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Person of Interest: Brotherhood

"We're gonna play hide and seek. Don't worry, I'm really good at this game."

Person of Interest has done the kid thing before a few times with mixed results. How did they fare this time?

Malcolm really worked for me as a character. I think it was important that they let him make mistakes but remain sympathetic. He made some truly bad decisions (owning an illegal gun, stealing the money, volunteering to work for the Brotherhood) but for the right reasons. His motivations felt very real. He didn't want money or power. He wanted his mom and his little sister to be safe and happy. I don't doubt that that desire is going to lead him to eventually working for Dominic and the Brotherhood.

The episode came with a trademark super sweet ending: Malcolm and Tracy were relocated into a foster home where they could be together, Reese got a high powered attorney to take on their mother's case, Malcolm wants to grow up to be a cop. Then came that final scene with the Brotherhood. They're going to get Malcolm's mom out of jail with the expectation that he'll feel indebted to them and eventual end up working for them. The depressing fact is that they're probably right. Have we seen the end of the super sweet with a cherry on top endings? I definitely wouldn't mind the show scaling them back.

Lennox being the Brotherhood's mole shocked me just as it was meant to. From her first line, her grumbly monotone made me her seem like the female version of Reese and earned my implicit trust. I was thinking that they might make her a recurring Team Machine ally or something. Instead, she's evil and dead. Person of Interest doesn't often truly surprise me, but this did. I audibly gasped when her phone rang.

Elias is back. A new organized crime threat gives the show the perfect opportunity to bring him back in a more meaningful way. He didn't have too much to do this week. I hope his presence here was a signal that he'll be back more frequently this season. He certainly seems very interested in the Brotherhood and their mysterious/gigantic leader.

Mini being Dominic was a foreseeable if not outright obvious twist. The mystery surrounding his identity made it obvious we'd seen him before and there was the trick with the name: doMINIc. The show did something similar when they introduced Elias way back in season 1. Like I said, foreseeable. It didn't make it a bad decision. I liked him both in his 'Mini' persona and as the crime boss. And it was certainly fun seeing him be evenly matched against itty bitty Shaw.

This was really the first episode this season that didn't deal with the Samaritan arc. The season's opener "Panopticon" gave the team a phone network to use to get around Samaritan, last week's "Wingman" gave them financial resources, and "Nautilus" was really all about Samaritan. I can't say I minded the change. Of course, there's no guarantee that the Brotherhood isn't somehow connected with Samaritan. Basically all criminal activity has that possibility now. Samaritan is such a big bad we have no way of knowing what it's doing. It could easily have set up the Brotherhood as a front for something. In any case, Samaritan's letting them operate without major intervention. Presumably Samaritan could wipe out all (or almost all) crime but that would raise more than a few eyebrows. Samaritan may have been devised for surveillance, but it's first priority is self preservation.

Bits and Pieces:

Bear ate some of Finch's students' papers. My dog may have victimized my dad in a similar fashion. Although not being a ginormous Belgian Shepherd, he was only able to destroy one. Hypothetically.

The show was very light on the funny this week. (Hence the puny Quotes section)


Malcolm: "You wanna be the man, you gotta have a plan."

Malcolm: "I was thinking of being a cop. Like you."
Reese: "Is that right?"
Malcolm: "But I'd shoot less people."

three out of four bags of crumpled newspaper

sunbunny, who is pleasantly surprised at how consistently good this season has been so far


  1. The funny thing is that I was the opposite of you this week. I totally thought Lennox was the mole from almost the moment she mentioned it, but was taken by surprise by Mini being Dominic.


  2. Malcolm: "I was thinking of being a cop. Like you."
    Reese: "Is that right?"
    Malcolm: "But I'd shoot less people."

    I really wish Reese had responded to that with: "Fewer, Malcolm. Fewer people." Sure, it would have ruined the moment, but grammar is an important life lesson, too.

    I really didn't connect with this episode. The ones with kids are rarely my favorites. Plus, all the Brotherhood storylines so far have just got me wondering how much it must suck to be a wonderful actor who is black, and get stuck playing gangstas all the time (like the guy from The Wire).

