Person of Interest has managed to get itself nicely on track after the death of Detective Carter. It wasn’t that her death was necessary as she was a great character but the show had lost a lot of the momentum it had during season 1. Ever since Carter’s sacrifice old enemies and new ones as well have given PoI new impetus. One flaw that remained and which I remarked on during a previous review was that the back story of both Mr. Reese and Mr. Finch were pretty well-developed which gives them less to do. This week’s episode RAM overcomes that deficiency by showing how Finch picked Reese to be the protector in the first place. That also immediately means that another sacrifice is called for, that of Reese’s predecessor…..
Back in 2010 Finch was already using The Machine to protect those would-be victims. He employs a man named Dillinger to protect the intended targets just as later Mr. Reese (Jim Caviezel) would. However, things get complicated when the number that is returned is that of Daniel Casey, a penetration tester who is hunted by the C.I.A. Their assassins are non other than Kara Stanton (Annie Parisse) and Mr. Reese. The two have orders to kill Casey for stealing secrets and quickly spot Dillinger as well.
Dillinger approaches Casey after a botched meeting but is disarmed by Reese. However, more gunmen interfere and Dillinger is able to make off with Casey. Reese and Kara Stanton question if the other gunmen were also government assassins. Casey reveals that he was contracted to hack into The Machine. Finch immediately orders Dillinger to take him to the safest place he knows which Dillinger interprets as Finch’s secret lair.
In Washington DC Control and the Special Council discuss the botched attempt at silencing Casey. They reveal that they are trying to gain unlimited access to The Machine, something that would have happened if they hadn’t killed Nathan Ingram. Casey reveals to Finch (Michael Emerson) that he was ordered to break into The Machine, not just test it’s security. After he had accomplished that he was sedated and left in the trunk of a car with a suicide note. He managed to escape because the car was involved in an accident.
The other gunmen that assaulted Reese and Kara Stanton are led by a man named Lambert, who is in the pay of Mr. Greer, the head of Decima Technologies. Finch understands that a second group is interested in Daniel Casey and his laptop in particular. Finch arranges for its sale on the Darknet as well as arranging for a new identity for Casey. Dillinger has meanwhile overheard everything that Finch has said and betrays them both for the laptop. After sedating Finch he makes off with the laptop and leaves Casey. Casey tries to obtain new identity papers but is instead ambushed by Mr. Reese.
Kara Stanton is meanwhile ambushed by Lambert but she manages to turn the tables on him and kill two of his men. She questions Reese if he has killed Casey yet, Reese opens fire and states he will dump the body in the water. However, Reese has merely fired in the snow. Finch has been observing everything. Reese removes some teeth from Casey as proof of death and lets him go. Finch tracks down Dillinger and tries to retrieve the laptop. However, he is threatened away by Dillinger. Finch watches as Dillinger tries to sell the laptop to a Chinese party but is killed by a sniper send by the Special Council. The Chinese buyers manage to make off with the laptop. The assassin is revealed to be agent Shaw (Sarah Shahi).
The Special Council states he will send Kara Stanton and Mr. Reese to Ordos (China) to retrieve the laptop. Control states that she wants them eliminated during the raid. Lambert informs Greer that he has tracked the laptop to Ordos as well. Back in 2014 in shack in Canada Casey is interrupted by Root (Amy Acker). She says he needs to flee to Colombia to find a man named Arthur Greenfield. Root rigs his gas oven to explode while stating they both have a mutual friend.
The character Rick Dillinger contrasts nicely with that of Mr. Reese. Dillinger isn’t (or wasn’t) as well in self-control nor did he have the same skills (often relying on his gun more than anything). The episode also explains how Finch discovered where The Machine was being held before it transferred itself. Both revelations add nicely to tying up some loose ends. However, this episode doesn’t feel like a one off, it feels very much like a new plotline that will continue to have reverberations even for future events.
The episode also had a number of homages to the movie Sneakers from 1992 starring Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier. For those still unfamiliar with hat movie I suggest you check it. In both this episode and the movie Sneakers the line ‘there isn’t a government in the world that wouldn’t kill for this secret’ is just fantastic not in the least because it is true. It exemplifies the very dark tones of this episode and in my opinion make it one of the best episode of Person of Interest.
I hope PoI will continue to be re-invigorated by the recent reboot, there is only about 5 more episodes to go until the finale and there is a lot of ground to cover.
Score; 9.5 / 10. One of the best episode of Person of Interest!