In the nineteenth episode of the second season of Person of Interest, I cannot fucking deal with this show. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.
Where do I even start HOW DO I EVEN DEAL WITH THIS.
One of the things that makes this such a compelling episode is how seamlessly the writers manage to weave in multiple threads introduced earlier this season into a number-of-the-week script. And it doesn’t feel crowded, forced, or unnecessary! This is also not the first time the show has made it explicit that there are cases Reese and Finch work outside of the episodes themselves. Here, though, the “case” is an act for Shaw and for Michael Cole’s family. Finch manages to restore Cole’s honor and reputation through some clever hacking, but there’s a secondary reason for this: it gets Shaw’s attention. It shows her what it is that Reese and Finch do, what they’re capable of.
Is it enough to convince her to join forces with them? No. But there were signs of progress!!! She came to Finch’s office! She pet Bear! She took that scrap of paper with info on Root! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET HER COME BACK TO THE SHOW, I WANT THIS VERY, VERY MUCH.
LOOK I JUST NEED AN ALL-CAPS SENTENCE TELLING YOU ALL HOW MUCH I ADORE HER AND RESPECT HER AND SHE WAS MY FAVORITE JOANNE IN RENT AND THIS IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE, SHUT UP.
Under the Surface
It is clear that I’m just going to feel silly using hyperbolic language when talking about Person of Interest because this show is so consistent. I can’t call “Trojan Horse” the most suspenseful episode yet because it’s happened so many times, and there’s no easy way to measure that. What exactly does that mean in the context of this show? Tension appears throughout Person of Interest, but in different ways. There are so many plots here that “Trojan Horse” simply feels faster than most episode. There’s no slow burn here! Within minutes of discovering that Monica Jacobs has something to hide at her cushy IT job, Finch learns that she’s hiding a different kind of secret.
There’s a momentum to this script that I admire. Monica tumbles from one tense scene to another because she doesn’t know just what she stands upon, and as she questions the world around her, that reality begins to slip through. I was reminded of the pervasive theme we’ve seen across this show: the more you ask questions, the more the answers will make you risk your life. This is exactly what happens with Monica, and the truth behind her employer and her assistant is one of the most horrifying we’ve seen yet. That’s partially because of the scope of what she and the team uncovers. If this had just been one spy – the dead man in the car – it would have been creepy. Same goes for Monica’s assistant! If this episode had only tracked his involvement, it would have been deeply upsetting. But Monica was working for a man who had sold out his company and their technology to Chinese spies. HALF THE COMPANY WAS IN ON IT.
That’s so frightening, and that confrontation in the office toward the end of the episode was truly dire; I wasn’t sure Monica was going to make it out. But Person of Interest does this thing were it gives us stories that are just a tad too real, a tad too insidious. It’s true that the control of information brings power, and that exact scenario is already unfolding in our world. And I was already uncomfortable with how much this show comments on our domestic intelligence operations. Is there nothing this show won’t call attention to.
This whole time, I never knew what to think of Cal Beecher. I had opinions on him, and they were strong ones. I was thrilled when Carter was finally presented with a romantic option, then crushed when we found out his godfather was Quinn, one of the main players in HR. As he tried to win his way back into Carter’s affections, he challenged her sense of loyalty and her own person ethics. (Though it’s important to note that through it all, Carter still refused to compromise herself. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.) The show didn’t make this easy, and they didn’t make it simplistic.
Yet one mystery hung over everything: if Beecher was Quinn’s godson, did that mean he was in HR, too? I assumed the worst the entire time because I WAS TRYING TO PREPARE MYSELF, OKAY. This show has broken me so many times that I just assumed Carter’s heartbreak would come upon the revelation that Beecher was not who she thought he was. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD LEARN HE WASN’T IN HR AND I DID NOT PREPARE FOR THE OPTION.
And look, even if this is a well-written tragedy that played off the assumption that Beecher was in HR, I do have to sound the trumpet of criticism. It’s pretty shitty that the only regular black man on the show who ACTUALLY ISN’T A VILLAIN is then immediately killed off like five minutes after we learn that he genuinely pursued Carter of his own interest. UGH IT JUST HURTS SO MUCH, so I’m also upset because I have a heart.
I know I’m not ready for what happens next. Doesn’t really help.
The video for “Trojan Horse” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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