Person of Interest “Karma” Review (4×17)

11 Mar

Person of Interest - Episode 4.17 - Karma - Promotional Photos

“Revenge will never bring you closure.”

“Karma” is an episode that takes a breather from the Samaritan and Brotherhood storylines, but it still provides a unique spin on things by crafting an open-ended conclusion to its murder plot. The show’s decision to do so highlights one of the major ideas brought up throughout this episode: the fact that “life is infinitely more complicated” than an open-and-shut case or an act of vengeance. As satisfying as it may be to fill a void with anger, in the end, you’ll be dishing out a simple, permanent finish to a sequence of events and motivations that are anything but.

It’s certainly interesting to see how this realization dawns on Finch during the flashbacks– which are set post-Nathan Ingram death–and it’s a storyline that also makes the Reese-Finch dynamic richer; after all, we now see that they went down similar paths in the past, but ultimately wound up choosing differently. It’s a difference in approach that manifests itself in the present day with the discussion over whether or not to let Edwards go after Morris, and interestingly enough, Fusco also takes Reese’s side here. Ultimately, though, Finch’s philosophy wins out, and we see through the flashbacks how exactly he developed this moral code.

To be honest, though, I do wish the episode spent a little more time on these flashbacks than on the present day storyline. It’s a premise ripe with character possibilities for Finch, but I don’t feel like “Karma” really delves into the past with as much depth as it can; it also doesn’t help that the present day storyline isn’t very compelling. Sure, there are ideas in there about being able to move on and not being able to change the past, but these are ideas that we’ve seen multiple times beforehand in more intriguing fashion. The show does attempt to connect the storyline to Carter and Shaw and vengeance not leading to closure, but Finch’s flashbacks are infinitely more rich than the majority of the episode.

In addition, John’s therapy sessions don’t really go far this week, as opposed to previous episodes like “Guilty”; it’s a step that he opens up about Jessica, but I’m not entirely sure where his dynamic with Dr. Campbell is going from here. It’s not a major problem right now, but it does feel like a wasted opportunity to explore his character as much as possible. In the end, though, the writers do get across what they want to say, and we’re still left with valuable insight into who Finch was and why he is the way he is now. It’s not the show’s strongest hour, but the best is still yet to come.



-Hector the dog and Bear would get along well.

-CBS scheduling strikes again. I’ll see you in two weeks, yet again.

Photo credit: CBS, Person of Interest

6 Responses to “Person of Interest “Karma” Review (4×17)”

  1. Justin March 11, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    I like how the episode didn’t tie up whether Morris was guilty or not. And I thought the pacing of Reese’s therapy was in character. This is a man who is used to being emotionally guarded, of keeping his issues bottled up to get the job done. Insights into Reese in therapy will be rare but enlightening and the therapist seems patient enough to appreciate each insight. I think this storyline is going somewhere. I believe its payoff will occur around the season finale.

    • polarbears16 March 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

      Yeah, I can see what you mean. Now that I think about it, it’s definitely in character, but I think it was less the pacing for me and more the Dr. Campbell character. It’s not very clear yet what they’re trying to accomplish with her, but hopefully the payoff will occur, as you said.

  2. sarah9461 March 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Sorry, your site wouldn’t let me comment elsewhere, PLEASE tell me you watched Monday’s episode of “Better Call Saul,” the story of Mike and Jonathan Banks at his best!

    • polarbears16 March 11, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      I am really behind on Better Call Saul right now. Been catching up on all the shows I’m behind on, and that’s the only one left. So I’ll hopefully get to it soon! I heard it was fantastic.

      • Justin March 11, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

        It really is. Jonathan Banks pulls off his best performance yet. The final scene would make you want to cry.

  3. Hepburn3 March 12, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi PB!
    What I really liked about this weeks episode of PoI was that we got to see that it was the Machine that save Harold first, and then he in turn realized his and the Machine’s purpose and potential. The Machine does know (well I think that it does) right from wrong and when something is justified, in this case the revenge killing of Alicia, The Machine understood that it would not solve anything and it would not help Harold but only hinder and damage him.
    Harold needs the Machine and it needs him. 😉
    It was interesting to see that not everything was tied up into a neat resolved package in regards to what revenge really is. Sometimes it takes time and what goes around will eventually come around, case in point with Edwards fixing it so that that man who harmed one of his patients got what he deserved, The Machine did not stop that it let it happen, for just like Lionel said they will get the Devil’s Share.
    This story or theme has resonance for all of those of team Machine, John in regards to his former fiancee and Joss, Harold with watching his best friend die in front of him, sadly Root was not in this one for it would have been a good lesson for her in regards to Shaw, maybe she would have seen that things will be taken care of when it comes to Shaw being presumed dead and Martine, Greer and Samaritan? Alas no Root this time.
    I do wonder what John still seeing Dr. Campbell has anything to do with anything, it just seems so un-needed and I her chatting with John does not really add to the plot, which I do find odd because nothing and no one is wasted on this show, they all serve some purpose. I hope that they reveal that.
    Good show too bad that they are being janky with the showing of the episodes.

    Have a good week PB! 🙂

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