Person of Interest Season 2 Review “Triggerman”

Person of Interest Season 2 Episode 4 Triggerman

There is a tried and true fall TV tradition – the Halloween episode. For some shows, it’s about the ridiculous costumes. For crime dramas, it’s usually about a serial killer doing something creepy with pentagrams and Bible verses spelled in blood. This is the time to embrace spookiness and children who communicate with dead things. It is unclear why Person of Interest ignored the strict holiday schedule and gave viewers an Irish mob romp. What’s next? Christmas decorations in October?

This unseasonal episode was kind of a mixed bag. Some aspects felt well-trod, such as the secret relationship between Riley and Annie, and Riley turning out to be Sean’s murderer. While other aspects were more engaging because they were less predictable, such as Riley’s death, and Reese showing up at the end to presumably kill the hitman. But without a doubt, the episode was stolen, again, by Elias. He exudes confidence and charm, but always below the surface is the glimmer of a psychopath. The back and forth between him and Finch had a Sherlock Holmes/Moriarty quality that was fun to watch. But, the final scene of them playing chess was too reminiscent of the prison chess game between Professor X and Magneto at the end of the first X-Men film. Was this an intentional homage? Maybe.

In many ways, this episode felt like it could have been plucked up and dropped into season one. It only loosely tied in to this season’s mythology, by Finch describing Riley as “bad code.” It is not necessary to rush the larger story arc by tying in Root and the implications of “bad code” in every episode. But, these bigger questions are rich ground for creating conflict between Finch and Reese, and Finch with himself. Could Finch and Reese target potential criminals instead of victims? Would it be ok to kill someone to prevent them from killing? Is Finch becoming desensitized to violence and loss of human life? Hopefully, we pick up more on these themes in the coming episodes.

Even though there were no pumpkins or black cats, there was still enough in Triggerman to maintain interest. The supporting cast was impressive, as usual. Riley looked like he was training to be a Looper, and Sir Richard Branson tore it up as Massey. Ok, it wasn’t really Branson, just his doppelganger. That’s creepy enough to pass Halloween muster, right?