Mark Watches ‘Person of Interest’: S03E14 – Provenance

In the fourteenth episode of the third season of Person of Interest, the team tracks down someone who steals artifacts from museums, and they discover they are not what they seem. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest

So, did anyone else find that line at the beginning of this episode about the museum protestors to be completely bizarre? It’s such an odd moment in an otherwise spectacular script because it exists solely to insult a group of people who have a legitimate complaint and THAT’S IT. There is no other purpose to it! It’s just a mean-spirited moment to claim that caring about imperialism is an awful thing??? What the hell, Person of Interest? Maybe the writer of this episode has a vendetta against these people or something!

Anyway, I did enjoy this episode a lot outside of that jarring line. The Machine chose an interesting person for the team to focus on in order to stop the murder of unnamed characters. Perhaps the Machine predicted that Jiao Lin herself was going to be killed at the end of this, but the only people who were dying were all the decoys that Cyril had hired. Still, the line between perpetrator and victim is further blurred by Jiao’s case, given that she was undoubtedly a thief. We discover that in an INCREDIBLE sequence in which Jiao goes from a talented event planner to a talented thief in the span of sixty seconds. During which, I might add, she gains the instant respect of Shaw, and I’m going to sit here and headcanon Shaw as clearly queer of some sort because that was BARELY disguised attraction, and I CAN’T HELP IT.

Yet as much as Shaw likes her, no one can deny that she is stealing REALLY VALUABLE THINGS. Is anyone dying because of it? The Interpol agent who has been tracking Jiao for years says so, but this story slowly reveals that SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT CYRIL HAS BEEN DOING. Oh god, each new twist makes this case so fucked up, most especially when we discover how much the world failed Jiao Lin. Her gymnastics career was sidelined because she got pregnant, at which point everyone abandoned her. She had to pawn her silver medal to afford to give birth to her daughter, at which point she turned to theft in order to survive. SHE WAS LEFT TO FEND FOR HERSELF BECAUSE THE SPORTS WORLD IS SO TERRIBLE. And then, she’s in “debt” to Cyril and his men, and if we do the math, that means for nearly a decade, they committed extortion on Jiao, held her daughter hostage, and then kept moving the goalposts every time she satisfied her “debt.” AND THAT LINE ABOUT HER AND HER DAUGHTER BEING PROPERTY? Oh, I wanted Cyril to die in that moment.

So yes, this episode was satisfying purely to watch Cyril get caught and because Jiao was rewarded in the end, both with her freedom from Cyril’s group and with that reunion with her daughter. But there’s another reason I loved this: H E I S T S. It’s a HEIST. And it was such a good one! Oh my god, I rarely tire of seeing a team infiltrate a highly secure facility with nifty tricks, and this one is no exception. 3D printers! Acrobatics! CHRIS JACKSON, WHAT THE HELL, IS ALL OF HAMILTON ON THIS SHOW OR WHAT.

This episode was so pure, y’all.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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