Strange Reviews: Person of Interest: One Life, Changes Many

I don’t watch many shows on television, but one I do watch, as much as I can, is “Person of Interest”. Last night’s episode finished up a three part story called “End Game”.

If you watch the show, and haven’t been caught up, there are spoilers ahead.

The whole “End Game” bit was the final confrontation between the corrupt group of police and politicians known as HR, the Russian mafia group headed by Peter Yogorov, the evil but lovable Elias, and our friends, the heros of the show, the Machine Gang. Carter has still been building her case against HR, seeking to bring down the group that killed Beecher, right after Carter realized that Beecher wasn’t corrupt and was starting to see him as a romantic interest. Her laser beam focus was making her drive away everyone who cared for her, because she didn’t want to risk anyone else’s life. However, the episode two weeks ago revealed that she did bring in the rest of the gang in the final push to get a warrant against Quinn. In the aftermath of finally bringing him in, she won back her respect, her detective status, a new interest in Reese, and some safety for her family and the city, only to have it come crashing down when she is shot by Simmons and dies in Reese’s arms. Last night showed the consequences of Simmons’ actions.

We were witness to four specific flashbacks. All of them were interviews with our remaining protagonists. Each of them revealed the changes that one life, Carter’s life, lived in rightness, affects those closest to them when the life is suddenly taken away.

First we see Finch, right after his best friend and partner is killed, and Finch has decided to let the world, and the love of his life, Grace, believe that he is dead. He is talking about grief and the responsibility taken because it was his fault. The psychologist suggests that grief is temporary and that Finch shouldn’t take any drastic steps because he feels responsible for his friend’s death. What the psychologist doesn’t realize is that Finch is responsible for Nathan’s death and he will take the drastic step of taking over his legacy in being responsible for the irrelevant numbers. Carter’s death makes Finch, along with what Root said last week, feel, almost overwhelmingly, responsible for those he has recruited in this purpose. He realizes that his only hope is in Root, who he can’t trust, but has a very different relationship with the machine. Will he give up some of the responsibility he feels so strongly, or just be so afraid to put those in harm’s way that he is frozen with indecision?

The next interview we see is Shaw’s. She is a brilliant surgeon who just can’t get herself to care about whether a patient dies or not and that is the concern of the interviewer: that she doesn’t care enough to eventually not get bored. We see her start to care when she saves the young “spy”, and perhaps the passion she has always lacked in her pursuit of Simmons. Like Reese, her violent pursuit is what she knows, but still doesn’t understand that this drive is her concern for what happened to Carter. She came to know and… appreciate Carter, almost as a friend; at least as much as Shaw can have a friend. Carter’s death made Shaw face the fact that she is now part of a family, and what affects everyone else, affects her. Will we see a drastic change in Shaw toward love and concern, or will that come out in being more angry, sarcastic or other strange characteristics displaying her affection?

We come to Reese, where we believe he is being interviewed prior to entry into an assassination program he is already involved in. He acts weak before this man, who is someone he is sent to kill. It is reminiscent of a cat playing with a mouse before snapping its neck, without care or concern about life and death. He is cold in his killing. This was before being assigned with Stanton, which made him disgusted to see her enjoyment in killing people. We saw last episode, what Carter meant to Reese. By the way, I believe the kiss wasn’t romantic in nature, it was more of a display of unique affection and bonding that Reese feels for Carter. Carter’s death is the released pin of Reese’s grenade like personality. Finch’s giving Reese a purpose was a very, if not the most important concept of the first season. But, Carter did make Reese stop considering suicide as a reasonable option, and gave him a much needed perspective. The reason for him having such a passion of ultimate retribution, is not only what she did in saving him, but because he finally revealed this to her, and he felt the weight of responsibility for all she stood for sifting through his fingers in her final moments. Even Finch can’t talk him down before he collapses. I want to say he pulled the trigger because through his delirium all he saw was hate. I hope it wasn’t that all Reese now sees is that good will never triumph by the law, but only by destroying all evil,will good win; obviously this would be very faulty logic for Reese to take on. Will Reese continue in his passionate purpose to save all he can, or will he stop shooting at knee caps and aim higher?

