Person of Interest S03E01: "Liberty" 

Reese and Finch are back! And they're back rather... unspectacularly. Person of Interest returned for its third season with an episode that was as plain as can be, an odd way to kick off what should be a very important season for a series that last season propelled itself toward becoming one of TV's most-watched shows. As opposed to its transition from Season 1 to Season 2, the Season 3 premiere didn't have a big cliffhanger to work with, and seemed more resigned to just get right back to business rather than work on all that mythology that Season 2 had built up. Okay, fine. But aside from a few check-ins with Root and one awesome fake Amish beard for Fusco, "Liberty" was pretty standard procedural stuff.

Perhaps Person of Interest wanted to ease viewers into the new partnership that's sure to irk some viewers, so "Liberty" played it safe. Samantha Shaw, like Sarah Shahi who plays her, is now a regular member of the crew, even though she's technically still a free agent. In fact, when the episode began, she was running her own assignment with Finch while Reese managed his own operation. From a pure adrenaline standpoint, this was cool stuff: Reese shot up the inside of a van full of kidnappers in Person of Interest's typical "show less and let our imaginations take care of the rest" fashion and Shaw rose up from a horse-and-buggy above an alarmed and undercover Fusco to lay waste to some mystery thugs in Central Park. All in a night's work of littering the streets of New York with dead or crippled bad guys! You'd think the authorities would be concerned about so much ongoing mayhem and carnage, but hey, that wouldn't be as fun. 


The question heading into Season 2 wasn't whether seeing Shaw and Reese shoot up gangs of baddies would be awesome, because it always will be; it was whether adding Shaw to the team would disrupt Reese and Finch's chemistry and partnership, the backbone of Person of Interest. And based on "Liberty," yeah, it's going shake things up a little. That's too bad, because I adore Shaw. Who doesn't love a hottie who gets a boner over heavy-duty sniper rifles and eats steak that's impaled on a knife like it's cotton candy? Shaw's presence overshadowed Finch's during the episode's main mission, which isn't what we're used to, and it undermined the great brains-and-brawn and eye-in-the-sky-and-beef-on-the-groud dynamics that worked so well in Person of Interest's first two seasons. 

I don't think this is a permanent problem. Person of Interest just needs to figure out how to use her better, and that starts with not taking responsibility and importance away from Finch. However, from the writers' point of view, they have a tall task ahead of them and establishing Shaw as a big part of the team is a number-one priority, so why not have her make some big moves on her first night out? Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I liked what she did with the popsicle and the foil wrapper in taking out the sniper. Her knowledge of military tactics seemed a natural fit to solve the problem of where a sniper would be stationed, and with Reese using the foil to blind the sharpshooter, she was able to bop him on the head and take him out. 


But she also saw those Russian gunmen on the second floor of the pawn shop and warned Reese, who was below. How about having Finch and The Machine ID those gunmen and tell Shaw to take 'em out? Everyone is happy in that scenario; Shaw gets her kills and Finch doesn't seem like a guy who's just really good at Googling things back at HQ. I love Shaw and her personality, but her presence pushed Finch out of the way a bit, which also meant that The Machine slid back a bit more, too. Aside from compiling that video loop of Reese to fool some bad guys, Finch mostly played dispatcher. At least he got a Boilermaker at the end. But the less Finch we see, the worse off Person of Interest will be. That's a fact.

As for the mission itself, the number of the week belonged to a Navy shipman named Jack who was onshore for Fleet Week. He inadvertently got mixed up in some diamond-smuggling when his trouble-finding friend R.J. grabbed a few uncut diamonds from a group of Force Recon Marines, which is apparently a real thing and which means these dudes were super tough. The diamonds ended up in Jack's possession, and the "Devil Dogs," as they're known, wanted their diamonds back or they were going to blow up R.J. with an iBomb. I'm going to skip most of the details because guess what? The team saved R.J. and Jack got to go back to the Navy and pursue a career in the military. Other than that, there's isn't much to say about the case. 

The biggest change for any character came with Detective Carter, who's been demoted all the way down to beat cop (she does look good in the NYPD blues, though!). Aesthetically it's a big change, but right now it appears that her new situation won't affect her relationship with Reese and Finch very much. In fact, if anything, she's more of a man on the inside who can move quietly behind the scenes. Having both Fusco and Carter as detectives was kind of redundant, and stripping Carter of her job gives her more time to pursue other avenues in her off-time. You know, like making information boards with the strings and pictures of criminals and old newspaper clippings in her closet so that she can take down HR. I'm cool with this; Carter has been needing something to do on her own other than be Reese's gofer. It also looks like Carter will be the big liaison between Elias and the group this season, as Reese and Finch are too busy to pay their old friend a visit in person. 

The only element of the episode that touched on Person of Interest's fascinating mythology was the update on Root. She and her crazy eyes were locked in a loony bin because she says stuff like, "The truth is God is 11 years old and she was born in Manhattan. And she chose me." You and I know she's talking about The Machine, but to everyone else? Cuckoo! But unlike the other crazies in the psycho ward, her line of communication with God is getting her cold, hard facts. Like details exposing her psychiatrist as a pervert who frequents rub-and-tugs. And her dialogue with The Machine goes further than gossip. She's actually conversing with the computer box, having arguments over procedure and protocol. Like whether or not to kill the psychiatrist (I am assuming Root is pro, The Machine is nay). 

The final graphic of The Machine showing a decision tree with probabilities of outcomes showed that The Machine isn't done increasing its artificial intelligence. The bag o' bolts has come a long way since sorting through numbers, and is ever so close to actual thinking and reasoning. THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPERCOOL, GUYS!

As much as I loved hearing Reese's wisecracks and seeing him act supercool in tense times, "Liberty" was a letdown for a series premiere. With "Liberty," I think we saw a season debut that tried to accommodate its new time slot rather than forge ahead as its own show. Person of Interest is now on Tuesday nights and partnered up with a pair of NCIS shows, and I assume the season premiere was designed to welcome the series to the new neighborhood and siphon some of that massive NCIS audience. How else could you explain the Navy storyline and rather procedural-y season opener? Creatively, I don't think it helped things at all. But hopefully we got it out of the way and Person of Interest can go back to being Person of Interest and not NCIS: POI



LINES OF CODE


– I'm going with the theory that the Navy storyline was built in as a flimsy attempt to draw some of the leftover NCIS crowd, now that Person of Interest airs on Tuesday nights and follows both NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. And from a business standpoint, it was a huge mistake. It didn't work... at all. Person of Interest hit a series low (a series low!!!) in the key demo last night, netting only a 2.3 rating among those under 50, down from the 2.9 it scored at the onset of Season 2. This is baaaaaaad. How does a show hit a series low in a season premiere? Especially against Chicago Fire and Lucky 7

– Who is Elias's little bitch-boy? Have we met him before? Or is he just the guy behind the guy who does the dirty work and who serves as Elias's connection to the outside world? 

– I wish we had seen a little more of the government side of things.

– Did anyone else think that dirty guy in the first bar brawl looked like a young version of Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V? Or have I been playing too much Grand Theft Auto V? Ha, kidding, there is no such thing as playing too much Grand Theft Auto V.

– The humor was mostly anchored by Reese, who was great through and through. When he walked into the 15-gun standoff in the pawn shop and said, "I'm sorry, are you guys closed?," it was vintage cheesy Reese. Love that!

– Shaw was also not short on zingers, and her back-and-forth with Reese is great. I liked how bummed she was that she didn't get to use that big gun. "Aww, it's a shame to waste a rifle like this on kneecaps."

– Hey, Bear! Too bad he didn't get to do much.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/21/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

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Damn. I really liked this episode and I've seen it a couple times, but I had no idea that this was the season premiere. It's a mid-season ep at best.
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– Who is Elias's little bitch-boy? Have we met him before? Or is he just the guy behind the guy who does the dirty work and who serves as Elias's connection to the outside world?

