Comic-Con 2012: Person of Interest Is Keepin' It Interesting

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"It's pretty simple," Jim Caviezel explains as he sits down at our table with Person of Interest co-star Michael Emerson. "He's the smart one, I just shoot people."

"Thanks for coming," Emerson says, pretending the interview was over.

If it were that simple, we wouldn't be so obsessed with last season's biggest hit that's an odd couple-ish vigilante superhero procedural with heavily serialized elements, explosive action, and goofy humor. And though creator Jonathan Nolan definitely had a plan in place, the show works so well because it's constantly readjusting itself to be the best it can be.

"I think a lot of the brilliance here is the writers picking up our mannerisms," Caviezel said when I asked him about Harold Finch and John Reese's relationship, which bounces back and forth between strictly professional partnership and old married couple and has become one of the cornerstones of the series' attraction.

"It's true," Emerson agreed. "They notice some of the things about how we are together when we're not on set, and they'll incorporate that stuff. And they've gotten to know us better as actors so they can write to our strengths. They watch carefully the things [and interpretations] we bring to scenes, and then they'll write at that. But it is a balancing act. At the end of the day, they are men on a long drawn-out suicide mission, so there is a gravity about it. But they do like to temper it with a baby episode, or an ecstasy episode, those sorts of things."

Because they haven't started filming the second season and Nolan hasn't told Caviezel or Emerson all the secrets of the show, but I had to pry about that awesome image from the finale of Reese staring directly into the security camera and talking to the machine about getting Finch back.

"If [Finch] doesn't get rescued, I'm done," Caviezel said of his character. "For his own purposes, it's his friend."

"But that is a whole new deal," Emerson said, and when you read this quote, it's important to read it in Emerson's voice. "If Reese partners up... with.. a machiiiine."

"It's huge in this," Caviezel said. "There's a brilliant thing that happens in [the Season 2 premiere] where I throw a moral question out to the machine, and the machine has to think, 'What do I do?'"

Showrunner Greg Plageman said that in Season 2 well find out a lot of answers to the lingering questions from Season 1, including a lot of Finch's backstory with his fiancée, what happened to Nathan Ingram, and how he got his limp.



Notes

– Taraji P. Henson, who plays Detective Carter, really wants to see Carter wrestle with more moral questions and really put her character to her test.

– Movie star Caviezel was interested in bringing film to television, and that's what attracted him to Person of Interest in the first place. He says an average show does 80 set-ups per episode, and POI averages 140 set-ups per episode.

– Caviezel brightened up when talking about gun training. The man enjoys his firearms!

– Emerson may have let slip a bit of scoop. He said the Person of Interest in the Season 2 premiere is a former Lost actor. During the panel, there were reports that Ken Leung, who played Miles on Lost, was featured in the Season 2 teaser.

– Caviezel also does a ridiculously good impression of Homer Simpson. Hearing him do it might just be the most bizarre moment of my life. (Apologies for the audio quality, but it had to be posted anyway)

– The title of the Season 2 premiere is "Contingency," and Nolan says it has three meanings, one of which relates directly to Nathan Ingram's contingency plan with the machine. He said he loves titling episodes in ways that are obvious and not so obvious.


Psst! Check out our complete Comic-Con coverage for the latest news, photos, and more.

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