sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)
Sra ([personal profile] sarcasticsra) wrote in [community profile] pofinterest_chat2013-10-16 03:13 pm

Episode Discussion 3x04

Share your thoughts on 3x04, "Reasonable Doubt."

Spoilers will, of course, abound. :)
hedda62: Harold Finch in his HAT (hat baby)

[personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-16 09:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, I have a theory. it might be bunnies. The Machine is picking the numbers, probably more actively than ever before - what if this series of, shall we say, not so compelling POIs is her idea? Maybe a sort of test, or experiment? I mean, the sailor was a good guy, but his friend who got him in trouble, not so much: they rescue him anyway (though it was "rescue" in the sense of "leave him and the bomb with Fusco and cross your fingers"). They fail to rescue Kruger, though not for lack of trying, and I'd think the Machine must have had some interesting flowcharts (I'm trying not to say "opinions") about him; he's kind of designed to get under Finch's skin, for one thing. And then - have a slimy guy who's also good at tracking down and using information in a way that should particularly bother Reese, BUT NO they not only save him but do so generously (I can see the Machine making oh but he has offspring recalculations).

And then there were this week's lovelies, and apparently that was the straw that broke at least Reese's back. Although obviously there are numbers in between the ones we see, so they're not all unpleasant people, but... well, that was what I woke up with this morning, that there must be some design to this pattern. (It doesn't explain some of the other weirdnesses of these episodes, but I'm going to hold onto it for now.)

As far as the actual episode went... well, I drove seven hours yesterday, so I was pretty tired already by 10, but I'm sorry to say this was the first POI episode ever during which I dozed off briefly. Though I can say I loved:

1) Evidence (as far as I'm concerned) that Finch and Reese go undercover as a couple, with their murder actor doggie.
2) Shaw at the book club, OMG. Especially the moment when she sat down and did that thing with her knees.
3) Carter, and the confirmation that her new partner is a Fresh-Faced Hopefully Redeemable Bad Guy In Training.

I'm also intrigued by Finch, Reese and Carter explicitly designating themselves judge and jury. Judge not, lest ye be judged? And, ouch, this is one POI I would not have chosen to show the safehouse to. Or Carter as ally. Though in the end (probably) it was a moot point.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)

[personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-16 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
On the other, that seemed very S1 Reese, without much of a coherent reason for it

Right - in the first season, he could do things like that out of the blue and we could just ponder it, but now I expect a lead-in, at the very least showing him getting frustrated about the string of not-so-great-victims (or perpetrator-victims, here), or taking some cues from Shaw, or something like that. And yes, fine to have Finch be hypocritical, but yes, someone needs to say so. Preferably Reese, because I think that would be awesome, although it would also be interesting to find out that Shaw cares enough to want him to stop fussing at her. Or Carter could do it. Or Zoe. Or Root. Just somebody.
pendrecarc: Person of Interest: Shaw of my heart, shaw in blue outline (Shaw of my heart)

[personal profile] pendrecarc 2013-10-17 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
I was reminded strongly of the early S2 episode "Til Death", which also featured a double husband-and-wife betrayal complete with attempted murder. IIRC, Reese or Finch (can't remember which) suggested just giving up on them, and the other dismissed the idea, so instead they engaged in a successful couples counseling session before the two were carted off in handcuffs.

So what's the difference? A sense that those two were redeemable? Reese was in a shitty mood that day?

Other episodes where Reese commits or is party to murder with no claim to self-defense, or at least seriously considers it:
  • 1.04, "Cura Te Ipsum" - ambiguous
  • 1.21, "Many Happy Returns" - unclear whether Finch's and Carter's objections swayed him, but in the end he drops the guy in a Mexican prison
  • 2.20, "In Extremis" - horrific poisoning as blatant revenge

    Those are the ones I can think of, anyway--"In Extremis" stands out as a case where Reese actively collaborated with a victim in acting revenge. There was absolutely no fallout after the fact, and I don't think we even saw Finch reacting. (Was it clear that he knew what had happened? Is it possible that he doesn't know what Reese did at the end of 3.04, for that matter?)
  • hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)

    [personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-17 12:37 pm (UTC)(link)
    Yes, I was thinking about both "Til Death" and "In Extremis" while watching this one. I think it was Reese who suggested giving up in "Til Death," and Finch who said, no, we don't do that, though perhaps (IIRC, which is by no means certain) part of the argument was that they were staging these assassination attempts in public and other people might get hurt? At least in this case the couple was alone and the bullets weren't likely to go astray.

    I can't imagine that Finch didn't find out what Reese did in "In Extremis" but does he approve? I would like at least a subtle hint of continuity here, please. Come on, show: you've done it before.
    enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)

    [personal profile] enemyofperfect 2013-10-17 01:30 pm (UTC)(link)
    Do you think it's possible that the sheer competence of this week's number, and to a lesser extent that of her husband, took them out of the civilian: must protect category in Reese's mind, increasing his willingness to leave them to their business? Except, I mean, he'll show mercy to Hersh, for heaven's sake, so that doesn't explain anything, does it? I think I'm grasping at straws.

