‘Person Of Interest’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by

Person of Interest Emerson Caviezel Person Of Interest Series Premiere Review & Discussion

One of CBS’ highest-profile new projects for the 2011 premiere season is Person of Interest, a thriller with some very familiar names on both sides of the camera. Does it live up to months of lofty expectations? Read on to find out.

Person of Interest starts in a surprisingly tender way, with the first of a series of flashbacks between mystery man John Reese (James Caviezel, The Passion of the Christ) and his wife. Fast-forward to modern day New York City, where the same man sits on an empty subway car, cradling a bottle of rot-gut and desperately needing a friend and a shave. When a group of uppity gangsters give him the business, Reese dispatches all four instantly, gaining the attention of the police and a shadowy figure.

Enter Mr. Finch, (Michael Emerson, Lost) a mysterious, eccentric billionaire who offers Reese a job and a mission. Finch has access to the U.S. government’s most powerful data collection tool, a supercomputer that can not only analyze crime but predict it.

Finch steals information on low-profile victims-to-be before they become targets, on the basis that the higher-ups don’t care about anything that isn’t a 9-11 sized threat. Finch assigns Reese to observe and protect their first citizen, a young ADA (Natalie Zea, Justified) who may soon be the target of an assassination .

person of interest caviezel beard Person Of Interest Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Throughout the pilot we’re given clues to the backstory of both Reese and Finch. The former is an ex-CIA agent who became dead to the world after the death of his wife. Finch helped build the (mostly) fictional surveillance network made possible by the Patriot Act after the September 11th attacks. The tragedy gave Finch a purpose for spending his billions for the common good, and he saw an opportunity when the more typical crimes being predicted by his machine were being ignored. He’s determined to be a more benevolent version of Big Brother. Both of them are presumed dead.

The action quickly ramps up as Reese tails his assignment and her would-be assignments. Reese tackles underground weapons dealers, mobsters and dirty cops -and all that’s before the twist. Along the way the audience is treated to monologues on the all-pervasive nature of modern surveillance and the morality of using it. Detectives Carter (Taraji P. Henson, I Can Do Bad All By Myself) and Fusco (Kevin Chapman, Rescue Me) have their own reasons for investigating Reese.

The first thing that most viewers will notice about Person of Interest is its undeniable and certainly deliberate similarity to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Everything points to the inspiration: characters, themes, atmosphere, even the music. It comes by it honestly – producer Jonathan Nolan worked with big brother Christopher writing for Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and The Dark Night Rises. Other big names in the producer chairs are frequent partners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk.

person of interest caviezel standoff Person Of Interest Series Premiere Review & Discussion

All that said, the new show feels like it’s taking the best bits out of Batman and using them to tell a more realistic action story, instead of simply repackaging the essential parts of the Nolan films. The central idea of predictive crime analysis is no longer the stuff of  Minority Report sci-fi, and something similar may enter the world of law enforcement very soon. Person of Interest dodges the privacy debate by putting it in the hands of invisible vigilantes (again, see The Dark Knight) who are more of a somber A-Team than an Orwellian threat.

Caviezel hasn’t been seen in a regular TV role since The Prisoner two years ago. He returns on a high note, painting Reese as a broken, conflicted man with both an intense desire for justice and a hesitancy to use his lethal skills. The combination makes for a calm, calculated fighter who still comes off as sympathetic. His zen-like fighting (and wonderfully sparse dialogue) is at least as good as any B-action flick you’ve seen in the last year.

Emerson provides the counterpoint as a cold, calculating mastermind. His mysterious connections allow him an enormous amount of digital power that he feels a responsibility to use for good. The audience doesn’t know too much about Finch, and his past work with the government will likely be a major plot point in the first season. Emerson is admirably restrained, but those looking for a repeat of his energetic performances on Lost may feel a little let down.

Fans wanting no-holds-barred action will not be left wanting. Stunts and fight scenes in Person of Interest approach and at times surpass 24 in the realm of mostly-real action sequences, and the results are absolutely satisfying. It’ll be interesting to see if the writers and producers can keep up this level of intensity for more than a few episodes – they’ll certainly be worth a watch to find out.

person of interest caviezel rifle Person Of Interest Series Premiere Review & Discussion

The pilot features some genuinely surprising twists (much appreciated from a jaded TV reviewer) that will keep you guessing up to the last few minutes. The creepy themes of distrust and complacency make for an excitingly different mood, which are accentuated by the regular use of CCTV angles and “bugged” audio.

Person of Interest is one of the most exciting new shows on broadcast TV this year. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking thriller with solid action and storytelling, look no further – especially if you’re a fan of Nolan’s flavor of caped vigilante.


Person of Interest airs Thursdays @9pm on CBS

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Finally….a show without all the “fluff”, it’s raw and not “over thought”. It’s the best new drama out this fall!!! I LOVE IT!!! I’m hooked!!!!

    • Best new series, everyone in it is awesome.

  2. Person of Interest so far is a great drama series. I hope that it is one of those new dramas that is kept – and not cancelled. There is great acting and each episode that I have watched, makes you want to continue watching. This series is a keeper!

