Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) is a rich computer genius who the world believes to be dead. After 9/11, he has built a smart machine for the government which can detect potential mass crimes before they happen. Unfortunately, the machine can also detect other crimes. Since the government wasn’t interested, and Finch couldn’t let it go, he the machine to send him the suspected person’s social security number. Finch wants to help these individuals who the government isn’t interested in helping, and needs a man with a certain skill set.
John Reese (Jim Caviezel) is an ex-military/government agent, and he is damn good at tracking, fighting, using weapons, disappearing and a lot more. The world also thinks he is dead, and ever since he lost the love of his life, he doesn’t care about anything anymore. Spending his days like a homeless drunk, he is spotted by Finch, who of course knows that Reese isn’t dead.
When a subway incident puts Reese on the radar of the NYPD detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson), Finch bails him out and offers him the job of helping people that alerted his machine. At first Reese is reluctant, but Finch persuades him that he can help others from getting hurt, and he indeed has the resources to provide him.
After that, they start their cases with a number. They find out who the number belongs to, but they don’t know what the crime will be, or if the person will be the victim or the guilty party. Finch feeds Reese the intel, and Reese starts tracking their person of interest. Nothing is ever what it seems to be, and they always find a way to get advantage of it. For instance instead of killing or jailing one of the dirty cops (Kevin Chapman) they catch, Reese makes him his inside source.
Of course there are two big puzzles: what happened to Finch (he has had a serious injury and walks with a strong limp- we don’t know how that happened or he wanted to disappear) and Reese (who killed his girlfriend and why).
Person of Interest is very addictive. It has character development, drama, mystery and plenty of action. It has two main and two supporting characters, and the relationship between Finch and Reese is a lot of fun. While Reese at first seemed angry and depressed, each episode slowly reveals his subtle sense of humor and dibs at uncovering more about Finch. Finch knows a lot more about Reese than the audience, and the audience has a lot of questions about both. He is very determined about keeping himself a closed box, and Reese is tempted to open it up slowly.
Reese is the ultimate action hero. Yes, he is a good guy. Yeah, he doesn’t feel great when he has to kill people. But he really doesn’t mind if he has to kill scum. He kicks ass, and it is fun trying to see a bunch of mean but no-so-skilled and/or well-trained bad guys try to go at our 6′ 2″ (1.88 m) hero.
And as cool and professional Reese is, he is not short of using empathy with the people he is trying to save. Everything isn’t black and white with him. Example? An ex-soldier who’s robbing banks to look after his dead friend’s kids without killing anyone is a guy who deserves a second chance in Reese’s book.
I also love the fact that Finch and Reese aren’t trying to save the whole world. They’re helping one person at a time, and entertaining us while doing so.
It’s a lot of fun to see Carter trying to catch Reese when she constantly ends up with the description “Tall man in a suit”…
Recommended. Currently 8.2 on IMDB. 10/10 from me. But then again, I have always been a sucker for the cool spy stuff without the supernatural elements where we are not saving the world. And as my favorite shows are slowly losing their edge (Castle got darker and less funny, where as The Mentalist got lighter and funnier), A Person of Interest hooked me from episode 1. And you know a shows rocks when it is great enough with a higher purpose (catching Red John) or without presenting a possible on-screen couple. Just pure good writing and good acting. Try it!
Favorite Lines & Scenes:
Season 1, Episode 5
Finch: Mr. Reese-any sign of a threat?
Reese (not having spotted a threat for a while and watching the judge eat fast food): Does cholesterol count?
Season 1, Episode 5
Reese: Thank you.
Finch: I beg your pardon?
Reese: For giving me a job
Finch: (offering the personal suggestion he refused in the beg. of the episode) Try the eggs Benedict Mr. Reese, I’ve had them many times. (Reese smiles after Finch leaves).
Season 1, Episode 6
Finch: Do you know what she does yet?
Reese: She does favors. For a price. She’s a fixer.
Finch: Assuming that she’s the victim, any idea who’d want to take her out?
Reese: Who wouldn’t?
Season 1, Episode 6
The Fixer (Zoe): You never did tell me your name.
Reese: John. My name is John.
The Fixer: (amused) Of course it is. So, John, how did you know I’d be in trouble?
Reese: Given your choice of career, doesn’t seem much of a stretch. You might consider a new line of work.
The Fixer: You’re the one to judge.
Season 1, Episode 7
Reese is watching a high school teacher whose number came up.
Reese (on the site, talking to Finch through his earpiece): What’s the story, Finch?
Finch: He’s a high school history teacher working in the Brighton Beach School District. Lives alone. Never married. Not much to go on.
Reese: (teasing) Maybe he has students after him. You know teaching can be a dangerous profession.
Finch: Yes, I imagine espionage is a much safer choice, Mr. Reese.
Season 1, Episode 7
Finch: What if you miss?
Reese: Wouldn’t know. Never have.
- The series is produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias, Alcatraz) but not written or created by him. The series was created by Jonathan Nolan.
- Michael Emerson also starred in Lost, J.J. Abrams hit show that went on for 6 seasons.
- In episode 7, The Witness, Reese is trying to protect a high school teacher from two different mobs and eventually they hide out with one of his students. His student is reading The Count of Monte Cristo, and upon the student’s comment that the character Edmond is “cool, a survivor” a subtle grin appears on Reese’s face- as Jim Caviezel starred as Edmond, aka The Count of Monte Cristo in the 2002 movie version.
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