‘Person of Interest’ Recap (Season 2, Episode 5): Bury The Lede
Save the journalist! Save the election! And don’t bury the lede.
Hey, know what would make this show even better? Another Big Bad! On a show that prides itself in being un-serialized, there certainly is an intricate, villainous haze hanging around our good guys. Baddies in the NYPD. Baddies in the CIA. Baddies in the FBI. Baddies in the mob. Amy Acker. For all the cases Reese and Finch have solved and the lives they’ve saved, there is a metric ton of villains that are still walking around.
Thematically, it makes sense. “Trust nobody, save the innocent, be redeemed,” is a big theme for the show’s creator Jonathan Nolan. There aren’t that many good and honest people in this world they’ve crafted, demonstrated by new character Maxine Angelis. Occupation: Sexy Journalist. And an old-school journalist-lady, not those waifish whiners that write on social media or blogs.
Wait…? Yes, I’m being told, okay, alright, irony administered. It’s so terribly bitter.
Once Sexy Journalist Maxine Angelis has been introduced as a good-doing gal that’s well-respected and connected, it’s time to throw her into danger. Deadly danger! Journalistic danger. Mobsters and crooked cops and setups! Maxine’s aggressive journalism inaccurately publishing pieces on the NYPD’s HR department got her into hot water and got an innocent witness in a federal case against the rebuilt mob dead. I imagine that that right now, there’s a girl in Iowa that’s running the Features department of her high school paper, and she is positively glowing at the prospect of moving to New York some day to be a razor-sharp journalist that gets in over her head.
The problem is, the guys have intel that Maxine is already researching Reese, since he, you know, has been moonlighting as, “A guy in a suit. He comes out of nowhere. He saves a lot of lives. And shoots a lot of kneecaps.” Well, yeah, it sounds sociopathic when you list off all of that stuff in one go, Maxine. He has to protect her but pretend not to be a complete badass so she doesn’t put two and two together about the Man in the Suit being real. It’s funny how he handles this — in fact, the whole episode was fairly funny with good gags like Finch dropping off Bear so it fits with Reese’s online dating profile when Maxine comes over. Also, Finch hiding in one of Reese’s closet full of guns. And Finch dissecting the female psyche to give Reese dating tips on how to draw Maxine in.
Basically Finch, in general, a role that Michael Emmerson has embraced, thankfully helping me forget his later days as Ben Linus on Lost.
Earlier, I mentioned that the show laid another Big Bad on us. As it turns out, after some creative fact-finding at a merry-go-round and a gunfight a few minutes later on the same merry-go-round, one of Maxine’s old-guard journalism friends was actually the one running the show for HR, and they actually had both of NYC’s mayoral candidates on the payroll!
This is crafty. It reminds us that the true villains are the ones that aren’t public-facing. It doesn’t make for in-your-face, Gandalf versus a Balrog confrontation-drama, but it is scarier and realer. Elias preached secrecy. Agent Snow is still skulking around elsewhere. Ambiguity is scary, man. In summation, if you’re a villain, it pays to be subtle on Person of Interest. It means you’ll get to be in a second episode.
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