Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Person of Interest

Go To

"When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different, someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?"
John Reese, "Pilot"/"Many Happy Returns"

"I don't have any friends. I don't have any family left either. I went around the world looking for bad guys. But there were plenty of you right here all along."
John Reese, "Pilot"

"The numbers never stop coming, Mr. Reese."
Harold Finch, "Pilot"

"I know what it's like to lose someone and to feel the need to disappear, but trust me, you don't want to leave people behind."
Harold Finch, "Ghosts"

"In the end we're all alone, and no one's coming to save you."
John Reese, "Mission Creep"

"Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions."
John Reese, "Cura te Ipsum"

"I looked for an 'I'm-sorry-I-got-you-shot' card, but they were all out."
Joss Carter, "Legacy"

"Only the paranoid survive."
Harold Finch, "Wolf and Cub"

John Reese: Never understood why people put all their information on those [social networking] sites. Used to make our job a lot easier in the CIA.
Harold Finch: Of course. That's why I created them.
John Reese: You're telling me you invented online social networking, Finch?
Harold Finch: The Machine needed more information. People's social graph, their associations. The government had been trying to figure it out for years. Turns out most people were happy to volunteer it. Business wound up being quite profitable, too.

"I am the evolution of organized crime."
Carl Elias, "Flesh and Blood"

"Everyone is relevant to someone."
Nathan Ingram, "No Good Deed"

"If you really need a mystery, I recommend the human heart."
Harold Finch, "No Good Deed"

"One day, I realized all the dumb, selfish things people do... it's not our fault. No one designed us. We're just an accident, Harold. We're just bad code. But the thing you built... It's perfect. Rational. Beautiful. By design."
Root, "The Contingency"

"Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and this is just the beginning; it keeps on going, forever, without ever repeating. Which means that contained within this string of decimals, is every single other number. Your birthdate, combination to your locker, your social security number, it's all in there, somewhere. And if you convert these decimals into letters, you would have every word that ever existed in every possible combination; the first syllable you spoke as a baby, the name of your latest crush, your entire life story from beginning to end, everything we ever say or do; all of the world's infinite possibilities rest within this one simple circle. Now what you do with that information; what it's good for, well that would be up to you."
Harold Finch explaining the value of pi to a math class, "2-Pi-R"

"Your mistakes, like mine, are a part of who you are now. You can't move on from that. Believe me, I've made a sizable number. But... sometimes your mistakes can surprise you. My biggest mistake, for instance, brought me here. At exactly this moment when you might need some help."
Harold Finch to a suicidal young man, "2-Pi-R"

"Can you hear me?"
The Machine, "Zero Day"

"You can't stop what's coming and neither can I, but we have the opportunity to understand things when they finally change. The future is coming. You started it, and I'll finish it."
Root, "The Perfect Mark"

Fusco: You see, Jules shot an off-duty rookie last year. 24 years old. Kid had a baby on the way. But good drug dealers can afford good lawyers, so Jules walked. I had been tracking him for weeks, just waiting to get the guy alone. And there he was. Walking out of a bodega, with not a care in the world. No protection, either. He saw me. He knew why I was there. I could see it in his eyes. So I smiled at him. Just before I put two in his chest.
Police psychologist: ...You killed a man.
Fusco: Nah. He got the devil's share.
Police psychologist: The what?
Fusco: That's what you call it when a guy like Jules gets his. It's the way the world evens things out. Guy got what he deserved, and you want to know how I've been sleeping? Like a baby.

