*Actors impersonating other actor's characters
*Moments of levity
* Harold and Root moments
*The machine turning on Team Machine
Person of Interest delivers yet another knockout episode with “SNAFU”
The second episode of Person of Interest on CBS didn’t let up from it’s fast-paced, jam-packed premiere episode last week as it continued to deliver even more knockout blows for its fifth and final season. With a machine on the fritz and Team Machine hilariously struggling to adjust to live underground as roomies, we jumped right back into some unexpected chaos as Root (Amy Acker), Harold (Michael Emerson), Reese (Jim Caviezel), and even Fusco (Kevin Chapman) deal with a shall we say, rather confusing mix up.
As the machine worked through some facial recognition issues (perfected acted by the entire cast) and an eventual larger breakdown, Team Machine fought cabin fever as they have to adjust to living together in such a confined space. As Reese tried to work the newly up and running numbers, he was set up and shot at by an assassin sent by none other than the machine itself. The machine fought inner demons as well as the team until Harold could reboot its connection to them and to the current time. By using some old numbers and memories, Harold was able to bring the machine back from the brink of collapse. Root, knowing she would do more harm than good, opted to sit out by using a gas that would knock her out while Harold rebuilt the machine. Elsewhere, Fusco continued to resent his position outside of the group even though he continues to cover for Reese and the team time and time again.
With the machine finally back on track and team machine working as one cohesive unit with their new cover identities, what’s in store for our team for the rest of this final chapter?
Face Swap isn’t just for Snapchat…
Person of Interest has always swayed its tone towards the darker side of things. However, every now again this genius show creates the most perfect moments of comedy. Snarky comments, witty banter, playful flirting, and on point physical comedy are just a few of the creative ways the writing team sprinkles levity into truly dark moments. In “SNAFU,” those moments of levity were joyously littered throughout the episode. Much to the delight of the audience. Starting with the machine’s hilarious facial recognition mishap that had it confusing each member of Team Machine for someone else in the opening moments of the show. The impressions each actor did of each other’s characters is so spot on and funny that you almost forget they’re literally fighting to save humanity. Harold acting as Root and tossing his hair? Couldn’t’ stop laughing. Root’s impersonations of the rest of Team Machine alone offered up some of the most hilarious moments of the series to date. Amy Acker has proven time and time again that she’s a force of nature when it comes to her acting ability. Watching her play the other characters on the show was like getting a present you never knew you wanted. It’s a refreshing breath of fresh air when this often dark and heavy show loosens the reigns and laughs at itself in the best way possible.
Nothing can or will compare to the magnetic friendship between Root and Harold. But why? There is no reason they should be friends. They should be nowhere near each other. Root’s introduction on Person of Interest couldn’t have been further from friendly. She kidnapped Harold and fought her way into his life. Yet, here we are, years later, watching one of the most dynamic duos on TV (who just so happen to be roomies for the time being). They understand each other, they respect each other, and they would do anything to each other safe. So, in “SNAFU” when Root, who is stuck underground in order to keep of Samaritan’s radar asks Harold to get her some supplies, we assume he’s going to come back with everyday items one would need to survive for the long haul. That’s just not in typical Root fashion, though, is it? Harold seems genuinely shocked when Root hands him her grocery list. Judging by his adorably flustered reaction it’s only fair to assume that she’s asked him to pick up some feminine products or something else along those lines. After a brief conversation with Reese about the list, Harold returns to the subway train and delivers what she’s asked for… BUNNY SLIPPERS. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the reformed serial killer for hire walk out rocking the cutest pair of bunny slippers that you have ever seen. And obviously, because she’s Root, they look better than any expensive pair of Louboutins on the runway.The juxtaposition of one of the most bad ass characters on Person of Interest prancing out in bunny slippers is just one of the many reasons this episode was one of the funniest to date.
(I searched long and hard for a good picture of Root rocking the bunny slippers, but couldn’t turn up anything. Sorry, guys!)
The Machine kicks us in the feels
Person of Interest is notorious for great, action packed episodes. “SNAFU” was no different. While there was many, and I mean many hilarious moments in this episode, the underlying tone of this episode was the internal struggle of the machine. Initially, its confusion was no big deal as it just had to work out some recognition glitches. However, the intensity of the confusion heightened as the machine started to perceive Team Machine as real threats to its own survival. Before things can get too bad, Root questions Harold in a way that makes him really think about his actions and relationship with the machine:
Root: “How did you teach your machine to be good?”
Harold: “By Example.”
Harold needed to find a way to be that example again. The conversation Harold has with the machine makes you feel things you shouldn’t about an AI. Genuine concern. When the machine completely turned on Reese, his life was actually in danger. Knowing this is the final season, you never know when those moments of danger will turn into something more and we could truly end up losing members of our beloved team. You realize pretty quick after Harold tries to convince the machine to stand down, that it’s not taking any perceived threat lightly. As Harold tries to talk the machine out of killing Reese with a hired assassin, it’s cold and eerily funny response is reminiscent of a response that Samaritan might give:
“Paid in advance.”
The Machine continued to struggle to find its identity. It’s a metaphor for the rest of the team. As they were stuck underground. They’re trying to put back the pieces and rebuild whatever they can. Hopefully from here on out, it’ll be smooth sailing… (yeah, right).
Final Verdict: “SNAFU” leaves you laughing… and heartbroken that this is the final season
Person of Interest can’t stop. It can’t stop being a power house show that delivers week after week. It’s not possible. Why? Amy Acker, Michael Emerson, Jim Caviezel, and Kevin Chapman won’t let it stop. Each week these actors (along with countless amazing guest stars and the incomparable Sarah Shahi) deliver stellar, driven performances. “SNAFU” was funny, thought provoking, riveting, and even sad at times. The quality level of this episodes had to leave you feeling like you wanted more. The last scene with Team Machine sitting together in the park was so bittersweet. They’re truly a team. Working together despite so many differences.
“There are no heroes or villains… just people doing the best they can.”
With episodes likes this, you can’t help but ask what on earth were they thinking canceling such a brilliant show.
- How long did it take the actors to NAIL those impersonations of each other?
- Root in a suit… That’s all.
- Michael Emerson has more chemistry with a computer than most actors do with other people.
- Kevin Chapman doesn’t get enough recognition for his portrayal of Fusco.
Person of Interest Review 5×02: “SNAFU”