Person Of Interest Episode 1.01 Pilot

Episode Summary from

John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA agent and Army Special Forces soldier-turned homeless alcoholic, has a struggle with a group of hot-headed teenagers on the subway. After this, he is extracted from police custody, before Homicide Detective Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) can confront him on his links to previous killings discovered through analysis of his fingerprints on the police system. Reese is brought to a mysterious and somewhat secretive billionaire, Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), who is the creator of the next-generation software, “The Machine”. After 9/11, Finch developed a computer program that can sift through enormous amounts of data, looking for patterns of behavior or activity that would predict another attack. It also provided information about individuals who could be in danger; it can predict the identity of a person involved in a premeditated crime that will happen at some point in the future – however, Finch’s back-door link to the Machine only provides the Social Security number of the person, and offers no clues to their involvement or when the crime will take place. Finch, who needs to do something to help these people, enlists Reese to aid him in preventing these crimes. Finch offers Reese a job to do this, as well as give Reese a purpose following the death of his girlfriend, Jessica (Susan Misner) (which is the source of his depression). The first on his list is Diane Hansen (Natalie Zea), an Assistant District Attorney currently working on a major prosecution of a prominent drug killing. Reese agrees to help and begins by watching her. Reese soon learns that Hansen is not the victim, but the perpetrator, running a ring of corrupt police officers and planning to kill a fellow DA, Wheeler (Brian d’Arcy James). After blackmailing one of the corrupt officers, Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), into being his source of information inside the NYPD, Reese reveals Hansen’s corruption to an open court, kills the leader of the corrupt gang of cops, and links Fusco to the crime to ensure his future cooperation. Having previously rejected Finch’s offer of work, Reese recants and agrees to continue preventing violent crimes.

Please use this thread to discuss the series’ first episode. Rule: Please keep spoilers limited to those revealed during the series up to this episode only.

Have you never seen Person Of Interest before? Let me give you a little help. Have you seen the newer Star Trek movies? Did you like Fringe? Were you a big Lost fan? Want a glimpse into what goes through the mind of the next Star Wars producer? Did you like Alias? JJ Abrams is the man behind all of those and he is the driving force behind Person Of interest. Person Of Interest may not be as heavy or deep of a show as Fringe or Battlestar Galactica, but it just as good. The story arcs are plush and full, the characters are complex yet fallible, and the show is about helping people so you can get your fix of an action mystery drama and still have some fun in the process. I look forward to watching this show every week and I’m glad I found it so early in its run.

It was very interesting going back and re-watching this episode. If this is your first time watching you’ll be happy to note that the show production team holds true to long-running story arcs and continuity.

It was good to be reminded of Jessica. Right from the start actually. She is a big reason of what makes John what he is today and watching her story unfold is also watching John start to repair himself. The flashbacks are amazing in the way they maintain the show’s continuity. They are always very well integrated into the episode and give the viewer only enough to understand what the character’s current motivations are. They usually accompany some big show reveal as well. They are something to keep an eye on in this show.

Watching the episode you might not understand what a big step this really is for Harold Finch. He is determined but he has the air of someone who is used to being in charge and running things from this episode. That was interesting to notice.

Harold wasn’t shy about letting John know about his distaste for guns. But at the same time Harold knew just who John was and how he operated. Harold must have known John would insist on being armed. Perhaps it just re-iterated to John to use as much non-lethal force as possible. Although John seemed to want that anyway. Maybe it was just to set up the difference between the office strategic work and field work between the two.

It was great to hear Finch tell John that he would never lie to him. It was trust that will still need to be earned but John takes Harold at his word. Once Finch realizes that John won’t be able to do his job without knowing the quality of the information he tells John all about The Machine. John is probably the only person Harold has ever disclosed that information to whether john realizes that or not. But, again, it is a big step for Harold and shows how committed he is to helping the people who are identified by The Machine. Of note is the fact that Harold mentions that The Machine reboots itself every night at midnight, so the irrelevant list is only good for a day.

It was also great to see the libraries brought into the show in the very first episode.

In true show form it is worth noting that there are absolutely no wasted scenes in this show. For instance, the scene in the subway at the beginning leads to John acquiring his weapons. And just as a tip if you’ve never seen Person Of Interest before there are no wasted characters either. Anyone is game for the show to bring back at any time for a variety of reasons. This extensive expanded character set really gives the show a feeling of a full show universe that is hard to come by on TV these days, especially with shows with limited budgets.

Of course we meet Detectives Fusco and Carter in the Pilot episode. Both very different people but both very important to John. You know that Carter will not stop until she has John behind bars and you know that Fusco has been operating on the other side far too long to not be of use. I’m excited to see how John’s interactions with Fusco, Carter AND Finch progresses on screen again.

The particular story for this episode – the corrupt prosecutor and the dirty cops – is a typical storyline. Something that’s usually solvable in an hour TV show but yet with ties to a much larger, grander story. Sometimes there is a twist in the story and sometimes it’s straight forward. The show keeps us guessing this way. It’s also important to pay attention because you never know when this week’s mystery or character will tie into the larger picture as well.

At the end of the episode it was interesting to see John and Harold under the bridge again and come to their agreement. We hear for the first time that the numbers never stop coming. We also hear that Finch has been watching John for a long time. Since the Pilot didn’t address it, it makes the viewer wonder just how John comes to Finch’s attention. That will be a good question for the show to answer.

It’s also interesting to see our glimpse at The Machine at the end of the episode. The constant surveillance footage throughout the show, particularly in scene transitions, is eerie at first. I’d forgotten how eerie it is. But it never changes. A reminder that our lives are constantly being watched and a warning that if this information falls into the wrong hands great harm can be done to us as individuals or society as a whole. From that perspective the series is worth watching to see just how The Machine is dealing with processing that amount of information and that amount of responsibility.