I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Person of Interest” is good at balancing telling an overall story while also being a procedural. It works in ways that similar shows have failed (most notably, last year’s “Alcatraz”). They introduce new numbers each week (something that is important to the premise of the show), but they bring back characters that actually mean something to the audience. This week made up for more lackluster previous episode.
“Triggerman” gives Reese/Finch (we need a one-name moniker for them) an organized crime member’s number. Under the command of George Massey, the “enforcer” Riley is either the perpetrator or victim. In this week, though, he’s both! Twist. I figured he’d end up being a victim somehow (that’s how “Person of Interest” works), but I didn’t see him being both…Bravo!
How is this possible? Well, on the way to kill Annie (a begrudged waitress), Riley realizes he’s about to be taken out…because he’s currently in love with her. He kills Eddie (George’s son) and tries to flee with Annie. Reese, hot on their trail, tries to keep him out of trouble…even if he is technically a killer.
Riley’s past continues to catch up with him throughout the episode, though, muddling his karma (if you choose to believe in that). Annie’s first boyfriend was actually killed by Riley, setting him up to be this duel good and bad guy. On the one hand he’s trying to save her, but on the other hand he’s the one who originally hurt her. The Machine isn’t as good a differentiating these cases.
The supporting characters didn’t have as much to do this week. Finch got some nice field work in and, as always, was a vital asset to helping Reese. Other supporters, such as Carter and Fusco, were mainly used to aid in the investigation.
Like I teased at the beginning, “Person of Interest” has a way of bringing people back. Even last week, I asked about Elias and if he’d make his way back into the narrative. Turns out I was right in asking because Finch visits him in prison to elicit his help. Since Elias rivals Massey’s organization, he has the unique power to help stop these crimes. I have to say I’ve missed Elias, and I can’t wait for him to get back out. The fact that he’s showing up (even if he’s in prison) must be a deliberate move. We’ll see more of him.
What does Elias get out of it? A nice bromantic chess match with Finch. These are the tiny moments – kind of like when Finch and Reese grabbed a beer at the end of last episode – that connect the characters to the audience. Procedural shows make it tougher to like all the characters sometimes, but “Person of Interest” breaks that mold.
“Triggerman” still wasn’t the “greatest” episode of “Person of Interest,” but I’ll take it. Without flashbacks and missing a lot of the conspiracy stuff, the main story was driven by the number and the entertainment. Elias’ return was a welcome one, though, and it catapults this episode significantly.
See ya next week!