Person of Interest Season 3 Review “Beta”

Beta

This week’s Person of Interest was a real heartbreaker for Finch. Thanks to the now operational Samaritan, Decima figures out that Grace is someone important to Finch and uses her to get to him. It is a battle of skill as Samaritan goes head to head with the machine. Decima’s relentless pursuit keeps Reese, Shaw and Root on the run.

We start with Reese and Shaw on a routine crime-fighting mission. Root corners them and warns that a Decima ambush is around the corner. It looks like Decima is out to eliminate its competition. Even in the midst of fleeing, Reese stops to take a call from a payphone. Root wants him to ignore it, but he says that their mission is still to save people. This is a key distinction between the Reese/Finch/Shaw trifecta and Root. She has no problem sacrificing the “irrelevants.”

Reese finds out that the person of interest is Grace, Finch’s former fiancée. They nab her just before Decima gets to her. They take her to Fusco in order to put her in the safest place possible. It’s fantastic when Decima tries to sneak into the station with a fake police id and Shaw busts them. It turns out that even the station isn’t safe. They smuggle Grace out and take off. In what has become the most familiar shot in every crime show, an approaching truck t-bones Team Machine’s vehicle, knocking everyone unconscious. It’s a little ridiculous how widespread this shot is considering how hard it would be for such an accident to actually occur. Decima grabs Grace, but before they get away, Reese crawls down the sidewalk shooting at them. This was also a bit much – Reese somehow regained consciousness and got out of the vehicle in a matter of seconds. This scene just didn’t work for me.

With Grace in Decima’s hands, the team tries to track down its location. They end up on a ship that is carrying a shipment of super computer servers designed to increase Samaritan’s monitoring power. They then figure out where Decima is likely holed up and set out to find Grace.

Meanwhile, Greer interrogates Grace in order to discover her connection to Finch. It doesn’t take long for him to connect the dots that Finch is her presumed dead former fiancé. When Greer sneers and suggests that Finch duped her, Grace stands her ground and insists that she knows Harold would not have done that. This is a poignant scene. It’s clear that Grace still loves Finch. I worried that she would learn that he was alive and not understand why he’d done what he did.

Team Machine finds the Decima hideout, but Grace is already gone. Greer appears like Big Brother on a screen and tells them that he will trade Grace for Finch. After this, they reunite with Finch who says he will exchange himself for Grace. The scene of the exchange is one of the most profound in the series for Finch. It’s heartbreaking to see him walk past the blindfolded Grace and catch her just as she’s about to fall. I also thought he might say something to her, but he didn’t. Even now, Finch doesn’t want to put her in more danger or harm her.

The other scene that stands out is the scene where Team Machine resigns themselves to let Finch turn himself in. All of them look like they are on the verge of tears. I particularly like Reese’s determination that they will rescue Finch. It wasn’t so long ago that Reese walked away from the team. It’s good to see his loyalty to Finch. Team machine seems to be operating at a significant disadvantage and is persistently a step behind. That may change now that they’ve gotten a hold of some of Samaritan’s servers, but it’s unclear how they will be able to exploit this score once Finch is gone.