Person of Interest Season 4 Episode 8 Review: “Point of Origin”

Person of Interest

Person of Interest’s main plotline was meh; that seems to be going around. But it was solid, and it allowed the exploration of the season’s larger themes, which made it all worthwhile. Person of Interest is good at that, you know; going off onto little sideroads and keeping the ball rolling. Tonight wasn’t the best example of that, but it did a good enough job.

This was a Reese episode, which usually means not a whole lot is going to happen. Reese, I think, has become a little bit of an abandoned character; the show as built around he and Finch at the start, and it has grown so far beyond them. To be honest, I’ve never really seen a show grow past its main characters to such a degree. Angel did it, sort of; the Angel stuff wasn’t why I watched it anyways. But it’s a little different with them, too, because all of those guys remained equally important. Angel may have been marginalized a bit, but he was never forgotten.

I think Reese has been forgotten a bit. We’ve got plenty of ass-kickers on this show; everyone, even Finch, can do some serious damage. It’s just that Reese is such a known, and simple, commodity. His girlfriend left him, is now dead. He was a killer for the CIA. But he doesn’t struggle with this stuff anymore. He’s content doing the work he’s doing; he really has found his purpose. And holy hell has that sapped the energy from his character.

I’ve always been frustrated by shows not allowing their characters to heal and actually act like real people, but now I see why they don’t; finding new stuff for them to deal with is hard! It’s really hard! And it’s happening with all of the characters slowly; Reese is just the warning sign, like Florida’s economic collapse a few years before The Great Depression. Shaw’s lost much of the coldness that made her so fascinating, and is moving into real human being-ness. Finch is, as always, Finch, but there doesn’t seem like much to explore there besides Grace, and how many times can we go to that well before she gets killed as collateral damage? And let’s not even discuss how little to do Fusco has anymore. He’s basically reduced to a bit player without any bits!

Root is really the only one with anything left to work through (and she wasn’t even in this episode! WHY!). She is a cipher for the machine, a meatsuit for the AI to walk around in, and that suppresses Root’s true personality: a raving, broken sociopath. Root is losing her crazy because she believes she’s going to die; all of beautiful idiosyncrasies are going away. And I don’t like it. But there’s no turning back, especially for people like Root and Shaw; they’re irreplaceable, in my mind, but the writers are going to have an impossible task of taking two murderers-turned-saviors and keeping their momentum going. There’s a reason Breaking Bad ended after five seasons, and why Mad Men has punted on Don Draper’s mental health and personality; where do you do with someone who’s well-adjusted?

You kill them, that’s what. You infect Winifred Burkle and you kill Joyce Summers and you shoot Bobby SInger in the head. There is no where to go in this situation but down, and it breaks my heart.

But there is some drama coming up, thankfully; Reese’s storyline lead into the wildly fascinating Dominic/Elias conflict, which I love. Shaw is also discovered at the very end, leading to a really excellent cliffhanger. Root said earlier this season that not everybody is going to make it out alive, and I believe her. Several peoples, I think, aren’t going to make it out alive. They way that Root and Shaw have been making googly eyes at one another and going full-force in their parts makes me think that they are being built up to be cut down. Now, if they were to go out in a blaze of gunfire together, I’d hate it, but I’d at least love the show for its boldness. Plus Shroot forever, so there’s that.

This is not much of a review of “Point of Origin”, I know. My bad. But it didn’t strike me, or stick with me. This was a bridge episode, taking us to Staunton Island, where all the cool stuff goes down. Let’s hope that next week I’m focusing more on the episode itself than everything around it.

Grade: B

Photo via CBS

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