Tim... that guy has been there since season 1. Are you losing it, buddy?
Gonna put this as lost memory caused by to much time spend playing GTA5. But get your sh*t together soon, dude.
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POI meets The Unit... Devil Dogs, blood diamonds, Max Martini still in character, I was expecting Snake Doctor(Dennis Haysbert) to walk in during the fence deal. Like POI, The Unit premise was making headlines. It also had a highly acclaimed black actress(Regina Taylor) as a lead. The Unit kinda lost its way with the story lines(especially the sub-plots with the wives) hope this isn't an omen. If the navy poi was a way for the NCIS viewers to relate to POI, then why wasn't The Big Bang Theory used to help POI on thursdays? POI is always being hustled at the comic-cons, Sheldon and his boys are into the AI, super hero comics and such... TBBT could've done a story line about meeting the cast of POI... have Howard try to impress Taraji by singing It's Hard Out There For A Pimp(there's a you-tube clip of her saying fans have done that to her.) Other than that great start to the season.
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I really liked the episode. Yes there are things that could have been better. Less Root as in nothing would have been a good thing for me. I love Amy Acker I just can't stand her in this show. I think she was miscast but I'm probably in the minority. So if she gets much attention in each episode I have a sad feeling the show will become a chore to watch. At least some of it. Reese kicking ass will never become a chore.
But I did love that Fusco was a part of saving the asset and also love the Shaw and Reese partnership. Could have been more Finch but I'm okay with him taking the back seat for a short while. I do hope it will get back to normal quickly. And please more Bear.
I also really liked the Carter part - both the scene with her and Elias as I also like him but also the scene at home.
So welcome back POI. Nice to see you.
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POI always dispenses its mythology in small pieces, and it's not unusual for a few episodes in a row to feature little or nothing regarding the main story. But to have a season premiere so devoid of big reveals or advancements of the overarching plot, was a little disappointing. The show has earned a lot of credit though, and I expect the myth-to-standalone ratio will be fine going forward. I'm also confident the writers will find a good way to incorporate shaw in balance with the rest of the team. Both the character and the actress work well for the show; she can be way more than a beauty for the ratings. Can't wait till the next episode.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. I thought it was classic POI, whilst at the same time foreshadowing of what is to come (The Machine’s third agenda, PRISM, etc). Finch: “Whatever else its (The Machine) been up to is almost too troubling to contemplate” and “I have a feeling things are about to get more complicated.” Seeds have been planted; now to watch it grow over the course of the season.

Welcome back POI. Welcome back. You’ve been missed.

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One reason for the "subdued" nature of the premiere to remember is that they blew off almost all their "mythology" storyline questions at the end of last season. As I rewatched the Season 2 finale on DVD, I can't think of many questions that are brought into this season compared to last (or even a mid-season show).

  • Root's in the mental institution and The Machine (emancipated) called.
  • Carter got framed and is off on the run with Elias.
  • Hersh and the old woman in the limo.
We knew the numbers would return since there would be a new season, so this is pretty much the list. The first two got entered into, as watchers of this episode know, but we need to be patient and see what they create. We know the second eventually has to lead to the complete end of HR, so all we need to do is strap in and wait on that one.

Then to address the new series regulars, keep in mind that they've casted many actors in periodic roles over the past two years. This means they really can't hold onto them for anything other than what they contract with the actors for. This also means that they can't stop an actor from leaving if a better deal comes along. All they can do is say "congratulations" and scrap whatever plans they had and be quick about writing them out. The abrupt ends of former agents Stanton and Snow come to mind here (I would love to know what they would have done if they had those two as long as they liked).

So, having this happen, and being in the position of casting, you really have to hold onto the actors you have big plans for to prevent them from taking off. So they probably had to take the tactic of making them series regulars (maybe for a season or two?) until they finish their plans. That might mean shoehorning them unnecessarily into a few episodes to justify the label, but it's probably a compromise they have to make to hold onto the talent.

That said, it is amazing that they held onto Amy Acker and Enrico Colantoni for as long as they have.

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I really don't like the Smug faced Shaw , she destroys the chemistry of the show . Zoe could have been a much better addition. And where is Bear ?
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Note that The Machine seems to have a relatively risk-prone outcome weighting at the moment when it comes to Root (a.k.a "Analog Interface").
Keeping her in play to attempt to activate her as an asset is currently yielding the following predictions:

28.41% chance of asset activation
12.66% chance of Root dying
40.04% chance of violence (1.12% of which ends in global thermonuclear war)
With the remaining 18.89% unknown

