October 12, 2014
Plus, Root and Shaw, Reese and Fusco’s new arrangement as the “Laurel and Hardy of cops,” and more.
The cast of CBS’ AI thriller Person of Interest closed out New York Comic-Con today with a panel featuring stars Jim Caviezel (Reese), Kevin Chapman (Fusco), Michael Emerson (Finch), Amy Acker (Root), and executive producer Greg Plageman — and moderated by IGN’s own Eric Goldman.
A sizzle reel was the first order of business.
Next up, an action-heavy clip from episode five was unveiled. We see guest star Jason Ritter hiding out in a hotel room, clutching a knife. Meanwhile, next door Finch and Root are watching him. Ritter attempts to call 911. Finch says they need to stop that call, but suddenly it’s terminated. Meanwhile, a calm, cool, and lethal woman (Mad Men’s Cara Buono) enters the lobby of the hotel they’re in, shooting an employee at point-blank range. Root arms herself as Finch says, “You don’t have to do this.” “She says if I don’t, all of us die,” responds Root. She heads out and starts shooting through the floor while a security camera focuses on her. Down below, the ice queen blasts back up as Root crosses above her firing down. The blonde says things are about to get fun as Root shoots out a camera. The elevator doors open and smoke grenades come tumbling out while gunmen fill the area. Finch calls to Root on his comm: “Are you alright?” Root readies her gun to face the seemingly unbeatable odds and then…
Well, we’ll have to tune into the episode to find out!
“It was a really emotional season finale last year when the library was destroyed,” said Plageman about entering into Season 4 after the events of year three. “We said, let’s make it a superhero show, so we gave them secret personas and there’s a little bit of an out of their element feel. And the library may be gone, but we found our new set: the subway. We felt like being underground was the perfect place for our people to reassemble.”
Caviezel spoke about Reese taking on a new identity as a cop this year. “It’s very difficult because he’s used to getting business done really quickly, but you’ve got a lot of red tape in the cop world,” he said. “And he’s got to listen to Fusco. It’s like the Laurel and Hardy of cops.”
Chapman laughs at this. “It’s rather difficult for Fusco to sit across from the desk of a man who has been torturing him for the last three seasons!” he said. “As you know, Reese marches to his own drum. But he has a very real job now with a very real detective. So that can be challenging.”
When it was pointed out that the team essentially failed last season, Emerson said he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Well, it keeps the stakes high,” he said. “That’s O.K. You don’t want the win to come easily. You don’t want an easy success. It’s always better if they’re on the edge of annihilation.” He then added in his best spooky voice: “That’s how we like it…”
The always lovably perky and zany Acker addressed Root’s relationship with two characters: Finch and, oh yes, Shaw. Regarding Finch, the actress said, “They’re kind of besties, right? We had a lot of fun last week going out and stealing some money. The writers do a great job of giving us specific scenes between each character, and with Michael they always give us juicy scenes that I have to look up to figure out what they mean.”
As for Root and Shaw, who many fans ship, the crowd cheered when Acker was asked about their relationship. “I was telling Greg before that Sarah [Shahi, who plays Shaw] and I always wondered when they wrote me torturing her with an iron if they meant that as foreplay or what,” she giggled. “I think it’s just a great relationship and they love to watch out for each other, and it’s just that kind of fun thing where I don’t know if she’s going to punch me in the face or what.”
Some other tidbits to emerge today: Detective Carter is definitely dead. “I was holding her body,” said Caviezel. “There was no heartbeat.” The cast doesn’t mind the winter weather shooting in New York, but some of them do think that Emerson talks just like Finch would. Things are going to get a lot tougher for the team this season. Finch’s other persona as a teacher boggles Emerson’s mind (“Imagine the difficulty of it for Finch,” he said, “because he is so far above whatever it is he’s teaching. He has to dumb himself down in order to do that!”) If the show could cross over with another, Acker would want Orphan Black, Plageman would want V, and Caviezel mentioned “Gilligan.” And the star also has a huge following in China, resulting in at least two fans from that country taking the stage today to receive a kiss and a hug from him (he got a portrait of himself made just for him in return). It was a nice moment of fandom, though once the tide of kissing began it was hard to stop…
And Plageman left us all with these words regarding the real-life development of AI systems: “Has anyone given any consideration as to whether or not a super-intelligence cares about humankind?”
Person of Interest airs on CBS on Tuesdays at 10 Eastern.