Season 2, Episode 22: “God Mode”
Original air date: May 9, 2013
- The second season finale to “Person of Interest,” my favorite network drama, felt a little bit too much like the original “Mission: Impossible” movie: There was too much going on and my feeble little mind couldn’t keep it straight.
- The group of bad cops, HR, tried to frame Det. Carter (Taraji P. Henson) for using lethal force on an unarmed suspect and she must race to save mob boss Elias (Enrico Colantoni), although why, I’m not really sure.
- Finch (Michael Emerson) teams with psycho Root (Amy Acker) to stop the machine from blowing up (or something like that), but it turns out the machine just moved itself to another location … which I don’t know if this means it turned int Optimus Prime or has a good shipping rate with Fed Ex, but let’s not over think it.
- Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) run around shooting people, answering pay phones and trying to catch up to Finch and Root, only to end up in a Mexican standoff with a bunch of government agents who want the machine to keep sorting out terrorists.
- It all ends ambiguously: Root is the psych ward getting phone calls from the machine, but so are Reese and Finch and the government goons for that matter, and I don’t know what any of it means, but if it means more Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi next season, I approve.
Original air date: May 2, 2013
- I feel like there was a big bubbling mystery that came to a head in the penultimate episode of the second season of “Person of Interest.”
- Damned if I know what it was, though.
- The plot was so complicated, it felt like the days when I was watching TV in my college dorm and my roommate and his girlfriend, both physics majors, would discuss their homework — it was all gibberish to the future professional paragraph stacker.
- I think there was something about a computer virus, Finch (Michael Emerson) possibly being a bad guy and the machine being sentient and the need to find a payphone in New York City, of which there are apparently a lot in 2013 if the show is to be believed.
- I’m not a dumb guy, but I felt like one watching this episode — I just never quite knew what the hell was going on — but I sure did enjoy seeing the return of computer crazy Root (Amy Acker) and government assassin Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi), for more than aesthetic reasons.
Original air date: April 25, 2013
- I’ve lost some steam when it comes to enthusiasm for “Person of Interest,” which I don’t know whether to blame on the show’s quality or a bad case of anhedonia, but heaven knows I keep watching that mediocre pap that is “The Big Bang Theory” on the same night, which I blame on Kaley Cuoco being cute despite playing a character I would want to stay far away from in real life.
- Det. Fusco (Kevin Chapman) is taking heat from internal affairs for his past misdeeds while Det. Carter (Taraji P. Henson) tries to save him and grieves her cop boyfriend, whom the machine failed to save in a previous episode.
- The lesser story of the two involved Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) trying to figure out who fatally poisoned doctor over a drug trial, which fills like a plot ripped from both “The Fugitive” film and the film noir classic “D.O.A.”
- Fusco’s struggle with his moral failures has been one of the most compelling undercurrents of “P.O.I” from the beginning, particularly his struggle with those demons as he made the turn toward the angels working with Reese and Finch.
- That Carter would help him cover up those misdeeds, though, shows a new level of commitment between the the partners and a stronger bond than previously indicated, a dynamic twist that proved far more interesting than hints at problems with the machine.
Original air date: March 7, 2013
- This week’s “Person of Interest” was completely so unimpressive from beginning to end that I found myself wishing things would hurry up and be over about 30 minutes into “Proteus.”
- The machine spits out six numbers at once after being silent for three days and it turns out a serial killer (is there any other kind on TV?) is stealing the identities of his victims.
- Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) thwart the man in a coastal town while in the midst of a heavy downpour, which may have been a reference to Hurricane Sandy or the most cliche effort to manufacture noir atmosphere since “Peanuts’” anthropomorphic beagle Snoopy began every novel with the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night.”
- Finch gets in over his head but Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and her new boyfriend, the shady Det. Cal Beecher (Sterling K. Brown), show up and shoot the bad guy just as he’s about to execute Finch, a plot device one would expect from generic cop shows and action movies, but not in “Person of Interest,” which is usually sublime and thrilling.
- The episode ends with the ominous note that something may be wrong with the machine, but even that tidbit is marred by unusually bad writing when Reese remarks that at least the storm is over Finch chimes in “No, Mr. Reese, I fear it is just beginning,” a line so obvious Snoopy might well have written the episode.
Original air date: Feb. 21 2013
5. “Person of Interest” felt like it was in a mid-season lull, with Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) doing their weekly savior thing in a perfunctory fashion reminiscent of the slew of police procedural shows jamming up the network schedules.
