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.


The drug dealers seemed to be a small operation and could easily have been taken care of by Fusco off screen. I think this was a case of not having enough time to show everything so we as the audience are to infer that Fusco stopped the dealers. Not that big of a deal for me. I personally loved this episode. So many tv shows seperate a character from the cast and then bring them right back into the fold. What makes POI better is that it takes risks. If Reese was back in the field this week or even next week, it would seem too perfect and unrealistic and the shocking ending of the fall episode really doesn't mean much in the end.


The story about the "mysterious" coder and the ARPANET amused me greatly because both my parents worked on ARPANET back in the day; my mother even wrote her MIT thesis on the theory that formed the basis on the ARPANET, and she laughed when I told her that ARPANET came up on Person of Interest. While I agree with others who criticized the way that Caleb's character seemed to yo-yo throughout the episode, I really liked Michael Emerson and the way he constantly brings new facets to Finch. And I definitely enjoy Fusco more and more all the time, too!


The drug dealers were arrested by Fusco. When Finch went to the high school to confront the teacher, Fusco said he'd take care of the drug dealers so they couldn't bother Caleb anymore. Really people - pay attention more. :)


I'm interested in the Gauss addition technique that Finch talked about. Was the solution he wrote on the blackboard correct?


Learned years ago from a Billy Peterson interview that when the cast is split, they are filming 2 episodes simultaneously. Next week will be nearly all Carter and Reese.


This episode, while I miss Reese, was all over the map. Everything was good except for the POI's backstory. First Caleb is a drug dealer, then he was in trouble with other drug lords who was going to kill him for taking their customers, then he was a genius, then he used the money to help his mom, then he wanted to kill himself because of what happened with the brother. I wished the writer who wrote this episode tied that section up better than this botchfest we recieved.


Agree with DiamondLife the fact that Caleb didn't commit suicide left an opportunity for the drug dealers to get him, which is highly doubtful that they didn't find him given all the resources drug dealers seem to have, plus he would not have been able to just stroll into school like that!!


About seeing Carter's "Bat Girl" side is she really the Miss Goody Two Shoes we were led to believe? Drugging people subverting security systems tampering evidence it all seemed second nature to her "I know what to do, Finch I just need some things from you" - Carter. Next episode's interrogation will she waterboard Reese?lol


Finally we get to see Carter's "Bat Girl" persona. Teens are really into this show so this week POI makes sense. The drug dealer angle didn't. The subway pushing "ripped from the headlines"? Finch saw himself in Caleb.


Was fine viewing and good acting.
But, Caleb just strolls up to school the next morning after the entire drug gang spent the night searching all of NYC for "his a$$"? They never closed that part of the story and is inexcusable for this caliber of writers.

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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.