On TV: 5 reasons I’m quitting ‘Person of Interest’

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Person of Interest” | Season 4, Episode 3: “Wingman” | Date: Oct. 7, 2014


  1. Too much technobabble.
  2. Not enough Amy Acker.
  3. Jim Caviezel seems as boring as the character he’s playing.
  4. The writers try to create insurmountable obstacles with Big Brother in control of monitoring systems and squeezing the flow of cash and weapons, and it could have been fun to see the Bat Family play superhero on $100 a week, but, no, the writers wipe out the obstacles as quickly as they were created making the whole thing a lame jerk-around that returns us to the status quo almost as quickly as all the other police procedurals on CBS.
  5. I remember looking forward to each week of “Person of Interest,” but for the last half of the third season it has felt like a chore, something that I put off like cleaning the toilet or grocery shopping and now I’m permanently scratching it off my to-do list.

On TV: Review of ‘Person of Interest’ Season 4, Episode 2

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Person of Interest” | Season 4, Episode 2: “Nautilus” | Date: Sept. 30, 2014


Near the end of the episode, a girl who was the “Person of Interest” number of the week says something like, “There was no point to this.”

She wasn’t specifically talking about this episode, but she should have been.

As he has since last season, Finch (Michael Emerson) said he didn’t want to be back on the team with Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi), fighting crime and saving lives. He said it time and time again.

But of course by the end of this episode, he revealed a new Batcave for the group. All that chatter and whimpering about staying alive, was for nothing. The status quo has been reset, just as we always knew it was.

Root (Amy Acker) was good, as usual. It’s too bad you can’t cherry pick the best characters from mediocre TV shows and make one good series. You could take Root from “Person of Interest” and pair her with Red from “The Blacklist” and May from “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and you might have a cast worth watching.

But the problem with “Person of Interest” isn’t the cast. It’s the plot. It’s technobabble nonsense and increasingly unintelligible. I remember having a lot more fun with this show than I do now. These days, I wonder how long I’ll keep watching.

On TV: Review of ‘Person of Interest’ Season 4 premiere

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Person of Interest” | Season 4, Episode 1: “Panopticon” | Date: Sept. 23, 2014


Here’s a quick recap of how “Person of Interest” began its fourth season:

Reese (Jim Caviezel) wants to get the band back together and fight crime. Finch (Michael Emerson) says they can’t because the bad guys control on the technology and the government and the guns. Shaw (Sarah Shahi) wants to break things and kill people. Root (Amy Acker) says cryptic things about the computer that talks to her into the head.

Repeat the previous paragraph three times.

Then the band really does get back together, blows some stuff up and saves somebody’s life.

Then they get a new, super untraceable cell phone system and a secret lair.

It’s not very good, but it’s OK for background noise while you fiddle with your smartphone and eat a pizza. I recommend taco pizza. Because it’s pizza and tacos, which are awesome.

On TV: Good riddance to the third season of ‘Person of Interest’

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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.

On TV: When did ‘Person of Interest’ become a comedy?

Season 3, Episode 22: “A House Divided” | Date: May 6, 2014

The sundry collection of action heroes and computer geniuses raced to save their kidnapped colleague Finch (Michael Emerson) in the penultimate episode of the third season of “Person of Interest.”

300px-Person_of_Interest_logo.svgThis did not stop Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) from spending most of the episode cracking one-liners as if they were in some kind of violent situation comedy.

“Person of Interest” need not be all grim and gritty. But a show about umpteen terrorist groups, vast government conspiracies and artificial intelligence with the ability to predict future homicides and terrorist attacks really doesn’t seem the place for running gags.

Shaw, for example, kept asking Root (Amy Acker) for permission to kill a woman named Control. What a name. I’m guessing her parents weren’t hippies. Control can’t be killed. There’s one more episode left in the season. Nothing interesting happens in the second-to-last episode. It’s the lapdance of TV episodes: all tease.

After about 45 minutes of technobabble and the crippling of at least one Secret Service agent, the team finally locates Finch. He’s with a guy named Greer (John Nolan), who runs a technology company that wants to go into business with the government surveilling everybody everywhere all the time.

But the “privacy terrorists” known as Vigilance shows up and kidnaps Greer, Finch, Control and a couple of other characters not interesting enough to be described.

Vigilance seizes control of TV — now that’s going too far! — and promise to put on trial this group of government and corporate co-conspirators for violations of rights and having their pudding before eating their meat.

The series is tired and has lost its direction. It just isn’t a compelling watch the way it was in the first two seasons. Even Acker, whose charms as an actress have carried the uneven, meandering plots this season, seems tired and resigned.

There’s just one episode left, the teaser for next week’s finale says. I look forward to it with the same anticipation and enthusiasm I give to a hangnail that defies being cut off by the clippers.