Person of Interest "In Extremis" Review: Time for a Reboot

Person of Interest S02E20: "In Extremis"

Despite one of Person of Interest's best features being its surprisingly tongue-in-cheek attitude toward cleaning up the streets, the show can't always be about Reese's perfectly timed vigilante wisecracks and Bear doing tricks. Last night's episode, "In Extremis," was as dark as Reese's past. Or Fusco's past. Or Finch's past. Basically any character in this show's past. Even Bear! Things were bleak.

The past and paying for your sins was the episode's big theme, reflected in both the week's person of interest and the heavy Fusco story, for what I think was an excellent episode. I didn't always think that, though. "In Extremis" started rather mundanely, hitting the typical Person of Interest beats and setting up what looked like a filler episode, which struck me as odd given that we're down to two more episodes this season. But then Person of Interest did another thing it's so fond of doing: it kicked us over the head and shot us in the leg when we were least expecting it with a wallop of an ending.

We'll start with Fusco's continuing good cop/bad cop thing he's got going on that constantly haunts him. Since he's teamed up with Reese and Finch, his karma levels have shot towards the positive–a kiss from a supermodel, hubba hubba!–as he hopped over the line to join the good guys. But we all knew his past would come knocking on his forehead at some point, and Internal Affairs' snooping into the missing Detective Stills–who Reese killed in the pilot and pinned the murder on Fusco in exchange for his loyalty–just about buried him.

Though we knew Fusco was a dirty cop, we never saw how he got so filthy. It was the biggest mystery about Fusco. Was he really a bad person who was always headed down the path of a scummy cop, or was he somehow forced into it? Through rather depressing flashbacks, it was a relief to find out it was the latter. He was thrown out by his wife and welcomed in by the arms of cheap liquor and smoky bars, and Stills saw an opportunity to get that missing piece of his dirty-cop criminal enterprise: an inside man in the Homicide Department. Fusco resisted initially, and this is important because it shows how true of a man he actually is, but when a dreadlocked hippie junkie came pointing a gun at him at a crime scene that needed cover up, he shot back, and inadvertently signed his club membership with HR. 

It's a huge weight off our shoulders. Obviously we're all big Fusco fans (right?), and knowing he at least had some sympathetic excuse for why he got tangled up with HR was a relief. The writers have done great things with Fusco in turning him into a man looking for redemption yet still manacled to a sordid past. We've always wanted to implicitly trust him, but nagging doubts kept us from going all in. Now we know why he went dirty, and it takes Fusco from a man we're don't know is trustworthy to a man we have to learn to forgive.

That attitude passed onto Carter, who once again put her own sense of morals before the precinct's. The episode's most tense moment happened when IA dragged Fusco out to the site of Detective Stills' grave, but instead of bones all they dug up was a bunch of dirt. The body was missing. Someone intervened. The "Aha!" moment came when Carter left her desk with Bear, tracking mud on the floor to pin her as the grave robber. (Advice to Carter: wipe your feet after grave robbing. That's just common sense.) Whoa! We've seen Carter tested before, but it doesn't get much more serious than digging up a dead cop's body to save Fusco's ass. However, it looked like Carter had a bit of extra motivation. Before she left, she handed Fusco Cal Beechman's file, which tells me that Fusco will have to scratch her back by using his contacts and finding out who set up Cal. That could put Fusco face-to-face with Quinn and set up the next phase of the HR story.

This week's person of interest was Dr. Richard Nelson (Dennis Boutsikaris) who accidentally got involved with the worst kind of people in the world: hedge fund managers! And the episode literally lined up suspects immediately, with fancy dressed white guys waiting for him after his acceptance speech for his Professor Emeritus award, leading to that sense that "In Extremis" would be just another filler episode. 

There's not a lot to cover here; Nelson became a target for an investment group after the Securities and Exchange Commission learned recent profitable stock dealings by the money-makers stemmed from an info leak, which inadvertently came from Nelson. Thinking if the leak was plugged the investigation would hit a dead end, the investment group set out to kill Nelson. And they chose a particularly nasty, inefficient, and unnecessarily prolonged murder method in radiation poisoning. Radiation poisoning! Why not push him in front of a bus or, I don't know, shoot him? Answer: because if they did that, we wouldn't see him get revenge on his murderers or make up with his goth daughter. 

What really stood out about Nelson's story was that once again, Reese and Finch did not save the person of interest. Nelson kicked it with some fancy Scotch in his hand, always knowing that he was a goner. In fact, Finch notes that not saving their number "seems to be a common occurrence of late" as The Computer gets them information too slowly. There's something wrong with The Machine, and a convenient Virus Meter on Finch's desktop showed that The Machine is overrun with viruses uploaded by the mysterious Decima Technologies. So while Reese and Finch should be getting numbers, The Machine is just one giant spinning multi-colored wheel, and at the end, The Machine shut itself down with the warnings "SIGNAL CORRUPTED" and "FATAL ERROR." Holy crap, you guys. We're all going to die!

This leaves us in an incredible spot to wrap up the second season as the stakes are higher than they've ever been. The Machine has been bricked, Carter dug up a dead cop, Fusco needs to face HR, and Bear needs to go to the doggy wash. However, Reese and Finch don't appear to be in immediate danger. Can that last? I can't wait to find out!



NOTES OF INTEREST

– Once again, Elias comes through for our team by changing Detective Azarello's tune on Fusco. I love how he's become an asset to Reese and Finch, and it makes sense. Elias is always going to work with the people who benefit him most, and right now, that's Reese and Finch. There's great respect for each other, and a sense that as long as their business doesn't interfere with the other's, they'll leave each other alone.

– Who else almost jumped to their death when Reese asked where Bear was because you thought something bad happened to the pool little doggy? I swear, I was halfway out the window. 

