Person of Interest: C.O.D.

“American dream, right?”

For the second week in a row, I am thoroughly underwhelmed. Sigh. The show is solid and I haven’t yet seen an episode I didn’t like, but it seems to have been a while since I loved an episode. I think they’ve been doing too many standalones and not engaging enough with Snow and Stanton. Also, I must admit to being bored by Fusco’s predicament with HR.

In Season 1, HR was a scary organization mainly because it was so mysterious. We didn’t know who they were or how far up the conspiracy went. Now we know exactly who they are. In addition, they’ve sort of fallen apart. Most of their men (and possibly women, although we haven’t actually seen any) are in jail. I do want to be interested, but the de-scarifying of HR in addition to the absence of another main cast member in the story is turning me off.

I really liked this week’s person of interest, however. Fermin Oroñez was just the kind of guy you love to root for. He’s a good guy whose dreams were crushed when fate intervened. All he wants from life is his family back. Unfortunately, all the Estonians want is their laptop back and Fermin knows where it is.

I suspected for one brief, fabulous second that D3MON8 would turn out to be Root. When Finch headed to meet him by himself I was sure Amy Acker would show up. Disappointing. Oh well, at least we got to see Finch act like a relative badass. Reese is definitely rubbing off on him. He was very menacing to D3MON8 and when he called him “Albert” it was so hilarious/emasculating.

I thought they would do more with Señor Mendoza, the man who was supposed to be smuggling Fermin’s wife and son into the US. I commend PoI for not doing the typical Cuban immigrant storyline. Immigrants can have other problems besides coyotes. Actually, do they still call them coyotes when they’re sneaking people over from Cuba and not Mexico? Are there actual coyotes in Cuba? Inquiring minds want to know.

Gus pointed out in the comments last week that Finch and Reese’s banter seemed to be off. The pattern unfortunately continues this week. Actually, there was little humor at all. Even Bear was definitively unfunny this week. The only part of the ep that made me laugh was Fermin knocking out one of the Estonians with a billiard ball. He may not be a professional baseball player, but he still has the touch.

Bits and Pieces:

The title C.O.D. (cash on delivery) is sort of lame. They’re usually better at naming their episodes.

I hate when baddies tear the cash in half and promise the other half later. Is money that’s been torn in half and taped back together still good? Even so, it is suspicious, especially when it’s multiple large bills.

Carter said that Pushkov once hacked into a drone station and was able to sell control of that drone to the highest bidder. That is literally one of the most terrifying things I can think of.

Reese’s tone seems to have reverted back to early Season 1. He seemed gruffer, shorter, and less concerned with the lives or predicaments of Fusco, Carter, and even Finch. Is he just having a bad week?

Bear actually got to do his job this week! Bear makes the cutest muscle man ever. Who’s a good attack dog?

At the end, Reese asked Carter to keep an eye on Fusco, reversing the situation of Season 1.

Quotes:

“I know you’d rather fiddle with the onboard computer system, Finch, but why not try a little small talk?”
How like Finch to attempt to get answers from a machine and not the person sitting two feet away from him.

“Sometimes when I look in the mirror at my passenger, I never know if I’m driving around a good guy or a bad guy, you know?”

“Don’t tell me Fidel Castro is really dead.”
“Actually, yes, and his body double has cancer.”
That would explain...nothing really.

“You’re here because if this thing goes sideways, these guys are gonna want something to shoot.”
So, that makes Fusco a human stress ball?

two out of four magic laptops
---
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl

12 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

I was underwhelmed too, sunbunny. Although watching Finch channel Ben Linus was a hoot.

I believe that coyotes that take people across bodies of water are called seahorses.

:-) That's not even a little bit true.

Gus Brunetti said...

Yeah, it was a filler episode. Again. Your review is tremendously accurate.

I missed things like Finch saying "Albert" and the fact that it was a billiard ball that Fermin used. I thought it was a baseball, and I was like "what? He carries a baseball around? And does a baseball knock a goon down just like that? And I thought that COD meant only Cause of Death, and was puzzled by the title.

