Person of Interest

Season 1 Episode 21

Many Happy Returns

19
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 03, 2012 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

9.0
out of 10
Average
282 votes
  • Just when I thought Nolan couldn't top himself ...

    10
    We get a masterpiece of an episode like this one!



    Jonathan Nolan steps in to co-write the story on this crucial episode (and we thought that last week's clarified a lot of stuff and had a surprise ending!)--and it shows. Not that the other writers have done poorly under his supervision, but you can tell the intensity of Jonathan's pen, and the expert pacing of what is revealed when.



    His brother, Chris, had said after The Dark Knight was released that he was not going to do the third movie until his brother had come up with a script that topped that one. I was originally hopeful yet concerned about this summer's upcoming The Dark Knight Rises when I heard it was definitely being made well over a year ago, because I was skeptical that Jonathan could top it. With Person of Interest, that skepticism has progressively faded--and now, with this episode, all doubt has been eradicated. "Many Happy Returns" is his best work yet!



    The acting by Caviezel, Emerson, and Henson is so well-done; this episode required that they act more with their unspoken thoughts/feelings than even their superbly written lines--and they each do an amazing job. Despite the previews, Caviezel's handling of Reese is not one-note (not that it ever has been)--we witness the transformation as he goes through virtually every possible human emotion as the episode--backstory and present--develops.



    In the midst of all of the tension and instensity of the stories, all three leads I mentioned (sorry Fusco fans, but this one's not about him) have a scene that is powerful and endearing in its simplicity of portraying their character's compassion. Reese's game of checkers with the blind elderly man got me near the start, then I was further moved along with Carter through her emotional progression as she discovers the truth about Reese's past--and present--both at Jessica's mother's home and near the end at her office. But I have to admit--the true lump-in-my throat came at the end, in the final few seconds, with an unexpected very brief Finch moment for which Michael Emerson deserves an Emmy in my opinion.



    I simply can't wait for the final two episodes, but I know I'll be missing the season once they're over--September siimply won't be able to get here soon enough this year!
  • Every new episode is better than the previous one

    10
    When is this going to stop? Every new episode becomes my favourite one.



    This show is so under rated at the moment. It needs to be in my country and in most of europe. Period
  • Many Un-happy Returns

    9.5
    There is something so engaging about this series. I really like the careful unpeeling of Reese's past, and the careful unveiling of what makes him who he is. One wonders if Reese's actions with Peter somehow made Finch feel that he could do something about the numbers and really be effective.



    We, the watchers, are already rooting for Reese and Finch because they are the 'good guys', but it's nice to see the way Fusco quickly came to know that, and the way Carter is coming to find that her (reluctant) trust hasn't been misplaced.



    With everything that has been set up thus far, I'm terrified of what lies ahead in the final episodes of this season. I've a feeling it is going to be a very bumpy ride.
  • OMG what a great episode

    9.5
    Case of the week - great

    background tie-in to John - great

    Carter's leg work - nicely done

    Music - perfect selection for the mood of the episode



    Best Episode yet

    did I mention great music selection
  • "E"motion sickness

    10
    Wow, what a superb episode!!!

    The acting abilities of Jim Caviezel are outstanding, his ability to show his feelings with just his eyes.

    This episode takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions with Reese from start to finish. The background information revealed shows how Finch and Reese's life intertwine.

    POI doesn't disappoint and with only 2 episodes left the possibilities are endless.....
  • Intensity of Emotion

    10
    Wow! Person of Interest is so good that when it tops itself you just have to say, wow. "Many Happy Returns", the title, makes you wonder what this episode could possibly be about. The title, as it turns out, is due to the timing of Reese's birthday, but like most artful wordplay it means much more. Like the urgent need for redemption of Reese, who in his state of anger, over the company's failed attempt of eliminating him, got darker as he left behind the love of his life for his work - only to be betrayed. It turned him into a seething machine of hate. The only thing left to do would be implode or try to reconnect with that lost love. When Reese gets the call from Jessica it's the best chance he has to return to a world with hope, but he's too late as her devious controlling husband has accidently killed her and staged a car accident which he survived. The healing will have to wait as Reese has some business with Peter.



    Now, as the episode starts we don't know all these things. We first get a flashback where Reese is wounded and haggard on a train, this is an even stranger version of John than we usually get and it begs to be explained...in time that is. We segue forward to the present and it's John;s birthday to which Finch purposely gives him the day off. Finch knows that the present number could undo much of the solid, but slow, process of John's return to humanity. John's good, no great, at what he does, but it is his sense of absolute right and wrong that is both glorious and a huge weight to carry. Finch knows, by the many cases they have worked together that John is carrying that weight better and better. John is making the right decisions when they're tough and he is even finding a bit of happiness once more - here and there. Harold just wants to protect him from a case that could be a real setback plus give him a nice birthday with a surprise.