  3. person of Interest is the best series that I have seen since Lost, keep it on, it attention holding all the way through. I hope they keep it on forever. great themes, and Cavazel is great and so is Michael Emerso. He is full of wonder and interest as he was on Lost. too great actors.

  4. Did anyone else catch the copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo” in the student’s apartment in tonight’s episode?

    • I did notice that copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” which Jim Caviezel starred in. Right?

      That was a terrific episode about “Elias”!!!!!!!

  5. This show is so awesome! Love it! Unfortunaltey it not airing today :(

  6. Excellent show! Keeps your attention and look forward to the next show. Great drama, fantastic actors and this one is definitely a keeper!!! Thank you!

  7. I am in agreement with the rest of the responders; it is the best new show on TV.
    J. Caviezel is awesome as well as M. Emerson.
    I don’t miss an episode!!

  8. Love the show.

    Reminds me of the Judas Priest tune “Electric Eye”. Great tune.

  9. Best new show on TV. Can’t wait for season two. Caviezel is the perfect pick to play Reese–great acting and an awesome cast with Emerson and Taraji Henson as detective Carter. And Fusco only adds to the mix. Love Love Love this show

  10. Eureka!!!
    I am a 64 four year old menopausal female who was turned on to Person of Interest via of inner city youth in Detroit, Mi. We Love the program, and it has brought us closer together in the neighborhood.
    We all agree that although Reese is the Star of the show, however, “Bear” the German Shepherd, who was taken from the criminals is stealing “Reese”s thunder.
    “Bear” is cute, smart, vicious when need to be.
    As the neighborhood kids have said, “Bear’s” Ass could make the Bad Guys a “Sunday Face!”
    I’d like to suggest that you keep “Bear” in the script. He could be the next “Rin Tin Tin!”

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK CAST AND WRITERS as we Love your show!.

  11. Do not appreciate the homosexual agenda being promoted. Will not watch again!

    • I fully agree. Gay is one thing. Putting it in your face by advocating gay marriage is totally unacceptable. I will not watch again. Too bad too. This has been one of my favorite shows.

    • It’s hardly an agenda as it reflects that in the real world gay people actually live together. Surely as a Christian you accept that people have a right to be happy and love who they want, and I say this as a heterosexual, middle aged man.

  12. I didn’t appreciate that the woman that played the surgeon couldn’t have just been married to a man. An interracial marriage is still a big thing in many communities but they went the extra mile to make them gay. I see that “they” are socializing the new normal but unless you plan to discriminate against real people you could run into in your lives then it is what it is. I am not blind to what’s going on in the socialization by the media/tv/film. Unless it happens every single show its not enough for me to watch. To the other naysayers you might as well agree not to watch tv as Gay agenda shows up in many tv shows.

  13. Practically everybody I know loves this show, and they consider it to be the highlight of their TV viewing each week. We are shocked that CBS would risk losing its viewers by the brazen promotion of the same-sex political agenda.

    The instant I heard the intent of this episode, I immediately turned to another channel, and felt that I had lost something I liked. I refuse to be psychologically ambushed again. I won’t be watching Person of Interest anymore.

  14. I really enjoy this show, the level of intelligence, the actors and the theme. The gay aspect perhaps a sign of the times and not like it will be going away. I would keep it in check. What I don’t want to see are the villains that seemingly never die. Clearly they would be dead in an exploding car having a bomb strapped to their chest. The next week, the same villains are right back chasing the good guys and not a scratch on them… This is a turn off. Keep the show fresh. If it is supposed to be an ongoing continuous storyline keep it real. Since it could be heading in the direction of being predicable and not believable. That would be a shame since it is really one of my favorite new shows.

  15. Wow. Last weeks show on 2/21 sure had a twist. I kept thinking to myself, who is this new duo taking it to the bad guys….same talk about numbers. Where was John? Super action with automatics that make a joke out of the NCIS crews with their silly 9mms. Of course, John and Michael
    were there all the time trying to catch up to this new gal and her now deceased partner. Can’t remember her name, but she rocks. Her auto used in the apartment shoot out was very cool. Also, John’s gal nemisis didn’t die in the car explosion as we previously were led to believe…..one nasty sociopath. A flashback in the show would sure help to see how she pulled that off.

  16. I have been watching Person of Interest from the beginning and i have to say the May 9,2013 was the most violent, digusting show ever witnessed. Is it necessary to have people being shot every 3 minutes of the show! Will probably not watch it anymore because of the very non challant shootings going on. Not necessary

  17. Is anyone else sick to death of Root? Also, other gratuitous female characters running around with guns are unnecessary. I sure hope this show doesn’t lose sight of what made it good in the first place, Reese and Finch each doing what they do best, with lots of ass kicking by Reese. Simple, it works for me. Please don’t turn it into some typical cops and romance junk.

  18. I have watched Person of Interest since it began. It is my favorite show, I don’t miss an episode. It is well wrote and put together and the four main characters are awesome and they are great as a team, which I love. I am not sure how I am going to keep up this season since they changed the day and time it is on where I live. I get up at 3 am and go to bed early, and we live in the country and don’t have but local channels and the way they set up the new system the past few years I am not sure if I can record it or not. They could have it on 24-7 and I would love it. Keep up the good work. Keep the team together, bring them closer together. Great show, great work. Just can’t say enough about it. Love it. Thanks

  19. Jim Caviezel’s awesome one-liners are great and also is Michael Emerson’s philosophy, which are the two best things about the show.