– I love the dueling Plato quotes early in the episode. Dr. Nelson quoted the Greek philosopher with, "Knowledge is the food of the soul," but it was his knowledge that ultimately got him killed. Quinn, at Beecher's funeral, recited Plato's, "He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it." Let's hope those words ring true for Quinn. Or maybe Plato wasn't that good of a philosopher at all. 

– We can all check off "Finch snooping around with a geiger counter" off our lists. 

– Did we really need the goth daughter sub-plot for Dr. Nelson? I guess it was nice to see him reconcile, but it had to be developed so quickly that all the writers could resort to were cornball lines like, "It was another mistake, but the one I didn't make was having a daughter," and "The thing I'm most proud of is you." 

– Can someone confirm that Azarello's line to Carter, "If you'll excuse me, I gotta date with a sock," means what I think it means? Because that's gross, dude. 

– Carter! Stay out of the Men's room! Have some decency, sheesh! That scene, where Fusco confessed to past sins and Carter was crushed, was really sad, though.

– I loved the snow in this episode! The director took advantage with some great shots. Person of Interest always does great things with weather. Well, maybe not that episode where they were all trapped in a storm. 



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Who else thought that Simmons was about to put one in Fusco's back near the end when Reese asked FInch what other numbers they weren't going to get in time, and it cut immediately to Fusco standing in front of Simmons at the grave site?

Tim--yep, as noted elsewhere below, the sock comment means what you think--surprised you didn't mention the fact that it was also a not-so-veiled threat as well as harassment, the clear implication being that interacting with Carter made him feel the need to do that, which he wanted to not just offend/gross her out, but also for her to be intimidated by the what-if there was no one around, say a dark alley someday?
(And lest anyone think that's stretching it, remember that "dates" in prison lingo are not just socks, but victimized inmates. Something Azarello would have been even more aware of being a dirty cop in prison,)

I actually thought Finch was going to tell Reese that Shaw had located Root and had come back for Bear to be her partner (you know, instead of Finch's "poorly socialized guard dog" (Reese). Glad he was just out playing ghosts in the graveyard with Carter.

Looking forward to how you handle Root's "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" comment next week, Tim (preview). ::)


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This was a good episode, although i feel we are in for too many answers in too short a time.

I feel HR get away with too much in the open considering the capabilities of the machine (before the virus especially). I really hope the finale deals with Quinn because I think that story should come to an end.

I thought the person of interest of the week was a good story, and powerful against the Fusco story. However, as a few mentioned, I really don't get Reese killing the money guy, or wanting this to be the last act for the doctor. I think having Finch wipe out his money would have been a far more powerful and true-to-character way to go..
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The moral ambiguity and tricky ethical tango on this show doesn't quite know what it wants to do.
Exhibit A: Reese is a killer. He's killed for his country, he's killed to protect people, and he's killed for revenge.
While he regrets parts of his violent past, he continues to kill people for various reasons.

Exhibit B: Fusco is a killer. He's killed for his "friends", for loyalty, for guilt, and to a certain degree for money.
While he regrets most of his violent past, he continues to kill people to protect the innocent or his friends.

Originally, Carter wanted to bring Reese in, but she saw that he was doing good, and that he had a strong moral compass - it just doesn't always turn in the same direction hers does.
Now, after getting gradually more "shady" (less lawful good, more neutral good), she's finally ready to grant the same consideration to Fusco.

Perhaps his dark past hits her harder because Reese's military background and dark backstory coincides better with her own Army days - she was clearly involved in some pretty heavy stuff that may or may not have been morally ambiguous in Iraq - while Fusco is a COP, which to her is the epitome of upstanding citizens doing everything to keep the streets safe while trying to follow the rules.

And as if to drive home the fact that Fusco is far from the worst, most coldblooded killer on this show, we see Reese - who previously has been quite good about dropping off bad guys who are still breathing at a hellish prison south of the border - calmly killing a man with a slow-acting and painful poison.
Not exactly toeing the line, is he?
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1. First of all, hats off to Chapman for a fantastic performance. As he's said, Fusco is the glue that holds this all together. I gotta say, I think Carter was harsh on Fusco in the men's room. I get her reaction, and maybe it is believable. But surely she should know him well enough by now to believe him when he says he made mistakes in the past, but he's genuinely repentant now. She should know the kind of guy he is too---that he follows the crowd, he's eager to please, he's not a cold-blooded killer. All things considered, she should have been a lot more understanding. But at least she got moving in the end.

2. Can I just say this? John shouldn't have pinned that murder on Fusco. He should have known damn well it would come back on him some day. The problem is John and Finch are so busy chasing after strangers to rescue that they're distracted from making sure Fusco is covered. Fusco has proven himself over and over. Has Reese ever thanked him once for what he's sacrificed to help them? Friends should come first, strangers second. This time they were able to move the body and get Fusco off the hook. Terrific, but what if there's no similar loophole next time? IMO, the moral thing to do would be for Reese to come forward and admit that he killed Stills. Yes, we wouldn't have a TV show anymore. Yes, it would be the right thing to do.

3. I liked this week's number and was sad to see him die. Reese shouldn't have poisoned the killer, even though he was a murderer, but that scene was still satisfying in a grim way. I kept thinking he had to be drinking poison from the wine glass because the camera kept shooting it over and over, but couldn't think how it had gotten in there. Then Reese was revealed and all was clear.

