I have watched every episode of Person of Interest three times. One hundred three total episodes in the show and I have watched it all from start to finish, laughed at the exact places I laugh, cried right on cue during amazing moments, and cheered every time I think about the alternate ending. This is the story of how one computer made me cry and why Person of Interest is the best TV show you have never watched.
How I fell in Love with Person of Interest
It was 2015, and I was in college, for young people, we did not have the type of library you guys do with Netflix, so I decided to just one episode of a random show (I watch the pilot episodes of the many shows and leave it at that). This time it was a show called Person of Interest, and from the first few minutes of the show, I was hooked. So, hooked that I did not go to class for four days, stayed in during the weekend, and finished all four seasons in 10 days.
The show’s premise got me hooked, a world where an A.I. was watching our every move and predicting pre-meditated crimes while trying to stop them with the help of the human interface. The A.I. or The Machine did this by giving a social security number and the human interface needed to figure out if the person was a victim or a perpetrator.
The human interface for The Machine is Harold Finch, and he also created The Machine for the government to stop terrorist activity. And the reason The Machine only spits out social security numbers is that Finch created The Machine that way, so it can be functional but not corrupted. When he created The Machine, it gave so many numbers, which resulted in normal people being labeled as irrelevant and only crimes of mass destruction being labeled as a threat.
Finch creates a backdoor for himself at the behest of his friend, so the irrelevant people have someone looking out for them. Fast forward a few years, and Finch is trying to follow on his friend’s wishes, protecting people from preventable crimes, this is where John Reese comes in.
John is a former Special Forces man turned assassin who was responsible for the relevant part of The Machine‘s number. But some circumstances result in him leaving his job and letting the people in charge think he is dead. One fateful night Finch finds Reese, moments before he was presumably going to kill himself and gives him a new path in life.
A partnership is born, which later turns into a friendship, and the two starts saving people’s lives. This all sounds generic studio programming you can watch any day of the week. Well, Person of Interest was exactly that, up until the first season finale, when everything changed, the point where people who saw the show realized they were watching something special.
By the second season, we got the team’s complete roster we were going to spend 70+ episodes with. And to this day, I wish someone would wipe my memory about the show, so I can experience it all again with fresh eyes. The series was amazing because it showed what happens when technology takes over, and there is no one to check its power.
The Machine was built with ethos and love by its creator, who taught “her” right and wrong, and also grey areas. But what happens when someone else comes in and builds a free reign machine to do whatever it pleases. The series plays with themes of future, our over-dependence on devices and the illusion of privacy, while also entertaining and making grown men and women cry looking at a small chip and a beeping light on a briefcase, listening to a Pink Floyd song.
I’m sorry, but the last time I cried watching anything was in my childhood, during Toy Story. No show or movie has ever moved me the way Person of Interest season 4 and 5 finales have, and nothing ever will. There is one Person of Interest, it is Jonathan Nolan‘s masterpiece, and if you have not watched it, do it now.
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