Is Anyone Interested in Person of Interest?

I’ve been watching this guy and really enjoying it. What I like:

  • It’s fundamentally a procedural. But it’s a fun twist on the procedural! Instead of solving the crime, they’re preventing it.
  • The two leads are just fucking awesome. I love Michael Emerson, and the other guy ain’t so shabby.
  • It’s got enough action to satisfy the Jack Bauer craving in me.

There’s not a lot of a metaplot to speak of thus far, which is why I suspect it doesn’t have much of a thread. Other than the cop lady homing on on Reese, there’s not much happening week to week other than Reese and Finch slowly developing their relationship. Despite that, I look forward to this show more than just about anything else these days.

I’ve enjoyed all the episodes and I like the little bits of metaplot they’ve included so far. When a procedural gets too focused on that stuff it doesn’t hold up well because the plot is never that interesting to begin with so I don’t see a need to make it a bigger part of the show.

I’m just short of loving it, mostly because I can’t help but imagine how it would play out on Showtime or HBO. The dude is a stone cold killer but he doesn’t really kill anyone and it always feels like he’s doing it because CBS can’t show that sort of cold blooded murder. I get it, but it still hurts the show.

Episodes 4 and 5

[spoiler]In the fifth episode he shot up those four gang dudes at the end of the ep and didn’t kill a single one of them. It always strikes me as unrealistic and a little dishonest when I consider the premise of the show. Something like that happens in almost every episode and it sucks. This guy is more than happy to blackmail police, beat the hell out of people, and even kill people on occasion. It’s the constraints of network TV that make it so he can’t be the killing machine he clearly is and I can’t help but get a little distracted and annoyed by that every time it’s made so obvious. At least he didn’t shoot all the guys in the leg (some of them certainly got leg shots).

Did anyone else watch episode 4? It’s the one where the doctor hunts down and is going to kill the guy that raped her sister. Jim Caviezel convinces her to give it up and takes the guy instead. The episode ends with them sitting at the kitchen table with Jim trying to decide if he should kill the guy. The next episode has no information on it though. Did I miss something? Am I supposed to assume he killed the guy (that is what I assumed). This would be a much better show if he had just shot the guy, or even if they had closed the show with the sound of a gunshot. The need to keep the character at least somewhat likable while making him a badass can cripple a show like this on network TV. It seemed to me that they did enough work on making the guy seem like a total creep that it wouldn’t be so bad if he just took a bullet to the face from the gun of Jim C. [/spoiler]

The thing I keep thinking while watching is that Jim-Super-Spy’s ‘plan’ is mostly is to kick down the door and kick everyone’s ass.

Not that it’s a great show, but I’d prefer he be a little more Michael Weston. Sure you might have to take out 4 armed thugs in a room, but, that should never be Plan A! That’s what you do when things go FUBAR.

I’ve been really enjoying this so far. I like that there’s the metaplot but instead of falling into the trap of having a big mystery about what it all means it’s more about slowly revealing the two main characters and how they came to this. This way they can be an entertaining procedural about shooting people in the legs, but without the overarching pressure to make it eventually get to a preset point for a payoff that everyone will hate because of ever-rising expectations.

I actually really loved the end of the doctor episode that Cornbread hated. I saw it and immediately knew it was my favorite part of the show so far and that someone somewhere was probably hating it for not just choosing an answer at the end. It seems like a big part of Jimsus’ character so far is about moving from being a one-man government death squad to trying to help people. So I liked that the episode ended with him being conflicted about whether to disolve the scumbag in the bathtub or chase him away, on account of how he said in the past he’d have just instantly gotten to murdering, and ended with an open question about whether or not he did it.

I wish I had your reaction. I would have loved the episode had that been the case. Instead it came off as a chickenshit move to me. Clearly I need to wipe my brain of desires for a different show and just enjoy what they’re giving me. It’s certainly better than most of the procedurals CBS puts out (like the abominable Unforgettable).

I’m with Cornbread. He needs to kill more people when it’s appropriate. The ending of episode 4 would have been stronger if he’d gone ahead and killed Mr. Serial Rapist.

More Raylan Givens, less Michael Weston.

I find the show gross. Movies like Minority Report and Enemy of the State and Batman Dark Knight tried with varying degrees of success to talk about how terrible an idea it is to try to track the lives of all private citizens and pre-enforce the law.

This show just goes “wheee!” It reminds me in some ways of The Equalizer, in terms of being this basically fascist pander to the fears of people about crime. I guess with 24 off the air CBS felt they had an opportunity.

Getting away from the politics of the show, I find Caviezel’s “I’m an emotionally flat killer” voice to be nearly as silly as Bayle’s Batman. And Emerson’s collection of tics and physical bits would be right at home in Doctor Strangelove. I can’t take either of them seriously as characters, which would be fine if Person of Interest were a comedy, or felt like any kind of serious indictment of what they were doing.

Obviously the show thinks of them as dark heroes or antiheroes, but I wish it had the guts or the ethical sense to show them as the actual villains they are.

