Person of Interest Season 3 Review “Liberty”

Liberty

Person of Interest is back with its third season and despite breaking free from its masters, the machine is still providing the names of the “irrelevants.” This week, the person was a sailor on shore for Fleet Week who got mixed up with some bad business involving uncut diamonds. Devil Dogs and Russian gangsters were part of the melee that ensued when the diamonds went missing. While this was a marginally interesting story, the big developments involved the fallout from last season’s finale.

One big change is Carter. In rescuing Elias, she has crossed a line that she does not yet fully appreciate. She has distanced herself from Team Machine and is pursuing her personal vendetta against HR. She also has not told Reese about what happened with Elias or that she is still in contact with our favorite criminal mastermind. Reese knows something is up and tries to get her to talk, but Carter isn’t ready to talk about it. Carter experienced some big stuff last season – including her boyfriend getting murdered and being framed by HR. So, it’s no wonder that she’s isolating herself to try and process things. I have to say that I like it when they send Carter clubbing. Her response to getting picked up by the sailor was fantastic.

Team Machine has officially expanded since we last saw them. Shaw is now part of the team and providing back up to Reese when things turn ugly. I know there is a vocal anti-Shaw contingency, but she doesn’t bother me that much. That being said, there was something about her dialogue that was not working for me. It almost felt like her dialogue could’ve been spoken by Reese. We don’t need two Reeses. Shaw needs to have her own voice, and I didn’t feel like she had that last night.

Crazy Root is still hanging out in the mental hospital. Now that Amy Acker is a regular on the show, we should be seeing more character development for Root. I thought how they handled her current position was great. It’s been unclear why the machine would maintain communications with someone who is so dangerous. There was some explanation when Root revealed to her psychiatrist that she and the machine were having a disagreement on whether she should kill him. I like the idea that the machine can recognize that she could pose a threat to others and is trying to stop that. It looks like Root may be the machine’s own person of interest, and it may not be able to save her.

Acker’s performance felt toned down in a way that worked for the situation Root is in. In particular, I liked her delivery in the conversation with the doctor on how the machine talks to Root. She convincingly expressed a religious fervor for the machine that wasn’t disingenuous or over-the top. This felt like a change from previous episodes with Root. I have never been a huge fan of Root and advocated her demise last season. But if the crazy can be reined in some, then I am willing to see where her story will go.

I get that we suspend reality for a lot of aspects of the show, but that was more of a challenge this week. I would think that a mass killing of Russians and members of the military would attract a lot of attention from various government agencies – especially when one of the killings involved sniper fire through a brick wall. I can see dropping a couple bad guys, but if the team’s vigilante justice is going to stray into mass deaths (or mass shootings generally), there needs to be some consequences.

I’m looking forward to seeing more exchanges between the machine and Finch. I also hope that Fusco doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of all the new, recurring faces.

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