4. I think they need to start coming up with more interesting cases. I'm so sick of the hedge fund/corporate/business plots. Boring.
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Reese’s talk with Carter pushed her into helping Fusco.
Reese and Finch sought help from Elias re Azarello.
Finch gave Bear to Carter to help her locate Stills’ remains. Reese would’ve had to have told Finch where to look.
Fusco was the first thing that Reese inquired about when he arrived at the library.
Just because we may not have seen Reese and Finch help Fusco doesn’t mean that they didn’t.
Fusco was part of a gang of corrupt cops who stole drugs, cash and killed witnesses. If it wasn't for Reese, Fusco would still be a dirty cop.
Reese thanked Fusco (and Carter) in Dead Reckoning.
I think that Reese does value Fusco as a friend.
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Reese killed Stills in self defense--the guy Stills was trying to frames knows that and the cop in prison as well as the bad cop Reese shot in the leg should suspect it, even though they didn't witness it. I thought Fusco had proven himself loyal to John, but since Fusco is loyal to just about anyone who is nice to him, maybe John wants more proof that Lionel's heart has changed and not just his loyalty.
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Of course Reese killed Stills in self-defense. I wasn't saying that was wrong. What was wrong was making it look like Fusco did it.
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Understood, but remember that Fusco had been driving Reese out to Oyster Bay the day before to use his own gun to shoot and bury Reese--which is why Reese probably never cleared Stills' death up with Carter for Fusco--he wanted Fusco to man up and own who he was before Reese and Finch came into his life. (While knowing all along that Carter would choose redemption over unforgiveness when it came down to it--which is why Reese ignored Carter's attempts to have him rescue Fusco. He wanted them both to stop avoiding their own hangups and baggage.)
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I really enjoyed this episode. I loved having greater insight into Fusco, since he's been sort of put on the backburner for most of the season.
-I too nearly had a heart attack when John asked where Bear was. I love that dog. I did not however have a problem with the Carter not wiping her feet thing. I thought it was a great way to show what had happened, even though we suspected as much the moment they said there was no body there. I loved that we seen that almost broken look on Carter's face.
Speaking of, let me talk about Carter. I love how much she's grown in the past season in and a half. It was bothering me for some time that she felt distant from the boys since the whole prison break/snow/Stanton thing. I always enjoy the way she interacts with both Reese and Finch. Reese in particular because they have such an interesting bond. They both share things, but both lie on other sides of a spectrum in some ways too, and the respect and admiration they have for one another is just different than how it is with any of the other characters. Initially when I watched this episode, I found myself still kind of disappointed that we didn't see much of that anymore, but then when I thought about it, I realized it was actually better than I initially thought. Faced with another morality issue , it really struck me that the two people she spoke to were Finch and Reese. She sought there advice and perspective, darn well knowing that she's the most morally sound one out of the bunch. And Reese told her as much. Really great moment for them. I really enjoyed that, even though it made me a bit sad, and I was happy to see them have that moment because I felt like we've been deprived of such great Carter/Reese moments...since they've gotten closer after revealing themselves a bit more. Anyhoo, I loved, loved that she struggled so much with what was going on, because she serves as the moral compass of the show. She didn't come to her decision lightly. She crossed a line, and she's slowly but surely slinking towards the darker side, however, I still believe that she will always be their moral compass. She's the one that reigns the boys in. I don't think that'll change. I have faith that that will never change. It gives her both growth as a character and a steadiness that solidifies her role in the series. I've really, really enjoyed Carter this season. I'm already a Taraji fan, but this character has grown on me immensely, and I love what she offers to the show and to the other characters. I felt like this was a great episode for it. Even though I still feel like she and Fusco have been too distant from the boys, I think I'm dealing with that better now.
-Thrilled about Fusco getting some much deserved time. I've been fearing that he'll end up killed off, I really have, and I didn't want to see that. I'm glad he got the focus. He really needed the focus. I didn't doubt that he was sort of dragged into what HR against his will but I appreciated the confirmation. I also love the development in the Fusco/Carter partnership.
-All these people that they aren't saving. Interesting storyline. High stakes. Emotional impact. The machine corrupted. I can't wait for the final few episodes...or I can, becuase I don't want it to end.
-Even when Elias isn't there...he's there. I loved it. He's quite the asset to have, and honestly I love Elias. I respect the guy.
-But all the fun stuff happens in the Men's room!Who hasn't wandered in there for a quality conversation. Double standards totally suck, but I love a gal who can storm into a Men's room and demand some answers.
I really enjoyed this episode! Also, fantastic review!
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And its too a wicked way to probe Carter's loyalty whole extension to the team. We all know what Reese and Finch cand do for the other (remember Finch with the granade launcher!) but the ultimate proof of Carter's loyalty is to commit a serious crime to help fusco against all her beliefs.
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In some wicked way, Finch and Reese used Fusco's thing to fully bring Carter to the grey zone in wich the tree men live since the series beginning. Now, Carter has lost his theoric moral superiority over them and the whole team, including allies like Leon and even Ellias, has its own sins to answer for. Master movement of the writers, in my opinion.

And Kevin Chapman performance in this episode is of Emmy nomination, at least.
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Unfortunately i think she not only lost her moral superiority she lost herself too as she defined herself by her morals, and that makes me feel sorry for her. The last scene as she walked out the precinct with Bear, all broken and devastated was painful to watch... it annoys me that the team put her in a situation that made her sink so low.
And if there is a parallel between her story and that of Fusco's (they both started doing illegal stuff to help friends and were pushed by those so called friends to do worse and worse bad things) I just hope she won't end up in jail in the next season as Reese/Finch just proved how promptly they'd help an asset if they have a poi to deal with (at least Fusco might have her back if he doesn't die till then)
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The line was "I've got a date with the sack" meaning he was tired and going to bed.

I first thought Bear was just sick, not helping Carter. But it suggests that Carter could have been the one to find the body first and move it.

