Person of Interest Review by John Keegan

Person of Interest 4.18: Skip

Person of Interest 4.18: Skip

Written By:
Ashley Gable
Directed By:
Helen Shaver

Person of Interest is the kind of show that, while often surprising in its cutting-edge exploration of the impact of artificial intelligence and the surveillance society, also manages to be a comfortable addition to one’s weekly viewing list.  It’s predictably solid.  Which is perhaps why it’s been so odd to see the show struggling to maintain its once vaunted position as among the best. 

Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s temporarily gone, which seems to be the case with Shaw.  As divided as some fans were over the addition of Shaw to the cast in the third season, many of us loved her and were very sorry to see her go, even if it was mostly an unplanned concession to Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy.  Now that she’s out of the picture, the absence is palpable; the writers may have had time to shuffle her off-stage, but perhaps didn’t quite know how to pick things up after the fact.

The show could do worse than having a character like Frankie (played by the ever-radiant Katheryn Winnick of Vikings fame), if only to change up the nature of the melee-inspired banter.  Frankie is more about wrapping Reese around her fingers than Root, of course; this episode was actually a rather good one for Mr. Reese, on that account!  But it did highlight how much the show is lacking in the strong female characters that were once the highlight of the series.  Only Root remains, and by nature, her activities are more covert, her violence more targeted.  Harper is a nice supporting player, but doesn’t make up for the loss of Carter or Shaw.

Speaking of Root, she had a much more interesting subplot with Finch in this episode.  While Reese was entertaining far more promising personal relationships with Frankie and his therapist, we finally got a much better look at Root’s feelings for Finch.  While Shaw certainly pushed her libidinous buttons on a regular basis, Root has a lot of emotional investment in “Harold”, especially given that she openly chose his survival over not just his own intent, but the will of the Machine.   Considering that Root treats the Machine as her own personal deity, that’s a huge statement on her part.

Before that, there was Finch’s reconnection with Beth Bridges, who we last saw in “Pretenders”.  It’s good to see the writers following up on that lingering plot point, as it also gave them the chance to demonstrate how the entire team has now shown a willingness to die for the cause on multiple occasions.  It’s the human connections, however, that allow them to keep each other alive, which is perhaps one of the points of the episode.

Person of Interest is still bringing it, even if the shift due to Shaw’s absence has been less than perfectly handled.  Episodes like “Skip” are evidence that the writers can still carve out solid stories despite the weaknesses, yet it also stands as another reminder that excellence, once the status quo, is now a bit more remarkable.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Great exploration of the Finch/Root relationship
  • Frankie will hopefully come back in the future!
The Bad:
  • The loss of Shaw continues to have a palpable effect

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Person of Interest by - 3/26/2015 7:16 AM230 views

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