The acting in this episode, particularly by Jim Caviezel and the guest cast was tremendous and we got more insight into potential Team Machine allies and enemies.
We missed Root and thought Reese was too easily fooled by the DEA agent.
New Kid on the Block: The Brotherhood Enters the Fray
Last week on Person of Interest we asked whether there were only two sides on this show: Team Machine and Team Samaritan. Episode 4×4 answered this question with a resounding “yes” by revealing thatThe Brotherhood, introduced in 4×1 as a gang interested in acquiring an off the grid communications network, is a lot more than just that and could in fact be a major player this season. Led by the mysterious “Dominic”, the Brotherhood managed to outsmart Shaw and to duel Reese to a draw. On the bright side, Team Machine saved two children from almost certain death and uncovered a crooked DEA agent. Still, The Brotherhood looks to be a formidable opponent…or are they? To boot Elias has, despite Finch’s evasiveness, apparently figured out that something in the big picture has changed fundamentally. What this means for the future is not entirely clear at this point but it sure does spice things up. Let’s discuss shall we!
A Gang By Any Other Name…
So who or what is The Brotherhood? We first encountered them in 4×1 when when they were using an electronic expert’s son to coerce him into creating a secret communications network. Even back then Elias warned Reese to steer clear of Dominic.
In 4×4 we learned that “gang” doesn’t really accurately describe The Brotherhood. For one thing, it considers $500,000 mere “crumbs” and the loss of a large stash of heroin acceptable albeit not desired. Clearly this “gang” has its fingers are into a lot more than the things one might expect from a gang. For example, at the end of the episode it indicates that it can pretty much snap its fingers to get someone released from prison. And, Dominic has managed to avoid the far reaching arm of Elias; no mean feat. In short, this is not your average drug selling and gun running gang. This is an incredibly wealthy and powerful organization, the kind of organization that we can see capturing even Samaritan’s attention. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it is either connected to Samaritan or has become what Samaritan considers a relevant threat.
Take Me To Your Leader
Aside from saving two kids who have made off with $500 thousand of The Brotherhood’s money, Team Machine’s goal is to identify “Dominic”, the leader of the group. As stated, Dominic is so good at staying anonymous that even Elias, to his chagrin, hasn’t yet been able to identify him.
“It’s a tricky business, playing a game in which you’re unsure of the players.”
Shaw and Reese conjured a solid enough plan to find Dominic, thereby giving them leverage should things with the kids go awry (which they did thanks to a dirty DEA agent who Reese mistakenly trusted). Shaw captured one of the gang, “Mini”, who’d been injured in the drug sale gone bad and was being taken to the hospital as a suspect, held him captive then pretended to let him go so he could lead her to Dominic.
Shaw’s conversations with Mini were among the strongest scenes in the episode. Here were two people who recognized one another as killers and therefore dispensed with a lot of BS one might usually hear between a captor and captive. Mini’s world view was a mirror of what we think Shaw’s (and maybe Reese’s) was before she joined Finch’s team:
“There’s only one rule. We all die in the end.”
Mini didn’t lead Shaw to Dominic but to a laundromat (seriously, a laundromat? That’s genius) where a big stash of heroin was hidden. Shaw then used the promise not to burn the stash and to return of “Mini” to bargain for Reese’s life (he had been capture as a result of the DEA agent’s double cross) and the lives of the kids who had taken the money in the first place.
And then…in typical and wonderful Person of Interest fashion, everything we thought we knew in the episode was turned on its head as it was revealed that “Mini” wasn’t just some gang member but Dominic himself. He’d been the one using Shaw to get free. He even knew she’d put a tracker on him. He didn’t care about the stash or even the money (though he did kill the DEA agent because she crossed him too). He didn’t even care that much about the kids though he did plan to spring their mother from prison then bring the son to work for him. Bottom is he had the upper hand all for the entire time Shaw thought she was using him.
So all in all…we think The Brotherhood won this one. It’s not often that we see both Reese and Shaw get fooled in the same episode but there it is. It is possible that Reese was fooled by the lady DEA agent because he’s still got a Joss Carter sized hole in his heart. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson because he just should not have been so easily fooled. But Shaw and Reese don’t even realize that they’ve been fooled by The Brotherhood and that is far far more impressive and even alarming.
Ignorance Is Bliss?
While Reese and Shaw were busy with the kids, Finch was liaising with Elias (played by the always excellent Enrico Colantoni) on a moving underground train, pretty much the safest place for an off the grid meeting. It’s always a real treat to see Colantini and Emerson acting together but the scenes in this episode were particularly noteworthy because, while Finch wanted Elias to get help in keeping gangsters out of the way while the kids were still out there, Elias, who may be just as smart as Finch, had noticed that Finch is even more off the grid than usual and that Reese is now a police detective and he wanted answers.
“Something has changed. Something fundamental, and I’m not just referring to the way you and your friends operate. I think you know what’s happening. And I think you owe it to me to tell me the truth.”
Although evasive at this point in the episode, in the end, Finch met with Elias again, told him he’s not wrong and handed him what looks like a first edition copy of H.G. Wells’ (advice in these troubled times), and gave him information that could be helpful in locating Dominic.
The best thing is that Elias wasn’t just sure that something had changed, he had deduced sure that a direct consequence of that change is that it’s no longer a free world. It would be awesome of Elias joined Team Machine full tilt. I mean they’ve already got two deadly assassins and a crazy genius killer on the team, what’s one little crime lord?
The Brotherhood was a solid if not completely breathtaking episode of Person of Interest, highlighted by terrific performances by the main cast and especially by the guest cast. We’ve already talked about Enrico Colantoni’s Elias but we think Jamie Hector’s performance as Linc, Dominic’s second, and Winston Duke’s Mini/Dominic really stole the show this week. Jamie Hector was stunning in The Wire, where he played the unforgettable Marlo Stanfield, and he is equally stunning as Linc. We were simply unable to take our eyes off of him any time he was on the screen. Winston Duke is a relative new comer but he more than held his own in Mini’s scenes with Shaw and then later in Dominic’s scenes with Linc. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these two down the road.
Plot- wise the episode set the stage for possible future members of either Team Machine or Team Samaritan. Here we have episode two different crime organizations: Elias’ and The Brotherhood. In a way they are like The Machine and Samaritan. Elias almost looks like a bit of a dinosaur compared to Dominic and The Brotherhood. What will happen if these two learn about the battle between the Machine and Samaritan? Who’s side will they take. These are the kinds of questions that keep Person of Interest fans everywhere begging for more.
The Brotherhood was written by Denise The` who delivered another solid script. There was not a single word in there that didn’t need to be. Writers will understand what a compliment that is.
Show veteran Chris Fisher gave us another beautifully shot episode. Interior corridor and stairwell scenes can be tricky not only because of the lighting but because of the sound. Sound can get muffled or otherwise distorted in these kind of locations but as always, they went off without a single apparent glitch. We must give special kudos to the look on Reese’s face when he realized he’d been fooled by the DEA agent. Jim Caviezel has a special knack for conveying emotion with his eyes but the close ups of him upon learning about this betrayal were particularly stunning. Reese wasn’t just angry. He was hurt because he really had trusted her. The director gets a lot of credit for that.
We really liked The Brotherhood and are eager for more. So what did you think. Let us know by leaving us a comment. See you next week.