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That certainly was not the line. He says "I've got a ...... with a sock". Their expressions clearly show it is something bad / disgusting / etc. Not simply tired. I would say that's pretty obvious.

However, not sure if he says 'date' or if sock means sock (clothes) or is some term for a type of prisoner, policeman, etc. If Tim's interpretation is right, it would seem like a pretty weird line. But it would fit their expressions.

By the way, the Carter / Bear scene clearly is there to show Carter moved the body. The muddy footprints help make sure this is no suggestion.
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I loved this episode, the relationship between Carter and Fusco evolves into a real friendship.
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The thing that I'm interested in seeing next episode is the introduction. Person of Interest has always been creative with the intros when there's a change in the general plot. Now with the machine down, I wonder how the episode will start. It can't be "you are being watched" anymore...
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I think John has been mad at Fusco trying to kill him when they first met because he's always hard and brutal with Fusco!
Excellent episode I was riveted and so mad at Finch and Reese for not doing more to aid Fusco who I always felt gets the short end of the shaft time and time again. I especially liked the fact Carter finally gets to see things are not always black and white but has shades of grey.\\\
I think the next episode is gonna be EPIC! I cant wait and I hope they show more Fusco and Carter episodes.
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Amazing episode, ok the case of the week was just fine, but like you say is the third case lost for Reese and Finch, something is not work here. And now the virus arrives and the machine colapse.

This episode looks like a filler, but is not, the arc of HR and the arc of the virus are very present in the narrative.

Plus: Great performances of the main cast, Kevin Chapman and Taraji P. Henson did a incredible job.
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I thought the case of the week was pretty good! Tragic, to emphasize the trouble with the machine! Beautifully shot (the scene at the end, with John, setting the body of Dr Douglas in his chair, the white landscape, the beautiful porch) and with really dark parts like John poisoning the one who had plotted the Dr's death.
It didn't look like a filler to me. The Dr died because the virus in the Machine (him not being the first one) Fusco's ast was addressed and his thread is linked to Cal Beecher's death, both things belong to the HR storyline. Spot-on!
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The photography of this episode is amazing. And like you say is not a filler.
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The great thing about this show is that all the character are likable, it's hard to have a favorite. Despite this, Fusco is probably my favorite character (gasp it's not Reese) so it was nice to see him get an episode. And it was a pretty good one. I also freaked out a little at the end there with Bear, so afraid something had happened to him.
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What do you mean about Bear? He was in the last scene with Carter, the implication was Finch gave Bear to Carter to find Stills' corpse.
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Yes, but there was a moment before that where Reese noticed that Bear was gone, and Finch said something like "Oh yeah, about that... There's something I need to tell you." Given the way that scene was set up, it's easy to see why people would think something bad had happened to Bear, at least until they saw him with Carter.
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I read his comment wrong. I thought he was suggesting he didn't know what happened to Bear when he simply had a momentary concern. Yeah, I was also concerned for a moment.
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"Who else almost jumped to their death when Reese asked where Bear was because you thought something bad happened to the pool little doggy? I swear, I was halfway out the window."
I did! And I see I'm not alone. I swear we're too attached to Bear (we fan plus every POI character included), if anything is gonna happen to him we'll have disastrous consequences.

I really liked this episode. It was hurtful to expect that Reese and Finch saved this week victim and watch them fail, once again. John was heartbroken and I think he played along with the revange out of guilt. And it really wasn't the first time he decided to bring justice where no one else could.

I felt a bit disappointed when they showed us it was Carter who had saved Fusco. Again, I expected John doing so, but I think he had that harsh chat with her for two reasons: first, he did want to help Fusco and that "prep-chat" was his way to make sure someone helped the detective, being himself busy with polonium and all.

Secondly, he was kinda pissed at Carter for seeking him out only for dirty jobs. It's too easy and quite convenient to look for the "already" dirty guy to do something you would actually do, deep in your heart, because Fusco is your partner AND friend. Once you realize you can accept such an option you can just make it happen yourself. There's no difference, really (besides getting mud on your clothes). In addition, and maybe too much of a speculation, I think Reese was pissed because Carter didn't hesitate getting dirty for him but she did hesitate when it came to Fusco, treating him like a vermin in more than one occasion (during this episode and previous ones) to boot. So my guess is that John thought: why should I be different from Fusco? I'm sure, being all guilty and stuff, he even thinks Fusco deserves redemption more than he does.
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– Who else almost jumped to their death when Reese asked where Bear was because you thought something bad happened to the pool little doggy? I swear, I was halfway out the window.

LMAO.
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I like this show ! There is no single character between the cast that I really hate or I don't give a shit about !
Now that the machine is broken , the things are getting more serious I guess!
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A great episode that showed that every person has good and bad sides and that they are just opposite sides of the same coin. The doctor, normally saving lives, now wanted his killer dead, Fusco wanted to be (seen as) a good cop, Carter setting aside her pinciples.
Happy to see Bear again, although my heart stopped when Finch started to talk after showing us the empty basket. I just hope he gets back to Finch, their interaction is great.
As in more of the last episodes, John isn't that prominent anymore. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but we'll see.
I'm also curious to see how they handle the restarting of the system.
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Carter already set aside her principles big time to replace John's DNA in the FUN files, so I think John was a bit annoyed that she hesitated with helping Disco. I too would like more of John and Harold--the chemistry is great so why not use it more? No one trades one-liners better.
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Yeah, but I think Carter has already come around to the fact that despite his methods and potentially shady (well, potentially to her, we know better though) background, Reese is one of the good guys and doing his best to make up for his past. And the best chance future POI's would have.
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That's FBI not FUN files. I predict Autocorrect will be revealed as the Machine's fatal virus.
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Haha, the FUN files sounds like a cool idea. Also, it appears the machine-destroying Autocorrect doesn't recognize Fusco and doesn't realize that it's too late to help Disco... Disco died in the 80s.
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Can't wait for the flashbacks!
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I'm glad they brought Fusco's past but as a whole the episode wasn't very good IMO.
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the camera shot u got with reese standing next to a dead dr. nelson was my fav framing in the whole ep...
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Yep I was thinking the same thing cause that stuck with me a long while after watching the episode .
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I had the same thought... visual poetry with a quiet sense of doom overall.
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As long as they don't do anything to Bear, i'll keep watching. I agree that this one had a bit of a slow start, but it did get there, and it was by no means a procedural. Although have to say that this show keeps me hooked and there's not a bad episode I can think of. Good work!
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The machine has popped it's cork!!!!!!!!!HAL: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
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With the machine broken down, I suspect we will be visiting it in the next episode. I guess Finch will need to repair it.
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Cater going from "shady" (helping vigilantes) to dirty. Further into the deep end. But bringing a dog with muddy feet to the precinct? Does she want to get caught? Where's IAB when you need them.

