The return of Person of Interest for its third season kicks off with a new title sequence that is a bit ominous with its red tint. Does that have significance about the new mindset of The Machine? Sarah Shahi (Shaw) and Amy Acker (Root) were added to the credits, as well, as part of the team, though for now Root’s story is very much separate. More on that later.
The cold open shows how Team Machine has been closing numbers presumably all summer. Reese is paired off with a newly demoted Carter to save a number from kidnapping and murder. Reese takes out the bad guys off screen, but is annoyed he doesn’t even get a thank you. Was it just me that noticed the way Reese was looking Carter up and down in her new uniform with a bit of admiration? Just me, you say? Huh.
The other team is made up of Shaw and Fusco with Finch overseeing the operation. Its seems that Shaw is a bit too violent and reckless for Fusco and Finch. However, Fusco looked great in his fake beard and had a point that he should not be used as a human shield. Finch may be picking on Shaw because of his discomfort with her, because Reese’s scene looked equally violent. Apparently most of Finch’s issues with Shaw stem from the fact that he can’t trust someone that refuses to carry a cell phone.
Now on to the actual case of the episode and its not the most original or interesting story. Sailor gets in trouble because his best friend is an idiot and everyone is needed on the case due to highly trained soldiers out to get them. Oh, and there are stolen diamonds from pirates. Despite the simple premise, what makes this episode great is the interactions between the team members. Fusco brings the funny as he disarms a bomb, Finch has great dry humor and watching him drink a Boiler Maker is fantastic. Shaw has been interesting since she was introduced last season and, in this episode, they re-enforce how much she can handle herself. For the most part it worked well, except for her steak eating scene, which felt a little over the top. Reese shows that he really cares about his team, well maybe not Fusco, but everyone else. His conversation with Carter after the case is very telling. He can sense something is wrong and wants her to know he can help.
This leads to the two separate story lines that look like they will be season long arcs. First up is Carter and her hidden investigation into Beecher’s death and the crime boss, Elias, she has hidden in a warehouse basement. Using Elias for information is smart, but hiding him from the team is not. Elias will figure out a way to use that secret against her. He is smart like that. The second story is Root and her sessions with her psychiatrist in the asylum. It’s strange to hear the doctor call her “Robin” and refer to her Uncle Harold. Yes, their relationship is complicated, doctor. Why do you ask? Understatement of the episode. The most chilling scene, of course, is Root parsing out the details of this petty man’s life and explaining that the argument she has been having with the voice (read the Machine) is whether or not to kill him. That was amazing and if they can keep the intensity going with Root in the asylum, it might be the highlight of this season.
Overall, a solid start to the season and a good way to establish how the new team members fit into the established system.