Entertainment Magazine

Review #3243: Person of Interest 1.12: “Legacy”

Posted on the 25 January 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Amanda Segel
Directed by Brad Anderson

I would describe this episode of Person of Interest as “steady” or “workmanlike.” It starts out slowly, and not much happens on the interesting side, then morphs into something different by the end of the hour. The details of this case aren’t too interesting, but I think the show is slowly building its world and showing its detailed history. That could fundamentally change it from a crime procedural into something much more sinister. What they should get rid of is the tendency to spoon feed what’s happening onscreen to the audience step-by-step for fear of the audience feeling lost with the narrative. I think we are smart enough to figure things out. The characters don’t need to explain it all the way through. That is how the show currently operates so I doubt I’ll get my wish any time soon.

Review #3243: Person of Interest 1.12: “Legacy”

Detective Carter gets further integrated into the team, this time seeing exactly how Reese operates. It’s a smart move, in that she gets to see how clever and resourceful Reese really is when he’s on the case. Given the nature of what Finch and Reese do, they should always be rooting for the underdog. In this case, a lawyer who defends criminals who have been wrongly convicted of crimes. It’s not an ideal job for a lawyer since they’re taking cases that have little chance of winning, but it appeals to this particular person of interest’s nature. A client she defends now was involved in a complicated embezzling scheme that involved foster kids and monetary kickbacks from a federal source.

I thought the case got more and more complicated as the hour progressed and as such, practically demanded the hand-holding that was involved here. Reese had the job of tracking down any and all considered suspects, some of them with Detective Carter’s assistance and others with Finch. Meanwhile, Fusco gets into the act by informing Reese that he suspects Carter is up to something. It’s amusing to see that Reese is really playing both Fusco and Carter like puppets. They aren’t aware that both are working with the same people and one gets the sense that it might blow up in Reese’s face in the future. For now, both NYPD detectives are useful in their own different ways to Reese and Finch. This could conceivably continue for the duration of the season.

Some of the show’s backstory is filled in with the appearance of Will, the son of Nate, Finch’s old business partner. Apparently, Will was estranged from his father when Nate ran the business with Finch. He and Finch appear closer in the present day, though. The dynamic between the two of them is intriguing and very different because up until now, Finch has never shown much warmth or emotion towards another person. He seems genuinely concerned for Will’s well-being, though it could be something of a facade to hide his true intentions.

The show seems to be hinting that Finch needs to get whatever is in that sealed box that was left to Will by Nate. The box probably contains pertinent information about the Machine and Finch is trying to do whatever it takes to keep that information away from Will. It might go bad for the team if anyone else knew that the Machine still exists. I think this is a great way at hinting and expanding the backstory on the early operations of the Machine. That was Nate’s legacy to the world, and possibly the reason for his murder. It feels like the past may soon catch up to both Finch and Reese.

The cases on “Person of Interest” may feel perfunctory at this point, but the mysteries of the past are the engines that keep the show running. Pieces of the overarching mythology are integrated into each episode slowly, and each piece makes the whole picture appear clearer as the season progresses. I like that each character has secrets to keep from other characters. Reese hides things from Finch and Detective Carter. Finch is hiding things from Reese. Both of them are keeping Detective Carter in the dark. I doubt Detective Carter will find out about the Machine, but that’s a card the writers can hold on to until they absolutely need to show it. “Person of Interest” is working right now. They just need to keep things moving along at a steady pace.

Grade: 7/10

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog