Season 3, Episode 23: “Deus Ex Machina” | Date: May 13, 2014
The disappointing and wildly uneven third season of “Person of Interest” came to an end in a blizzard of techno babble, a lot of shooting and martial arts and a slew of murdered New York cops.
Finch (Michael Emerson) and a slew of other lesser characters whose roles and names are largely forgettable are put on “trial” by a gang of extremists who are upset Finch and the government built a supercomputer capable of monitoring everyone.
Reese (Jim Caviezel) and some other guy from a previous conspiracy subplot whose name I’ve forgotten and am too disinterested to look up race to rescue Finch.
Root (Amy Acker) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) rig the new supercomputer, called Samaritan. This involves lots of shooting and witty banter. But they don’t wreck the computer. They just rig it so it doesn’t recognize any of our heroes — Reese, Finch, Shaw, Root and the three computer nerds who helped Root rig up the gizmo.
Reese rescues Finch. The ruthless, evil British businessman (John Nolan) blows up a building, kills a bunch of cops and other innocent people. Sure, the one time in the history of the series the cops arrive at a call in anything remotely resembling a reasonable response time, they all get killed.
Then he murders the privacy terrorist — a group, it turns out, he orchestrated from the beginning. (Craig Ferguson was right. When in doubt, blame the British.)
The building explosion convinces the government to give the British guy access to all the security feeds in the country. He ends the episode asking the computer to give him orders. Apparently SkyNet is online. Somebody wake John Conner.
Root gives a long speech about how the heroes must now go underground. There’s a lot of poetry about Pandora’s Box. But by this point I’ve checked out.
The effort to add gravitas to these final episodes was clumsy and heavy-handed. I’m afraid a show I looked forward to with great interest each week has more of a chore than an entertainment.
“Person of Interest” was renewed for a fourth season by CBS. On a good night, it gets about 12 million viewers. I don’t know if I’ll be one of them next fall.