It is strange that this episode of Person of Interest had so many one-liners. It makes it hard to choose a suitable subtitle. Would it be ‘there is always a way out’? Reese (Jim Caviezel) would have liked that. Or Dominic’s line ‘the game within a game’, but that sounds too much like a tagline from a Frank Herbert book. Both Elias and his right-hand man Scarface (real name Anthony) used the Latin phrase Invictus Maneo which means ‘I remain Unvanquished’. For an episode that fans of the show dreaded to watch because it foreshadowed Elias’s death I think this line will have to do.
Person of Interest S4Ep9 The Devil You Know Review
As this is the ninth episode of season 4 I think many fans are starting to agitate for some action. The fight between Samaritan and The Machine has been going on for a while. You start to wonder when will things switch into high gear. However, unlike last season there isn’t a Detective Carter to kill off. I think many fans wouldn’t forgive Jonathan Nolan if he bumped off Elias. Why would you create a character so interesting and then just kill him? Season 4 repeatedly reminds us the stakes are now much higher, anyone from the gang could potentially die. Hell, some fans were afraid that even Shaw would die in this episode.
Now let me spoiler immediately what happens in this episode. Elias doesn’t die, his henchmen Scarface does. We learn more about their relationship over the course of 43 minutes. Scarface’s death will be felt among fans. But moreover, Scarface’s death puts Elias at center stage. No longer is he the hands-off mob boss. He is now committed to taking revenge on Dominic and those of his own crew that betrayed him. Instead of his death we get a character that will finally be able to flourish and make Reese and Finch (Michael Emerson) reconsider whether saving him was worth it.
We already know a great deal about Elias. How he took revenge on his father for abandoning him as a child and how Reese first met him in season 1. There is even a reference to what happened during that episode when Reese thought he was a harmless schoolteacher targeted by the mob. This episode filled in the blanks. It mostly takes place in Elias last hide-out, the old group home where Elias first met Scarface and his later to be accountant Bruce Moran. As Elias tells Reese, he doesn’t have fond memories of the place.
As if intended as a preamble to Scarface’s death by the end of the episode we also learn more about Link, Dominic’s right-hand man. Link gets a warning from Scarface that like him he would one day be tied up and beaten, waiting for the end to come. As Elias rigged his safe to blow when Dominic’s men opened it we see how Link is visibly shaken by the experience. The men the Brotherhood lost to that explosion that also killed Scarface mean nothing to Dominic, thus laying the first seed of discord between the two men.
Dominic is not a man to be underestimated. He may have lost men, let Elias escape and have the secrets to Elias’s organization blown up. Yet he still knows how to figure things out. By the end of the episode he knows Elias got help from Reese, or detective Riley as he knows him. Elias was on the phone to Finch when he got captured and Dominic has deduced there is a person, or organization supporting Reese/Riley. So now Dominic is also on the trail of Reese, Finch and The Machine. How long before he would try make a deal with John Greer and Samaritan?
Of course we must not forget what happened to Shaw and Root. In some ways their attempt to flee from Samaritan may be more profound for the long run. Shaw managed to fight her way out of the department store as Martine took shots at her. Outside Root picked her up. They first hid in a van until released up by Fusco. However, this merely drew Martine’s attention who questions him while pretending to be from the DEA. As Root tries to get Shaw to safety they hear from Finch how Reese ends up trapped with Elias and surrounded by Dominic’s Brotherhood. Discord between Root and Shaw quickly emerge as Shaw attempts to safe them from further pursuit. For fans this seems to be a step back from the supposed relationship the two were starting to form.
Martine meanwhile explains to Greer how Samaritan failed to find Shaw at the department store. Greer deduces that Finch has somehow tampered with Samaritan and suggest Martine should use human intelligence. He tasks her to find Finch, Reese, Root and Shaw by any means necessary and gives her real-life agents to work with. Root (Amy Acker) meanwhile tranquilizes Shaw to prevent her to help Reese and blow her cover. Later on after Reese and Elias manage to escape the blast from the safe Finch discusses the situation with Reese. He suggests they are now in a lot more danger than before if Shaw’s cover is blown. Elias phones them and tells both that he will avenge Scarface’s death and that they better stay out-of-the-way.
This episode of PoI finally sets things in motion again. Scarface’s death and Shaw’s discovery means things will remain fluid for some time to come. The episode doesn’t have many flaws. Though I did find it irritating how The Brotherhood managed to make such quick inroads into Elias’s organization. Link suggests to Dominic they lost a lot of men in the explosion but seems to be the only hint that the Brotherhood is at all vulnerable. The relationships between Root and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) took a step back this week, perhaps intended to cool down fan speculation that was becoming a bit of a distraction. Though I suspect Root really does care for Shaw. Nonetheless, after a virtual hiatus since the start of the season all characters are now firmly back in action. This was Person of Interest S4Ep9 The Devil You Know Review. I hope you liked my review. PoI will take a few weeks of leave and will be back December 16th with the episode ‘The Cold War’.
Score; 8.5 / 10. A very good episode of PoI with an important death, but Dominic is conveniently too powerful.