4. Then along comes “Relevance,” and it lives up to it’s name by both lighting a fire under the action and creating a new dynamic in which we learn the machine is doing double duty as a terrorism-prevention device (it’s original purpose) and feeding Reese and Finch the subjects facing death.
3. We meet Shaw (Sarah Shahi) and her partner Michael, who have been snuffing out terrorist cells across the world in government black ops, but when Michael asks too many questions, the big secret government group led by the Special Counsel (Jay O. Sanders) decided to have them killed — succeeding with Michael but Shaw escapes with the help of Reese.
2. Shaw has a creepy encounter with Root (Amy Acker), the nutcase who wants to control the machine and happens to be working as the Special Counsel’s assistant, but Reese arrives — just after Root escapes — to rescue Shaw from government baddies.
1. Shaw probes to be an interesting and developed character and if there is one thing “POI” does well, it’s stack the deck with heroes and villains who reappear — such as fixer Zoe (Paige Turco) and bumbling accountant Leon (Ken Leung) — who prove useful and interesting in the ongoing story arc for the season and also give the feeling of a sort of Justice League of outlaws ready to defend us from the unknown forces of evil in our own government and beyond.
Original air date: Jan. 31, 2013
5. For the life of me, I will never understand how networks put the TV schedule together.
4. “Person of Interest,” and the rest of the CBS-TV prime time schedule, went away for a few weeks in December for Christmas, came back for two weeks at the beginning of the year and then went away again for two weeks before returning this week.
3. The effect, especially on a plot-driven show such as “Person of Interest,” is to leave the viewer scratching her head and saying, “Now what the hell was going on with this show again?”
2. Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Carter (Taraji P. Henson) were in deep do-do after a series of double crosses orchestrated by Reese’s ex-CIA partner Stanton (Annie Parisse) in order to get Reese under her control to do some voodoo with computers.
1. There’s a cliche defuse-the-bomb-in-the-nick-of-time moment where Finch (Michael Emerson) saves Reese from becoming pieces (see what I did there?), but the whole thing kind of went by in a rush and I felt like I was a step behind as if I’d missed an episode, even though I hadn’t, and I blame TV’s wonky holiday scheduling.
4. That Reese is captured doesn’t have the intensity that Root’s psychotic menace had when Finch was under duress.
3. In fact, it feels as if Reese will be sprung with relative ease with the aid of Finch and newly-minted FBI agent Carter (Taraji P. Henson).
2. Again the subplot of Fusco (Kevin Chapman) struggling with the evil police collective known as HR has the most intrigue.
1. The show has not been as strong in recent weeks, but “Person of Interest” missing a few beats still beats every other action series on the networks.
5. If last week’s “Person of Interest” was a miss, this week got back on target but not exactly in the bullseye.
3. That’s the mainbar, and it’s a little dry, but the subplot of Fusco’s (Kevin Chapman) ongoing struggle not to be pulled back into the gang of crooked cops known as H.R. while avoiding potential murder charges for the dirty cop he killed in Season one to save Reese.
2. The character’s troubles are one of the more compelling aspects of the show as Fusco has vacillated between hero and heel throughout the run.
1. “Person of Interest” has one more outing before the holiday break — what some networks call a midseason finale — and I’m hoping it finishes the first half with a bang because the last two weeks have been weak compared to the body of work as a whole.
5. Every show, even great ones, produce duds and this week’s outing was a clunker for the usually strong “Person of Interest.”
3. A husband hires an assassin to kill his wife and his wife orders up a hit on the husband.
1. Carter (Taraji P. Henson) gets a date, so does Fusco (Kevin Chapman) and the flashbacks reveal Finch was a romantic comedy date wet dream in his previous life — the whole thing just reeked of a Valentine’s Day episode and it just didn’t work.
5. For a show without zombies, profanity or raunchy sex, those fellows over at “Person of Interest” have put together one damned intense, compelling narrative drama.
4. Bad guys threaten to kill a doctor’s (Sharon Leal) wife unless she kills a patient on the table in a complicated scheme to make money off the downfall of an energy company.
2. Meanwhile, Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) meets up with Agent Snow (Michael Kelly), who wants to warn Reese that his ex-partner Kara’s (Annie Parisse) nefarious plan and, oh yeah, the team widens to include Leon (Ken Leung), the nerdy forensic accountant from the season opener and another villain, a British fellow named Wesley, who set up the plan to kill the wife but escaped capture.
1. This show is so damned good I’m tempted to say it’s the best one on TV, certainly the best drama on the networks and it runs tight with “The Walking Dead” for the whole shebang.