Person of Interest “M.I.A.” Review (Season 4 Episode 13)

Person of Interest M I A 8

This week’s Person of Interest moves at a pokey pace as Reese and Root try to track down Shaw in upstate New York. Back in the city, Fusco teams up with former person of interest, Officer Silva, to stop a hitman. While I love Fusco storylines, this one was kind of weak. I’m ok with episodes deviating from the bigger mythology, but they still need to be interesting enough to elevate the show from being simply a pedestrian police procedural.

Before diving in, there was something weirdly off with this episode. I don’t know if the main writer changed, but it was bizarre that they kept using everyone’s first names. We have heard Root refer to Shaw as Sameen, so that is not so unusual. But, since when does Finch say, “John and Samantha.” Root was called “Samantha” a bunch of times. Finch also says, “Sameen” way more than “Miss Shaw” – which is what he usually calls her. I found this distracting.

Back to the nuts and bolts of the episode, Reese and Root are determined to track down Shaw, who they believe was taken to the town of Maple. Samaritan is hard at work turning this former factory town into a social experiment. While they turn the town upside down looking for Shaw, we get some great comedic moments from Reese. I love Reese’s attempt to smile at the precinct. He needs to work on his charm because his smile looks painful. I also like Reese’s advice, “When the shooting starts, duck.”

As for Fusco and Silva, their story is hokey. They’re both trying to stop the same guy, so they team up. There are too many moments where it’s about to go bad, but then one of them appears out of nowhere to save the other. It just felt predictable. We rarely get Fusco centric storylines, so when we do, I like them to be more interesting—like the episode with Fusco and the matchmaking service. I’m also not thrilled with chip-on-her-shoulder Silva. She’s just ok. I hope the plan is not to slot her into Shaw’s spot.

The ending provides two necessary plot points. First, the machine tells Root and Finch to stop looking for Shaw. Since we know that Sarah Shahi isn’t coming back for a while, this is a smart move. If the episodes started to revolve around the hunt for Shaw, that would get old. Second, we find out at the very end what should have been obvious…Shaw is indeed alive and in Decima’s clutches. What do you want to bet that if Shaw comes back one day, she’ll be a brainwashed Samaritan operative?

As to other side issues, any Big Bang fan worth her salt will be familiar with the Schrödinger’s cat theory. I think Sheldon explained it better than Root. One thing I didn’t understand was why Root looks at the camera to communicate with the machine. I get that this was typically the way to do it, but doesn’t looking at the camera also flag them for Samaritan? It’s ok for the show to have a not so great episode in what has otherwise been a strong season, but I hope we get back on track next week.