Tuesday, October 14, 2014

REVIEW: 'Person of Interest' - Reese Protects a Young Brother and Sister While Harold Meets With Elias in 'Brotherhood'

CBS' Person of Interest - Episode 4.04 "Brotherhood"

Reese's cover job as a detective at the NYPD becomes complicated when the young brother and sister he's protecting become targets of a gang investigation.

Person of Interest seems to be returning to its roots somewhat by putting a larger focus on the gang dynamics of New York City. Every season the narrative spine of the show has been getting more grandiose. And now, they are returning to the ideals of previous seasons because of the major shakeup that occurred at the start of this season. Samaritan has forced the team to scale back. They can't go up against the new machine because that would lead to detection and likely to their deaths. Now, they are playing the long game. They are living in their new identities - although still pretty free to roam throughout this universe. The Machine is slowly putting a plan into motion. But that takes time. These people still need something to do. So introducing Dominic and the gang called the Brotherhood is a strong narrative drive at this moment in time.

In "Brotherhood," we get a stronger idea on how this new gang operates as well as the face of the man in charge. As a group, they don't care about territories. They have agents everywhere and have moles in most major organizations. I wanna know how they've been able to do that in this city and yet this is the first time we've heard of them. But that's besides the point. A brother and sister become their next targets after stealing a duffle-bag full of drug money. John is tasked with protecting them and it slowly gets more complicated as the hour progresses. Turns out the DEA agent working the case with him happens to be a mole for the Brotherhood. I saw that twist coming because she was the person who made it such a big deal in the first place!

Elsewhere, Shaw has a Brotherhood member by the name of Mini as her prisoner hoping that it could lead to something substantial should it come to it. He leads her to a drug stash that ultimately buys the freedom of both John and the two children - you know after the DEA agent leaves them and they are surrounded by the Brotherhood and can't shoot themselves out. But the twist comes in the final act where it's revealed that Mini is actually Dominic, the man in charge of the whole organization. That was a fun and surprising moment. His trusted man who deals with John and the DEA agent is played by Jamie Hector. Based solely on actor visibility, I would have bet on Hector being the man in charge. Not only is the actual reveal more surprising, but it's rewarding too. Shaw got into his mind a little bit but ultimately he was aware the whole time to all of her little tricks. It establishes him as a formidable opponent - and enough to keep the team busy in the short-term as they ramp up the efforts to take on Samaritan in the longterm.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Brotherhood" was written by Denise Thé and directed by Chris Fisher.
  • Elias also returns. Despite the Brotherhood's presence, he is not called on to be an intermediary between our heroes and the gang. Instead he's having meetings with Harold - always a dynamic pairing - on a train asking questions about why they've suddenly changed their operating ways. Those were a handful of great scenes.
  • No Root this week which just makes me so sad.
  • It's always interesting whenever Harold is asked to track the latest POI. And this time the kids got away due to some crafty thinking with the money.
  • Dominic teases that this may not be the last time we see the two children this season. I largely thought the two of them were just okay. Not extraordinary and not bad. They just did the material but didn't really add much to it.
  • Also, John makes a safe house out of a crime scene.
  • The show has used the "surrounded in a building with no way out" action piece before. Most noteworthy in the Elias and Root introductory episodes.