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Person of Interest Review: Revenge, Best Served Cold War

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After last episode's reveal that there is now a big bad lurking somewhere within New York City, plotting something devious and probably dangerous, it was nice that "Foe" turned back towards the open-and-closed style procedural case.

Not only does this form allow viewers who haven't had a chance to check out the show jump right in, it also maintains a consistent style in revolving around Reese and Finch stopping/saving the person of interest. I'm sure as the season progresses, the larger mythology will drop in from time to time and hopefully manage a balance between the bigger picture and the smaller, just as important cases.

This episode continued the show's regular use of the twists and turns but it did shy away from the guess work revolving around the person of interest. It was made clear right away that Wallace Nagel, who was really a former member of the German Stasi Secret Police named Auric Kohl, was the perpetrator.

Assessing a Target

Kohl was out on a revenge trip for the death of his wife against his own team of spies for defecting and betraying him. Did they really think that the past wouldn't come back to bite them? Did he really think his wife was dead? On this show?

For once, it was nice to see Reese a step behind. He's always running along the lines of perfection during his work that being evaded and bested for a better part of the episode made him recognizably human and less of a an invincible superhero. And as much as I want Reese to come out the victor, Kohl easily taking down Reese was kind of refreshing. Of course, Reese has been trained for torture so no amount of needle work was going to really do any damage to our hero, but I think even Reese was surprised he didn't maintain an upper hand.

Alan Dale did a terrific job as Kohl, providing that menacing air about him and a desperation for revenge. Although the former Charles Widmore of Lost fame didn't really get a reunion with Michael Emerson, he did provide another character worth watching. It's too bad he ended up with a bullet in his chest because he was a great opponent as well as a reflection of Reese's past self.

Reese's flashbacks illustrated a certain reluctance to the idea of killing because a "source" said its the right thing to do. How do you know it is the right thing? Do you have to trust it on faith alone? As much as Reese was a little taken aback by it, apparently he settled himself right in and did exactly what he was instructed: ask for questions. Which, interestingly enough, he hasn't really done regarding the Machine yet. Is it because he feels it gives him something to do other than stand on a corner and forget to shave?

The whole idea of the killing for your country concept is strongly reminiscent of The Bourne Ultimatum plot. Even the whole "naming" of the assassin felt pulled from the film.

From now on, you are... Mr. Reese. Why that name? Is there any significance? Is his favorite candy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

Maybe that's not the important part, despite it being an interesting tidbit. What is more significant was why he is still using an alias. Is it that hard to let go of the past?

At least Reese still managed to get a few moments in the present to be the bad ass enforcer.

First, there was the one punch knockout of the German Intelligence officer. Maybe Reese should start moonlighting as a boxer. What a fist!

Then, there was probably the best moment of the episode involving Reese and his high caliber rifle. Talk about bringing out the big guns to make a statement. Reese managed to get all the gritty one liners about never missing (obviously) and feeling more uncomfortable that Finch was there. Can Reese get any cooler?

Once again, another decent episode that although really didn't offer anything new to the show - but remained consistent in its storytelling, premise and characters.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (145 Votes)

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

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Idk about this episode. It was a little shaky and fabricated for me. I am just a little hung up on why it was so easy for Reese to steal an enter truck. Another fault of this episode is when Reese got trapped at the apartment with the younger guy " this is only the beginning " Reese seems to always get out of those gun to head situations. If this were the second episode after the pilot I would have been worried about the success of the show but on the bright side Nolan knows how to close out a long episode. The closing scene made up for all the other soft scenes. Since this isn't the first or second episode ill take it.

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Excellent episode, adding depth as it goes. The question of Reese's loss of 'humanity'--he clearly still has a code of ethics, and has at least intellectual empathy (cf, episode with the young female physician who was plotting a revenge murder); but if his actions, not just his absence, contributed to the death of his ex-girlfriend (as is being intimated), there is the question of how deeply that closed his heart. The subtlety of Jim Caviezel's voice and wry expressions--difficult to imagine anyone else inhabiting that role as well. Hats off to Jonathan Nolan for creating a show that is more than superficially engaging.

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Relieved that this is not going to just be about one bad guy. I like the show so is a sure kiss of death.

Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

He say anything yet, like who kicked his ass sideways?

Carter

Reese: How did you know I would shoot?
Kohl: You are a solider like me.

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