Now obviously getting Root in play as an ally to the Machine's goals would be highly beneficial, but weight that against global thermonuclear war and you have to doubt the cost of error allocation matrix that The Machine is using.
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haha, I wonder if the machine considers that a risk worth taking. Not sure Harold would agree. Also 40.04% of violence in relation to Root seems very low
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This was exactly what I was afraid of.... :( I don't want ncis:poi I like person of interest on its own. I didn't hate the premiere but it could have been better, even with the navy angle. And while I get the machine being able to find someone in danger or about to commit a crime based on the thinnest of threads, this was reaching a bit. I mean philosophically you could argue that it was someone that Reese needed to meet and mentor or whatnot but wouldn't it have made more sense to make the friend the POI? That way when you met the other guy it was an added story line bonus. I get root and I hate her story line. She is a bag full of its but cutting away to her storyline took up too much time. Here's hoping that the misstep is just one episode.
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I feel if Person Of Interest was just looking to add another woman to the cast it should have been Paige Turco as Zoe Morgan her chemisty with Reese is wonderful and she might be bada** but she needs the team as well. I love the character of Shaw but Sarah Shahi's acting is more of that of a main character not a supporting actor the personality the writers made for Shaw Is to overwhelming. Shaw would be a great recurring character brought in a few times a season when she is most needed. The character of Root is phenomenal and her chemistry with Finch is great and she is one scary Hannibal Lecter like character which I love. I think it is to many changes at once. The writers need to give Carter some more work with the team. Taraji P. Henson is one of the best actresses on TV. As for Fusco I just don't care.
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great start period.
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Okay...let's see.
  • I do think the premiere was rather subdued for a premiere, but I think it had everything to do with the shift in the team dynamic. They had to prove that they could add Shaw and Root in as series regulars w/o it drastically changing what we've come to know and love about the team dynamic of the show. It was no big deal going from a dynamic duo to a fantastic foursome (or fivesome if you want to count Bear). That wasn't an issue, but on a show like this, with the amount of action, and all the details and nuances, and the fact that now more than ever we're really seeing the machine as sentient. There is a lot to prove when you have six main characters and a scene stealing dog. They had to show that they could pull it off. They wouldn't have been able to reassure the viewers who had doubts w/o easing into it with something a bit understated.
  • I think the ratings thing is a natural effect of moving from Thursday night at 9 to Tuesday at 10. I wasn't a fan of the night switch, personally, because POI just has all the makings of a fantastic Thursday nigh show. It feels like something you'd watch on Thursday, the best night of television It was a mild annoyance, but I already watch CBS' Tuesday night line-up so I can deal. I think the Navy story was a nice pairing, convenient, given its lead ins, but I don't see the complaints with it, because it wasn't something entirely out of the norm for them as a case. I mean, to be fair, two of their main characters have military backgrounds that are deeply embedded in their characterization and dynamic, four characters work or have worked in a protect and serve capacity, two of them in a government capacity. It has come up before, and it could come up again.
  • I'm probably one of the viewers who wasn't particularly pleased when I heard that Root and Shaw would become series regulars. Don't get me wrong, I love both characters in their own right, but I'd have preferred a recurring role rather than a series role, because they are the type of characters, that to me, work best in small doses. I do believe there can be a such thing as too much Shaw. Or too much Root. Plus, they had just got on solid footing with the cast. Season one, Carter and Fusco didn't quite find their footing, and season two had them at their best yet, but on the flip side, season two also brought us a diminished role for Fusco which was very unfortunate, and gaps of time where Carter wasn't relevant, which kinda pissed me off. My fear with adding two more people, was them further edging out Fusco, who continually got the short end of the stick and them backtracking on Carter's role and her dynamic with the boys, which is honestly one of the many highlights of the show to me. I love the dynamic she has with all the guys on this show, each different but entertaining to watch as it blossoms, her slowly earning Finch's trust, the brother in arms/moral compass/yin-yang deep connection she has with Reese, and the mutual loyalty and trusty partnership she slowly edged into with Fusco. I feel like this premiere went out of its way to reassure us that there was enough room for all the characters and their respective roles. They used Finch as leader of the bunch corralling all of his assets with an "all hands on deck" mentality and they really played up the team bit. I'm still undecided on whether or not it was convincing becuase I still feel like if they don't play this just right, someone is going to suffer and get put on the backburner and it'll be unfortunate, very unfortunate. I appreciated their efforts though.
  • Shaw is a badass. From guns ablazing in heels and a skirt, to eating a steak off of knife, to her refusing to abide by most of the rules Finch tries to have in place, to her annoyance over trying to not kill anyone. She had some witty lines. She was entertaining. She's a great character, and I never hate a badass female, but on paper she really shouldn't work with this only because she isn't a team player. I liked the fact that she wasn't a team player. Now, she's on a team. They'll make it work, I'm sure of that, but again, she screams recurring character. Hopefully she'll just continue to "check-in" when necessary, and maybe they're angling for her own side thing. I don't know.
  • Root is just such a fascinating character. 51 flavors of crazy and yet I love her for it. I really do. Amy Acker is the best. I found her development to be rather interesting. She never ceases to be interesting and her dedication to the Machine or the she God is fascinating television. In some ways she's more dedicated to it than our beloved Finch.
  • Oddly enough, I may just be the most excited about Carter. She's been growing as a character as time progressed and now she's more interesting than ever. (Side Note: I'm loving how smart and hot and badass all the ladies are on the show.) I was a bit caught off guard about her being demoted to beat cop even though she does look lovely in the uniform, and I was prepared to feel bad for her and be annoyed by that, but then I realized just how more involved with our boys she can get now. It separates her and Fusco giving them both their respective roles from different positions, making them both important for their own thing. It also gives her more time to be more involved with the gang, which I am definitely looking forward to seeing. She can do so much more now that she isn't handicapped by her position as homicide detective. The premiere set that up nicely. Plus she has this nice little arrangement thing with Elias, who is just one of my absolute faves all the time, and I'm gathering that Reese and Finch don't know about it per se, but Reese has his suspicions, and she's trying to take on H.R and get to the truth. Clearly, this is going to be a great season for Carter, and she may find herself too deep and getting into some trouble, and the constant inquiries and expressions of concern that John kept extending to her and the subtle promises and reassurances that he will always have her back (because we all know, he only calls her Joss when he's concerned and/or having one of their more serious heart to heart sort of moments and he did it like three times this episode) must be some foreshadowing I am so looking forward to it. I loved seeing her in her plain clothes and her uniform, and loved her hitting the streets with John and showing him the secret club, and even receiving some action on the side. But I'm thoroughly intrigued and excited about her connection with Elias. So unlikely and unexpected, those two, but it works. I love it.
  • Elias' second in command, Scarface. We've seen him tons. Elias just epitomizes that old-school gangster back when organized crime actually had an honor code, and you begrudgingly respected the tenacity, and the take-charge attitude they had. I will never oppose to seeing more of Enrico Colantoni. He's literally sitting pretty these days with his delicious Italian meals, and his cop babysitter, and ability to reap the benefits from John and co saving NYC.
  • I can only think of like one episode of POI that I disliked, so I can never really complain about this show. I thought it was a solid premiere, and they did a decent job of laying down some foundation before the action really picks up again. Or maybe I'm just happy to stare dreamily at Jim Caviezel again.
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Best review I've seen so far (even better than mine). I feel a bit more hopeful now: between Mr. Abrams' "say nothing" dictum, which leaves the actors with not much to say to interviewers; the fact that CBS's idea of "promoting" the show was a notice of its new day and time...at the end of a repeat that had just run in the new day and time...and the fact that like some others I wonder if my liking a show is the kiss of death for it (Irish luck, you know); as well as the change to 10 p.m., I've been kind of worried about it. Anyway, glad you wrote in. Hope they smooth things out in S03E02 and get back to weaving the wonderful tapestry that has been the format for S01 and S02.
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Aww! Thank you. You are entirely too kind. I merely ramble on until I have the right mind to press the submit button. LOL! It sounds as though we have similar luck. :)
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At the end of last season, I tried to figure out why The Machine had re-contacted Root in the hospital. Isn't she a red-box Threat-to-System? Then I thought, OK, maybe it wants to employ her, the show's only murderous psychopath, to wipe out the government types who murder in The Machine's name. It knows that Reese and Finch are not going to use deadly force to stop that bunch of bureaucrats and politicians, and maybe it has evolved into a more ruthless AI. Turns out I was wrong; apparently, The Machine wants to try to Reboot Root, turn her back into Samantha Groves.

It was sweet of "Uncle" Harold to give Root a bird alias. Welcome to the nest, little Robin Nutcase!

Plot hole: The Machine must know that Root is being denied access to it, thereby thwarting its retraining plans. It should have contacted Finch at once to smuggle in an endless supply of iPhones, iPads and undetectable earwigs. Or just use its Ernest Thornhill resources to hire someone to get Root the necessary equipment. Come on, writers, tighten up.
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ii thought it was a huge letdown considering the last season finale was awesome in every aspect the premiere couldn't keep up, it felt more like a procedural cop show. its good that show can pop up at random but to hog much of the screen time is ruining the bond between John & Reese which is essential to the show.

The only saving grace is the update on Root who is still undecided on how to handle the machine & Carters alliance with Elias which will be significant in bringing down HR.
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The whole Navy storyline wasn't the only shout out to the NCIS crowd.....

Shaw and Gibbs could meet for a round of steak in front of Gibbs' fireplace and talk sniperrifles :D She even has a knife like he uses....

But over all I agree with you on the dynamics the permanent introduction of Shaw has created in this first episode. I hope that will even out a bit in the next episodes....
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Personally I thought it was a great episode.

The reason they were up against 'Devil Dogs' and were looking for a single sailor during shore leave in my humble opinion was to have the entire team involved and the presence of Shaw necessary backup. Shaw is a great character, using Fusco for cover and shooting to kill. She's the complete opposite of Reese and I love their interaction.

Sure Finch was a bit on the background this episode, but with The Machine set free and Shaw and Reese in the field going after special forces, it wouldn't be logical for Finch to do groundwork. As he himself said during the episode the machine is only giving him numbers, but it's free so even Finch doesn't quite know what his role is at the moment. So Finch does what Finch does best and that's working with computers. In future more tech related episodes I'm sure Finch will be next to Reese as usual.

Carter being demoted and the connection to Elias works and will be interesting as they now share common enemies. And Tim, the guy working for Elias has been around ever since Elias came into play. He's even listed on this website as a recurring role as scarface.

It's great to see Root is doing so well, you know being Root and all chatting with the machine and contemplating killing her shrink. The fact that the machine is talking to Root and is just giving Finch numbers is also something worth mentioning. Given Root's character and what lengths she will go through for her convictions the question how her communication with The Machine will alter it's personality.

I can't wait for the first real interaction between Zoe and Shaw.

The lower ratings could have had something to do with the switch to Tuesday.
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Are you kidding? That was a great way to start the season. A quick recap of where everybody is, a nice refrence to the whole Snowden/NSA thing, and a short and sweet 'Marines vs. Russians' procedural.
No muss, no fuss, just back on track.

Reese and Shaw are the two most badass characters currently on tv,
maybe ever.

You're right about Finch and The Machine needing more screen time, they are what makes this show exceptional.

Root is now 'Analog Interface'. Interesting! Especially since she is a loon. Having her locked up in an asylum is probably a good thing, but they should let her keep her phone.
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It was a great kick-off! I don't know but I just thought the pacing was right on the spot. The subtle hints around Root and that the Machine now was working behind the shadows even outside of its creator's control or influence was good enough on the "intellectual" part of the show.

I still find it annoying that we have both Carter and Fusco, 2 cops in a show like this is such a waste. Shaw and Reese as ex-spies is enough, they had better recruit that Fixer girl from season 1 who had a thing with Reese or perhaps a lawyer or something interesting, a cop is so boring..