    This is the setup for what may be, IMHO, the best episode yet of "Person of Interest". It allows the three principals to flesh out their characters and they become even more beloved because of the great degree of humanity shown in each of their situations. This episode proves that the casting couldn't be any better as Caviezel, Emerson, and Henson are absolutely perfect in bringing to life what writer Jonathan Nolan has envisioned. And speaking of Nolan, he is an amazing writer who not only revitalized the Batman franchise, but brings high quality writing with depth and freshness to TV that few other writers seem capable of. I hope that his well never runs dry as this is my favorite current TV show and it really does seem to get better as it goes.



    Speaking of the healing. The finale is neat. You can almost get choked up as the ties that bind Reese, Finch, and Carter are expertly filmed. I say filmed because there's little dialog, but the end is rich with a spiritual feeling. This is great writing with excellent cinematography (the show is definitely filmed quite well and this deserves mention too) telling more than the spoken word. And as for healing, well, Reese has a surprise for us as to how he dealt with Perter, and gets his special birthday present from Finch. At the end he is shown looking down on his beloved checker matches from his window with a smile on his face. A perfect ending. I almost forgot the music paired with the end; I don't know the song or artist, but you can bet I will because it ramped up the spiritual part powerfully.
  • 1x21 "Manny Happy Returns"

    10
    After 21 episodes, I've come to a conclusion: Reese is Batman. Now jokes aside, this show can't get any better. And thank God is on CBS because otherwise, the producion would't be as expensive and classy... Plus it will probably have 10+ seasons.
  • one of the best episodes

    10
    If you weren't a fan of Caviezel til now, after watching this episode you'll change your mind. I guess half of the merit goes to the staff and writers and directors but he definitely played his character brilliantly. It's hard to comment without giving away any important information but i must say i felt sorry for Reese throughout the entire show and in the end when Carter found out what happened to the marshal i instantly got a lump in my throat which only grew bigger at the last scene that blew me away completely.

    Finch was awesome as the concerned partner that tries to protect Reese's emotional state, he went out of his way to keep him from knowing of this week's POI, even revealed that he knew his birthday. Luckily for the POI Reese was smart enough to realize something was off and stepped in to save the day. Watching how afraid Finch was that Reese might break down made me feel anxious too.

    Carter showed us some cool detective work alongside with great instinct... finding that picture though was a stroke of luck. She also sensed that something was off so she cut Reese more than some slack... i guess she also felt sorry for the guy. What surprised me a little was their discussion on the side of the road. with her personality i expected her to insist more on him giving over the marshal to her, and i don't get why he didn't tell her what he was going to do with that guy... anyway, this is one of the best episodes so far... i'm going to miss this show during the summer

  • Merry Band of Three

    9.0
    The only reason I rated this show a 9 is because each episode becomes better and better! Love seeing the characters becoming more settled in their roles. The Merry Band of Three are starting to give each other support And space when needed, which became obvious with "get out"! and "trust me"! Feel sorry for Fusco. He seems to be on the outside and more than a little lost. Looking forward to this character maturing and becoming a more important part of the group.
  • more close to the truth than people realize

    8.5
    Having worked in the electronics area of intelligence, people do not realize how many times a day they are videoed and that facial recognition is real. The only thing that holds back a program like Finch's is storage (and that increases daly) and a correlation program .

    There are programs on a small scale. Reese is more like a composite of several guys who have their *** together. I LIKE THE PROGRAM
  • Let's Talk About Reese

    10
    Powerful episode, emotional and show us more about Reese character. The true about what happens with Jessica is heartbreaking. Jim Caviezel did a very good job. Carter find the true about him is a great think too.



    Reese out of control = check

    Reese make the right decision in the end = check

    Reese protect women for bad guys = check



  • Really emotional episode

    9.5
    Totally engaging episode, draws out lots of emotion.

    Some interesting info comes out re: Johns past, beautifully acted and directed and like jamesoff said "great music selection".
  • A true thriller of an episode

    10
    Out of all the episodes of POI ,i think this was the most thrilling one.It sent chills up my spine.It was not the story ,but it was the intensity of the atmosphere the episode was shot in.James Caviezel (Reese) was undoubtedly the main highlight.He really owned this episode.The episode calmly revealed a large portion of Reese's background story,which was again amazingly unfolded,layer by layer.

    I dont know if its just me or a well thought of idea, i felt the character of Reese being heavily influenced of the Nolan's Batman(Jonathan Nolan ,the head writer of POI ,has also written both The Dark Knight & the upcoming Dark Knight Rises)
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