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24 June 2016 @ 08:21 pm
If I could start again a million miles away I would keep myself...  
Earlier this week saw the series finale of Person of Interest and I've already watched the episode twice. Not since Chuck (2012) have I been so invested in a television show and not since then has a finale absolutely nailed it.

Finales are difficult. How do you wrap up a whole series in one episode? How do you create an episode which stays true to the premise of the show while tying up loose ends, while giving your cast, crew, and audience a fitting farewell?

Person of Interest spent all 12 episodes of its fifth and final season leading up to theirs and it was executed to perfection: Fusco was finally brought into the inner circle; characters from previous seasons popped up; we saw another outfit targeting persons of interest in Washington DC.

But season five wasn't just one long and drawn out serial, nor did the procedural format negate the simmering showdown with Samaritan. Each episode had a purpose, all creating the foundation for one of the best finales I have ever seen. To which my POI Twitter feed can attest.

The opening scene was all it took for me to realise just how far Finch has drifted from the idealistic pacifist we meet in episode one. Brandishing a firearm, with intention to shoot (albeit with trembling hands), we see that Samaritan has pushed even the intelligent yet idealistic Harold Finch show right over the edge.

In spite of all he's been through and Samaritan's increasing threat, Finch has remained the moral compass; the most dangerous weapon we've seen him use before now is an umbrella!

The episode is splintered into multiple timelines including present time, the immediate sequence of events which led to it, and various moments chosen by The Machine as she tries to understand death, now that hers is imminent. The system shutting down is such an elegant metaphor upon which to bid adieu.

We see flashes of John and Lionel on their knees as they're about to be shot; a man laying in the street, surrounded by police and paramedics; a young boy at a funeral; an old man in a hospital bed. After forty minutes, each scene and timeline has been woven together in an epic finale and the effortless genius synonymous with Person of Interest.

Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman did a phenomenal job in giving this series a beginning, a middle, and an end. They launched a "fictional" premise which proved to be a predictor, paced the show, allowed for character development, encouraged relationship growth, and provided some of the most incredible episodes of television.

And they ended it with a bang - literally, there was a missile! - in a finale that had it all: high stakes, action, flashbacks, misdirection, emotions, last goodbyes, closure, happy endings (for some), and, above all, hope.

Moments I had tears or was just plain bawling:

Fusco rejects John's apology, saying he never would have cleaned up his act were it not for The Man in the Suit:



Harold bids his colleague and friend goodbye as he locks him in the vault to save him:



Harold locks Reese in the vault and our usually softly-spoken hero screams his name



The Machine tells Shaw that the very thing she thought was wrong with her was the thing Root thought made her beautiful:



The whole exchange between John and Harold on the rooftop, culminating in John's face when he sees Harold leaving:



Harold and Grace finally reuniting after all these years:

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