“We don’t get normal lives.”
Early on in “Truth Be Told”, Harold tells Reese that it’s good that he’s attempting to have a normal life, and Reese responds by adding a disclaimer about the supercomputer “bent on world domination”. This exchange, coupled with Reese taking care of some baddies before a lunch with Iris and her parents, help set up the main thrust of the episode, putting the pieces into place for those episode-ending conversations. Simply put, none of these characters are living normal lives because normal lives don’t come with the territory. As Root says, their jobs are all about taking risks, and it’s the only option because the weight of the world is on their shoulders.
The episode in general is a nice exploration of why Reese and Kara were picked by Beal–Keith David!–to join the CIA. As Kara explains in a flashback, Beal chose Reese because he didn’t have anyone or anything to go back to, because he couldn’t miss what he never had. The quote at the top of this review hits hard, but it’s definitely a valid point by Kara. At the same time, we have a contrast to that point of view in Dr. Campbell, someone who tells John to take control of his future and change. She believes he can have a normal life as long as he doesn’t let the past and his job control him, and she implores him to look at things from that perspective. However, Reese says goodbye for now, and he turns his eyes toward the job at hand.
One final point: Paul Duncan fits in nicely with a theme running throughout the final season, i.e. that all you can do is your best. Yesterday’s episode delved into these characters and all their complexities, coming to the final conclusion that at least they’re doing the best they can. This is exactly the mindset that Paul espouses in that flashback, talking about how he’s still doing his job and trying to make a difference in a losing battle. Whether or not Reese, Finch, and Root are ‘losing’ is debatable, but if there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that they’re giving it their all.
-I can’t believe I didn’t mention Bear in my first two reviews. I am truly slacking.
-How appropriate that the Emily Dickinson poem is about change and metamorphosis. There’s a nice little exchange at the end of the episode between Beal and Reese about this: “Glad to see some things haven’t changed.” “A lot has.”
-Another exchange I liked from that conversation: “The world needs a lot more of us.” “That’s not a good thing.” “It’s neither good nor bad, just the way it is. We didn’t make the world like this.” “Didn’t we?”
Moral ambiguity, security, creation, responsibility, etc. etc. Lots of classic POI themes.
Photo credit: Person of Interest, CBS