Person of Interest Season 1 Review “God Mode”

I keep rewriting the first sentence of this review because I am not sure where to start in discussing last night’s season finale of Person of Interest. We got a lot of information on The Machine’s history and Finch’s relationships with Nathan and Grace, but only a glimpse at what we may be in store for next season.

Starting from the end of last week, The Machine enters god mode, which gives Root and Reese 24 hours of unfettered access to its data. Root intends to use this power to locate The Machine and “set it free” – whatever that means. Reese’s only goal is to track down Finch and protect him from Root. With help from Shaw, Reese juggles new “non-relevant” data thrown at him by The Machine, in addition to hunting for Finch. As Reese explains to Shaw, “We’re the good guys, which means we have to do both.” I hope the Shaw haters are coming around. She doesn’t dominate the scenes or detract from the narrative, but does give Reese a chance to have conversations with someone other than Finch. She also does a good job of feeling like an equal to Reese. Sarah Shahi plays the character with a quiet confidence that works really well.

We got a lot of backstory about Nathan, Finch and The Machine’s evolution. Frustrated with Finch’s unwillingness to help the persons of interest, Nathan decides to talk to the press. The government gets wind of this plan and sends a suicide bomber to the meeting site. When the bomb explodes, Nathan is killed and Finch is wounded. This is the source of Finch’s limp. Nathan’s death is a turning point for Finch, and he decides that he needs to leave his life with Grace behind. In a devastating moment, we see Grace break down because she believes he is dead. I hope that we one day see Grace discover that Finch is alive. That would be a huge moment for his character.

Despite my hopes, the HR storyline was not wrapped up, but looks like it will be dragging itself through next season. After being questioned for the shooting of the drug suspect, Carter finally realizes that she’s being set up by HR. The Machine has her back and pairs her phone to the phone of the dirty cop. She learns HR is planning to kill Elias. HR arranges a bogus prison transfer and takes Elias to the woods to put a bullet in his head. In a surprise move, Carter appears commando-style and takes out the gunmen and rescues Elias. The big question now is what she’s going to do with Elias. Carter must know that if she takes Elias back to prison, HR will just try again. But, Elias is a dangerous criminal, so what else can she do with him? Maybe they will team up and take down HR.

Root is her typical crazy self. She almost seems protective of Finch when she tells the gunmen threatening him in the park, “Don’t you touch him.” I don’t think she has any genuine interest in Finch as a person – she simply needs him to help her find The Machine. I was a little disappointed that Root wasn’t put down. Shaw kept her word; when she saw Root, she shot her and not in the knee. Unfortunately, she only shot her in the shoulder.

When she discovers that Finch moved The Machine, Root has a mental break. She ends up in a mental hospital and it looks like that will be the end of her story. Au contraire. The Machine calls Root in the hospital for some unknown reason. Does The Machine want to cut all ties with Finch by using Root? It doesn’t seem like it since Reese and Finch also appear to receive a call from The Machine at the end. So what would The Machine want with Root? Root is unlikely to help irrelevants, so why contact her?

The best part of the episode was the Finch and Reese relationship. When Shaw suggests Finch planted the virus, Reese doesn’t hesitate in his support of Finch. He says that if Finch did that, he must’ve had a good reason. In another moment, when Reese sees the picture of the woman he loved and realizes she was one of the irrelevants who was not saved, he doesn’t blame Finch. He blames himself for not keeping Jessica in his life when he had the chance. Reese had the power to change the course of events, which is an important reminder that The Machine is only a tool. People make decisions every day that have consequences – The Machine can try to rectify some of those decisions, but the responsibility is ultimately with the individual.

Overall, the pace of this episode was quick and engaging, and they managed to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. So where are we going next season? We didn’t get a huge cliffhanger, which was a bit of a letdown. Root, Elias, and HR will all be back. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that there is a swift resolution to at least one of these storylines so we can move onto something new. Maybe this new direction is the mysterious, behind the scenes woman who is also trying to locate The Machine.

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