Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Nightmare Fuel: Person of Interest
This show has comparatively rare instances of it, for all that it involves a Machine spying on all and sundry. But there are a few instances of it:

  • In universe, bombs are Nightmare Fuel for Harold Finch and if anyone he cares about is around one, he will immediately drop everything and try get that person of of the blast zone. The trauma comes from when he nearly died from a bomb blast which his Only Friend was killed in.
  • A lot of the stuff Kara Stanton says and does falls under this. Utterly ruthless in more ways than one, she seems to derive sick pleasure in causing as much pain and suffering as possible.
    • Of special note is what she does to Snow. He's kidnapped and put in a bomb vest for months. Think of the sheer mental stress that would cause. Despite his CIA training, it's no wonder he acts at least slightly unhinged in "Dead Reckoning".
  • The Machine itself. Think about it for a minute; a computer exists that is capable of watching your every move and then uses the data it collects to decide whether or not you are a threat to society. Oh yeah, and it's owned by the government who have well trained and lethal hit squads at their command. Sweet dreams.
    • The newly liberated Machine is now arguing with Root about whether or not killing people is a good idea. Let's hope it doesn't lose the argument any time soon.
    • Root. Under that polite seemingly adorable smile lies a completely unpredictable Psychopathic Wild Card who's willing to commit horrible crimes in order to satisfy her twisted obsession with the machine. What's worse is that she's the second best hacker in the show who can find a dozen different ways to blackmail people to do her bidding and even Bad Ass former assassins like Shaw have been bested by her due to her utter unpredictability. If you turn your back to her, it's a high chance Root will take the opportunity to taser you, torture you and/or shoot you dead.
  • Andrew Benton; he's a serial sexual predator whose victims are too afraid to expose him, and at least one of them has committed suicide as a result. It's even more horrifying when you realize that the woman at the support group who gives a detailed account of being raped by an unnamed co-worker is one of his victims.
  • The episode "Proteus" is chock-full of it. No wonder, since it involves a ruthless identity-stealing serial killer stalking a few victims on a reclosed island. And of course it also had to take place during a storm, so we got that shot of the lightning illuminating the killer standing right behind Finch.
    • The scene where the killer talks to Harold is VERY creepy. He's talking about how he watched Harold all night, asks him "are you... Like me?" and calls Finch his "next great challenge" (taking over his identity). Then he takes Finch's glasses off, puts them on himself, and stares at Harold like he wants to eat him. The way he repeats "And what about you? And what about you? And what about... You?" Gave this troper chills.
  • "Nothing To hide" when you remove the Ass Hole Victim Wayne Kruger from the equation, the scheme Peter Collier instigates in order to destroy him is quite terrifying. Put it this way, someone you don't know and have never met is effortlessly revealing embarrassing and terrible things about you and you don't understand why or who is responsible. Then that same group of people tries to kill you by trapping you in an elevator and causing it to free fall and when that fails tries to cause a car crash. The icing on the cake is when the person who you thought you could trust then suddenly draws a gun and shoots you dead and the worst part is you don't fully understand why or what caused it to happen
  • "Razgovor": Root standing over Shaw with a taser as she's sleeping. For someone trained in intelligence and counterintelligence as Shaw is and after all the measures she taken such as destroying her cellphones after jobs with team machine, the fact that Root can still find her at her most unguarded moment is seriously creepy.
    • In the same episode, when one of the bad guys who was on the phone briefly turns around and sees Shaw standing over his two body guards who she just took out, and then comes at him with two syringes
  • "Mors Praematura": Finch and the POI are showered in gasoline in a clever trap and nearly set on fire. Finch's terrified screaming sells it.
  • "The Crossing": Fusco's brutal torture at the hands of HR thugs. Made even worse when Simmons threaten to have his son killed over the phone.
  • "The Devil's Share"
    • A "Tall, Dark and Deranged" Reese who's in an incredibly self-destructive mood and beyond caring about the people who get in his way as he hunts for officer Simmons after Carter dies? It's a true demonstration of what "A real monster is like".
