Person of Interest "Til Death" Review: AWWWWWWW!!!

By Tim Surette

Nov 30, 2012

Person of Interest S02E08: "Til Death"

Oh boy, where to start with "Til Death," last night's episode of Person of Interest sponsored by Spanish Fly and Kay Jewelers? Do we start with Harold Finch wooing Grace in flashbacks? Or Fusco courting a new piece of Long Island ass? Or the handsome copper who traded flashing his badge for flashing his "How YOU doin'?" smile at Carter? Or the case of the week, a husband-and-wife team that just needed some alone time to rekindle their crumbling marriage? Or John Reese, table for one?

"Til Death" was one of the silliest and most entertaining episodes of Person of Interest to date, an hour of warm fuzzy feelings bursting with romance and unapologetic mushiness. But because POI has already established itself as open to this sort of lightness (a baby chewing on a canister of tear gas, anyone?), "Til Death" never felt out of place in the series' legacy of combining hard action with light laughs. And with all the hearts aflutter, this episode will go down as the Valentine's Day episode that aired in late November.

For what I believe is the second time in the history of the series, the computerbox spit out TWO numbers, the socials of the Drakes, a husband and wife who occupied very fancy chairs at a publishing company that was up for sale. Hubby wanted to sell the company but Wifey wanted to keep it, their stoic business differences a symbol of their dead love. It was quickly established that a Mafioso man might want at least one of them dead for financial gain, but that was even more quickly rebuffed when the husband (guest-star Mark Pellegrino, "F" and "Yeah!") was caught hiring a hitman to plant a bomb on his wife's car. Not long after, we find out that the wife (Francie Swift) also had a hit out on her husband. This is what happens when rich assholes stop loving each other.

What happened next was straight out of a really bad romantic comedy as Reese kidnapped the couple kicking and screaming and tied them to chairs in the same room hoping things would sort themselves out. Even in the middle of their abduction, the Drakes could not stop arguing about mundane couple things, you know, like million-dollar kitchen remodels or insulting choices of hitmen, that kind of Regular Joe stuff. What sold the scene was Reese's reaction to their bickering. When he got frustrated listing to the yammering, he simply put a hood over their heads and left the room. When he saw that Reese's methods weren't working, Finch played Cupid and put out a bottle of red and an old photo of the Drakes in happier times, and that got the two talking instead of calling each other names. Eventually they agreed the hitmen were a bad idea, but as is often the case with hired assassins in television and film, the calls had been made and they couldn't be stopped. I mean really, these guys are completely inaccessible by phone? There's no safe word? Shouldn't there be a cancellation fee?

Anyway, while locked in a pantry because Reese couldn't stand to listen to them complain, the Drakes discovered the root of their crumbling marriage was misplaced blame from Mrs. Drake's miscarriage. Whoa whoa whoa! Things got serious all of a sudden! But that's what was needed to establish a believable root cause for their lampoonish spat, and things don't get much more serious than misunderstood resentment over the loss of an almost-baby. Eventually, the two made up ("I'm so sorry I tried to kill you, honey!" was a gem) and Reese disposed of the two hitmen with fists of fury and a nail gun and everyone went home happy.

Some went home happier than others, though. The episode was peppered with love stories for Finch, Fusco, and Carter as the Person of Interest writers room apparently binged on Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan movies before writing it. Fusco was paired up with a real housewife of Long Island, Carter was wooed by a handsome African-American cop, and in flashbacks we saw the blossoming romance between Finch and the bookish, art-appreciating Grace. There was a spectacular amount of game being thrown down by the guys, and it made me feel like an inferior romantic. Fusco was able to take his date out on a stakeout (girls love that shit fellas, get a badge and watch the tail roll in!) after they both realized fancy restaurants weren't their thing. Carter's suitor threw out lines like, "Always good to have one of you Task Forces owe me a favor, especially one who smells like rose petals instead of an ash tray."

