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Person of Interest “Dead Reckoning” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit:CBS

Well, the good news from tonight’s episode of Person of Interest is that we finally get Reese (Jim Caviezal) back after being kidnapped by his former partner, Cara Stanton (Annie Parisse).  The bad news is another “character” is now in grave danger – The Machine.  And, unless Finch (Michael Emerson) proves that he’s better than some of the biggest hackers in the world, The Machine may have a shelf life of only five months.

We’ve all been wondering since the end of season 1 when Stanton resurfaced what her game plan was.  With the bomb strapped to Snow’s (Michael Kelly) chest and after kidnapping Reese and strapping the same bomb to him, it appeared that revenge was at least part of the motive.  Snow put the hit out on her, and Reese was going to follow the orders – you can kind of see how she might hold a grudge.  However, her grand plan turns out to be far bigger.  She doesn’t want revenge on just the men who tried to kill her.  Stanton wants the name of the person who sent all of them on the mission to China in the first place.  The catch is only this mysterious man knows that name, and for him to reveal it to her, Stanton has to do something for him.

This is where the brilliance of the writing of Person of Interest comes in, and even I, who have gone through all sorts of scenarios in my head of how this was going to play out, didn’t see this coming.  We know from season one that Snow, Stanton and Reese were sent on the mission to China to recover a stolen laptop that we presumed contained sensitive information probably related to The Machine.  I had assumed that the Chinese was just trying to steal the technology, but from tonight’s episode, a more likely scenario is that they were instead trying to find a way to turn it off.  It appears that they did not succeed in their attempts because Stanton is sent in to execute an alternate plan of shutting off The Machine.

That is where the element of surprise comes in.  Finch had created all of these fail-safe plans of preventing anyone from hacking into The Machine and protecting it.  But, the one thing that he neglected to see is that The Machine relies on one big thing – the Internet.  Data can’t be transmitted back and forth to and from The Machine without the Internet, and so, if you wanted to shut down The Machine, how would you do it?  You would do it by grinding the Internet to a halt, and a sure-fire way of doing that is to launch the mother of all viruses, which Stanton succeeds in doing, using Snow and Reese as her pawns.  Again, this demonstrates the extraordinary writing of this show.  This episode pulls together a ton of loose ends from both this season and season one perfectly, and at the same time, spawns a plot to shut down The Machine with a virus that is set to launch five months from now – conveniently around the end of season 2.  I guess we know what Finch and Reese will be up against in the season finale.

Aside from the fantastic storytelling, we also have some great character development, as we always have with this series.  It is interesting to watch Reese and Snow with the bombs strapped to their chests and note their completely different reactions.  Reese is all about making sure everyone is safe, and no one else dies, including Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Fusco (Kevin Chapman).  But, Snow is all about himself.  He couldn’t save his own life, but he made damn sure Stanton went down with him.  That tells us volumes about the character of these two men and confirms that Reese is truly a good guy, regardless of his past acts.  But, the best part is at the end between Finch and Reese.  After being shot by Snow in season one, Reese orders Finch to leave and save himself, but he didn’t.  And, he didn’t leave this time either.  These two men have an extremely strong bond now, and if Reese were going to die, Finch was going to die trying to save him.  That’s not the kind of friendship that you see everyday.

This episode may have eliminated two major baddies, Snow and Stanton, but there’s another big one still out there – Root.  She is the one I thought of after Stanton successfully installs the virus.  Remember, Stanton’s goal was to paralyze the Internet and shut down The Machine.  Root’s focus was “to set it free”.  Also, remember that Root is a hell of a hacker, almost on par with Finch.  Will Root and Finch have to partner up to stop the mega-virus from launching? It sounds like we’re going to have to wait until the end of the season to find out, but it should be a hell of a showdown.

And, what about “Harold Finch” being the name given to Stanton?  Does this mean Finch actually involved with the hits on Reese and Stanton?  I certainly don’t think so.  Remember, Finch is like The Machine’s “father”.  If it had been compromised, he would do everything he could to stop it.   Also, note the date of the mission to China.  It was in 2010, which we know is the year that Finch’s partner, Nathan Ingram, was killed.  Something tells me the two events are connected, especially given the fact that Executive Producer Jonathan Nolan indicated that we would finally find out what happened to Ingram soon enough.  But, again, I suspect we won’t know for sure until the end of the season.

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


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  1. Cuttler

    Finch as the name, wasn’t the person who ordered the mission to China. It was the name of the person who sold the laptop in the first place. Alicia Corwin ordered the mission.

    Since that doesn’t track at all, knowing what we do know about Finch, he was most likely being framed by someone in late 2010 when the laptop was sold or is being set up now by Kara’s boss who hoped she’d track down Finch and kill him.

    1. Mary Powers

      This sounds a really good possibility — great thinking! It makes you wonder if they did back trace it, and ended up with Ingram instead, which got him killed. Either way, I can’t wait for the end of the season to find out!

      1. Nadine Miller

        In last night’s episode, the show had a “flashback” to Nov, 2012 and seemingly repeated the conversation between Cara and the “Chinese Intelligence Man” revealing Harold’s name just prior to Cara getting in the car. It’s confusing because she wasn’t going to get Harold’s name until the virus was successfully launched (which didn’t happen until last night). Why did they flash back to November, 2012 when the conversation was in “current time”?

        1. Cuttler

          That’s because the last 4 episodes (Shadow Box, 2PR, Prisoner’s Dialemma, and Dead Reconning) were all taking place in the middle of November 2012. PD was Nov 16 (as seen in the letter sent to the office of special council), DR was Nov 17 (John and Joss having been arrested by Donnelly the night of the 16th) to the 18th, which was the morning after Kara and Snow were blown up.

          1. nadine miller

            Still, last nights show (which is the latest episode) showed Cara getting her answer to whom stole the laptop. Why have the need for a flashback to November 18, 2012 when that conversation happened in real time? Sorry, just trying to wrap my head around it.

          2. maureen

            Because last night’s show takes place in November and not in “current” time. The show is presently a few months behind us. That conversation about who took the laptop took place in November.

          3. Cuttler

            Nadine, they did the same thing in season 1 when they went back a day to show that Alisha Corwin was listening to Harold tell Henry Peck that he built the machine. All they were doing in that “flashback” was showing you the rest of the conversation they hid from us before the reveil of Mark in her car and their supposed deaths.

        2. Mary Powers

          I just re-watched the episode, and I think it originally was supposed to air in 2012. So, I don’t believe any of that was really “flashbacks”, it was present time. If it were flashbacks, the rolling year timeline would have been at the bottom of the screen, and it wasn’t.

          1. Cuttler

            They flash backed ONE DAY to finish off telling us what Greer told Kara. That’s it. No biggie. They did it before in season 1 also.

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