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