In an industry of cop-and-crime dramas, how can “Person of Interest” hope to stand out from the pack? Try preventing crimes, rather than solving them. Having J. J. Abrams as an executive producer and an all-star cast doesn’t hurt, either.
The secretive billionaire Harold Finch, played by Michael Emerson of “Lost” fame, was contracted by the government following 9/11 to create a computer system that can predict the identities of people involved in terrorist plots in the future. However, the machine ended up spitting out the names of those involved in all manners of violent crimes. Finch left a back door in the system so he is able to access the Social Security numbers of those associated with what the government deemed “irrelevant” crimes. He then hired John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a no-nonsense and incredibly adept former CIA field officer, to help him prevent whatever those crimes may be. Each episode revolves around a new Social Security number and a race to stop the crime before it occurs.
Taraji P. Henson plays Detective Carter of the New York Police Department who is out to track down and arrest John. Kevin Chapman plays Detective Lionel Fusco, a corrupt cop forced to be John’s inside man.
The show is a thrilling roller coaster ride of suspense and action punctuated by chilling looks into what could possibly be the truth about what our modern surveillance world has become. A machine that tracks every email, phone call and text message in the United States isn’t entirely unrealistic, fueling the excitement of the show.
The cat-and-mouse game played between John and Carter might be seen as cliché by some, but this is one time cliché can be a good thing. The writing of their interactions is top-notch and serves to add even more suspense. John’s character is incredibly well-written — when he’s not kicking down doors and tossing baddies out of windows as if it were his morning exercise, the mind games he plays with his adversaries are sickeningly fun to observe. While John’s ability to get himself out of any situation and fight numerous opponents with ease can at times be distracting, glimpses of his humanity help bring him back down to earth. Half the fun of the show is trying to discover how Finch came to be so rich and powerful and what his real story is.
All of these aspects combine to make “Person of Interest” a must-watch for those seeking a new thrill for their Thursday nights. Likewise, those who want an interesting twist on the traditional crime drama formula will not be disappointed. Tune in at 9 p.m. or become a person of interest yourself.
Time: Thursday 9 p.m.