“Mission Creep,” this week’s episode of Person of Interest, finally feels like the show is creating a path for itself in where it will attempt to go. The first two episodes were monotonous, boring and not as interested in character. Person of Interest still definitely has problems, but for once it seems like it’s trying to solve them.
This week’s episode the “person of interest” is a former soldier who, after returning to the United States, realizes that there’s no place for ex-soldiers, no jobs, no nothing. He becomes a part of a group of thieves, led by a barkeep who unites ex-soldiers to commit robberies. Reese realizes this when he decides to follow him and ends up in the middle of one of their robberies.
In order for Reese to figure out what is happening, he gets Finch to help him infiltrate the gang. As it turns out, the Marine is not only supporting his girlfriend, but helping out the wife of a soldier he knew during the war who he saw get blown up, and has vowed to help his wife and pay for the future of their child.
Reese infiltrates the gang and during the group’s final robbery, he finds out that it is a trap and that the bartender who runs things is going to take them out. He figures this out in time to once again prevent the person of interest from being murdered. However near the end, we figure out that all they stole was a file with the name “Elias M.” When this “Elias” receives the file from the bartender, “Elias” shoots him and moves on, without us ever seeing who this person is.
The episode focuses on Reese and thankfully has toned down the unbearable dialogue for him. We see in 2006, he runs into a girl named Jessica who would have waited for Reese, but she moved on. She is now engaged, but she tells him that if he asked her to wait for him, she would. She walks off, yet Reese inaudible to Jessica, asks her to wait for him.
It’s surprising that the show’s deepest story so far comes from an episode focusing on Reese, who has been a pretty one dimensional character so far. The glimpses into his past were some of the most interesting parts of the pilot, and they were one of the best parts of this episode too.
The episode is heavy-handed in its attempt to criticize the war and works poorly in almost every way. Plus the show still does feel the need to explain every single detail of how the characters are planning on solving their case. The show needs to trust its audience more and not feel the need to hold their hand.
Thankfully the show even introduces what will hopefully be a connecting thread from episode to episode with the introduction of “Elias M.” We know even less about this character than our pretty shady main characters, so the unveiling of who this person is should make future episodes intriguing.
I’ll be honest, I was worried that Person of Interest was already to set in its ways, content to not try too hard, but with “Mission Creep,” at least there is some hope for the future of what this show can do.