November 30, 2012 4:57 PM | By C. Joan Porter

I Don't Watch This: Person of Interest

Each week we make an MSN editor watch a show that - for whatever reason - they've never watched before and then give their impressions, for better or worse.

Jim Caviezel in Person of Interest (© John Paul Filo-CBS-2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.)

Each week we make an MSN editor watch a show that - for whatever reason - they've never watched before and then give their impressions, for better or worse.

What did you watch? Person of Interest, episode 208, "Til Death," aired Nov. 29, 2012 on CityTV

Why haven’t you watched it? When Person of Interest debuted last year, it was heavily promoted as being from the mind of J.J. Abrams and featuring Michael Emerson of Lost fame…basically the CBS marketing machine was yelling “LOST FANS! WE’RE GIVING YOU ANOTHER GEM.” And the problem with that is I didn’t watch Lost. (Okay, I attempted to watch it, but after about six episodes of the first season, I tapped out of the ring.) Basically what I’m saying is, the show wasn’t advertised to my demographic; and so with more than enough TV-watching on my plate, I happily skipped over this show without more than a second thought. I knew it was getting decent ratings, that people I worked with liked it, but I remained blissfully unaware of its overarching plot lines and so forth.


First things first, that opening preamble to set the premise up did not give me enough to understand what is going on: government machine sees everything not just terrorist plots – Okay, I guess. How does it sort information to determine these things? What kind of distinctions does it make in terms of what the definition of “terrorism” is? And then there’s some sort of secret group to fight crime/the other things the machine sees while being hunted by the police/authorities – Why? Wouldn’t the police still be policing if this is a top secret government machine that people don’t know about? Has law and order in regular society ceased to exist? Where in time are we?

Am I supposed to like Michael Emerson’s character? He’s chatting up Carrie Preston’s character (Julia – is that her name?) in a bar and my first thought is, “Oh good, she’s found work that isn’t True Blood!” But it’s followed by “Oh is she just going to die at the hands of this odd chap?” I’m concerned.

Viewmaster shout out! Flash forward to 2012….because we were in 2006 but not for real. Is their 2012 similar to ours? I feel like I should be looking out for robocops or hover cars in this world.

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that one of the “bad guys” (if the Drakes are the “bad guys”?) is played by Mark Pellegrino. 1) That guy pops up in everything these days: Revolution, Grimm, Supernatural, Castle, Being Human. 2) He’s always playing a creepy and/or evil dude.  So much so that I’m convinced he could never just play someone’s dad or a friendly bro or something. 3) He was on Lost – this show has had a lot of Lost cameos, hasn’t it? (Maybe I just made that up.)

I get that the camera shots is the show’s way of enforcing the idea that a machine is always watching but what does a yellow box versus a white box around someone’s head mean? If yellow means you’re flagged as a threat, how do these people walk around all the time without being hassled by whoever monitors this crazy machine?

Ok, Emerson’s character is starting to grow on me a little. He seems kind of robotic in his speech, but clearly has Mr. Reese’s safety at heart as seen by that bomb defusing. In fact, they do have a cute friendly banter (see: baseball conversation) that - if consistent throughout the series – is working well to convince me that I’d like this show more than I think.

I’m still unsure how Taraji P. Henson’s character fits in with these two. Ditto to her partner – he’s being shady (and brought a date, which clearly makes him super professional). Is it just that they’re cops and they help? How’d they get looped into this? 

These flashbacks to 2006 are clearly part of a bigger picture, and probably rewarding to regular viewers, but it’s just distracting from the case-of-the-week plotline for me. I don’t know this girl’s story, though I have a feeling it’s sad based on the fact she’s not with Finch in the present.  This scavenger hunt is going to turn out poorly – but at least it came with ice cream and flowers?

Vegan smoothies do sound awful.

It appears that one miscarriage memory is enough to get a couple to reconcile. That sounds unlikely, but with 43 minutes to wrap up the week’s story means we’ve got to hustle along. People, you’re locked in what appears to be a wine cellar – might I suggest kicking back and enjoying yourselves in that spacious pantry?

Questions/conclusions: Regarding this week’s case: married people not getting along usually resort to divorce, not hit men. This plotline was a little extreme.

Jim Caviezel, you are dreamy. What?! You’d have to be blind not to notice his dashing older man charms. And even if you were sight-impaired, I’m pretty sure his voice would still win you over.  Anyway, back to my point: Caviezel’s pretty damn cool cowboying around the place, kidnapping people for their own good, fighting a hit man with a hammer, and so forth.

The dynamic duo of John Reese and Harold Finch did win me over a little. From what I could tell, it seems like Reese also doesn’t know much about Finch’s beginnings – so I guess that makes Reese the one that viewers relate to. Plus their dog is adorable.

I’m sure most of my lingering questions could probably be answered by going back and watching, oh I don’t know, the whole season and a half that came before this episode.

On the whole, I can definitely see myself growing attached to the characters – at least Reese and Finch – but not necessarily to their cause and cases of the week. I’m a sucker for a duo with a lot of good banter (see: Suits, White Collar, Castle, Damon and Alaric on The Vampire Diaries…the list goes on), but I’m not ready to invest my time into catching up on this show just yet. However, the bleak terrain of holiday reruns is nearly upon me, so I won’t rule it out entirely.

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