“Person of Interest”: No Good Deed Review

By Jordan Magrath

The last few weeks of “Person of Interest,” have dealt a lot with Reese and his personal life.  It only makes sense that “No Good Deed,” would focus more on Finch.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Finch, while Reese has been winning me over more slowly.  I don’t like to think I have a favorite of the group (their interaction is just too fun), but I definitely have liked Finch for longer.  This week’s episode wasn’t quite a home run, but I did enjoy it a lot (a recurring theme from week to week).  At the end, we do get another character (Alicia) that could come into the mix, but more importantly (personally), we get a better explanation of The Machine.

The case of the week is named Henry Peck, a financial analyst undercover for the NSA.  With government connections, “No Good Deed,” becomes the token government conspiracy episode.  Later, we find out he’s been asking about the mysterious machine.  It’s interesting to see how Reese and Finch’s machine is actually causing a future crime that is caught by the machine.  In time travel speak, I believe that’s a paradox.

Similarly, this creates a situation where Reese must save him without exposing who he is.  Normally, he can play the mysterious save-the-day card.  However, Peck would just realize he is part of the problem.  It’s a welcome change of pace.

Going back to Finch’s flashbacks, we find out that he doesn’t think there should be a backdoor into The Machine.  His partner, Nathan, believes otherwise, creating a contingency plan.  It’s likely a foreshadow to something in the future.  The whole episode, in fact, continues to set up a lot of stories that simply can’t be resolved by next week’s finale.  Again, I love how open the possibilities are.  Since the finale is titled “Firewall,” I’d like to think my favorite villain thus far (Root) is back, but the episode could go anywhere.

The case ended up playing out pretty generically.  The two end up saving Peck, who turns around and tries to expose The Machine again.  Finch finally talks some sense into Peck, explaining how he built the machine.  He gives Peck a new identity and life.

Which brings us to the two-pronged resolution to the episode.  Reese, ever-interested in Finch’s personal life, tracks down Finch’s old fiance.  When he confronts the woman, he finds out Finch gave his old life up so that she could be safe.  She truly believes he died in an accident, even though he only did this to ensure her safety.

Secondly, Alicia (one of Finch’s colleagues) resurfaces, taping the aforementioned conversation between Finch and Peck about The Machine.  I’m not sure how she’ll play into the show, but it’s obvious she thinks the entire thing is way too dangerous.  Predicting crimes can be useful, but are the consequences worth it?  It’s something “Person of Interest,” has been asking all along, with greater success with each and every episode.

Tune in this next week for the Season One finale!

Rating: B

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