Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Person of Interest

Person of Interest
Episode 19: Trojan Horse
By: Carlos Uribe

Person of Interest is a drama about preventing planned crimes before they happen.

Spoilers Ahoy!

The good news is that Beecher was a good cop. He wasn't a member of HR. His sole connection to the HR boss, Alonzo Quinn, is simply that Quinn is his godfather. Quinn had told Beecher about the Syzmanski money to give his godson a career boost. Beecher had no idea that Syzmanski was being set up. He got played. The idea that Beecher could be a dirty cop has been present for a while. The writers have set up the idea that he could be on the take but always left the possibility open that he was innocent. Carter wasn't sure if she could trust Beecher. She had found out that he was under investigation and Syzmanski was framed after due to a tip from one of Beecher's criminal informants. The investigation turned out to be over nothing but he did get the tip from Quinn. He kept trying to win her over but she simply didn’t' know if she could trust him. The series cleverly allowed the viewer to be uncertain as well. He seemed like a nice guy but there was a lot of evidence that implied he was dirty. Leave it to Fusco to get some results. He basically gets Beecher to start investigation whether or not Syzmanski was dirty or not. It's a great scene where he meets with Elias. Elias basically reveals that he had offered Syzmanski a bribe but the money was thrown back at him. Beecher figures out that Quinn had set him up but he doesn't really get to act on that information. While he was doing his job, he gets ambushed and killed. That's the bad news. It's a pretty great way to close out Beecher's time on the show as it allows himself to be redeemed but it also gives a definite satisfying answer on the character. It could have easily gone either way but I like how they closed out the plot especially since it's going to give Carter motivation to find out who the mysterious HR boss is.

While Beecher is dead, Shaw makes a return appearance this episode. Reese is able to find her right outside her dead partner's family home. Shaw wants to be able to go in there and reveal that her former partner was working for the government but that would only put his parents in danger. She's not happy that Reese is still bothering her but it doesn't stop her from dropping in at the library. That's when she happens to notice a picture of Root. She recognizes her as the woman who had tried to interrogate her so she decides to find out more about who she is. She's going to track her down. This is actually pretty smart. Having this new recurring character on the trail of the antagonist gives her something to do that allows the writers to do two things. The first is that it gives them a perfect way to get Root back into the show. Once Shaw finds her, there is little doubt that our heroes will get involved. The second is that it places Shaw into the larger narrative. She already was considering how she was working for the machine but she was removed when she had to fake her death. She wasn't playing a role in the story. Trojan Horse corrects that by putting her on the search for Root. It's a pretty smart development that builds on the excellent scene between Root and Shaw. Consider me excited for when this reunion comes. It is a nice gesture that Finch hacked into the CIA to turn Shaw's dead partner into a hero to help build her trust.

The sub-plots were pretty big but the weekly case was what took more of the episode. It actually begins a little different where Finch is the one who goes in undercover. He gets a job at a technology company when an executive's number comes up. It's an industry that is rampant for corporate espionage so the first thought is that it might be related to that. The evidence seems to back it up. The executive herself is pretty loyal. She actually goes on a mole hunt for the company before she gets framed for being a spy herself. She feels betrayed but she can't just go to the authorities. They have to get to the evidence before the company has a chance of tampering with it to ensure she looks guilty. They manage to do this and she gets to live. That all sounds pretty typical but it isn't because of whose behind the corporate spies. It's not the industry that is trying to bring them down by rather the Chinese government. These spies think that they are working for the Chinese. Why? They don't have quaint notions of patriotism. In other words, they sold out their country to make a profit. The Chinese weren't sabotaging them but using the systems in order to gain access to government secrets. It's a bit over-the-top but Person of Interest manages to sell it with ease. It helps that the corporate spies aren't actually working for the Chinese government but the mysterious organization that had recruited Kara Stanton into their ranks. They might have lost access to the company but their plan is still on. They've also been made aware of a hacker that got into their systems which means they're now looking for Finch. The bad news is that Finch doesn't know anything about them.

Trojan Horse is a pretty good episode that refers to the idea of a good system being compromised. The technology company was compromised because of the sheer number of spies that infiltrated the company. The cops have been compromised by HR to the point where you don't know who you can trust. Carter's faith in Beecher was shattered because there was enough reason to suspect he was dirty. Beecher himself was compromised when he acted on false information. At the very last, Shaw was compromised when too many questions led to her only employer trying to kill her. It's a great episode that works on every level as all of the plots were on fire. I'm excited to see where each plot decides to go next.

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