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Person of Interest, Ep. 3.11, “Lethe” ends the year on a high-note

Person of Interest, Ep. 3.11, “Lethe” ends the year on a high-note

Person of Interest S03E11 promo pic 1

Person of Interest, Season 3, Episode 11: “Lethe”
Written by Erik Mountain
Directed by Richard J. Lewis
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on CBS

Following the devastating three-episode arc, “Lethe” picks up with Finch (Michael Emerson) ignoring the Machine’s attempt to communicate, Shaw (Sarah Shahi) and Root (Amy Acker) in their own way attempting to get some numbers rolling once again, and Reese (Jim Caviezel) running off to Colorado to drink his liver away. Ultimately tricked by Root, Finch takes a peek at the latest number belonging to Arthur Claypool (Warehouse 13‘s Saul Rubinek), a terminal patient in a hospital who has intelligence community ties, as well as ones to Finch. 

Now in the third season, the list of things that we actually know about Finch is considerably short. We know he built the Machine, that he had a special lady friend at one point, was presumed dead, and did something in his past that forced him to change his name to Finch, most likely hacking into something that he ought not to have. Beyond that, we know next to nothing. He’s mysterious man shrouded in secrecy and intrigue. This episode, through flashbacks, gives us a few tidbits about Finch’s younger years to chew on. It’s not a meal, but it’s more information on Finch than we’ve had before and we’ll settle for what we can get. After all, beggars can’t be choosers.

If nothing else, “Lethe” is interesting due to the similar path that Finch and Claypool have trod. Both knew each other at MIT when they were students there, they were employed (in one way or another) by the government to build their own version of the Machine, and Claypool suffers from a form of dementia due to his brain tumor while Finch’s father suffered from some type of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The episode is never quite clear on what is wrong with Finch’s father, but one of those two is quite likely. In any case, the paths are remarkably similar and the only true difference between the two is that Finch succeeded and Claypool did not.

On the other side of things, it’s great seeing Shaw going to work sans Reese, but this has always been his stage and a lot of the enjoyment that comes from this show is watching Reese do his urban warfare (Batman-ing it up) against the unsavory characters of New York City. It’s always nice to see that underneath the monotone that he inhabits, there lies someone who is very capable of being affected by personal tragedies, this time in the shape of the late Detective Carter. That being said, it’s time for him to stop wallowing and get back to work doing all of his Reese-y things.

On the villain front, Person of Interest is about as good as any. Returning this week are both of the main villains of the show: Vigilance, in all of their crazy privacy awareness paranoia, and whatever clandestine part of the government Hersh and Control are a part of. They’re both bad news for equal and separate reasons and they clash with Finch and Shaw in the greatest of ways in this episode.

We’re now halfway into Person of Interest‘s third season and the show is as good as it’s ever been. Despite the fall finale ending on a cliffhanger, because shows feel they have to do that sort of thing now, the show finished the year on one heck of a high-note and that’s always welcome.