The "Person of Interest" season finale, "Firewall," is one of the best final episodes of the year so far. Packed with action, intrigue, and surprise twists, the writers have guaranteed viewers will be tuning in for Season 2. The series has been tossing us clues about The Machine all season, but these last few episodes have shown us that there is still a lot we don't know about Finch's creation.
A Chilling Start
"Person of Interest" loves to play with timelines, and they get fans right at the start with a glimpse ahead to Finch (Michael Emerson) calling Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) for her urgent help in getting Reese (Jim Caviezel) out of trouble. It gets even more ominous when we flash backward to meet secretive Caroline, a psychologist to powerful and dangerous people who threaten her to guarantee their patient confidentiality.
All Forces Collide
It was a free-for-all on the "Person of Interest" finale with every character immediately tangled in a sticky situation. Fusco found out HR was hired to take out Caroline, and once Reese got involved in saving her, HR was after the "man in the suit," as well. Trapped in a camera-heavy area, it's not long before they're discovered at a high-end hotel by both the cop hitmen and the FBI task force who've been pursuing Reese.
It was exhilarating watching Reese try to navigate his way through the maze of the hotel, getting simultaneously fed information by Finch, Carter, and Fusco. It's not often you see Reese look like he's facing defeat, but there were just too many variables and not enough ammunition for him to stay ahead of all his enemies. "Person of Interest" once again proves that it's better not to work alone, as Reese's two police informants join forces to come to his rescue.
Reese has that wonderful James Bond quality that keeps him calm and focused, even in seemingly hopeless situations. As Caroline clinically observed throughout the episode, he's always got his eye on the exits and a contingency plan up his sleeve. He gets Caroline to safety, and his quick reconnaissance of the HR car he spots in the parking lot gives him the ammo to take them out later. Unfortunately his carefully trained paranoia misses the biggest ruse in front of him.
"Person of Interest" brought back the delightful fixer Zoe (Paige Turco) to dig into Caroline's clients and find out who put the hit on her. It's as fun to watch Zoe's clever investigative skills as it is her flirtations with Reese. The finale does a good job of scaring us again, when she eventually discovers that Caroline's office is a carefully constructed lie. By then it's too late.
All About Finch
We can forgive Reese for being self-centered when he's surrounded by enemies in a high-rise with no discernible way out. He's completely failed to realize that Finch is the real target, however. First the computer wiz has a run-in with a gun-toting Alicia (Elizabeth Marvel), who is determined to get him to put an end to The Machine, which she blames for the death of Finch's partner Nathan (Brett Cullen). It's even more terrifying when she reveals that he's "lucky" she found him before the other people chasing him.
Before we can find out more, Alicia's been shot and killed. It's a terrifying, shocking twist as our heroes realize that the woman that they've been trying to save actually put the hit out on herself. She knows their M.O.: that if she was in danger, it would draw out Finch and Reese. The finale throws one more curve ball at us, revealing that Caroline is "The Root," the mysterious hacker that bested Finch in episode "Root Cause."
"Person of Interest" proves that it's been paying attention to its own storyline by bringing together elements from previous episodes. We've watched Reese continually try to find more information about Finch, and he uses what he's learned in the final stunning moments of the finale. While it seems hopeless to find the kidnapped Finch when no one else knows how to operate The Machine, Reese talks right into one of the street cameras and demands help. Then, as Finch has before him, he gets a sudden call from a nearby pay phone.
This gives fans plenty to discuss before Season 2 gets going. Are there other parties involved with The Machine and Finch, or is the computer somehow sentient? When Reese pestered him about it before, his bespectacled partner said he had a contingency plan if he wasn't around to operate The Machine --was this it? Who is "The Root" really, and what does she want with Finch? Who else is after him?
"Person of Interest" is an entertaining show with a basic weekly formula, but the overarching plot sets it apart from other procedurals. The finale "Firewall" was a perfect ending to the season, combining all the elements we love about the series, the yin/yang of action and intellect, cool analysis and warm compassion. Fans get to feel satisfied over the capture of some of the big HR players, while suffering in suspense about what will happen to Finch and The Machine.
What did you think of the finale, "Person of Interest" fans? Does Finch have another partner somewhere, or is The Machine communicating with him directly?
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