"That's just it. I could've been just like you, a bottom-feeder who turns on his own kind. For what? Money, power? I got lucky. I had a partner. She was good for me. For a lot of reasons. She reminded me that I could be good again too. I could be a good father, a good friend. A good cop. I'm not going to let you undo all the good she did. Carter saved my life. She saved me from myself. Because she believed in me. And I'm not going to throw all that way on a piece of crap like you. Patrick Simmons, you're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say..."
Lionel Fusco, "The Devil's Share"

"Civilization rests on the principle that we treat our criminals better than they treated their victims, that we not stoop to their level. But you and I are outliers; we're not really part of civilization. We're something... older. Which means, of course, that we can do the things that civilized people can't. I offered to kill you for Detective Carter many times, and she always said no. She was civilized to the very end. I don't think she liked me, but I liked her very much. You killed her. So now I consider it my responsibility to fix the particular problem that is you, Officer Simmons."
Carl Elias, "The Devil's Share"

"If they don't want you to get inside, they ought to build it better."
Harold Finch, "Lethe"

"There's a time for a scalpel and a time for a hammer. It's hammer time."
Sameen Shaw, "Aletheia"

"I don't belong to anyone anymore. You, however, are mine. I protect you. The only thing you love lives at 254 Wendell Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I guard it, same as I guard you. Do not question my judgment. Do not pursue me, or my agents. Trust in me. I am always watching."
The Machine, "Aletheia"

"I always liked you, Hersh. Even after you killed me."
Sameen Shaw, "4C"

"Mr. Reese, I understand your frustration with the opacity of The Machine, but there's a reason I chose to make it that way. The Machine only gives us numbers because I would always rather a human element remain in determining something so critical as someone's fate. We have free will, and with that comes great responsibility, and sometimes great loss."
Harold Finch, "4C"

Root: How badly did you have to break [The Machine] to make it care about people so much?
Harold Finch: That didn't break it, it's what made it work. It was only after I taught The Machine that people mattered that it could begin to be able to help them. I'd like to do the same thing for you, if you'll let me.
— "/"

"Since we started this, things have changed. We've changed. But the mission, our purpose, has always been constant: to save lives. If that's changed somehow, if we're in a place now where The Machine is asking us to commit murder... that's a place I can't go. I'm afraid this is where I get off."
Harold Finch, "Death Benefit"

"There's one more thing. I'd like you to avoid violence, if at all possible. But, if they harm Grace in any way, kill them all."
Harold Finch, "Beta"

"And while the people shout from the rooftops about their civil liberties, they do so under the protective bubble of the very program in which they're railing against. The one that saves them from terrorist attacks every single day."
Control, "A House Divided"

"Where were you when Flight 77 hit the Pentagon? Because I was inside it. I covered up the wounded. I carried out bodies. And I have spent every day since putting bullets in the people responsible, and in anyone else who even thinks that they can do that to our country again. You want to shoot me because I had to tap a few phone calls, read a few e-mails, then you go right ahead. But you better turn that gun on yourself next, Mr. Collier, because you have broken just as many laws, and the only difference is I didn't wrap myself up in the American flag and try to convince people that I was a hero."
Control, "Deus Ex Machina"

"The Machine and I couldn't save the world. We had to settle for protecting the seven people who might be able to take it back, so we gave Samaritan a blind spot: seven key servers, that hard-codes it to ignore seven carefully crafted new identities. When the whole world is watched, filed, indexed, numbered, the only way to disappear is to appear, hiding our true identities inside a seemingly ordinary life. You're not a free man anymore, Harold. You're just a number. We have to become these people now, and if we don't, they'll find us, and they'll kill us. I'm sorry, Harold. I know it's not enough. A lot of people are gonna die, people who might've been able to help. Everything is changing. I don't know if it'll get better, but it's going to get worse. But The Machine asked me to tell you something before we part. You once told John the whole point of Pandora's Box is that once you've opened it, you can't close it again. She wanted me to remind you of how the story ends. When everything is over, when the worst has happened, there's still one thing left in Pandora's Box: hope."
Root, "Deus Ex Machina"

