Person Of Interest Episode 1.02 Ghosts

Episode Summary from

Reese takes the case of Teresa Whitaker (Valentina de Angelis), a girl who supposedly died with her family two years previously. Reviewing the evidence, Reese finds the crime scene was staged to look like a murder-suicide. He deduces that Teresa’s family was killed by a hitman, and that there is still a price on her head. He follows leads back to Solmick (Michael Medeiros), the original contract killer, who admits he let Teresa live because he refuses to kill children. Meanwhile, Detective Carter starts investigating Reese, using his fingerprints to access his file, only to discover it has been redacted. Using information given to him by Reese, Finch manages to locate Teresa, but they are interrupted by the arrival of another hitman (Ritchie Coster). Reese intervenes in time to save them, leaving Teresa in the care of Carter. When asked about Reese, Teresa claims the experience was too traumatic to recall anything. (The episode is interjected with flashbacks of Finch and his partner at the founding of “The Machine”.) Finch is concerned that if the public ever found out about it, he would be forced to shut it down. At the end, a memorial bust of Finch’s partner (Brett Cullen) is shown in his offices.

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

"You are being watched. The government has a secret system. A machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. People like you. Crimes the government considered irrelevant. They wouldn’t act so I decided I would. But I needed a partner. Someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities we work in secret. You will never find us. But victim or perpetrator if your number’s up, we’ll find you. " Harold Finch, beginning of Person Of Interest

The intro to this show is very unique, showing off The Machine’s capabilities, giving an insight into the main plot of the episode and giving needed history and background for the casual viewer. I like it so much I wanted to write it down here. And as any great show intro it brings up as many questions as it answers.

Admittedly this early into the show the overarching plot just isn’t as refined and developed. But it’s still present. In typical Person Of Interest fashion flashbacks help round out the story. Meeting “The Founder” and observing his interactions with Finch in 2002 and 2007 were amazing. We see that Harold once was very physically animated and loved to exercise. He also indulged in whiskey. We learn that Harold did indeed program the machine over 5-6 years and not only coined the term for the irrelevant list, but made it possible. He also programmed the limitations that The Machine would delete the irrelevant list each midnight. We learn that in 2007 only 8 people knew about The Machine, that it had already foiled ½ dozen major terrorist plots and that The Founder is dead (1962-2010 on this bust). This is a lot of background information but sets up some interesting reveals in the future. I’d be interested to learn if The Founder was part of the original story-line or if it was added after production of the pilot episode. Not to give anything away but it sure has paid off over the first two seasons.

Harold’s mystery starts to come into focus. We know he likes hiding in plain sight from Resse’s office visit and from his flashback interactions with The Founder. We know that he is quick on his feet and very capable of using technology (aka the speakerphone) to aid is his and Teresa’s escape from the hitman. He also is great as playing a white collar imposter.

It is interesting to see how john treats Detectives Carter and Fusco at the beginning. He handles Fusco pretty harshly while on the other hand treats Carter well even though she is actively pursuing a case against him. You get the impression so far that Carter is far more capable than Fusco. Only time will tell if that will hold up. John sure seems to trust Carter. He called her to pickup Teresa, not Fusco.

The “Sooner or later you’re going to have to trust someone” theme played pretty hard in this episode. Perhaps it was just a way of bringing John and Harold closer together. But so far Harold loves to keep his secrets so there isn’t complete trust.

This story came out with a happy ending for Teresa and her aunt. The happy ending is one of the things I like about this show. It’s gritty in its plot without being doom and gloom. It doesn’t always happen but when you play with fire you get burned once in a while.

What do you think about the episode?