Maribou and I finished the (only 13 episode) Season Five of Person of Interest last night and we’re left slack-jawed. (I priced out The Complete Series set and it’s, like, $100 and you can get individual seasons for, like, $15 so just get them piecemeal.)
We’ve talked about Person of Interest before, of course, but now that the series is over, I can finally exhale and say “WOW. That paid off nicely.”
I’ll quote DavidTC one last time on this show before getting into my own thoughts:
Season one, and most of season two, is a very entertaining action show, with some good plots and some great villains. We get a nice treatment to some corrupt cops, and some very nice organized crime subplots, and plenty of actual good guy law enforcement trying to track down our heroes for quite logical reasons.
And by the end of season two, the show subtly became hard sci-fi *without anyone noticing*, and a pretty good show became *amazing*.
And at the end of season three, huge spoiler happened, and now, mid-season 4, everything is, well, a little crazy. And the show just keeps getting better and better.
The main thing that I noticed about the show was how subtly and amazingly the scope changed.
The first season was the one that established the premise of the show and it was a show about a teamup of a reclusive billionaire and a special-ops ninja master and how they worked together to save the lives of various individuals… and, off to the side, we see that there is a larger issue at play: Corruption in the police department.
The second season is devoted to fighting the corruption in the police department and, thus, to “save” law enforcement… but, off to the side, we see that there is a larger issue at play: The government (the idea of America?) has been corrupted.
Season three resolves tackles the corrupt government issue but, off to the side, we see that there is a larger issue at play: organized crime represents a failure, of sorts, in the culture itself.
So season four tackles organized crime… but, at the same time, we see that there is a larger issue at play. Humanity’s course itself.
So season five purports to tackle the problem of humanity’s course itself. Doesn’t really resolve it, of course. How can such a thing be resolved? It does, however, show us the problem and then shows us its own attempt at a solution… well, of sorts, anyway. “We’re going to have one of these anyway, shouldn’t we have a *GOOD* one?”
And, pretty much, the answer to that is “yeah, if we’re going to have one anyway, we should have a good one, I guess…” and then when you start arguing that we need to define our terms, you find yourself back at square one. I mean, if you hammer out that your definition of “good” is *THIS* one, then you very well could find yourself saying “wait, our protagonists were the bad guys!” I mean, it’s not, of course. Our definition of “good” is *THAT* one, which allows us to see that Harold Finch and John Reece and all of the supporting cast members were the good guys.
But, man, those definitions are precarious, aren’t they?
Some thoughts, behind spoiler tags, of the final season:
[redact-blocks color=black]OH MY GOSH I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY KILLED ROOT!
Then I remembered “hey, wasn’t Root the one who gave the cold open to Season Five Episode One talking about how it’s over and here’s who we were?
Then I watched that cold open again and I totally got chills.
Man! The episode where Harold was the person of interest and we were all thinking “oh, they’re going to try to kill Harold!” and it’s like we weren’t even paying attention for the last five seasons because the person of interest isn’t necessarily the victim, he could be the guy who is going to be killing people and they just totally yanked the rug out from under us there, didn’t they?
And then the episode where John Reece was the person of interest and we spent the episode finding out that The Machine has franchises? OH MY GOSH THAT WAS AWESOME.
And then the scene where Shaw killed the guy who killed Root? That felt like the show was telling us that we needed a solution that was halfway between The Machine and Samaritan. “Hey. Some people *NEED* killing. Am I right?”
And the ending scene where Finch meets up with his main squeeze again after Reece gets killed saving the world? I thought to myself “this is the exact same ending as The Dark Knight Rises. Batman gets killed but Bruce Wayne gets to go off to Europe and live a normal… ish… life.” And Shaw even picks up the phone to continue her work as if she were Robin who got a promotion. With Ace the Wonder Hound at her side.[/redact-blocks]
Maribou said that I was allowed to say that she cried at the end of the series. [ed. note: actually, I said it was ok to say that I cried specifically [redact-blocks color=black]at the death of Reece because damn, that was well done and I am a sucker for that particular reversal trope[/redact-blocks]. don’t mind me, I just had to come in here to FIX THE SPOILER TAGS so I thought I might as well add one of my own.] So that’s how good the series was.
I’m left thinking that I am *SO* glad I picked up season one on a lark.
It went from being a competent procedural to being a show that tackled themes like society, culture, humanity, technology, free will, love, and death.
Golly, what a good show. You seriously need to check it out.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?