Person of Interest: It’s all about the numbers

If there’s one thing that JJ Abrams likes, it’s numbers. Look in a handful of episodes of LOST and you’ll find them. This show has numbers at its core. Not audience numbers or the number of cast members, but an all-pervasive machine mysteriously spewing out social security numbers. We never see the machine, but it sees the residents of New York and knows when their time will be up.

Leading the fight against the machines (no, wait that’s John Connor). Leading the fight to save the-people-whose-numbers-are-to-be-deleted-at midnight is bored billionaire and computer genius Harold Finch (played by LOST’s Michael Emerson). He is quite short, bespectacled, walks with a limp and is usually stuck in a room operating computers. He receives the numbers and needs someone with the skills, means and even the reassuringly soft-spoken voice to get the job done.

The voice belongs to John Reece (stylishly played by Jim Caviezel). He is an ex-CIA Special Operations agent who survives using his great bank of skills. Tall, fast, and almost always in a suit, he’s skilled in surveillance and weapons. Also, he’s able to put crime victims at ease with his manner; he’s ideal as the ‘face’ of the two-man team. Still, he keeps snooping around his boss trying to find anything out about him, but anything he finds is usually no longer relevant.

Two further characters feature in the episodes. Both are NYPD detectives: Carter, a former US Army negotiator and mother-of-one, continually hunts Reece. And Fusco, a bent cop whose life is spared by Reece in order to use police resources and intelligence.

The series’ writer is Jonathan Nolan, famous for writing a short story that inspired brother Christopher to make mind-bending film Memento. If there’s one thing that Nolan has done well so far, it’s play his cards close to his chest. Very few answers have made their way to the audience.

So for a weekly thriller, with a small cast that works solidly together, intrigue, criminals, shady surveillance, surprises, mystery and Paige Turco as an enigmatic love interest, there’s nothing else I’d rather be watching.

Posted by Dogdrovenorth

(You can pre-order the first season of Person of Interest on DVD now, while waiting for Channel 5 to show the rest of the series.)

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