Person of Interest Season 4 Review “Pretenders”

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This week’s Person of Interest had the perfect balance between mythology and crime fighting goodness. Finch took a trip to Asia, while Shaw, Reese and Fusco dealt with the new person of interest. Sprinkled into these storylines was some Decima intrigue and appearances by Dominic and Elias.

In the beginning, Finch tasks Shaw with helping track down some electronic info on the newest number – Walter. The call between Finch and Shaw was hilarious. I loved how Bear boycotted his food until he heard Finch on the phone, telling him to eat. I also loved how Finch then scolded Shaw for eating around the computer equipment. I enjoy how lighthearted their relationship has become, even though there’s still a little consternation on Finch’s part. Shaw helps Reese track down Walter, who appears to be investigating the death of a coworker’s brother.

It turns out that Walter is only playing detective. Luckily for him, Reese is there to keep him from getting into any real trouble when he stumbles on a murder. From the previews the week before, I thought this character was going to be an annoying busy body who just wanted to run around playing hero. I was pleasantly surprised that that the show did not go in that direction. He was pretending to be a detective for a much more touching reason – he wanted to help stop crime, which increased after the recent disappearance of the “man in the suit.” When he confronts Reese about the man in the suit, Reese’s response was perfect. He listened intently and then just smiled. When Walter tossed his fake badge into the trashcan, it felt hopeful – that he didn’t need to keep playing cop because the man in the suit is still on the job.

I enjoyed that Reese’s efforts to keep Walter safe brought him back into contact with Elias. For a moment, I worried that there was going to be a rift between Team Machine and Elias. There is an interesting tension with that relationship. Team Machine knows that Elias isn’t the ultimate enemy and can use him when appropriate. But, they also don’t want to go too far and forget that he is still a violent criminal. Reese stands firm and brokers a deal where Elias still has a role in stopping an illegal gun shipment from a rival gang, but the NYPD gets to destroy the seized weapons (except one). The best part of the Elias story is the showdown at the end between Elias and Dominic. For now, Elias has the advantage of a friendly relationship with Team Machine. It seems, though, that Dominic is increasingly irked by the Team’s interference.

Finally, we turn to Finch, who is taking on a far more offensive role. It’s about time. We see him interacting with a fellow computer genius in Asia and seemingly come to her assistance after they’re mugged. At the end, we learn it was all a set up so Finch could get some software installed on her computer. She’s important to Samaritan, and Finch has to figure out why. I liked the light flirtation between the two, as well.

This episode did a nice job of balancing the various elements that made the show unique. I think we’re due for another Samaritan/Decima heavy episode, though.