Person of Interest Series Premiere Review: Serious Business

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With names like J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) attached to Person of Interest, it was hard not go into this premiere with, well, interest.

The premise is relatively simple: Take one down and out ex-CIA agent filled with cynicism and a low gruff voice. Add one wealthy "concerned third party" who looks and acts a lot like Benjamin Linus from Lost. Mix it together with some science fiction grounded in reality about preventing crimes through the use of today's widespread technology.

Person of Interest Premiere Pic

Picture Eagle Eye meets Minority Report meets Jason Bourne meets Wanted.

Jim Caviezel plays the brooding John Reese, haunted by the loss of his past love and attempting to find current meaning to his life. There's clearly a lot of depth and background to this character and I'm sure we'll see more flashbacks, but for now, Reese is highly guarded and somewhat of a cold shell.

There were attempts at a little humor in his dialogue, but the witticisms lacked an inflection that might make him otherwise as charming as he is combat skilled.

But, boy, does he know how to handle himself in a fight. Ruffians and bad guys beware. Whether he's a guy with a scruffy depression beard or a a guy with a steely glare and a nice suit, John Reese is not someone you want to cross. I don't particularly like killing people, but I'm very good at it. Yes, you are.

It was entertaining to see Reese use super moves and weapons on his enemies with confident precision, but it would also be nice to see a little charisma creep out of the character every so often. I don't want Caviezel to play Reese with such a robotic and monotone manner to the point where he becomes simply boring to watch.

There's plenty of room for his character to grow and I hope that Caviezel's acting chops can illustrate a move away from something of a "Terminator" to a Reese with hope and the simple ability to communicate like a normal human being.

Michael Emerson, meanwhile, plays Reese's mysterious boss, Mr. Finch, very much like he portrayed Ben on Lost. That's not a bad thing. After all, there was a reason he was so fantastic on that show. Emerson has a way about giving his lines as if you never can truly tell where his character's intentions might lie. It's a delight to watch.

And with Finch being the creator of "The Machine," there's a lot more to this cryptic man with a limp. What are his intentions? Why did he pick Reese? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? I'm excited to see the layers of his character peeled back.

Overall, the pilot was somewhat procedural in following one particular case, but I don't think I'll mind it week by week as long as Reese and Finch are further developed. It's important to balance each case with the mythology and keep viewers coming back for more.

Additionally, it would be nice to see some character add a little humor, pizazz, and lighthearted spirit to the show in order to contrast Reese and Finch's dark and shadowy selves. I'm hoping that task falls upon Taraji P. Henson as Detective Carter, especially as she attempts to cat and mouse with Reese. She didn't have a lot of screen time this week, but prepare to see her more in upcoming episodes.

There's a lot of potential for the show and I look forward to seeing where it takes viewers. It's safe to say that, while not a perfect start, I'm still very interested.

What did you think of the series premiere? Sound off below!


Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (310 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Did you mean how one man can sneak into the back seat of an officer's personal car in the middle of a guarded police station parking lot, pull a gun on the officer, and never get noticed? Yeah, I noticed that too. Like Prime Suspect the script was a little awkward in parts. Unlike Prime Suspect, POI doesn't have the likes of Maria Bello and Aiden Quinn to pull it off.


I'm thinking,like one poster said, Person Interest is good, but reminiscent of several movies in this vein of snooping cameras, plus Jason Bourne ;) Enemy of the State meets Eagle Eye with Wanted and The Last Enemy (BBC mini-series) thrown in, starring The One or Jason Bourne. I will definitely be watching and enjoying, so it's not a negative review at all. Jim Caviezel is definitely got the brooding super-hero vibe going, which is amazing so far. The production values are excellent, so worth watching.


There were many good aspects about the show, I must say there is one HUGE logical flaw in the show that killed it for me. I decided to not mention it so that others who enjoy the show can keep enjoying.


I waited so long to see this show and finally last night! It is true. The show had a slow start but it has tremendous potential. I like Mr. Finch already. But who wouldn't like Ben Linus? Loved him on LOST and I will love him on POI!


I really liked the show. I had not ever watched either actor before, so no preconceived notions about their acting. I like the fact Reese can take care of himself. And thank goodness, If I had wanted to watch comedy, I would watch those lame shows on NBC. I liked it just the way it was.


Really liked this show!! Love Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. Great concept. I hope this show survives!!


i enjoyed very much and look forward to watching like the time slot also


I thought the show was very good. I really like Jim Caveizel he is such a good actor. I will be watching again.


i think that it was a great premier, i am definitely hooked. love jim caviezel, watched all his movies and i think he adds a level of vulnerability and integrity to this seemingly cool and sleek government trained killer.
loved the way the cabby didn't give a damn that a guy on his back sit is preparing a gun, i think that was priceless. as a whole i think it was a great intro and covered everything that needed to be covered, it set a very rogue Bourne kinda atmosphere and i think it will only gain momentum with each new ep. can't wait until next week.


I was really looking forward to this show and I was not disappointed. Loved it! Great fight scenes, nice little twist, can't wait to see how they develop these characters.

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Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Knowledge is not my problem. Doing something with that knowledge is where you come in. You can call me Mr. Finch.


When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different, someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?