Person of Interest s5 ep 3

We start with yet another twist on the opening credits, as Finch’s “You are being watched…” monologue is interrupted by John Nolan as the voice of Samaritan. The battle for the future is under way.

In the present, though, the Machine is feeling sufficiently like its old self to supply a couple of Numbers. Reese first of all needs to finish off an old case, by beating someone up in the toilets of a restaurant where he’s meeting Iris and her parents for lunch. One suspects that for Reese, as for most of us, any sort of displacement activity is preferable to the first time you meet your girlfriend’s parents. Anyway, his allocated Number is Alex Duncan, who works for a private consultancy with access to sensitive military information, which he’s illegitimately using to try and find out about the death of his brother, killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

Flashback to 2010, then, in which Reese and his partner Kara (welcome back Annie Parisse) are sent to Afghanistan by Terrance Beale, Reese’s then CIA boss, to investigate the case of a soldier who might have been selling information about weapons shipments to the Taliban, with clear instructions to deal with the soldier as appropriate. The soldier denies everything, but Reese shoots him anyway. It turns out that Reese was correct about his guilt, although whether shooting him was the right thing to do is perhaps more nuanced. The soldier, of course, was Alex’s brother, and in the present day Alex is being pursued by Beale – something of a rough-stuff artist – and the CIA, keen to ensure that details of their off-the-books op remain secret. And Reese in turn is trying to protect Alex; a task which is complicated by the fact that, as far as Beale and the CIA are concerned, Reese is very dead. This storyline comes to an entirely satisfactory ending: Alex is given the thing that Reese realises he really wants, and Reese and Beale come to an arrangement.

The other Number is, at least, part fan service; the mutual love between the Machine and Root seems to extend to obliging Root to dress up every now and again, and this week she’s a courier who comes into possession of malware which the Machine seems to want Root to install on it, which she does over Finch’s objections, because it might help in the search for Shaw. Another episode which is so good that it’s essentially beyond criticism.

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10 thoughts on “Person of Interest s5 ep 3

  1. Tim March 15, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    An excellent episode. Although there is some service to the ongoing Samaritan arc, this is as close to a standalone story as we are likely to get in this season – and it was top-notch. I guess we will see Beale returning at some point though?

    • Jed Bartlet March 15, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      I’m doing my best to remain unspoiled, so I don’t know! It felt to me like the Beale storyline was being closed off: Beale knows he’s alive, but in recognition of the fact that Reese didn’t kill him – and that he likes having Reese out there on the side of the angels – he’s going to keep quiet about it. But PoI is so good at wrangling its extensive roster of characters it wouldn’t be any surprise to see him again.

      • Tim March 15, 2017 / 4:11 pm

        I’ve managed to stay unspoiled so far too so never fear – my thought is pure speculation. But as you say, PoI is great at bringing back old friends

  2. e March 17, 2017 / 1:41 am

    I don’t want to ruin anything. Just keep watching. The final season is fantastic.

    • Jed Bartlet March 17, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      I’m now at the stage where I can’t believe that an episode of this show could be less than stellar.

      Meantime, Unpopcult is in two minds about CBS’s new Navy SEAL drama. Reese and Megan Mad Men? I say yes; CJ might be deterred by the presence of Megan. And, tbh, I am ALREADY shipping them.

      Also somewhat drawn to the idea of Emily VanCamp and Matt Czuchry in a medical drama.

      • CJ Cregg March 18, 2017 / 9:04 pm

        I was initially quite excited about Reese: Navy Seal, but if we’re actually talking Reese: Navy Seal Who Falls In Love With Megan and Becomes Crap at Seal Stuff While She Takes Up All the Screen Time, then no thanks.

        • Jed Bartlet March 19, 2017 / 7:53 am

          Unless Matthew Weiner is showrunning, I think we’re safe. (Although a Weiner-run SEAL drama is one I would very much watch.)

          • CJ Cregg March 19, 2017 / 10:58 am

            Mad Seals: Don Reese, a handsome, ruthless SEAL Captain sits in his office, stirring his protein shake, staring pensively out at the rest of the base and pondering his existence. Admiral Cooper rolls in, red of face and tight of uniform: “Pour me one of them, Don, and tell me your mission plan’s ready, I got the Pentagon on my case about go times, and my wife on my case about the opera tonight…. “*

            *Not based on actual events

      • Anon May 17, 2017 / 10:40 pm

        ICYMI, JimC left the CBS NavySEAL pilot over “creative differences”.

        • Jed Bartlet May 17, 2017 / 11:21 pm

          I knew he’d left, but not why.

          Never mind. Dr Cary Agos and Dr Emily Revenge has been ordered to series.

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