I have to say, I was impressed with yesterday’s episode of ‘Person of Interest.’ I had been dreading it, thinking it would build on some conspiracy theories and have those who can’t seem to move past the death of Carter, get all up in arms again, and while it may still do that, there’s not much argument that you can make in this to say that maybe she’s alive or that she’s needed on the show again. This episode showcased an inner struggle within John in regards to his behaviors with people close to him. Honestly I thought that was great and enjoyed watching it.
I’d recap this episode like I normally do but really, the backstory in this episode is a bit irrelevant to the overall point of the episode, but I will go through all that happened in the meantime.
The episode started off right away with a flashback of Harold, John and Carter on a stake out. Harold is complaining about the new addition to the team, Bear, so this is obviously right after his kidnapping by Root. It’s not too close to it, since he’s out and willing to be out with John and Carter, but it’s close enough that he’s still complaining about books being eaten by an unruly dog.
Then it comes back to present and there is a double killing of some Brotherhood members by someone in Elias’ gang and the team is concerned that perhaps the Machine is not working properly because there was no notification of this killing beforehand. Harold and Fusco set out to investigate the Brotherhood murder while John starts investigating a new number that had just come in.
The new number is Chase Patterson. His family was killed and he was the primary suspect. He fled the country as a result making him look extremely guilty. Reese goes to pull the old case files and finds that the file is in with the personal effects of Carter because apparently it was one of her first cases as a detective but since it was never solved she kept her hands on it.
Something that many probably noticed right away in this episode was that the flashbacks were different. Typically they have the Machine do that really cool graphic they use so it became clear that these flashbacks, even of the set up, were John in a car nearly dying. So at the end of the episode I really began questioning how much of the set up flashbacks were truth verses him having an inner conversation. We find out that any real personal information, especially about Jessica, probably didn’t happen with Carter.
The flashbacks go back and forth while John is doing his investigation of Chase. I really liked the flashbacks with Carter and Terney. Frankly I miss Terney sometimes. I mean, he was a jackass and threatened Carter but I tend to miss some of the old villains every once in a while. Once they die you recognize how they really brought a lot to the table for the story. Like Donnely, for instance, he was annoying, but in the end was a great character.
Finally Reese’s investigation leads him to the Patterson family cabin out in the middle of nowhere. Before heading out, Fusco asks him if he needs some help as does Harold, but they are both turned down. For whatever reason John is trying to keep this close to him and not let them know this was Carter’s case. Of course, this plays into the whole reason for any of these flashbacks, John chastising himself for not allowing himself to get close to others. Also, this is a pattern for Reese especially when dealing with emotionally sensitive cases. He keeps it to himself so that he doesn’t show anyone else the affects the people have on him.
Reese gets to the cabin and finds that Chase is there, but surprise! He’s shot in the back by another man who turns out to be Chase’s half brother. There is this long revenge story, where this brother is angry that his father abandoned him, so he killed the whole other family. Of course Chase wasn’t home at the time and this guy has been waiting 7 long years to finally kill him. He makes Chase take some pills, which will kill him slowly and then drags John outside to bury him. Finally John can get his hands on his secondary gun and he shoots the bastard and kills him.
This begins or reveals the inner struggle John starts having when he realizes he’s really screwed himself not telling anyone he went out to the cabin. There’s no cell phone signal and that means he’s off map for the Machine. He can’t call for help, the car won’t start, so now he’s having an inner dialogue (with Carter being the voice) about why he pushes people away and doesn’t like to allow people to get close to him.
Throughout the episode they highlighted John’s secretive behavior. Fusco commented on it, Harold commented on it, Root said John would be fine and could take care of himself. While yes, he has been secretive, to me it seems that he’s been rather trusting and open at the very least with Harold, especially in the last two seasons. I think here the writers wanted to have John have this inner struggle, which I think in some way centers around his new found interest in Iris and whether it can work out, and they had to somehow get everyone to believe that he’s been reserved and secretive still, even though they’ve not really shown that in recent episodes.
John’s in the car bleeding out from the gunshot wound, which by the way I won’t be doing my typical bitching about how many times he’s been shot, which is too many, that poor man. He’s having this conversation with “Cater” about what really feels like, letting go of the past and perhaps doing things different to create a new future for him. Similar to conversations he’s had with Iris about making new habits. This conversation seems to be debating whether new habits could be beneficial or even done.
The inner struggle of Reese, though, was very interesting. To have him know that people love him and he can trust them yet he doesn’t want to open up to them because he believes if he has no one close to him then perhaps he won’t die and of course he won’t hurt other people by dying. That’s what I took from his reasoning for breaking it off with Jessica. That if he wasn’t carrying a picture of someone he loved with him, if there was no one that he was to return to, maybe he’d do a better job at keeping himself alive, that fate wouldn’t kill him and that in the end if he did die, no one would hurt because of it.
He’s carried this thought process over into everything he’s done and you can sort of see why. Anytime he does open up to someone, let down his guard, they seem to either be kidnapped or killed. So it could be hard to let someone in when routinely in addition to potentially causing you to get killed, those that you love are getting hurt and killed as well.
So what is this building up to? Honestly I believe something big will happen. This time I believe it will involve Reese and we’ll be left wondering whether he died or hell maybe he will die. Or maybe he will choose to love and leave what he’s doing? I don’t know, but it seems to me all of this is a set up to something big happening with Reese. Frankly as much as I hate it, I think they’re setting him up to die. I’m hoping though that it will be a trick, which will leave us wondering all summer long if he truly died or they were just screwing with us.
On a side note, I think the talk when Carter was highlighting that he was going to go kill himself when she first meant him symbolized to him that she saved him. I think a lot of people would assume Harold saved him, but honestly I never saw that as the case.
On a lighter note, I believe Fusco saved John. Fusco is so often played off as kind of slow, maybe not up to the level of Harold or John but he’s really smart. I think he figured out where John was going and he went and got him. Maybe he took Harold with him, who knows, but I think it was Fusco who figured everything out. He’s shown over and over again that he’s really clever and pretty damn smart even though John in particular treats him as if he’s not.
There are two more episodes in this season and the finale will be a cliff-hanger (as told to us during the Paley panel held on Monday). I’m interested to see how this mental talk with Reese translates out into his interactions with the team, and with Iris.
As much as this Iris thing bothers me with her being a therapist, it seems that everyone is doing it these days (‘Bates Motel’ anyone?). So I’m going to get over my intense dislike of a professional behaving as she is, and just go with the flow. I still worry that something bad will happen to her, and with how this season is going and this episode, it seems the set up for her to die or be seriously harmed is there. So I hope for John’s sake he gets to have a little love in his life, because he is right, he does deserve to be able to love again.
My favorite part of this episode was when he found the picture of Jessica and him that Carter had found early on in the series. Obviously he knew she knew of Jessica, but I think her having the picture also shows she cared in a way. I always took her not telling him about the photo as her understanding that he was going through a lot and realizing that in due time he’d open up about it. I think it signified her friendship to him that she allowed him to take his time. Sadly, they ran out of time and I believe partly that’s what this episode was about too, that they are running out of time and perhaps he should start embracing people because he won’t always have all the time in the world to connect with others.
So I did enjoy this episode and I think they did it very well. It just worries me about what exactly this is building up to.