Loved the callback to Virtanen.

This episode guest starred Scott Cohen as SEC Inspector Doug Rasmussen. You might recognize Cohen from his appearance on [insert any show name here]. Seriously. Check out his IMDb page. The man has been in everything.

Finch’s alias of the week: Harold Crane. How long will it take the writers to exhaust bird names?

Did you catch the garbage truck driving behind Sowoski when he was on the phone with his nephew? Totally creepy.


“Banking is mostly looking clever and wearing the right clothes.”

“Outstanding. I’ll be spending two days with hair gel and a pinstriped suit.”
“It’s Glen check, actually.”
I love how Reese can make even the most foppish of references sound vaguely threatening.

“My client prefers to stay anonymous. He’s the silent type.”
“He’s also not fond of heights.”
Things we know Finch likes: old books, surveillance
Things we know Finch does not like: guns, heights, Reese following him to his faux workplace or favorite breakfast haunt.

“You turned on the meter.”
“Don’t forget to tip.”
Billionaires need to make a living too, right?

“You’re not an asset manager!”
And if you’re just figuring this out now, you’re not a genius!

“I didn’t know what you were into before we met, John, and I don’t know now, but you sure know how to keep things interesting.”

Two out of four perfectly tailored suits


  1. This episode was a lot of fun for me, it's one of the episodes I've rewatched several times. The relationship between the "client" and his uncle was touching, made him much more sympathetic than he could've been. The reveal about Elias being behind the whole thing was excellent, he'd been off the radar just long enough for it to be a nice surprise. Though I had a slightly different take on Elias' motives. I didn't see it being about branching out so much as building a war chest. He's got designs on taking over organized crime in New York City, and that'll take a lot of resources. And of course this episode gave us one of Reese's best quickie lines of the series, delivered flawlessly as usual, "John Rooney. Assets." Something about Jim Caviezel's delivery makes me grin every time I hear it. :)

    My only problem with this episode is I've seen the "massive short-sell con" plot device often enough that I saw it coming WAY before Adam Saunders did. It was in the first episode of Leverage, it was in Casino Royale, and I know I've seen it elsewhere. It's becoming as cliche as the "Strangers On A Train" gimmick, which just about EVERY cop show uses at some point(the CSI mothership has used it twice, though the 2nd time wasn't really a good example of it). It's gotten to the point where when I see the story involving a company's stock being pumped up without explanation, I know they'll need to find the guy going short on them. And if there's two murders that don't seem connected, but each have an otherwise great suspect with an airtight alibi, I know they switched murders. Not only THAT, but the key to breaking the case will be, as Nick Stokes said last year on CSI, "Find the train". Both of these plot devices can still be done well(and to be fair, this PoI episode did a pretty good job), but it takes some effort not to feel unoriginal(Castle ep 2x02 "The Double Down" is a good example of the Strangers On A Train device done well).

  2. I laughed through the whole first scene. "Over-educated, over-compensated" is a brilliant description of a lot of the people who work in the financial industries.

    I also really liked Finch's expression when he overheard Reese telling Joan how "someone new" is watching out for him now. A lovely character beat.

  3. The opening scene MADE this episode. I think this was the best episode for Finch and Reese, banter-wise.

  4. Whoah

    The bigger picture : Elias.

    White socks. How many WEEKS was I bugged with a female colleague of mine. I now only wear mini socks with my running shows in the summer. That's IT ! (grey and black with trousers)

    Mister Cohen spent some time in Gilmore Girls. And yes, he's been around. But isn't actually fun when you see actors in different shows that you like over the years AND decades ?

  5. "Risk" is good. It's a decent story for most of its runtime but it won me over in the end. The POI of the episode was sufficiently compelling, so I was somewhat engaged throughout its runtime. Of course, there's the great twist at the end finally bringing back Elias, but there's also the introduction of John Rooney: Asset Manager. It's the little things that make this show special.

    3 out of 4.


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