May 18, 2013

'Person of Interest' - The Relationship Between Reese and Finch

***WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON FINALE, "GOD MODE". So if you didn't stop your entire life and watch it the day it aired and don't wish to know what transpired in it beforehand, please don't read any further :)

So, we've now gotten to journey through two thrilling seasons of 'Person of Interest' - that's 45 episodes of gleefully watching Reese and Finch - a duo so dynamic just seeing them sitting on a park bench together gives you a tingle of excitement - take on the baddies and save the part of the free world that would otherwise slip through the cracks. And man, what a ride it's been! As we wait (impatiently, excitedly, and with so many open questions and wild theories dancing around our heads) for POI Season 3 (~Wake me when September comes...~), let's take a brief look at how we entered and exited the relationship that is the core of Team Machine in each of the two seasons...

Sx01, Ex01 - The Initial Meeting:

I'm considering it the initial meeting because it's the first time we the audience see them make contact. Yes, Reese encountered Finch before (in the flashback where Reese learns of Jessica's death), but he didn't know it was Finch and they didn't talk or become introduced to each other. Finch might have known about Reese for a long time - I'm still a little hazy on the timeline and details of the whole laptop/virus-within-a-virus/Ordos/Harold-Finch-is-behind-it-all stuff - but again, he never spoke face-to-face with Reese then, so this scene in the pilot is their first important introduction.

I love the way Finch is all "I know exactly everything about you, Mr. Reese." It makes him quite the mysterious figure. Yet at the same time, he has a sensitivity toward Reese that makes us think there is so much more here to explore. And they did that throughout the season. I was floored when they revealed Finch was right there in the hospital (in the aforementioned flashback) with Reese's picture and number. Bleep! So many times after watching a new episode that divulged a secret reveal like that, I'd have to go back and rewatch a previous episode's scene to see how this new information incorporated into it. Sure enough there'd be glimpses of the fact that it was true the whole time! And either I just hadn't picked up on it, or I'd noticed something originally and happily wondered when it would be revealed.

Finch is guarded, he doesn't yet know if he should open up to Reese. So many awful things have happened to Finch since the instating of The Machine as the government's secret weapon against terrorism, he has to be sure before he tells Reese things, before he trusts him.

Reese himself is in a dark place. He doesn't want to trust anyone either - he doesn't care to trust anyone. There's no use in it, his life is over, why bother? Only, Finch can give him purpose again. Finch can save Reese's life. He does so in 'Number Crunch' where he comes and rescues Reese from the building after Reese is shot. But it's interesting to note that Finch in fact saved Reese from the very beginning. Who knows what might have happened had Finch not intervened at this point in Reese's life? No one else could do for Reese what he needs, what Finch can do for him. No one. At the same time, Reese is the only one who can supply Finch with what he needs to keep going. "The skills to intervene." Who else could Finch hire to help him rectify his mistake about the irrelevant numbers?

So we begin this ever-evolving relationship between these two very different, though ultimately super similar, characters at a time in which both are at a point where they could not reasonably continue without the other. That's really powerful, and it makes it just the right moment to start their journey with them. A journey to find redemption and to learn to trust again. And to feel joy again.

Sx01, Ex23 - Side by Side:

By the final episode of Season 1, "Firewall", Reese and Finch have grown much closer. That's just something that happens when you cheat death together, have nobody else to confide your vigilante actions to, and spend day after day shoulder to shoulder working for a common goal. They've become very dependent on each other's presence - something we then see upset in a major way with Root kidnapping Finch and causing him and Reese to be separated for the first time since the beginning. It was heartbreaking to see Reese so hollow when he's looking around the empty Library afterward. His friend is gone, and he may not get him back. How can he continue saving the numbers without his friend, benefactor, mentor, conscience, and "tech support"? (This makes me think of poor Finch also returning to the Library after the loss of his close friend and only confidant. In Finch's case though, he never got Nathan back...)

Because Finch is kidnapped by the end, this is the only scene in which Finch and Reese are together in the episode; for the remainder of it they are in different locations, only communicating over the phoneline.

Sx02, Ex02 - The Reunion:

It takes until the second episode of Season 2, "Bad Code", before Reese and Finch are reunited. Finch has changed; he's had to go through yet another traumatic experience, and he's had to look at his creation and what he's done to it through Root's psycho viewpoint. Reese too has changed; he's had to reason with the Machine, face the (permanent if he can't rescue him) void left by Finch's absence, and fill Finch's role as the one getting the numbers from the Machine. These are all things that bear on their dynamic as they go back to business as usual. Reese is careful to let Finch ease back to normalcy. Finch must consider that Reese won't prioritize Finch's safety below that of fulfilling the Machine's contingency plan. Finch may have been able to reprogram the Machine to not protect him, but he won't have the same success with Reese. Nope, if Finch is in danger then Reese won't stop trying to save him, and he'll give the unstoppable cannonball a run for its money in doing so.

Sx02, Ex22 - In Step:

As Season 2 closes out, our two heroes are ready for whatever the next stage will be in their mission as guardian angels to the numbers on the irrelevant list. Finch has fewer secrets than ever from Reese. Reese has had to forgive Finch for certain things, or more accurately, the decisions of Finch's that led to certain things. They are completely inseparable at this point. They are in perfect tandem. (Bear too, just look at him putting his paw forward in step with his masters.) They are two sides of the same coin. They walk alongside each other in the darkness created by the choices in their lives. As long as the Machine continues to call them with the numbers, they will continue to answer the phone.

I can't wait to see what awesome twists and turns await Finch and Reese in Season 3. If the storylines are anything like in the first two seasons, I'll be thrilled no end! Or course it'll be hard to top things like:

*The adorableness of the two self-inflicted bachelors caring for baby Leila in their secret hideout...

*The uh-oh moments involved in Finch leaving Reese out of the case that bore too much similarity to Jessica's death...

*The hilarious teasing that passes between them when there's a lull in the danger...

*The powerful bond that rears its wonderful head at moments when either one is in a life-threatening situation...

*The touchingness of Reese trying to make Finch feel better about his decision to protect Grace...

*The funny reaction from Reese when Finch tells him he set Reese up with a date with Maxine and has been texting her all day...

*The sweetness of seeing Finch's smile when Bear bowls Reese over upon Reese's return from Rikers prison...

*The cushion... (Yes, that's all that needs to be said)

*The tenseness of having to disarm a bombvest atop a roof at night when it's strapped to your other half...

But if the POI writers are up to the challenge of writing it, then I'm definitely up to the 'challenge' of watching it. Bring it on! Oh right, there're still weeks and weeks to have to wait...


I had the idea to make this post a bit ago, but then last night I found this amazing fanvid, and it's a perfect showcase of the friendship and bond and funny moments I tried to cover above. Watch and enjoy! (If your feels explode, don't say I didn't warn ya ;)

(Thanks to talitha78 for making this vid!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. And if you have any related fan-created material to share, go right ahead and leave a link.