Tuesdays 10:00 PM on CBS
Person-of-interest

Person of Interest Season Finale Review: Catch Me If You Can

by at . Comments

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the season finale of Person of Interest. After all, the show has managed to perfectly sync the standard case of the week with an overarching story, all while adding more and more depth to the characters that encompass each moment. And with a variety of plot directions, the episode (and in a way, leading into season two as well) could simply go anywhere.

So, when "Firewall" began, it felt like it was following in the safe footsteps of its predecessor episodes: the person of interest pops up, Reese and Finch gather intel, a few twists and turns take place, they save the day. Happy ending stuff. Always entertaining, but nothing that might truly make it stand out as a season ender.

Except as the hour went on, everything began to snowball towards something more than the usual, drawing up the mood of a tense action thriller and pacing expertly to the final compellingly mysterious pay phone ring.

John Reese Answers the Phone

Of course, with everything converging together and more specifically on Reese, the entertaining chase provided its thrills of who was going to get to the man in the suit first. Not only was the FBI breathing down his neck, the HR goons on his heals, but Finch and Carter were simultaneously trying to guide Reese through the labyrinth pathways of the hotel towards the safe exit. And while I enjoyed the cutting back and forth between each group (even the furtive glances of Fusco and Carter in the control room,) actually seeing Reese look worried made me question the outcome.

Not that Reese would get shot or fail (although I did think it would be interesting if the person of interest died) but the idea that this normally invincible man had the potential to be beaten. He certainly could hold his own, but I think even he recognized the feeling of being backed into a corner and not having the upper hand. I guess being so popular has its downsides.

Yet what I enjoy about Reese's character is his ability to come out on top, to save the day, and to tear it up like its his job (and it is.) Not to mention, he does it with such swagger and bravado all while remaining quiet and serious, even when cracking witty one liners. I couldn't help but laugh after he blew up the car and then casually tossed in the lines, "We should all grab a drink together sometime. My treat."

And in a way the focus of the action and the tightening around Reese distracted from the true focus of the episode: Finch. The sleight of hand was a good way to twist the story in another direction.

Alicia Corwin was finally able to confront Finch, but it was her fears that proved most interesting. She seemed on the crazy end of sanity, but her desires to destroy the Machine struck true. Yet, what made her think it was the Machine that was killing people, killed Nathan, hunted her? Off her rocker or onto something Finch doesn't want us to know?

Just as we think we might get somewhere, bam, Alicia is dead.

In fact, Caroline turned out to be the master manipulator who set up the entire hit on herself. It's funny that in a way Reese and Finch's predictably to always save the day ended up costing them. But the real kicker was that Caroline was none other than "Root," the enigmatic computer hacker from the episode "Root Cause." At first I was expecting it to be Reese's old partner, who recently revealed she's back in NY, but I actually enjoyed this particular callback.

Even as Root seemed to essentially pull all the strings to get her sitting next to Finch, she inadvertently brought the team closer together.

Zoe was brought back for her helpful assistance and although she had limited screen time, she was a welcome return. You could tell Reese was happy to see her if, for anything, the fact that she proves to be a worthy player in the master game that all of them are a part of. There's great chemistry between Jim Caviezel and Paige Turco and I hope she keeps coming back for more episodes in the future.

Similarly, Fusco and Carter finally discovered that they are both working for the same guy. I wasn't sure how long that secret would be kept from them, and I'm glad that the cat is out of the bag. Not only does it mean more resources, but the two can actually back each other up as partners instead of assuming the worst. These two are on their way to getting closer, but I still think that there are some trust issues.

Although it was also great that Fusco was able to step up and place the anonymous tip about HR. But I wonder what's going to become of Officer Simmons...

Reese Protects a Psychologist From Her Patient

But what does Reese speaking to the Machine and demanding its help mean at the end? It can't actually think by itself can it? Is the Machine actually running things? Can it turn into the next Skynet and bring about a Terminator revolution?

The potential prospects of what the Machine can do seem more vast and dangerous, but what/how/who was that final phone call? What does that mean in terms of the direction the show is going to take?

What a perfect way to end the finale by captivating me at the last second and eagerly baiting me to know more..

Person of Interest found a way to bring action packed fun with a riveting, entertaining, and fast paced story to close everything out. Sure, the season was not without its imperfections, even starting rather slow before finding its groove, but once it hit its stride, there was no slowing down.

The finale delivered a fantastic cap to that season illustrating everything that's great about the show, while simply turning it on its head, incorporating clever twists, and showing that it's only scratched the surface of its capabilities.

