Person of Interest Preview: Finch in 'Free Fall,' Ruthless Root and an 'Eager' New Team Member

CBS’ Person of Interest (airing Thursdays at 9/8c) opened Season 2 by dropping quite a provocative bit of intel, revealing how Reese will receive numbers from and communicate with The Machine for however long Mr. Finch is held captive by Root. But is that really how The Machine works? What will it take to free Finch? And is the new team member a keeper? At a premiere event for the hit drama, TVLine asked showrunners Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman and cast members Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson about those hot topics and more.

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TVLINE | Has the Machine always operated off the Dewey Decimal System? Even when Finch was around?
JONAH NOLAN | We can now see that that is how Finch has been receiving the numbers himself, at least through the course of the [first] season. If you go back to Episode 22, at one point Reese watches Finch answer a pay phone, look around…. We thought it was a delicious combination of the old and the new, since the Dewey Decimal System is something we all grew up with and kind of remember.
MICHAEL EMERSON | I think it’s brilliant, of course. It’s one of those great things where it pays the audience back for all the time they’ve spent in that library, when they may have thought, “Why a library?”

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TVLINE | Have we just seen Root (played by Amy Acker) at her most ruthless, poisoning that lady in the restaurant? Or is the worst yet to come?
GREG PLAGEMAN | She just scratched the surface there.
NOLAN | Root is stone-cold but it’s considered. We don’t think of her as a psychopath but someone who is in her own way sympathetic. And the case she is trying to make is, in many ways – though not the killing people part! – something Finch can relate to. You have all these people who want to manipulate [the Machine], and Root wants to set it free. What that means, and how her plan ultimately plays out, is something that we’re going to see through the course of the season.
EMERSON | Once Mr. Finch sees a few of the things she’s capable of, he needs to bring her down.

TVLINE | Will rescuing Finch prove to be a team effort? Are there things he can do on his end to help facilitate his freedom?
JIM CAVIEZEL | Reese is going to go bonkers [as long as Finch is captive]. His own reason for survival is this whole Machine and what they’re doing, that’s his lone purpose. Once that’s over, he’s over.
EMERSON | Mr. Finch is going to help every way he can, and in some interesting low-tech ways, but mainly it’s up to Reese. Finch is used to being in control, calling the shots, making the calls, but now he’s just in free-fall, hoping that his partner has the stuff to save him.

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TVLINE | Is the dog that Reese rescued from the white supremacists a keeper? [Answer: Yes!]
NOLAN | We have a lot of dog-lovers on the staff, and that was an idea that came out of the writers room. “We have this idea….”
PLAGEMAN | It was Jonah‘s idea, actually, and I thought he was crazy. But then I went, “Oh my God, it’s genius.”
CAVIEZEL | He’s an extraordinary animal, a Belgian Malinois – the kind of dog they used to get Bin Laden. I go down to [Naval Amphibious Base] Coronado to train with them, SEAL Team 1 and SEAL Team 3, and they said that dog will hit you at 50 mph and you could be 6-foot-5 and it will Knock. You. Down. It’s incredibly powerful.
EMERSON | It’s tricky, because you know what they say in show business — don’t work with babies and dogs! But this one is really sweet and eager.
NOLAN | These guys in the library, and to a degree Fusco and Carter, are all kind of damaged in ways, outcasts in ways, so our dog kind of fits neatly into that.

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  1. jeannette says:


  2. kel says:

    The Dewey Decimal system for getting the numbers was brilliant and such a Finch thing to do. Love it! And Bear seems like a perfect fit for our misfit super hero team.

  3. Isabelle says:

    Wow season 2 is shaping up to beat season 1 and 1 was amazing from start to end. I love that this smart well written well acted show is getting the love it deserves. One of the best if not the best on tv right now

  4. Lena120 says:

    I have to admit. I LOVE that dog! I’m happy it’s sticking around. It reminds me of Wolf from Young Justice.

  5. Holly says:

    POI is one of my favorite shows. Season 2 is off to a good start. Love the dog so glad he’s here to stay.

  6. Robin says:

    Yet the “Dutch” Caviezel spoke in the season premiere was actually German. Hopefully he’s had some more training between filming that episode and the later episodes..

    • SuzieQ says:

      Not German; have seen other posters who DO speak Dutch confirm that is is Dutch., although the last word while Dutch may have had a bit of German accent.

      • Robin says:

        Actually I’m a native speaker of Dutch. The words he used are similar in Dutch and German.

        For instance he said ‘liegen’ (German for ‘lie down’, pronounced ‘league + n’). The Dutch word for that is ‘liggen’, where the i is pronounced as in ‘bid’ and the g’s as a guttural sound that isn’t present in either the English or the German language.

        He also said ‘stil’ (silent). In German that is pronounced as ‘schteel’, and in Dutch as ‘still’.

        Now watch the episode again and decide for yourself.

  7. crochetowl says:

    Truly my fave show on now (why other shows I liked in the past are just blah now) and the only one where I actually watch each repeat, something I never do. Any good for keeping Bear around. Can’t wait to see Finch’s reaction to him.

  8. cha says:

    Oh I’m thrilled that Bear is a part of the show!!! This has become one of my absolute favorites, and it’s the only hour that I am riveted to the TV for the whole hour. I too am happy that POI is getting the love they all (producers, directors, writers, actors, Bear, and everyone connected to the show)so greatly deserve. LOL I’m 59, and this show is GREAT!

  9. Darlene says:

    This show is amazing. Tight, well acted, well written, and never fails to hold your attention. Great actors with great interaction, witty and not afraid to use super technology with the old fashioned methods. Superior show and season 2 looks to be in track to keep us on Tge edge of our seats. Bravo!

  10. Hope says:

    This show is great!! It does hold your attention and has one of the best casts in tv shows. I do like the addition of the dog too. Keep bringing us those great scripts POI creators and writers. Thanks for hiring this talented cast!!!!

  11. eridapo says:

    Love the show. Can’t wait to see the battle of the minds between Finch and Root this season.

    JC and the Dog were spectacular in the premiere as well.

  12. Linda says:

    In addition to the brilliant script, I love the amped up humor now and the pitch-perfect delivery by both Jim and Kevin. They’ve struck gold with those two!

  13. b. says:

    Season premier was great! Lol, it’s interesting that Jonah didn’t take credit for adding the dog to the show! Nolan brothers are awesome! And Amy Acker plays the sweet villain well!

  14. hotshot says:

    Thank you Matt, for this article on the superb Person of Interest. We fans have a hard time finding many articles and reviews/previews online. Not sure why. Could be POI is not a high scorer in the 18-49 demos BUT, it came in #8 in Nielsen’s Top 25 Most Viewed shows last week with 14 million and I see it hit 14.6 million viewers this week and a 3.1. That’s a lot of people eager to keep up to date on POI happenings – and growing! Thank again for this great update, Matt! Please keep ’em coming!

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