Thursday, 11 December 2014

Advent 2014: Favourite Characters of 2014 – Day #11: Team Machine (Person Of Interest)

For the penultimate day in my Advent Column, I turn my attention to the lead characters of NBC’s hit crime/science fiction drama, Person Of Interest, created by Jonathan Nolan, which is currently in its fourth season.

 The Rules:

"As you’ve probably noticed from above, this is a new blog series dedicated to showcasing my favourite characters from 2014. I will draw from a wide variety of sources but the conditions are simple – I have to have either first encountered that character in 2014, (or a different iteration of that character in 2014, for example, If I were to use, Steven Moffat’s Sherlock Holmes, I would be allowed to as even though I discovered the character before the year of me writing the Advent list, I did not discover Moffat’s take on the character until 2014. Of course, I watched BBC’s Sherlock before 2014, but that’s just a standard example). I can also refer to groups of characters, for example, on a variation of a list last year, I used the Clone Club from Orphan Black, and the main cast from Stargate Atlantis. This will be used multiple times this year when talking about TV show characters – as they are generally better as an ensemble piece as opposed to an individual group.

And also, as is evident from the first character that I have used this year, Raylan Givens, I am allowed to pick characters from previous years as long as I have discovered them in this year. By discovered, that obviously means I have to have watched the first episode of the TV series in 2014, or alternatively, I am also allowed to include characters who I have become more attached to in this year that I weren’t necessarily so keen on before, for example, If a character did something awesome this year to raise their game and turn him or her into a new fan favourite than these characters would be allowed to be included."

As mentioned on Day 8, when I was talking about The Legend of Korra, Person of Interest was one of my summer binge-watching projects. I managed to get caught up on three seasons of 23-ish episodes each in time for Season 4 and this is one of those shows that just keeps getting better and better. Originally starting out as a fairly standard police procedural with elements of vigilantism and science fiction, by the start of Season 2, the show fully embraced its science fiction side and has become all the more awesome because of it. By Season 4, we’re now dealing with wars between two AIs and the execution of this is handled very well as we prepare for a three-part episode going into the fall finale. And seeing as Season 3’s three-part fall finale ended in the death of a beloved character, it’s safe to say that the bets are off. One character may have already met his end in Season 4 but it’s highly likely that somebody else is going to die before the Season is out. Somebody big.

And that’s the problem. It could literally be anybody. This show isn’t afraid to pull its punches and kill of major cast members which is why I’m so damn worried about what’s to come. Over the course of the four seasons I’ve grown to care about literally anybody in the series – every single main star, be they Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), billionaire, John Reese (Jim Caviezel), vigilante, Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson), one of the few good cops in a department full of corrupt officers, Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), the former dirty cop turned good cop due to his alliance with Reese and Finch, and to make things more interesting, the later additions of Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), the ex-CIA operative turned vigilante and Root (Amy Acker), the slightly unhinged former nemesis of Finch. It’s a fascinating mix of characters played by some amazing actors and actresses and when you factor into the villains as well, every single character on this series is pulled off incredibly well.

The show itself is probably the best on television right now (Yes, including Cable series). It’s an example of a series that rewards long term investment, and focusing on the premise of there being an artificial intelligence watching us all and predicting crimes before they can happen. The A.I. then feeds social security numbers to Finch and Reese and the characters have to track the owners of the numbers down and determine whether or not they’re the victim or the perpetrator and depending on whether or not they are guilty, hand them over to the police or if they are innocent, risk everything to try and protect them. It’s a fascinating mix of television and may in fact be, the closest we’re going to get to having a proper Batman show on television. (Gotham, as an origin series, doesn’t technically count).

Characters continue to grow and change and the female ones are just as awesome as the male characters. Jonathan Nolan has handled the show very well and there have been some excellent episodes throughout. My Top 5 episodes at the moment include (It’s too hard to put them in a specific order) S2x16 “Relevance,” S3x23 “Deus Ex Machina, S4x02’ “Nautilus”, S3x09 “The Crossing and S1x23 “Firewall”, but that could easily be a Top 20. The show itself continues to be highly consistent and highly entertaining, and if you’re not watching it already, the question is – why not?

You can find a trailer here – there are minor spoilers, but nothing too major:

·         Day 1: Raylan Givens (Justified)
·         Day 2: The Mikealson Family (The Originals)
·         Day 3: Nolan and Irisa (Defiance)
·         Day 4: Godzilla (Gareth Edwards' Godzilla)
·         Day 5: The 99th Precinct (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
·         Day 6: The All New X-Factor (Peter David’s All New X-Factor)
·         Day 7: Bluebird & Spoiler (Batman Eternal)
·         Day 8: Korra (The Legend of Korra)
·         Day 9: Nikita & Alex (Nikita)
·         Day 10: The Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG)

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