Person Of interest
Goodbye to the Machine
UK Broadcast Channel 5, TBC US Broadcast CBS, finished Episodes Reviewed 5.01-5.12
It seemed to take forever for season five of Person Of Interest to hit US screens, with CBS ignoring it for an entire year before declaring this the final season... which they then apparently scheduled by blindfolding themselves and throwing darts at a calendar. (We’re still waiting to see it in the UK.)
Still, it’s aired. And now it’s over. What began as a fairly simple crime show mutated into one of the finest science fiction series in years, incorporating – and often predicting – real-life events with its storylines about surveillance and corruption. You have to wonder if Edward Snowden ever watched it and nodded along as he saw his life played out on network television, except with the help of a few former CIA assassins and a Belgian dog named Bear who only answers Dutch commands.
As for this year – well, it’s an odd one. It begins with the Machine a shadow of its former self in a tiny briefcase, as Finch and Root try to restore it to its former glory. Meanwhile their colleague and friend, Shaw, is being held by Samaritan’s goons and the end of the world appears to be nigh... for humans, at least. The aforementioned “oddness” comes from watching the show’s long-held team dynamics shift; Jim Caviezel’s John Reese has always been front-and-centre, but here he seems to blend into the background as both Root and Shaw get the spotlight and then, later, Finch. This isn’t a bad thing, and Person Of Interest has always been an ensemble piece, but you do find yourself wondering if Caviezel was a bit miffed by it all.
Elsewhere there are some lovely nods to previous loose threads, shocking plot twists and action scenes that are a cut above what the show has ever done before – indeed, you’ll be left wondering if the streets of New York are still vibrating from all the gunshots.
Person Of Interest was always destined to go out on a high. It’s just a shame that CBS lost so much momentum by benching it for a year and then burning through the final episodes as though they were ashamed of them. Definitely not the work of a good samaritan. Jayne Nelson
And now our chaps face the deadly threat of the giant Xs…