Person of Interest Review: Back to School

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What better way to ring in the New Year than with a brand new Person of Interest? Unfortunately, "2πR" kept Reese behind bars, sporting bright orange. That meant no ass kicking, no motorcycle stunts and no hanging out with Bear.

It was certainly an interesting choice to leave Reese's character as a mere cameo for the hour and instead allow the rest of the team to step up and take the lead.

If anything, it's clear that while the show does love to switch things up, there's plenty of faith in the characters themselves and their ability to each provide a story worth watching.

And while there is something uniquely satisfying in watching Reese take down his enemies each week (and I did miss those moments this go around), Finch, Fusco and Carter were able to hold their own.

Finch's Student

Finch was on major multitasking duty, working on a case of the week that involved a high school computer whiz named Caleb; while simultaneously trying to break out his normally tailored compadre.

Getting to witness Finch take charge and leave his cozy office is always a treat, as there's usually bound to be a more meaningful parallel to the story and a deeper insight into his character.

Finch was able to prove himself as an intriguing teacher, giving a lesson on pi that really made you think outside the box of a simple number. Similarly, it's that super smart thinking that Finch saw in Caleb, almost subtly connecting the two, and perhaps foreshadowing crazy changes for the Machine and technology in general.

So, while it was funny (but too true) when Finch became overwhelmed with the mass texting of teenagers, there really is a drastic change from when he built his own computer to today's streaming of online media. Is there an end point or can it only get bigger?

And does Caleb's codework for a compression algorithm mean something more? Will he ever find Finch's number in the pi sequence?

Realistically, the whole idea of the technologically-gifted student allowed Finch to talk to Caleb and prevent him from killing himself. He opened Caleb's eyes without a preachy speech that required standing on a desk and cheering, but instead reiterating the importance of pi and the importance of living. Truly, it was great to see Finch could get the job done.

Luckily, Fusco was able to help and uncover the secret to Caleb's past. There's always something fun with Fusco's sarcastic comments, but in the end, he's dedicated to helping out. It was really just nice seeing him contribute in a positive way without his assistance being wasted.

The same could be said for Carter, who really has deemed breaking the law okay in an effort to help the bigger picture. And I, too, appreciated the fact that her work in the episode was also important. She had the task of replacing Reese's DNA instead of just sitting at her desk answering phones.

Everyone was involved.

It really comes down to having that ensemble cast you can rely on to keep the show interesting.

But it does make me wonder how long Reese could stay behind bars. And while the episode was still solid, having Reese as a part of the mix really helps keep the series working on all cylinders. Each character is integral to the overall task, providing for a perfect combination. When one is gone, there is truly something missing.

It makes me hope that Reese manages to get out soon, although I am hesitant about Carter's future interrogation of him. I like the recognition of her background, but will seeing her in action be a payoff? I know it's supposed to be a dramatic conflict of interest, but I'm just not sure if it will be a believable interrogation.

If anything, I guess Carter will really be put to the test by being on center stage. Don't mess it up, Detective!

So, while many of us will be vowing to stick to that diet or avoiding that extra cupcake, in the end, it looks like watching Person of Interest is the perfect New Year's resolution. I can only imagine what's in store.

What did you think? Did you miss Reese? Was Finch up to the challenge? What do you hope to see in 2013? Sound off below!


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (154 Votes)

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


Didnt Joss look fantastic in that dress?!


I stand corrected. Always.


Ivesian, although you arrive at the correct answer, you are writing the Gaussian equation incorrectly. The complete expression within the parens is divided by 2; not just the 1 (as you show it). Entering it into a calculator the way you show will probably come out correctly, because you actually will be dividing the expression by 2, but that still doesn't make it right. Here is how it should be (n+1)/2*n. As for the episode, I thought Caleb got off way to light for being a drug dealer. But then breaking the law seems to be epidemic for most of the main characters, so what the heck?


Finch was wonderful. Fusco and Carter were spot on. And Reese's look [stare] when put back into his cell after he thought he was getting out shows he doesn't even have to say a word to be great. Can't wait for his return. The show can only get better if that's even possible.


I really liked the way Finch covered this number. Reese being in jail forced him to take on the assignment. He did excelltonally well. We learned more about his background and his hidden abilities. Caleb could be a future aid when Finch will undoublty go up against" Root" again, thats a given. For now we have to wait and see how Carter can pulll off her part to get Reese free. Lets hope she is up to the task and can make it believeable. Also nice to see Fusco is doing more and is involved honestly.Just keep them coming guys. Everyone is doing an excellant job. Your answer is in the Guass Technque. Great new years show.
P.S I can't wait for square off with Finch and Root . She make a great bad ass and with all the equipment to go with it


"I'm interested in the Gauss addition technique that Finch talked about. Was the solution he wrote on the blackboard correct? " Yes, MLG, it was. I stayed up a while playing with the numbers, and it worked out. Imagine the numbers 1 to 100 stacked up in a column. To add them up quickly, you have 49 pairs of numbers that equal 100: 1+99, 2+98, 3+97, 4+96, 5+95 etc. up to 49+51. Together, they add up 100*49 = 4,900. Then, all you have left is the 50 in the middle, and 100 at the top. Add 4900+100+50 and you get 5050, which was the answer on the show. (100+1/2) * 100 also equals 5050 (that is 50.5 times 100), and the using the equation (n+1/2)*n, where n equals the highest number, you can add up any list of consecutive numbers starting with 1. What an educational show!


With Reese, in prison, it was lucky Caleb's case played to Finch's strengths and did not require any fighting. I like this episode because it taught me something, namely, the Gaussian equation for addng up numbers: (n+1/2)*n. Cool.


Episodes like this show how strong the entire cast is. Yes I definitely missed seeing Reese more but Michael Emerson was incredible as usual. Plus I relish the opportunities when they show just how awesome Carter and Fusco can be too. They're more than just the asset on the other end of the phone. They're characters with their own stories and development. The shift in dynamic and Carter's perception of justice should be noted. This despite its subtleties was a defining moment for her character and next week looks to be too. She and Fusco are essential characters that require just as much development, not plot devices.And Finch is a strong enough character to lead, he was due that after the first few episodes of the season. I love that they don't wrap things up quickly, makes it real, gritty, and intense. Loved the episode.

Sarah silva

This was a pretty good episode. It was not my favorite maybe because John was largely absent. However it was still an entertaining hour. It was nice to see Finch take the lead on this case as it did not involve fighting or chase scenes. John being locked up also allowed Fusco to take a more active role. I really loved the end when Finch was prety much telling the kid he was the one his computer science teacher was talking about!
We know John will be set free but it looks like it will be a hard road to that!


Also, loved the scene with Finch and Caleb in the subway. Right when Finch sat down I knew it was going to be an emotional moment for both characters. Perhaps down the road we will see Caleb again... I also kind of feel sorry for Donnely. He seems like a good guy and it is sad to see him only have half the picture when it comes to Reese. I don't know how they would do it, but I would like to see Donnely be an ally for Reese and Finch down the road. Maybe have his number come up or something...?

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Person of Interest Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Math is not punishment.


That line you're talking about? I crossed it a long time ago.