Did you enjoy the finale? What does the phone call at the end mean? What's in store for season two? Sound off with your comments, questions, and theories below.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
  • 4.9 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (810 Votes)

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

Tags: ,
Avatar

@montauk
I believe Alicia's coming into the show and then being killed off had more to do with the warning she had for Finch about him needing to be glad that she found him first. I interpret that as bigger threats that we haven't even heard of yet. It is so hard to speculate on the direction that S2 may take. So many reviews pointing to even more possibilities.
In my opinion, best show ever. Even with so many other great shows out there, this is my pick for greatest show of 2011-2012. Keep up the great work cast, crew, writers, producers, etc.

Avatar

can the machine even warn if Harold is in trouble ? I think he faked his death and has no SS number

Avatar

Best season finale EVER! (and I am an X-Files fan.) Best new show of 2011-2012 season. The writers and the cast deserve accolades; just fantastic the way they maintained the tension and humor all season. Great choice of Amy Acker as Root....(Remembering her in Angel, Alias, and Grimm) Great choice of Paige Turco, whom I remember from American Gothic. thank you cast and crew for a great season.

Avatar

People, the machine never identified Nathan as being a threat. It said: Possible threat detected. Subject: Ingram, Nathan. That means the subject of threat detected was Nathan. Otherwise it would have reported Nathan as a "threat to the system" in flashing red letters just as it identified Denton Weeks, deputy of the NSA as a “threat to the system� (to which Finch replied "I know"). The machine had determined a threat was being made against Nathan just after we heard Finch telling Nathan that Weeks had been trying for the past 6 months to access the machine via the NSA leads. That's when Nathan expressed concern about what a man like Weeks could do with that power. Nathan was afraid of Weeks not the machine. Also the machine permitted Nathan access when Finch was not there (it recognized his facial features) and allowed him to change the program (adding a contingency plan). The machine has a sense of self preservation (so says Finch) so why would it allow someone it saw as a threat to change its program? I think one of the things driving Finch is that the machine determine there was a threat against Nathan and reported it but he was one of the irrelevants so no one knew. Now Finch feels he was in some ways responsible for Nathan's death especially since Nathan felt so strongly about disregarding the irrelevant list. Finch's motivation in the show is Nathan's death. It is why Finch risks his life for the irrelevants when he could be retired somewhere basking in the knowledge that his program had saved countless lives.

Avatar

People, the machine never identified Nathan as being a threat. Remember it can't determine if a person is the perp or victim. The machine had determined a threat was being made against Nathan just after we heard Finch telling Nathan that Denton Weeks, the NSA deputy with Alicia, had tried tunneling into the machine for 6 months via the intel leads. Also the machine permitted Nathan access when Finch was not there (it recognized his facial features) and allowed him to change the program (adding a contingency plan). The machine has a sense of self preservation (or so says Finch) so why would it allow someone it saw as a threat to change its program? I think one of the things driving Finch is that the machine determine there was a threat against Nathan and reported it but he was one of the irrelevants so no one knew. Now Finch feels he was in some ways responsible for Nathan's death especially since Nathan felt so strongly about disregarding the irrelevant list.

Avatar

Root vs Finch is the classic good vs evil. She mentioned it in the Root Cause episode when she could have totally damaged the machine when she had a chance. Since she usually sells to the highest bidder, she will be compromised and ultimately lose. Looking forward to S2!

Fortyseven

Great finale. I should have guessed that Turing wasn't what she appeared based on her name. Reese was hilarious "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really after you" and offering to buy drinks after blowing up that car. Great time for Fusco and Carter to find out about each other. Great hook at the end.

Avatar

There is a second part of the series Person of Interest

Avatar

The reason Finch's number didn't come up is because the Machine couldn't predict he was in danger, since Root put the hit on herself. I'm betting she did it on paper to, so there wouldn't be an electronic trail for it to follow back to her. That would have been a red flag for them not to mess with her. To do what she did, she would have to know a heck of a lot about the Machine, and I want to know how she knows it. I'm more interested by her motives for kidnapping Finch. What does she want with him? The only word to describe this season finale is EPIC. Also, I think there's a human brain behind the mysterious call to Reese at the end, but I'm not sure who.

Avatar

Person of Interest is definitely my favorite show since 2011. I love the script, the acting and the intense action with witty twist. The season finale "Firewall" was brilliant. The episode started off like the "usual" (number comes up etc) and then it turns into action-packed thriller.. and in the end, it the return of Root. Crazy. I completely forget about Root from previous episode! What a clever way to put all the puzzles together. It's so sad that this season has ended. But the positive thing the show has been renewed! This means we should see the 2nd season....

×