Person of Interest: Super

“That, Detective Carter, is what we do.”

Common TV wisdom tells us that a funny, light-hearted episode will always immediately follow one that is dark and depressing. Last week, Reese was sniped in the stomach by the CIA. This week, he throws a guy out of a window with his crutches.

This episode managed to be cute and funny without being overly comical or belittling the pains of the would-be victims. Reese, Finch, and Trask (Dexter’s David Zayas) are genuinely concerned over the very real pain Rick is causing Lily. They can be concerned and slip in a few one-liners, right? Right? "Super" is definitely the funniest episode of this series so far. There were moments I actually laughed out loud. Reese with the hammer? Finch with the eye-poking? Priceless.

I feel like I say this in every review, but the team is really pulling together. Complicating things this week is the role reversal necessitated by Reese’s injury. Reese is cooped up in the apartment channeling Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, while Finch has to do quite a lot running, hiding, and fighting. The show did a really good job with this. Reese and Finch switching places and then seeing how good they have it could have been obnoxious and overdone. It wasn’t.

Carter got her first assignment: tracking attempted murderer Derek Watson as he goes after the man who foreclosed on his house. She is proving to be much less resistant to the process than Fusco. Actually, Fusco didn’t complain once when Finch asked him to plant Reese’s prints in Connecticut, a PoI first. He even went out of his way to warn Finch that Carter was coming for him. And he asked about Reese. I think I’m beginning to like him.

We learn more about the Machine’s beginnings and Finch’s mysterious partner/frontman, Nathan Ingram. We don’t yet know what happened with Ingram. My theory is that he either betrayed Finch, died, or both. I don’t see good things coming for this partnership, in any case. Finch just trusts him too much. It’s almost heartbreaking to watch him being so open with Ingram. Something happened to him between 2005 and 2011 that seriously damaged his ability to trust. He would never be as open about the Machine to Reese. The last shot of the episode shows this text at the bottom: “Possible Threat Detected: Ingram, Nathan C.” Intriguing, no?

Bits and Pieces:

Finch’s flashbacks always start with him running. Hey look, audience, he doesn’t have that limp yet!

From what I could see, the stack of books Finch bought for Reese include Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann, It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, Top Secret America by Dana Priest and William Arkin, and a book entitled World’s Best Beers. Seriously. Not making that up.

Lily Thorpton: a woman security conscious enough to change her wifi password every day, but without the common sense to close her curtains.

The company Ingram and Finch work for/own is called IFT, Inc. What does IFT stand for? Ingram Finch Technologies? Insane Fur Trappers?

I love that Trask really had a tiger!

Quotes:

“Don’t you have anything to unpack?”
“I travel light.”
Caviezel’s dead pan delivery is so perfect for Reese.

“And Amber in 714 is...healthy.”
How cute were they ogling cute yoga girl?

“I’m getting pretty good at this thing.”
“Yes, I’m sure the CIA will be deeply impressed when they shoot you.”

“Just feeling a little restless here, Finch.”
“Use the cushion!”

“You talk about that thing like it’s alive.”
“Shh. It can hear you.”

Four out of four white Bengal tigers
---
sunbunny

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fusco is one of my favorite characters. Carter may be all things good, brave, loyal and true but Fusco is, in his own way, just as loyal and true. He is by no means good and his bravery is of the protesting every minute type, while in the end he comes through. I love grey characters and Fusco fits the bill.

I got the DVDs and was watching this with my daughter. She listens to NPR a lot and said the Super may have been based on someone they profiled. There was a super in New York who told all sorts of crazy stores about being in Guatemala or Columbia (I didn't hear the story so I don't remember which country) and he kept bragging about how important he was there. That he had all sorts of money and was practically a king because he could get away with anything. Everyone thought he was a big crazy blowhard. Then one day it turned out he had been a big drug dealer in the country and that the legislature had passed a pardon of all of his crimes before he left. He was, according to my daughter, crazy as a bedbug, but the story may have inspired The Super

Billie Doux said...

I'm fond of Fusco, too. It's like he's being dragged kicking and screaming into doing good, but part of him has always wanted to do it so he's not struggling all that hard. :)

Josie Kafka said...

I enjoyed this episode, mostly because this show could use a few moments of levity. I read somewhere that CBS asked the showrunners to lighten it up a bit (and to bring Carter in more) right around this time; I think the writers did a good job of showing that these folks, especially Michael Emerson, can be funny when appropriate.

Your reviews always have great one-liners! My two favorites here are:

"Finch’s flashbacks always start with him running. Hey look, audience, he doesn’t have that limp yet!"

"Lily Thorpton: a woman security conscious enough to change her wifi password every day, but without the common sense to close her curtains."

Patrick said...

Finch definitely had the two funniest lines of the night: "Use the cushion!" and "Please stop!"(when Reese was teaching him about eye-gouging). And in both cases, it was Michael Emerson's delivery that made them work so well.

Why is it that every time people(usually men, but not always) are looking at a hot woman being...flexible on a screen, they do that head tilt? :)

ChrisB said...

I am really beginning to love this show. The humor is a welcome and much needed addition. Luckily, both actors can deliver the funny lines beautifully. "Please stop" had me laughing out loud.

celticmarc said...

Brilliant.

Loved the Rear Window vibe. Loved the Dexter shout out : Miami !

Quoting you : "Intriguing, no?" YA !! I'm betting Ingram will be responsible for Finch's injuries (you guys know by now; I don't).

Ogling : great ! I've learn a new word again tonite !

celticmarc said...

Patrick

"Why is it that every time people(usually men, but not always) are looking at a hot woman being...flexible on a screen, they do that head tilt? :)"

After last night's Fringe , the answer is simple : LIZARD BRAIN !!!

ChrisB

LOL too. Emerson's awesome. Either on a (relatively) desert Island or in NY.

Iceman said...

One of the most common complaints lodged at Person of Interest is that its procedural elements are not compelling and drag down the show's overall quality. "Super" takes those complaints and throws them out the window, proving that Person of Interest can indeed be a great procedural. It's hard to explain why "Super" is so great-on paper, the story sounds just as boring as "Ghosts" or "Judgement". But is just is. I think it's due to the fact that it uses all of Person of Interest's admirable qualities to its advantage. It's the creepy atmosphere, invoking Rear Window and other Hitchcock movies of old. It's Reese and Finch, bantering about cushions and poking people in the eyes. It's Reese, fighting even on crutches. It's Ernesto Machado and his white Bengal tiger (that he actually had!). It's Carter, helping Reese and Finch with a number for the very first time. It's the flashback, showing how the Machine works and the relationship between Nathan and Harold. All of that and more make "Super" an early highlight, and a sorely underrated episode of Person of Interest.

"Poke him in the eye? That's your technique?"
"No that's your technique. And if that doesn't work, you can always take your thumb, jam in in his eye socket, and twist till you hit his brain."
"Please stop."

4 out of 4.