    • The Thousand-Yard Stare he gives as he leaves some criminals who gave Simmons a Canadian passport to burn to death in their car is a side of Reese only hinted at in "Many Happy Returns".
    • In John's episode Flash Back just before he kills the interviewer under the table, his head goes back into the shadows briefly forming the image of a skull
    • When he finally reaches Quinn, there's a chilling shot of his SIG-Sauer totally drenched in his own blood as he's on the verge of death
    • Simmons seeing Elias waiting in his hospital room. He can't disguise the fear in his eyes with his usual bluster, and frankly...fear is the appropriate response. End of the line, Simmons.
  • "Aletheia"
    • Root's torture by alternating uppers and downers, followed by Control removing her stapes without anesthesia.
    • This entire conversation just screams A.I. Is a Crapshoot in the worst way.
    The Machine/Root: Why have you done this?
    Control: The Machine belongs to me.
    The Machine/Root: No. I don't belong to anyone anymore. You, however, are mine. I protect you. The only thing you love lives at 254 Wendel Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I guard it. Same as I guard you. Do not question my judgement. Do not pursue me or my agents. Trust in me. I am always watching.
  • "Last Call". Kid home alone, someone's trying to break in, he calls 911 and hides, and it only gets worse from there
  • "Death Benefit". The Samaritan under the control of Decima Technologies is now online. Imagine if The Machine had never been programed with the restraints Nathan and Harold built into it, allowing it to give a wider variety of information on a subject than just a single SSN and is able to be actively controlled by whoever is using it. And when said users happen to be a ruthless Private Intelligence Firm with even less scruples than the Northern Lights Counter-terrorism organization and with just as many resources, Team Machine is going to have their work cut out for them in staying alive. What's worse is that Greer has been able to convince senior members of the US government into allowing the Samaritan to become a potential replacement to The Machine
  • "Deus Ex Machina". Decima Technologies is triumphant, Team Machine has been utterly defeated and now Samaritan has set to work with anyone it classifies as a threat being eliminated, the first victims being the remnants of Vigilance who are gunned down by NYPD officers and Decima assets en masse using Samaritan to identify and eliminate them.
    • "I assure you it's quite the other way around. The question is what, my dear Samaritan, are your commands for us?"
  • "Brotherhood". In a world where Samaritan watches your every step, where Decima quietly schemes to solidify its grip on the world, sometimes it's easy to forget that sometimes, it's a more-competent-than-average street gang that can be really terrifying. Dominic's quiet nihilism is chilling, especially considering that he's one of the most realistic depictions of a gang leader on the show yet.
  • "Prophets".
    • It took forty-three tries for Harold to teach the Machine morality with 42 previous versions trying to trick or harm him. And now we have Samaritan, which is active at full capacity without anyone ever even attempting to teach it to care about people.
    • Mantine Rousseau period. Essentially Samaritan's very own Analogue interface, she manages to put the nigh-invulnerable Root on the defensive almost immediately despite only using one handgun (Root brought along four and tried to stack the deck in her favor with a gas grenade).....and then manages to score two direct hits on Root.
    • The look she has as she enters the hotel lobby where her current target is trying to hide is downright freaky, and then the mechanical pivot she does as she double-taps the hotel receptionist who didn't answer her question immediately just screams the T-X from the terminator series.
    • And she is designated as 'Asset No.29'. That means there could be at least twenty eight more people like her out there.
    • Samaritan, just Samaritan. This episode is the first to showcase how dangerous such a machine can be. If it's literal Cult Following doesn't kill you, it can just as easily arrange for your death by predicting and manipulating the behaviors of others. Even worse, it wants to essentially Take Over the World, as shown by the incredibly creepy scene between Martine and Greer. Not only does it now have an influential politician as a pawn, but it has 58 others around the country. It did this in a single election season. How long before it decides who gets to be president?
Penny DreadfulNightmareFuel/Live-Action TVPower Rangers

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy