Person of Interest Review: Dangerous Liaisons

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Did we actually accomplish anything here?

In some ways, Finch's words make sense. Reese didn't save the day and almost managed to get himself killed. Twice. And that doesn't even count his flashback.

Sure, technically Reese stopped Tommy, the person of interest, from getting away with murder, but being both the perpetrator and finally the victim meant that the whole thing essentially negated itself.

So, was this an episode worth skipping over? Not in the least.

Reese Goes Undercover

The title alone, "Matsya Nyaya," which translates from Hindi as "law of fish," implies that if you remove rules and you remove laws, society will fall into anarchy where the strong rule over the weak.

Based on the world that Person of Interest has created, the belief rings true. Not only do characters not follow the laws, but the government systems that create them find their own agendas in their never-ending quest for dominant supremacy.

The FBI, the CIA, the corrupt police force known as HR, Elias - and in a sense even Reese and Finch - are simply trying to one up everyone else around them so that their mission, their ideals, are the ones that stand out.

Multiple betrayals and what seemed like endless people getting shot in the back illustrated that there is always a bigger fish. Reese may be the bad ass that is a force to be reckoned with but he isn't invincible. And he doesn't escape unscathed.

Which makes me both feel for Fusco and worry for Reese.

Fusco has been forced to play both sides, finding himself steeped in corruption and deceit for the sake of "good." Except we know that Reese sees Fusco as merely as an asset, so his ends justify the means.

Yet, even Fusco saving Reese's life at the end, it was the manner in which he had to go about doing it that marked a significant point for the bumbling cop that follows orders. Fusco clearly wasn't following any when he pulled the trigger and killed Captain Lynch. Yes, Lynch was corrupt and probably would have killed Reese, but Fusco did it with such an ease that I fear that his path to redemption just got longer.

Kevin Chapman, who plays Fusco, normally provides a certain clumsiness to the character but there was a very calm and direct manner in letting Reese know his capabilities. How long before Fusco pulls on that leash that Reese holds and bites down? I really enjoy his character and watching him try and make his own mark in a world full of bigger fish, but now, he might not just be the small fish everyone thinks he is.

And that's why Person of Interest continues to be captivating beyond the basic procedural and action sequences. The characters really are brought to life in a way that avoids a one dimensionality.

But it was the layering of background this time that really got me interested as we learned when and where Reese abandoned the CIA crew, as well as had his first interaction with "the machine." He may not have known what the software engineer said, but his mission was all about the machine and it was obvious the death and danger that surrounded it. Funny how he's right back to following orders without question from the one thing that almost got him killed in the first place. Has he stopped pressing for answers from Finch?

I was surprised that the woman giving Reese and his partner, Cara, their orders was the same woman that Will Ingram went to speak to about Finch back in the episode, "Wolf and Cub." What made her go from stern task-giver to worried about a mere man in spectacles? How quickly everything changes when it comes to power. What is or was her role in all of this? Was it simply fate that brought Reese and Finch together?

Of course, like most Person of Interest episodes, the show ended with another great piece of music accompanied by another last second twist: Reese's old partner is alive and kicking in New York. What is her agenda? Will she team up with Reese or against him?

The series is doing a fantastic job stringing everything together and finding ways to culminate the bigger picture as the season draws closer to the end. It's certainly a testament when you can combine character development, solid action and some cool twists that lead to something more when for the most part the show runs as a procedural.

Oh yes, Person of Interest is certainly accomplishing something big.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (169 Votes)

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


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Good episode. It kept me guessing. The flashbacks break up the flow of the episode but it's fine if it's only on occasion. Cara's alive! Cara as Root is a great theory.


Just when you think the show goes all over the place in so many directions,
it all comes together in a tidy package that spell WOW.


Can I just say that as soon as Root was seen I thought it was Cara, she kinda kicks was! I wouldn't be surprised if Jessica is also alive and well somewhere thanks to the CIA.


I also wondered if Cara was Root. It makes sense that the Cara/Reese team would have an intelligence specialist and a special forces veteran, after all that is what Finch and Reese are, so it is possible that Cara had mad computer skills to begin with. Also though, she had the laptop when she escaped the explosion, and who knows what kind of access to the Machine that gives her? Maybe her seeming omnipotence as Root is mostly due to that kind of access?


@SavhCaro: Truer words haven't been spoken. The Nolan brothers are creative geniuses. Must be in the genes


@JK and Catherine: That is certainly a possibility but I am seriously hoping that they aren't the same. I will tell you why I say so. I think that Reese has enough villains to deal with and Root should be Finch's arch enemy, with both having their own SL without too much focus on Reese. I think that would be a great thing for Finch's character. Just my thoughts, I may be wrong though. @Sean Mckenna: No problem mate. Just putting the facts out there. You do a great job of reviewing the show, so just keep up the good work. @PHXcowbot: Not tribes mate, its religions. And around 600 million Indians, irrespective of their religions, speak the language Hindi.


@Catherine - I had exactly the same thought, so I went back to 'Root Cause' and checked. She's got the same sort of hair, and mentioned she's gone by "a few" different names. I think we may be on to something. ;) (Black nail polish could've clinched it. Shame she's wearing gloves at the end of this one...)


This is becoming my favorite show. This episode is exactly why. I've read hundreds of books of crime fiction, scores of TV shows and movies, to the point that with mist shows I can anticipate what happens next. POI and this episode specifically kept me guessing. The characters are great, the writing nearly flawless, the story line is right on the edge of complex vs. being too hard to follow/swallow.


good to know the loyal Hindu followers are keeping us straight on language vs tribe, but come on people, give us Yanks a break - there are hundreds of tribes and hundreds of mother tongues in India. Been there Loved that.
anyway, glad to see J. J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan using an Indian title and concept for the show - that is indicative of the depth of thought that goes into this show - and it shows. the quality of the stories and the production is excellent. Keep up the good work

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Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 20 Quotes

Fusco: I should have shot you and simplified my life.
Reese: Pressure getting to you?

I care about HR, Fusco, not the money. What you do with it is your business.