But the biggest panty-dropper was Flashback Finch, who organized a scavenger hunt for Grace on her birthday complete with chocolatey treats, flowers, and oh just a private viewing of an expensive piece of art that rocked her world years ago when she was in Italy. I mean come on, Finch! You're making the rest of us look terrible! Ladies, please understand that this sort of thing is FAKE and a real romantic gesture is doing the dishes before you ask us to or not eating all of your fries. There were clouds in the distance, though, because we know the Finch-Grace thing doesn't work out.

But while everyone else was getting theirs, I couldn't help but think WHAT ABOUT REESE? Where was Zoe or any of the other million women in the city ready to get on their back for the guy? How did Reese end up as the seventh wheel!?

Though "Til Death" was overly schmaltzy almost to a fault, it weirdly fit into he spectrum of what we expect from this show that continues to defy the trappings of other CBS procedurals. Maybe I'm a softy at heart, but among all the darkness of Person of Interest, "Til Death" was a welcome ray of sunshine.



NOTES

– Carter's nervous acceptance of Beecher's dinner invite was fantastic. Ditto for Fusco's super excited "next time?" while saying goodbye to his lady. However, if you ask me, seeing Fusco get some sugar was probably the best moment of the bunch. It was super sweet and the awwwwwwiest of the many awwwwww moments. Say it with me, everyone, AWWWWWWWWW!!!

– Wisdom from Reese: "Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to save lives."

– I had to .GIF Pellegrino's freakout when Reese locked them in the pantry:

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  • TomWayne Dec 03, 2012

    The "Reeseinator" didn't even get the dog at the end--Finch took Bear for a walk! :)

    Of course, this sets up the possibility for Finch to do a Peter Parker and recant his self-sacrificing must-protect-my-true-love-from-my-enemies-by-staying-away-from-her by either deliberately or accidentally getting spotted by her, despite his phone app ("No Good Deed").
    (Which would naturally provide the perfect target/bargaining chip for a little blonde brunette-wigged nutjob named Root.)

    Want to take the hilarity to the next level? Picture Finch getting Reese to pinch-hit for him in getting close to Grace (without getting too close) a la Cyrano de Bergerac. (Even though Reese already flubbed this approach in "Bury the Lede.") :)

    Anyone taking odds on Carter's new love interest being connected to HR and/or Elias?

  • Meemom Dec 04, 2012

    I wondered about an HR connection for both Beecher (Carter's new friend) and Fusco's new girlfriend. Beecher kept bringing up favors and people owing favors. That sounded awful HR like. But it could just be a red herring.

    Fusco should expect HR to be up to something. They may not trust Fusco's honesty when he said he had nothing to do with taking HR down. After all, Simmons saw him help Reese. The head of HR must be very curious about that relationship and would probably do all he could to find out what is going on.

    Carter and Fusco both have to be careful about new people in their lives but they still live in the normal world, even though they cross back and forth into the other way more dangerous undercover world of Finch and Reese. They react like normal cops trying to live normal lives but the more involved they get, the more dangerous it becomes for them and their entire team.

    I really cherish these lighter fun times because I can imagine much worse coming.

  • Suncatcher1 Dec 03, 2012

    I read somewhere today that Fusco's new love interest may be the niece of Simmons of HR... I sure hope not. Fusco deserves a nice honey too!

  • bluemorphotat Dec 03, 2012

    Forgot to add that it is always nice to see Finch walking normally and not like a broken toy soldier :-(

  • TomWayne Dec 03, 2012

    That's right--Tim forgot to give EXTREME kudos to Michael Emerson for still being Finch, pre-trauma (physically and emotionally), without becoming a different character!

  • bluemorphotat Dec 03, 2012

    "Person of Interest writers room apparently binged on Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan movies before writing it."
    LOL!
    Yes, it definitely felt like Valentine's in November... Didn't Bones had a very similar episode a couple of weeks back? "The Bod in the Pod" --> that one felt exactly the same!

