In this week’s episode of CBS’s drama series PERSON OF INTEREST entitled “Many Happy Returns,” the show delves deeper into the mystery of who John Reese is and how “the machine” actually came to be a part of his life. PERSON OF INTEREST may look and feel like a weekly procedural in that each week as “the machine” generates numbers warning of an imminent threat against a person or persons which propels John Reese and Harold Finch to spring into action to save those unsuspecting individuals lives. But episode-by-episode, we have also begun to wonder exactly how John Reese was chosen to be Harold Finch’s crusading warrior to save these people. Was it simply because John had the requisite skills and a need for purpose in his life, or was there another reason that John was chosen? And did Harold choose John or did “the machine”?
The episode “Many Happy Returns” not only explores who John was before Harold found him and how their lives intersected at a crucial time, but also serves to remind viewers and fans how fragile the line is between vengeance and losing one’s soul completely.
At the recent event celebrating PERSON OF INTEREST at the Paley Center, stars Michael Emerson, Jim Caviezel, Kevin Chapman and executive producers Greg Plageman and Jonathan Nolan provided a few candid insights into the series and their fun experiences with the show.
PERSON OF INTEREST has done a fine job of layering its weekly mysteries with a fascinating thread of mythology. By making each one of its lead characters a mystery in and of itself, fans are invited to follow closely along to see if they can spot the clues into who Harold and John really are and what twist of fate brought them together.
The final four episodes of this season are going to reveal a few more clues answering just these questions. The one mystery that may be unanswered for awhile is whether or not “the machine” will ever develop or evolve into a state of artificial intelligence and if that could eventually put it at odds with its creator and our heroes. Right now it is enough to figure out how far our heroes will go to protect the innocent and ensure justice is served for the guilty – both within and outside of the criminal justice system. Because Reese and Finch are operating outside the law, there is really nothing or no one stopping them from using any means necessary to accomplish their goals. They have cajoled and strong-armed as needed to get Detectives Carter and Fusco to assist, but can Reese and Finch be held accountable for the actions they take as they seek to protect and punish outside the law?
As the show races towards its first season finale, it is not avoiding the thornier moral issues that arise, nor the increasing tension between its four heroes as they chafe at doing what they deem is necessary to do their jobs effectively and to keep out of the cross-hairs of the rising number of villains they must evade. Our heroes: Finch, Reese and their comrades Detectives Carter and Fusco may want to operate within the shadows, but it is getting harder to flying beneath the radar as Reese’s methods attract more and more attention. The noose is tightening and it may become a question of what lengths each will go to in order to protect themselves and each other, as well as the innocent lives they wish to keep from harm.