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.
– 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: