Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cutting Bait on Person Of Interest

Person of Interest is a CBS show I quickly grew to like when it first appeared in 2011.  Season two was also strong, with the episode "Relevance" the series' best.  On the formulaic checklist of nearly every episode is one or more scenes where nameless bad guy henchmen are killed in gun battles with the heroes.

However, the end of Season 3 began having the heroes shoot the bad guys in the leg, instead of killing them.  It's just ridiculous--a bad guy will be conscious and in possession of his gun, yet due to the wound just gives up the fight?  Of course, if a hero is shot, he/she keeps fighting...

Initially I thought I could suspend disbelief on this issue, and just imagine the bad guys were killed.  I figured the writers were pressured by some idiotic CBS executive to lower the body count.  But then at the end of episode "Brotherhood," the show closes with a corrupt female DEA agent shot in the face, her body dumped in the street with her face to camera.  So for CBS, having a familiar character brutally and graphically killed is acceptable, but killing faceless, nameless stock henchmen is verboten?  

I can't say this is the only reason I'm bailing out, but it's certainly the straw breaking the camel's back.  The logical plot holes keep getting wider, to the point where the show is no longer "smart."  There was a sense of dread in the AI war plot thread, but that's fizzled.

Worst of all, the characters have become non-emotional, predictable, muted, and too far divorced from their origins:

  • John originally paralleled Mel Gibson's character in the first Lethal Weapon--a discarded special forces soldier battling depression and alcoholism in the absence of Purpose and family.  Now he's pretty much a stiff robot.  Not the actor's fault, there just isn't anything going on in John's personal life.
  • Shaw started as something really interesting, as sort of a present day Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell.  Now they've softened her into something more non-threatening like the female agent played by Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.
  • Root was introduced as an ominous sociopath murderess.  A nemesis for Finch.  But like Shaw, she's been softened from a tigress into a pussy cat.
  • Finch's changes make the least sense of all. His original selfless motivations gave John purpose, and even drew Shaw to the cause.  Now he's a scared little rabbit?  Why?    

Can the series be rescued at this point?  Yes.  But for now, I'm out.

No comments:

Post a Comment