Person of Interest Review: School Ties

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That was either the worst high school reunion or one of the best.

Guess we all know who would be voted most likely to get in a gunfight with a domestic terrorist organization while following up on a person of interest.

Every time I go into a Person of Interest episode, I’m usually surprised and entertained.

Sure, not every hour would be worthy of homecoming king, but the vast majority of Person of Interest Season 3 episodes (especially the latter half) have been pulling out all the stops, intertwining case of the week with larger mythology, giving us great character moments, classic action scenes and enough information and teases that coming back feels like a necessity.

And a welcome one at that.

Starting Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 19 off with a failed attempt at saving a number was definitely a shock. I’m pretty sure it’s happened before, but the team has been so good at its job that it almost felt obvious that victory would be attained.

Kudos for switching it up and providing a higher threat level when connected to a group like Vigilance.

Interestingly enough, it almost seemed like this would just be a case of the week that provided another fish out of water scenario for Reese and Shaw. Finch and Fusco would play the smaller role in getting at the information about the government’s Northern Lights project, its connection to the Machine and being one step ahead of Vigilance, but ultimately keeping it light and fun.

And it was. Fusco accompanying Finch (hope he picked ACDC) and getting his beauty sleep were highlights on that road trip, but it was the super spies playing Frank and Betty at the reunion that really played up the humorous laughs.

The women continuing to walk up to Reese to slap him was funny, as was Finch trying to explain that Shaw pretty much looked just like Betty.

Even the fact that everyone seemed to think those two were exactly who they were pretending to be added to the moments. Plus, it gave ample time for Reese and Shaw to dole out their dry humor, unpack their essentials (you know, guns, tactical equipment and the occasional toothbrush) and get their bowling shoes on.

Additionally, turning the person of interest into the perpetrator was a nice spin. And making the chemistry sparks fly between him and Shaw (who said anything about a relationship) was enjoyable.

Also making real chemistry work to Reese and Shaw’s advantage would have made both Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman proud. Science, bitch!

But it was taking it one step further (the show loves to try and top itself) by turning Vigilance loose on Reese and Shaw. Bet they wish they only had to deal with one problem at a time.

It made for a great hand to hand scene and the added commentary from the stoner about being ninja dudes. And don’t ever tell Reese he’s not fast.

Unlucky for the team, Vigilance was in two places at once, causing problems for Finch and Fusco as well, and Collier stole the document to expose the government snooping on everyone. At least Root got to pull out her signature two gun moves.

But with Control and her team deactivated, that certainly changes things for the Machine. That final Machine footage of its “primary operations compromised” and restructuring to give Root that massively full plate of relevant numbers isn’t going to be any easier with Decima and its own Machine on the horizon.

This hour really had a lot of fun with its characters and story, while maintaining progression on the bigger picture. It's hard to believe the series has come so far since Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 1, but there's definitely a feeling that the showrunners and writers have a solid plan in place.

It only makes it that much easier to show that POI spirit and be excited for whatever is coming up next.

Do you want to see Shaw and Matthew (the person of interest) get together again?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (98 Votes)

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


Root keeps me on my toes because I'm never sure of her motives and she might turn against Team Machine at any time.
Have enjoyed seeing her get taken down a couple of pegs - she did lose last week's POI for a while, and she learned she was the cause for where he ended up.
Collier will continue to evade death/capture until the Vigilance story is done.
Looking forward to seeing what Hersch will do in future episodes - maybe he'll team up with ex-team mate Shaw?
Matthew Reed can be to Shaw what Zoe is to Reese, and I'm fine with it. I wouldn't mind seeing Nestor Carbonell again - I was sad when it looked like he was a perpetrator, and very glad when it turned out he wasn't really a bad guy after all.

Sarah silva

This was a good episode!
I liked the opening and how we get to see that they do not save every number on the list. I am sure that there have been a couple other instances where they have not saved the POI of the week but it was good to see as it made it a little more believable. (ok Sean I type my comments before I read the reviews and we just said the same thing! LOL)
At times this show can be a little confusing.
They got Matthew's number because he was going to kill the guy from High School but then Root sent Vigilance to the reunion to kill Shaw and Reese. So there were twice the problems.
Loved the Reese fight scene, I also loved his reaction to being slapped 3 times.
I would like to see Matthew come back so that he and Shaw can have a little fun. She does not do relationships but he was not talking about a relationship! So great.
I too liked the funny moments and the ones with Fusco and Finch were great.
I too found it funny that the former classmates of Frank and Betty really though it was them, except Matthew new early on that she was not Betty.
I also thought it was great when Reese and Shaw unpacked.
Sean: Great Breaking Bad reference.


I enjoy Shaw and Reese as a team--but do not like Root at all! Her voice is outright annoying and because of her there' s less screen time for Reese. Why did the show creators feel the need to add another psycho?!

@ Philada

Agree. Root is weak, annoying. Not in the same league as the others


This show now has one of the best cast lists anywhere and the inspired addition of 'ack ack' Acker (Root) on a more permanent basis and Sarah Shahi (Shaw) this season has taken the show to a whole new level - those two alone are really worth watching for but added to the other players this is now a show that will go down as one of the very best. The only question is - where do they go from here? Should be great watching.and I won't be missing a second of it.

@ Charliebrown

Completely agree! From Fusco's one liners, Shaw's facial expressions, Root's pure craziness, and everything that Reese and Finch bring, these 5 together are fantastic!


It occurs to me that Vigilance is going to be ultimately frustrated in their goals - they might have taken down Northern Lights, but they haven't stopped the Machine, which is already diverting primary operations to Root. Hey, if Root needs help, it can retask ol' Hersh, too; just because you shut down the program doesn't mean they shut down the people, and the Machine has specifically spared Hersh's life. I have to ask one more time: how many members of Vigilance are there? Given the rate that they're killed, how can there possibly be anyone left aside from that cockroach Collier?


I LOVE this show & really enjoyed this episode, but how the hell does Collier continue to get away unscathed?! I mean, I get it. He's (one of) the big bad this season, but come on. He can't at least get shot or stabbed or injured a little? As impeccable as Root, Shaw, & Reese are with their shooting, no one has managed to touch him -at all.

Sarah silva
@ RKeys

I know I wonder the same thing all the time!

Harkanwar singh
@ RKeys

i agree ..collier leaving unscathed everytime is kind of a strech


No Root no fun zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 19 Quotes

I got the car all packed. AC/DC or the Dixie Chicks?


Shaw: Got the scoop on why all these women are so fond of you, "Frank." You gave the brunette a promise ring, then slept with her best friend the redhead, before having a fling with the blonde.
Reese: Well, that's not so bad.
Shaw: Whose mother you seduced.