Seeing that Fusco was hurting inside when he was burying Stills though. Stills was a friend that led Fusco down a dark path. Probably had the guy wait in the closet told him to jump out and say "Boo!"
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Another great episode. Fusco has made a complete 180 turn to me, and definitely deserved to be saved. I'm very surprised it was Carter of all people, who as of now has become the kind of cop she loathes, but it's no problem to me. In this show, there's no such thing as a squeaky-clean image to me. I also admit I was completely wrong like Tim said about Fusco's dirty-cop image. I really had no sympathy for him for the longest time, but he eventually grew on me. Well done!! The look on that HR cop's face when he saw no body was priceless!!!!

I was also panicking a little for Bear. I thought the worst, but was very relieved he was still alive, and very happy he was used wisely lol!!!

I even liked the story with Doctor and his daughter (love Allison on WH 13). I felt sympathetic for him the whole time.

Like Tim mentioned, season 2 could have a destructive ending given what's happened to the machine, Fusco and Carter as of late. Add Root ant whatever the hell she thinks she's doing into the mix (I love her as a villain; when I saw her in the preview for the next episode, I cursed her name cause she's such an antagonistic woman lol!!), and you have the makings for one hell of a season finale on your hands!!! Man I love this show!
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I LOVED this episode.

I have to admit that I was a little confused about Reese's responses to nearly everything. He told Fusco in Bury the Lede "I've got your back," but where is he when Fusco is being accused of a murder Reese committed? He's "busy." Fusco is just a mini-Reese looking for redemption. You would think that Reese would have a little sympathy for him

Reese has claimed all along that Carter is their moral center, but chides her when she doesn't want to cross that line yet again; and in a much bigger way than she's ever crossed it before.

Reese has been very careful not to kill anyone needlessly since he killed Stills in the pilot, going so far as to dump perps in Mexican prisons. (It was even implied that he did that with Jessica's husband in Many Happy Returns.) But this time he blithely poisons someone to help an already dead man get revenge. Seems to me Reese would have tried to talk Dr. Monte Cristo out of revenge. (He's done that in previous episodes; I just can't remember which ones at the moment.) And speaking of dead men, why focus his attention on trying to help someone who is clearly beyond help? I didn't expect him to walk away from Dead Man Walking, but he should have given a little of his attention to the team.

My heart stopped when Bear went missing. I thought he may have gone off with Shaw. I'm glad he's still with us.

No other show on TV gets me this agitated. I will never look at socks the same way again.
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These are very interesting points you've made! About Reese helping an hopeless person of interest instead of helping Fusco who is alive and about to be charged with a murder which in fact John's doing.
I still don't get the sock joke! I thought he said "sack" (for bed). Silly me :-P
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It's a euphemism for playing...with *cough* yourself *cough*.
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Azzarello is such a wanker! Literally and figuratively;-)
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Yay, thanks Steve!! I assumed it was something related, LOL. I'd never heard it before. Sounds less dangerous than the jokes about dropping your soap in the shower (while in jail of course:D) though! Poor Azzarello, it's a hell of a life in the slammer!
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This was the most serious POI episode to date. Although we all knew that Carter will eventually help Fusco, she really sold her moral struggle to do so. Dark episode on every front. John basically delivered eye for an eye revenge for the doctor, did we ever saw something like that before? And yes, it was really strange for Finch and John just to leave Fusco alone.
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John poisoning the bad guy/murderer was the only part of this episode that I had a problem dealing with. I thought Carter did the right thing to help Fusco since John and Finch were, apparently, occupied. But payback in kind for the doctor's murderer? I would have preferred that Reese take the murderer to the Mexican prison, although a white stock market billionaire might well have chosen death.
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Well, we never saw that the machine gave up Fusco's number. With its issues, it may not have alerted them, so they may not have known until it was too late.
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Well, let say I was more surprised in the way they dismissed him and Carter both, they did actually help in the end (Elias)
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Nice development for Carter. I'm intrigued by it particularly because I don't know which side of the fence I stand on regarding her. On the one hand, I'm not particularly fond of her holier-than-thou and "once a dirty cop, always a dirty cop" stance -- it's a little bit too straight-forward for me, heh. On the other hand, she basically did for Fusco what Fusco originally did for Stills. Become a 'dirty cop' by helping a friend. I guess the difference is that Fusco seemingly wont abuse that friendship into having her commit murders, but still, she's now covering for a dirty cop. Blah, typing this out made me realize there's no real reason for me not to like what she did for Fusco -- I like Fusco, and Carter is already 'dirty' for the things she's done for Finch/Reese -- but for some reason, a part of my heart or mind or soul is nagging away at me about what she did. Argh. Now I'm just rambling about nothing. Maybe I need to go to sleep.