The final, and my favorite change of character is in Fusco. He is interviewed by the police psychologist after he was involved in a shooting. Fusco is weary of this ridiculous process, not because he is playing tough, but because he gladly killed the scumbag who had recently killed another young police officer. In this interview, you can see the reasons Fusco has chosen the path that would lead him into being involved in HR. It is not a justifiable killing, just revenge for a fellow officer. You can see Simmons becoming the way he is in the same type of situation; no need to justify his actions, he is a cop: the ultimate judge and jury on the street. Fusco has suffered some very bad consequences because of the choices he has made, and because of Carter, he has wanted to do right. He gives a wonderful, redeeming speech to Simmons, just before he arrests him. Simmons says that he always knew Fusco was a killer and eggs him on to just go ahead and kill him. Fusco asks if he should throw away all the good Carter has done in his life. He says that Carter saved his life. She made him want to be a good father, a good friend, a good cop. Should he ruin it all for a scumbag like Simmons? Then there is him arresting Simmons and bringing him through the police station: it made me cry. Fusco’s redemption was something I always knew was just on the surface, and he never had an opportunity to prove he could be good; and there it was, facing Simmons’ ugly, bruised, evil mug. It would have been so easy just to get rid of him, but Carter’s memory stopped him. Unlike Reese’s blind, delirious rage, Fusco knew that this was the turning point of his life. Whether or not he would make Carter’s trust worthy of him, or just become the corrupt cop everyone always thought he was. In this option we see no question of what Fusco will become: a good man. I am reminded of “Saving Private Ryan”: at the end, Private Ryan questions whether his life was worth all the deaths of those men who sacrificed themselves to find and bring him out. Fusco will make his life worthy of Carter’s death. He will become all that we knew he could be. I am very excited to see his role in future episodes.

Other notes about this episode: The beginning was expertly done. We all know what happened the previous episode, but the music and lyrics and camera technique, drew us to what it was all about; a loss of a very important person and all the implications that come from it. I loved it. Root is a very intriguing character, but why can’t she help without that smarmy smile… but, oh I see it now. She is the voice of god. She knows only “she” talks to her, and eventually all will beg her to help them. It was great that she put herself back in her cell, and Finch closed, but did not lock it. What is the storm on the horizon that only she can see? Everyone freaked out when Carter died, but this episode showed the need for it, the changes that will and in some cases needed to happen for these characters. Elias. Oh, Elias finally got to Simmons, but his speech about how he and Simmons were alike, but Carter was different, and how he liked Carter, but she didn’t necessarily like him, and how he wasn’t going to kill him he was just going to watch. It was perfect. I love Elias’ character, but now wonder what he is going to do, now with HR out of the way and the Russians power dwindling because of their alliance.

Speaking of Fusco changing his life for the better: There is one death that occurred two-thousand years ago that should drive me to become the man I was always made to be. Will my life be worthy of Christ’s death? Although time is a big distance between me and Him, it is no less important to me. Or, at least it shouldn’t be. We sing songs about how He walks with me and He talks with me, but it is hard to live a life worthy. He is there but I forget. We all need to have some point in our life where we decide to be the man God intends us to be or give in to the sin that is always there, that is always an easier choice, and we face them everyday. This week is Thanksgiving and maybe what I need is a fresh reminder of the sacrifice of God for my benefit. I will be reading over this on my time off from work, as an in my face reminder of who I can be because He works through me, because of what He has done. May my life be a worthy sacrifice, oh my Lord and my God.


(Pictures taken from this article)

Posted on November 27, 2013, in Strange Reviews, Television Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. OK! I finally read this, now that we’re all caught up (until tonight,). Stranger, you do such a great job of seeing the overall picture and storyline and meaning where I just tend to see a show I like to watch. I like your analysis above, which made me have to think back over the show and the flashbacks. Keep it up!

  2. Yes SiR, now read this post after catching up on the show. Good line: “…why can’t she help without that smarmy smile…” and of course, I am not a robot. (I mean, would a robot be able to make that “SiR” typo on purpose, knowing it had meaning?)

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