    That's okay, though. Sometimes PoI is like Buffy: a slowish start means even more fun down the line.

  3. Dustin - I've heard from a few people that they suspected Lennox instantly. Maybe I'm just too trusting. :)

    Josie - That's one of my grammar pet peeves too. I almost added a catty comment correcting it in the review but I was able to resist. It's seriously not hard and yet people get it wrong all.the.time.

  4. I think a lot of people get it wrong because they've never heard of the rule. I didn't hear about it until I was, oh, mid to late twenties.

  5. Dustin - I'm right here with you. When Lennox gave her phone to the girl (forgot her name) I thought at first that she's gonna call someone she isn't supposed to; but it didn't happen for quite some time, so it became obvious that the phone would be used as evidence of Lennox's treachery.

    And Mini/Dominic thing - I never saw it coming. I blame the language, or rather my own poor knowledge of it. I was too busy understanding the meaning of words to think about how they are written.

  6. I thought Link was going to be dominic.

    though i don't know how i feel about some random guy being able to tell shaw planted a tracker on him while none of our dream team was.

  7. I'm with Dustin and migmit. I thought it was obvious that Lennox was the mole as soon as shw mentionned it (well, either her or her partner), but I didn't pick up on Mini being Dominic. I do watch with the closed captionning, so I guess I should have been able to pick up on the play on the name, but I didn't and I was genuinely shocked at the reveal.

    For some reason, I have a bit of trouble getting into this season. This episode stayed on my DVR until tonight (Friday) when I finally decided to watch it. I guess I'm not that interested in that Brotherhood stuff, so I hope they're more than just another criminal gang.

  8. Been slowly catching up on Person of Interest and reading (and enjoying!) your reviews as I go along, so hope this isn't too random!

    I just want to respond to Josie's and sunbunny's grammar comments. I mean... c'mon, y'all. Really? You're going to nitpick the AAVE? "Grammar is an important life lesson"? I feel like this episode indicated p r e t t y well that it really isn't. Given the amount of African-American Vernacular English in this episode paired with gang activity and shootings, it seems pretty obvious that the latter activities are more serious. How ridiculous would it have been for Reese to correct Malcolm every time the boy said "don't got"?

    Kind of ironic that Josie actually mentioned "it must suck to be a wonderful actor who is black, and get stuck playing gangstas all the time" and then went on to criticize a black actor's grammar.

  9. Hi Eden, I criticized the writer's grammar. Not the actor's, since he didn't write the lines.

  10. And, just to be clear, I'm not "nitpick[ing] the AAVE." To the best of my knowledge, the fewer/less confusion is endemic across all styles of English.

  11. Never bothered me tbh. "Should of" is the mistake that makes me want to give a person a bit of the ole one-two. But I'm going to assume the 'fewer' thing is its equivalent for youse, so I sympathize. Anyway what bothered me more was the damn kid's repetition of that "man w/ a plan" quote. I don't know why lol it's inoffensive enough, but that alone made this a worse experience than the black weeaboo kid episode (the Ronin ep, forgive my slang). He didn't repeat it AS much as I remembered it but it still really annoyed me.

    The ending felt uncharacteristically harsh, though Root HAS been warning us regularly that things are getting darker. But I also loved the way they used whatever music that was, or at least the specific instrument that was thrumming just as the shot of Lennox dumped on the floor cut to black. It's "Gun" by Emiliana Torrini and was used on Luther more blatantly but it's the thrumming sound that closed out this PoI ep that finally made me curious. The thrumming also closes out the actual song and I'm impressed that wasn't just a TV edit because I like these kinds of harder stops on my songs more than the fading out, even if the latter's easier on the ears. I don't like talking about music because I can't identify specific instruments worth shit and it's impossible to describe some of the sounds that interest me but I think I managed here.

    So, I mean I'm glad that the procedural stuff isn't gone, I think breather episodes have purpose and I'll be more than happy if they stick around to the end (I doubt it since it looks like the final season has only half the episodes and IIRC Nolan had a 6-season plan, bummer) but it does take some of the bite away from the whole 'going into hiding' situation and I don't like that kind of backpedalling. It came back too easily..


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