Person of Interest Review: Up in the Air

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Reese may have been done with the Machine, but it certainly wasn’t done with him.

After a solemn goodbye from the suited hero in Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 12, I figured the show would push Shaw further towards the forefront of the team to work with Finch. Maybe Reese would come back later on in the season when some major event took place or after some soul searching that extended a few episodes.

As much as I’ve enjoyed Person of Interest Season 3 taking time to explore Shaw as a new asset, as well as Root’s freaky relationship to the Machine and impact on the team, I’ve been missing Reese as the focus.

Sure, it’s fun to watch the Justice League all take their parts, but sometimes you just want to see Batman take the lead on his own.

Reese Is Furious

It was a pleasant surprise that Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 13 was Reese-centric, giving him plenty to do, including make dry jokes, fight a variety of killers and discover that no matter the tragic consequences, shadowy deception of organizations or his general distrust of the Machine, his true calling is saving people and helping others.

I couldn’t help but smile as Reese simply tried to get away, only to see him get bumped from his flight and shifted to another. It was obvious the Machine didn’t care Reese had quit.

Which made it funny that despite his best efforts, Reese was sucked into exactly what he was trying to avoid. Depression beard and lack of a suit still couldn’t keep him from ultimately getting involved.

As for the fights, there wasn’t just one. Each seemed to escalate in intensity and I felt like the choreography was well done. There’s nothing quite like watching Reese use his fists to take out multiple assassins. Although taking out the obnoxious passenger might still be a memorable knockout.

It was good to see the Sphinx was more of a stammering computer programmer than a criminal mastermind. It can often feel like everyone is cool, cold and calculated when it comes to government agents or relevant assets. Sure, his lines were a bit corny (“Don’t tase me, bro” or “Fore” when knocking out the bad guy with the golf club) but it wasn’t overwhelming for the hour.

And I’m glad that while Reese did take the main focus of the hour, Finch and Shaw weren’t absent.

Shaw visited some old friends, including Hersh (who isn’t dead!), to figure out why the Sphinx was considered a relevant number. I feel like Sarah Shahi has eased up a bit on the robotic emotionless nature of Shaw, which is a positive thing, without changing the character or her attitude.

It reminds me a lot of Reese initially as a character, before he too began to smile and joke, even as he still beat the crap out of enemies and maintained his bad-ass no-nonsense nature.

As for Finch, he got to pilot a plane to safety all from the confines of home. Does he get a call sign for “Goose” now?

But it was Finch and Reese’s interactions throughout that pushed things to the next level. Reese’s anger about the Machine, thinking Finch hasn’t accepted responsibility, and that nothing has gotten better was evident. And not surprisingly, as the loss of Carter was still weighing on his mind.

Does it look like you’ve stopped the violence?

And yet, the entire ordeal on the plane and working with Finch, just like the two did when Reese began his “job,” helped reinvigorate him to come back.

Also hearing Finch acknowledge the importance of a human element determining someone’s fate rather than the Machine was a sincere conversation between the two. Yes, there’s still some trouble on the horizon for the Machine, but Reese’s realization that he can’t quit and shouldn’t quit was important.

He knows what he's supposed to do, and like Finch’s eager excitement at Reese wanting to get back to work I’m looking forward to seeing the rejuvenated Reese return to action. The Man in the Suit is back!

Are you glad Reese wants to rejoin the team?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (134 Votes)

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


I was glad to see Sally Pressman (formally Roxy LeBlanc on Army Wives) as the Flight Attendant. She was such an energetic character on Army Wives I am glad she is find new roles. Maybe they will bring her back.


Good episode. I loved that even though Reese didn't want to he still protected the number. I also loved how he used the flight attendant to help him with the bad guys it was pretty funny at times. So glad that Reese is back and he's not going to be moping around anymore it was getting boring. Can't wait till the next episode.


Awesome-great ending to this story. Finch revealed a little more of himself to Reese who now understands the price that Finch has paid. The Human element was a great explanation


Couldn't be happier now that Reese has decided to go back to work.
Missed fusco and still going through withdrawal of Carter's demise .
Awesome episode!


Excellent episode-I'm happy John is back and I that the proper homage was paid to Carter. Now we can let her rest in peace.
I didn't guess that Carlos was one of the bad guys, I thought the airline stewardess was going to turn evil. Glad that didn't happen. Liked Shaw working with Finch. I couldn't help but wonder what Root was up to. It will be so good to see Mr. Reese back in his suit.


I love what you wrote Sean and agree so much with your assessment of Reese being the "Batman" of the show. So many have been added and have taken Reese's story and to have him the core was like the first season. I adore both Reese and Finch and to see Harold so gleeful when John asked for a new suit ( as Bruce Wayne asked in Dark Knight) just touched my heart no end. Both actors expressions showed how deeply they care for each other and how much they are bonded together. Now the Machine has joined in the Reese/ Finch fan club. Reese was chosen and Finch couldn't be happier. I have watched that ending so many times. The whole episode was so much fun and yet endearing and made me as gleeful as Harold. We both got our boy back. Thanks Sean for voicing my thoughts on 4C. My Dark Knight trilogy is over which I adored but we still have Reese and Finch thanks to one Nolan. Interesting how the Rome meeting looked like Bruce Wayne and Alfred except this time he comes home to fight on.


Awh poor Hersh. He seemed so nice in this episode lol. I think if anyone is going to kill it has to be Scarface. Scarface has quietly survived everything with HR, the Russians and the 5 families.

@ James

Hersh really should just retire - every time he meets Team Machine, he comes out even further behind than when he started! And he was so adorable when he asked Shaw if her new employers were treating her okay.

@ Dreamrose

That question was just sad - coming from Hersh - sad


Reese had to save Owen, because I'm guessing he'll be back…


great episode so glad john back full time. the ending so good the banter with john and harold. shaw did good also. and just where was root?????


The Machine put Reese on the plane, we're told in the end, to save the Irrelevants -- the 130 innocent lives aboard. But if Reese had not saved Owen from the many assassins, the killers would not have had to escalate to their final option -- crashing the plane and killing everyone. By saving Owen's life, Reese put all the other lives in jeopardy. By putting Reese on the plane and pointing him at Owen, the Machine essentially insured that the innocents would be put in grave danger, whereas if it had not acted, only one man would have died. So -- did the Machine put all those lives at risk to get Reese back on the job? To flex a little Machine-muscle? Or is this just more short-sighted writing?

@ LininOhio

I think the Machine wanted Reese and John to work together like they used to, to save 130 relevants. It wanted to show Reese and John how efficient they are at saving people when they work together, how supportive they are of each other. So, yes, it wanted to flex little Machine-muscle. We had seen it do this before. Not surprising.

@ LininOhio

It could go several ways. By saving Owen, the machine may need him for a future upcoming mission that could save multiple lives. Or the machine needed Reese to see his calling because he is definitely needed.

@ LininOhio

Sorry for the double-post -- I meant to edit.

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Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 13 Quotes

We have free will, and with that comes great responsibility. And sometimes great loss.


While I'm in Italy, I thought I would get fitted for a new suit.