Person of Interest Season 2 Review “Prisoner’s Dilemma”


Last night’s Person of Interest was the best episode of the show to date. There’s a simple reason: the person of interest story was practically non-existent. Instead, viewers got another look into Reese’s background, lengthy conversations between Carter and Reese, and a reappearance by Elias. It is a good thing that the person of interest story was so minimal – it involved Fusco trying to save an underwear model (Karolina Kurkova) being chased by Armenian gangsters.

The focus on Reese’s incarceration allowed for more thorough story and character development than we typically see in this show. Usually, they are trying to cram in too many storylines. With the focus off the person of interest, viewers gained more insight into Reese’s background and the bond between him and Carter. Reese’s interrogation was the most intimate conversation the show has ever had. It was great to see a personal connection between Carter and Reese. Even though Reese was feeding some false information to the FBI, there were nuggets of his personal struggles and Carter instinctively knew those to be truthful. After Reese was released and met up with Carter, they seemed to understand each other as individuals – not just as vigilante colleagues.

Another great thing to come out of Reese’s incarceration was the reemergence of Elias. Even though it was a short appearance, his presence brought a certain whimsical evil to the situation. Elias’ best moment was his comment that he thought the FBI could have come up with a more creative name than “the man in the suit.” Agreed!

The big reemergence, though, was Reese’s former partner, Stanton. Even though Reese was previously in the military, the flashbacks of him with Stanton show that the two assassins are nothing alike. Stanton takes glee in killing and follows orders blindly. Reese questions the “who” and “why” of their targets. Stanton drugs Reese and likely kidnaps him, but there is no clue what will happen to Carter.

Once Donnelly captured Reese and Carter, every phone Finch walked by began to ring. A series of codes were given on the other end of the line. I’m not quite sure what these codes were. Do we know yet? Did I miss something?

There’s always some flaw in the show. This time, I’m giving it to the lame 1980s music at the end. All that was missing was a saxophone solo. It was a tough call between this and the clunky dialogue from McAvoy, “Screw that. Nobody rats me out.” But, incredibly, the actor delivered the line with credibility, so the bad music wins.

I think we should all take a moment to acknowledge how much better the show is when they are not running around in fifty different directions. Distractions like HR aren’t necessary when they spend the time on their main characters.
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  • gah

    A series of codes were given on the other end of the line. I’m not
    quite sure what these codes were. Do we know yet? Did I miss
    something?

    did you even watch the season 2 before..you’d know what the ‘codes’ are if u did

    • Courtney

      To answer your question, I sure have. All 35 long, long hours. Thanks for commenting.

      • Marianne

        I think we found the answer in the season 2 opener when Reese had to figure out the codes… Remember that? It’s what I based my answer on above.

        • Courtney

          Thanks Marianne! Very helpful!

  • Marianne

    The codes are based on the library Finch maintains… How the Machine communicates the SSN to Finch… Dewey decimal system?

    • Courtney

      It was the multiple public phones ringing that threw me. Thanks for the constructive comment! :)

      • Marianne

        It threw me too, until I remembered that the Machine knows where Finch is at anytime. With the number of pay phones decreasing all the time due to the ubiquity of cell phones, it seems a bit old fashioned for such a high tech show.

        • ptjackson

          Interesting you should bring up the idea of not as many pay phones. This is very true – pay phones are going the way of the dinosaur. I wonder what the exact statistics are, but that many pay phones that close together is kind of hard to believe! I know they are many places that no longer have pay phones.

  • JBud

    That “bad music” you refer to is from one of the greatest rock n roll bands of all time, and it was the perfect fit for that scene. Maybe you would of liked it better if it were some of this new age rap bullshit?

    • Courtney

      No, Reese doesn’t throw out a rap vibe. I looked it up just for you…Eminence Front by The Who from their 1982 studio album. Also featured on Miami Vice. I think that proves my point and I stand by my assessment. They need to stop using 80s music when there is plenty of modern stuff. You’re entitled to like it,though. Thanks for commenting.

      • JBud

        You shouldn’t of had to look it up, Eminence Front has one of the greatest song intro’s ever. Doesn’t matter how old it is, it is still great music.

  • lll

    I know it was already said but those ‘codes’ are coordinated with the library books in their headquarters. When placed together the dewey decimal system spells out the social security number. In this episode it was Donnelly’s number.

    • lll

      The machine constantly calling finch from one payphone to the next as he was walking was done because it was an emergency.

  • ptjackson

    I will respectfully disagree with you that the weekly “person of interest” bogs down the show. I enjoy those episodes.

    However, I will agree with you that this episode was top notch! I always enjoy one of these episodes on this type of show where we get character exposition – and boy did we get it in this one!

    I guess if I had a nit to pick, it would be with the way poor Lionel was used. We hardly saw him, and I guess he was there for comic relief, but really? How in the world did they get out of the predicaments they got into?

    • WTBA

      I see POI a lot like the X-Files was, in the sense that some of the one-week stories (“monster-of-the-week” in the X-Files sense) are fantastic, but the larger story arcs have to be addressed with a handful of episodes each season, and these episodes are mostly dealing with part of the larger mythology/storyline.

      This episode was definitely the latter, and it was very satisfying. POI does a great job weaving the larger storylines throughout the weekly eps, but these are the eps that REALLY pay off!

      • ptjackson

        Yes, I agree with you!