Person of Interest Review: Battle Royale

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With Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 22, we had the tense feeling that everything was coming to a head.

The noose was getting tighter and the grand finale was clearly right around the corner.

This was definitely an hour to set up the Person of Interest Season 3 finale, but it was one that kept the suspense high and the mystery of what was truly in store just out of reach, just enough to keep viewers invested and excited to see what comes next.

It also allowed all of the major players - Decima, Vigilance, the government and the POI team - to cross paths and ultimately converge by the end. It was a cat and mouse game, a chase around the city with surprises at every turn and possibilities waiting to be explored.

Sometimes Person of Interest has its predictable moments or its purely fun scenes, but it also knows just how to keep you guessing and expanding on a story that seemingly began about two men simply trying to stop crime before it happened. Clearly, it’s become so much more.

And I loved that this episode took the time to provide some back story to Collier, the Vigilance leader (or at least the one we’ve seen leading this particular crew). His character always seemed to pop in and out, ranting about privacy and the government, but it never felt like we got to the root of who he was as a person.

This hour changed that by revealing a character, delving into his humanity and discovering something of an origin story. Seeing him as a good guy, just trying to help his brother but blocked at the government at every turn, only to find out they manipulated information.

It was easy to see exactly why he might respond to those anonymous text messages (by the way, who were those from?) and head down the path of Vigilance. Who wouldn’t be angry that their innocent sibling was thought to be a terrorist, who lost hope and then killed themselves?

It’s intriguing to see how certain circumstances can change who you align yourself with.

That was definitely the case with Shaw trying to protect Control rather than killing her, or Reese and Shaw teaming up with Hersh. Greer’s comments about alliances held very true.

And I’m kind of glad that Vigilance gained the upper hand by the end. I’ve always felt like Decima was the super power problem, but to have them captured along with the Government and Finch was a cool twist.

But it’s interesting to think that truthfully, all these groups are simply trying to uphold their own sense of justice and rules. Each, in their mind, are trying to do what they think is right, and it’s great to see some moral gray area come into play.

Although, at the end of the day, the POI team are pretty much the good guys.

So, for Vigilance to put Decima, the government and Finch all on trial? To pull back that curtain for the world to see the people involved with a Machine that burrows its way into every facet of our lives? There is so much positive the Machine can do, and yet, obviously, we know how dangerous it can be.

There’s always two sides to every coin, every story.

It makes me eager and curious how this trial will go, and what the end result truly will be. Who will come out on top?

After all, Root’s on her mission to get at Samaritan. But can she stop that? Or is she even going to stop it? I’ve got a feeling something unexpected will play out on her end.

As for Reese, Shaw and Hersh, all the bullets and witty banter aren’t going to help them now, and it puts them in such a unique position of being forced to watch rather than help. Can they find Vigilance and save Finch? Save Control? Or will they be too late in stopping that grand finale.

There’s so many possibilities that the anticipation for next week has me formulating various scenarios how it could all go down. But if anything, we all know that with Person of Interest, it’s going to go out with a solidly, well-crafted bang of story, action and character.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (82 Votes)

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


Who sent those messages to Collier?
Is someone playing him?
The Machine?
Someone new?


good episode! although i do hope next fall they go back to just getting the numbers and helping those people.

@ barbara

Have you ever consider how many "irrelevant" numbers benefit from these "relevant" plot lines ? They have found the right balance between procedural and mythology.

@ barbara

I disagree, I think this shows mythology has evolved it into one of the best on tv. If they go back to strictly procedural, I would grow bored with it. Procedural worked for the first 2 seasons, and sporadically this season, but the overarching plot is what has drawn me totally in.

Sarah silva

We are in for one heck of a finale!
During Collier's flashback, I felt a little bad for him. His brother killed himself because he was accused of being a terrorist and the government sure seems to have made a mistake and that his brother was innocent. However I am not 100% convinced his brother was innocent, one would think the machine would have given Finch his number. Collier made it his mission from that moment on to take down anyone that would have had anything to do with his brother killing himself. However the person he has become I do not like and do not feel sorry for.
I hope Shaw, Reese and Hersh find them and get Harold out of there before he is exposed to the world. I too enjoyed the trio's witty banter.
I do not see Root dying, her boss will come up with something at the last moment to save her and she will destroy Samaritan.

@ Mrs alex o'loughlin

I felt totally bad for Collier, but at the end of the day, I hate his methods. If they weren't so ruthless, I would probably be on their side, as Finch says. Our government is so corrupt and dirty that they are clearly not the good guys, as they take the same approach as Vigilence does in regards to disposing anyone who crosses their path, as does Decima. I love this show, because all the groups are three dimensional. There are things that I can get behind from Control, Vigilence and Decima, but all of their methods leaves much to be desired. Finch is the only one with a true ethical and moral high ground and that is why they are the heroes.


This season has been so stellar that I have no doubt the writing team will give us a satisfying end to the season.

@ derek

Season 1 came to a conclusion in the second episode of season 2 … it might be a very, very long summer … oh dear …


Compelling episode, but too Root-centric for my taste. I hate to see Harold in danger. Harold Finch is the moral center of the show. Wonder WHY the machine didn't get Collier and/or his brother's number--to save the brother from malevolent government forces. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out--and to seeing Bear again!

@ Philada

Irrelevant numbers are mostly NY based, Collier's brother was in Michigan and suicide a few weeks after arrest/release is not immediate danger per the machine's criterias. missed bear too...

@ braaf_hond

I also hope we will see Zoe again next year …

@ Philada

I'm pretty sure I can answer the question about Collier's brother at least: the machine didn't catch it because there was no violent crime involved. Terrible though it was, it fell outside of operational parameters. Presumably he suicide wasn't premeditated far enough in advance for the machine to do anything about it either.


The real challenge for the writers of POI is about to begin. Vigilance is not that really compelling to have center stage. With all those self-interests in the same room the writers will hope to avoid a mixed disappointing finale. With the entire program a moral play about privacy the trial may seem contrived. I would say the program's credibility is on the line. Let's pray they succeed.

@ Michael

"Vigilance is not that really compelling to have center stage." Citizens rising up to wrest back their freedoms from an intrusive government not compelling enough? I suppose the American Revolution would fail as well using such criteria.


I was thinking that AFTER Control closed up shop, at some point, Hersch would end up joining the team... even if its for one mission, or maybe permanent. Because recently, ONLY the POI Team has been dealing with the Relevant AND Irrelevant numbers. And the Machine told Root back in the day that ALL the players, including Control, were important to the machine, and under its protection.

@ argonath

Hersch joining the team … not sure, might be more difficult than the transition with Root or Shaw … but Collier ? Could be interesting, he could see another side of the machine …

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Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 22 Quotes

I built the machine to save lives. But how could I be certain that it wouldn't one day determine that all of humanity was irrelevant?


Do you want to prevent acts of terror or do you want stay in the dark and watch your country burn?