Person of Interest Review: Clash of the Computer Titans

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A television series' first season often constitutes a jumble of different styles or directions, as it attempts to find its best footing for what really makes the show work. And sometimes it stumbles out of the ring completely leaving it for cancellation fodder and a lot of "what ifs."

Such is surely not the case with Person of Interest, which continues to come out swinging, upping the ante on its gritty take on technology, corruption and redemption, allowing its singular episodes to feel complete while teasing enough to tie the season together.

And sure, sometimes I wish there were a bit more answers about Finch's limp, Reese's past or the Machine in general - but with an episode like "Root Cause," I don't mind waiting.

Return of Zoe

In fact, this particular episode spun a web of intrigue and suspense with a solid story and plenty of high stakes for its main characters, while giving a few twists that didn't feel overly obvious.

And instead of going for a predictable plot about a disgruntled unemployed man on a killing spree, the installment chose to veer in another direction and toss in political assassination, before digging deeper and delving into business corruption.

These layers built upon one another and paced nicely with the ever-so-classic bad ass beat downs, gun fights and just plain taking over cars, gas mask style. The blend of action and drama flowed nicely, giving Reese and Finch plenty to do; from actually being in the same room together, to using their special skills when separate.

The idea that there was a "bad" version of the brawn and brains team added its own interesting element, clearly giving Reese and Finch a run for their money, or at least a need to break phones.

I loved Finch's curiosity and potential adoration toward the hacker that had essentially matched his computer skills and technical know-how. It's not every day that he gets to have his own cyber fight, even if its with key strokes and not fist punches.

That's, of course, what Finch does best and even allowing him to use his brains and call in former person of interest, Zoe Morgan, made for another fun twist. She wasn't overused and played her part to perfection, showing just how powerful she can be while offering up her playful flirtatious side to Reese. She was a pleasant return to the show.

Now go buy her a drink, John Reese. Do it.

The episode managed to close by tying everything up, freeing the framed man, but leaving another potential villain (or maybe ally?) down the road. It was a nice shift out the nature of episodic tendencies to end on a complete happy note.

Finch liked the potential of the hacker, Root, and I do too. We may not have even seen her face or heard her real voice, but her presence was felt and I hope she brings her tech savvy skills back for another round.

And I just have to mention how enjoyable it is to watch Reese vanish from sight. It's a cool visual and gets me every time. Now, that's how you do an exit.

Person of Interest has really found its groove, combining pure fun action with a well-paced and suspenseful plot. It makes for a fantastic ride that has me looking forward to next week to see both Finch and Reese in action, simply saving the world, one POI at a time.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (201 Votes)

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


What a smart it. I don't think they can ever run out of story line...the perfect show for the present. Love the actors, love the charcters they play and interact. Bringing in just enough other characters to make it still mysterious. LOVE IT.


If Root is not a "new" character in so much as we haven't met them before it stands to reason that she is someone we have seen in a previous episode. The only woman I can think of is Alicia, the FBI agent that meets with Nathan back in the episode "Super". She knows about the machine and its capabilities. And she met Harold in Nathan's office. Federal agents turning to the "dark side" would not be a new idea. Just a guess though


This show is too cool. I love the music as Reese is laying a beat down on someone or blowing up a car with a rocket launcher or something. I thought the story of the POI was better than usual last night. I have a theory about "Root" but will keep it to myself!


That was FANTASTIC! I love that this show always surprises me and keeps me guessing. Sometimes I fear it's going at warp speed and that they may run of storylines because of how much they give us, but then I realize while watching that they don't give us as much as it seems. We still know so very little about our dynamic duo and the machine. zoe back was awesome


I think the "Machine" has been compromised by Root. If this is true, a villain may have access to the "Machine" and this will wreck havoc on Reese and Finch. The show is getting better and better.


HA.. what a delightful episode. We enjoyed this one as much as the pilot. We love references to previous characters that POI does so well. We're still waiting to figure out Elias, now a new one.. Root. Love that we get to see more of Carter. Still waiting to see more on the machine.. & Finch's ex-pard. Loved having Zoe back, altho' Harold didn't call her that. Hey, we think John did buy the drink.. the smiles at the very end.. we think it went further than a drink :) guess we'll find out about that too. Great show.


POI has finally become the monster CBS promised. The show last night was outstanding, a Nemesis for Finch. Pure awesome. Lets we forget, Paige Turco also deserves a round of applause as Zoe for making an appearance. POI is establishing its mythology and smart but dangerous enemies for our team (Elias anyone)


Once again it takes it to another level.
Great acting, great story lines, even better show.
It's like going out to your favorite eating place
where you know the food is always consistent and the best.


A really great episode! That fight scene in the bathroom had me flinching in my seat - just a tad over the edge into the brutal to make you remember that Reese is not just a good guy righting wrongs; he is dangerous, has scary baggage from his past, and he's not really your friend. Loved Zoe's return; well written and acted. I'm gonna date myself and say the evil hacker and her gang of bad guys made me think of the "evil opposite" duo from "Quantum Leap" "Alia" the Leaper and "Zoey" her handler - they did the opposite of the good guys, making sure bad choices were made to result in bad outcomes.

Uss biddle dlg 34

I try to slum into halfwit network programming as seldom as possible for anything, but much to my shock & awe, POI is not only dammmm good, it makes my top 10 drama list .....

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Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 13 Quotes

There are no bathrooms on a stakeout, Finch.


Finch: If someone starts shooting, what do you expect me to do?
Reese: You'll think of something.