Mark Watches ‘Person of Interest’: S01E17 – Baby Blue

In the seventeenth episode of the first season of Person of Interest, LIKE CARTER, I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE, IT’S TOO MUCH. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

Holy shit, I am spent. Aside from one smaller complaint (seriously, the “Mexicans” are the ones who deal with smuggling people, OKAY THANKS FOR THAT), I think this is one of the masterful episodes of this show. It expertly combines multiple plot threads, a baffling case, and some of the cutest moments we’ve ever seen, and MY HEART RATE IS STILL PUMPING AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE. Just… WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS OKAY. WHO THOUGHT ANY OF THIS WAS OKAY.

After it was clear that The Machine had pumped out the Social Security number for a baby, I thought that maybe this was going to be a humorous episode, especially given just how hilarious and touching it was to watch Reese and Finch alternate turns taking care of young Leila. They were so good at it! THEY WERE SO BAD AT IT. (Please tell me there’s a fanfic series like Three Men and a Baby that is just Reese and Finch co-parenting, okay? Just tell me that’s a thing.) Yet now I realize how much these moments existed to give us a glimpse of a world that could have been… if Reese and Finch had chosen different paths in lif.e

And that’s really what “Baby Blue” is about, isn’t it? What paths could these characters have chosen? Should Finch and Reese have intervened when Moretti’s number came up? Or should they have let his son, Elias, get revenge? Should Finch have kidnapped that child? SHOULD THEY HAVE PUT A LOCK ON ANY CABINETS WITH GRENADES IN THEM? (I can answer that one: OH MY GOD YES.) Should Fusco have satisfied HR or supported Carter?

What haunts me the most, though, is the issue of complicity, something that “Baby Blue” addresses head-on as Reese and Finch struggle against impossible odds to save Leila from being shipped out of the country. Practically every decision that the four main characters make throughout this episode are all difficult and challenging. At the start, Carter accepts Reese’s help in convincing Moretti that he needs police protection, which culminates in a kidnapping attempt that sets in motion Fusco’s plot. If they’d not intervened, would Elias have had the leverage he did over Reese? Most likely not, but Reese nor Finch could see that far, could know just how desperate they’d get. That’s a great deal of the reason that this episode felt so spectacularly intense: the audience never got the feeling that Finch and Reese were ahead of the wave. They were always playing catch up, whether it was protecting Claudia’s family or trying to thwart the gang that was determined to kidnap Leila on the order of her biological father’s wife. (WHAT A TWIST, OH MY GOD.) This is right from the start, too, when Finch realizes that Leila is about to be kidnapped, SO HE KIDNAPS LEILA INSTEAD, which starts an Amber Alert, which gets Carter involved, which just continues to spiral more and more out of control.

It’s a spectacle, for sure, but what I adore about “Baby Blue” is that the show doesn’t forget the ramifications of anything. What cost must these characters pay for what they do? Fusco is ordered to determine the location where Carter is hiding Moretti, lest his HR buddies turn on him, but he ultimately refuses to do so. What happens? He’s immediately threatened with retaliation, and it’s terrifying. Carter chooses to assist Finch and Reese with Leila’s and Moretti’s cases, but in doing so, she’s put in the crosshairs of HR and… well, the literal crosshairs of Elias’s men. However, it’s Reese’s desperate decision to bring Elias into the fold that has disastrous consequences. Y’all know how much I deeply, deeply love the trope of enemies working on the same side, so I was ECSTATIC to see Reese call Elias to ask him for help in reigning in the mobsters who had taken Leila. Reese’s logic was so impeccable, too! If there were no rules in the world that Elias lived in, how could Elias expect to ever rule over New York?

Unfortunately, everyone – MYSELF INCLUDED – underestimated just how determined Elias was to get what he wanted. Look, y’all, I still can’t believe what he did; it was so unbelievably cruel and terrible. UNDENIABLY SO. It’s not that Elias wasn’t a bad guy before this, but the shock came from the subversion of the very logic that Reese used to convince Elias in the first place: kids were supposed to be off-limits.

NOPE. NOT AT ALL. NOT IN ELIAS’S WORLD.

Reese fucked up. He fucked up so much worse than before, and it’s even more tragic that it was for such a noble reason. Reese couldn’t let that kid suffer, and he made a trade: Moretti’s location for freedom. My god, Carter’s organized crime partner is probably dead, isn’t he??? I mean, we don’t get confirmation, but I guess it doesn’t matter. Elias got what he wanted, and it’s Carter’s breaking point. Reese’s choice to work outside the system, to solve everything himself, resulted in Carter’s entire case falling all the way the fuck apart.

So she’s done. Which I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE. What about Fusco? Will Carter start suspecting him again? Oh god, I have no clue what’s going to happen anymore. I’M NOT READY.

The video for “Baby Blue” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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