Person of Interest: “Asylum” and “YHWH” and the Shape of Story

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The last two episodes that make up the fourth season finale of Person of Interest, “Asylum” (Andy Callahan & Denise The) and “YHWH” (Dan Dietz and Greg Plageman), are another crisis point, which brings up the problem of the long-running series: How much worse can things get without the turning point of the season finale being just one more horrible thing that happens to people we love? Continue reading

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Person of Interest: If/Then/Else: Point of View as Meaning

Person of Interest Binge LogoMy love for “The Devil’s Share” as great emotional storytelling will probably never be surpassed, but “If/Then/Else” gets my vote for the most mind-boggling forty-five minutes of scripted TV I’ve ever seen. And it’s all because of point of view, the wonkiest of writing techniques.

Point of view is a pain in the ass to navigate because it’s always a win/lose choice: Continue reading

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Person of Interest: Panopticon: Starting All Over Again

Person of Interest Binge LogoIn any long-running series, no matter what the medium, writers come up against the same conundrum: People want the same but different.

They want the same things that have made them love the story over the course of several films/years/books, they don’t want anything they love to go away (SAVE BEAR!).

But at the same time, everything they love about the story is the reason it’s starting to feel shopworn: we’ve been here before. “Didn’t they do that in Season Two?” “I love X, but if she says/does Y one more time . . .” “Really? Another number of the week to save?” Continue reading

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Person of Interest: Witness: Reversals

Person of Interest Binge LogoA reversal is just that: a reversal of an expectation the reader/viewer holds about what’s happening next in a story. Reversals often happen at turning points in a story, events that show the protagonist that her or his assumption about what’s happening is wrong or at least too narrow, and that revelation turns the story in a new direction, sometimes casting everything that came before in a new light and sometimes blowing up everything completely. Continue reading

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