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 (132 Votes)

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


The Machine put Reese on the plane to save the Irrelevants -- the 130 innocent civilians. If Reese had not saved Owen from the many assassins, the killers would not have had to escalate their attacked to the last resort -- crashing the plane and killing everyone. So by saving Owen, Reese put them all in danger that they would not have been in if he had NOT saved Owen. If TM had not put Reese on that plane, Owen would have died but the innocents would not have been in danger. Which begs the question -- did the Machine put all those innocents at risk to get Reese back on the job? Or is this just more sloppy writing?

Sarah silva

This was one of my all time favorite episodes!
Yes there was no Fusco, which I did miss, but there was also the perfect amount of Shaw.
I really liked seeing a lot more of Reese again and I am so happy he is back on the team. I am glad they did not drag it out
I cried at the end when Reese and Finch were talking in Rome.
There was great action in this episode and some funny moments.


The whole plane landed looked like Flight Simulator on steroids and was pretty hokey. Otherwise, decent enough episode but a bit of a let down to see Reese change his mind so easily.

Douglas henning

Great also to see Sally Pressman.. I doubt she will because of locations and timing, but it would be nice for Reese to have a steady girl. One of the best new things to come out of Army Wives for all those seasons.


Happy to see the show going back to its basics. Reese & Finch working as a team is what made this show a huge hit. Other characters came and went but the two always remained the core. It seemed like it the show lost itself the last few episodes and people became overly obsessed over Carter's death and how she "saved" Reese. I thought that was Finch?? Didn't he give John a job? Nurse him through every gun shot wound? Get him through the rough patches? Hope the shows continues on this track.


wizarddrummer commented
"I have to agree with @bobr. (to some extent - not all commercial planes have the systems to do a full autoland and in the case of Airbus, the Airport must have at the very minimum a CAT II ILS system in place, it's preferred to have a CAT IIIa or b) ." Thank you for the confirmation of my comment. I am not sure what the specs are on the plane model that they were using or the CAT ILS level of the Rome airport. I am sure that at least the ILS would have allowed a manual landing. There was a movie (I think it was Executive Decision) where for dramatic purposes they have a prop-only pilot land the plane after aborting on the approach and diverting to another airport that he was familiar with (but which had a shorter runway - Of course it runs off the end - grin). At least they justified the non-use of ILS or autoland (for those who spotted this plot point/error) by having the autopilot shot out and crippled/non-functional. That plane that WAS autoland equipped. On another point, they were using a standard cell phone not a sat phone so there was no way to keep using it (although the plane MIGHT be one that had Sat minicell technology for use over the Atlantic).

@ bobr

Regarding the cell phone - Reese made the call using VoIP (Voice-over IP); VoIP requires an Internet connection, rather than cell phone service. Do you get Internet service on trans-Atlantic flights?


@ Everyone posting so far: After all the seriousness of the past episodes, it was nice to have an episode in which the POI team can have a bit of fun and a laugh or two. It kinda reminded me of the first Airport movie -- from the moment the obnoxious telephone talker gets knocked out --- straight from the movie if I remember right.


Nobody wants to mention that perhaps Reece has a girlfriend waiting for him ... the stewardess :)

@ clifbean

That's my take. Being back in NY has some additional perks. Otherwise, his quick return makes his original objections seem like a little pout.


I have to agree with @bobr. (to some extent - not all commercial planes have the systems to do a full autoland and in the case of Airbus, the Airport must have at the very minimum a CAT II ILS system in place, it's preferred to have a CAT IIIa or b) . This episode was just silly with respect to Finch 'flying' the plane like they're doing with drones. A CH Products Joy Stick w/out pedals and the other controls to manipulate the gear and flaps and brakes and a whole lot of other things especially communication with ATC. The hijacker changes the flight path at cruising altitude with the visual reference we see on the computer monitor being too far away to land. He pushes the throttles forward which would almost immediately put the plane in OVERSPEED and then does more than 25 degree bank at which point (with NO autopilot engaged) they're fighting in the flight deck.
Then dramatically, Finch somehow connects and then all of a sudden the plane is lined up for an approach? Really? Okay, I believe that... sure I do ... not really. It was kind of classic Hollywood where Finch is (sweating) 'struggling' with the controls as if he was flying an old DC6 4 engine prop that had some kick in the stick when it got turbulent. Not to mention that the Sat feed would never have allowed for him to simply 'take' over the controls. It would have been much more 'nail biting' for Mr. Reese to step in and do the landing with ATC help. That would have been MUCH MORE BELIEVABLE! This is what you get when you have an educational system that turns out mush brains. Writers that don't have a grasp on reality and the people that will believe it. POI stretches things but it's not SciFi. to the extent that you can quickly attach a joystick to your USB port and start flying a JUMBO.


First "The Crossing" episode I did NOT like. Cheesy and predictable. I knew Reese would be back the team before he boarded the plane.

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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.