Oh, and that sock line from Azarello kinda caught me off guard, which made it so much more hilarious. POI can get hilarious at times, but it's typically cute, silly, or ridiculous humor... which makes me think that the sock line maaaay have been improvised and the crew decided to keep it in. It's just so direct and... dirty, hehe. Even if it's with something as small as that, POI always manages to surprise me!
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I always enjoy reading your "ramblings" so don't stop! They often have more insight then "non rambling" comments;-)

POI is so ridiculously awesome! One of my top 10 favorite shows on tv.
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If this season finale isn't a terrible cliffhanger involving finding and physically rebooting the Machine, I think I'm going to be disappointed. And I was totally there in the window about Bear. There was that moment it was implied Finch had gotten rid of him for apparently no reason and it felt as though the show was cheating us. Incredible episode. If I can't have Finch backstory, I'll take more Fusco any day (my favorite after Finch).
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I love Lacey! There can not bei enough Gabrielle Miller on my tv screen.
I was scared as hell about bear, but I guess by now we should know that bear can take care of himself.
The episode was great and entertaining as almost always and the maschine shuting down at the was just icing on the cake. I hope in the finale at least some of the storylines come together, with Shaw traking down root and the Virus and Fusco and HR, etc.
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So...am I the only one who noticed Gabrielle Miller in this episode? Lacey from Corner Gas? Very small role toward the start of the episode?

(Mole! Has a noticeable mole when her wardrobe is low-cut? We're not supposed to mention the mole but...mole!)
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I'm guessing alot of Americans haven't a clue about Corner Gas. But I noticed her right off the bat as well.
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Is it strange to feel crushed that a machine shut down? Because it made me pretty damn sad! I feel like the machine is a person in itself, that it feels things and does its best to help Finch, even if it is an inanimate object. If you really think about it, it is basically his baby, and it's done nothing but be loyal and, hell, even set him up with a girl! I was terribly sad it shut down at the end.

I thought the worst for Bear, and i was like, NOOOOO! Like the machine, he too is a person.

Loved the Fusco backstory, it's so good to finally know what happened. I chanced a guess that that was how it played out, but it's nice knowing.

Loved Carter coming through at the end, throwing her morals to the wind. I feel like this is going to eat at her. She knows there's corruption in the force, but now even she's technically aiding and abetting.

Loved Elias coming through as well. Love how they've worked him in. Would love it more if Enrico got some legit screen time.

As for Reese being so aloof and offhanded about Fusco, their relationship has always been really abrasive. I feel like Fusco is the little brother always tagging along, doing his best, and Reese is the big brother trying to teach him a lesson about self reliance. In his own way Reese did help Fusco, the chat with Carter about trust and partners, i felt, was the catalyst for Carter to go dig up dead cop.

Cannot WAIT for these last two episodes! I adore Sarah Shahi, she is just the best ass kicking actress they could have found, and Root is back! That means a cat fight smackdown is about to commence...

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Even if a cat fight were to happen I don't think it would last long. Roots not really the fighting type.
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Agreed. I've been wondering if that might be Root's Achilles heel.
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The thing that disappointed me in this episode that always bothered me was how Fusco tries to be good but Reese and Finch never quite treats him right. In this episode it didn't make sense to me that someone that was so helpful for to them over the past two seasons could be in so much trouble and they don't even flinch or make any efforts to help; I know they were on a case but damn and Carter I know she's a by the book kind of girl but the way she turned her back on Fusco initially didn't feel right; especially when we all knew that she would help him in the end; with him finally confiding in her; maybe she could have did what she needed to do but give him a speech or something. It was technically a good episode and I'm curious to see how the Virus will affect the show as the season draws to a close but I really wish the team was a more cohesive and supportive bunch. I also think it was a waste killing off Carter's potential boyfriend; I feel like that story line was building up to something that never came to fruition
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I thought the scene between Reese and the dying doctor was brilliant. He said the same thing to John that John said to Finch in Number Crunch: "Thank you for giving me a second chance." Loved the punch to the whiny Wall Streeter.
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Did anyone else notice that throughout the episode in between fade outs the "screen" would flicker out with a blue screen of death (PC owners know what that means :) ) constantly giving us a clue that there is something wrong with The Machine?
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this really has been going on a while but I like your comment about "blue screen of death" (part of the reason I switched to macs)
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macs suck
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I didn't know they came with that option! Awesome
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it comes as standard
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my sarcasm has been turned against me... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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This has been happening for quite a while now. It started back at episode 14.
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I thought there was something wrong with my TV!
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you're joking right? I have to assume so since this has been going on for quite a while and has been mentioned in the last several reviews' comment section.
funny joke;-)
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There is!!!!!!
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what's with all the "girly" exclamation points? What's next?
<3
I tried to put an "s" after the "heart" but then some weird code came up (serious!)

:-)
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That weird code is the internet telling you that you are wrong to try and correct me.




i am not a girl!!!!!!
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this has been happening for a good number of episodes
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Yes but in previous episodes it was about 3-4 times / episode.. Now it happened a lot more..
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i think it was more frequent since they discovered the count down
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I don't understand this thread of comments. These glitches have been going on for a while and have been worsening because of the progression of the virus. It's been discussed at length in comment section of the prior reviews.

This really isn't a subtlety of the show.
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Well, the corruption due to the virus was getting worse.
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@377221
the opening already has glitches...

I don't think there can be a typical opening for the next episode since the machine is down (if they maintain continuity)
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I can't say I'd noticed until now. :/

If the opening monologue sputters out and displays an error during the season finale, I called it first. As far as I know.
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I thought it was a dull filler episode. I didn't like the D.O.A. plot (the Dennis Quaid movie from the 80's, not the 90's movie with the hot martial arts girls). I thought it was pretty depressing then, and I thought it was pretty depressing now. And I thought the stuff about Fusco was kind of boring too.

