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Person of Interest “Prisoner’s Dilemma” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit:CBS

We had just announced our 2012 Most Memorable episodes, but I can guarantee you that last night’s episode of Person of Interest is already on my potential list for 2013.  “Prisoner’s Dilemma” was spectacular, top-notch, and it’s going to be very hard for any episode to top it – whether it’s an episode of Person of Interest or any other television series.

While last week we barely touched on Reese’s (Jim Caviezel) capture, this episode was 100% on the topic.  We were on a conference call recently with Executive Producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman, and I specifically asked them about a potential alliance between Reese and Elias (Enrico Colantoni), especially given the connection Elias seemed to have with Finch when he visited him in prison.  They kind of  tap-danced around the subject, and only said, “Hmmm…. An alliance with Elias? Well, they are in the same prison”.  After that comment, I had a gut feeling I was on target, and I jumped for joy during last night’s episode when Elias came to Reese’s rescue in the prison yard.  Yes, sir, Elias, Reese, and Finch (Michael Emerson) now play for the same team!

Besides this fantastic twist, the intensity of the interrogations that Carter (Taraji P. Henson) conducted was amazing.  We all know that Finch had a contingency plan in the season 2 premiere, but that plan pales in comparison to the contingency plan that he had in place in case Reese were ever captured.  The whole fake John Warren identity, all equipped with a perfect workplace, family photos, and even a past love interest blew me away.

               When you cook up a cover, you don’t mess around! – Carter to Finch

No kidding, Carter!  Of course, it shouldn’t be too surprising considering that hacking is what Finch does, but still the entire situation was breath taking.

But, the best writing and the most amazing twists came in the last 15 minutes of the episode.  While I may have been right about the Elias alliance, I (and I am betting most of the viewers) was dead wrong about Donnelly (Brennan Brown).  I had stated in my last review that he “wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed”, but he turned out to be smarter than he looked.  He knew there was a mole in the NYPD, he played Carter like a fine violin because he suspected her, and she fell right into his trap.  As well trained of an interrogator as you are, if you honestly care about someone, that’s really difficult to hide, and that gave her away.  The only mistake Donnelly made, which still proves that he still isn’t that smart, is that he didn’t have a back up.

And, when you are messing with the likes of Reese and Cara Stanton (Annie Parisse), you had better be sure to have back up.  Actually, you should have a back up for your back up.  After Donnelly had captured Reese and Carter, I was certain Donnelly was going to die, but I suspected that Reese was going to be the killer.  But, no, his old partner, Stanton, saves the day and does the job herself.

                Hey lover, miss me? – Cara Stanton to Reese

Wow, what a perfect ending to a perfect episode.  Oh, and let’s not forget about our wonderful Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman).  He is left to handle the latest POI, who turns out to be a drop-dead gorgeous supermodel.  Nolan and Plageman had laughed that they were going to play Fusco up to be the lady’s man, and this episode sure sealed that deal.

               Thank you, Lionel, for everything.  Call me.

 Yes, our Fusco is the real Casanova now!

This episode was brilliant, and now, leaves us with so many open questions:

  1.  What is Stanton going to do with Reese?  Yes, Reese was sent to kill her in China, but that was Agent Snow’s call. My guess is that Stanton places all of that blame on Snow, which is why he has the bomb strapped to him. Will they become allies, just like Reese is with Elias now?
  2. I was actually surprised that Finch stopped to answer the phone call in the phone booth when Reese’s life was on the line.  It made me wonder if that’s what happened that caused his partner and life-long friend, Nathan Ingram (Brett Cullen), to get killed.  Did he leave Ingram behind to try and save someone else?
  3. What’s going to become of our assassin in Riker’s sent in by the NSA to kill the 4 men in suits?  Will Elias be able to take care of that problem?

Gee whiz, so many questions, and now, we have to wait an entire week to get any clues at all.  But, after an episode of this magnitude, I’m certain the wait will certainly be worth it.

Person of Interest airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

Most Memorable Quotes (and this episode was full of them)

  •  Wonderboy, is that you? – Fusco to Finch
  • I don’t know why I’m here or who you think I am, but I have a life that I really need to get back to.  And, if they won’t let me see a lawyer, you’re my only hope.  Please..I just want to go home – Reese
  • It’s my first triple homicide.  I didn’t know I was supposed to prepare jokes – Reese to Stanton
  • We are killers, that’s our job.  And, if you want to be good at your job, you’re going to have to learn to love your work – Stanton to Reese
  • Can’t have Agent Donnelly spying on our reunion, can we? – Elias to Reese
  • I know all about their hunt for the “Man in the Suit”.  I personally think they could have come up with a better name – Elias to Reese
  • I was pissed for a while, but the truth is, John, you’ll always be the man that came out of nowhere and saved my life – Elias to Reese


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  1. Matty

    Yes, it was a superb episode. The other intriguing question is what will Stanton do to Carter after bumping off Donnelly ?

  2. Carol

    Definitely the best episode of the series so far. A stupendous combination of writing, acting, and storytelling. The intense and ironically intimate interrogation scenes, with their multi-layered revelations of back story for both Reese and Carter, were absolutely spellbinding. This was an Emmy-nomination reel for both Caviezel and Henson for sure.

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