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Person of Interest - Q & A - Review: “Predictable but enjoyable”

After a week away from the serialised plots of the show, ‘Q & A’ took Person of Interest back to its newfound general formula of balancing a number of the week and a Samaritan-related story. Personally, I’m a big fan of these episodes because it allows the show to have multiple things going on, while at the same time developing their stories well. Also, when haters of the show complain about the show not being about saving people any more, I can use that fact to prove them wrong.

Anyway, into the actual episode. This was another solid outing of the show. That being said, I’d probably rank this as the weakest of the episodes we’ve seen so far in 2015. ‘Q & A’ didn’t quite live up to the quality that we’ve seen from the four episodes since Christmas, despite it being a typically good episode.

Claire was back in this episode, and seemingly desperate for help. At no point throughout the episode did I ever consider that she was actually there to help Finch; I was certain from the get-go that she was there as a Samaritan agent. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Person of Interest often uses a bait-and-switch - so much so that I’ve gotten to the point whereby I’m never usually that shocked when things aren’t what they appeared.

That said, I felt they made it far too obvious that Claire was still Samaritan, and I think the show would have benefitted had she actually been truthful. Quinn Shepard’s acting was fine, but Claire’s really wasn’t. The way she tried to push Finch into looking at the flash drive made it abundantly obvious that she was working for Samaritan still.

The predictability of that development hurt the plot, I feel. However, I did enjoy watching the interactions between Finch and Claire. It was nice to see Finch be able to speak about Samaritan with someone other than Team Machine; it gave the arc a nice breath of fresh air that I think worked well. And, as much as I knew the reveal was coming, it was a great moment when Claire slipped and said “Harold”. Also, Finch’s expression when she said his name was one of sadness and crushed hope, and Michael Emerson expressed it really well.

Once Claire’s secret was revealed, it allowed the episode to give us some insight into the thoughts of a newly recruited Samaritan operative and it was very interesting. “Samaritan’s not trying to subjugate humans, Harold. It’s trying to save them.” That’s along the same lines of things we’ve heard before, but it was intriguing to see that it seems to be taught as Samaritan 101. Claire clearly doesn’t understand the lengths by which Samaritan will go to ‘save humans’. Her belief that Samaritan will eliminate food and water shortages is again, something we’ve heard before (it will do so - but by killing those who are desperate), but it was bordering on saddening to watch as an intelligent young girl was unaware of the evil that her ‘employer’ was doing.

Worst of all, she thought that Harold would actually join them. “The world out there needs saving” is what she told him. She really has been tricked by Samaritan. However, there was some hope when she returned to Samaritan. Greer effectively told her that they don’t really give a damn if she died, because it’s “all for a good cause” (aka - they can just recruit more operatives). This left it quite open to the idea of Claire switching sides for real at some point, which I’d quite like to see.

The other story this week saw Reese posing as security at a search company called Fetch and Retrieve, whom employed the latest number. Reese’s undercover identity allowed for some humorous moments (“Welcome to Nerd Nirvana” and his “I don’t care who took whose copy of Full Metal Hellcat 4” speech) as per usual, but the story as a whole was compelling and I enjoyed it. The fact that Anna was an MMA fighter provided a nice extra element to her character.

Person of Interest has a knack for making technology into something that really can send chills down viewers’ spines. This was another example of that, as the search software advised one user to commit suicide when he wanted help for his depression. Turned out that Fetch and Retrieve’s Chief Technical Officer Calvin put in some code to have things like that happen on occasion to push those users into buying products from the company’s advertisers. And if a few of them kill themselves along the way? Eh, happens.

Luckily for said users, Anna wasn’t standing for this and her refusal to accept that idea had put her in danger. Of course, Reese was there to save the day (multiple times), and Fusco even got in on the act with a nice left cross to take down Calvin. All things considered, this story wasn’t anything too spectacular, but it was solid nonetheless.

Odds and ends:

  • Root was back, albeit for what felt like a fraction of a second. That didn’t stop her taking out four Samaritan operatives and shooting Claire (in the same shoulder that she had previously been shot in) and save Finch.
  • I liked how they tied Fetch and Retrieve to Samaritan at the end. It was kind of obvious that it was going to happen, but interesting to see and it’s another step towards Samaritan taking over the world.
  • Claire dropped an iPhone onto the ground and it didn’t break? Totally unrealistic.
  • Was it just me, or did Claire have a hint of an Australian accent whenever she said “Samaritan”?
  • “Cross could use some work.” “Stand him up, I’ll go again.”

So, what did you think of this episode? Did you suspect Claire was still Samaritan from the beginning? Let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments below, and check out the promo for the next episode, ‘Blunt’ below.

About the Author - Bradley Adams
16 year old based in England, currently Senior Staff at SpoilerTV. Most of his posts are news/spoiler based, though he is currently the reviewer of Person of Interest, as well as being in charge of the yearly 'Favourite Episode Competition'. A big TV fan, his range of shows are almost exclusively dramas, with some of his all-time favourite shows including 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of his current favourites include Person of Interest, Arrow and The Walking Dead. He also runs an Arrow blog, ArrowFansUK, and aside from TV, is a keen cricketer. Get in touch with him via the links below or via email bradley@spoilertv.com
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