Review: ‘Person of Interest’ starts final season with Team Machine on the run

05.03.16 1 year ago 24 Comments

Person of Interest which I caught up on, and fell hard for, over the last few months after abandoning the show very early in its run – is back for its final season, and I have some thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I wait for you to finish using the vending machine…

The fourth season ended with Team Machine in pretty dire straits, particularly with the Machine itself having to be shut down, with only its core memories being stored in the special briefcase. “B.S.O.D.” (an acronym referring to the Blue Screen of Death that appears on certain computer systems after they crash) opens by suggesting that things may actually get worse for our heroes, with a flash-forward glimpse of Finch's subway hideout, wrecked, and a recording of Root's voice suggesting the listener is alone, and that Root at the moment has no idea what victory over Samaritan would even mean at this stage.

That's an intriguing tease for what's coming later in the season, but “B.S.O.D.” offers plenty of excitement in the here and now. Like most PoI premieres (and finales), it's particularly action-packed, with Root's shooting at Samaritan goons while hanging upside-down from the wrecked car a particularly impressive sequence. And, like most of the show's premieres and finales, it doesn't just lean on the action, but continues to lean on the emotional and philosophical ramifications of the work our heroes do and the artificial intelligence that Finch created.

Though the flashbacks to the Machine's early days in 2006 don't offer a lot of new information about how it functions – Finch and Root have spoken in the past about how he deliberately crippled the Machine to keep it from turning into what Samaritan has become – tying the process in with Finch's father's senility was still a gut punch, and an effective reminder that when Harold built the thing to help people, he didn't fully appreciate at first that he was creating a life of its own, with all the perils and responsibilities that come with it.

A strong return, and a good set-up for this stretch run.

Some other thoughts:

* It's impressive that, after all these years of helping out Finch, Reese, and everyone else, Fusco still knows nothing about the Machine itself. It's rare for a show like this to let a character remain only partially Scooby-ized for so long, since usually characters are either entirely out of the loop or know about everything. Supergirl is kind of reaching that place with Cat Grant, but if that show makes it to a third season without Cat knowing Supergirl's secret identity, let alone a fifth, I'll eat my cape.

* The song in the opening montage is “No Wow” by The Kills.

* Of course Finch still has difficulty getting on a ferry, given what happened to Nathan and all the passengers who were collateral damage.

* My hope is to try to make this final season a regular part of the blog rotation, but it may depend on if I get any screeners past these first four episodes. At a minimum, I'll be weighing in periodically from now until the end.

What did everybody else think?

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