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Person of Interest Review: A New Dawn

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Person of Interest returned by jumping right back into the regular swing of things with Reese, Finch, Fusco, Carter, and now the newest member of the super group, Shaw, saving people and kneecapping bad guys. Yes, Bear returned too, but he was simply out for a late night walk.

Rather than focus heavily on the consequences of the last season finale, "God Mode," and the Machine's freedom, "Liberty," held back on an overload, yet tossed in a few digital tidbits for viewers to mull over. The intro changed its look with a lot more red, the square boxes around the core characters in surveillance video are yellow (although Root's is a combination of black and yellow), the Machine sends out numbers not just to Reese and Finch but also the police, and the Machine's communication and purpose behind Root as an asset is still a mystery.

Fleet Week

That said, Amy Acker still plays psychotic scary Root wonderfully. Root may be "trapped" in the psych hospital, but she's as dangerous as ever, especially when talking to the Machine. At first she just seemed loopy, but her closing moments about an argument over whether to kill the psychiatrist were creepy. Doctor better let her have her phone call.

And maybe that's why the episode didn't start out with some big mythology-based ordeal: the Machine hasn't quite unleashed any massive plan or move yet, something that continues to trouble Finch about the future. Things are just getting started.

There's still definitely a sense of charm amongst the characters and the camaraderie flows effortlessly between the group. More one-liners and jokes are at the characters disposal, although only Fusco got to audition for the Lincoln sequel.

Reese continued to deliver some humorously dry lines from his first scene in the van, amused at the sailor bar brawl or simply "accidentally" walking in on the diamond standoff with an "I'm sorry. Are you guys closed?"

He still exudes that superhero quality in a well-tailored suit, but Shaw will definitely give him some competition this season. She's not a female Reese by any means, which is a good thing. Shaw feels like her own character with her own style and attitude, even if its a little more violent and guns blazing that Reese or Finch might like. And she wasn't overused in the episode or quickly forced into flirty banter with her tactical counterpart. I'm curious to see where the show takes her character, especially now that Sarah Shahi has been made a series regular for the season. She's a solid addition to the cast.

Carter looks like she could be headed towards some deep water, especially by keeping the fact that Elias is free and she's making deals with him from Reese and Finch. And despite Carter's demotion, she's still going up against HR. At least she got to wear some new outfits and flirt with a few sailors. I wonder if she will get swept up in a new Elias plot, especially with how the episode ended.

The Russians may have control now, but Elias surely can figure out a way to rise back up to the top. It really is great how certain characters come back, especially because it helps establish a more complete universe, even if the episodes can often feel self-enclosed.

As for the "number" of the week, I'm glad the crew was saving a good guy simply mixed up in a bad situation. Though the Spec ops team was a bit overdramatic and hard to take seriously, even if they did look like they could beat the crap out of anyone. Even the Russian standoff with guns pointed at each other and shouting to drop weapons felt like too much. There wasn't really any tension involved in the situation, but it was enjoyable to see Reese and Carter work together to stop the bad guys of the hour. Bet you never thought a popsicle wrapper could be so helpful.

This was a far quieter start than I had anticipated for Person of Interest Season 3, especially with more focus on the case of the week. However, the fun and entertaining element hasn't been deleted, the characters are continuing to grow, Shaw and Root add interesting new aspects to the core story and the teases of the Machine have me intrigued to know what's coming. The premiere may have started out simply enough, but I'm sure things will get more complicated and excitingly twisted as the season moves along. Guess it's time to have a boilermaker while we wait for next week.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (192 Votes)

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

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Too many new characters have watered down the cast. Reese is relegated to being a small character with few lines and no action. Go back and watch some of those powerful first year episodes and then tell me this Shaw and Root pap compares. Reese used to have his own music for when he was going to go ballistic. Now he rarely has any action and is just there to watch Shaw do his job. I'm worried about the direction of this show, which used to be my very favorite.

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OH NO I missed it when will it be shown again and where. It is # 1

Sarah-silva

This was a pretty good first episode back. I liked having everyone help out, we did not see a whole lot of Fusco last season so I am glad he was on this episode.
It is interesting that Carter is keeping the fact that Elias is free a secret. She should be able to trust Finch and Reese but I guess he has something in mind. I hope this season she gets to expose HR and get her job back as Detective.
I agree with what you said about Reese.
Root continues to be her creepy, crazy self. Amy Acker plays the role brilliantly!

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A solid but not spectacular start to the new season. I was thrilled to see Reese working again with Carter after that dreadful separation during the second half of last season, what a drag on the show that was! I love my DVR since I was able to fast-forward through the superfluous Shaw scenes. Reese is badass enough to not need a shadow like Shaw. The intrigue with Carter and Elias was the highlight of the show: I think Reese senses something is wrong with his partner and is trying to reach out to her with support and sympathy. Amy Acker brought the crazy in a spectacular way and we just needed moar Fusco to make it a perfect episode.

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Quite a good episode but hoping for more Finch next week. The highlight was definitely Root.

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Amazing how art mimics life. During the summer hiatus, we learned (courtesy of a certain Mr. Snowden) that the NSA is listening to everyone's phones, mining everyone's emails and God knows what else. Watching us on CCTV? Looks like the Machine is with us in real life as well as on POI.
I didn't feel that I was getting quite as much out of most of this episode as I have in the previous seasons until the end. That's when Root came on and stole the show with her scary crazy bitch segment. What I couldn't figure out was how she is in touch with the Machine (arguing with it) if she doesn't have a phone.

Beverly-brooks

Season pick up and ran with all characters getting on screen at once...Carter looked nice in blues.
Looking forward to next week.

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Great opening season. I so love my DVR - when Shaw jumped up in the horse carriage with guns blazing - I had to hit REWIND - loved it! She was so bad as...
Loved the case of the week. Happy to see Elias and his side kick are back. I liked his character from the outset and I was so disappointed to find out he was a bad guy. I'm delighted that he is helping Carter.
The machine working w/Root - that's a scary, scary thought - only time will tell us the intention of that plot - I can't wait.

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I love Mr. Reese. Finch and Bear are cute. It would have been nice to have seen a close-up of Bear last night. More Fusco please. Love Shaw is is funny. Please, Reese knew why she got the popsiscle. They are so funny together. I wonder what Zoey will think of Shaw?!? I don't know about Root every week. I think she may become "too much". Loved Reese telling Carter how good she looked. I also loved the sailors flirting with her. Call me crazy but i love Elias and his sidekick. I think Reese knows Carter has Elias and that is why he told her if you ever need help you know you can call me. Carter/Elias and sidekick are very interesting......Hate POI and CF are on at the same time this year! Boo NBC and CBS for moving my shows!

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Great opener, well done! A diverse group of characters, each with their own story, ultimately tying in together, definitely had my interest. I like the role between Elias & Carter, glad Elias is apart of the show again. Looking forward to the season.

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