Person of Interest Review: Clash of the Computer Titans
A television series' first season often constitutes a jumble of different styles or directions, as it attempts to find its best footing for what really makes the show work. And sometimes it stumbles out of the ring completely leaving it for cancellation fodder and a lot of "what ifs."
Such is surely not the case with Person of Interest, which continues to come out swinging, upping the ante on its gritty take on technology, corruption and redemption, allowing its singular episodes to feel complete while teasing enough to tie the season together.
And sure, sometimes I wish there were a bit more answers about Finch's limp, Reese's past or the Machine in general - but with an episode like "Root Cause," I don't mind waiting.
In fact, this particular episode spun a web of intrigue and suspense with a solid story and plenty of high stakes for its main characters, while giving a few twists that didn't feel overly obvious.
And instead of going for a predictable plot about a disgruntled unemployed man on a killing spree, the installment chose to veer in another direction and toss in political assassination, before digging deeper and delving into business corruption.
These layers built upon one another and paced nicely with the ever-so-classic bad ass beat downs, gun fights and just plain taking over cars, gas mask style. The blend of action and drama flowed nicely, giving Reese and Finch plenty to do; from actually being in the same room together, to using their special skills when separate.
The idea that there was a "bad" version of the brawn and brains team added its own interesting element, clearly giving Reese and Finch a run for their money, or at least a need to break phones.
I loved Finch's curiosity and potential adoration toward the hacker that had essentially matched his computer skills and technical know-how. It's not every day that he gets to have his own cyber fight, even if its with key strokes and not fist punches.
That's, of course, what Finch does best and even allowing him to use his brains and call in former person of interest, Zoe Morgan, made for another fun twist. She wasn't overused and played her part to perfection, showing just how powerful she can be while offering up her playful flirtatious side to Reese. She was a pleasant return to the show.
Now go buy her a drink, John Reese. Do it.
The episode managed to close by tying everything up, freeing the framed man, but leaving another potential villain (or maybe ally?) down the road. It was a nice shift out the nature of episodic tendencies to end on a complete happy note.
Finch liked the potential of the hacker, Root, and I do too. We may not have even seen her face or heard her real voice, but her presence was felt and I hope she brings her tech savvy skills back for another round.
And I just have to mention how enjoyable it is to watch Reese vanish from sight. It's a cool visual and gets me every time. Now, that's how you do an exit.
Person of Interest has really found its groove, combining pure fun action with a well-paced and suspenseful plot. It makes for a fantastic ride that has me looking forward to next week to see both Finch and Reese in action, simply saving the world, one POI at a time.
Person of Interest: "Root Cause"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.