‘Person Of Interest’ Series Finale Review: John Reese, The Man That Was

‘Person Of Interest’ Series Finale Review: John Reese, The Man That Was
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“Person Of Interest” season 5, episode 13 wrapped up in the most emotional and poetically perfect way possible. The end was so flawless, that one would be torn between leaving it just the way it is, wanting to see it continue for another season, or wishing for a “Person Of Interest” spinoff.


“Everyone dies alone…” – With this philosophical message began the end of a heroic journey, of Reese, Harold, Fusco, Shaw and Root (The Machine carrying on her role by taking her voice).

From the beginning of the episode, it was pretty clear that The Machine was close to a point of extinction as it could not tell the present from the past. It mostly dealt in flashbacks to let the viewers find out what happened to everyone in the “Person Of Interest” gang.

The Ice 9 virus that Finch had installed in the previous episode seems to have done half the job. As it turns out, Samaritan had made a copy of its hard drive and stored it in an impenetrable gold vault. In order to destroy the enemy completely, Finch and Reese had to infiltrate the vault and affect the copy with the virus too.

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While they dealt with the Samaritan problem, Shaw and Fusco teamed up to protect The Machine on the subway train. The Machine finally spoke to Shaw as she stood over Root’s grave, earlier in the episode. While protecting the machine from goons sent by Samaritan, The Machine delivered a farewell message from Root to Shaw:

“There was something I think Root had wanted to say to you. You always thought there was something wrong with you because you don’t feel things the way other people do. But she always felt that was what made you beautiful. She wanted you to know that if you were a shape, you were a straight line, an arrow.”

A tear trickled down Shaw’s face after hearing the message, which is the most emotional the viewers have ever seen her in the entire series.

But the finale episode of “Person Of Interest” wasn’t about Shaw, or Fusco or even Harold Finch. It was about John Reese, a man whose past and personal life was hardly ever explored, except the fact that he served in the military. No one knew where he was from or who his parents were. Even the all-seeing Machine could not hunt down his past details, or maybe it never needed to.

But in the “Person Of Interest” Season 5 finale, it needed to. The Machine remembered a heartbroken kid standing in front his father’s coffin, hugging the national flag, with a person in the funeral saying, “Telling you, never seen anything like it. The man was a hero.” The kid was John Reese. At the end, we know that he was all that he was, because of his late father.

True to his word that he intended to pay back Finch one day in the full, for all that Finch had done for him, Reese takes it upon himself to execute the last step to destroy Samaritan completely, knowing too well that he would not be able to make it out alive.

Reese deliberately allows Finch to go to the wrong building (all part of The Machine’s and Reese’s plan), believing that Finch was the one who would have to sacrifice himself, reports IGN. When Finch is shocked to learn the truth and sees Reese on the building that he was supposed to be in, Reese, true to his nature, explains the reason behind his ploy:

“This is what I do remember? When you came to me, you gave me a job, a purpose… I have been trying to save the world for so long, saving one life at a time seemed anti-climactic. But then I realized, sometimes one life was the right life. That’s enough.”

Oddly enough, we come to know the man Reese was, mere seconds before he no longer exists in the world.

As for The Machine defeating Samaritan, one has to assume that it was successful in doing so, since it mentions that it does not have the option of losing this time.

The episode comes to a full circle in the end, with the same message that it started with. Only this time, it completes that message:  “Everyone dies alone… but if you mean something to someone, if you help someone or love someone, if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die at all”, turning the tone from despair to hope.

The following are some of the reactions of people after watching “Person Of Interest” series finale, as reported by The Wrap:

“I’m so pleased I get to add #PersonOfInterest to my short list of shows that ended amazingly well. Endings are hard, this was spectacular,” wrote a POI fan on Twitter.

“Unlike others, @PersonInterest sustained quality writing, acting, directing and production values throughout the series,” another wrote.

One viewer summarized it as “so damn beautiful.”

What did you think of “Person Of Interest” series finale?

For the latest ‘Person Of Interest’ Series Finale Spoilers, please stay tuned in to this site.

Read Also: ‘Person Of Interest’ Season 5 Finale Spoilers: Finch Sacrifices Himself!

Related Article: ‘Person Of Interest’ Season 5 Too Short?


  • Stemkowski

    One of the greatest casts in television history. To think this was Jim Caviezel’s first television project and that Sarah Shahi, Amy Acker and Kevin Chapman were known mainly as character actors. They became imbedded in the minds of many as a wonderful thespian soufflé. This show could have lasted 7 to 10 years with ease – so many stories to tell. But a dim-witted network decided the show premise went against its core code. A bad code.

    • Jules

      It was really all about $$…not about a “core code”. POI was an expensive show to produce and the network CEO’s indicate it barely broke even (no profit) when the ratings slipped.
      And since CBS does not own the series – it belongs to Warner Bros.- it had no hope of making up any losses through syndication, DVDs, or overseas sales.
      (Unlike “Elementary”, which had the same ratings, but is owned by CBS)

  • Michael Morley

    In a just and rational world, Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji Henson, Kevin Chapman, Sarah Shahi, and Amy Acker would have been nominated for Emmys every year they were with the show.