Sunday, June 01, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Person of Interest, season 3 (2013-2014) **½

TV-14, 23 45-min. episodes
Creator: Jonathan Nolan

Directors: Chris Fisher, Fredrick E.O. Toye, Omar Madha, Stephen Williams, Kenneth Fink, Helen Shaver, Stephen Surjik, Sylvain White, Richard J. Lewis, Jeffrey Hunt, Jeff T. Thomas, Jeffrey Lee Gibson, Kevin Hooks,

Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Greg Plageman, Denise Thé, Sean Hennen, Nic Van Zeebroeck, Mike Sopczynski, Erik Mountain, Amanda Segel, Melissa Scrivner Love, David Slack, Dan Dietz, Lucas O’Connor, Tony Camerino,

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Sarah Shahi, Amy Acker, Kevin Chapman, Taraji P. Henson

Guest starring: Ray Valentin, Max Martini, Bruce Altman, Alano Miller, David Valcin, Enrico Colantoni, David Alan Basch, Clarke Peters, Leslie Odom Jr., Gary Basaraba, Paige Turco, Warren Kole, Boris McGiver, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Paul Ben-Victor, Annika Boras, Al Sapienza, Brian Wiles, Daniel Cosgrove, Treach, Danielle Kotch, Morgan Spector, Robert John Burke, Kirk Acevedo, Michael Esper, Donnie Keshawarz, Aaron Staton, Jennifer Ferrin, Laz Alonso, Ben Livingston, Lee Tergesen, Khalil Kain, Richard Brooks, Brian Tarantina, Saul Rubinek, Tuck Milligan, Camryn Manheim, Jennifer Lim, Chris Bert, Jennifer Serralles, Sally Pressman, Samm Levine, Elaine Tan, Henri Lubatti, Gene Farber, Melissa Sagemiller, Gavin Stenhouse, Kathleen McNanny, David Andrew Macdonald, Anthony Mangano, Tyler Evans, Neil Jackson, Jay O. Sanders, John Nolan, Joseph Mazzello, Julian Ovenden, Casey Siemaszko, Annie Parrise, Dillon Arrick, Yul Vazquez, Colin Donnell, Nazneen Contractor, Haaz Sleiman, Michel Gil, Nestor Carbonell, John Doman, John Heard, Carrie Preston, Joseph Melendez, Peter Scanavino, Diane Davis

I’ve never been totally on board with CBS’s Jonathan Nolan created cyber-thriller series “Person of Interest”, although it’s third season has certainly proved its most interesting to date. I watch it because my wife does, and I’ve seen enough to be invested, but if we stopped watching tomorrow, it wouldn’t break my heart. Still, the show is finally beginning to go in direction I would’ve expected from Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan and writer of the original story upon which Christopher Nolan’s breakout film “Memento” was based.

For most of its run the show has followed a pretty static formula. There’s this supercomputer program written for the government to spy on anyone to detect terrorist threats. The guy who built it uses it to detect threats to individuals who the government deems unimportant. He and his team are told who is involved and they have to figure out who’s good and who’s bad and save the day for the good guys. This season, the show has pretty much abandoned that premise.

The season was dominated by the ongoing mythology of the series with the first half wrapping up a storyline that has been ongoing since episode one, involving corruption in the NYPD. The resolution of this storyline produced the most intriguing episodes of the series to date. Unfortunately, it also resulted in the death of my favorite character.

The second half of the season also dealt with an already established storyline, but dove into the deep end. You could say it kind of jumped the shark, because it’s gotten weird and confusing. It has really tangled itself up with the whole theme of government spying and farming out work to privately owned black ops organizations, but the way it has approached these subjects is really out there, with two competing computer systems and one talking directly to one of the characters and a whole lot of covert maneuverings where no one really even understands why they’re doing what they’re doing. There are some great thematic elements going on here, but there is also a great deal of jerking around for the audience and even the characters. Too much jerking around, if you ask me. Still, I can’t say it isn’t interesting anymore.

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