Person of Interest “Blunt” Review (4×16)

25 Feb


“What happens when you reach the cliff?”

“I’ll let you know when I get there.”

“Blunt” doesn’t integrate the overarching storylines and themes as well as previous episodes have, but it still plays with interesting ideas through the story of Harper Rose, a con artist who steals from Dominic when she scoops up some cash from a medical marijuana dispensary. By bringing Dominic back into the fold, the show once again delves into the Brotherhood side of things, a side that should become even more compelling as we move toward the season’s closing arc; right now, we get more of a standard POI episode in “Blunt”, but it’s an episode that nudges the story along and anticipates an exciting future.

The major focus of the episode seems to be on the idea of recruitment. I’ve written extensively before about the ideas of teamwork and power in this show, and the whole recruitment focus brings both of those ideas together. In order to succeed and in order to win the battles you want to win, you sometimes are going to have to win some people over; you’re going to have to get some people on your side, to maintain some sense of control over them even as you’re working with them. This is something that Samaritan excels at, but in this episode, Root brings up the question of whether Team Machine can also recruit. She mentions the possible benefits to be gained from enlisting people against Samaritan, and at the end of the episode, we see the recruitment process working both ways with Caleb Phipps.

The Brotherhood itself is also a big recruiting tool, and we see Dominic go up to Harper and offer her a spot on his team. It remains to be seen where she’s going to wind up, but we’re most likely going to see her again, and it’ll be interesting to see what she decides to do and whether she wants to give up her freedom. On that note, freedom’s also a big part of this episode and of this season, and the episode hits all its major points about the topic in a conversation between Finch and Harper midway through the episode. It’s a bit too on the nose, but it’s a nice summation of where the two stand and what their differing views of the world are: Finch views Harper as living a life of disorder and running, whereas Harper views it as a form of freedom. Neither is necessarily wrong, and the scene does serve to illustrate the subjectivity of certain situations.

We see that idea play out in the best scene of the episode as well: the diner conversation between Reese and Dominic. First of all, Dominic’s a very compelling presence, and second of all, there’s a discussion between the two of the word “innocent”. We see that Reese and Dominic have very different ideas of the word “innocent”, and through this conversation, a fundamental truth is revealed: “Innocence” and “freedom” are abstract concepts that grow even more abstract in a rapidly changing world, and there are going to be quite a few questions that pop up about freedom as Samaritan attempts to extend its control. One thing’s for sure, though: it’s time for Team Machine to build an even bigger team.



– “Here’s my number for when your boss is ready to talk…or, I can keep kicking his ass from a distance.”

-Root in glasses is very nice, I must say.

-I’m guessing Dominic is connected to Caleb Phipps in some way, considering both characters tie in with “2piR”.

-Recently, it seems like we’re consistently hitting the same character beats with Reese. Harper mentions in this episode that he’s “playing make believe” and that he’s a military man with a hero complex, all ideas we’ve seen several times before.

-The fight scene in the club reminds me of John Wick. Very slick visuals there, along with some excellent choreography.

-Finch references Dr. Tillman in this episode; she was from season one, and she was played by the wonderful Linda Cardellini.

-In case you need a refresher, Caleb Phipps–the man Root is talking to at the end of the episode–was last seen in “2piR”. He was the programmer with the compression algorithm, and Finch was helping him out while pretending to be a substitute teacher.

