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"Person of Interest" Season 1 engages, compels.
on April 19, 2015
"Person of Interest" is a tense, taut crime/technological thriller that immediately engages and compels viewers with its highly innovative stories and superb acting from a first-rate cast that includes Michael Emerson, Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman, Amy Acker, and many others.
All 23 episodes of "Person of Interest's" first season very quickly established this as a series very different from every other drama on network TV. The show's main characters are Harold Finch (Emerson) and John Reese (Caviezel), two men who live in the shadows. Finch is a multi-billionaire computer designer and software developer who created a super-computer for the government; Reese is a former CIA agent and Special Forces soldier, now working for Finch as a "fixer" and enforcer.
Finch's super-computer, which he calls "The Machine," can sift through trillions of megabytes of data and then predict terrorist crimes against the United States. But Finch's "machine" not only can predict all future terrorist threats; it can also foretell every other future crime as well - felonies the government considers "too insignificant" to do anything about.
Finch, suffering from a severe permanent physical injury, feels honor-bound to do something to help stop those "insignificant" crimes before they happen. He enlists the assistance of a down-and-out, homeless, alcoholic Reese, who reluctantly agrees to be Finch's agent in the field.
Complicating matters for both Finch and Reese is the fact that Reese is being hunted by both the CIA and the FBI, who consider him a major threat to national security; and by the NYPD, who suspects him of committing a series of unsolved murders.
"Person of Interest" is a terrific show on many levels. The acting is superb. Emerson and Caviezel maintain a quiet, reserved demeanor, a characteristic that adds tremendous credibility to each character's persona. Supporting actors, especially Taraji P. Henson who plays NYPD Detective Carter, and Kevin Chapman, who plays Detective Fusco, are equally good in their roles.
But what sets "Person of Interest" apart from other new shows (most of which try to bring something "fresh" and "different" to their story lines) is that this show actually does that. Each episode creates a chilling, almost paranoid atmosphere from beginning to end.
All of this adds up to a show that quietly and poses a question we all must grapple with: is vigilante justice ever an acceptable means of preventing or solving crimes? It's a question the show's creators and producers have wisely left unanswered, for even though viewers can see the positive results of Reese's and Finch's efforts, they should carefully consider the means used to achieve their desired ends. Highly recommended.