Person of Interest
Episode 7: Critical
By: Carlos Uribe
Person of Interest is a drama about preventing planned crimes before they happen.
Critical is an episode that begins with Reese having to save somebody whose number had come up in a previous episode. My mind immediately jumped to Zoe because she's the most likely person whose life would be put in danger more than once and she already a recurring character. It was a surprise to figure out that it was actually Leon. It was an even bigger surprise that I remembered him. He was the person of interest back in the season premiere but the episode wasn't really focused on him. I made it a point in the review to refer to how even Reese had a lack of concern for Leon. His number might have been the one that came up but the episode didn't focus on hm and the series didn't really use him that much. The character did make some impression since I had no trouble realizing who he was. The first thought that came to mind was that Leon would actually be the focus of the episode. His number had come up after all. In reality, this was just an excuse to have him be stuck in the library and take over Finch's role when Finch is stuck elsewhere. In this way the show is able to establish Leon as a potential recurring character who can act as the computer guy whenever Finch is otherwise preoccupied. What made this work so well is that Leon's glee over helping the team is directly contrasted to the serious attitude that Finch and Reese share. Finch and Reese save lives but it's a job to them while it's actually fun to Leon. Leon leaves the episode at the end when the threat to his life has presumably been taken care off-screen and the show hints at the possibility that his life will probably be in danger again. Considering how Leon was the highlight of this episode, that's actually a good thing.
So who was this week's person of interest? A doctor named Maddie Enright. The team thinks she might be a victim at first until they realize that she's being forced into acting as a perpetrator. She has a patient who is an unlikeable and wealthy businessman. Somebody wants him dead and they threaten to kill Maddie's wife in order to have something go wrong at the surgery. This leads Maddie into a huge ethical dilemma: does she kill her patient or does she kill the love of her life? That she's a doctor and sworn to the Hippocratic oath is where the conflict truly plays in. This means that in order to save the life of the businessman, Reese and Finch has to split up. Reese has to try and get the wife out of danger and removing Maddie from the predicament. Finch has to stay in the hospital and try his best to help the doctor out. This is why Finch can't investigate in his library like he normally has to. Finch does hack into the hospital server to move up the time frame of when the surgery begins before he pretends to be a doctor in order to keep Maddie in touch on whether the operation to get her wife out of danger is going. In one of the episode's funniest moments, he's forced to help Maddie save the patient at the end fo the episode despite the discomfort that this brings him. His muttering that his organs are so squishy is something that the actor is able to deliver well. In an interesting choice by the show, Maddie is actually forced to go through with her choice and she decides the patient. She simply can't bring herself to actually kill a man even if it means saving her wife.
The reason she's forced to go through with the decision is because it's not easy getting her wife out of danger. Reese is easily able to take down the sniper but he soon discovers there's a whole team who can take her out. There is no way he can take them all out since they're all in a position to easily wipe out the wife. He can't just go and get her because then he would be carelessly placing both of them in danger. He is able to distract the bad guys using Fusco which provides him with a chance to slip a cell phone into Amy's purse. He's able to tell her how to get to safety but only until after the decision had been made. The episode also serves to introduce us to a new recurring villain. Root is Finch's rival, HR is there to provide an obstacle to Fusco's desire to be a hero, Elias is an enemy to both Root and Finch, and this new villain is clearly Reese's Root. That is to say that he's Reese's rival. His name is Weverly and he used to work for British intelligence. This is what makes him so formidable. He's basically what would happen if Bond went rogue.
While Reese and Finch are trying to save the two lives, Carter gets an unrelated mystery. She's able to follow the evidence to finding out Snowe. Snowe still has a bomb strapped to his chest and he tells her that the person holding him hostage is planning something big. That's all that Carter is able to get out of him before Reese's former partner is able to rescue him. The way that the hall they were in went dark and then there were flashes of light from the gun was a cool way to ensure Carter didn't see the partner. She relays Snowe's message to Reese and she tries to figure out where to go. The only issue is that Reese is hesitant to tell her because she still has a son and a life. This is the kind of secret that requires someone to go underground. The entire plot was a good way to advance the Snowe plot since it made two of the main characters aware that it was even going on.
Critical is a pretty good episode of Person of Interest. The action was as top-notch as ever, the new villain is very good, and the Snowe plot is picking up momentum. The best part of the episode is the way it brought in Leon. The weekly case itself might not have been the best one this show has done but the moral dilemma it presented the character was a pretty solid one. It's a similar one that the derided show The Mob Doctor tries to have on a weekly basis but this show was able to execute it much better.