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.

Lethe Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (248 Votes)

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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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.