Friday, September 23, 2011

TV PILOT REVIEW: CBS's "Person of Interest"

In this crime thriller, Mr. Finch, a billionaire (Michael Emerson from "Lost") who created a computer program that predicts the identity of people involved in a future violent crime, recruits ex-CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel from The Passion of the Christ), who is presumed dead, to help him prevent crimes. He can't predict if the person who comes up is the victim, the perpetrator, or the witness, and he can't predict when or where it'll happen, but with his resources and IQ and Reese's combat training and self-sacrificial attitude, they might be able to make a difference.

However, there will be a few obstacles. First off, Finch's access to this system is illegal, since he hacked into the backdoor of the program, which is now property of the government. Secondly, Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson from The Karate Kid), an officer Reese encountered when he assaulted a few young thugs who attacked him on a train, is hellbent on finding out who he really is. The cat-and-mouse chase should add a little more suspense to an already pretty tense situation.

The cast on this series mesh well together. Emerson has managed to repurpose his manipulative-and-enterprising "Lost" character and make him more sympathetic. He's at his best when he's controlling the chess board. Caviezel, on the other hand, has a knack for martyr roles and playing saviors. His character is quick and precise—moves as confidently as Bourne and is just as broken.

The series reminds me of FOX's "Human Target" in that a rich financier funds the noble missions of a law-breaking vigilante, but it's grittier and intense. (However, I wouldn't mind spotting Guerrero in an episode or two.) The dynamic between these two men works for now, but I think eventually there will need to be a romantic interest and an ever-elusive enemy to keep viewers coming back. They'll also have to try to avoid a procedural format of Crime of the Week, which I think they might succeed in doing, since spoilers suggest Reese will secretly investigate his new employer, and their trust won't be as solid as Finch thinks it is.

All in all, I look forward to trying to figure out whether each of their "clients" are the good guys or the bad guys, and to seeing what happens when they guess wrong.

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