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Person of Interest: Shadow Box

“Our team has shifted priorities back to the man in the suit. He’s still out there. Do you still want to catch him?”

General rule: the more that goes on in an episode of Person of Interest, the better that episode is. A lot went on in this episode.

Let’s start with our weekly persons of interest: Abby Monroe, big-hearted vigilante and Shane Coleman, her one-armed boyfriend. Abby and Shane are determined to bring down her former boss, Chapple, after discovering that he used predatory lending practices to cheat returning veterans out of their homes and life savings. It sounds a little clich├ęd, but most PoI weekly stories are.

All in all, it worked for me. Chapple made an excellent villain and Abby and Shane’s pasts really gave both Reese and Finch reasons to connect with them. Reese of course has a strong affinity for veterans and identifies with the need for vengeance. He seems to have a sort of inherent respect for vigilantes, being one himself. For his part, Finch really connects with Abby. Although little reason is given for this, I would guess it has to do with her being an Honors student, which he mentioned twice. She’s a smart person who gets in over her head; it’s not hard to see how Finch could relate to Abby.

One of the most unique things about this show is how the characters continually grow and change. It’s very bizarre for a crime procedural. Most shows in this vein keep their characters stuck in neutral so the audience can enjoy the same sort of thing week in and week out. Progress is made in tiny increments, mostly in season finales. Not so with PoI.

From being bookish and introverted, Finch has blossomed in quite a spectacular way. He’s more than willing to break into Chapple’s offices, refuses to leave even when he knows he’s in trouble, and actually hops on a motorcycle. The look Reese gives him when he says he’s thinking of getting one himself is just priceless. For his part, Reese refers to Finch as his “friend,” (we’ve come a long way since he was “technical support”) and willingly opens up to him about his...gasp...feelings. He’s happy and he knows he has Finch to thank for it. Our boys are growing up so quickly!

Even Carter gets in on the character development. This time last year, I never thought I’d see the day where Carter puts our dynamic crime fighting duo ahead of her legal and ethical responsibilities to the proper authorities. Not only does she warn Reese and Finch that Donnelly is coming for them, she lies to his face to try to get Reese out of trouble. I just wonder how long she can play the dumb blonde with Donnelly. He doesn’t seem stupid.

The cliffhanger was perfect. It was cute, not stressful, which makes a nice change. The catchy music played over the reveal of our men in suits made it obvious to me that Reese will get out of this in an agreeably fun and flashy way; the only question is how. It’s not the sort of suspense that would drive me insane over the summer, but it is enough to keep me curious until January.

Bits and Pieces:

How cute were Finch and Reese washing Bear? That’s why I have a dog who fits in my kitchen sink. And a good groomer.

I wasn’t sure it was possible, but Carter’s bangs are getting even worse. They’re too short, too blunt, and too thick.

I love the little gesture Reese uses when turning Finch off in his ear. There’s a little flourish that’s just adorable.


“Do you listen to all of my conversations?”
“More or less. You’re looking nice, Carter. Maybe this Cal Beecher would be good for you too. So long as he treats you right. He messes with you, he’ll be hearing from me.”
“Okay, alright, look. We’re gonna have to set some boundaries here.”
“Well, sure. Things get heavy with you and Cal, we’ll tune out right away.”

“I woke up this morning and I felt...it took me a while to put my finger on it...but I felt happy.”
You can always tell when Reese is happy. “His scowl is slightly less scowly.”

“I’m watching Philip Chapple meet with two armed men.”
“What are they like?”
“Like you to be honest: low-key and vaguely menacing.”

“Who are you?”
“I find it hard to answer that, even to myself.”
One of these days I should put a list together of every response Reese has given to this question.

“I like these kids.”
“I’d like them to live.”

“I hate to say this Finch, but we’re in a little bit of a pickle here.”
Reese does have a gift for understatement.

“I’m not going to make it, Harold. I’m sorry. I screwed up. But I meant what I said yesterday. So, thanks Harold. It was fun.”

three and a quarter out of four wet dogs
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


  1. "General rule: the more that goes on in an episode of Person of Interest, the better that episode is."

    This! Absolutely the best way to sum up PoI. And a lot DID happen this episode, even forgetting about the whole Cal Beecher-HR thing.

    When Chapple's men were in the bank hunting Reese and the other two, with the FBI closing in, I thought it would be fairly obvious that Reese would leave one of the men for Donnelly, to be the 'man in the suit'. Didn't quite expect the (more fun) ending - good bit of misdirection there.

  2. I have to give POI a lot of credit for improving both character and story. For me the single best decision the show has made so far, is introducing Bear to the team. He brings such humanity to both Finch and Reese that I can't imagine the show without him.

  3. Sunbunny, you're so right about the characters growing and changing and that it's not the usual procedural fare. That's probably why I'm still watching this show. Loved the ending with the four guys in the suits.

    But your comment about the "catchy music" made me feel old. That was the Stones. :)

  4. While I know it's the Stones, and I have an album of theirs somewhere, I always think of that song as "the one in all the Scorsese movies." :-)

  5. Uh-oh. My lack of musical education is showing! :)

  6. I feel like we're having a bizarre conversation on three articles and via email right now, sunbunny.

    It's a song worth noticing, since (due to Scorsese's influence) it has become shorthand for a major (male) character undergoing a dramatic personal transition that will (likely) end badly. Mark Greig might have more to add; he knows a lot about Scorsese films.

    So it's undeniably catchy, but its use in the scene in this episode made me think that Reese was getting his comeuppance for his fey happiness earlier in the episode.

    I'm also impressed they shelled out for the rights to it. PoI has such a huge budget compared to most of the shows I watch.

  7. I know! I have to keep checking to see what I'm supposed to be responding to in which thread.

  8. Since I don't watch POI, I am assuming the song is 'Gimme Shelter' (an aweseome track from the Stones' 1969 album Let it Bleed) since that is the only one I know that is used in a lot of Scoresese's movies, except, ironically, Shine A Light, his concert film about the Rolling Stones. It is a fairly dark song. Jagger himself described it as an end of the world song, inspired by the violence and tension of the time it was recorded.

  9. You're right, Mark, it's "Gimme Shelter". (I just got around to watching this episode last night. Person of Interest doesn't usually sit on the DVR, but it's been busy!)

  10. Oh wow !! Great one !!

    Time for Bear's bath LOL Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, no outside action for our pooch this week...

    (oh good !! you noted it : "I find hard to answer that...even to myself !") (oh, my dots : your comma; interesting) (this show blows my mind real good) (not as intensively as Lost though)

    LOL when Finch wanted a motorcycle. Yes, you spend too much time in front of cptr screens (oops, don't WE all ??) (I'm afraid yes)

    And that end with the Rolling Stones song. Wow. And a smile on my face after reading your review !

    Hey !!! I'm up to date !

  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_a0zOLMAfw

  12. It's been my experience that "Gimme Shelter" has come to symbolize any hero, or especially anti-hero, who is now facing up to what he has done in the past. As soon as the opening riff sounded, I knew Reese would be caught.

    I liked this one, especially the end. Finch's face when Reese says "It's been fun" broke my heart.


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