Person of Interest: Masquerade

“Sorry baby, you’re just a beautiful loose end.”

Well color me disappointed. After two weeks of fantastic episodes, PoI seems to have returned to its season one formula. It wasn’t a bad formula, I had just been hoping the show was heading in a darker, more complex direction. Maybe next week?

The story of the week was standard. And boring. This episode actually reminded me of Burn Notice, and not in a good way. The spoiled daughter of a foreign diplomat gets into trouble by partying too hard and with the wrong sort of people. I think every crime procedural since the beginning of time has done at least one episode on this theme.

This episode wasn’t that funny, wasn’t that dark, wasn’t that interesting, and frankly wasn’t that good. Michael Emerson and Bear were forced to carry the majority of the episode through their adorable interactions. I loved watching their relationship develop over the hour. We went from Finch picking up a ball with a Kleenex to Finch being willing to take Bear for a walk. Sure, the progression was a little too speedy to be totally believable, but it was still cute.

Reese and Finch also had some really sweet scenes together. Without any hesitation, Reese understood and accepted his role taking care of the recently traumatized Finch. He didn’t coddle him or patronize him, but he was very sensitive and understanding. It was definitely a side of Reese we haven’t seen before.

I’ve said before that I hate it when characters’ wounds magically heal from one episode to the next. Emotional wounds are just the same as physical ones. Finch is suffering some serious aftereffects from his recent abduction. He’s nervous, agoraphobic, and seems to have developed a slight phobia of brunettes. Did you see the way he reacted when he saw that woman on the street? It makes perfect sense. Finch was held captive for weeks (or possibly days; time lines around hiatuses always get a little sketchy). He was living with a deranged, obsessed genius and was in constant fear for his life. Finch isn’t Reese; he’s not completely accustomed to life and death situations and it stands to reason he wouldn’t heal overnight.

Stanton’s back after a long absence. Progress on the Machine mystery front was minimal. Evans (Snow’s “preppy friend”) is dead and Stanton is working with at least one other person (the man who spoke with Carter on Snow’s cell). Something mysterious was carved out of Alicia’s arm in the morgue, and Stanton wants to know who sent her and Reese to China. Last season, the Machine mystery was one of my favorite parts of the show, but in this episode there was so little new information, the scenes with Snow and Stanton just fell flat. It felt like they were there just to kill time, and not to improve the story.

I know this review is pretty harsh, but the first two episodes of this season were so good! I suppose we had to get a let down from the awesomeness at some point. Fingers crossed that next week Root will be back and all will be well.

Bits and Pieces:

Sadly, no Root this week.

I loved Reese picking the security guys’ pockets. I wish I could pickpocket. It seems like a useful skill.

The club where the shootout took place really reminded me of The Bronze.

Fusco has Finch listed in his phone as “Mr. Good News.”

Sophia charming Fusco was such a cute moment.

The Machine mystery: not to be confused with the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.

If you don’t feel secure enough to go for a walk flanked by a former CIA assassin and a military-trained attack dog, your problems might be unfixable.

Quotes:

“Let me guess, you had to buy another security company.”
“And a credit bureau.”
I suppose that’s one way to pass a background check.

“No. Squinty eyes. Can’t be trusted”
My dad always said it was close-set eyes you couldn’t trust.

“Finch, I think I found our threat and they’re not photographers.”
“How could you tell?”
“The gun was a pretty good hint.”
When Reese’s lines are written out, I can almost hear David Boreanaz as Angel saying them.

“I’ve spent some time feeling lost.”
“What changed?”
“Someone found me. Told me I needed a purpose.”
“Sounds like a good friend.”
“He is.”

“Give me three and a half minutes.”
“Please. There are at least ten guys in there.”
“Okay, four minutes.”

“It took longer than four minutes.”
“Well, this guy hit me over the head with a neon sign. Not very sportsmanlike.”
Our glib badass is back.

Two out of four Brazilian celebutantes
---
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl

6 comments:

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Billie Doux said...

I found the Snow plot hard to follow, probably because season one was just too long ago and maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. But this episode just made me go "aww" over and over. Reese's gentleness with Finch. Sophia's little moment with Fusco. And the dog! Cutest dog ever. Seriously adorable.

sunbunny said...

zob - Well that would explain some things! I could have sworn the first person to pick up Snow's cell was Annie Parisse, though. They should have made the voice on the phone more distinctive. Hmph.

Billie - There was just too little of the Snow/Stanton plot and it was too fragmented to hold my interest. Oh, and I'm sorry to have to disagree with you, but the cutest dog ever is currently asleep on my foot. Bear comes in a close second though. I love how he takes care of Finch!

Patrick said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy the episode, sunbunny. I happened to like it quite a bit, though I will freely admit the "Case Of The Week" part was not one of their best. But I actually didn't mind that. We just had two really strong episodes that were not the usual format. To me, this week was kind of a chance for everyone to catch their breath a bit. We got to see our heroic foursome settling back into their mission(and in Finch's case, working on his emotional recovery). And while it was pretty much "business as usual" for our heroes, we saw the beginning of some new plot threads for this season.

The reveal of how Stanton is controlling Snow was so cool. I'm assuming that by now she knows John is still alive. I wonder what that reunion will be like. And of course we have the villains still inside the government, who apparently took something from Corwin's body. Very curious to see how THAT all plays out.

I noticed Carter seemed a lot more onboard with helping Reese & Finch than she ever was last year. Her whole demeanor towards them has softened, especially Finch. And I like that Finch was the same with her. She & Fusco are much more like teammates now than assets to Finch.

John's "job interview" was pricess. As soon as he picked the first guy's pocket, I had a feeling he was going to use his wallet to demonstrate his superiority. But picking all the other guys too? AWESOME. Very "Leverage", for those who watch it. And the dialogue about Finch buying a security firm "and a credit bureau" reminded me of the "I bought the airline, it seemed simpler" moment from Inception(a moment which makes me laugh EVERY time).

Of course, the biggest highlight of the episode was Finch & Bear, so cute! Loved the progression of Finch with the ball. And Bear's expressions were priceless. I think my favorite moment came during a phone call between Finch and Carter, and Bear is looking VERY attentively at Finch's screen. Just wonderful. :) I said in my comments for one of the other eps this season, shows can easily overdo it with a dog, but they're doing Bear just right.

celticmarc said...

Agreeing with you here, after the last 2 weeks, this one was.... indeed less intense. Well I guess it's like a roller coaster; we can't always be at high velocity and thrills. The last 2 weeks really spoiled us.

Zoo-therapy, a new approach. "Doesn't look like much a conversationalist."

OMG ! Reese smiled at least twice. A 3rd time if the twitch counts. Nothing like putting a man on a ledge to make you feel good !

ChrisB said...

I love the relationship between Reese and Finch and this week showed us both sides of it. Reese talking about how Finch helped him and then turning the tables and helping Finch.

The final shot, Finch flanked by Reese and Bear, may be one of my favorite images ever in this series. "Does it have to be beer?'