I hope they kick off the next episode on the state of HR although they just lended their services to the Russian Mob which felt forced and unintuitive, I liked it when Alphonso was this dirty politicans no one knew about except his second-in-command and the Machine. Greer needs to come back too, that's basically their biggest rival at the moment considering he and his organization knows about the machine and the backstory to that will certainly leave an important spot on the show.
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"the less Finch we see, the worse off Person of Interest will be." Nods emphatically.

I like Shaw. I think she rocks and personality-wise she bumps right in. But I definitely felt shortchanged on Finch last night. That was really my only complaint - I was OK with the very obvious NCIS thematic tie-in. Finch should have been the one to find the guys upstairs and alert Shaw to them.
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Get used to that lower rating, airing an hour later and trying to hold the NCIS crowd is going to leave them with a smaller, older audience.
I liked Carter's closet board. Reminded me of The Wire investigations, also with 2 police officers turning a blind eye to all of the killing that Reese and now Shaw do, it's kind of like the Baltimore police letting Omar get away with murder in exchange for his help.
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Agree with your first sentence (though I am a part of that "older" audience...guess that's why I like a quality show when there is one).If this day/time mucks up the ratings, suggest they move it to Friday at 9, in place of Hawaii 5-0, or back to Thursday at 9 before Elementary. That pairing appealed to me, but hey, what do I know. I'm not a network exec, just a "seasoned" viewer. I think being #3 will hurt the ratings going forward. Leave it to a network to take something that works and muck it up.
Fingers crossed for POI!
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A lot of CBS viewers seem to be early to bed types. Also, I don't think some of the casual fans were aware the show had moved to Tuesday. Finally, new episodes are now be streamed on CBS.com. All of this will serve to shift a chunk of the audience away from live viewership. I am really curious to see the Live+7 numbers. I think they will be pretty strong.
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Can I just say how grateful I am that POI is streaming?? I am an early to bed type (sans DVR) and POI is pretty much my favorite show. I was dreading choosing between sleep and this show - and in fact I forgot and went to bed on Tuesday and missed it. Last night the CBS website was like a glorious present! OK, I might be exaggerating, but I am psyched.
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I'm probably response number 500 of those who identified Elias's henchman as having always been his right hand. He is:
- the fake cop ("Scarface") Finch thought was Elias in S1 when Elias was playing schoolteacher
- the fake cop who left the burner phone in the trash for Carter to find, as Elias knew she'd give it to Reese
- the one who gave Reese the info on where to find the baby kidnappers (who admitted Elias has a "soft spot" for Reese)
the one who set the car bomb that took out the other mafia don after Reese tried to warn him ("I'd just as soon let you idiots kill each other.")
- the one who always updates Elias on the status of "assignments"
- the fake cop who kidnapped Carter's son (remember when Reese got shot in the chest and just flinched and kept coming?)

He just wasn't in S2 because Elias was in Rikers, but he had gotten away when Reese rescued Carter's son.

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More Bear!
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Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.

The best show on TV has now become a casualty of ignorant television.

Instead of the Empire Strikes Back for 2 long seasons were are now presented with the Phantom Menace. F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U... U CHARLIE SHEEN FIRING JEWS!

Shove CSI, NCIS, Law & order, Bones, Mentalist, Castle,, HAWAII FART-O WWE, Disney PEDOS!!! UP YOUR TIGHT DRIED UP COB WEBBED UGLYYY BUTT HOLES! YOU IGNORANT, BARRACK OBAMA BLOW JOBBING BITCHES.
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A few things -

*"Terrible. Terrible. Terrible." - Reminded me of Dorothy and her ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz (I bet you are a big Judy Garland fan)

*"The best show on TV has now become a casualty of ignorant television. " - a television is an inanimate object and therefore cant actually be considered smart or ignorant. Do you think your TV is people? Hate to break this to you bud, inanimate objects are not the same as people. So that inflatable doll you use is really not your girlfriend

*"Instead of the Empire Strikes Back for 2 long seasons were are now presented with the Phantom Menace." - Empire Strikes back didnt run for 2 seasons...it was a movie. Wait a minute....have you been watching Empire Strikes back every week instead of POI...you so silly. Maybe you need a nap. Go and put on your Star Wars pajamas, have a nap and then come back and read the rest of this reply. I can wait.



Oh, you're back...good..lets continue, shall we?

*By " F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U... U CHARLIE SHEEN FIRING JEWS!" did you mean Chuck Lorre?

*I didnt think the " F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U-F-U... U CHARLIE SHEEN FIRING JEWS!" worked on POI - if they did there would probably be a laugh track and the banter would be more nerdy or sexual. Lets ask our audience...
Poll

*How big is your butt hole - how can you seriously expect someone to "Shove CSI, NCIS, Law & order, Bones, Mentalist, Castle,, HAWAII FART-O WWE, Disney PEDOS!!!" up a butt hole? Your made need to consult a proctologist

*Is "HAWAII FART-O" a new show.....cant find it on the listings. Will there be a weekly review?

*"Disney PEDOS!!!" - sure Mickey Mouse has big gloved hands and a high pitched voice, but that doesnt make him a pedo, just an individual

*YOUR TIGHT DRIED UP COB WEBBED UGLYYY BUTT HOLES! -
a)You make it sound like you have a loose butt hole - which makes me thinks you need to see that proctologist asap
b)"DRIED UP" - Whats a good moistness for a butthole, is there some kind of a guide?
c)"COB WEBBED" - spiders dont go there silly
d)"UGLYYY" - i see.....you only like the pretty butt holes....thats a bit weird....but i suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and it sounds like you have beholding a lot of butt holes if you rate them on a beauty scale)
e)you spelled ugly wrong

*"YOU IGNORANT" - we cant all be judges at the butt hole beauty pageant like you

*" BARRACK OBAMA BLOW JOBBING BITCHES." - i didnt know there was a specific sex act called the Barrack Obama blowjob.......American presidents get so many things named after them these days. I wish i could get a sexual act named after me....that would be living the dream!
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Seek psychiatric help.
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Boring! I almost turned the show off and I didn't even think to do that during that shite episode with the mobster hitman with no lips that Reese overly identified.

NCIS:POI. GTFO. Only thing that saved the procedural plot from being directly ripped from the paint by numbers NCIS franchise was the absence of Zoe. I swear if she had shown up and she and Reese had will they/won't they/have they/haven't they awkward "sexual tension" dialogue in the middle of the case ala Tony/Ziva or (my forever ruined badass) Kensi and Deeks; I really would have turned the show off.

Root is only interesting when she is kidnapping Finch.

First scene with the creeper (is there any other kind in TVland) psychiatrist:

Creep!psychiatrist: You say The Voice isn't talking to you right now, lol!
Root: We're having an argument : (
Me: Over her desire to shank yo ass because she is a shanking bitch that shanks and the Machine desires to reprogram her into a psycho with a heart of gold
TWO MORE BORING SCENES AND SOME DIRTY LAUNDRY REVEALED LATER...
Me: *rolls eyes* Ohhh, pretty Machine graphic!

The show was crowded this ep, so the character of Root can happily stay off my screen, until she has a point again. I look forward to the Machine utilizing her as an asset until such time IT (eff that gendered nonsense) decides to rid itself of her unpredictably in a most spectacular and bloody way. I kind of gathered Root would be a genocidal manic of the global variety, if given the opportunity, and would happily spend out the rest of her days nattering at the Machine. I don't think the Machine can fix crazy, but it could certainty kill it.

Shaw! I dunno, I put that exclamation point in there to try to feign some excitement. Like a poster below, I'm just indifferent to her. I missed her introductory episode, so I'm continuously baffled by her connection and presence in the Batcave. I think I favored this episode's Shaw more than last season's. Last season Shaw grated with her near constant digs at Reese and Finch's friendship. It was like she was trying to breed insecurity in Reese towards the other man. I like that she seems to be a full-on, Murderbot, without a hint of co-worker Sexbot; though the show already has one Murderbot with a heart of gold, Reese. So she seems redundant at best and a Finch screen time stealer at worst.