  • bluemystique Dec 02, 2012

    Mark Pelligrino is awesome personified. I was able to overlook the Mr. and Mrs Smith action going on because it was him.
    -Umm so I wasn't feeling the love...or the mushiness. I mean I didn't hate it but it didn't give me all the warm fuzzies and...okay, fine, I'm not a traditional girly girl so I could have did with more action and ass kicking. But, it was really sweet that Lionel got some action because he's like the kid picked last on during gym class or something, but in that wuvable sort of way. It was kinda amusing seeing Carter's reluctance in response to all the flirtation...witty banter the girl can take all day, but you flirt with her and she gets all squirmy and uncomfortable. I heart Carter. That's my girl. And Finch totally pulled some RomCom awesomeness with the scavenger hunt. I just popped in my POI expecting my usual witty dialogue, some nice Bear shots, a bullet to the kneecap, some awesome Machine revelations, and a few grenades...you know, the usual, and I got a very special Valentine day episode in November, as the reviewer pointed out. I didn't hate it. I just wasn't expecting it .
    I actually didn't think of John as being on the outs. I always like those moments when he wonders about families and marriage and things like that, and he voices as much in his own little way, so his convo with Carter in the car was a really great moment. Plus he got his flirt on playing house with Zoe and doing that internet dating thingy in that other episode so I didn't feel like we missed out on anything from his end.

  • xubxerox Dec 02, 2012

    Nice GIF :D
    Well, they changed it up a bit, but you could still tell is is PoI. So, well done.
    I especially liked the scenes between John and Carter in the car. It seemed like they were becoming real friends.
    On the Finch side of the story I have been waiting for this background story ever since they suggested the Machine brought them together.

  • Glimmy Dec 02, 2012

    I loved this episode, it was laugh out loud funny and the whole thing with Finch and Grace was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The emotion displayed on Michael Emerson's face when he was hiding behind the phone booth whilst looking at Grace across the road stopped me in my tracks. What a great actor.

  • Suncatcher1 Dec 03, 2012

    and real life husband to her... : )

  • AkiraHideyo Dec 02, 2012

    I love POI but seriously? U pay to take out your supposed love/business partner over issues and then get back together after like a walk in the closet? Geez. And we have a bunch of do gooders who wished they could love openly but can't due to their clandestine work. Man ! But the softer "love" theme of the episode was a nice distraction from the usual face mashups.

  • nemosnanny Dec 02, 2012

    I really liked this episode and thought the lines were an excellent return to POI form after several lame episodes in a row. Fusco's save of the date by asking her to a stakeout was great--reminds me of a friend who went on a meh date with a woman from the local Army base. She saved the night by taking the guy on a ride in her HumVee (this was before they were commercially available).
    The resolution of the Drake marriage was unbelievable, but, hey, it's TV. You really can't get DNA results in an hour either and few people squawk about that when it's shown. Henson did a marvelous job, especially when Beecher asked her out. I thought she might reveal too much info to John (that she had been to Jessica's house and all) when they were in the car. Again, the actors were wonderful, and for a few moments, you could tell they are starting to become real friends instead of just "coworkers."

  • Suncatcher1 Dec 02, 2012

    Did anyone else see online where there was an important line cut from the original CBS promo of S2/E7, Critical, where Reese in essence was asking Finch if he would be OK pulling hospital duty (safeguarding the doctor), "after all, you spent so much time there" (or words to that effect)? I took it as referring to Finch having been hospitalized for so long (following the car accident with Nathan) and how Finch got his limp? Just wondering...

  • Suncatcher1 Dec 02, 2012

    @MightyMad - agree with you that Reese can get pretty much any girl he wants, but I am reminded of how flustered and clumsy Reese becomes around someone hot in a skirt. The first time he met Zoe, he kept staring at her in the rear view mirror and it got funnier from there until Reese leapt into action saving her. Better example, was in Number Crunch S1/E10, when he went into the hair salon and met hot red head, "Wendy," played by beauty Bridget Regan ("He's single, girls)! As I recall, Reese was stepping all over his tongue and staring at her like the proverbial, deer in the headlights. And he was so out of practice dating, that Finch was sending in the plays for him on his ear wig in Bury the Lede this season. Even Zoe had to help him out. When you think about it, Fusco is slicker with the ladies than Reese! Will be fun watching Reese catch up eventually!

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