The secrets of Person of Interest

The first season of Person of Interest recently came to an end, and it’s only gotten better with time.

When the show first kicked off, the genre elements were rather weak. It seemed mostly like just another police procedural with a twist. A former special operations soldier, John, teams up with a man, Harold, who has a mysterious ability to know when a crime is about to occur.

He then has to investigate the crime before it happens, so he can try and  stop it. Essentially, It’s a murder mystery in which the victim can still be saved.

The prescience originates from an artificial intelligence which resides in the governmental surveillance systems. Since the show takes place in New York, there is a believably massive number of cameras around, and the system analyzes behavior to predict intent to cause harm. This machine is rarely seen however, throughout the first half of the season, and one can almost forget where the information about the crimes is coming from.

In the second half of the season, however, the nature of ‘the machine’, as the characters call it, becomes a more integral part of the plot. The audience starts to learn more about why Harold is in hiding, and how the machine came to be.

As the season comes to a close, the pair deals with a number of old enemies and makes some new ones. The gangster who manipulated John into helping him early in the season is still at large, but has fallen into a sort of uneasy truce with the team, which has grown to fully include a pair of police detectives on the homicide squad who can help keep John hidden from the police and FBI, along with a grifter who specializes in gathering information.

The final episode is particularly compelling. It’s a perfect culmination of several sub-plots from the second half of the season, which coalesces as a particular challenge for the team, requiring all hands on deck to save a woman who has been targeted by a team of corrupt police officers.

The conclusion of the season was a great cliffhanger with just the right amount of resolution and revelation versus obfuscation and suspense. If you’ve been waiting to hear if Person of Interest is a good genre show before investing the time in it, now is the time to start watching. No official announcement has been made about the next season yet, but with the ratings and critical reception the show received, I can’t imagine that another season isn’t in the works, and with the fantastic conclusion of this first season, it can only get better from here.

The Person of Interest season onr DVD set will hit shelves this fall. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.