There's a reason why people don't get killed with Polonium very often. It's very hard to get hold of, and if someone dies, the first things the cops will ask is "who has access to Polonium?".
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You sir, has an AWESOME username.

IT Crowd ftw.
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Thanks :)
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Did I say 90's? It's from 2006, and the full title is "DOA: Dead or Alive".
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And that one was of course just a tepid remake of the Maté classic from 1950 starring Edmond O'Brien.
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90s, 2006...close enough for me...it gets hard to keep them straight if you are past your late 30s imo;-) If you are younger then that then no excuses--lol!
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I left my late 30s behind a couple of years ago. That kind of sucks, but I guess it means that I have an excuse for this at least. :)
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it works for me (I use that excuse)
:-)
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It is a little sad how worked up I was when I thought something happened to Bear. :)

Great episode, and next week looks fantastic with Root and this virus messing with the machine. Love this series!
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Can you people please stop posting spoilers about upcoming episodes…?! I know it's just a little detail but some of us actually don't want to know in advance…
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Teasers don't count as spoilers as far as I'm concerned. If you haven't watched the episode don't read these things, and if you have watched the episode and don't stay tuned for what's on next week how do you bring yourself to be excited for next week?
The machine was obviously going out at the end of THIS episode, and Root is clearly seen in the promo. Deal with it.
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I actually don't watch the teasers or promos either but anyway, your last remark makes it obvious that you want to be a dick about it, so whatever…
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Yeah, so I'm a dick because I watch the episode when it airs and stay tuned for the promo for the next week. Just two more minutes of my time, not much at all, and you judge me? Right. You commented on mine pal. When you read these synopses you're basically asking for speculation. If you didn't want to know you wouldn't be here.
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You really should be emailing CBS since they were the ones who the released the "stay tuned" teasers. Are teasers spoilers?
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"Stay tunned for scenes of our next episode."You gotta do what Finch tells you to do. =)
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Great Fusco-centric episode. They've made a great redemption story for him and this episode only helped.

Also I'm loving that Elias has become the major wild card for this season. But I'm really hoping we get to see more of him out in the world next season.
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At the end I thought they'd tug on the ol heart strings a bit more with the Doctor and his daughter story line. Maybe they filmed more but had to chop it down to 43 minutes. Shame...
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This was such a let down episode but may stem from the reason that I don't like that they have cops in this show, Fusco and Carter seems to just be in the way. The sock comment, the pluto quotes and the ending was the only decent parts.
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Wow you couldn't be more wrong about Fusco and Carter. At this point, Reese and Finch need all the help from law enforcement they can get. The machine has been broken, HR is back on the rise, I mean what the freak do you expect them to do by themselves?! They're only two men fighting an army; plus Fusco and Carter give them names, leads to who may or may not be dirty, etc. Those two are more essential to this show than ever.
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This episode wasted a perfectly good Allison Scagliotti. Otherwise, very well done.

I <3 Fusco.
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"I swear, I was halfway out the window." Now that really made me laugh!
I loved your review Tim, I'm glad you liked the episode! Thanks for explaining the connection between Nelson and the guy who poisoned him, the corporate stuff always confuses me much more than the tech stuff!
So, it's off then!! The Machine is GONE! It feels almost as if Bear was really sick! I kind of feel for it. Our poor little sweet Machine!
I 've enjoyed Fusco a lot so far, and got to love him more and more, but now, I just LOVE him to bits!! Oh, Fussy! Kevin Chapman, you are a generous person for giving us this fabulous creation. It's the writers' doing of course, but no one could be a better Fusco. The Fusco-Carter (Bear) plot was the best thing of the episode. And the machine plot of course, which we could agonize with, seeing it getting worse and worse.
How cynical is Quinn?? I liked how they juxtaposed the funeral and the award ceremony.
I loved John's poker face when Cochran looked at him after realizing he had been poisoned. Classical.
Then, the Polonium thing, I don't know. A few years ago there was this controversial case of Sasha Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who lived in London and was poisoned with Polonium while having some sushi lunch in a hotel in central London and he spent a few days -much more than 24 hours- in a terrible condition in a bed in hospital, unable to move and of course knowing what was going to happen to him in the end. It was absolutely terrifying, deathwatch!
Whatever. The last two episodes WILL be epic, and since we have been so well trained with countless breaks and hiatuses, the show will will back before we get to really miss it. At least, one good thing will come out of silly scheduling!

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Tim that sock comment means exactly what you think. I busted out laughing when he said it.
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Fabulous fucking episode. FUSCO! I absolutely LOVE Fusco and was glad we got an episode that showed how he ended up where he did. It truly was heartbreaking to see how he was roped into doing dirty cop work and Carter's reaction was spot on. The crushed look on her face when he admitted to the things he did was so sad. He's her partner and she trusts him and you could tell she didn't want to believe he could do those things. You know she was struggling to decide whether or not to help him but I'm glad she helped him out in the end. Seeing her walk away with Bear was AWESOME and now the most moral character on the show has gotten her hands EXTREMELY dirty. I wonder what that will mean for her.

At first I didn't like the fact that Reese and Finch basically left Fusco out on his own. The only reason he is in this predicament is because of them. But seeing that Elias, who I love and needs to be on the show more often, helped them out I can give them a pass for now but I think Fusco deserves to be appreciated more for all that he has done for them.

