For Our Members: Life-Affirming TV During Lockdown

No One is Irrelevant: Person of Interest Review

by Sonja Morin, Communications Intern

Genre: Drama, Crime, Science Fiction

TV-14 (violence, heavy themes, some language)

MCFL Rating: ✭✭✭✭✬ (4.5)

I couldn’t quite contain my excitement when I found out that Person of Interest, one of my favorite series of all time, was available to stream in its entirety on Netflix. Set in modern-day New York City, the series follows Harold Finch - a secluded billionaire - and John Reese - a former CIA agent - as they use government-created A.I. to stop crimes before they occur. It intertwines crime drama with just a hint of science fiction in an intriguing and slowly intensifying story.

A story driven by using artificial intelligence might seem like an odd pick for a series of reviews dealing with pro-life content. However, the five-season show does an excellent job in exploring the themes of intrinsic rights, family, and the value of human life. By far one of the most underrated series on CBS, Person of Interest is a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be human. 

The series opens with John Reese, struggling after his sudden departure from the CIA. Presumed dead, he wanders the streets of New York City to find some nourishment and shelter each night. One particular day, Harold Finch approaches Reese, and offers him a job: to aid in his quest to prevent crimes before they happen. Finch uses the Machine, a sophisticated A.I. he invented initially for the government to detect signs of a dangerous situation, accompanied with the number of a person that is involved in the situation. Together, the two must work together to determine if the person is the potential perpetrator or victim, and administer justice in the situation as best as they can. 

Person of Interest is certainly a series that needs to be watched from the beginning and continued through to the end. Attempting to start on a random episode will likely make someone confused, because the storyline is masterfully expanded and made more complex over the course of the five seasons. Enemies become allies, the team grows, and old problems return to haunt the characters. The Machine grows in its capabilities, but grapples with its own freedom. By its last season, the series does not lose its intrigue or become monotonous in plot repetition; new situations and information appear, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats, waiting for more. The growing complexity and stakes of the story, as well as the continual fleshing-out of the characters and their motivations, are a crucial part of what makes this series incredible. 

The most prevalent theme in the whole series is summed up in two lines from the show’s introduction: “The government considers these people irrelevant. We don’t”. The Machine was created for the government to distinguish and point out terrorists from common criminals, to prevent large-scale catastrophes from occurring. The people that would be potentially involved in terrorist activity - either as perpetrator or victim - would be labeled as ‘relevant’, while others would be marked ‘irrelevant’ and left alone to fend for themselves. The mission that Finch and Reese placed upon themselves was to protect these ‘irrelevant’ people that would not have otherwise been protected. Reese and Finch - and later the other characters that join them in their work - are brought together by this shared mission of saving lives. Their work and motivations mirror that of the pro-life movement to a grand degree, in that they strive to recognize and protect lives, even if others do not. 

All in all, Person of Interest is a fantastic pick that fittingly explores the ethos of the pro-life movement, while being continuously creative in its approach. The series is an excellent selection, especially for fans of crime dramas or science fiction, but has a wider appeal and intrigue for all viewers. The storyline and characterization throughout the series is phenomenal, and keeps the audience intrigued even after the show ends. Person of Interest is more than just a well-planned and fascinating series, however; it explores the themes of dignity, rights, and the human family in a way that is evident and inspiring. In short, if you’re looking for a fulfilling series that will grab your attention and leave you wanting the next episode, look no further. 

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  • C.J. Williams
    published this page in In The News 2020-05-15 12:22:57 -0400