Person of Interest Review: Who Is Elias?

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Hello, grander season-long mythology. Excited to meet you.

I have to admit, the start of Person of Interest this week didn't feel too promising. My eyes started to roll as soon as Fusco called Reese about looking into a "Witness" and Reese was already watching him. How convenient. I know the police cases and Reese and Finch number cases are bound to intersect, but when it lines up so easily it can feel a bit contrived. I don't want things to be too obvious. In the long run, though, none of it really turned out to be.

Additionally, a majority of the time was spent discussing different crime syndicates and their enemies. It was a bit confusing trying to keep up with who was fighting whom and which turf belonged to which group. Bulgarians, Russians, La Cosa Nostra? Frankly, I just wanted to know why it even mattered.

Person of Interest Scene

And then Elias popped up again. That elusive mystery man whose name appeared a few times in previous episodes was now at the center of the crime. But how was he connected to everything?

Here's my take: Elias is the illegitimate son of Marlene Elias and Don Marretti, a former leader of the Italian mafia: La Cosa Nostra. Marlene was murdered and Elias took revenge. Not only that, but now he's been ordering hits on the Russian mob and desires to retake Brighton Beach, previously controlled by Marretti before he went to prison. Elias is starting a regime change and an attempt to reunite the five families in order to control New York City.

Sounds like a master plan fit for a major bad guy. Now, I'm hooked.

So, the entire time Reese was protecting Charlie Burton, I simply kept waiting for that calm moment where a bullet would take out the so-called witness to the murder. I wasn't prepared for the twist that connected everything and really stepped up Person of Interest's game.

Charlie Burton was really Elias.

Played fantastically by a Veronica Mars alum, Enrico Colantoni, he was able to capture the nerdy and worried school teacher at one moment and the calculating and clever mafia leader the next. What's great is that he wasn't a cartoon character of a bad guy with some deep scar over his eye or a droning on monologue. There was plenty of depth to the man. He seemed to care about the students that he teaches, so he does have a humane side. Yet, he also harbors a hate for the Russians and carries a strong feeling of revenge that drives him to make his violent decisions. His plans really are just beginning.

The reveal was also significant for Reese himself. It was the first time where he wasn't truly in control of the situation. Not only did he seem shocked and betrayed, but another sense of doubt formed in regard to the Machine and its numbers. What happens when you save a murderer? It certainly put a dent in the idealistic bubble of doing good that had turned Reese's life around. I have a feeling that Reese won't stop until he finds a way to defeat Elias.

Finally, a larger bad guy for Reese to deal with, in addition to all the numbers. But what are those bigger plans that Elias has? Chaos? Control? Can't wait to find out.

One thing Person of Interest has managed to do repeatedly well is close an episode firing on all cylinders. It always draws everything together nicely, offers something a little more and conclude with that perfect snap that has viewers ready for the following Thursday. And, once again, music goes a long way into adding to the emotion and tone of the show and Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" fit perfectly with the ending.

That final walk away of Elias and his crew from the camera a- fter stating, "It's just the beginning. Veni. Vidi. Vici" - was a great line in preparing viewers, and of course, Reese and the rest of New York, for what's to come. I cannot wait.

A few other thoughts:

  • Did anyone notice the Detective helping out Fusco and Carter is from the GEICO commercials? I just wanted him to ask about saving 15% on car insurance or if woodchucks chuck wood at least once.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo is the ideal story about betrayal and revenge, fitting for the episode. The film version also happens to star Jim Caviezel. Nice nod to his work.
  • Reese may be great at beating everyone up, but at least when he borrows drugs, he is courteous enough to say "thank you."
  • Will we have to wait long for another Elias and Reese match up? I certainly hope not.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (191 Votes)

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


I ENJOYED the fireworks on the 4th even thgouh they were not a Stadium-of-Fire-style extravaganza. I think I enjoyed them because of the setting with my family, celebrating the 4th. However I stand by my assertion that fireworks simply for the sake of fireworks are not an automatic classic memory. Don't get me wrong when I am around a fire works show I watch it. We have been to several (read more than 6) Friday night Angels baseball games where they do a fabulous fireworks show after each game.; complete with inspiring music, and first rate mortars. But only one show was truly memorable. If was after a game the Angels won in their last at bat with Garret Anderson hitting a walk-off home run into the section we were sitting in! We screamed till we were horse (Becky included) then stood (not sat) in centerfield for the fireworks immediately after. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! The whole experience was wonderful and the fireworks added to it but it would have been great without them, and if the homerun was a game ending fly ball out then the memory would have faded into the fuzzy list of fireworks shows I have witnessed in my brief lifetime, and nothing else. I think you can see now that I am not dead inside nor aspiring to exude some Euro-trash cool. I just think that if you want me to love a fireworks show without a holiday or dramatic moment then you need to bring out the big boys dragons et all.


Does no one watch Flashpoint out of Canada??? Veronica Mars was great, but Enrico Colantoni has really stepped up in Flaspoint, and this one too.
And... If they have a photo of a boy Calr Elias, why didn't Finch run aging software, especially considering the threat he posed? Could've saved and ID'ed him and stopped a war all in one... Just sayin'.


I love this show! Finally an intelligent action show that IS NOT a procedural show nor a reality show! Will wonders ever cease? This show reminds me a lot of a show I loved back in the late 80's "The Equalizer" which had a similar premise (minus The Macine)and featured to equally well spoken and eloquent Edward Woodward and his jag..Very cool show...Thanks, CBS, for finally getting it right!


I love this show. I am upset that it is not "On Demand" via Comcast.


I also noticed that dude from the Geico commercials. Wasnt sure if it was him at first. This show rules.




1 of the show producers it's from the show lost. Lost was known for having characters whose name had meeting. My guess is the name elias insignificant. The producer seems to live in a world where is words really do have meaning. He is also link to the former show alias. The name alias hinting towards different faces or personalities. My guess is still in his name is he will be whoever he wants to be.


Yes, Jon, I was thinking the same thing! I do find it a bit hard to believe that Elias knows about them, so I feel like it was a bad plot device to convince us he was 'Charlie' and pull of the twist in the end. So I was kind of disappointed with that! I mean, a butter knife?!
Good episode besides that.


I also loved the nod to The Count of Monte Cristo, wish John would of said something about the book though.


Love this show. It does get better each week. I kept looking at that guy and saying "i've seen him" and then I said Geico! I hope they do have reaccuring characters like Paige Turco from last week. Love her.

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Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Fusco: So you're his guy.
Finch: No, detective. I think that's your role.

Reese: You know, teaching can be a dangerous profession.
Finch: Yes, I imagine espionage is a much safer choice.