Person of Interest: Now With Actually Interesting People!

I’ve never been a huge fan of Person of Interest, not after I reviewed the first season for Slant in 2011 and slammed it as a “dud-on-arrival” show that was washed out, grainy, black and white in its depictions of characters, and really, really bland, nor even through much of the second season, which a few ardent fans suggested I take up again. I’d already seen pre-crime prevention handled more eloquently on Quantum Leap (complete with social commentary!), and I prefer my untouchable heroes to be of the more over-the-top Human Target variety, or, barring that, of a brooding nature (ala Arrow). That said, Person of Interest kept throwing out interesting concepts–along with The Good Wife, it’s one of the few shows to take technology seriously, and our surveillance-filled society has only made Person of Interest increasingly relevant/prescient. If it was before its time, the writers have finally managed to catch up to Jonathan Nolan’s initial ideas, expanding on that universe with new and more lively characters, and turning the villainous Root (Amy Acker) into the sort of religiously convicted zealot that I haven’t seen since, say, Carnivale. When she compares the Machine that feeds protagonists Reese and Finch the weekly “persons of interest” (who are either victims or perpetrators) to a God, she’s not entirely wrong, assuming we’re defining omniscience the same way. For the first time, I have hope that the show is going somewhere; now it just needs to get the ordinary episodes up to the same level as the mythology/conspiracy ones (like The X-Files). Signs look good, though: at the very least, I’m interested. Read more over at Slant Magazine

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