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Person of Interest: Provenance

“How about Fort Knox, do you think we could take Fort Knox?”

I was expecting something fast-paced and fun. We got that, to a degree. But I must admit, I found myself wishing this episode was faster-paced and funner, both of which are words for the purposes of this review.

It wasn’t bad, it was just...filler. I’m inclined to say the show needs to regain its bearings since Taraji P. Henson’s exit, but that’s not quite right. They’ve done episodes like this before. The episode did signal an end to the mopey, Carter-grieving arc. I miss her too, but it’s time for the show to move on. The last scene was a great acknowledgement of the fact. Carter will be remembered and missed but we can’t go on brooding about her every week. I know that sounds harsh, but remember: she’s fictional.

For about the millionth time, this week’s person of interest is a victim the gang originally thinks might be a perpetrator. (Attention writers: this is no longer a surprising twist. Please stop.) Kelli Lin, an Olympic gymnast turned art thief is being forced to work for a criminal syndicate out of the Czech Republic that is holding her daughter captive. Typing that sentence just now, I realize how much more fun this episode should’ve been. It had its moments of levity, but they were spaced between long stretches of nothing special.

The interactions between Kelli and Shaw were a highlight. They had great chemistry and Shaw was so obviously attracted to her. I totally expected at least a kiss to come out of it. They were all sweaty and half naked and stealing things...seriously, how did nothing happen there?

From a promo-y piece I’d read a few days ago, I was expecting the Reese masquerades and Finch’s boyfriend scenario to be an actual thing instead of one throwaway line. Granted, it was a totally unnecessary addition to the plot. Plus-one doesn’t necessarily indicate romantic attachment and it was a bit of an odd assumption to make. If the woman had seen the tie tying scene, she might’ve had something to go on. As it was, it was just two men together at a black-tie event at a museum...actually, scratch that. She may have had a point.

They really ought to have upped the Ocean’s 11 of it all. Once the heist got started, it was a decent amount of fun. I just wish we didn’t have to slog through some of the dullest exposition in the history of Person of Interest to get to it.

I would also like to give a special mention to the rather ridiculous Interpol agent who arrived straight out of Central Casting. He’s been just one step behind Kelli for years but falls for her rather simplistic ploy and ends up inadvertently aiding her in her theft? And then once he has his quarry, he’s fine with letting her go completely? I mean, really. And where’s his team? Does Interpol seriously just send out one agent to capture a legendary art thief? Like I said, rather ridiculous.

Bits and Pieces

I’ve said it before; I will say it again. This show has more jokes about men’s fashion than any other show on television.

Sarah Shahi in that dress? My jaw dropped. According to her Twitter account, she purchased the dress for Shaw herself.

“The Purloined Letter” is the name of a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

There isn’t one Gutenberg Bible, there are over 40 (only half of which are complete).

Reese’s mustache. That is all.

Kelli really, really should’ve been wearing gloves when handling the Bible. She was so sweaty and that book is over 500 years old and it was upsetting.

Don’t worry; I checked. At the end when they’re all having a drink, Fusco is drinking water.


Reese: “I see you’ve updated your arsenal, Shaw.”

Check In Lady: “Oh my, he’s gorgeous.”
Finch: (raises eyebrows suggestively)

Shaw: “I promise I won’t touch anything or bump into any of your NCCSI guys I swear.”
Cute, CBS.

Shaw: “It looks...kinda like my place, actually.”

Shaw: “Fine, I’ll cut the thief loose.”
Kelli: “I already cut myself loose.”

Fusco: “I should start charging fares.”

two out of four really important cultural artifacts one should not handle without gloves


  1. I guess I enjoyed this episode more than you did sunbunny, but I understand your criticisms of it. You're right, the show does tend to do these "catch your breath" episodes after a major event or story arc. While the main story was ultimately just filler(even though it was quite entertaining at times), this episode for me was all about that wonderful final scene. Yes, John did decide to come back and rejoin Team Machine, but I think he needed that bit of reassurance from the others that they too felt like there would always be an empty seat at the table where Carter was supposed to be. Hopefully in time we'll actually see John smiling again, I don't think he cracked a smile once in this episode.

    The other nice thing about that final scene was how it showed Detective Fusco in relation to the others. Usually he's shown as an outsider, a resource to be used, not an actual team member. In that last scene he seemed more like part of the group than he ever has. More importantly, I think that meant something to him. Fusco's redemption has always been one of the more interesting character arcs of the show to me. It's something I wish they would spotlight more often. One of the stand-out moments of Season 1 for me was the scene in the finale when Fusco confesses to Carter that he's been working with "the guy in the suit". You could hear it in his voice how much it meant to him that he was a part of their mission. With Carter gone, and Root off doing who-knows-what, maybe he'll finally get the increased screen time he deserves.

  2. I haven't seen the episode yet (DVR pile up) so I'm trying not to read your review too closely, but I saw your tweet. If you really want to cringe about something, you should check out what they did to one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They took it up to a roof where the wind was blowing hard to unroll it, and then they repaired it with Scotch tape.

  3. Boring.

    I never guessed I would use this word related to PoI, but now I do.

    Forget Interpol guy, with so much success he could probably do whatever he wanted, including letting Kelly go. But Fusco? He apprehended two criminals and just let them slip? At least the Interpol agent knew Reese was a decoy for Kelly, why didn't he try to interrogate him?

    Reese jumped to assumption that Kelly was a spy without any reason. That was annoying.

    Kelly. Why on Earth would she jump twice between so conveniently placed tubes before finally jumping over fence, also conveniently open from above? Parker (from Leverage) would do it in a couple of seconds.

    Notice that I mentioned Leverage? That's right, the whole episode seemed like it was an unused script for the Leverage episode. Found in a dumpster. Marked with "boring".

  4. migmit -- I laughed out loud when I read your comment as the entire time I was watching this episode, I was reminded of Leverage. The plot, the character interactions, even some of the dialogue seemed to have been lifted right out.

    I didn't hate this episode, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. I did really enjoy the final scene, but hope that we are now ready to move on.

  5. That was a fun episode. I don't require an earth-shattering whatever every episode. Guess I'm just old-fashioned that way. Sure the episode was a bit by the numbers but I found all the character interaction quite fun. Reese smiled two or three times in the episode though so he wasn't all grim. Kelli's superfluous acrobatic maneuvers were hilarious though. I get they were trying to show her background through it but it just made me crack up. Also Reese's mustache.

    But Shaw in that dress. Yowza.

  6. I thought this was a bit dull, too, but I liked the way it was one big snark about the Olympics. That made me smile.

    For what it's worth, opinions are divided about whether to handle 500 year-old manuscripts with gloves or not. Gloves can protect manuscripts from sweat, but they can also make the reader use more force than necessary to move the pages.

    Reese's mustache. He should wear that all the time.

    Last year there were some dull episodes around January and February, right? Then we got "Relevance." Maybe the show is working towards another wonderful one.

  7. Little scene in the elevator made me cackle, though not actually that funny.
    "Do you really have nuclear triggers in that briefcase?"
    *Reese bashes him with the briefcase and takes off his moustache*


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