Archive | May, 2016

Person of Interest “The Day the World Went Away” Review (5×10)

31 May

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“As long as The Machine lives, you never die.”

Well then. I was warned over and over that something big was going to go down, and there were quite a few hints throughout the episode about who we might lose. Even so, I was still unprepared to say goodbye to both Root and Elias in the same hour, two phenomenal characters who grew into staples of the show early on and never ceased to entertain; it hurts that they’re now gone. Of course, the big thematic idea of the episode–one espoused by Root as she and Shaw are exchanging fire with some baddies–is all about what it really means to be dead or alive. If “the real world is essentially a simulation anyway”, then how does one truly die?

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Person of Interest “Sotto Voce” Review (5×09)

30 May


“Maybe the best we can do is trust each other.”

Talk about a setup for the end. The “Voice” elements of the episode are fairly average, but everything else is extremely well done, building nicely off of the character relationships and the history of the show. It’s an episode of reunions, an episode all about finally revealing certain truths, and it packs a big emotional wallop at the end as a result. The final shot of the Machine Team is reminiscent of the pilot’s closing shot, one that only included Reese and Finch in the park; as we come to the end of five fantastic years, though, we’re reminded one more time of how this team developed. We’re reminded of these people coming together as one to take down Samaritan, to do the best they can to make the world a better place. It’s a beautiful ending.

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Person of Interest “QSO”/ “Reassortment” Review (5×07/5×08)

24 May



First off, Amy Acker in various outfits will never get old. Second, this episode is all about belief, about committing yourself to what you truly feel and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise. Max Greene sets the tone early on in the episode when he tells his viewers that “the things you believe…they’re coming from somewhere.” Later, when Finch tries to reset things post-case, he’s met with vehement resistance from Greene. “I’m not hiding!” he exclaims angrily, and this conviction ends up getting him killed by Samaritan. What follows is an intriguing discussion about free will versus morals, and it’s a great discussion to have considering the sci-fi themes of the series. Whenever you have a situation in which technology has the potential to usurp humanity, it’s a natural extension of the central debate.

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Person of Interest “A More Perfect Union” Review (5×06)

23 May


My stream of bullets:

-First and foremost, this episode is a hell of a lot of fun. The bachelorette party in the beginning–complete with Janna’s infatuation with Reese–is a great way to kick off the episode, and Finch’s Irish accent later is to die for. Not only that, but him singing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is just plain hilarious. Plus, Amy Acker on a horse!

-As always, the episode also finds some quieter character moments underneath all the fun. The conversation between Finch and Root about why Root showed up at the wedding is pretty touching, and Reese and Maggie find some moments of connection amidst the madness. Also, there’s something quietly poetic about the shot of the Machine Team looking at the happy couple on the dance floor. One thing the season has grappled with thus far has been the idea of normality and its feasibility in the context of this show, and this shot is a wonderful way of showing, not telling, this idea.

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The Nice Guys Review

21 May


“Are you a bad person?”

This question hangs over the film amidst all the smog of LA, the literally toxic environment raising the question of whether any decency exists in this world. Porn, parties, cars, and conspiracies seem to rule the city, and anyone who tries to accomplish something good will probably be met with opposition. Enter Jackson Healy and Holland March, two guys who never cease to be fun to watch, two guys who may or may not be bad people, but are capable of doing good things. They vacillate between vaguely knowing what to do and having no clue what to do, and there’s a lot of joy to be found in seeing them slip and slide their way toward a messy conclusion. Gosling’s manic physical comedy and Crowe’s tough exterior-softer interior mesh perfectly with each other in this buddy cop set-up, and throwing Angourie Rice’s Holly into the mix is a surefire way to increase not only the laughs, but also the heart. Rice finds a way to transcend the precocious kid trope and create a fully formed character, and her moral compass is a beating heart in this polluted city. She’s just as much a lead as the “nice guys”.

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Banshee “Requiem” Review (4×08)

20 May


“What are you going to do now?”

Early on in “Requiem”, certain characters refer to what they do as a “bad habit”, recognizing that they’ve all been caught up in a cycle of violence for a while now. It’s true, of course; as Job says at the end, every time he tries to leave, something happens that causes him to get stuck again in Banshee. This type of pattern was hammered home throughout the course of the series, playing out among multiple characters as they grappled with past, present, and identity. Naturally, it’s the big question everyone is asked in the series finale, and their subsequent responses mark moments of forward movement as we leave the show for good. “Requiem” is extremely fitting, to put it simply.

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Person of Interest “ShotSeeker” Review (5×05)

18 May


I’m bringing back my string-of-bullets style review because I don’t have the energy to really grind out an essay right now. Also, I have a bit less to say here than I did for the first four episodes of the season. Here we go:

-Especially after last night’s emotional rollercoaster, I can see why some fans might be a little disappointed that the show goes back to the case-of-the-week format here. However, as amazing as the serialized storyline is, I’ve always had a soft spot for the numbers, i.e. the heart and soul of the show. Like always, the way the writers integrate the overarching plot with the case of the week is impressive.

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Person of Interest “6,741” Review (5×04)

17 May


“You were my safe place.”

When Person of Interest premiered five years ago, never did I expect it to become the show it is now. Never did I expect it to have such an in-depth understanding of its characters and all their complexities. Never did I expect it to deliver rich character studies like the one we see in “6,741”. And truly, that’s what “6,741” is: a fascinating exploration of Sameen Shaw, someone whose influence has still been felt ever since she went M.I.A., someone without whom Team Machine never really feels complete. In this episode, the weight of her storyline is palpable in every scene, her presence dredging up guilt and the pain of loss; even more important than that, though, is the love that’s brought forth. People care about her, and we feel that very clearly.

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Money Monster Review

14 May


If there’s one thing Money Monster taught me, it’s that the creative team knows how to make a movie. I don’t mean that in the “they sure know how to craft an amazing work of art!” kind of way; I mean that in a more “they are competent at the process and this is a movie that they just made” manner. The whole thing is just kind of…fine, I guess? It’s a thriller-satire-mystery mash-up that tries to navigate too much in its brisk running time, but it features solid performances and is effective enough at managing tension and delivering its message.

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Banshee “Truths Other Than the Ones You Tell Yourself” Review (4×07)

13 May


“Who are you?”

It’s a question that has been on everyone’s mind since the series premiere, but Lucas Hood has oftentimes avoided having to confront it head-on. He attempts to do the same in the penultimate episode as he sits in a basement with Brock, but the current sheriff pushes hard, getting him to face the truth and vocalize his internal struggles. It’s a phenomenal scene for both Matt Servitto and Antony Starr, and it’s permeated by the history between the two of them, by the internal conflicts that have plagued these characters throughout the series. It’s a scene about identity and who you want to be, and fittingly for Hood, it’s about the truth he tells himself. “The lie took over,” he tells Brock. “I believed it. I was the sheriff. I was a cop and I liked it. Somehow, it just felt right.” On the other side, Brock laments to Hood: “I never got to be the sheriff I wanted to be.” These feelings feel very real and very weighty, and Banshee proves here that it’s not just your typical action show.

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