Taking on a role – for all the right reasons, that blacklists you from Hollywood’s “good side” is enough to earn any actor admiration from me. Before this, Jim Caviezel played Edmund Dantes and now, he has finally found a niche in Person of Interest, season one CBS drama that’s really a fascinating – and very clever, concept.
Person of Interest, Season One (2011) CBS TV Show Review
Losing someone you love will change you. When you feel like you are to blame for the loss, it changes you into a person you no longer recognize. That is where John Reese (Caviezel) is right now. Riding the train, looking like a homeless man, he’s the perfect target for cocky teens to hassle. What they don’t know is that he was once an elite soldier. Surveillance tapes catch the beating he gives the teens is, which draws the attention of NY police detective, Carter (Taraji P. Henson). Running his prints, she finds, suspiciously, nothing and before she can fully question her suspect, a high-paid lawyer makes bail for him and whisks Reese away in a black limo.
A billionaire software genius, Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) is about to recruit Reese. He developed a super computer that analyzes everything. Created as a means of protecting America post 9/11, the computer technology was meant to be in the hands of the government to identify threats to the U.S. but as insurance, there is a back door that Finch can access and the computer has randomly given Finch social security numbers of people who are about to be involved in violent crimes. That catch is, he doesn’t know if the name is that of the killer or victim but that is where Reese comes in. Drawn into one crime after another, the pair of underground do-gooders prevent crimes from happening all while staying one step ahead of the determined Detective Carter.
About ten minutes into the first episode, Person of Interest certainly catches my attention. It has style, acting that suits the character and scripts that turn everything inside out and upside down. What is up in the air is how I’d feel about the characters and the deeper intricacies of the show. Unlike most crime dramas, this one is a preventative one. The plots are insanely unique because of that – even those that are easier to predict shift attentions to the back-stories of our in-the-shadows heroes and leave us with more to think about than we may have expected.
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That doesn’t erase that anyone who tires of crime dramas will immediately like this premise. There’s cleverness in its outline but the filming may be enough to turn people off. It wavers between telephone conversations and security camera views to unusual filming that’s crystal clear and focused. For me, I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t occasionally grate on my nerves but I liked the perspectives. (It also uses a time stamp and time lines to show when it goes back in time.) Depending on your tolerance, it may be a catch-22.
Nothing is ever black-and-white here. Both Finch and Reese have a generic back-story but even in that, there’s a few twists. J.J. Abrams is a fabulous name to helm any show. Finch is a character that fans cannot help but love. Don’t underestimate his studious appearance, he’s no dummy and will probably peg what you are doing before even you know. Reese is a trained CIA operative who gave up everything to protect his country. He has great skills but also a boatload of guilt; he’s a character that you waver on the edge of trusting to do the right thing. Guest stars include Paige Turcco, Amy Acker and in an unexpected but pleasing turn, Dagmara Dominczyk. Adding a neat parallel, an episode or two draws inspiration from the role that gave Cavizel his billable name (The Count of Monte Cristo).
Favorite episodes include “Cura Te Ipsum”; “The Fix”; “Get Carter”; “Many Happy Returns”; and forcing our “tough” guys into a more vulnerable position, “Baby Blue,” a very touching episode. Leading right up to the fast-paced, interesting finale, the writer’s keep pace with the vision this show emits. It has class that matches its memorable cases and character’s in equal parts, and pleasantly is one show that shouldn’t offend conservative sensibilities. In my television experience, it’s one that has probably bumped a few other shows further down my favorites list. It’s that good. If there are any two people I’d want watching my back, Finch and Resse are the guys.
Content: There is some mild profanity but never does it become frequent. A scene or two flashbacks to a couple in bed [clothed] and a scene shows a man’s abuse leading to his wife’s death. There is some talk about an illegitimate child. Violence is the biggest offender with dozens of hand-to-hand combat scenes, explosions and gunfire battles – many of which turn deadly. Person of Interest, season one is TV14.