Person of Interest: Critical

“Ex CIA? Smashing. How much do you cost?”

What makes Person of Interest so amazing? This episode, while ordinary in every way, is a great example. The story of the week was really quite boring. Corporate espionage is not the most creative scenario, and PoI had already done something similar in "Risk" from season one. Still, the show comes out swinging. Impeccable acting from every single person on screen, impressively subtle writing, and a dog who speaks only Dutch. Please, CBS gods, let this show run forever!

I cannot compliment the writing of this show enough. The writers show incredible restraint and subtlety every damn week. It’s the sort of things you may register subconsciously but don’t necessarily think about. I love the understated distinctions drawn between characters. The people on the show are all about choices. The writers of PoI don’t seem into predestination or fate. Instead our characters make choices that shape who they are.

For instance, Finch uses his millions to build wings (yes, plural) at a hospital while Wesley and his cohorts use their money to sell a stock short in hopes that their murder of the company’s CEO will make them more money. Or look at Maddy and Snow. Snow kills not one but two people in order to save his own life while Maddy refuses to take a single life despite her wife being in the crosshairs of a sniper.

It looks like our baddy of the week, Alistair Wesley (the inimitable Julian Sands) is going to be a recurring character. Hurray for more nemeses for our superhero duo! With his background in intelligence, attention to detail, and general badassness, he is primed and ready to be the dark version of our Mr. Reese. Formidable, indeed. Julian Sands is much scarier than Enrico Colantoni could ever hope to be, although I’m far from wishing Elias gone.

Leon (Lost alum Ken Leong) has been set up as recurring as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the show occasionally, but I think he’d eventually get annoying. It was great seeing him interact with Bear. I also loved Finch commanding Bear over the phone. When I was in college, I once tried to Skype with my dog (via a human, obviously). He got very, very confused. I wasn’t there, but according to my mom, he kept trying to get behind the computer to find me.

Fusco’s back after an unexplained absence last week. Is it just me or does his hair get darker and darker each time we see it? Put your hands up and step away from the hair dye. Speaking of hair, Jim Caviezel seems to have less salt in his pepper this week as well. It doesn’t look bad per se, but the silver fox thing had really been working for him.

I wasn’t on board at all with the idea of Fusco and Carter working on a case by themselves. No snappy one-liners, no excessive yet creative violence. Just boring, perfectly legal police work. Yawn. Then, of course, Snow showed up and changed everything. What is Stanton after? More importantly, when will we actually see her again and why in the world are they using Annie Parisse so sparingly?

Bits and Pieces:

I kept waiting for a Lost reference, but either the writers didn’t indulge themselves or I missed it. Anyone catch anything? It’s been so long since I’ve seen Lost.

Asset manager John Rooney returns.

Alistair Wesley. They didn’t skimp on the Britishness of that name, did they?

As Maddy and Finch were saving Veldt’s life, all I could think about was how he was definitely going to sue them and the hospital when he woke up.

Snow had time to tell Carter that someone was making him kill people, that this person was a woman known to both him and Reese, and that he was wearing a bomb but couldn’t manage the two syllables of ‘Stanton.’

Was it just me or was Reese a lot more violent than usual this week?

Quotes:

“Fellas, whatever bodily harm you wanna inflict on this guy, I’m sure he earned it, but I have to ask you to let it slide.”

“Never did figure John for upper management.”
Why ever not? He certainly has the wardrobe for it.

“Oh and, please, don’t touch any of my computer equipment.”
“If you do, the dog will kill you.”

“What am I supposed to do for entertainment?”
“It’s a library, Mr. Tao.”

“Oh dear. Look at it. It’s squishy.”
I shall call it Squishy and it shall be mine. It shall be my Squishy.

“Think we’ll be seeing him again any time soon?”
“Stranger things have happened.”
Like a plane crashing on a mysterious tropical island populated by polar bears and a smoke monster?

three out of four squishy hearts
---
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl

5 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

What makes Person of Interest so amazing?

I was wondering exactly the same thing as I started watching this episode. This show should be silly. In some ways, it is silly--but it embraces it campiness in a way that allows us to enjoy the silliness while maintaining ironic distance. That's all I can figure out in terms of my increasing love for this CBS show.

The Hot Pockets might be a Lost reference: Hurley threw one at Ben in the fifth season. But that's a stretch. I'd hoped that the book Finch gave Leon would be a Lost-related book, but it wasn't.

I think they should have just called Alistair Wesley "Julian Sands." Because that's who he was playing, wasn't it?

Great job noticing the parallels, by the way. I was just so happy to see someone thrown out of a window in the very first scene that I missed them entirely.

PlatinumRosebud said...

Allo, Josie.
Nice review.
It was great to watch Julian Sands again.
He was great and downright frightening and of course so creepo in Warlock.
Hope he comes back in PoI.
As for Enrico Colantoni (Elias), i guess he comes to PoI more often once his series Flashpoint finishes its final season.
Have a nice day, Josie.

celticmarc said...

Another great, intense, edge of y seat episode.

(LOL about the CBS Gods. SO I can safely assume that NBC is run by Devils, especially with Community's treatment ????)

(LOL 2 with the doggy Skype) (poor dog)

(LOL 3 for the Lost references)

Finch's reaction to "You're the boss. LOL Payback for last week.

"The latrine's passed down the periodicals." Oh nice change : shooting now in the foot. Another bird reference : Dr Crane !

Yes, that would be great to have the return of the Brit. Awesome foe !

ChrisB said...

I loved Finch getting all squeamish during surgery. For someone so sanguine, it was a fabulous character beat.

Leon is a hoot. I hope we see a lot more of him. When he fed Bear the rest of bowl of noodles, I burst out laughing. Everyone finds a way to bond with Bear.

Patrick said...

I've been re-watching PoI and just got to this episode, it's still one of my favorites. It's not a big episode when it comes to the "mythology" of the show, but it's a very solid episode with a well-written primary story and a nice mythology tease, plus some very strong guest stars. It's a shining example of this show's true strength. That simple and straightforward can still be compelling television when you have good writing and actors who always bring their A-game.

The other thing I was reminded of is that I wish the show would bring back two of this episode's guest stars. We've never seen Julian Sands' character again, that's a shame. And while I used to think Leon would be annoying if we got too much of him, now I'm not so sure. Almost like how Fusco seemed to find a purpose in Season 1 while helping Team Machine, Leon seemed to really enjoy himself in this episode. He reminds me a little of Hardison & Parker from the show Leverage. Sure, he likes making a buck, but he's also in it for the fun, and I think over time he'd discover that helping people would start to mean something to him.