Person of Interest Season 3 has featured a decent batch of episodes so far.
Plus, the new chapter involving the freed Machine, Root on the loose and Shaw as a new member of the team has been a good slow buildup without rushing into anything and wasting the storylines that have been opened, in addition to dealing with the past ones resurfacing.
With "Razgovor," I was a bit skeptical that a majority of the focus would on Shaw, especially because there's a possibility she could get overused, leaving the original crew too much in the background. Except the episode was a knockout punch that was able to converge the characters and give them all something to do, at the same time pulling in each respective story together, and then delivering a final shocking kicker moment at the very last second.
I'm glad Shaw has found her way onto the team, albeit she's getting paid for her work. And we get it, she seems pissed off all the time, likes to follow her own rules and would rather shoot first and ask questions later. It works for her character, which made this episode the opportune time to expose a different side to her, one that has a little care and compassion.
Sure, she likes Bear (who doesn't?), but it was nice to see Shaw rise above Finch's concerns in respect to watching the little girl spy-in-training. She does have a heart, even if it's not so openly emotional. There was a determination for a character and a willingness to stick her neck out despite the fact she was hurt and needed to go to a doctor.
The flashback of her younger self also revealed that she wasn't once a happy go lucky kid who became hardened. She was equally as emotionless as a child faced with the death of her father, a tragic moment. It wasn't that she didn't necessarily feel anything for the incident, it just wasn't the outpouring of tears. Yes, the rescue crew noticed something wrong (and maybe that will be further explored), but over the course of the episode we saw exactly the real concern that Shaw felt.
I liked that in focusing on Shaw's character, there wasn't a dramatic change or campy transformation. It remained true to who she is from her shootout with the bad guys, taking down some more with the needles and stealing a little blood from the Russians.
Plus, there was a nice bonding period between the little girl who went all super spy and the actual female spy. It was funny that Shaw was flustered with the girl's questions and Reese laughing at the fact that Shaw got made by a 10-year-old.
Interestingly enough, the girl as the person of interest seemed innocent enough, but her recorded tapes of the big wigs HR and the Russians (Finch listening to the tape tape marked "Gross! was hilarious) connected to Carter's solo investigation.
It was great that Carter wanted to do her own snooping and I enjoyed seeing her get to grow on her own and not just as a sidekick. Which made it much more exciting of a twist when her new partner tried to have a sit-down with her and she flipped the table on everything. She knew right away when he partnered up that he was working for HR.
But I was shocked when she shot and killed the other cop/bartender with her partner's gun (I knew that would come back at some point.) On top of that, rather than kill her partner, she's blackmailing him into working for her? Whoa, things are getting crazy. I just hope it doesn't backfire on her when she gets in too deep. At least she's got a pretty sweet jacket to add to that badass attitude she displayed throughout the episode.
The same could be said for Reese and Finch, even if they played more of a supporting role for the hour.
Finch got to do all his techno stuff and it was enjoyable to see him smile about his chemistry knowledge right before the building exploded.
Reese, who exudes that calm and collected cool just by sipping a beer or walking the dog, got to have his own great moments, too, from smiling before punching the guy with tremors to faking him out with the corn syrup. But it was that awesome fight between Reese and Simmons that was the standout for his character. He shot him in the kneecap, sure. But it was way more fun watching those two battle it out with fists flying. And then pulling the vanishing act at the very end? What a fun scene to watch.
There was so much going on from the plots to the characters - to the action, the drama and the touches of humor - that after the dust settled from the dealings of HR, the Russians and the person of interest saving (ward of the reclusive billionaire? So in a few years, she'll join the team, right?), I was prepared for a simple conversation with the regrouped team talking about getting ready for next time.
Instead, viewers were treated to that last surprise moment of Root showing up and using a Taser on Shaw. Wow. Did not see that coming. What a way to end things and leave us wanting more.
This was an entertaining and engrossing episode of Person of Interest right up the conclusion and a great hour that kicked things into high gear. This show has clearly still got it and I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season is headed.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.