Person of Interest
Original Air Date: Feb 16, 2012
Len – Senior Reviewer
If you just watched tonight’s episode, you were probably left with a lot of questions – namely “What just happened?”, “What was that girl’s name, again?”, and “So that guy was working for the other guy but then they decided to do away with him or something?” And that was just after the first ten minutes.
Tonight had to be a new record for amount of double-crosses in a CBS drama. There were undercover people, bad cops, bad super cops, even a bad guy who once played Robocop. As Agent Snow says in one of tonight’s flashbacks, “Don’t forget you’re behind enemy lines.” That could be applied to everyone in tonight’s episode.
And it’s especially fitting for Reese, who finds himself infiltrating a smuggling ring, and Detective Fusco, whose days of being a total good-guy cop look like they could be in jeopardy. So just who can you trust in this topsy-turvy world of POI? Only me, dear reader. And my review, which is always loaded. Click the link and let’s recap this thing! And be sure to post your TwoCents in the comments at the end!
Was it just me, or did things start to seem confusing right from the opening? We just jumped into the action so fast that I feel like my head didn’t get time to settle.
This week’s person of interest is a smuggler named Michael Cahill. When we first meet him, he’s part of a team smuggling diamonds while dressed up as paramedics. He seems pretty hard core – not only is he able to smooth things over with a cop who pulls his gang over, but he also beats the crap out of his nervous, twitchy teammate who almost got them busted in the first place. (I love how every team has one guy who looks like he’s WAY out of his element – it makes you think they use temp agencies or something.)
However, he’s not a smuggler – he’s an undercover cop named Daniel Tulley. Tulley finally has enough evidence to convict Vargas, the leader of his smuggling ring. But like an idiot, he doesn’t know when to stop. He’s pulling the double no-no of visiting his real family and holding out for the big fish, a mysterious kingpin known as L.O.S.
Reese can relate to Tulley’s desire for a bit of normalcy. In flashbacks to 2008, he’s back in the States and working with Cara Stanton (whom we previously saw in the episode “Foe”) for none other than Agent Snow, the man currently trying to capture and kill him. The team appears to be some sort of super top secret Clandestine Ops team – even the CIA at Langley doesn’t seem to know they exist.
While taking some R&R, he tracks down his ex-girlfriend Jessica – and her new husband – to a local bar. He strikes up a conversation with the husband, but Cara convinces him that he’s crossed a point of no return and that he has to give up ever trying to reclaim his old life. This makes me sad – not only for what’s happened to Reese, but also because I know this can’t end well. People who have nothing to live for rarely find a happy ending.
Back in the present, things go south quickly for Tulley. After his team escapes a firefight during a drug pick-up, Vargas reveals that he knows one of his team members is an undercover cop and plans to kill him before they have a big meeting with L.O.S. Suddenly, Tulley finds himself without a phone, without a weapon, and without his police backup knowing his location. Fortunately, all he needs is Reese, who comes forth as the undercover cop and takes the beating of lifetime – first a tire iron to the back, then a series of punches to the face, then shot, then ultimately being left for dead in the trunk of a burning car.
And how hardcore did Reese look when he finally got OUT of that trunk? I haven’t seen anyone look that focused exiting a burning vehicle since the T-1000 in Terminator 2. Meanwhile, Fusco’s in his own sticky situation. In an effort to protect Tulley’s identity, Finch had Fusco break into the secure area where the department keeps its info on undercover cops. However, he was caught by the one corrupt cop working with Vargas. Now he’s being led out to a dark stretch of forest to be executed.
So Reese and Carter have to work fast – not just to save Fusco, but to save Tulley, who grows a huge pair of balls and decides to hold a gun to the head of L.O.S. at the meet-up. The two of them come in with pistols blazing and clear out the meeting, which is when Reese recognizes L.O.S. and gives Tulley some bad news – L.O.S. is actually a CIA agent, and if he takes him into custody, not only won’t the charges stick, but the CIA will either destroy his career or kill him. After Tulley basically tells Reese he doesn’t give a shit and is taking him in anyway, Reese has a nice little bonding moment with him.
But it has to be brief – Fusco’s waiting! He’s my MVP of the episode (yes, over Reese!) because of his nice, touching little monologue as he’s preparing to be killed by Vargas’ informant. Now more than ever, you can sense that he’s truly a dirty cop who is happy to have come clean and started really fighting crime. In an interesting twist, it’s Reese who ruins that, not the informant. Reese takes out the informant in the nick of time but destroys the only bit of evidence linking him to Vargas. Instead, he tells Fusco that he can’t come clean – that in order to be valuable as Reese’s “man on the inside”, he needs to get cozy again with his former dirty cop buddies and get their help in covering up the murder of the informant. It’s going to be an interesting ride toward the end of the season – will Fusco be able to maintain his new “good guy” persona? Or will he fall back into old habits with his old cronies?
And how about that end scene? L.O.S., whose first name we learn to be Ray, is being escorted out of jail by Agent Snow. Apparently, Clandestine Ops takes their secrecy quite serious, because Snow leads him to a van where the occupants put a black bag over his head and take him captive. Is this what happened with Reese? Why else would Snow want Reese captured or killed?
So what do you think is going to be the big end-of-season battle? Will it be our heroes against Elias? Perhaps Root? Or will they duke it out with Snow? Maybe all three? Or do you think the bonds of trust could be so strained that it ends up being Reese versus Finch? The possibilities are getting quite interesting!
Edited to add: I mixed up my crooked cops originally. Robert John Burke (Rescue Me, Robocop) played the crooked NYPD cop who’s buddies with Fusco.