Person of Interest Review by Edmund B.

Person of Interest 3.22: A House Divided

Person of Interest 3.22: A House Divided

Written By:
Amanda Segal
Directed By:
Chris Fisher

After last season's finale, it felt like Person of Interest had concluded its introductory phase. The major players were in place, the broad strokes of their back-stories revealed. With the Machine untethered and testing its new freedoms (and interfaces,) it was time to dig deeper into this brave new world and explore the implications of machine surveillance and intelligence.


With the new complicating factor of Decima and its quest to revive Samaritan, the opposing viewpoints to Finch's expanded beyond the nuttier hacker liberation theology of Root. Harold got to wax philosophical with Samaritan's creator about the ethics and responsibilities of creating machine life. And the previous episode ended with the promise of Finch locking rhetorical horns with Greer.


Sticking Michael Emerson and John Nolan alone in a room will always live up to its billing. Finch is genuinely taken aback when Greer professes something closer to Root's liberation mantra over controlling Samaritan. Finch has never embraced the pragmatic real-politik practiced by Greer, so may be missing the possibilities for profit in chaos and disruption Greer anticipates.


But that confrontation is only the prelude to the main event, ushered in by this season's new player, Vigilance. Leslie Odom Jr. has done great work all season, investing Peter Collier with shadowy, intelligent menace. But I've always felt Vigilance's capabilities, their reach, outstripped their personnel. Collier/Brandt's backstory establishes his motives as pure, solely focused on the show trial that will reveal all. But I suspect the answer to who, or what, sent him the text that pushed him down this path will pull back the curtain on less palatable elements, unbeknownst to him.


All of these political and philosophical elements lie behind the action-adventure veneer with which the show always expertly camouflages them. Vigilance's lurking, unseen threat causes the Machine to spit out Numbers that lead to some very strange bedfellows. While Team Machine does end up protecting their long-time adversaries, their initial speculation that the Machine, once again, is pointing out targets is understandable. (Shaw's plaintive appeals to shoot Control kept reminding me of Fiona's 'Shall we shoot them?' from the Burn Notice opening credits.)


Vigilance heads into the season finale with the upper hand. But, as Greer says, "alliances shift in times of war," and Vigilance's actions are extreme enough to trigger that. The Machine's team has been battered and bereft, but with Hersh and Root's Geek Squad throwing in with them, the situation is far less dire than it seemed in recent episodes. What will come to light once Vigilance's blackout is lifted? I have no idea, but I know it'll be a heady mix of entertaining and provocative.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The battle of wits between Finch and Greer
  • Vigilance finally shows its teeth
  • What lies behind the curtain for Collier?
The Bad:
  • Hard to find anything bad about it!

Edmund B. 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 @EMSBoys.

Person of Interest by - 5/12/2014 11:17 AM352 views

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