    In the lady-or-the-tiger vein, there's also 2x04 "Triggerman", where the episode closes on Reese telling the hit man who killed the number that Reese isn't there about the money. ...Is there something about the fourth episode of any given season?
    enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)

    [personal profile] enemyofperfect 2013-10-16 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
    OMG, your theory. I cling to your theory like a drowning person to a floating spar.

    I just hope the Machine remembers to factor in decision fatigue when crunching the data!
    hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)

    [personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-17 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
    They must be suffering from chronic decision fatigue, really...
    orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)

    [personal profile] orockthro 2013-10-17 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
    A) Nice Buffy reference
    B) NICE THEORY. I like your theory. Especially since it's ... POSSIBLE. I mean, the Machine is actively rehabilitating Root. That it might be doing similar things to Finch and Reese is completely plausible and fantastic and yes. Now I really want to know how the Machine is scoring them...
    hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)

    [personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-17 12:51 pm (UTC)(link)
    See, if the theory was accurate, I think we'd see one of those Machine diagrams at the end showing the probability that Reese would make that decision (I hope a low one, so he's confounding expectations). And we didn't, so. But I'm sure the Machine has SOME plan...
    astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)

    [personal profile] astolat 2013-10-17 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
    I would be delirious with joy if there was this much of a plan behind the crap they've been shoveling this season. Although on the meta level, a writing plan of "hey let's have a load of really uncompelling numbers!" is a really bad plan. *facepalms*
    hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)

    [personal profile] hedda62 2013-10-17 12:41 pm (UTC)(link)
    Yes, unfortunately my theory does not account for bad writing, and I think if it were true we'd be getting at least a hint of reaction from Team Machine. But oh well. Next week sounds possibly good?
    orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)

    [personal profile] orockthro 2013-10-16 10:29 pm (UTC)(link)
    Just watched it! Trying to funnel my brain into a nice brain shape and get my thoughts out. (I've been sick. If I don't make sense, blame that.)

    I liked the ep! Some parts of the monologues got a little slow, but overall, I have to say I liked this the best of the eps we've had so far I think. Maybe it's the return of the ~twist~ or the ending where we realize Reese still has teeth, or the fact that Shaw and Fusco got to work together. I honestly didn't know exactly how it was going to pan out (although no body was a super dupes give away lol). It seemed to be much more coherent and defined. And it was a fun ride.

    Things I super liked (in no particular order):
    (*) Carter getting to use her canon interrogation skills and being awesome and competent
    (*) Opening scene with Reese and Finch and Bear. Sra said "Bear has a better poker face than John, y/y" and it was possibly the most true statement I've ever read. Fact.
    (*) Shaw and Fusco. That bank scene was fantastic. XD
    (*) Shaw in general. I don't love that they've sorta decided she can't do the sexy/flirty thing anymore, when she could at least be semi-competent at it before, but this her is pretty awesome too.
    (*) Vanessa being SERIOUSLY competent.
    (*) I felt like we just got MORE of the characters. And I liked it.

    Things that weren't the best:
    (*) Rookie is a plant. Not a surprise to anyone at all, but also just like, UG, because Carter needs some goodness in her life, and she's gonna get backstabbed. AGAIN. And I just want to hug her.
    (*) Vanessa quasi defending Jeremy all the time. That was weird. Also her monologues got a tad old.
    (*) Finch couldn't find Vanessa's super sekrit second email account? LOL. Whatttt even.

    Things I'm still thinking about:
    (*) REESE. REESE. REESE. I JUST DON'T KNOW. I love the reminder that he's ... not a perfectly domesticated little spysassin. But on the other hand, WOW DUDE. WOW. I didn't like it when they pulled this back in S2 during Extremis (?) when he killed the hedge fund doctor-murderer-guy for no apparent reason, but here I'm weirdly in the "... alright... alright we'll go there..." side.

    I think it's interesting that they're continuing (even if they're not aware of it) the trend where John Reese looses his head around women he considers to be in crisis. Women trying to run away and women who are dealing with shitty husbands. Even if it's wrong, Reese will back their play.

    I'll probably have more thoughts later. XD


    enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)

    [personal profile] enemyofperfect 2013-10-16 11:45 pm (UTC)(link)
    I felt so sad and betrayed by the end of this episode. At first, I really had hope! Adorable undercover visits to the vet and an ultra-competent female POI -- it seemed promising!

    And there were good things even later on -- I liked Carter getting to investigate stuff, and the way Elias was clearly on her mind when she and Finch talked about what to do with the POI. Shaw might have gotten an entire minute of screen time without being mocked or criticized. And I even liked Reese's conversation with the number before sending her off to catch her bus, so help me.

