Ricky Church reviews the eleventh episode of Person of Interest season five…
Just a quick note before I actually start my review: starting with this episode, Person of Interest has reverted back to one episode per week on Tuesday nights at 10 PM until the finale on June 21.
After the tense events of ‘The Day The World Went Away’, and the loss of Root, Person of Interest’s ‘Synecdoche’ let the characters and audiences breath a little bit, but not too much since the number Reese and Shaw received was the most high profile number they could possibly get: the President of the United States, taking them and Fusco on a rare trip outside New York City.
Though ‘Synecdoche’ started out seemingly as a direct continuation of the main plot, it actually turned out to be, what we have to assume, the very last stand-alone episode. Of course, the fact that the President was this week’s target and Samaritan did nothing to save him speaks volumes about what the evil AI is up to as the finale approaches. Much like ‘Sotta Voice’ as well, this episode served to tie up a couple loose ends from the series by bringing back some surprising faces from previous seasons.
Their mission to save the President was a great way to keep the audience guessing as to what was going on. Was it part of Samaritan’s plot? Was Logan Pierce, last seen in Season 2 and played by Jimmi Simpson, leading it? Ultimately it was an attempted coup by government insiders in order to prevent a new surveillance act going through in a somewhat convoluted plot, but it was still fun to see Reese, Shaw and Fusco uncover it while attempting not to get noticed or killed by some of the world’s toughest security force.
The reveal at the end that Logan was actually working for The Machine alongside Season 4’s Harper and Season 1’s Joey Durban, one of the first numbers Finch and Reese ever dealt with, was a cool surprise. Of course it would make sense for The Machine to organize another group of people to catch the numbers should Finch and Reese ever fail, but it was interesting to see it recruited former numbers. It was also funny how each member of this new crew mirrored the current one in some way: Logan was the eccentric, intelligent billionaire, Joey the ex-military enforcement and Harper the identity-stealing chameleon. It was a great way to tie up Logan and Harper’s loose ends as well as bring it full circle by bringing back Durban. If this was not Person of Interest’s final season, this might actually have been a great back-door pilot of some kind for this new POI team.
Elsewhere Finch was on a road trip with a mysterious goal, but spent much of the time debating with his creation, now using the voice of the recently deceased Root. Their interactions were interesting and it was cool yet eerie to hear The Machine actually speak, especially since we’ve only just lost Root ourselves. Finch’s grief was palpable as was the way he’s mostly shut down emotionally with The Machine trying to relieve that grief. It’s clear, though, Finch’s threat to Samaritan at the end of the previous episode wasn’t empty as he’s apparently ready to take drastic and dark steps in order to achieve his goal, as he showed when he blackmailed that one guard with his very ill daughter.
While ‘Synecdoche’ didn’t deal with the main plot in large way, it was still a good ‘filler’ episode that examined where the characters are now in the wake of their recent tragedy and what they plan to do next. The fact Samaritan was willing to let the President die and Finch has taken on some darker characteristics is enough to set the table for the endgame. Whatever Finch and Samaritan are planning, get ready for some severe events to take place.