After (soon to be) five seasons and just over 100 episodes, CBS has officially announced the cancellation of J.J. Abrams produced action/drama Person of Interest. The news shouldn’t come as much of a shock to fans, as Abrams himself publicly speculated that season 5 would be the end earlier this year. Still, it’s always a sad day when a series with a dedicated fanbase heads into its final lap, even if the ratings numbers aren’t what they used to be. If nothing else, at least POI devotees still have 13 more already-filmed episodes to look forward to.
For the uninitiated, Person of Interest started out as a primarily two-man show, starring Jim Caviezel (Frequency) and Michael Emerson (Lost). Emerson portrays reclusive tech billionaire Harold Finch, designer of an advanced A.I. surveillance system capable of determining when violent events are soon to take place and who they’re about to happen to. Dubbed “The Machine,” Finch’s A.I. was developed post-9/11 as a way to neutralize impending threats to national security, but unfortunate circumstances eventually led the now remorseful genius to use his invention’s abilities to try and prevent tragedies in the lives of ordinary people.Physically ill-equipped to intervene in most dangerous situations himself, Finch recruits John Reese, an ex-spy for the CIA that has nearly reached the end of his rope. Together they fight crime. Along the way, Reese and Finch pick up additional allies in the form of NYPD detectives Jocelyn Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman).
Person of Interest began as a “case of the week” procedural, before gradually morphing into a more serialized tale about the battle between those who wish to use The Machine’s incredible power to benefit mankind and those who would see it used to create a police state. The show also became much more of an ensemble effort, adding mentally unstable hacker Root (Amy Acker) and former government assassin Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to Finch’s makeshift team of freedom fighters.
Along with the news of Person of Interest’s cancellation came word of when the series’ oft-delayed 13-episode fifth – and now final – season will debut. POI kicks off season 5 on Tuesday, May 3 at 10pm. In what appears to be an effort to quickly burn off the remaining episodes of the show, CBS is opting to air two episodes per week from there on out, with episode 2 airing the following Monday and episode 3 airing the following Tuesday. On the bright side, at least fans won’t have to wait long to find out how the story of Finch and company vs. the evil “Samaritan” organization turns out.
One wonders whether all the plot threads set up in Person of Interest’s densely plotted fourth season will be wrapped up properly in only 13 episodes, but at least it seems like Abrams and the rest of the POI team went into this season with the idea that this would be the series’ last hurrah. Hopefully this means that Person of Interest won’t be added to the long list of network dramas to end on an unsatisfying cliffhanger after viewers spent years getting invested in the lives of its characters.
Person of Interest returns for season 5 on Tuesday, May 3 at 10pm on CBS.