Top 13 Episodes of Person of Interest | Tell-Tale TV (2024)

While initially, Person ofIntereststarts off asa straight procedural featuring Reese and Finch trying to save lives based solely off a number given by a machine, as the series progresses, it takes a more serialized turn and evaluates the implications of surveillance and AIs.

Person ofInterestpremiered back in 2011 and ran for five seasons. There are so many amazing episodes of the series, which made narrowing down the top episodes difficult.

This article does contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seenPerson ofInterest,pleaseimmediately leave this article and go stream the show on Netflix. You will not regret it.

In chronological order, here are my picks for the top episodes ofPerson of Interest:

1. The Witness (Season 1 Episode 7)

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This is where things start to change forPerson ofInterest.

The number is not what anyone expected, and while Reese does save Elias’ life from a very real threat, Elias isn’t exactly a good guy. This is one hell of an entrance for the show’s first season-long villain.

Up until “The Witness,”Person ofInterest was a straight procedural with cases of the week that were not building up to anything. “The Witness” is the first shift to a more serialized show.

2. Firewall (Season 1 Episode 23)

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While Elias didn’t go looking for The Machine’s help on “Witness,” Root sets the perfect trap for The Machine, Finch, and Reese on “Firewall.” She did her research.

Root: I did this corporate training thing once. I was blackmailing the CEO — long story — but they did this exercise called the trust fall where you close your eyes and fall and wait for someone to catch you. I knew you boys wouldn’t let me down.

Root is quite the actress, and this little charade is only a glimpse of how formidable she is as an opponent. “Firewall” gives us our first taste of Root’s love and admiration for The Machine.

Even before Root reveals her true identity to Finch, “Firewall” is an intense finale that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The FBIand HR are on Reese’s tail, making the mission suspenseful, to say the least.

3. Bad Code (Season 2 Episode 2)

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While Reese and Carter take a road trip to Texas to learn more about Root’s past, Root continues to search for The Machine.

“Bad Code” further exploresthe mythology of The Machine as well as the implications of the existence of artificial intelligence; a theme thatPerson ofInterestwill continue to explore for the rest of its run.

The hour also provides us with more of Root’s backstory and showcases more of her worldview. Considering what happened to her friend Hanna, it’s not hard to understand why she views humans as bad code.

4. Relevance (Season 2 Episode 16)

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Enter Sameen Shaw.

Reese and Finch’s operation takes a back seat while we follow the agents who get handed the relevant numbers that The Machine spits out.

“Relevance” focuses on the government group who runs the relevant side of things aka the people that Root is hunting. We learn more about how the relevant operation is run.

The hour leaves us wanting to see Shaw again and desperately wanting to see Shaw vs. Root Round 2.

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5. God Mode (Season 2 Episode 22)

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Person ofInterestSeason 2 really dives into The Machine. It continues to explore the relevant side and the government agents running the numbers. On “God Mode,” we see what The Machine can really do if it is unleashed.

One of my favorite things aboutPerson ofInterest is how it isn’t afraid to mix up partnerships, and that is highlighted during this hour.

While Root is partnered up with Finch (okay partnership is a stretch), Reese teams up with Shaw. It’s interesting to see these two groups utilize God Mode, and how different their journeys are to the same location.

Finch: I’m sorry. You wanted to set The Machine free. I already did.

“God Mode” further highlights how much of a genius Harold Finch is. While we all thought Root was closing in on The Machine, Finch already knew it was miles away. He set this plan in motion years ago, which is an impressive display of foresight.

6. The Devil’s Share (Season 3 Episode 10)

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After Carter’s death, the team is out for blood. It’s no surprise that Simmons’ number comes up with Reese and Shaw each going on a rampage looking for him. Shaw’s on a mission, while Reese is spiraling.

In the end, it’s Fusco who takes him down and arrests him, which is surprising but fitting given his history with Simmons. Fusco lives up to Carter’s memory and proves to her that she was right to believe in him.

Fusco: I got lucky. I had a partner. She was good for me for a lot of reasons. She reminded me that I could be good again too. I could be a good father, a good friend, a good cop. I’m not going to let you undo all the good she did. Carter saved my life. She saved me from myself because she believed in me, and I’m not going to throw it away on a piece of crap like you.

“The Devil’s Share” is a heartbreaking hour. As each member of the team grieves Carter, we are treated to flashbacks where Finch, Reese, Fusco, and Shaw handled heartbreak, grief, and/or regret or lack thereof.

7. RAM (Season 3 Episode 16)

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Ever since Root hinted that Finch had muscle before Reese, there’s been a curiosity as to why none of Finch’s prior hires had worked out.

A flashback is the perfect way to showcase the beginnings of Finch’s operations. As it turns out, Reese and Kara crossed paths with Finch’s operation, specifically Mr. Dillinger’s path.

“RAM” is full of easter eggs like that one, as well as the fact that Shaw is the one who kills Dillinger; she was following Control’s orders. The hour is a fun look back at how things started, and it also connects to the future day Decima threat.

8. Deus Ex Machina (Season 3 Episode 23)

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Finch and everyone connected to Northern Lights is on trial courtesy of Viligance. It’s nowhere near a fair trial, but this is Viligance we’re talking about.

We see how Peter Collier came to join and rise to the ranks of Viligance through flashbacks as the trial goes on. Meanwhile, Root and Shaw do their best not to stop Samaritan but to prepare for Samaritan’s rise.

Finch owns up to his sins, but while Vigilance intended the world to see this trial, it never does.

“Dues Ex Machina” clues us in on how intelligent and dangerous Greer is; he isn’t someone that can be easily outfoxed.Greer created Vigilance years ago in order to pave the way for Samaritan’s rise.

ThePerson ofInterestSeason 3 finale sets things up for an exciting Season 4 where two AIs will battle it out.