The machine is sick and has shut itself down, not a good sign. Next weeks episode looks great. The return of Root and Sarah Shahi's character (the name escapes me), I can't wait! I honestly have no idea what to expect in these last 2 episodes of the season. This is one of the BEST shows on television now.
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So poi has spoiled me I was getting a littlebored by the episode but was lulled with the knowledge that poi would slap me upside the head with plot movement but it really didn't . I thought as soon as the doctor's nose started to bleed I thought the Machine is too late again. And I was ready to say whatever about the episode when I found myself welling up when the doctor was about to die then my stomach dropped when Bear wasn't there and was like damn it. I loved the tension of the approach to the grave and honestly it never crossed my mind Carter would be the one helping..I was racking my brain as to which ally could physically help and coming up at a loss.

I keep wondering how much of this show really has any CBS procedural genes. I know it can disguise itself as one but....if it it is what we think I have a feeling Fusco could be the sacrifice the team makes or that it has to suffer.
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I still can't determine if Reese and Finch truly didn't plan on assisting Fusco, or whether Carter *was* their plan. I guess that illustrates how remarkable the quality of the writing is, though.
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But was that actually quality writing? Because now we are left to doubt, which I don't usually mind, but this time it just seems weird. They should have suggested at least in some way that Finch and Reese ARE helping. They could've thrown in a few lines between Reese and Finch on the phone how they are simply nudging and working that Carter is gonna help Fusco. That would make sense, it would serve a purpose, to strengthen the bond between Fusco and Carter and to show her that not everything is simple as black and white, that we do what we have to do to make the world safer - and keeping Fusco fighting the good fight IS making the world safer.

I really hope they address the whole Fusco situation as a group at some point.
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Please see below (finch helped by loaning bear and reese made that comment on the phone which changed Carter's mind)
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did finch loan bear or did carter steal him?
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Well, so far I don't think Carter knows where the Library is! ;) I do think having Bear with her -and the very subtle Elias touch- is the way the writers used to let us know Finch had done something.
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excellent question!

I can see both possibilities since she has been slowly moving towards the "dark" side (currently she is in the grey zone).
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they didn't have a scene showing Carter picking up Bear..... who knows what events transpired but I don't think they would of let any real harm come to Fusco
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in the dvd extras there is going to be a video diary - "my day with bear", its several hours of carter playing wit bear in the park, eating spaghetti (like lady and the tramp), saving timmy from the well, stopping cruella deville from making a coat out of puppies and finally digging a corpse out of the frozen ground.
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you should get royalties if they actually do that
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Excellent review.
I'm usually very cynical but the father/daughter moment (proud of you) made me mushy
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Did anyone else scoff at the idea Internal Affairs had satellite pictures from years ago of a massive area which they were able to determine "loose dirt" areas? It's stuff like that that really puts me off from shows.
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Well, as a government-employed computer-using geologist, I can tell you that...

... just kidding. Yes, that was far-fetched. It didn't really put me off, though.
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True but POI is so awesome that I can easily ignore such ideas to enjoy the awesomeness of the show besides such quirky ideas have always been a part of the show and it works for it which is awesome.
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It's cheeky, like the Polonium thing. But then which show isn't? There were some rather implausible things in Homeland too and it's apparently THE best thing right now.
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From the moment Reese and Finch talked about the late response of the machine, it was evident that it was slowing down. Imminent failure was unavoidable and logical guess.

The snowscape was hauntingly gorgeous. Cinematography was breathtaking. Yes POI love to build around scenery!

Allison Scagliotti! Shame she was a showpiece and not any actual inclusion in the narrative

Everyone deserves redemption. Even if this threaten to push Carter into a downward spiral of morality, the dynamics was awesome. The writing is strong enough to glue you till the end.

Polonium poisoning. After such a long time such murder weapon became the instrument of investigation. Though it's hard to remember which shows have done such!

All in all enjoyable episode. How do you realize it was a filler... isn't it the "case of the week" kind of show? Wasn't this another "CotW" with mulitple storylines behind the prime narrative?
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All throughout this episode, I was filled with a sense of dread. Why? Because, in nearly every transition between scenes (or was it EVERY transition?), there was one of those flickering blue glitch screens that have been popping up lately. I knew that couldn't have been a good sign, and I felt horrible for the machine. It was like watching an old friend dying in a slow, painful way, kind of like the person of interest was in this episode. Because of this, that ending was not much of a surprise to me, even though I had expected it to at least last until the end of the season before going into critical mode and shutting down. But, the fact that I felt so strongly about it just goes to show how good the writing on this show is. This is a computer we're talking about, after all. I didn't get the same sense of dread from the Fusco story, but I did think it was a great way to flesh out his character, and I was hoping for the best for him. That being said, the whole theme of the episode was that past deeds come back to haunt you, so how long will it be before the truth comes out about Carter helping him? I didn't think the person of interest story itself was as good as the Machine and Fusco parts, and as you said, it isn't exactly the most logical story, but I still enjoyed it despite that. So, overall, a very good episode, despite some flaws with the person of interest story, and a great lead-in for the final two episodes. I can't wait to see where they go from here.
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When Reese looked around and could not find bear, and Finch said there was something he should know. I thought Bear was dead, and I started to cry... if they ever kill off bear I will boycott this show. I was so glad he was ok.

The season finale is going to be soo good guys.

And yes I think the thing with the sock is what you think it means
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You cried because of a dog, and not even a real one but a fictitious one? Animal lovers are weird people indeed.
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only weird to cold hearted animal non-lovers ~ aka freaks
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ALMOST. And it is not just any dog it is BEAR
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Wasn't the sock thing more sad in a way? ;) In any case there is a huge difference between human beings and animals.
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yes, we are different species or more accurately different "order" if I remember biological classification correctly (kings play chess on fine gold squares)

socks are just sad overall~always losing its mate in the dryer (mini-black hole)
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