Person of Interest “The Contingency” Review

It’s back, everybody! One of my favorite new shows from last fall has returned, and Person of Interest returned tonight in style with the second season premiere “The Contingency”. We picked right up where we left off from last season’s finale, with Amy Acker’s “Root” still keeping poor Finch captive. Having marathoned through Angel over the summer, and seeing Cabin in the Woods last weekend, it’s really fun to see the usually sweet and adorable Amy Acker playing a coldhearted villain. I loved all of the scenes tonight between Finch and Root, especially the first diner scene where Root raises a good question: Why didn’t Finch’s machine see that he was in danger? Hmm…

The only lead that Reese has to Finch’s disappearance comes in the form of a cryptic phone call after imploring the machine to help him find Harold. Without Finch’s smarts, Reese had to figure out all by himself that the message corresponded to a social security number for Leon, played by LOST alum Ken Leung as Leon.

There was decidedly less Harold in this episode, but what we did see was pretty awesome. Most of his scenes involved flashbacks to when the machine was brand new, and these scenes were really great. It was fun seeing Finch test it walking around the streets, as well as testing it on the blackjack table. We’ve kind of taken the machine for granted at this point, so it’s cool seeing all of the fun applications of the technology. Seeing it save Finch from the sleeping driver was pretty great, too.

I also really love that Fusco and Carter know about each other now, and it’s fun to see them razzing each other about how they’re treated by the boys. I especially liked Fusco’s jibe at Carter and the fact she calls him “John”. “John?! You’re on a first name basis?!” In fact, Fusco was on fire tonight. The ball gag in his mouth, getting upset when John didn’t count him as one of his friends, and forbidding Leon or John to ever mention what happened to him. “Sure Lionel, like a gag order”, Reese deadpanned. Man, this episode was funnier than last week’s The Office premiere! Zing!

Anyway, the actual meat of the episode was pretty solid. Ken Leung plays a businessman who thought it would be a good idea to steal eight million bucks from the Aryan Brotherhood. Well it turns out it is not a good idea to steal money from those guys, so Reese has to help him get out of a few tight spots. However, Reese gets sick of the machine telling him to do all of these odd jobs, and starts to play hardball. Even though we saw in a flashback that Finch explicitly told the machine not to save him exclusively, but to save everybody, Reese has to outright refuse to the machine to save anybody else before he finds out where Finch is. The machine does end up finding out who Root was when she was a little girl, but that’s about as far as we got. I was genuinely surprised that Finch wasn’t found by the end of the episode, but it looks like he’ll be freed by next week so we can get back to the good ol’ fashioned Person of Interest episodes.

This might be the last Person of Interest review I write, as there’s just too much stuff on Thursday nights now that I’m also reviewing Last Resort over on ABC, but I hope to keep up with this show and hope the quality keeps up at this high level.

Random Thoughts:

– Is it really necessary for Reese to still use his “growly” voice when talking to Fusco and Carter on the phone? They know who he is, he doesn’t have to mask his voice Batman style.

– Wouldn’t the big crowd gathering around Finch at the blackjack table notice that he keeps getting text messages before every play?

– Why did the lady that Root poisoned at the restaurant have a blank screen as her iPhone wallpaper? She didn’t even have the standard iPhone “water drop” picture, she just had a blank white screen! Weird…