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Person of Interest “Lethe” Review (3×11)

18 Dec

Person-of-Interest-Lethe-Mr.-Finch-and-Mr.-Claypool

Person of Interest just wrapped up one of its best, if not the best, arcs in the show’s history, culminating in the death of Joss Carter followed by a beautiful episode dealing with the fallout of that death. The show’s been cemented as one of the best on television, and based on tonight’s events, it looks like the action won’t let up.

The present day action is interspersed with flashbacks to Finch’s early days; as usual, the two storylines are connected thematically, this time through the idea of degeneration of the brain. Finch’s father’s situation was very similar to Claypool’s in the present day, and both are connected to their own machines. It’s an interesting set-up here, and I’m looking forward to see how the show handles the clashing of two artificial intelligences. Both fill some type of emotional and personal need, but both are also targets for those looking to spin a profit. The show’s always been asking about the human cost of machines like this and whether it outweighs the benefits to be reaped from them, and it looks like we’ll get some pretty engaging debate in the weeks to come; in addition, there’s no doubt Root will fit into this somehow.

On a less thematic side, it’s nice to see the Shaw-Finch team-up here; it’s fitting that these two would be the ones to go up against Vigilance and take this case, much like it was fitting that Fusco and Carter would go up against HR. Sarah Shahi does a nice job with the subtle, small influxes of compassion amidst her seemingly steely exterior, and in fact, we see her have as close of a heart-to-heart with Diane as we’ll ever get from her. So, it’s definitely a punch in the gut when she finds out about Diane’s true allegiance, as well as Hersh’s involvement. Sadly, this is the type of world that rewards emotional detachment and lack of compassion.

Anyway, the ending makes for a pretty exhilarating cliffhanger; I’m looking forward to the new year of Person of Interest.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-We also get a Reese-Fusco subplot, which is great because it brings together the two people that were hit the hardest by Carter’s death. It’s nice to see the lingering effects of that tragedy, and it’s a mark of a great show that it allows its characters to grow organically. Their fight at the end mirrors the one in the last episode, and while it may seem repetitive, I can see why it would arise; honestly, both needed to get that out of themselves, and Fusco’s doing it out of compassion.

-We’re back after 3 weeks, and…..we’re gone for another 3 weeks. Damn it.

-The scene in which Finch and Claypool sing the school song is pretty sweet.

-Well, this is one of the last television reviews of the year; we still have Nikita, Treme, and one more SNL to go, but this is pretty much it before our end of the year lists and thoughts. Look for those in the upcoming weeks. See you on January 7th, which is going to be a loaded night: Justified’s premiere and the returns of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and Person of Interest.

Photo credit: CBS, Person of Interest

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