Person of Interest Season 2 Review “Trojan Horse”

A lot went down in last night’s Person of Interest, so let’s dive in. The high points were the integration of the person of interest story with Stanton’s threat to the machine, the reappearance of Agent Shaw, and Bear stepping out of Reese’s shadow and into his role as a full-fledged member of Team Machine. The low points were the reemergence of the HR story, the rushed killing of Beecher, and Carter’s cardboard-like demeanor.

It’s always better to start with the positives. The person of interest this week is an executive at a cutting edge technology company. She has the geek smarts to match Finch in tech talk and has an unwavering moral compass. When she suspects that one of the company’s employees stole information on behalf of China, she sets out to rectify the situation. She doesn’t realize that this one employee is the tip of the iceberg, and by getting involved she’s set herself up as a target. Finch and Reese team up to protect her and bring her into a safe house (or safe, super swanky apartment). The portrayal of Monica Jacobs was spot on because it convincingly communicated the woman’s enthusiasm for her job and devastation when she learns she’s been betrayed. The strongest part of the story, though, came at the end when it was revealed that the Chinese spying claim was a cover. The shadow organization that hired Stanton to install the virus into the government software is back. This time, Finch discovers that the target of the virus is actually the machine.

Agent Shaw reappears under a pretty flimsy pretext that she’s trying to protect her dead partner’s reputation. This wasn’t the most convincing angle. The goal of her reappearance is to set her against Root. She sees Root’s picture at Finch’s and makes it her mission to track Root down. Putting Shaw and Root at odds will be a nice way to eventually tie up the Root story. It’ll be more satisfying to see some beat downs between the two women, as opposed to the unsavoriness of having Reese come to blows with Root. It’s also a good way to take something off Finch’s and Reese’s plate. They’ve got too much going on with the shadow group, Elias, and HR. It makes sense to let Shaw come in on this.

Welcome Bear to Team Machine! Bear has been playing a supporting role to Reese and Finch for quite some time, but finally got his moment to shine. Finch and Reese send Bear into Rylatech in order to trap the security guards. Mission accomplished and Bear helps save the day.

Now for the not so great aspects of the episode. HR and Quinn are back. Harold doesn’t know that Quinn killed Szymanski and goes to visit Elias in hopes that he has some information about the murder. The two play another hokey chess game, and Finch asks if HR or the Russians are responsible. Elias says that the person behind everything is a “ghost” who he would “very much like to meet.” Does this mean there is another person pulling the strings or is Elias referring to Quinn? Either way, this storyline is so convoluted that I’m not all that interested in trying to unravel it.

It was a sad night for fans hopeful for a Carter and Beecher romance. Beecher poked the HR hornet’s nest and was gunned down. Was anyone else disappointed by Carter’s reaction? I would’ve expected more than just a sad face as she looked down at Beecher’s dead body. I would’ve liked to see her crouch down by the body and maybe apologize for doubting him, or maybe shed a tear. It felt like a squandered opportunity to give Carter more emotional heft.

Then there’s Carter. She has had some great moments this season, including her turn in the nightclub and surviving the car accident. But, this whole Beecher/HR/dirty cop story isn’t giving Taraji Henson much to work with. Carter shuffles through the police station with a sour look and empty claims that she’s going to get to the bottom of things. Fusco at least got a heated moment with Beecher. It is time to stick a fork in this cop corruption storyline and free Fusco and Carter up for something more interesting.

As usual, I have nothing but praise for the guest stars. Traci Thoms (Looper) was convincing as Jacobs, the endangered Rylatech executive, and the casting of Larry Bryggman was a special treat. I grew up watching As The World Turns, so having “John Dixon” reappear was great.

It looks like the shadow organization may be getting in position to be the big bad of Season 3. I’m sure the irony of the organization’s elderly henchman was not lost on all the devoted Person of Interest fans. When speaking of the person who hacked their system, who we know is Finch, the henchman ominously states, “I shall do everything in my power to determine his identity and render him irrelevant.”

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