Suspenseful and classy.
In a nutshell, Person of Interest is about a socially
isolated billionaire and a jaded
ex-CIA operative who find purpose in their lives by stopping crimes before they happen. That is, with the help of a sapient supercomputer that technically isn't supposed to exist.
This show has all the elements of a good procedural: charismatic leads
solving (or, rather, preventing) cases of the week
action scenes, and a long list of interesting villains. What really sets Person of Interest apart from the boatload of crime shows out there is the way it's executed. Rather than relying on the shock value of crimes to carry the story, it focuses on the situations that cause people to commit those crimes in the first place, and each episode delivers a new perspective to the usual victim-of-the-week format. The "person of interest" can in fact be either the perpetrator or the victim, whether they know it or not, and it is this ambiguity that makes for some amazing
storytelling. See episodes like "Witness", "Number Crunch", and "Firewall" for examples of that.
There are also flashbacks employed in this series that reveal the motivations and personalities of Reese and Finch, as well as some of the people who shaped them to be who they are today. Some of them are truly heartbreaking
. They all fit together with the case-by-case plot to present a more complex picture of how we got here, and we're slowly hooked with the story of the Machine's creation.
It's simple, really: as per its title
, Person of Interest introduces us to some very interesting people, and the relationships between Reese, Finch, and their partners inside the NYPD (levelheaded Carter
and conflicted Fusco
, both with subplots of their own) take center stage. This means that even on the rare occasions when the weekly plot doesn't quite deliver, the characters and their interactions keep this show at the top of its class.