Entertainment Magazine

Review #3416: Person of Interest 1.18: “Identity Crisis”

Posted on the 04 April 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Edmund B.

“Person of Interest” has had a busy season. It’s had to juggle many things: victims, perps, cops, feds, shadowy spooks, criminal masterminds. So, it’s no surprise they might need a breather, a chance to relax and let their hair down. Courtesy of an enterprising drug dealer, that’s just what they get, along with an indelible image we never knew we needed to see until now: Finch on Ecstasy.

Review #3416: Person of Interest 1.18: “Identity Crisis”

This week’s hook for is one number shared by two people with a sexually ambiguous name: Jordan Hester. Finch’s data mining leads them on their typical merry chase, assuming one person is leading a double life before stumbling onto the truth of one man, one woman, one number. I wouldn’t call it a full-blown hole, but it was definitely a plot convenience that the real Jordan Hester had as sketchy an on-line presence as the imposter. Having him later admit to being an introvert felt like ex post facto cover for a plot weakness.

The boys’ established penchant for misinterpreting the situation actually got in the way a bit this time. As they tailed their two marks, I was increasingly skeptical of their take on things. In fact, I was sure they were just going to let the thugs meet with Ms. Jordan as the tip-off. But then, we would have been deprived of Finch swooping in to rescue her with a delicious lunch, redolent with sub-text. Not to mention, the reveal of yet another avian nom de plume, Henry Crow, P.I.

The more I think about it, the more I think the writers were playing with the built-up audience expectations. Finch gets increasingly flustered and discomfited as Ms. Jordan invades and evades his surveillance. He is still new to field work, and misses warnings obvious to us, the outside observers. His budding attraction, buttressed by his assumption she was the victim, certainly affects his judgment, and eases her attempts to lure him back to her place for a spiked drink.

The trope of the knockout draft is such a conditioned response that I didn’t even consider the possibility of Faux Jordan using her own product until Finch started getting loopy. It is both practical, and a sign that some of the feeling may have been mutual. The whole sequence of Finch’s escalation into Ecstasy is inspired fun. Michael Emerson gets to unlatch Finch’s id, and reveal the playful kid, who’s much too smart for his own good, that underlies his actions.

This is another sign of how quickly this show has matured. They can now take a conventional case-of-the-week, and use a specific detail, here, Ecstasy, to further delve into the characters. Fusco’s position gets fleshed out, as well, as he tries to navigate between being a good cop or a bad one. His attempts to penetrate HR’s upper echelons promise some major payoffs (literal, and otherwise) as we move towards the season finale.

Carter is understandably stand-offish after Reese’s betrayal of Moretti. Given her run-in with the CIA, it was a good move for her to be cautious with the supposed FBI. I may watch too many shows like “Hustle” and “Leverage”, but I’m not convinced Mr. FBI was who he said he was. They were certainly focused on tracking Reese. The question is, for whom?

In the end, this episode was an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek interlude before the promised four episode season-ending arc. I was glad they kept Reese and Finch in character at the end, leaving just that misplaced name to hint at the major back-story still to be revealed. With the attention to detail and careful setup on this show, I have no doubt we will learn how Nathan died and Finch got his limp. How that fits in with the havoc Elias has planned, I have no idea, and that’s what good writing’s all about.

Acting: 2/2
Writing: 2/2
Directing: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Total: 8/10

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