Person of Less Interest

20 Nov

I‘ve watched and purchased the first 2 seasons of Person of Interest. I’ve found the writing and quality of acting in this show to be way above the predictable pedestrian level. Of course, there’s an inherent danger in walking that knife-edge between character and plot development which brings fan loyalty and the need to be able to be flexible and take risks with story line as well as characters. Tonight is a story that transitions among 3 episodes. This evening was the 2nd out of 3 but it certainly gave us all a surprise in the end.

Reese with detective Fusco in Person of Interest

Reese with detective Fusco in Person of Interest (photo: courtesy of CBS)

For a moment, let me review the basics of the show which is a police, crime, drama and computer wizardry all rolled into one. The series revolves around a former CIA officer (Jim Caviezel) who has attempted to drop out of society but has a run in with a youth gang on a New York transit train. He looks like your average unkempt homeless person, but once attacked he moves and strikes as one who has a high degree of physical combat training. He’s brought in by the police for questioning and meets a young, intelligent, highly experienced police detective named Carter (Taraji P. Henson). She thinks there’s more to this guy and starts to check into his background but finds the files seem to be closed on him.

Meanwhile, he’s suddenly free to walk but as he leaves the police station, he’s asked to meet someone who reveals he’s his benefactor. The man he meets is a mysterious billionaire, Finch (Michael Emerson) who has developed a computer used by the government to prevent future acts of terrorism. One of the by-products of this pattern seeking artificial intelligence machine is it’s also able to predict planned violent crimes in New York City through all its data gathering capability. Finch wants and finally convinces Reese he not only needs to get his head back in the game of intrigue, he can help a lot of people through various covert protection schemes.

Reese & Carter - Person of Interest share a moment on a NY subway

Reese (Caviezel) & Carter (Henson) share a moment on a NY subway – Person of Interest (photo: courtesy of CBS)

Well tonight in an effort to stay fresh and edgy, the writers may have stepped off the edge and landed into a pool of previously devout fans that may become Piranhas. Criticism of tonight’s plot has reached a fever pitch because one of the main characters was killed at the end of this episode.

Taraji P Henson

Taraji P Henson – Detective Joss Carter

Reese and Carter have been working closely together after she found out the real reason Reese, seemingly a vigilante, is actually working as close as he can to support the police in their efforts. She finds an ally in many situations and he as well when they’ve both faced dirty cops and sophisticated crime syndicates. Tonight, many of us have wondered and anticipated a little romance between these two seems to be in order, however their feelings for each other come under extreme duress as they are both targeted by a large number of dirty cops aided by street hoodlums that now have his picture circulated. Just as we see how boyishly romantic Reese can be with Carter while they pause to talk near a dark alley, out from the shadows proceeds one of the lead dirty cops who shoots and hits both Reese and Carter. Carter takes a couple of shots to the chest and dies in the arms of Reese just after she had put a couple of 9mm forget me nots into the back of the fleeing officer.

At the end of this episode I believe you can hear the collective frustration of fans as they say, “Oh hell no!” We shall see what comes forth in the next and final entry in this trilogy, but I’m concerned this show may have jumped the shark. If there was any plausible plot device available to bring back Taraji P. Henson, I think we would all be thanking the writers.

Just remember, your fan loyalty can completely evaporate while you (the writers) attempt to be clever…Finch - Reese our number is up


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2 responses to “Person of Less Interest

  1. iseebeautyallaroundbyrobpaine

    20/11/2013 at 20:56

    As upsetting as this episode was, it was real. While I wish this would have been saved for the series finale, whenever that will be, I have to credit the writers for the shocking twist, or was it? I think there were several clues looking back now where the writers tried to tip us off, Carter saying good bye to her son, Fusco saying I know someone is going to have to die in this thing, and on and on. In any case. Carter was a great character portrayed by such a talented actress, but I think the show will go on.

    Hey look, would you rather have a real plot like this one, or the lame stuff in the final Sopranos episode? Such a phony ending to a great show undercut its legitimacy as far as I am concerned.
    I think the fact that so many people care about this character getting killed off is a testament to how good the show is. Did anyone really care when the Charlie Sheen character was killed in Two and a Half Men? I doubt it.

  2. chrisbarfoot

    20/11/2013 at 17:54

    I haven’t seen this show yet… but I’m looking forward to it. I like Homeland, C.S.I, N.C.I.S (in all of it’s geographical formats)… gritty realism is preferable and these kind of shows really go for it.

    I’ve been getting back into a programme from my youth- KOJAK… incredible how current (aside from the tapestry) this show still is. It’s kinda violent and shabby- Hill Street Blues was I suppose a hybrid of this form of entertainment- certainly NYPD Blue- although I despise that whole shaky camera thing trying to mimic a documentary style to depict realism; in the end- I couldn’t bear to watch that show anymore. Was just annoying. These edgy reflections of the real world- are creations which inject humour into the agony; as presented/translated in such classic movies as ‘The Choirboys’.

    ’24’ was I think the first (albeit short runs) action drama (TV) whereby the lead cast were totally expendable. It altered the viewers perception, nobody is safe- surely the ultimate sense of realism. Jack Bauer is pretty much a lone survivor- but everyone else gets taken-out, we need some sense of stability, of the status quo- would the audience still connect or care; if the hero was someone new each episode? It’s something to consider…

    The point is, we accept and mourn the death of important characters as though they were real. But this is TV-world… they can always come back from the land of pretend death. 😉 right?

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