Person of Interest Review: Back to School
What better way to ring in the New Year than with a brand new Person of Interest? Unfortunately, "2πR" kept Reese behind bars, sporting bright orange. That meant no ass kicking, no motorcycle stunts and no hanging out with Bear.
It was certainly an interesting choice to leave Reese's character as a mere cameo for the hour and instead allow the rest of the team to step up and take the lead.
If anything, it's clear that while the show does love to switch things up, there's plenty of faith in the characters themselves and their ability to each provide a story worth watching.
And while there is something uniquely satisfying in watching Reese take down his enemies each week (and I did miss those moments this go around), Finch, Fusco and Carter were able to hold their own.
Finch was on major multitasking duty, working on a case of the week that involved a high school computer whiz named Caleb; while simultaneously trying to break out his normally tailored compadre.
Getting to witness Finch take charge and leave his cozy office is always a treat, as there's usually bound to be a more meaningful parallel to the story and a deeper insight into his character.
Finch was able to prove himself as an intriguing teacher, giving a lesson on pi that really made you think outside the box of a simple number. Similarly, it's that super smart thinking that Finch saw in Caleb, almost subtly connecting the two, and perhaps foreshadowing crazy changes for the Machine and technology in general.
So, while it was funny (but too true) when Finch became overwhelmed with the mass texting of teenagers, there really is a drastic change from when he built his own computer to today's streaming of online media. Is there an end point or can it only get bigger?
And does Caleb's codework for a compression algorithm mean something more? Will he ever find Finch's number in the pi sequence?
Realistically, the whole idea of the technologically-gifted student allowed Finch to talk to Caleb and prevent him from killing himself. He opened Caleb's eyes without a preachy speech that required standing on a desk and cheering, but instead reiterating the importance of pi and the importance of living. Truly, it was great to see Finch could get the job done.
Luckily, Fusco was able to help and uncover the secret to Caleb's past. There's always something fun with Fusco's sarcastic comments, but in the end, he's dedicated to helping out. It was really just nice seeing him contribute in a positive way without his assistance being wasted.
The same could be said for Carter, who really has deemed breaking the law okay in an effort to help the bigger picture. And I, too, appreciated the fact that her work in the episode was also important. She had the task of replacing Reese's DNA instead of just sitting at her desk answering phones.
Everyone was involved.
It really comes down to having that ensemble cast you can rely on to keep the show interesting.
But it does make me wonder how long Reese could stay behind bars. And while the episode was still solid, having Reese as a part of the mix really helps keep the series working on all cylinders. Each character is integral to the overall task, providing for a perfect combination. When one is gone, there is truly something missing.
It makes me hope that Reese manages to get out soon, although I am hesitant about Carter's future interrogation of him. I like the recognition of her background, but will seeing her in action be a payoff? I know it's supposed to be a dramatic conflict of interest, but I'm just not sure if it will be a believable interrogation.
If anything, I guess Carter will really be put to the test by being on center stage. Don't mess it up, Detective!
So, while many of us will be vowing to stick to that diet or avoiding that extra cupcake, in the end, it looks like watching Person of Interest is the perfect New Year's resolution. I can only imagine what's in store.
What did you think? Did you miss Reese? Was Finch up to the challenge? What do you hope to see in 2013? Sound off below!
Person of Interest: "2πR"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.