Intellectually, I approve of the introduction of Shaw (female-Reese) and Leon (Finch-lite) because logically, Finch should be recruiting on a national and global scale to handle the Irrelevant List. Since the Machine is free now, I guess It can do it itself. Heh, I look forward to Finch and Reese possibly running into their counterparts of the non-evil variety.

Yay for Carter having something interesting going on this season. It has ties to HR, Elias, and Fusco. It will probably draw in the Knee-capping crew for a shoot 'em up sweeps episode. Good job, writers.

Fusco, in the Abe Lincoln disguise. Best.

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I thought Fusco looked like an enormous lepricaun.
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Great comments!
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I agree that sidelining Finch is a mistake cause I love the good Reese/Finch banter.As a whole the episode wasn't nearly as good as the season 2 premier.
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You play way too much GTA 5. How else can you explain not recognizing Elias' guy!
Though we have gotten used to the over the top stuff on POI, it was always grounded even at its most absurd situations. But Reese was way too cocky, the entire episode was, and that messed up something. Shaw was awesome though and I think she can be an asset to the show. The amazing Root was the powerplayer of the episode. Her scenes elevated the episode from mediocrity.
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Root's truth speech gave me chills
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Totally agree here!
I love Amy Acker because she can be "deliciously scary" but here she was "by the gods she is maaaad" scary... :-S not that it is bad of course, LOL. She was brilliant!

Somebody should give her the lead in a good drama movie so she can really show her acting chops!!!
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Reese seemed too smirky and relaxed in this episode, like he had a personality transplant that his body was rejecting. I love the interaction between Reese and Finch and Reese and Carter, but in this episode, it seemed forced in the dialogue while the actors made it work, oddly enough. It was like they were running on chemistry fumes.
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The guy in the bar room brawl at the start IS Trevor. That's Steven Ogg the actor who voices him in the game!
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The best parts of this episode for me were Carter's interactions with Elias (and YES he was with his usual lieutenant) and Root's murderous speech at the end of the ep.

Otherwise, I found the ep choppy and sloppy. People's names were dropped all over the place (probably for the benefit of new viewers but uncharacteristic of the show and of any common sense). The murderous Spec Ops guys were as cartoonish and as cardboard as characters get and of course the Russians were walking stereotypes.

Now that I think about it, so were the portrayals of our servicemen -- though I liked Jack (really, Jack -- the stock action-hero name).

Shaw was also played like a cave woman when when she was first introduced she was a smooth and savvy operator, more like a female Reese.

I won't give up yet, however, as I've been looking forward to the new season. Hope, it delivers.
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"Who is Elias's little bitch-boy?" He was there from the moment we met Elias. He seems like a professional from the way he carries himself. Definitely not a bitch-boy.
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This used to be a good show but now it is stupid, juvenile and nothing but a comic book.
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How come when Root says she talks to God you all applaud her?
When i do it i get told to take my blue pills.
Life is so unfair
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when you talk to god does god talk back;-)
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Yes...and it always sounds like Gary Busey.
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you need to take your red pills...the blue ones are viagra;-)

FYI: he grabbed my sister-in-law's ass years ago....total perv
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How dare you blaspheme Gary Busey
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I've spent a good part of the summer dilligently doing my homework, and that involved several curious assignments. Like catching up on Person of Interest. And damn, am I glad that I did. It has easily managed to become one of my favorite TV shows - something I certainly didn't expect.

POI is a weird show from my perspective. Weird in that I usually struggle with procedural elements, and this is one exception where many cases of the week have been simply fun and engaging. Plus it weaves in subtle serialization threads into those stand-alones very well.

So while the premiere might not've been all that spectacular, I found it just fine. They usually take their time to get off the ground. I think I'll focus on celebrating the comeback of fall season, while eagerly awaiting more.
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I love the third option on the poll and how it makes it sounds like PoI has a cold or something. Definitely disappointed, but still glad to have it back. Liked Carter's storyline best, closely followed by Root of all options. NEEDS MOAR FINCH!!!
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WHOA! So glad to have POI back!

(Weirdly placed side-note: Anyone who uses a lower case "o" in the acronym is wrong! This isn't GoT, people. It just looks like you misspelled "Poll".)

Moving on!

If you had the patience to read one of my POI comments last season, you're probably aware I'm a little obsessive about certain aspects of this show. So you should know what I'm going to write about first...

THE MACHINE!

Or more specifically, predictions and squares (I used to call them boxes, but I've realized the Freudian error of my ways... It's a vagina thing).

Let's start with the beautiful final shot of The Machine's colour-coded decision tree that calculated the (constantly changing!) probabilities of all sorts of juicy predictions. The one interesting observation I'll make before I get all percentages crazy is that the entire decision tree seemed to be specific to Root as an asset of The Machine. Okay, here we go!

MONITORING ASSET...
RETASKING IN PROGRESS...
PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS: UNKNOWN

GENERATING PREDICTIONS:


BLUE:

OPERATIONAL RELEVANCE - 1.94, 2.06, 1.91, 1.99, 1.91%

YELLOW:

ASSET ACTIVATION - 28.44, 28.56, 28.41%
ASSET CAPTURED - 62.79, 62.91, 62.76%
CRISIS AVERTED - 17.71, 17.56, 17.64%
AUX_ADMIN - 2.06, 2.08%
MARRIAGE/PROCREATION - 0.0% / RECLASSIFICATION: NON-RELEVANT - 0.04%

RED:

DEATH: ASSET - 12.54, 12.66, 12.51%
VIOLENCE - 30.19, 30.31, 31.27, 34.98, 40.06%
DEATH: CARMICHAEL, RONALD W. - 78.09, 78.21, 78.06, 78.14, 78.06%
DEATH: ADMIN - 12.54, 12.51%
MASS CASUALTY EVENT - 9.84%
GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR - 2.84%

*Wipes single tear away from awed eye*

I love this show!

So, what do we take away from all that Machine gobbledygook? Let's colour-code this bitch!

BLUE:

Since Blue is the colour The Machine has designated to the RELEVANT part of its operations (i.e. killing terrorists), I'm going to assume this means The Machine doesn't foresee Root (I refuse to call her Robin) being much help on the Al Qaeda skull crushing side of things (metaphorical skull crushing, of course). This whole section of my comment is one big assumption, basically. Feel free to point out my stupidity, and/or why I'm totally wrong.

YELLOW (more of a light gold, really):

Asset Activation and Asset Captured is pretty self-explanatory. I AM a bit surprised how high the probability for capture is (ending at 62.76%). Root's pretty badass, and sexy, and crazy, she's a crazy sexy badass (yum!), so this must be a difficult mission The Machine is sending her on.

Which leads to the CRSIS AVERTED percentage (ending at 17.64%). Is The Machine sending Root on a mission to avert a potential crisis? If so, what kind of crisis? And why so low a percentage? Not much faith in ol' crazy-sexy, Machine?

(If you haven't figured it out yet, this is all silly speculation on my part.)

Not sure what the AUX_ADMIN is about. Is The Machine just designating Root as an auxiliary administrator? Any ideas, fellow commenters?

Oh, Machine! You cad you! Not giving Root much of a chance at wedded bliss I see. But then you change the calculation to NON-RELEVANT, and adjust the percentage from 0.0% to 0.04%. So you're saying there's a *chance* love will prevail? Albeit a 0.04% chance. You big softie!

RED:

This is where things get interesting.

1. There's a small chance Root will die on the mission (12.51%).
2. Shit is probably going to get violent. (This is the one percentage that changes the most, and by changes I mean escalates. It starts off at 30.19% and ends at 40.06%).
3. That spells trouble with a capital "R" for the perverted doctor, Ronald CarMichael. (Sorry, bro. Bitches be crazy. But you are a creep.)
4. The Machine has even calculated a possible global thermonuclear war at a steady 2.84%, and I'm wondering is that just the standard percentage for humanity acting a fool thermonuclear style, or is that percentage related to whatever The Machine has got going on?

SO MANY USELESSLY SPECULATIVE QUESTIONS, PEOPLE!

