In the seventh episode of the second season of Person of Interest, HELP ME. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.
Y’all, that was a breathless experience, one of the most horrifically intense episodes of this whole show, and I am in AWE.
Amy and Madison
So, there’s a specific thing you might hear brought up when folks like myself are talking about diversity and representation: we want normalcy. Now, that doesn’t mean that I want people of backgrounds that are not of the default to be written exactly as the default stock of characters are. I know I’ve written about that in regards to folks under the LGBT or queer banners. I don’t want our culture or our history or our lives sanitized so that we just seem like everyone else. The things that make us different from het folks should be celebrated, too! The same goes for my identity as a Latinx person. I don’t want the things that make that identity a part of who I am to be ignored. Instead, it’s about leveling the playing field in a different. It’s about giving stories that have very little to do with these identities to people who don’t normally get them. I want fairy tales and sci-fi jaunts and adventures and thrillers and horror flicks full of people who look like the rest of the world, and I don’t need them to come off like after-school specials either.
Amy and Madison are presented to us matter-of-factly. They are married. The first scene they’re in, they’re affectionate the entire time. There are no jokes about them being a couple, and they’re treated as some sort of special “case” because they’re the first lesbian couple on the show. Instead, they get treated as complex people thrown into a nightmare and – most important of all – worth saving. The writers don’t invoke the Bury Your Gays trope by killing one of them off, and yet they still get a story where the threat of death hangs over everything. It’s terrifying, upsetting, and in the end, Madison makes a devastating choice to maintain her ethical commitment to medicine, even though Amy could have died because of it. It’s a rich, detailed, and gut-wrenching story, and they get a happy ending.
Is it the pinnacle of representation? No, but it was fulfilling. I got to see an interracial lesbian relationship on primetime television from one of the major networks, and the main guest character was a non-white lesbian. It meant a lot.
Oh, this whole thing was one giant exercise in suspense, and there was SO MUCH HERE meant to ruin me specifically. I have ranted and screamed about thrillers for many years here on Mark Watches and LOOK HOW MUCH IS IN JUST ONE EPISODE. There’s a ticking clock! There’s the emotional pain of knowing that if you don’t make the right decision, someone you love dies! THERE’S ALASTAIR WESLEY, WHO IS SO EVIL THAT I WILL HATE HIM ON SIGHT!!! You know what else makes this episode unbearable? A formidable foe, and we get that in Wesley. This probably wouldn’t have been such a ridiculously difficult case if not for him. That moment where he called the sniper’s phone to demonstrate to John that he’d have to take out ALL of the operatives hidden in the park to save Amy was HORRIFYING.
So you’ve got Reese up against a timeline and hidden assassins and a very motivated leader of this operation, and it’s built for suspense. That’s not even addressing the nightmare in the hospital itself! With the brilliant return of Leon Tao, the show is able to stick Finch on the scene, where he must face his revulsion of hospitals while Leon does the job he’d normally do. Look, I’m a huge fan of Leon as a character, so I hope we see him again. He also brings an interesting dynamic to the episode, since he’s not normally the kind of person that Finch would trust to leave alone in his office. (At this point, I think he only trusts Reese, so there’s that.) But it’s Michael Emerson’s performance, alongside Sharon Leal’s, that truly makes this episode such a rewarding experience. THEY’RE BOTH SO GOOD, Y’ALL.
She Has a Plan
This was 100% too much before Carter started investigating the dead body with her card and an address on it, so yeah. Suffice to say, I was not prepared in the most literal and metaphorical of senses, and I NEED THIS SHOW TO CALM DOWN. LET ME LIVE. Carter’s inclusion into Snow’s plot is another brilliant move because it forces her to ask questions. She discovers that Snow is being controlled by a woman through use of a bomb attached to his torso. Controlled to do what, though? Kara Stanton has something awful planned, but none of the pieces make any sense to me. Is this a revenge plot of some sort for being left behind? That seems like an easy guess, but this is Person of Interest. We all know it’s gonna be more fucked up than that.
It puts Agent Carter on a precipice, though. If she continues to seek out more information, she’ll learn who Snow is. What Reese used to do with Stanton. And the Machine isn’t that far away either. This series stresses that knowledge isn’t just power; it’s a risk. The more you know, the more expendable you become. So does Carter willingly choose to know more???
The video for “Critical” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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