Person of Interest

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

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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
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (812 Votes)

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

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Every single episode has been excellent! I really like the direction of character development and all the twists in plot and motives. So far, the _only_ thing I can accurately predict is that someone is going to get shot in the knees. I enjoy this series so much, I have it all saved on my DVR - then I re-watch the earlier episodes that are relevant to the newest one. I have NEVER done anything like that before. Is it me or is there an extra minute or two of commercials during this show than during earlier episodes? Is that a show budget thing or just because it's popular enouth to get away with it? Anyway, Thanks for a truly GREAT show! JeffK - Boston, Ma.

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Anyone catch the Vengeance Unlimited reference? Chocolate lines lifted almost word-for-word from that show.

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on i different note in a flash back were Reese and his woman partner go to that ghost town were they gov trys too kill them both were they were sapost to bring back a computer there is a print out of all numbers and resse looks at it?? then at the end finch is in the hospital were resse is what do you guys make of that???

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nathan is deff not controlling it no way he is not smart he dint do shit hes the reason that finch had too leave his wife cuz he gave the machine too the wrong person
he may have faked his death thats not out of the Q? tho and maby he helps finch when hes out but i doubt it the machine is the MACHINE it sees all
finch talked about a back up plane in case he was no longer there My only Q? is why dint the machine give out finches number?? i know finch is really spooked so he may not have had a number but the machine should have warned him no?i mean the machine is the MACHINE it sees all???

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I think people did not watch the last scene closely.
When Reese looks up at the camera the side bar says "System security compromised" ...Evaluating Options.
And then the call to Reese.
Somehow the machine got to know that the creator of the machine is in trouble and the contingency was invoked.How is the question?(either that or someone is directly controlloing the machine.But Harold told Nathan that not even he can access it directly.So i doubt nathan could have somehow installed another backdoor to control it,faked his death and is controlling it.
What a show!!!When is the dvd getting released?

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I enjoyed this episode a lot. One of my best. I think that Nathan faked his death and Finch knows about it, and is the one controlling the machine

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Prediction: Finch will turn Root and she will join their team as the inside backup that Finch told Reese about earlier. Zoe will have more appearances to help Reese in the field and as these characters are added Fusco and Carter will be spun off with their own show. Nathan will return and there will be an episode devoted to whether the philosophy and strategy behind the building of the machine is the highest and best use of it. An episode will be devoted to stopping a terrorist plot but in an overseas setting. The writers will flirt with the idea of revealing some of the secrets Finch, Reese, Root and Zoe have from their earlier life. Finally, a home grown terroist will have to be foiled to keep from disrupting the election process. This speculating is a fun way to make the time between now and fall pass faster.

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What a show!
Could the phone call be the machine telling us Finch's number is now up?
I missed the very first show or premier. Any suggestions how I can access it?

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Just to point out that the action scenes in this are far beyond those of any other network show. In particular the intensity of which the FBI squad first came down the steps had people around me gasping. Amy Acker as root is casting brilliance. I liked the portrait as an advertisement - it's those little touches of (very) dark humor that this show does so well. Though above all good writing. So many network shows, particularly this year, had so many things going for them but in the end had bad writing. Not here.

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Wow, screw any other writers, just hire these guys to write any show. They are amazing, this is easily the best show i've seen in a long time.