The second episode of Person of Interest almost feels like a second pilot for the series. Not only is more background revealed but more questioned are asked, more rules are made (and broken) and the series defiantly declares that its off-beat and won’t use the machine that identifies crimes as a ‘deus ex machina’.
The episode is tightly written, alot happens in the space of 45 minutes and so its going to be a long read to fully understand the plot and even then I would say I left out details for brevity……
Reese starts the episode by saving a man from two hitmen after his wife has found he was having an affair. The shooting of the two hitmen alerts detective Carter (Taraji Henson) of Reese’s continuing activity. Finch (michael Emerson) meanwhile contacts Reese saying he has a new social security number of a potential victim, after Reese unsuccessfully tracks Finch they agree to meet at a graveyard where Finch rveals that the number belongs to a supposedly dead girl called Teresa Whitaker who had been murdered along with her parents and brother two years before. Finch and Reese delve into the murky history of her family, they had been in the construction business and the police suspected an murder/suicide by the father because of debts he accumalated during the recession. Reese on the other hand sees a hitman carefully covering his tracks and believes the murder might have something to do with the girls uncle. While Reese tries to track down Teresa Finch interviews the girls aunt who reveals she has split up with her husband.
While this cat and mouse game of finding the girl and her families’ killer ensues we see flashbacks of Finch as he was in 2002, this was the period after 9/11 when he and his partner (played by Brett Cullen, who played Goodwin on lost) built ‘the machine’. At first we see their amazement at how their invention works though its a number of years away from completion. Later on we see desperation as we find that ‘the machine’ also uncovers murder plots but that the government filters out this information. Finch is seen without a limp in his gait and of course this raises the question what happened between him and his partner before the events at the start of the series.
Meanwhile Reese once again contacts the corrupt cop Fusco who is still bound by extortion with helping Reese, together they find the Killer of the Whitaker family in jail but the man doesn’t know who his contractor was and obviously can’t be the potential killer of Teresa Whitaker. Meanwhile Finch’s cover as an employee at the company he owns allows him to research the whitaker fincial history and he uncovers a relation with Landale Finacials concerning a plot of land. Apparently the land was polluted and thus cheap to buy, after the goverment cleans up the land gives the all important ‘bill of health’ the value would skyrocket 40 to 50 times. However Landale CEO doesn’t want to share and ordered the killing of the Whitaker family. In the meantime Landale finacials has sent another hitman to kill Teresa. At a laundramat Reese tries to convince Teresa to trust but the hitman interferes. In an unsual twist for a tv-series we see the hitman really kick reese’s arse who only manages to escape with Teresa by a close margin. The hitman next tries to extract the location of Teresa by torturing the girls uncle, but he only succeeds in drawing attention from detective Carter by shooting the uncle. However, the hitman manages to locate Teresa by wiretapping her aunt and is determined to kill both her and Finch who was looking after her while Reese was putting the load on the CEO of Landale Finacials. Teresa and Finch manage to keep the hitman busy while reese rushes back to the hotel where they are hiding. In a close call he manages to shoot the hitman before he shoots Finch and Teresa.
After the CEO of Landale Financials is arrested we see Reese contacting detective Carter and they arrange a meeting, Reese doesn’t show up but has instead left Teresa there to be picked up, after which finch and Reese watch Carter escort Teresa away they each go their seperate ways. Finch meanwhile is seen quitting his job as ‘Harold the programmer’ as his cover was blown by Reese, it appears he wants to keep his distance from Reese. As finch walkes out of the building we see the camera pan to a memorial of finch’s partner who died in 2010….
The epsiode is quite gritty, with the major malice that ‘the machine’ uncovers being greed. The hitman in this episode seems to have considerable resources and almost seems to become the better of Finch and Reese and thus echoeing Finch’s warning from the pilot that they probably both would end up dead. Detective Carter’s character still only appears in a few scenes and is as of yet not an engaging part of the plot, the character of detective Fusco is still the same as in the pilot though he alludes that his fellow colleagues suspect him of being corrupt. Fusco as of yet doesn’t know the connection between Reese and Finch and doesn’t even know who Reese really is.
Viewer rating; 12.42 million. Which is very good for the episode after the pilot.
Next week’s episode is entitled ‘Mission Creep’.