Last night’s episode of Person of Interest, “Legacy,” continued the series’ great season-long pacing. We saw Detective Carter come into the fold with Reese and Finch, Finch do some extracurricular work that raised Reese’s eyebrows, and most importantly, Reese clean up some of New York City’s scummiest dirtbags.
“Legacy” was one of Reese’s best episodes in a long time, particularly in the early scenes. The man was on fire, uttering zingers and punching people in the face (though not necessarily in that order) at a pace that kept the first half of the episode afloat. I know he was only wheeling around for one episode, but damn it felt good to have Reese back on the streets again, and doing what he does best. Plus he made up for lost time in great fashion: He took down that MMA chump with the help of a garbage truck (taking out the trash!), flattening the musclehead and setting up that crook parole officer by pouring plastic-bottle hobo gin in his crotch and calling the police. That’s some devious stuff right there. And I loved it.
Equally lovable was Reese’s back-and-forth with Carter. Her reactions each time she picked up the phone and Reese told her that he’d bent the law a bit were golden! That’s how Reese and Finch work, girl, you better get used to it. There’s no time for these “laws” you keep telling Reese you have to obey! But in the end, Carter won the last laugh when she got the job done and said, “And I didn’t even have to shoot anyone.” Oh snap, Reese, you done got served!
Reese and Finch are bringing Carter in cautiously, which is the way to go. At the moment, she’s essentially another Detective Fusco, helping them with paperwork and menial tasks while serving as their eyes and ears in the police precinct. Think of it as an internship, Carter. Now go get some coffee for Reese! I’m on Reese’s side, in that I agree Fusco and Carter don’t need to know about each other, if only for comedic purposes. Reese seems to get a kick out of Fusco’s updates on Carter’s actions, and I do too. Nice detective work there, Lionel.
Playing out alongside that dynamic is a similar one between Reese and Finch. In this episode, we met Will, Nathan’s son. Finch clearly took a shine to the kid, even though he’s the sort of person who gets thrown in jail for underground gambling. So he’s a charitable doctor looking to change the world AND he likes to play illegal blackjack in the basements of Chinese restaurants? Oooookay. But that’s beside the point. What’s important is the way Finch seemed to feel responsible for Will. Was it simply because he wants to look out for the kid? Or because he somehow felt guilty and was overcompensating by keeping a close eye on Will? What involvement did Finch have in Nathan’s death?
The little secret Finch was keeping from Reese is going to make things interesting. Now Reese is prying into Finch’s private life, and using Fusco to tail Finch. Side note: Isn’t it a REALLY bad idea to tail a target with someone the target knows? All Finch has to do is turn around and the whole plan would blow up. Anyway, Reese snooping on Finch came at the perfect time. As much as we want to see their friendship and partnership grow, we want Person of Interest to keep the intrigue coming. By introducing this situation in the second half of the season, just when we thought the two were getting close enough to drive each other to the airport, it carries a lot more weight. Like I said before, the season-long pacing on Person of Interest is terrific.
The standalone case this week involved a shady foster kid scheme, and the Person of Interest was a sexy, spicy lawyer who got a little too close to exposing it. Guess what? In the end, the bad guys got busted! Yay! The case itself was fine, but what was really great was watching how everyone—Reese, Finch, Carter, Lionel—all worked together. I will say that I was pretty overjoyed to see Terrence the ex-con reunite with his kid after beating the frame job. I guess I’m just a sucker for recovering drug addicts getting to see their sons after their parole officers try to frame them and set up a giant grift by accepting foster-care payments for children who don’t exist thanks to a dirty file clerk in the system. It’s a weakness of mine.
“Legacy” didn’t blow me away, but it maintained Person of Interest‘s momentum and provided several great moments. Most importantly, it allowed Reese to return to causing mayhem in the city with his knuckle sandwich food cart.
Questions! Questions! Questions!
This episode left me with one big question, which I will pose to you: Whose backstory is more interesting, Reese’s or Finch’s? In recent episodes, the writers have focused on a lot of Finch backstory, and I never thought I’d be more interested in Finch’s past than Reese’s, but doggone it I am. I’m sure there’s plenty of mystery to unfold with Reese before the season is up, but for now, Finch has my attention. I’m DYING to know what happened to Ingram and how Finch was involved. What about you?
I also have a smaller question that involves the series’ format over the last several episodes: Early on, one of the fun things about the weekly Persons of Interest was that we didn’t know whether they were in the sights or holding the gun. In most of the show’s recent episodes, the POI has been the target. If memory serves, it hasn’t been since Episode 8 that the POI was the potential shooter (the German guy played by Charles Widmore). Do you miss the guessing game of trying to figure out whether the POI is good or bad?
– On why he wants Carter to join them: “Because I’m tired of you chasing me.”
– On getting his ass kicked: “Wishing gunshot wounds healed faster right about now…”
– On Carter’s progress: “You’re getting paranoid, Carter. That’s a step in the right direction.”
– On being indirectly responsible for a thug getting smashed by a garbage truck: “In my defense, he didn’t look both ways before crossing the street.”
– On being made: “I don’t need your services anymore, Andrea. But I think you’re going to need mine.”
– On travel: “So you were never in jail.” —Andrea. “Not in this country.” —Reese
And let’s not forget his “interview” with the lawyer, when he was talking about his boss and taking jabs at Finch. Someone get this guy a gig at an open mic!
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom