Person of Interest Review: Tough Decisions

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Person of Interest continued to make positive steps in the right direction this week.

Granted, once again, I wasn't all that enthralled with the case at hand. I mean, I get it. There are cameras everywhere and Reese and Finch stop a murder from happening. Much like they did last week. And the week before.

Carter v. Finch

Which is technically fine because procedurals follow that standard path that allow shows such as CSI and Law & Order to run for countless seasons. It's just, at least with those programs, I feel as if I'm attempting to solve the crime at the same time as the characters. There is a sense of buildup and participation.

With Person of Interest, the first half is usually the viewer watching Reese watch some person. It's a lot of watching, and frankly, it becomes a bit boring. Yes, there are a few twists and we learn a few key facts, but my jaw is yet to drop.

Still, what keeps me from finding the show a snooze fest are the experiences and connections that the main characters have to the case of the week. In particular, "Cura Te Ipsum" revealed that Reese isn't simply a cold and efficient fighting machine.

Sure, he kicks a lot of butt and he looks cool while doing it, but behind the steely exterior and quiet (sometimes way too quiet) voice, is a man searching for some sense of hope. Reese recognizes the mistakes he's made in the past and his decision to help people now gives him that strong purpose. Additionally, he finds ways to connect with the people he follows, revealing his own sense of regret and hope for them along the way.

His conversation with Dr. Megan Tillman about losing yourself after you've killed was significant. It clearly effected him powerfully, as he wanted to stop Megan from losing herself. She was already doing good and if she acted out her revenge, she would never be the same person again.

It's as if at the same time he seeks his own form of redemption, he also tries to keep others from falling into a similar path of darkness, guilt and loss. It looks like Reese really does have a soul. However, he still seems to have trouble understanding what being "good" actually means.

It's easy to see him as the "good" guy of the show, but in fact he does a lot of "bad" things. He used Detective Fusco, he planted drugs and he beat up a group of men. Of course, one was a dirty cop, the other involved a rapist and the group of men were part of a drug cartel. But do the ends justify the means?

Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions. That was a great line from Reese that added to the final scene, which ended ambiguously and left viewers with intriguing questions. What was Reese's decision? Did he kill the rapist? Which would he regret more: knowing that the rapist might rape again or that he had murdered someone?

Life isn't so black and white, is it?

Reese himself teeters the line of good and evil, and I think that's what makes him such an interesting character. Plus, watching his facial expression drastically change from quiet compassion for Megan to a cold and hardened glare with the rapist show that there are plenty of sides to this man. He's not a one dimensional character.

I also liked the continuation of last week's plot about Elias and the robbery. It was rather light in terms of progression, but the fact that it was mentioned was important for the show going forward. There needs to be more than just a case each week that brings back viewers. I'm excited to see where the larger story arcs come in to play.

Even Detective Fusco joining Detective Carter will add another ingredient to the pot that could prove interesting and allow the police to do something more than appear occasionally to fit the needs of the episode.


Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (161 Votes)

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


Intriguing episode asks intriguing questions.


Good review. Love the show, Reece is very "Jack Reacher". A bad guy that really wants to be a good guy. Hey, Sean, what did ya expect... "Jesus"!!


I love this show. It reminded me of another show that I would watch and thanks to Auxil,I do not have to worry about early onset Alzheimer's, 'The Equalizer'..POI is just ta toned down version if you will. As far as the female cop and her place in the show, perhaps she will become part of the crime -righting' team.


My favorite show this week. I like that Lionel was "placed" with Carter, making it easy to keep both of them in line. Also, the continuity, when Carter asked Finch if he heard Elias during the robbery was great. It seems a seasonal arc may be developing. Hooray! I really love the dynamic between Finch & Reese. As badly as Reese wants to know what Finch's driving force is, he's keeping that mysterious vault sealed. Michael Emmerson is simply a phenomenal actor; Caviezel is growing on me as well. Dr. Tillman was intent on revenge. Who blames her, especially with a man who has an Andy Warhol-style self portrait hanging in his home. Reese, however, was intent on saving her from herself. The way he relayed the consequence of her actions was moving. He really showed emotion during the exchange & the fact he held her hand for a moment was touching. I know a lot was said regarding Reese and his whispering. I find it fascinating. Here is this trained assassin, who speaks with calmness & clarity. It's captivating, yet disturbing to think calmness amongst murder & mayhem is achievable. It makes the final scenes of this weeks episode that much more meaningful. Reese & Benton sitting across from each other, gun between them, talking about change was incredible. Can a man alter his position once looking at himself through another's eyes? Does reflection of one's soul allow for true redemption? Reese asking Benton to make his case, to plead that his soul can be redeemed, to decide if he lives or dies was intense. The enigmatic ending to that question was enthralling. This show is simply amazing.


Besides Pawn Stars and those auction shows, I love watching POI.


This is probably my favorite new show this season. I love Jim Cavezial and Michael Emerson. I love the budding friendship and partnership between the two. I love the whispering. Im a whisperer and a lurker. So as someone who speaks lowly just because Im naturally softspoken, I love how low he speaks. It fits with his character.He's a man of few words. Also love the fact that he's both good and bad. That ending with the rapist could honestly go either way.Cant be certain that he did kill him,cant be certain that he didnt. Hes morally ambiguous that way,which makes him an interesting character. I love Tariji as an actress but this part is no good for her. Im not convinced that carter will come close to catching them. she is unintimidating, isnt a realistic isnt believable that she jeopardizes their work.


I guess the repetition has alot to do with it starting out. Instead of diving head first into masses of plot they ease into it. If you remember back ncis s1, there was no Ongoing plot until ari which was late in the season.


I agree with Auxil, The Equalizer was excellent. I only gave it three stars because I want Reese to be more active/executioner. As long as it is justified, kill the SOBs. Our Justice dept doesn't, someone should. The rapist should have been killed or better yet, castrated - bullet in the cajones and then call the ambulance!


When it comes to good guy vigilantes, the old "The Equalizer" set the gold standard. Edward Woodward was a heck of an actor and his crime fighting assistants were a great collection of geeks and misfits. I will give PoI some time to grow on me.


Yesssss. Glad someone else is tired of the stars of shows mumbling or whispering for affect. You spend more time wondering what did he say than getting involved in story. But for this one I will go get a hearing aid. Is one of the few watchable shows but hope it gets better soon.

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Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Finch: What happened?
Reese: I had to make a pit stop.

If you'd like a raise, Mr. Reese, all you had to do was just ask.