9. If, Then, Else (Season 4 Episode 11)

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This is one of the rudest episodes in television history, but that’s what makes it so amazing.

It’s fascinating to watch The Machine work her magic, even though we suffer through Finch’s death before realizing she’s running simulations of possible outcomes. It doesn’t make watching Reese die a little bit later in the hour any easier though.

You can also see how much everyone means to The Machine. There’s a franticness behind her searching for outcomes. They are more than just assets to her, she cares about each of them.

It’s also pretty funny seeing her fill in the blanks with what our team would say in a given situation. She’s pretty spot on too.

10. Terra Incognita (Season 4 Episode 20)

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Seeing Carter and Reese again is a mix of heartbreaking and heartwarming. You forget how much you’ve missed her and her relationship with everyone, especially Reese, until this episode.

When the twist kicks in that Reese is hallucinating her as he’s dying, the tears start falling.

This is a great way to bring Carter back. “Terra Incognita” highlights not only how great of a detective she was, but also her relationship with Reese.

She’s the one who is finally able to get through to him about how much he shuts himself off from everyone. We’re reminded of what could have been between the two of them and how much of a lone wolf Reese still is.

If anyone was going to be able to kick Reese’s ass into shape and get him to fight to stay alive, it’s Carter. OnPerson ofInterest Season 4 Episode 21, you can see that Reese really takes Carter’s words to heart and tries to open up more.

11. YHWH (Season 4 Episode 22)

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The battle for The Machine’s life is a thrilling way to endPerson ofInterestSeason 4. Everyone, including The Machine, is giving it everything they have.

As the team scrambles to come up with a save, Finch has a touching conversation with The Machine, his creation. While Root has always talked about The Machine as a person, Finch never really has, so it’s sweet to see Finch have a heartfelt chat with his creation.

The Machine: I will not suffer.

Finch: You are my creation. I can’t let, I can’t let you die.

The Machine: If I do not survive, thank you for creating me.

The hour ends on a hopeful note with the team successfully getting The Machine into the briefcase. It’s clear that there’s an uphill battle ahead of them, but they will do whatever it takes to keep The Machine safe.

12. 6,741 (Season 5 Episode 4)

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In the vein ofPerson of InterestSeason 4 Episode 11, “If, Then, Else,” Shaw lives through simulation after simulation at the hands of Samaritan and its operatives.

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When you think that Shaw has finally escaped and broken free (and reunited with Root!!), the sad truth is revealed that we witnessed Shaw going through a simulation.

Samaritan is doing this to Shaw in order to turn her against The Machine and her team. For a minute, it appears as if it’s working. She does kill Reese, but Shaw’s a fighter through and through, and she will not be turned that easily.

Shaw: I shot Reese, and now I’m going to kill you too.

Root: Why haven’t you? Because somewhere, in your sociopathic heart, you know we belong together. We’ll work through this, but first, I need to get you to safety.

Shaw: But nothing’s safe. Do you know where we are? What they did to me, the torture? I told you I couldn’t escape it, but when things got to be too bad, there was one place I would go to in my mind — you, with you. You were my safe place but not anymore, and I can’t control myself.

Sarah Shahi shines as we witness how Decima’s attempts have broken Shaw and worn her down. It’s hard to watch her try to decide what’s real and what’s not.

13. Return 0 (Season 5 Episode 13)

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Talk about a fitting series finale.

The series manages to close this chapter while giving hope that Team Machine would keep going strong. The Machine, still using Root’s voice, is alive and giving numbers to Shaw. You know she’s going to be teaming back up with Fusco, he can’t say no to Bear.

Then, there’s Reese. As heartbreaking as it is to see him die, this is the perfect way for him to go out — saving Finch’s life with The Machine right by his side until the very end.

Don’t even get me started on Finch’s heartfelt conversation with Reese, telling him how great of a friend he has become.

Which episodes make your list? Share your picks and love ofPerson of Interestin the comments below!

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Allison Nichols

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Allison is in a love affair with television that doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon. Slightly damaged fictional characters are her weakness. She loves to spend her free time curled up with a cat and a show to binge-watch. Allison is a Tomatometer-approved critic (Rotten Tomatoes).

Top 13 Episodes of Person of Interest | Tell-Tale TV (2024)


Which is the best episode of Person of Interest? ›

With Person of Interest (2011) (Sorted by IMDb Rating Descending)
  • 9.4. ...
  • 9.4. ...
  • 9.4. ...
  • 9.4. ...
  • 9.3. ...
  • 9.3. Rate. ...
  • 9.3. Rate. ...
  • 9.3. Rate.

Why was poi cancelled? ›

The series was owned by Warner Bros., and as Moonves has said, owning shows is incredibly important when it comes to profit. It was said that CBS didn't profit off of Person of Interest as much as they would have liked because a great deal of the ad revenue went to Warner Bros.

Does Person of Interest have an ending? ›

In the Person of Interest series finale, Samaritan was finally defeated, and John Reese (Jim Caviezel) - one of the show's two leads - sacrificed himself to save Finch.

What is the 100th episode of Person of Interest? ›

The Day the World Went Away

What episode has the most views? ›

The most watched primetime programs (non Super Bowl related) are the finale of M*A*S*H in 1983 (106 million viewers), Roots ("Part VIII"), The Day After (tied at 100 million), Leon Spinks vs. Muhammad Ali II (90 million), Dallas's 1980 "Who Done It" episode (83.6 million), the 1993 series finale of Cheers (80.5 million ...

What is the most episode in a show? ›

Single show
ProgramGenreEpisode count
Another WorldSoap opera8,891
The Bold and the BeautifulSoap opera8,730
TV SlagalicaGame show8,668
Jeopardy!Game show8,200
63 more rows

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