Person of Interest Review: “Foe” (1.08)

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<i>Person of Interest</i> Review: &#8220;Foe&#8221; (1.08)

Week by week, I am growing frequently more paranoid that the show Person of Interest might in fact be watching me. But instead of the show’s premise of finding people in trouble and helping them before they’re killed, PoI is intent with slowly driving me insane by doing the exact opposite of what it should be doing. It’s like the show’s producers are watching me talk to my TV, saying, “why would you do that?”, both to the characters and to the writers and with this information, refining the next weeks’ episode to ensure that I’m even more frustrated.

Sure, last week’s episode was surprisingly good for the show, but I’m viewing that as a trick. It’s kind of like when in a horror movie, you think the murderer/monster/mayhem creator is dead, leaving you with a sense of relief, right before they come back for one more inevitable surprise. PoI is like that, making you think everything might finally be going right, until it shows up and goes, “SURPRISE, I’m still here, and I’m just as crappy as ever.”

Just in case what you’re interested in with PoI is story (and if it is, I’m very, very sorry you’ve been so let down by PoI) here’s the gist of what this week’s episode “Foe” was about: The person of interest this week is Kohl, a man who hasn’t made an appearance in any electronic transactions since the late ‘80s and was a German intelligence officer. He is now going around killing his former teammates, while also trying to find his love Anja. At this point, I feel like I could say that the episode revolved around Reese flying around New York on a dragon to try and find Bigfoot who is on his way to kill Justin Bieber, and not only would PoI probably find a way to make it dull, but the show would also have it not have any relevance to the larger story.

CBS isn’t stupid; it knows that a huge chunk of PoI’s viewers are probably old Lost fans who want to see Michael Emerson in a new show just because they loved him as Ben Linus. Heck, that seems to be their ad campaign for Hawaii Five-O as well, bringing the actors who played Jin and Locke back together. But you put Emerson on a show where he has way too much knowledge for his own good, throw some mysterious numbers in the mix, have some flashbacks and BAM, reel the Lost fans in. In eight episodes, PoI has already brought on two former Lost cast members. This week, we get Alan Dale—who was always a great scene-stealer on Lost as Charles Widmore, especially when put against Emerson—playing Kohl. But the scene that PoI knows everyone wants, any scene at all between Dale and Emerson, never happens. It seems like even Dale doesn’t care here. Even though he’s playing Russian, he doesn’t attempt anything other than his normal New Zealand accent. The Reese line covers all this up: “I know a fake accent when I hear it.” Just lazy.

Like I said, last week’s episode “Witness” set the bar high for PoI, but “Foe” comes back with everything that makes the show bad in abundance. There’s no end to cheesy Reese lines, characters popping up at just the right moment to let off a one-liner then jump into the action, and predictable plotting. Not even a flashback, which is usually pretty decent, can revitalize this disappointment, even when it deals with the origins of Reese at the FBI. Everything here falls flat. Plus the show’s high point with the unveiling of Elias goes completely unreferenced, dropping the most interesting part of the show so far. PoI has decided to follow up its highest high with a mediocre episode that points out all the flaws that make PoI one of the most frustrating procedurals on TV right now.