Person of Interest Review: Prison Break

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Leave it to Person of Interest to turn a prison break into an all-out chess match complete with multiple players, power shifts and unexpected last second moves.

While we didn't get to see locked and loaded Finch storming Rikers (can you imagine?), the mental battle to reach Reese's eventual, yet short-lived freedom, was just as intriguing for "Prisoner's Dilemma."

Interestingly enough, the actual prisoner, Reese, was in less of a dilemma than Carter, who was stuck playing both sides while trying to reveal/not reveal which one of the four suspects was the "Man in the Suit," all while preventing everyone else from getting to Reese.

Reese in Prison

I was unsure how Carter would handle her questioning and if I would find it believable, but she seemed to handle her own. And, sure, she didn't have to pull some Zero Dark Thirty interrogation tactics, but Carter was able to turn one suspect and work her way to pointing the finger at another.

But rather then see her pull out all her crazy tricks, it was far more interesting listening to Carter and Reese touch on some of the personal moments that impacted them.

It certainly made me wonder what was real and wasn't real as Reese revealed information, but as soon as he began talking about his love and the steps he had taken and one's he hadn't, Carter had the chance to see a whole different side.

Similarly, hearing Carter divulge that she had killed someone was an aspect that we haven't seen before. In a way, it connected her to Reese and added an extra layer of trust between them. I really do enjoy when we get to learn more about the characters.

And as an added layer, Reese became caught up with Bear's former neo-Nazi owner from the Person of Interest Season 2 premiere, the newly friendly (but is he actually reformed?) Elias, and the assassin trying to finish Reese off. I'm surprised there weren't more criminals Reese had put away itching to get at him.

I was curious as to when Elias would drop in, but it was a unique twist turning the former enemy into an ally. I still don't trust the spectacled villain, though. He's bound to rear his evil head again.

It was really no surprise when Reese was finally freed and back in his slick suits, but I didn't see it coming when Donnelly confronted both Reese and Carter. I was sure Reese would make a clean getaway. Which really made me wonder what the outcome of Donnelly's discovery would be, especially with regards to the flashbacks of Reese's dilemma about killing people.

Would Reese be forced to kill Donnelly to keep the secret? Or would Donnelly be convinced that Reese was actually a good guy?

But it was the last second turn that threw in a great final shock with Donnelly's number popping up and Reese's former CIA partner Kara taking him out.

I knew Kara had to come back, as she was in the flashbacks as well, and we hadn't seen her back since "Matsya Nyaya" and the more recent "Masquerade." But what is her real agenda?

I thought she was just out for revenge, so was killing Donnelly necessary to her motives? Either way, she has something up her sleeve and Reese is going to be caught up in her big scheme.

Just when we thought everything was going to be okay for the team.

And while the focus was mainly on Reese, the episode was sure to remind us that the Machine never stops giving Finch numbers, allowing Fusco to take one all by himself. In hilarious fashion, Fusco got caught up saving a supermodel hottie. Starting off with a blinding macing before becoming a hero - wielding duel guns - to getting a kiss and a "call me," definitely gave Fusco the best day out of all of them.

I guess I can see fans of the regular saving the person of interest fare being disappointed, but I love that Person of Interest can keep viewers guessing on what it's going to do. It keeps everything fresh, brings in those past characters and continues to move forward with the larger story. Striking at the heart of Carter and Reese, all while wrapped up in a major battle for the "Man in the Suit," kept the pacing quick and the hour engrossing.

Really, just when you think you have the show pegged, it throws you for a great turn and coming back for more. Hopefully, Fusco can get the supermodel to do the same.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (295 Votes)

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


I enjoyed this episode. I really liked the characters they introduced. So sad that they will not be on future episodes. The prison yard scene with John and Elias was priceless. Person of Interest is one of the best shows on tv, especially with the awesome cast and crew.


WOW! This was like seeing Carter and Reese from a different planet! It's like you don't know who these characters are! They are REALLY KICK ASS!!


I'm a relative newbie to the show, but now that I'm caught up--loving every minute! As always the show always takes a twist in a way that surprises me. The end was just another twister! And loved Finch in his "bada**" mode!


i started watching poi from the beginning, have not missed on show, i dont have too many fav shows, ncis and now poi, but i have to say this, poi is getting a little bit too too confusing too keep up with, i know it tries to go back by the dates but its still too hard, i tpe every show and sometimes have to watch at least twice so i dont miss the smallest detail, thats all it takes to miss and the whole show is blown. ncis goes along and then will have a few shows related and then the end of the season the big one. i think that poi tries to do that but poi already has its foot in too many lakes to do that now. i hope the poi lakes dont get much bigger i love the show and would hate to see it loose out just because the lakes got too big. marge


I agree with all of you who felt that the ending was really a surprise and a bit of a shock! But before I got any farther, I have to say I LOVED the use of "Eminence Front" by Pete Townsend of The Who as Reeses song when he was released from prison and was striding along. That song was perfect! And I am now anxious about how Reese will escape his former partner who is a psychopath and who probably wants him back in the CIA with her,killing people instead of saving them. I hope that he can resist her without getting killed, and I hope Carter is okay, too. I loved bad-arse Finch getting ready to bust Reese out of jail, and Fusco and the model had me laughing like crazy! Great ep of a wonderful show!


I agree 100% with Blu - AWESOME episode!! I love the way this show keeps suprising me and it never becomes just another proceedural.


The B plot with KK as herself was ridiculously amusing. Big surprise ending.


Definitely one of the top 3 episodes in the 1 1/2 years of POI! Still trying to catch my breath! Major kudos to Taraji Henson for her superb performance. And still loving "Dirty Harold" with a grenade launcher off to save Reese! POI writers have a knack of making us think they have lost their ever loving minds - and then showing us all how brilliant they are! It's gonna be a real long 2 weeks till the next new episode...

Beverly brooks

Ending totally surprised me! Way to go writers.


But why couldn't Donelly just let ALL the inmates that were put away by/around the "Man In The Suit" and then they would simply ID him if not try to kill him like Bear's owner?? Could have solved his case in minutes instead of weeks.

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