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The paranoia-inducing thriller returned for its new season last night, with Jim Caviezel's rogue CIA agent John Reese forced to take on a new identity as a drug detective. All in a day’s work in our 21st Century dystopia.
In a nutshell
Person of Interest is, um, interesting for one reason: it flips the script on the concept of the Big Brother state. We're used to reacting with horror at the idea of mass surveillance – hence the hysteria around the Snowdon leaks – but this show presents it as a force for good. Sort of, anyway. Our hero Reese is given his orders by a benevolent Big Brotherish computer which knows everything about everyone, and can thus predict crimes before they even happen.
It's an interesting idea, in a Minority Report sort of way, so it’s strange that Person of Interest seems to have floated under most people’s radars. Especially when you have episodes as exciting as last night’s new season opener, which saw Reese – lying low under a false identity – drawn back into the ways of the Machine when he was given a tip off about a tech wiz embroiled with a vicious gang. Explosive cell phones, sudden kidnappings and vast stashes of dangerous drugs all played a part in the shenanigans, making this a suitably thrilling start to the season.
What's the verdict?
What could have been a standard techno-thriller is, thanks to sharp scriptwriting and committed performances, actually a rather juicy examination of the abuses of technology, and the moral imperatives of those privy to the world's secrets. It's all horribly relevant and incredibly gripping. And the phrase "too much information" has never seemed more sinister.