I only disagree a little with what you said about HR. They're "de-scarifying" it, certainly, but I think it served three purposes: 1) give Lionel a character moment when he makes a stand, not just pushed around like always; 2) show that HR is almost done, and that they're not going to be a the villains anymore, that they didn't go out with a bang, but with a whimper; and 3) that Elias, though caged, is still running things. The only wild card to be played is its head; the rest is gone.

What I find more interesting about it is that HR isn't exiting stage left because of our heroes (or at least not only because of them), but mostly because of Elias. What Elias and Stanton are doing, and HR did, is large scope, while our heroes are worried mostly about small potatoes. Noble as their intentions are, they save people on a one-by-one basis, and most people they save won't matter much for the big picture. I'm not saying they shouldn't, but they'll eventually have to face the fact that they're small fish, and that will be interesting to see. Of course, small fish can still make a lot of damage. Ask the candiru.

There's been a lot of comparison of PoI with a superhero show, and sunbunny has already pointed it out. It occurred to me that the show is building a rather large recurring rogue gallery (Stanton, Elias, HR, Root, in one season and a third), and those villains are always working their schemes, can be stopped but not permanently, and have their conflicts with each other. In a realistic context (as far as a show like this can be), this is fascinating.

To end, some trivia: in Brazil, money bills still have value if there's more than 50% of it. When a torn bill ends up in the bank, it gets replaced, However, it's illegal to destroy money. Or show real currency on television, oddly enough.

tricksterson said...

Maybe a contest for the sea-going equivalent of a coyote? I nominate barracuda.
Also tell me I wasn't the only one to gasp when that thug said "Shoot the dog."

sunbunny said...

Gus - I'm also illegal destroy money in the US, and it's illegal to show real money on TV. I've never understood that, though it's probably saved shows like this a pretty penny. PS. I'm putting "tremendously accurate" on my résumé. :D

tricksterson - Barracuda is good! I was pissed when they said 'Shoot the dog,' but it's network TV. They're not going to kill a dog. Viewers would revolt. Haha.

Gus Brunetti said...

Maybe our countries are not so different after all.

I vote for seahorses. Much cuter.

I also thought they'd kill Bear, if only to raise the stakes. I almost freaked out!

Josie Kafka said...

From the Wikipedia page on candiru: "Adults can grow to around 40 centimetres (16 in) with a rather small head and a belly that can appear distended, especially after a large blood meal."

And again, in case anyone missed it: "a large blood meal."

Sunbunny, I think money is still good if all of the serial number is visible.

Wait...never mind. I just looked at a $5 bill to confirm, and serial numbers on money are printed on both the left and the right.

I had no idea that TV money isn't real money. Next you'll tell me that leprechauns aren't real!

Nick said...

Totally agree with this review. I was kinda expecting Root to show up too, it seems so like her. At the very least, I got my hopes up when we were told about the laptop - I think the writers missed a great opportunity to tie the larger story in this POI of the week.

I also agree that HR is much less interesting now. When they revealed who HR's big boss was, I hoped that it'd mean we'd see a resurgence (especially since I really thought they killed the organisation off in the Season 1 finale). Here's to hoping they can still turn it around.

But I think it says a lot about how generally good POI is that we're underwhelmed by an episode that's not really bad at all.

PlatinumRosebud said...

Cool review, sunbunny.
I hope that we'll see more of Enrico Colantoni (Elias) now that his Flashpoint series has ended.
Love this guy; he was great in Flashpoint.

Billie Doux said...

I scribbled down a brief reaction to this episode to post after watching it, and I might as well post it.

Root? No Root. :(
What a snooze.
Dog cute!

celticmarc said...

Another good review sunbunny and agreeing with you. Good stuff, but not great.

You gotta give Firmin that : he's a very good judge of character. And the love is growing between Finch and Bear...

celticmarc said...

tricksterson

No, you're weren't the only one. Bastards.

The comments are as good as the reviews. Have I mentioned how much I love this site ????

ChrisB said...

A rather meh episode, but I do like the Finch/Bear moments. I loved the brief moment when Finch smiled as he was feeding Bear. Very quick, but very sweet.