Person of Interest – Blunt Review
Despite its ridiculously on-the-nose title, Blunt is a surprisingly fun episode of Person of Interest. It not only sees the return of Dominic and the Brotherhood, but also provides a sense of direction to the previously meandering Samaritan plotline. Admittedly the direction it provides isn’t particularly well defined yet, but it is better than nothing, and it actually has gotten me interested in what is going to happen next. The reliance on medical marijuana as a plot point for this episode also succeeds in being less irritating and gimmicky than the previews may have suggested. If I continue preparing written reviews for this show through its fifth season, I may end up setting a counter for the number of awful previews that that season ends up having, seeing as they often have the habit of making episodes look much worse than they are. Maybe this is a problem for CBS in general. I haven’t gotten caught up on The Good Wife yet, and thus haven’t paid much attention to ads for the show, so I can’t testify as to whether or not they are of comparable quality. Regardless, Blunt takes itself far more seriously than the previews did, and fortunately we got through the episode without being subjected to reggae.
The number this week is not a social security number, but rather a university student ID belonging to one Harper Rose. Harper, is at first glance, a student who works part time at a medical marijuana dispensary, which Finch and Reese suspect may make her a target due to questionable legality of the enterprise. However, they quickly come to recognize that Harper is not who she appears to be, as the real Harper Rose is taking a semester off from college for mental health reasons, and the fake Harper’s room if filled with stolen backpacks and fake IDs. The grifter’s actual goal was to steal the cash transfer from the dispensary by switching out the bag containing the cash, and then tip off the cartel so that they attack the security detail and steal the dummy bag, thus covering up her tracks. Her plan gets ruined when Reese unintentionally sabotages it by incapacitating the cartel members sent to attack the transfer, and confirms that the bag was already switched out with one containing phone books. So where does the Brotherhood become involved in all this? Well, it turns out that Dominic was the one handling security for the dispensary’s money, so it falls to Reese and Finch to try and keep him from finding and killing her and keep innocents from getting caught in the middle.
The B-plot from this episode is a bit sparse, but lays the foundation for what could potentially be a really interesting idea. Root states that the Machine has decided that it needs to prepare an army of sorts to try and combat Samaritan. It isn’t clear what exactly that entails, and Root is back to being her cryptic self, although she does seem to be noticeably more angry and snide than she used to be. She is apparently developing an app that will aid in defeating Samaritan, but it isn’t clear if the app is the key to doing this or simply a method of getting her foot into a particular door. I tend to try and avoid spoiler-ish discussions, but, as the episode progresses, it becomes clear that she is trying to meet with the owner of a particular technology company by selling them the app. I initially expected it to be Logan Pierce, a tech billionaire from a mediocre episode way back in season 2 named The One Percent. However, the show surprised me by going with a completely DIFFERENT obscure character from way back in season 2. The owner of the company turns out to be Caleb Phipps, a technical genius whom Finch helped save from downward spiral back in the season 2 episode 2πR. This is an even more surprising choice since Person of Interest had at least hinted that Logan Pierce may become a recurring character. I actually had been wondering whether the show planned on bringing him back just a little over a week ago. Caleb, on the other hand, is a character that I had barely thought of since 2πR aired. Still the idea of going on the offensive against Samaritan is intriguing, and I find myself interested in seeing how this plays out.
Ultimately, Blunt isn’t going to set the world on fire (Ha Ha), but it feels like a nice return to form for Person of Interest. It avoids having the blatantly apparent flaws of some of the preceding episodes, and constructs an enjoyable, if occasionally silly, narrative.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- Really? Reese didn’t see that truncheon coming? The problem with making a character Batman is that sometimes their mistakes feel out of character.
- Oddly enough, when they mentioned the idea of using an app to fight Samaritan, I thought back to the anime Gatchaman Crowds where a character attempted to combat disasters using a social networking site that they designed. Either that, or they’re going to Candy Crush Samaritan to death.
- Luke Kleintank, who plays Caleb Phipps, apparently also played the lab assistant on Bones with the southern accent. I barely recognize him.
- The actress who played Rose Harper, Annie Ilonzeh, was also on Arrow for a while as Laurel’s friend. Again, barely recognized her… and I’m a little disappointed that I never called her Faux-se Harper.
- No sign of Link, even though the Brotherhood has a rather prominent role in this episode. Maybe there was a scheduling conflict with Jamie Hector, or maybe there is a plot-related reason for his absence. Either way, I found that to be slightly disappointing.
Blunt is an enjoyable episode. Its problems don’t feel crippling, but they are there. The use of marijuana dispensaries as a plot point still feels a bit like an attempt to be topical, but at least it doesn’t cripple the narrative. The idea of trying to fight back against Samaritan, instead of constantly being on the defensive, has caught my interest, and it appears to have given the show a direction, even if I am not sure what that direction is.
I enjoyed Blunt more than I thought I would. It, for the most part, blends the elements of the two preceding episodes that worked, and throws aside the elements that didn't.