Person of Interest Season 4 Episode 6 Review: “Honor Among Thieves”

Person of Interest 4.07

Tonight was a ‘Shaw’ episode on Person of Interest, and, unlike most Shaw-centric episodes, it was a little meh. Not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a little… bare. Tried a little too hard in places. Sarah Shahi wasn’t the problem (she always brings her best stuff) but the writing was. I think if I was writing about this episode last week, I would be more enthusiastic but them being off for a week really threw me for a fan-loop and allowed me to take a step back, to take a closer look at some of the shows machinations.

I’ve been rewatching Angel (my favorite show of all time) and on this particular rewatch, I began to notice a few things; namely the amount of after-the-fact plot explanations. Angel, especially in the later seasons, loved to have an event happen and then immediately after would have one of the characters repeat exactly what had just happened for the benefit of the audience. (the show did this quite frequently). For example, if a time demon had planted a bomb in a portal to rip apart the time-space continuum we’d get a scene of Wesley or Gunn or Coredelia saying, “So he planted that bomb so that he could rip the fabric of reality apart?”

That’s what this episode reminded me of. The constant plot explanations, the need to highlight, circle, and hit over the head with the stakes and consequences of the episode. And I hate that. I would rather be in the dark then have someone hold my hand. If you can’t tell the story without it making sense on its own, it’s bad writing and needs some serious revision. Too much of this episode was Finch pointing out the dangers of being around the “Relevant” field agents and things of that nature. I don’t like it.

Noticing that made me notice more stuff; nitpicky things like Shaw proving her cred by pointing out that no, Tomas couldn’t call one of her former employers because he was dead, which he knew because it was just a test. I’ve been over that since Ocean’s Eleven, and it seems to pop up like the Mortal Kombat guy in every scene in which a person needs to verify their identity. Let’s find a new, better, non-boring way to do that please.

Also, the fight scenes tonight were lacking. The shootout between Shaw and Tomas’s traitorous crew was hella boring; Shaw and Tomas were behind the leg of a table, for Christ’s sake, and it looked like Shaw was shooting at the ceiling. Fusco and Reese’s shootout with the “Relevant” agents was weird and boring too; Reese calls them government assassins and they have worse aim than the stereotypical storm trooper. Even Root sedating the secretary was lame.

One last negative: the Tomas dead friend storyline was extremely weak. Ain’t fixing that dumpster fire of non-tension.

There were some things I did like about this episode: Shaw and Root seem to be much more open about their mutual like of one another. I’m not sure if the flirtiness is actual flirtiness or just punchy friendship, but it doesn’t matter either way because of how much it adds to those characters. Shaw and Root, formerly of the black and white sides of Good and Evil, are growing closer, one way or another.

Shaw’s character in particular has developed quite a bit since the opening. She is not nearly as cold and focused, and she has some real personality bubbling beneath that homicidal exterior; always good to see.

I don’t have much else to say. Meh episode, at best. At worst, it’s a step backwards for a show that felt like it’d made a leap. Of course, there are 22 episodes in a season, so there is bound to be some clunkers. Can’t all be home runs.

Photo via CBS

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