    But I did not like the ending. :/ The thing is, I can believe that this is at least partly my problem rather than the show's, because I'm basically always going to be in favor of minimizing violence, and that, you know, isn't always going to be in character for Reese. But I still feel feel like this was... pretty random? I mean, we've seen so many times that they'll at least try to save the lives of some really terrible people, even if they debate whether it's really worth it. But here, it was like Reese just shrugged.

    How did y'all interpret his leaving the gun behind -- giving the guy a fighting chance, giving the number a chance at a self-defense plea, both, neither? (Sheer amoral delight in chaos? IDK.)
    orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)

    [personal profile] orockthro 2013-10-17 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
    I understand where you're coming from!

    I really was weirded out when they pulled this late in S2; it seemed extreme and unnecessary, esp for someone who is attempting to redeem themselves. But I'm at least headcanoning it for this ep as Reese and his massive Jessica issues. This was a woman with a shitty husband trying to run away, and I honestly thing Reese is incapable seeing anything beyond that. At least I hope that's what the writers are going for. IF the Jessica analogue is what they are trying to do, I actually kinda like it, because Reese is NOT a clear thinker about these things. :/

    As for the gun, I think he put it there to give her an excuse to shoot him/for her to have a seriously bullshit defense argument.
    Edited 2013-10-17 00:18 (UTC)
    impulsereader: (Default)

    [personal profile] impulsereader 2013-10-17 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
    Yes, this. The number's 'betrayal' so quickly after that 'Jessica' moment she had just inflicted upon him. I think that's what prompted that ending. The boat name says it all; in that moment Reese indulged in a moment that felt like justice to him on a personal level.
    enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)

    [personal profile] enemyofperfect 2013-10-17 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
    I don't so much disagree that Jessica very well could have been on his mind, as feel that there's no reason she should have been. The number's husband was a despicable person who cheated on her and framed her for murder, but was he really a threat physically? It seemed like he mostly just wanted to get away clean -- the best evidence that he wanted her dead was their conclusion that she wasn't the perpetrator, and, well, about that...

    But are you possibly suggesting -- and apologies if I'm completely misunderstanding you, [personal profile] impulsereader -- not that Reese sympathized with the number because she reminded him of Jessica, but that he decided to write her off because she'd pushed those buttons and then turned out to be lying? That might fit a little better, in my mind... which isn't to say that I like it better. Aagh, this episode!
    impulsereader: (Default)

    [personal profile] impulsereader 2013-10-17 05:03 pm (UTC)(link)
    That is exactly what I'm suggesting. I think the picture she presented to him of living the rest of her life in fear, which prompted him to give her the gun, viscerally reminded him of Jessica; then, just moments later, he finds out she was manipulating him with that image.

    I think that explains the ending quite neatly. It might not make anyone like it better :-( but I do think it explains it. Women living in domestic peril are Reese's kryptonite.
    impulsereader: (Default)

    [personal profile] impulsereader 2013-10-18 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
    Interesting. I took the 'it's what I would have done' moments as admiring of the number's actions so I don't think I'd add that into this equation.

    But I say you headcanon anything necessary to make the episode more enjoyable. :-)
    impulsereader: (Default)

    [personal profile] impulsereader 2013-10-18 01:18 am (UTC)(link)
    OK - I can see that - Of course she's resorting to violence - It's what I'd do. A bitter echo of the earlier observations. I like it!
    enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)

    [personal profile] enemyofperfect 2013-10-17 01:11 pm (UTC)(link)
    Ahahaha, I don't blame you in the slightest for blocking out "In Extremis"! Here, let me share my headcanon fix-it: The number in that episode was a heart doctor, and he'd have been familiar with blood thinners. One of their more common side effects? Nosebleeds.

    So let's say Reese served the target, not polonium, but something that could mimic its early effects. Then all he'd have to do is sit back and watch as the murderer raced to the nearest hospital and announced to the world that polonium is a terrifying poison he knew all about -- and had reason to think he might recently have come in contact with.

    Circumstantial as hell, of course, but even if he managed not to say anything damning during his extended panic, his employee's arm struck me as pretty twistable; I bet he'd testify against his boss if someone could guarantee that helping bring him down would make his own life safer.

    Best part: The show's complete failure to follow up on the whole brutal murder thing means there's nothing to say this isn't exactly what happened. \o/
    orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)

    [personal profile] orockthro 2013-10-17 09:03 pm (UTC)(link)
    Ah. I.
    YES. OKAY. .............. okay.
    aprilvalentine: (Reese chin highlight)

    [personal profile] aprilvalentine 2013-10-21 01:44 pm (UTC)(link)
    Yes! I was thinking that perhaps Reese could have given him something that would cause a nosebleed and you're so right that a heart doctor would know just the thing to achieve that result. So much better to just totally terrify him than to actually kill him.

    BTW, on General Hospital, it has taken Luke Spencer literally months to suffer the ill effects of polonium poisoning and lucky for him, presumed dead but actually kidnapped doctor Robin Spenser has come up with a cure so that she can be released and go back to her family! Luke is all better now too and having a celebretory whisky on the plane home! Gotta love the soaps.