Person of Interest Season 4 Review “Panopticon”

Person of Interest Season 4 Premiere 2014 Panopticon-2

Person of Interest kicked off its fourth season with an action packed episode that gave us hope for the future of Team Machine, but revealed some of the challenges it will face. At the end of last season, Samaritan began its campaign for global domination and sent the team into hiding. Of course, that could only last for so long before the Machine would come up with a Plan B.

We find that during the transition, poor Shaw has been working at a department store perfume counter. She keeps up her ambushing skills, though, but spraying hapless passerby’s with a cloud of fragrance to the face. They should just be grateful it’s not pepper spray in those little colored bottles. Reese has had a far more exciting gig working as a narcotics detective. He complains about having to deal with petty drug criminals, but at least he’s out on the streets busting bad guys. That beats being perfume girl. Shaw delivers the best line of the episode when she finds out Reese has a job, “He better be a barista.”

Finch has taken refuge at a university, which is actually a decent cover for him. It was awkward and a bit cliché when Finch makes a point of shutting down a flirtatious girl in the first row. I think that’s a female student stereotype that doesn’t have a lot of basis in reality. Besides, Finch is not exactly Indiana Jones. His class isn’t wildly popular, but that should afford him more time for outside activities.

We see at the beginning that Samaritan’s reach has continued to spread and Decima has lost all restraint from killing people who get in its way. It’s got a hit squad, in the form of a blond bad ass, who is going around silencing anyone who suspects that artificial intelligence is out there in operation. We may have to wait a couple episodes, but how sweet will it be when Shaw finally takes her down?

The Machine isn’t ready to surrender to its bullying little brother and decides its time to bring Team Machine back together. Root flitters in between everyone, encouraging them to get back in the saddle to fight crime. This tells us that the person of interest format is well intact, and will continue despite the growing mythology of global cyber domination. This week, an Egyptian man has gotten on the wrong side of a local gang of drug dealers, who are desperate for him to finish a wireless network that will allow them to operate outside of police eavesdropping. Think cups with strings, but more hi-tech. When the drug dealers kidnap the man’s son, the team has to rally together to save him. This is enough to finally lure Finch out.

Finch helps get the new network up and running, which is going to obviously benefit Team Machine as they look for ways to communicate without Samaritan listening in. The Machine also leads Finch to what looks to be their new lair – under the city streets in old abandoned tunnels. It will be interesting to see what Finch does with the place.

One of the nicer moments of the episode was Reese taking Carter’s desk at the precinct. He and Fusco share a moment where they reflect on what it means. It was a nod of respect with a clear forward momentum. Another highlight was the return of Elias. He’s a delightful bad guy, and I think Reese will regret his decision to hire Elias’ goon. Especially since the goon took one of the special, non-network cell phones. I’m hopeful that Elias will show up more often this season and have some quality interaction with Finch. Maybe with the cell phone, Elias will be able to track Team Machine to their new bat cave. One thing that threw me was Bear. Did they get another German Shepherd? This Bear looks less fluffy and darker. Here’s a hint for bringing him to school, Finch, tell them he’s a service dog and put a sweater on him. Problem solved.