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