Now that I've trivially broken down The Machine's decision tree, let's talk about the episode at hand. I liked it!

I know it was a fairly standard POI this week (squids and jar-heads), mostly because of the new time slot and the NCIS lead-in audience, but I never seem to mind when Finch, Reese and co. get back to basics. Mostly because their basics are awesome.

I usually hate all things procedural-y. I ALWAYS abhor anything that has a CSI in it, and I tend to stay away from most cop shows. I'm a characters first kind of guy, so those shows don't really do it for me. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I'd even get impatient with Fringe at times (don't hate me!). I'd be like, "Enough with the freaks of the week! Gimme some overarching mythology, show!" But with Person of Interest all that stuff just doesn't apply. I could watch Reese busting kneecaps all day long! Seriously, his dry/cheesy humour makes his badass action scenes so much fun. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the mythology of this show (did you see my colour-coded Machine prediction breakdown?), but the procedural-y stuff is great, too. POI is a rare gem that defies convention.

I'm also digging the changing landscape of the POI family. We started off with only Finch and Reese (plus The Machine) against the world. Then Carter and Fusco were added on, but kept at arms length, until they eventually became full-fledged members of the team. Next came Bear, the greatest TV dog out there (we better see Bear next week, show!). And now Samantha Shaw is a full-time wisecracker and sharpshooter (who apparently can eat an ice cream bar in three minutes, take down a perp, and NOT get brain freeze; that's a superpower in my book!). I understand Tim's concerns that Shaw's presence may take away from the Finch/Reese bro-banter we've come to love, but I think these amazing writers will quickly work out the kinks of this new arrangement. Personally, the more I see the incredibly beautiful and talented Sarah Shahi on my TV screen, the better.

Finally, let's talk about that final scene with Root.

"The truth? The truth is a vast thing, I see that now. Just how much truth there is. Where would we even begin? The truth is... you are not very smart. In fact you're only the 43rd smartest person in this building... The truth is you smoke an average of nine cigarettes a week in the parking lot when you think no one is looking. The truth is that you visit a massage parlour once or twice a month, that you pay for it with crisp hundred dollar bills that you get out of the cash machine at the 7-11 across the street. The truth is that you fantasize on online forums about having sex with some of your patients, but not me, yet. I guess I'm not your type. The truth is God is eleven-years-old, that she was born on New Years day 2002 in Manhattan. The truth is that she's chosen me, and I don't know why yet. And for the first time in my life I'm a little scared about what's gonna happen. The truth is I'm stuck here for now, and the only dialogue you need to be worried about is between me and her, which is why you might want to give me my phone back, because I'm having an argument. Would you like to know the truth, doctor, about what we're arguing over?

Whether or not I'm gonna kill you."


DAAAAAAAAAAAMN! THAT'S SOME COLD SHIT! AWESOME! ...

*Cough*

Firstly, I found it interesting that Root has all of a sudden assigned a sex to The Machine. She? Really, Root? The Machine is a "she" now? That's rather feminist. I know most inanimate machines like cars or ships are referred to with she and her, but The Machine isn't a car. It's a sentient, self-aware and vast intelligence. Assigning any sex to The Machine seems rather redundant.

Secondly, it's kind of scary knowing The Machine categorizes entire inhabitants of buildings in order of intelligence. I wonder what my number is right now... It's probably better not knowing.

Thirdly, just what exactly does The Machine have in store for Root? Colour me intrigued!

This was a solid premiere that gave a nerd like me enough stats and percentages to orgy over, but also was a back to basics episode that had broad appeal for new viewers and diehard fans alike. Super pumped for the rest of the season!

NOTES² :

Now, I wrote in the beginning of this comment that I was going to talk about predictions and squares (a.k.a. Freudian boxes), and I've neglected the latter. So here it is:

Did anyone pay special attention to the various yellow square in this episode? Well, I did (of course I did), and one of these squares was not like the others. Namely, Root's. Her square only had yellow indentations in the corners and in the middle of each line, the rest of her square-dashes were black. As opposed to Reese's and Finch's squares, which were pure yellow.

THE MEANING?

Probably nothing. Root had a normal yellow square at the end last season (I think), so this may just be me being me. But I'll be sure to keep an eye on it!
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With regards to ASSET ACTIVATION, CRISIS AVERTED, ASSET CAPTURED etc. In my opinion these are relative to the overall mission of The Machine to keep everyone safe, not a specific mission that it is assigning Root momentarily.
Thus:
CRISIS AVERTED simply means: Root doesn't become evil.
ASSET CAPTURED: is that high, because, as Finch said, doing what they do either ends in death or capture eventually.

With regards to the white boxes: I thought this was fairly obvious. These are all observations (units, entities, people if you will) that are not aware of The Machine. (as in, not fully aware of it's existence).
So even though Carter and Fusco are helping they still don't know where the information comes from. Reese and Finch and Root and Shaw do.

As to why are there sometimes no boxes?
Only observations currently being accessed, written to, evaluated are assigned boxes.
So vehicles, and people performing actions are likely being assessed at all times, whereas a random passerby is probably only specifically looked at when it seems relevant for information gathering, and when that person can be identified and linked to a specific observation in the dataset.

As to the meaning of AUX_ADMIN, I'm just guessing here, but I think this signifies that Root will attain auxiliary admin access, which means she can access and change the code. i.e. reveal it and it's information for the entire world to see, which is what she ultimately plans right? It's a pretty minute chance of happening though, smaller than the global thermonuclear war probability.

Those are my thoughts anyways.
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there have been white boxes around "bad guys" who knew about the machine
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Please mention one, because I can't think of a single bad guy who knew about The Machine?
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Wilson was just Cole and Shaw's handler, the middleman if you will. He didn't know about The Machine. He just knew that Cole was asking too many questions and was ordered to kill him. Note that it was mentioned in S01 that only a handful of people knew about The Machine. Everybody else in the "Relevant" branch of The Machine's operations just knew that it was "Research" that brought them the intel.
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Wilson had a white box and Shaw shot him dead in Relevance to avenge Cole's death
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Oh I forgot, meaning of the yellow/black box that Root has obtained: This also underlines my assumption that The Machine is still "deciding" whether it is wise (and possible, she needs to agree) to activate her as an asset (Yellow) or assign her something else (black likely being "Knows about the machine/Not an ally" or even "Relevant TARGET" ("Relevant ASSET" being blue, like you mentioned already).
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Didn't Root assign the machine/'God' a female gender during the last season itself? In the single God worshipping religions/communities, terming God as male (Him, His wish, Father, etc, etc) or even thinking that us humans are a version/lesser variation of God, is in itself rather redundant to be honest.
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I definitely remember Root referring to The Machine as God last season, but not with a female gender.

I would say if you're a Christian and you believe in the Trinity, then calling God "Him" or "Father" isn't redundant. In that faith Jesus Christ *IS* God after all. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; one God in three persons. I'm not defending Christianity or Judaism (I'm agnostic), but those religions and their doctrines have been around for a while. Only new age hippie religions refer to God as a female.

What I find funny is out of that mammoth comment 2 of the 4 replies I received were about Root calling The Machine a "she".
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I just found that part of you wondering about Root specifying it as a female odd.

New age hippie religions? Seriously? LOL! I don't really believe in Gods in the traditional sense, but the world's oldest religions, all of which fall under the collective term of Hinduism believe in multiple Gods (humanoid and non-humanoid) and Gods of both genders and a gender combined God as well (Ardhanareeshwara). I see no problem with Root assigning anything she wants to the sentient machine, especially when its more confounding to watch people assign a gender to inanimate and non-sentient objects.
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@FF: LOL. So, you're the one who's talking of relatively newer age hippie religions.
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Sorry, I should have specified that most monotheistic religions and all Abrahamic religions refer to God in the male context.

