Thursday, December 8, 2011
Person Of Interest: Kind Of Like Quantum Leap Meets The Punisher
Time for one of my favorite new shows of the season. Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel, as some sort of black ops government attack dog, who's become disenchanted with his role in the world. He's recruited by a man named Finch, who created a computer system that monitors all communications and surveillance in the New York area, and crunches the data in order to predict the next 9/11, in theory. As a byproduct, it also identifies people that are about to be involved in smaller scale incidents, like murders. Finch creates a backdoor that allows him to get just the social security numbers of these people, so that he can try and prevent whatever bad thing is about to happen. The trick, of course, is that they don't what exactly is about to happen, or if the person identified is the victim or the perpetrator.
The dynamic between the two main characters is amusing, because they're both trying to remain anonymous from the other, and they each have their strengths which they contribute. Finch has functionally limitless resources, and access to just about any computer system, either through his government clearance, or just plain technical savvy. Reese, Caviezel's character, on the other hand has all of the black ops spy know-how, as well as just plain old physical badassery. In the first episode he gains a weapons cache by getting the drop on a mafia weapons deal, which he then uses to stop a car by launching a tear gas canister through the windshield, it was truly a thing of beauty.
You'd think that that formula would get old, but we're quite a few episodes into it, and they manage to keep things just varied enough. Plus there's a fairly few fairly subtle subplots that thread all of the "threat of the week" stories together.