I really wanted to love this show, but I just found both leads to be so flat. I didn’t care about either of them. I might pick it up at the end of the season if I’m bored and catch up, but as for now I’ve bailed on it.

I’m liking it a lot. I can see people thinking Caviezel’s performance as flat, but it’s definitely getting a lot better over the episodes. I’ve been pretty impressed with how he’s handled the action scenes. He might be overplaying the penitent killer angle, but it works for me. And yeah, the reason he’s shooting everyone in the leg is cause of CBS, but I can buy the logic behind him not wanting to kill anymore.

I personally liked the ambiguous ending.

I do definitely agree that the show is really close to being great, and I wish it was not being done by CBS. However, it’s filling my Human Target void, so there’s that.

Except that’s not what they’re doing. They get a head’s up with no details, and then watch that specific person in what amounts to a protection detail. They’re not pre-enforcing anything, they don’t do anything until they’ve got some evidence that’s something is wrong.

Is it a bad idea for government to watch everyone? Sure. But costumed vigilantes are a really bad idea, too. This is in effect a superhero show that only works because we accept that the motives of the protagonists are pure. In reality, if a guy dresses up like a bat and goes around thumping people, it’s more likely to be Watchmen’s Comedian than Batman, because most people’s motivations aren’t pure. That’s why we have a justice system instead of a costumed lynch mob.

24 took this to an entirely different place. Jack was always torturing someone, even if he was pretty sure the subject was just protecting someone out of misguided loyalty, rather than being an actual terrorist. Day 4 was particularly bad that way, when the Secretary of State said “yeah, sure, torture my son, he might know something.”

As I tweeted a few days ago:

I watch it, but it is mostly a procedural, so until/if they ramp up a metastory, it kinda goes in my eyes and out of the back of my head.

I’ve fallen behind with it lately. I haven’t watched the latest episode yet, and while I will at some point, I’m not in any hurry. I think Homeland has supplanted it in my must-watch queue.

I don’t know if anyone knows the answer to this, but I’m curious if there are hard and fast rules about what they can do because the show is on CBS. Obviously they can’t do nudity or fill the show with cursing, but does airing on a network mean that they can’t show blood pouring from a wound or kill people? As someone in another thread mentioned, they kill the fuck out of people on Hawaii Five-0 (bodies drop like crazy on every episode) and there’s even a little blood when someone suffers a bullet wound. They almost always make sure that anyone killed in cold blood (killed on screen, that is) had a reason to die, even if they seem like a good guy when they’re actually killed. Given that, couldn’t Person of Interest up the blood/death a little bit? Doesn’t it make the show a little silly that he pops everyone in the legs/shoulders?

Whose rules?

For broadcast, ahead of the American equivalent of the watershed (about 10:00 Eastern), you can’t use any of the Carlin words and nudity is forbidden. After the watershed, there are no rules. For serious. That’s not to say that the PTC won’t have one or more of their insane adherents poke their five year old with a stick for an hour and a half so that they can be scarred forever by a stray nipple and the organization can write a huffy email, but there’s nothing formal that forbids them from doing it.

Now, for CBS, I’m sure there are some rules as to what they can do. They seem to be trying to feel out where they want to go with the show. The fourth episode seemed to indicate that Cajesus was a Dexter/Ennis-Punisher level psychotic, or at the very least that he wouldn’t have a problem totally murdering the living shit out of a dude, and in other episodes he shoots people in the knee so obviously that it looks like somebody pulled a rug out from under them.

It’s worth noting that the network is placing this in the CSI spot, so I imagine that there are a decent number of notes coming down from on high to try and make it some kind of CBS-level cross-demographic megahit, which excessive amounts of murder would be contrary to.

For me, it’s not a bad show. It’s not the Nolan show that I would have wanted in a perfect world, but the Nolan show that I would have wanted would likely have been a pretty excellent full series boxed set of thirteen episodes. I like the underlying machinery of the story. By the end of the first season, I expect they’ll have the tone a little bit better sorted out, and until then, it’s still pretty entertaining.

I’m not saying it’s a bad show. It’s just that I get distracted thinking about the show it could be if they would dispense with the leg shooting and the lack of killing even when he should obviously be killing people (at least as I see it).

Gravelly voice not quite Batman man said during one of the earlier episodes that he doesn’t really want to kill people anymore. He’s a “good guy” and good guys put the bad guys in jail.

Which is in stark contrast to the (actually, pretty well written for a CBS procedural) fourth episode, wherein it was left to the viewer to decide if he murdered a pathological sex offender to death.

I’m actually fine with it being up in the air. It lets me make the character the way I want him to be in my brain without excluding anybody.

It’s here for the season.

I’m enjoying it more and more, and I generally don’t like ‘procedurals’ or ‘cop dramas’ or whatever the meta is for this type of show. Glad to see it sustained for the season so we can get to the inevitable show-down between the lady detective and Reese at the end of season one.