Person of Interest Review: Secrets of the Machine

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After such a dramatic turn of events with a major character death in Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 9...Reese’s revenge in Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 10... followed by the start of a winter hiatus, I expected Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 11 to be just a complete standalone episode that was a fun break from the major story.

After all, Person of Interest is taking another break until January. Maybe the hour would even be holiday themed.

But there’s clearly no stopping this juggernaut of a show that spun another entertaining web which looked like one thing before flipping everything on its head and providing another heck of an ending.

Reese Finds Trouble

It’s good to see that even with Reese getting Simmons for Carter’s death, he hasn’t cleaned himself up yet and things are back to normal. Continuing his sense of mourning, knocking back some whiskey and having complete disregard for his suit or a razor definitely keeps things interesting. This isn’t some easy fix and the show is acknowledging that.

Which made it nice to see Fusco watching out for him, even going so far as to fight Reese because he cares. He wants his friend to snap out of it, to realize that even with the loss he has done some amazing things, such as saving Fusco.

This depressing path won’t last forever; especially with the final turn of events in the hour, he’s going to have to come back to save the other members of the team.

But really, this was a Finch and Shaw episode.

Person of Interest Season 3 has really been building on Shaw’s character, including a focus on her lack of emotion. And while she seems addicted to just taking on jobs, there are small moments of care and concern that shine through. Certainly, she continues to show she can handle herself in dangerous situations.

Yet, the typical “we’ve got a number” scenario went from basic to compelling as the person of interest was revealed to be not only with NSA, but also the builder of Samaritan, a system nearly identical to Finch’s The Machine.

Which, cleverly enough, flashbacks revealed Finch’s desires to build a system that would help his father remember and adapt to be able to help. Even at a young age, Finch was a whiz kid with a passion and a heart set in the right place. It’s just too bad his work has become the target for a variety of groups.

If you build it, they will come.

Not only did the privacy-focused Vigilance return, but Shaw’s former employers showed up. In a shocking twist, the "wife" turned out to be the leader, Control herself, demanding to get information from Finch or the friend. Either way, they weren’t leaving alive.

It was a brilliant reveal, while adding the knowledge that The Machine isn’t the only one out there. So what is this group going to do if they get the info?

The return of former enemies and characters is always a treat in that whole-world encompassing mythology the show has created.

So what did that final shot of the Machine processing the information on Samaritan mean? Can there be more than one operational “artificial intelligence” at a time? Will Root end up saving the day? Will Reese?

This was another pleasant surprise from a show the keeps finding ways to entertain, adapt and expand beyond what viewers attempt to expect.

Person of Interest isn’t looking to settle on standard anytime soon, and that’s the beauty of this series. It makes you excited and eager to see what's next.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (143 Votes)

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


First the 60 Minutes/NSA interview next day the NSA ruling next day POI/Control/Samarian ep...Coincidence?? LOL! Excellent casting of Camryn Manhiem as Ma'am she has the Fed look down.

Sarah silva

This was a good episode, slower than others but still good. It also left us with a cliffhanger.
I enjoyed the insight into Finch's past.
I had to watch the conversation with Reese and Fusco twice to see what led them to their fist fight. It still need not make sense to me but I can see the whole reason was to get Reese to snap out of his anger and sadness.
I was so not expecting the twist at the end that the 'wife' was Control.
I can not wait until the show returns.


It has gotta be said, Fusco is amazing. Two years sober, dragged kicking and screaming into the light. And here he is, challenging John Reese to fisticuffs in the rain! You tell him, Fusco. I was suspicious of the "wife" from the start, partly because she was played by Camryn Manheim. (I'm always suspicious of recognizable actors in guest roles!) Though Hersh apparently hasn't properly explained to Control that Finch doesn't actually know where the Machine is any more than she does. And where is Samaritan now?


OMG ! Finally we meet Control. Just one question: does the highly ranked government officers always have to be that fat ? The special counsel and the control in this episode, both of them have "majestic" body :-)


This episode was a little boring. There were plot twits, surprises as usual.
I knew another machine come out sooner or later. I don't know why but Shaw is still boring and I like good-looking women. Reese vs Fusco was good fight. Fusco is too short, he must be close to the fight. The same thing happened with the Simmons. When Fusco gets close enough to opponent his chances are improved. Fusco was trying to get out of the anger and frustration from Reese.I don't think Fusco otherwise would never have dared to challenge Reese.


Blew my fing mind those last few mins I mean it's crazy bravo POI

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Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

If they don't want you to get inside, they ought to build it better.


It just proves that no matter what we do or don't do in this world, bad things are going to happen. It's pointless. Irrelevant.