"You asked me to teach you chess and I've done that. It's a useful mental exercise. And through the years, many thinkers have been fascinated by it. But I don't enjoy playing. Because it was a game that was born during a brutal age, when life counted for little, and everyone believed that some people were worth more than others. Kings and pawns. I don't think that anyone is worth more than anyone else. I don't envy you the decisions you're gonna have to make. And one day I'll be gone, and you'll have no one to talk to. But if you remember nothing else, please remember this: Chess is just a game. Real people aren't pieces, and you can't assign more value to some of them than to others. Not to me, not to anyone. People are not a thing that you can sacrifice. The lesson is that anyone who looks on the world as if it was a game of chess deserves to lose."
Harold Finch, teaching The Machine "If-Then-Else"

"Everything we did was to make the world a safer place, but we strayed from the path. I admit it. I have so many regrets, but it’s grown so big, and we’re so, so small. I don’t know who you are or how you know all this, but maybe you’re right. Maybe Nathan’s death, it is my fault. I saw the signs. I ignored them. Maybe I deserve this. "
Alicia Corwin, "Karma"

"Isn't this your specialty? Helping people when the phone rings?"
Root, "Asylum"

John Greer: Don't you recognize an idealist when you see one?
Control: An idealist who wants to make the world a better place by murdering a few hundred people?
John Greer: Oh no. The world has only ever been made a better place by violence. You know that. Every leader who ever preached peace did so guarded by armed men. One thing we can agree on: Kill a few people at random, nothing changes. But kill the right people...
— "YHWH"

"You don't Take Over the World with gaudy displays of violence. Real control is surgical. Invisible. It interferes only when necessary. No one will question Samaritan because no one will ever know when it has acted. Samaritan has watched this world for a year. It settled on a list of corrections. Corrections that were long overdue. Most of humanity is docile, pliant. It's only ever a few hundred people who create all of the problems. Samaritan has identified them: The disruptors, the outliers who have problem with authority. And then there's the disloyal, the grit in the gears. Thank you for leading us directly to them, we couldn't have done it without you, Control. Men have gazed at the stars for millennia, and wondered whether there was a deity up there silently directing their fates. Today, for the first time, they'll be right, and the world will be... an undeniably better place."
John Greer, "YHWH"

"Hello. If you're hearing this, you're probably already dead. Did we win? Did we lose? I-I don't know. I'm not even sure I know what victory would mean anymore. We lost you, I thought we couldn't lose any more. I had no idea. But either way, if you're hearing this, know one thing: It's over. So let me tell you what we did to fight back."
— Voice of Root, Season 5 trailer

"If you can hear this, you're alone. The only thing left of us is the sound of my voice. I don't know if any of us made it. Did we win? Did we lose? I don't know. I'm not even sure I know what victory would mean anymore. But either way, it's over. So let me tell you who we were. Let me tell you who you are... and how we fought back."
— Voice of Root, "B.S.O.D." Opening Monologue

Harold Finch: I have played by the rules for so long.
FBI Agent: Not from where I'm sitting.
Harold Finch: No, not your rules. You work at the behest of a system so broken that you didn't even notice when it became corrupted at its core. When I first broke your rules, a sitting president had authorized assassination squads in Laos, and the head of the FBI had ordered his men, you, to conduct illegal surveillance on his political rivals. Your rules have changed every time it was convenient for you. I was talking about my rules. I have lived by those rules for so long, believed in them for so long, believed that if you played by the right rules, eventually you would win. But I was wrong, wasn't I? And now all the people I cared about are dead. Or will be dead soon enough. And we will be gone without a trace. So now I have to decide. Decide whether to let my friends die, to let hope die, to let the world be ground under your heel all because I played by my rules. I'm trying to decide. I'm going to kill you. But I need to decide how far I'm willing to go, how many of my own rules I'm willing to break, to get it done.
FBI Agent: Look. You want to add threatening the life of a federal agent to your file, I will draw up those charges right now. No waiting is required.
Harold Finch: I wasn't talking to you.

"Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from it all. So let me tell you what I've learned. I learned everyone dies alone. But if you meant something to someone, if you helped someone, or loved someone. If even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die. And maybe... this isn't the end at all."
The Machine, "return 0"

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: