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Quick Takes: Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman and Greg Plageman Talk Person of Interest Season 3 [INTERVIEW] 

Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Only one more week until Person of Interest returns. We’ve talked to EP/Creator Jonathan Nolan and well as new series regulars Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker. We’ve previewed the season 3 premiere. Now Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman and EP Greg Plageman tease what’s to come in season 3.

What do you think the emotional reaction will be to the machine not being where it’s supposed to be?

Michael Emerson: “It’s a great puzzle, a great mystery. And a thing very troubling to Mr. Finch, but it’s out of his hands now. Well, we don’t know. That will be a developing storyline. Mr. Finch doesn’t know where the machine is but he programmed the machine so he’ll have some sense of what the machine is capable of or what its instincts or inclinations might be. That’ll be intriguing. I hope that’s one of our big story lines this season.”

Do you think that Finch will have any control over the machine anymore? Will it operate on its own?

Michael: “Mr. Finch would say, ‘I never have had any control over it since I locked it up and gave it away. I understand its workings. I know what I put in there,’ but I think all this business of it being sentient or moving itself around, taking action…taking an action… Somebody said today at the [Comic Con] panel, ‘Having the capacity to mail itself places…’ I think that’s a new idea to us as viewers and to Mr. Finch as well. It’s a cool idea.”

How do you like playing off Sarah Shahi‘s Sam? She and Reese both have a technical background but they conflict at the same time.

Michael: “I think that’s a great piece of foil writing on the part of the writers. They are in some sense mirror images of each other except coming from different sides of the machine’s world. There’s lots they can do with it. I mean, doesn’t Shaw make him seem more tender? We used to think he was the baddest ass on that show, but now…who’re you afraid of now? We know what Mr. Reese will do in a lot of situations but she’s a bit of a loose cannon, or looser. So that’s cool that it’s a female character, but maybe the most masculine.”

Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS
Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS

Can you talk about Amy Acker being added as a series regular and how much you’re gonna use her?

Greg Plageman: “She’s mean man. She’s mean. She’s the nicest mean person I’ve ever met. Jonah and I talk about this a lot, whether its Elias or Root. The most compelling villain is always the one that makes a lot of sense. The craziness of reading the manifesto of Ted Kaczynski is that there’s a lot of arguments that man-made, as crazy as he was and as unforgivable the actions that he took, he made a lot of sense in some of the things he was saying that were very true. It’s fun when someone who is your adversary has very compelling arguments. And I think that’s what Harold Finch is starting to recognize with Root. She’s done some terrible, terrible things but the woman makes a lot of sense.”

Will we move away from the police department this season? How is Carter going to continue to be involved in this story?

Greg: “I think Carter finds herself in an untenable, Serpico position where she’s been demoted to a uniform and now we have to wonder what is she gonna do about this? She’s killed her boyfriend, she killed Szymanski, cost her her job, threatened her son and now it seems like HR is ascendant with the Russians. I think the first part of the season is gonna be framed by that. What is Carter up to? And I think it’s gonna be really, really compelling powerful material… and her relationship with Elias.”

What about the machine?

Greg: “We don’t know where the machine is but we know that it’s growing and evolving and that it’s reached out to a third-party now, ever since God Mode episode, which was a lot of fun. We’ve got to do that again.”

Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS

Last season there were issues with HR…

Kevin Chapman: “I have a feeling those issues are gonna return unfortunately. It’s really great to play a character like Fusco because he has a sense of duality. Is he a good guy doing bad things or is he a bad guy doing good things? Try to play the character as truthfully as possible and let the audience determine whether they like him or whether they dislike him. And those are always the best characters to play. I think this year – the old saying you never escape your past – I definitely think that somebody from HR is gonna come back around. We got Internal Affairs there. Fusco was on the hook for a minute there during that last episode. Luckily for him his partner Carter bailed him out unbeknownst to Fusco because she saw that quality in him, that he was trying to come back to that once heroic image of himself, the thing that drove him to be a police officer in the first place. It’s gonna be really interesting to see how it all unfolds this year.”

We heard from Greg Plageman that Carter’s been demoted. How will that affect their relationship?

Kevin: “It will definitely put a strain on the relationship because I’m sure Carter will be coming to Fusco for information that she’ll no longer have access to, which will put him a little bit more in a vulnerable position. So I think that dynamic in itself is going to lead the story line into some rather interesting places. I’m really anxious to see where the relationship with Carter goes this year. She’s going to be working in a completely different area of the police department and is no longer gonna have that status of detective to kind of circumvent the system and she’s gonna be looking to Fusco for a lot of that stuff.”

Is there something you’d like to do the show you haven’t gotten to do yet?

Kevin: “Well, the date thing was something I had pitched to Greg. That was really exciting to be able to do that last year. First of all, our fans are so smart. The idea I had was Fusco goes on a date with this woman, he falls for the woman and he starts to think that he’s gonna have this relationship with this woman. He goes by her house to surprise her and out comes Simmons and you realize at that moment that she is basically a mole for HR. Now we had the date, but we could never get to the second part of it because our fans blew it up on twitter. As soon as the episode aired, the first thing they said was, ‘I hope she’s not a mole for HR.’ Greg called me up and said, ‘Dude that was a great idea but the fans just killed ya.’ Yeah, I guess they did. They’re talking about bringing the Rhonda character back. With this show it’s so hard because there’s so many different story lines and it all goes to so many different places that it’s hard to cram all that information into a sixty minute show. You could make this a two-hour show every week and still maintain the audience’s interest. I laugh now. I say thanks to the NSA we’re all now stars of a reality show. We should change our name to The Real Housewives of Interest.

Season 3 of Person of Interest premieres Tuesday, September 24th at 10/9c on CBS.

Edited for space and content.

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