It shouldn’t be forgotten that, beneath the surface of two lone heroes saving lives with the aid of a magic machine, Person of Interest deals with some very dirty things. If it had been forgotten, the episode15, ‘Blue Code’, was a comprehensive reminder of that.
Michael Aranov guest-starred as Michael Cahill, real name Daniel Tully. As Michael, he appeared to have no redeeming character, acrook, a thief, a smuggler, involved in a drugs gang run by Vargas who, in turn, deals with a mysterious figure known as L.O.S.
But Cahill is NYPD, working under cover, husband and father, looking to bring everyone down. He has a handler, who is straight, but there is a Police source working with Vargas, looking to identify him, and once identified, Cahill will be killed, as will all his family.
Of itself, it’s a story, a PoI story, a story that could be used as the basis of any police/vigilante oriented procedural. But in this series, it’s the superficial, the symbol, and it’s what lies beneath that truly sickens.
For the first time in some weeks, we have a flashback, to 2008, to Kara Stanton and John Reese. They’re behind enemy lines, dealing with the extraction of someone, who will go into a black hole from which there is no re-emerging. In the meantime, there’s time: John Reese goes for a drink. He’s in a country where they’re no supposed to operate, they being the CIA, as represented by Mark Stone. It’s America.
John goes for a drink in a dark, busy bar, sits down next to a guy waiting for his wife. They get into conversation. Kara turns up, having very much suspected John, back in country for the first time. Is it just a coincidence that he’s sat next to Peter, the man who married John’s love, Jessica? No, of course it’s not. We’re left to wonder exactly why John’s sought him out, with Jessica about to arrive, because Kara gets John to go, just before Jessica appears. It’s a foretaste, a foreshadowing. What did John want? Just to see her again? What might have happened if Kara hadn’t have intervened? That throws a long shadow.
Then there’s the mysterious L.O.S. He turns out to be Company as well, CIA, no longer fighting the War on Drugs, the unwinnable War, instead using it to fund the War on Terror, another unwinnable War. Cahill gets his moment, he gets to arrest L.O.S., he gets to go home, even over Reese’s warning that it will do no good, over L.O.S.’s warning of comeback.
And the guy means it. He’ll get both Cahill and Carter… until, that is, Mark Snow escorts him from the Police Station, into a big black car and into a big black bag, from where he will probably go into a black hole…
But the dirtiest part of the episode, the one that does leave a sick feeling about what we’re watching, is Detective Fusco. Kevin Chapman’s been the low guy on the totem pole for the series so far, not even been in some episodes. Fusco’s changed. He’s not the dirty cop he started out to be. He’s gone clean. He’s growing in reputation, respect and most of all, self-respect.
But John needs him to go contact his dirty buddies, H.R. (the first time this force-within-a-force are named). H.R. are represented by a uniform, Officer Patrick Simmons (John Robert Burke). Fusco wants to steer clear, and Simmons isn’t too happy with him, and how he’s gone clean.
John needs Fusco to do something seriously risky, to break into the security rooms at One Police Plaza, find and shred Cahill’s file, before Vargas’s informant can get to it. Fusco gets caught, by the security officer, who turns out to be the informant. He takes Fusco out into the woods, prepares to execute him, but the shot comes from another direction, John saving Fusco. But only to manipulate furrther. Fusco can’t tell, can’t report this, can’t come clean. He’s too useful. He has to bury the body, and ask for help in ‘making it go away’. That help’s from H.R. Fusco’s on the inside now, where John wants him to be.