Person of Interest: One-Percent Good

Person of Interest S01S16: "Risk"

Clear eyes, full hearts can really diversify your portfolio.

This was my face during the first 57 minutes of last night's Person of Interest... :|

This was my face during the final minutes of last night's Person of Interest... :D

Person of Interest is no ordinary procedural, but "Risk" was as close to ordinary as the series' case-of-the-weeks have ever been. It wasn't horrible, but it was the kind of story we expect to see elsewhere on CBS and it definitely required some slogging through to finish. That said, viewers who did make it to the end were rewarded with the long-awaited return of an old friend that will set up the back half of Season 1.

Part of my problem with "Risk" has to do with the fact that I find Wall Street insufferably boring. Some people see dollar signs and corporate gambling, I see a bunch of white guys in suits waving pieces of paper and making money they don't deserve. In "Risk," Computer spat out the social security number of a cocky young Wall Street whiz kid named Adam, played by Matt Lauria of Friday Night Lights fame. There was the usual Wall Street gimmicks: fast cars, late-night partying in clubs, a bunch of white guys in fancy suits who all looked alike. And there was... murder.

It quickly became clear that Adam was a target and not a potential perp after a way-too-complicated attempt on his life involving a construction crew, driving-lane funneling, and a garbage truck. Turned out that Adam was privy to some insider trading, and someone didn't want him to spoil the party.

Assets, bitch.

The most interesting part of Adam's story was his redemptive transformation from Armani-wearing jerkface to someone reconnecting with his roots as a hardworking kid from an impoverished blue-collar family. While most of the episode was spent time trashing the financial industry and hoping those white collars would choke their owners, Adam's story was a hopeful display of using his skills for the community and not for greed. And when that message was jammed down our throat as Adam bought an abandoned building that'd become a homeless camp and brought in an armada of food trucks to feed the down-on-their-luck denizens, Person of Interest's ode to the 99% was complete.

It's interesting that for all the super-patriotic red-white-and-blue "USA! USA! USA!" shows that air on conservative CBS, Person of Interest is succeeding by challenging the notion that America, its government, and some of its values are infallible. Heck, the series is essentially saying we're all under the rule of self-interested, power-hungry thieves and crooks. Real heroes are hard to come by on the show; even Reese and Finch are portrayed as individuals with shady pasts. It's more proof that Person of Interest stands out from the rest of CBS's lineup and that a show doesn't have to wrap itself in an American flag to be a hit on America's most-watched network.

But for all that, only the final moments of the episode made "Risk" really worth the watch. The insider trading was orchestrated by our old friend, Elias, who was stocking up on cash to fund his next move. Person of Interest went through the television equivalent of puberty when it introduced Elias, maturing from a solid procedural with a slight build to a beefy, hairy-chested serialized show with maximum potential for ass-kickery overnight, and we've been wondering what he's been up to since we last saw him eons ago.

But with only a handful of episodes left in Season 1, was the show too late in getting us reacquainted with the series' main bad guy? And what about slinky hacker "Root"? And what about devious Agent Snow? All signs point to the final episodes (five, I believe) of the season being stuffed with dense story as everything comes to a head.

*heavy breathing*

Notes... of Interest!

– I just couldn't see Adam as anything other than an East Dillon football player! Not Matt Lauria's fault, but sometimes actors need a little time before we can believe they're anything other than the high-school characters they've played before.

– It was nice of Reese to show thanks to the homeless lady who took care of him when he just a smelly hobo. I don't mind that soft side of Reese.

– You may have seen that I suggested Reese and Finch be each other's valentines, and boy oh boy was their chemistry apparent in the opening scene, when Reese was getting fitted for a Wall Street-appropriate suit! They're like an adorable old married couple!

– Detective Carter should change her name plate to Lapdog Carter. She's still being gravely underused, essentially running errands for Reese and Finch. I'm not terribly bothered by this since I'm fully focused on Reese and Finch, but I am wondering what the heck she's doing on this show if she's not doing much more than playing a glorified game of fetch.

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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