    Detective Carter is not a believable character, since she shows up at every crime scene related to Caviezel and Emerson’s work, when detective’s usual respond to crimes in their specific district. So her showing up coincidently at all of their crimes scenes is realistically impossible (unless she is the only detective in New York).
    Also, when we see her she is either arriving at a crime scene or already solving another, which are all less than one minute and degrades the work that real police do.

    If she were some secret organization searching for Caviezel and Emerson, it would be good, but having a police officer, played by an actress that is boring and cynical, was a bad choice.

    The pacing of the show is too rushed, I have not witnessed a scene longer than 3 minutes before a cut to another scene, which makes it harder to get into the moment and also makes it feel rehearsed and forced on the audience.

    I like the machine, but it could never really exist, still, it’s awesome.

    The music is good when drums are banging and Caviezel is running behind it, but besides the scenes with Caviezel the rest of it is forgettable.

    The lines that Caviezel gives are great, some of the best I’ve heard, but there are only a few in each episode and not enough to save them.

    Also, the show seems to fool you by showing someone that seems like the good guy then turns into the bad guy in the end, which is now redundant and makes the show even more predictable.

  20. Root has to go. Ruining the Show for me. Way to many things go right for her For a show way out there what she gets away with is way over the top. I stopped watching Sons last year for same reason. You can only have annoying characters on for so long.

    • Not so impressed with this season starter. I thought it was kind of weak or maybe I am just hungry anyway – too many new characters to keep track of.

  21. Sorry to see the show moved to 10pm eastern time. Also, last year, the machine was turned loose. It now seems to be back working for the good guys. What did I miss. Lastly, it seems that the new good gal is just another pretty face and her M/O tamed down…..don’t need just a pretty face to keep it interesting. I thought last years dubute episode for her and her then deceased partner was going to add some real dimension to the show. Not so at this point.

  22. Get rid of the whole HR story line and Robin! Boring and unessasary!

  23. Another show where the writers clearly do not know what has made it popular in the first place. Why water down the cast with more and more characters? What has happened to Reese, he has been reduced to a secondary minor character, with no action whatsoever when before, he was the highlight. This all sucks horribly and we will quit watching if they don’t quit putting in stupid extra characters just to get the sex appeal of women running around with guns etc. Stop it already. Get back to the core cast, the wonderful writing of the first year, the kick-ass scenes with Reese. Let him continue to be the person that carries out the justice that “nice people” just can’t bring themselves to do. He and Finch are great together, get RID of these useless boring newcomers. EVERY show has that stuff, P.O.E. used to be different and incredibly good, now it’s just average. Reese might as well go do something else.

    • Yes! Exactly!

    • I agree with you roberta 100 %. i would look forward to tuesday night 10 pm to the show.they absolutely destroyed it. the minor characters are the major characters now. its absurd. what a great series it was. it makes you wonder who in gods name thought this was a good change? i mean seriously.I turn it on now and the minute i see the two bit players being major , i turn it off. i cant watch it any more.who makes crazy decisons like that? it`s almost like someone is trying to kill the show.i cant even watch it any more. DAMN!

  24. Have less attraction to story line with addition of Amy Akers.

    • @Serge are you kidding? Amy’s acting is the best thing about this show apparently. But hater is a hater, right?

  25. please don’t kill her off the show l love watching a stong black female on the show i dont know if l will continue to watch without her bring her back put her in hidding say she had a vest on please

    • I can’t believe you killed off Carter. If you wanted kill someone off why not the crazy
      person that is locked behind bars in the library or the girl that saved the other policeman’s son. Carter’s role could have been expanded with/without HR. Taraji P. Henson was real asset to POI. Someone made a mistake and we will all suffer not just Carter. Perhaps, you can re-shoot the end and put her in undercover til after the trial and then bring her back. Otherwise, I guess I’ll find Chicago Fire instead.

  26. Every TV series has many characters and some are destined to die. So it was with Taraji P. Henson’s character on this series. She played on 7 seasons and for a final closing (and for a new beginning), she was written to be killed off. Now we must await the Crime Fighting Team’s and add 1 new member, new adventures in the future episodes. I read on another post that this was the beginning of the end of this how, or perhaps a new beginning? We need to wait and see how the writers decide to roll out new episodes. Frankly, in my opinion, the show has begun to lose its edge. The old 2 men crime fighting team now has two 2 female characters added and I don’t know how is it going to evolve into future episodes? Steve H.

  27. An essay on how to lose your audience – the class reunion – these shows turn into soaps the minute the producers start with ‘a personal life’. Let’s keep it austere and stay with the action

  28. lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv this movieeeeee. keep up the good Job.


    • When this show began, I liked all the action of helping people. Now, I can hardley follow the story line with all the science fiction stuff. The show has completly changed. I couldn`t even finish watching the season finale. Does anyone else feel like this?