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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Person of Interest of Interest

I was interested enough to see the first episode of Person of Interest.  It's Minority Report (an operation identifies crimes before they're committed, and tries to stop them), Medium (sees the future), Mission Impossible (you know what that is), a bit of 1984, and a few other touches all its own.  I liked it a lot.

Michael Emerson (Ben from Lost) is one of the major characters (Finch) who is so much like Ben (Finch even gets roughed up like Ben) that it could have been Ben, but that's ok, because Ben was one of the more fascinating, provocative characters on Lost.   Here he plays a computer genius who built a device, in the aftermath of 9/11, that could track potential terrorist attacks, with a view towards our government's intercepting them.   An unintended consequence is that this special super-computer could also ID potential non-terrorist crimes like individual murders and kidnappings.  Ben - sorry, Finch - built a back-door to his program, and he's determined to stop as many of these one-on-one crimes as possible.  Not as easy, of course, as it sounds, and complicated by the fact that the computer program cannot be sure whether the person of interest it identifies is the victim or the perpetrator.

Finch needs eyes in the field.  Not only only eyes, but moves that can stop the crimes.  He's not government, but he has plenty of money, he's off the grid, and he's in the market for a James Bond kind of agent.  That's where Reese comes in, played by James Caviezel (who was excellent in another science fiction story, Frequency, one of the best communication-back-through-time movies ever made - in fact, the best).  My Mission Impossible reference gets to the complexity of Reese's assignments, and 1984 points to our government still watching all of us through Finch's massive computer and its omnipresent lenses.

The premiere was good,  the show has potential, and I'll keep watching it.  I'm always a sucker for stories about the government watching me.  And, hey,  J. J. Abrams - one of the executive producers - has done some pretty good previous work with Felicity, AliasLost (except for the ending, which I don't think was his fault),  and Fringe.

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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