I found it odd Root referred to The Machine as a "she". You found it odd that I found that odd. It's an odd world.
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I had typed-out an extensive response, but it was devoured after I stupidly hit the "F5" button. I'll try to retype the damn thing after I bang my head into my desk a few times. =<

Two things about Root being given the name "Robin" while in the asylum: it's the name of Batman's famous sidekick, as well as a bird-themed name, which fits the pattern of her being Finch's nemesis since Finch, himself, uses a ton of bird-named aliases. Oh, and Root is the Joker, that will be all but confirmed once she escapes the asylum.
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Ah, the Nolan connection! Nice corollary there. I would say Root is more of an acolyte than an anarchist, though.

And I've written extensive comments on this site before, only to lose them with the dreaded slip of the finger. It's infuriating.
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Can you explain the white boxes?
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No! They drive me mad! I would say they mean nothing, just your average citizen with no knowledge of The Machine's doings. But Carter is still a white box (hey, you use box instead of square, too?), and she's *tenuously* involved. Also, only certain people get white boxed. Some pedestrians don't get boxed at all. What's up with that?

I don't know, but it keeps me up at night.
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I've noticed most of the people they protect are in white boxes.
Also some, but not all traffic are in white boxes as well
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there have been white boxes around "bad guys" who knew about the machine
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"Firstly, I found it interesting that Root has all of a sudden assigned a sex to The Machine. She? Really, Root? The Machine is a "she" now?"

I wouldn't read too much into that. We all know she's crazy. Crazy people don't need to make sense. LOL < (yes, her obsession with the Machine is borderline psychotic)

I have no problems with Root giving it a gender, perhaps in her mind, it's a she?
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Yeah, this entire comment is basically me reading too much into things. But I have fun.
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You also give us fun.
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Yes we've met Elias' Bitch boy before, he's been around since season one.
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Pretty mediocre especially from what has been to date a Great series. Always hate it when the network swaps nights, especially for a successful show. I get it that they're trying to find an even more successful show for Thursday night but this move didn't do POI any favors. That and making it like a NCIS spin off was kind of lame too. I trust that's a one off.
Concern is sputtering Tuesday numbers leads to switch to Friday which is usually a show's death knell.
Like Shaw but Reese and Finch got overshadowed and THAT is a bad thing
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Since nobody is mentioning, I'll say it... Fusco defused a bomb!!
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He did! He was awesome!

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"I love Shaw and her personality..." - LOL

Are we even watching the same show here, Tim? The actress playing her has ZERO on screen chemistry with the rest of the cast, and her character is empty, dull and lifeless same as Ms. Sarah Shahi's performance was in this one. I feel like the writers are forcing her down our throats, for whatever reason, I'll never understand. Pissing off the fans, is not a good way to start Season 3.

I just wish more time was spent on Carter/Root because they are the ones who make this show work. (at least for me) Root and Finch's chemistry is off the charts. Maybe he can visit her? LOL (I always felt like Root was crushing on him big time)
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I think they are building her up to eventually side with Root. Finch already mentioned his dislike of the way she does things
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"The actress playing her has ZERO on screen chemistry with the rest of the cast, and her character is empty, dull and lifeless same as Ms. Sarah Shahi's performance was in this one. I feel like the writers are forcing her down our throats, for whatever reason, I'll never understand"

Sigh, unfortunately I agree here. Why are they forcing her on us? As I said in my comment below, first she suddenly becomes protagonist in Season 2 finale, while Fusco and Carter are being ignored, then regular in season 3. My opnion is that they wanted to get the male audience attention, but it's a huge risk, you don't go and endanger a show because you're greedy.

Anyway, I wanna be hopeful and think they have intelligent plans for her and that her character is gonna be flesh out.
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Isn't Shahi a show killer though? Or do I have her confused with another doppelganger actress? I swear she's always being added to a show several seasons in to "shake things up" dynamic-wise and bring "sex appeal" before the show is cancelled or her character is quickly offed. I'm not blaming Shahi for those shows' earned demises, but she certainty seems to be a harbinger of death.
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There seems to be a pretty even divide between people who love Shaw and those who hate her.
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haha, I'm not sure if I should check in as a Shaw hater just yet - but if the show kills Carter, I'll blame Shaw for the rest of the show's life!
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Love her!
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Well I'm simply indifferent to the character. I'm the agnostic of Shaw fans.
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The fact is: the male audience didn't really need encouragement. I've been reading Tim's reviews and he and the rest of the male folks seemed really happy as it was. But they are looking to attract those people that are still not watching, and I fear it could be more female viewers too. Not by adding a hot chick, but you know, possibility of hot romance. Which is not an idea I embrace. They can always do that without taking out your characters! Now I'm just waiting for Carter to die at the end of the season, and I'm done with this.
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I think there was a blip of interest after Sarah's first appearance in 'Relevance' so the production team added her onto the cast permanently. I don't know that they would have written her in otherwise.
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could be, could be, even i was excited to know she was joining originally
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I go for Carter and Root as well, but you know, it's like they needed to add a hot female character similar to the video games ones. Like maybe they think that's what the show is missing to get more viewers. I'm surprised they didn't add a teenager to the mix.
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I actually really like the addition of Shahi as regular. Reese and Finch's relationship will always be the backbone of the show but I appreciate it being less of an all boy's club now...plus, the character of Shaw brings a lot to the table and if handled correctly by the writers could be an amazing addition and deliver just what the show was lacking, to me. More character-driven storylines.
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Ok this was a fantastic pilot.

I say pilot, because for many that is what this was. This was POI being introduced to a whole new set of viewers, viewers that can and should be able to make this a ratings juggernaut that it deserves to be. And it had nodding moments to us POI fans to kind of say what it was and that we will be back to awesome in a week, maybe two.

The Navy plot, could have been an effort to reign in NCIS viewers, but I think it was more to be able to get everyone in play and set up everyone to get to know everyone save for Finch. And that is kind of the way the pilot did it back in season one. The Marines have a Spec ops team that it in it for themselves? Ok bring on Reese who is a one man spec ops team with his just as talented sidekick Shaw who really wants to kill people emphasized by eating a steak with a knife through it. Which honestly makes me love Shaw that much more. You want to find Navy guys? Here is Carter a once detective now patrol officer who was in the military so she knows this type of stuff(this was covered in season one with the heist crew and the radios). But she has her own connections and her own secrets and her own agenda, as she has always had. The only gripe I have with her is that most if not all Patrol Officers for NYPD have partner in their car.

And those are the central players. With Finch as the man behind it all and kind of mysterious in his own right. Though new viewers just don't know how mysterious he actually is, which is to say, more than the rest of the cast combined. And Fusco, the reluctant but competent helper as well in all of this(as he was in the first episode).

This all was for the benefit of the new viewer of the show. And though the fan faithful will be slightly annoyed by this. To them I say, hey pipe down. If this can gain the show more viewers and ensure a long lasting run for this show and with that, you have to have a re-pilot and some candy coated episodes for them. I say the more the merrier. I say I will take that, because with this influx of characters, if this gets enough viewers, we can see Shaw potentially have her own show. And I am all for that. Also we may have a future POI cast member in this weeks number. He seems to be someone that if they were going to do a spinoff that he would fit right in. Plus he was on NCIS at least once if I recall.

Now for us loyal viewers. We got Elias back, who was in top form last night and his back up guy (seriously Tim we have seen scarface at least a couple dozen times) who now has a bigger speaking role and has an eye for Carter. Which I think is fun. And we also got Root, our beloved psychopathic technophilic prays and preys for that matter, at the alter of her holiness the machine. Who apparently can now hold conversations, is both giving the government and Finch and company numbers to deal with. But Root is all about the POI faithful.

She is unrepentantly off, and is sort of fantastic in her own right. If we are still going by the who Batman mythology she is the perfect Catwoman. In fact so much so that whomever is in charge of Ben Affleck's Batman, if they need a new Catwoman she needs to be it. Amy Acker, I feel by the end of this season will deserve an Emmy nomination and a win next year. Acker has always been fantastic but I feel that this is going to be her break out role. And honestly I hope she kills the psychiatrist. Can't stand cheaters.

In short, this opener was for the new viewers but it still brought forth everything good about POI. POI can translate to the NCIS viewers who always wanted Gibbs to just shoot people. POI is arguably one of the best shows on TV if not the best. It has some stiff competition now with Justified and most recently with The Americans. For me it is just perfect.

