‘Person of Interest: Season Four’ on Netflix

Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson in the TV series 'Person of Interest'

Person of Interest is one of my favorite shows currently on a broadcast network, and after four years it has managed to keep its high-concept premise—a covert homeland security surveillance program identifies potential murders that a private team of operatives attempt to stop—in focus while expanding the series with characters strong and consistently interesting and unpredictable story arcs.

Season Four takes a dramatic turn as the team—committed computer genius Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), enigmatic former CIA assassin John Reese (Jim Caviezel), ruthless renegade hacker Root (Amy Acker), fellow CIA soldier turned loyal teammate Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), and reformed NYPD Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman)—goes underground when the government hands the surveillance state apparatus over to a rival security program run by what is essentially a secret society in the guise of a multinational corporation. This entity targets our heroes for execution to clear the way for their radical social experiment. In the midst of this, they take on a rising criminal ganglord (an unexpectedly fascinating storyline) and search for colleague who may be a prisoner of the new security group.

It’s one of the smartest and most carefully constructed thrillers on TV, it engages with the potential of technology for both good and abuse, and it is built on beautifully-developed relationships between the members of the team, from the unconditional devotion of Reese to Finch and to Root’s shift from unwavering service to The Machine to a sense of responsibility to her teammates. And the story builds to a genuinely unexpected conclusion that will send the next season into yet another direction.

The fifth season is scheduled to debut in the Spring. Start now and you could take your time catching up before next season begins.

Queue it up!

Seasons 1-3 reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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