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Review PERSON OF INTEREST 4.18 “Skip”

reese gambling

“Skip” was another episode that is divided between a serial and a procedural Storyline. This leads to an unevenness in the episode with Reese handling a light weight fun storyline and Finch dealing with a darker side of the series. Once again each would have been better if they had their own hour rather than trying to do both storylines at once.

Reese’s case of the week was a bounty hunter, Frankie (Katheryn Winnick), who Reese first observes as a hostess working at an illegal gambling ring in order to target the her boss and target, Ray, who skipped on conspiracy charges. Ray also has some valuable information on a crime boss that everyone wants. As it turns out, Frankie wasn’t the innocent this time. Instead she changed her focus to murdering Ray when she realized he had killed her brother. Add to the mix the return of Harper Rose (Annie Ilonzeh) from “Blunt,” who is after Ray’s information, and Reese has his hands full.Frankie&Harper

This part of the episode was filled with lots of action, gun fights, and fisticuffs including a battle over a butcher shop counter while Reese and Frankie were handcuffed together. That is worth seeing the episode for by itself. Fusco was in there to, adding his own personal take on the situation.

R&Frankie2All ends well for Reese though. During the final shoot out, Harper negotiates a compromise that fits everyone. Frankie goes home with Ray, Harper gets her information, Ray gets to live, though kneecapped by Reese, and Reese gets a lot of kisses this episode, first from Frankie and then from Iris (Wrenn Schmidt), who decides this is the time to tell Reese she cares for him. I’m guessing that is a recipe for disaster as first, Iris was his therapist and even after the end of therapy, a doctor becoming involved with her patient is a no-no. That is not going to sit well with the American Psychiatric Association and it is very inappropriate to do. In addition, we know Reese, and Finch as well, can’t have personal lives in their professions. Finch gave up Grace to protect her and Reese will have to do the same eventually with Iris. R&FuEither that or cause her death and I hope the series doesn’t go that route again. We’ve already visited various aspects of that plot with Jessica and Grace. We don’t need to do it again with Iris!

If the series wanted a romantic interest for Reese, there are many better suited candidates than Iris and may better ways of introducing them than through therapy which was never valid in the first place. And what happened to Zoe? At least she knows the score and is quite capable of protecting herself if the need arises. Even the feisty bounty hunter Frankie is a better choice, and she did make a play for Reese during the episode, but then who could resist Reese! 🙂

R&HarperAnd interesting side line is Harper is receiving texts from the Machine. Seems it has decided to find new assistants of its own, though trying to commit the independent mysterious Harper to a team will take a lot of doing. Even though she chose the ‘good’ side when confronted with the good versus evil choice in “Blunt,” her loyalty is still very much up for grabs.

I would have preferred a lot more air time with Frankie and Reese. Frankie is a character that is worth rounding out. She would make a great addition to the series. Harper is not of too much interest to me at this point, but it’s a safe bet we will see more of her down the road. We still need answers to her mysterious ring, which Finch stole, and now the Machine has decided to text her with information so someone has big plans for her. Maybe when that develops more, so will Harper’s character.R&Frankie5

Finch had the darker of the two storylines this episode when he tried to finish the sabotage plot he started with Beth (Jessica Hecht) in Hong Kong earlier this season. I had hoped that would help lead to the downfall of Samaritan, but alas it was just another ruse by the writers to try and keep some non-Samaritans fans from departing.

BethFinch’s sabotage plot involved getting an innocent third party, Beth, to inadvertently install a Trojan horse into Samaritan’s main frame. It was a mission the Machine sent him on but one Root didn’t approve of. Hmmmm…what happened to the Machine is a god?

Root felt the plan would put Professor Whistler in danger and eventually cause the death of Finch. So, to protect Finch, she decided to kill Beth before she could upload the worm into Samaritan. Root didn’t want to lose Finch even though the Machine wanted the plot to go forward. This raises an interesting question. Is the Machine becoming more cold and callas like Samaritan, or did it have a way to keep Finch safe that Root wasn’t aware of? Can’t see the Machine protecting all its ‘assets’ like it has and then throwing away its admin. One thing that disturbed me a LOT this episode was the lack of communication between Reese and Finch during this F&Rootwhole altercation with Root. Reese and Finch are supposed to be partners and I’m disturbed when Finch tries to deal with the dark side himself. That takes years of training and Finch just doesn’t have it. He’s learned a lot but he’s no Reese. That’s why he hired Reese in the first place.

I would have preferred that Reese take a part in Finch’s dilemma. He would have found a way to let the Trojan horse be inserted and still protect Finch but then that would have taken more time and that’s not available when you divide an episode into two different themes. Would have preferred if Finch and Reese had had an hour to make the Trojan horse viable and gotten one more step closer to ending Samaritan.

Finch&BethUnfortunately Root’s solution to the problem takes the dark path of murdering Beth. Of course there is an alternative way, but Root doesn’t opt for that till Finch decides to commit suicide to stop the murder. That was an extreme I really didn’t think the writers needed to do. It then became a battle of wills between Finch and Root which Finch won as Root really didn’t want to lose him too. However, Root still gets the last word.

It ends with Root taking the alternative solution, unknown to Finch, which discredits Beth’s entire career, making sure the evil deed traces right back to Finch. That ends any friendship Finch may have with Beth and increases the hostility between Finch and Root. Don’t know if we were supposed to believe Finch had romantic ideas with Beth, but you would think he would remember the danger Grace was in and why he faked his death in the first place. He should be smart enough not make the same mistake twice.Finch

Love how Finch’s greeting to Root changed from Miss Groves, one of respect, to Root, one that is more akin to Root’s frightening dark side.

And unlike Reese’s mission that ended well for everyone, Finch’s doesn’t end well for anyone. The Trojan horse is not implanted; Beth will have nothing to do with Finch and because of Root’s betrayal, Finch has asked her to leave….at least for a while. I’m guessing the bond that the series has worked so hard to build between these two characters is irrevocably damaged at this point.

HarperFinch’s decision to give his life for Beth may stem from the fact that he feels directly responsible for all of the deaths caused by Samaritan because he didn’t eliminating the senator when the Machine pointed out the damage that would happen if they didn’t. That, of course, is not the way to deal with guilt, but without the proper support that kind of thinking can lead to devastating results. Reese and Finch need to go back to leaning on and communicating with, each other as they did in the earlier seasons. If that bond had not been lost, Reese would not be in this situation with Iris and Finch would not be attempting suicide. Here’s hoping the writers will get things back to normal soon and they only have four more episodes this season in which to accomplish that.

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