Comic-Con 2013: Reality Catches Up to Person of Interest

By Tim Surette

Jul 20, 2013

Oh my gosh, you guys! A Person of Interest panel! I had never attended one before so it was one of the things I was looking forward to most at this year's Comic-Con. Held in the fairly spacious 6BCDF room, it wasn't that hard to get into but I waited in line for an hour and a half anyway because there was no way I was going to miss this thing. But a few minutes before the panel is supposed to start and there's still hundreds of seats left. I guess that about wraps up the show's reputation. Yeah, it does great in the ratings but it doesn't have that geek cred that other shows do. Heck, the Grimm panel, held immediately before POI, was packed and that show doesn't even do half the total viewers POI does. 

But here it is again in San Diego trying to shake off its reputation as "Your dad's favorite show," by appealing to the sci-fi and comics crowd. I'm going to be attending the press room later today and should get some good details from the cast and producers, but for now, let's see how this panel goes. Time for the live-ish-blog!

– The panel starts with an exclusive reel that combines news footage about the NSA PRISM program. It was done in the style of the opening credits, with clips from Obama talking and CBS Nightly News. It's happening for realz!!!

– That's followed by a Greatest Hits clip. A lot of guys get shot in the leg. A lot! Oh man, I almost forgot about the nail gun. 

– New footage of Season 3 starts with Root talking to a psychiatrist about God. Buuuuut we all know who–or what–she's actually talking about. [Edit: Now that I think about it I'm not sure it was new footage so strike that!]

UPDATE: You can now watch the highlight reel...

– The panel members are brought out: Jonah Nolan, Greg Plageman, Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, Sarah Shahi, and Amy Acker. UMMM Jim is dressed like he's about to play croquet and it's awesome. 

– Jonah jokes that he created the show as an elaborate scheme to get the government to pay him residuals. Har har, guy!

– Immediately, the conversation goes towards the NSA's Prism program, but Jonah says The Machine is more efficient. And that maybe the NSA is just laughing every Tuesday at 10pm.

– "I like to refer to him as conflicted," Chapman says about his character Fusco, playfully deflecting that he's a dirty cop. 

– "I don't think she's mean, it's just that if people don't do what she tells them to, she gets upset." Amy Acker on Root, smiling the entire time.

– Sarah Shahi on Shaw: She digs Shaw's unpredictability. "For the most part, I have to say it's so much fun killing people." A conversation she has with her husband: "Work was great today, honey. I chased boys all day and then I shot them."

– "It's fun for me and Mr. Finch to get out of the library," Emerson says of Finch. On Finch's backstory: "It's fine to be mysterious, but it lends poignancy and complexity to the storytelling and it engages you, you feel something." He compliments the writing team on doling out the information slowly.

– Amy Acker has been promoted to series regular on Person of Interest. Sarah Shahi was already announced as a regular towards the end of Season 3, I believe. 

– Fan questions! First up: Are you surprised that Person of Interest isn't embraced more by the science-fiction crowd? Jonah: "Part of the reason that science-fiction fans may not like it is because they presumed it was true. They were right." 

– Will Shaw and Root ever team up like Finch and Reese? Acker gives Shahi a hug, and then Jonah says, "I think you've been bugging our writers room." Whaaaaaat!?

– Now that reality has caught up to the show, Chapman jokes that we should call it The Real Housewives of Interest

– Not a lot of talk about the upcoming season, surprisingly. Guess I'll have to corner Jonah and Greg and ask them myself. 

– Jim Caviezel is just chillin' up there. Everyone is looking around and he's just looking ahead like a badass. Exactly how he should be. 

– A fan points out that Finch expresses things through "British-isms" and Emerson says, "That's new to me," but says Finch has a formal way of expressing himself and that maybe his speech is a result of a hangover from his stage days. 

– "I don't get ot play many romantic parts... I don't think I've had a love scene," Emerson says. "Which is a mystery to me." Ha ha. But then he talks about a love scene with his real-life Carrie Preston, who plays Grace. "I have to erase her wife-ness." 

– Paige Turco, who plays Zoe Morgan, will be back. "Zoe's a fixer and shit needs fixing," says Plageman.

– A mention of Bear gets a huge applause. Emerson says he has trouble managing an animal of the size of Booker (the actor who plays Bear), but the scenes always work out and that he hopes Bear lets him stay on the show. 

– "To me the most poignant thing that's ever been on the show has been the idea that The Machine was sentient, orphaned," says Emerson. He says it's a great notion that we could have our heart strings touched by The Machine. Awwww, what a caring Admin! 

– Nolan says he pitched the show to Bad Robot as a look at artificial intelligence, and not how it lands with a "thud" but how it creeps into our lives. 

– A fan talks about the strong female characters on this show, and you know what? There are tons of strong female characters on this show! That's great! 

– There's a new app coming to Facebook that's a treat for fans. It should be out soon.

– And that's it! Panel over! 

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  • IndianaMom Jul 22, 2013

    If Root is going to be around all the time my stomach is going to be in knots every Tuesday night. Such tension! I've always thought if they ever showed Finch as a child they should get Atticus Shaffer from The Middle to play him. Oh, well. Too late now.

  • Suncatcher1 Jul 22, 2013

    SUPER highlight reel!!! Wow. You know, Tim, POI is in the top 5 almost weekly based on # of viewers. If the SciFi folks want to watch a near feature film quality TV show, that's fine. If they don't because the show's premise is no longer science fiction, that's OK too. They just don't know what they are missing. (But they have to wonder why so many of us are ardent fans)...

  • AriSky Jul 22, 2013

    OMG app, what? I really need to see about getting myself down to San Diego next year.

  • JayAtkinson Jul 21, 2013

    Seeing Mr. Finch.... as a child? That was more than my mind seemed able to compute. I was sure he was always just there one day, on Earth, fully formed and fully brilliant!

  • Suncatcher1 Jul 22, 2013

    And the young actor they tapped to play the young Finch looks so much like him! Good job!

  • Hungry_Homer111 Jul 21, 2013

    I haven't been that excited over a video since the recent gameplay video of Grand Theft Auto 5. I loved the use of the real-life footage and the clips from the show, the montage was awesome, and I loved the new scenes.

    I love the fact that they promoted Amy Acker to a regular, and hinted at Shaw/Root teaming up. It would be very interesting to see that, especially considering their history together. Between that, Reese's and Root's new roles as Admins, and possibly some kind of relationship between Carter and Elias (now that she rescued him), there will be a lot of interesting new dynamics for the writers to play with, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

  • bigarbel Jul 21, 2013

    O no, more Root, the most annoying character of the series :(

  • Grazzy Jul 21, 2013

    Agreed. I would be glad if she was gone for good.

  • bluemorphotat Jul 21, 2013

    Amy Acker starring in any show is always excellent news! I'm stoked! Only she can do the "deliciously creepy"

    Pity Taraji P. Henson was not there though...

    One of these days I will go to a Comic Con! In the mean time... thanks Tim!

  • Savvytvfan91 Jul 21, 2013

    Grimm yay!!!!

  • xubxerox Jul 21, 2013

    Yay for them promoting Acker and Shahi to series regulars :D
    That is great news, I loved their storielines so far.

  • 5_1Stereo Jul 21, 2013

    "Amy Acker has been promoted to series regular on Person of Interest. Sarah Shahi was already announced as a regular towards the end of Season 3, I believe."
    There has not been three seasons yet :)

    Love this show! JC looks awesome

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