Photo credit: CBS, Person of Interest

6 Responses to “Person of Interest “Blunt” Review (4×16)”

  1. Hepburn3 February 25, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Hey there Polarbear! 🙂
    Its PoI time! Which is always a good time!
    Blunt was an interesting episode, the weed tie in with it now becoming legal in many of your states and the use of it being sold medically is a topical subject.
    It was interesting to see it (weed) being considered a proper legal business now but for many years it was a criminal activity. I have read some interesting articles broaching the subject that now that weed is legal and a big business many white people are profiting from it but when it was mostly people of colour who sold it illegally they are criminal and a lot of them are in prison. This ties in with the way some people view the idea of innocent which was addressed in the Blunt episode. Ironically or maybe not Blunt is a colloquial term used for a weed cigarette. So it was the selling of future Blunts, the bluntness of team Machine with Reese not taking any jank but getting to the point with the Brotherhood and Dominic, or the way the Root is now dealing with things, she is going straight to the point in what she has to do and suggesting that they Team Machine need to recruit people to their side.
    I am stoked to see what Root is up to and what this app that Machine asked her to create is all about and for!
    Harper was interesting, she is very blunt about what she thinks and she processes situations wonderfully quick, she could be an wonderful asset to Team Machine. I liked that she stole Harold’s watch, but I LOVE that Harold nicked her diamond ring which obviously means something to her, she will be back, and I think that she is smart enough to realize having a team and back up is a good thing, I do not think that she would be foolish to sign on with Dominic and his Brotherhood/The Wire wannabes for they would mos def kill her if they felt like it, his female lieutenant looks and sounds like that she has either watched too much The Wire or she left Baltimore for New York. 😉
    Thanks for mentioning Caleb for I did not recall him at all and his ties to Dominic, and Harold. This is a great tie and I LOVE that nothing is wasted on PoI, things and people often do come back to help or haunt.
    I did think that Root was a tad too blunt or harsh with Harold in regards to Shaw, he did not mention her name because he did not wish to bring up hurt for Root and for him but she took it the wrong way. He does honour her, and Root has to get over that she is not the only one who cares for Shaw. That for me is Root’s character flaw she is sometimes a tad self-involved and a loner, but I think that she is coming around again with the idea of adding to the team. I do wonder what happened to her team of hackers though and wonder if they will be brought back?
    Ah Reece, Dominic is totally afraid of him big time, so much so that he practically begged for Reece to give him the same consideration that he gives to Elias, but of course they could not come to terms.

    It was fun to watch but yet again another break in the show is upon us… why do they do this?!! When is PoI back on track?

    Things that I found funny.
    Harold knowing about weed much to Reece’s surprise.
    Harpers stoner boy friend, dude was like Otto from the Simpsons with a shorter haircut.
    Root pretending to be just a simple self taught hacker in awe of Caleb. if he only knew who was in the room with and who she knows. 🙂

    Oh a question that maybe you could answer for me Polarbear? Why is the timeline and computer view the view of Samaritan and not The Machine?

    • polarbears16 February 25, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      Ooh, that first paragraph of yours is truly excellent. I did bring up the points about the subjectivity of the word “innocence”, but I actually never considered it with regards to the idea of medical marijuana. And I really like your analysis of the word “blunt” itself, there’s so much meaning to be found in as rich of a show as this!

      As to your question, I’m assuming it’s because Samaritan is gaining much more influence? I’m actually not quite that sure about that one, it’s a good question. But Samaritan definitely does have a bigger role…I wonder if we’ll be seeing both Samaritan and The Machine in the timeline/computer view soon, considering the two will be pitted against each other.

  2. Mel February 25, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    So I guess Harper is a series regular now. Or recurring. I like her. I think the machine and Root were hinting at recruiting her. She’s not the type of person the machine tries to save. She’s hot. She’s cool. I just hope she gets along with Root.

  3. Justin February 26, 2015 at 3:18 am #

    I’m confused. I see how Caleb is tied in with “2piR”. What’s the connection to Dominic?

    • polarbears16 February 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      There’s a theory floating around that Dominic was in the same class as Caleb, considering Dominic’s “circles” monologue.

  4. Matthew Thompson February 28, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    Just got around to watching this tonight. Not the best episode, but I did find Harper to be a compelling POI for the week. Her attitude was pretty unique and very entertaining. It is good to see Dominic again too. I’m hoping things ramp up with him, Elias and our characters before season’s end.

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