Person of Interest: “Proteus” (Season 2 Episode 17)

Person-of-Interest-person-of-interest-30429662-1280-1024Broadcast date:  Thursday, Mar. 7th, 2013

When Reese looks to protect a number on an island, when a sudden storm hits, Finch arrives to help. Although it wasn’t necessary a bad episode, the killer was easy to pick out early on, removing a lot of the tension. The most interesting development of the episode was the revelation that the machine has been affected by the virus that Kara uploaded. Unfortunately this episode wasn’t up to the show’s usual standards…

Person of Interest: “Booked Solid” (Season 2 Episode 15)

Person-of-Interest-person-of-interest-30429662-1280-1024Broadcast date: Thursday, Feb 14th, 2013

This was a jam-packed episode featuring a woman who was the sole witness to some war crimes hiding out under cover in a New York hotel. When she agrees to speak with a reporter, the war criminal’s election hopes are threatened and he must silence the woman by sending a Serbian hit squad. Reese and Finch must protect the woman from the hit squad and take jobs in the hotel. Complicating matters is the fact that Zoe is working in the hotel (Paige Turco continues to look Shania Twain-ish gorgeous), the manager is running a side prostitution business, and the assassin targeting the “Man in the Suit” is back to finish the job.

There’s tension and action throughout the episode that culminates in a kitchen knife fight between Reese and the assassin. But this episode is really about all the little moments: Reese being propositioned by a guest, punching the manager in the face, Fusco taking out a couple of hitman, Carter getting a polygraph from the FBI, Reese propositioning Zoe with the honeymoon suite, and Finch buying the hotel. It’s all these great little moments that make the episode one of the best of the season. I also recognized Mira the housekeeper as Mia Maestro, who played Jennifer Garner’s sister in Alias (which was one of my favorite shows).

There are some inconsistencies in the story, mainly involving the assassin. It’s not really clear why he just doesn’t kill Reese, instead taking him into the kitchen, then letting him pull himself up and begin to fight. If I had to guess, I’d say that the assassin wanted to test his skills against Reese rather than outright killing him, but that’s not really made clear. It’s dumb moves for the sake of action, and in shows like Zero Hour it’ kills the episode (and the series). The difference here is Person of Interest has so much more to offer that I can let that inconsistency slide. The show tries very hard to eliminate such inconsistencies and answer questions, it’s smartly-written, and not sloppy. There’s also a twist at the end where we see that the Office of Special Counsel to the White House is behind the assassin, and the re-appearance of Root, that just makes the episode that much better.

Person of Interest: “One Percent” (Season 2 Episode 14)

Person-of-Interest-person-of-interest-30429662-1280-1024Broadcast date:  Thursday, Feb. 7th, 2013

One thing you have to admit about Person of Interest: it doesn’t discriminate: old, young, male, female, rich, poor – they all need protecting. So protecting a billionaire should not be a surprise; in fact, they are probably more frequently a target. Reese and Finch must protect a social networking guru from, well, everybody, because let’s face it, these guys are portrayed as flippant, arrogant, and rule breakers. The writers tried very hard to give Logan Pierce depth near the end of the show, but they just didn’t create enough of a sympathetic character for me to care whether Reese and Finch succeed. What is more interesting is the feeling that Pierce is going to be a threat in the future, from his grilling Reese and Finch about how they live off the grid, to the transmitter he placed in Reese’s watch – he has the resources and ego to cause them problems.

Also of great interest is the flashback to Nathan Ingram getting a number from the machine and holding a gun. Wait, what? Nathan is Reese and Finch before Reese and Finch started! So I imagine this is how Nathan died, and why Finch has dedicated his life to the numbers. While the episode was not very good, we’ve possibly been set up with an adversary, and we’re close to finding out what really happened to Nathan. Now if only Nathan were still alive…

Person of Interest: “Dead Reckoning” (Season 2 Episode 13)

Person-of-Interest-person-of-interest-30429662-1280-1024Broadcast date:  Thursday, Jan. 31st, 2013

Dead Reckoning is the followup to the excellent Prisoner’s Dilemma episode; unfortunately, it seems that excellence was short-lived as the series returns to the problems that have plagued it for parts of this season. Now that Kara has a bomb vest on John, she can make him do whatever she wants, because she knows (based on her past relationship with him) that he has a soft spot for civilians. And so she guides him to a building that is a front for Homeland Security to develop hacking programs for taking out rival government systems, a nice touch reflecting current events with Iran. But here’s where the story begins to run into problems. Kara doesn’t download anything – she uploads something for a shadowy organization that wanted the briefcase…you know, the one that had John and Kara escaping a big bomb in China. John goes up to the roof, ready to throw himself off. And then comes the contrived, made-for-tv drama: Finch has 3 tries to decode the bomb before it blows. Guess what happens? But the worst moment is yet to come, when the FBI concludes, a little too neatly, that Snow was the “man in the suit”. Umm, exactly what evidence do they have to draw that conclusion? And Donnelly was the only guy who knew what was going on – no one else in the FBI has a clue about where is investigation was at? Not to mention that Snow was actually tasked to bring in the man in the suit at one time, so how was it possible that he was that man? At least this story arc is over and the show can move on. I do have to say I like the reveal at the end, although it was also predictable – that the laptop belonged to Finch, who is in some way, directly or indirectly, responsible for John and Kara’s situation, a bombing in China by our government to destroy the laptop, and the shadowy organization wanting what’s on it…