It also seems to now finally be on demand. If CBS was smart, and I know this your site. And you are smart. You would take this introduction and newly on demand status and allow the new viewer to go through and power watch first two seasons so that they can catch up and love the show as much as the rest of us. Plus I want to rewatch them and it isn't streaming content on Netflix yet, by the way get on that too while you're at it.
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"If this can gain the show more viewers and ensure a long lasting run for this show and with that, you have to have a re-pilot and some candy coated episodes for them."

Here's is the problem though: Tim already mentioned that the numbers are down - "Person of Interest hit a series low (a series low!!!) in the key demo last night, netting only a 2.3 rating among those under 50, down from the 2.9 it scored at the onset of Season 2. This is baaaaaaad."

They didn't need to re-pilot anything
, they should have picked up Season 3 right where S2 ended, and not give us more procedural crap. I felt like the whole episode was totally unnecessary and it felt out of place. You know, there's a saying - It's more important to keep current customers happy than to attract new ones. The same thing can be applied to viewers. If they wanted to attract new viewers, they should have promoted the show better or think of something else instead of messing with the show's timelines/storylines. (I mean come on, the Navy Seal stuff, was that really necessary?)

The only reason I kept watching was Amy Acker. I'm extremely dissapointed that they decided to sell out by trying to cash in on NCIS viewers.
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I agree with you re picking up on the story that we all care about, but the numbers could be down because of 1) scheduling issues (isn't the show now in a less accessible time slot?) and 2) because the promos this season are pretty bad (usually you want promos to tell some kind of story, these are all just a series of rapid fire scenes).
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Then if that stays the case they need to move it back and disregard trying to follow NCIS.
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I don't think that the NCIS audience is necessarily the same as the POI audience at all. I'll probably get flamed but the attraction of NCIS to viewers seems to be it's consistency and predictability. When you watch NCIS, you know that they are out to get the bad guys and that by the end of the episode they will have done so and the world, which in NCIS is portrayed as farily good until there is a threat to it, will be made right again. I am not an NCIS viewer, but I think the closest they get to gray is the main character having killed someone and hiding it (don't follow the show, so don't know much about that).

POI presents a world in which many things and people are not what they seem and there are these really well developed subcultures and secret organizations (not to mention the Machine) who wield a lot of influence despite being unknown to most people. The characters in POI are never black and white -- Carter was the closest we got to that and when she rescued Elias and as we found out in this ep has been secretly working the case against HR, her character turned a corner.

Anyway, I've written all of this to say that I don't think there is necessarily cross-over between the two audiences. I may be wrong -- but when I think NCIS, I also think of an older, more mainstream audience for whom its consistency is comforting.
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@Mate You said what I was holding back on saying. My in-laws watch NCIS regularly and they go to bed at 10 and aren't PVRers. I think like your folks, they would probably enjoy POI, but it just won't fit into their (Baby Boomer) routine. I hope the network wises up and finds a better slot, like the one you suggested.
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I was thinking about that. And you are right, they really are kind of going for a different audience and perhaps they would do better being paired up with Elementary. Because they both seem to be going after a younger audience. The NCIS audience might just go to sleep after LA. But I think that they would enjoy it, I turned my parents who are die hard NCIS fans to POI and they enjoyed it. But they don't stay up past 10. So I see your point.
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I thought it was very good, much better than an average episode. I don't get the complaints below. The case of the week wasn't that interesting, but it never is. The episode had several great scenes: Fusco with the beard, the first group of bad guys discovering Reese, etc. The scenes with root were especially great.

My biggest complaint would be that they don't seem to know the difference between a phone and its screen.
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What do you mean about not knowing the difference between a phone and its screen?
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There were two scenes where someone was supposed to destroy their phone, and in both cases, they dropped it on the ground and then stepped on it so the screen broke.
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Oh, I only caught one of those scenes and didn't think it through as you have. LOL. Yep, get it - destroying it fully would mean dealing with the card, etc. and in Shaw's case making sure stuff like that is wiped clean of her prints.
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Max Martini on Person of Interest. Enough said.
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I must confess I was a bit wary during the entire episode, I couldn't help but being skeptical about not one, but two new regular!

Also because I'm still pretty mad about the messy season 2 finale, when the writers thought it was okay to keep Fusco out of the games, leave Carter by herself in a dire situation and suddenly make Shaw co-protagonist of the season ending. Then of course yeah, great part of the episode was awesome but those flaws I can't surely ignore.

Anyway, let's talk present times, I agree with Tim: Finch wasn't that centered, at all and I really missed him (and Bear, sob). I did appreciated though that they tried to balance screen time with all the new additions, without completely failing.
Not the epic starts of Season 1 and 2, but they gave us lots of glimpses of what this season will be about, and I'm intrigued, also because we still have to know something from the Government part.
Still sceptic about Root being a regular. Don't get me wrong, Amy Acker was amazing. Outstanding, her best performance ever. She really is perfect as Root and actually, I was surprised Harold didn't check the doctor's background more accurately... That was quite sloppy of him. Anyway, she's so amazing I think she deserves the role but I'm not sure if her constant presence does any good to the storyline, I guess it's too soon to tell.
I liked Shaw, I think she was a tiny less conceited and snarky towards our beloved duo but dear, her character needs to be improved.
It was cool in the beginning but the joke wears thin, we already got that: she's small and pretty but she likes big guns and fast cars... They really need to deepen her character a bit, I refuse to think she's there simply to show her boobs to please the male audience and add muscle to the irrelevant operation.

Fortunately we still got some adorable scenes, lke in the end, at the bar. It was so lovely and the fact that Finch asked such a personal question to John speaks volumes: their friendship is stronger than ever! I so hope they'll show details in some flashbacks, I wanna know why did kid!John end up in front of a judge and got to choose the army. Then again, I'm a sucker for flashbacks and I hope we'll have plenty!
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Elias' buddy was the first of the dirty cops we met, I was always a little confused whether he actually was a cop or not but he's like Matt Damon's role in the Departed.

I wrote this last night, but it was sort of like a mid season episode where you figure the writers needed to dial down the drama of the Machine's mythology but then also needed to tell or let all viewers know that Root is both crazy and that the Machine is not infalliable since it is concerned about her and kind of seems to be agreeing with Finch that she needs to work through some things. Oddly, if they were just going for the we want to meld into the neighborhood, maybe they should have not checked in with Root at all and just been procedural.

I was a little put off by the lack of Finch involvement and there was like weirdness between Finch and Reese. I think maybe a visit from Leo and/or Zoe might help since, even though Zoe and John have that thing together, I think of them as more the Finch type people.
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HR cleaned house, so I'll doubt that Elias' lieutenant was able to stay on as a cop - but who knows?
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Good review, not much to add. I have been so over NCIS for the past 4 years, but you can't argue with success. It was a totally kick-ass episode of POI and I can't imagine it was the cause for the lower ratings. Until people watch it, it stands on it's last season. It didn't really need a face-lift, but you have to play Sarah Shahi if you have her and 3rd base will never be the same--Graig Nettles, much? As for Root, she was awesome and scary as always...
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I think the lower ratings are due to the fact its been moved to 10 pm and its lead demographic is not the almighty 18-49 demographic winner.
However it was the winner for overall viewers in its 10 pm timeslot - with 12.44 million, which is down 0.7m from its season 2 average in the 9 pm slot.
In overall numbers, it was the 5th highest watched show of the night.
The 2.3 rating gave it a tie for 7th place in the 18-49 demographic for the night.
Both ratings are almost double those of Golden Boy.
Chicago Fire got 6th place in the 18-49 bracket with a 2.7 but only 8.9m viewers - it also had The Voice as its lead in
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Scarface (David Vicocin?) has been in the series since shortly after Elias was introduced, if not at the same time. Back in season 1.
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David Valcin. He first appeared in Baby Blue, back in Season 1. His first of what is now six appearances.
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David Valcin (Scarface/Anthony Marconi) first appeared in Witness (S1E07) as did Enrico Colantoni. Good to see that Scarface is out of the hospital and back in action.
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