Although CBS debuted "Person of Interest" last week, I didn't get around to watching the Pilot episode until last night. I thought it was reasonably interesting, certainly less flawed than "Terra Nova," though less ambitious as well.
"Person of Interest" is kind of like a post-9/11 mix of "The Pretender" (which was kind of a then-modern version of "The Fugitive") and "The Minority Report." The gimmick is that Michael Emerson's character, a technology company CEO, has hacked a backdoor entrance into a software surveillance program that uses the ubiquitious public cameras to predict future crime. (It seems like the show is set in the present day, except one where the US installed all these public cameras, much as London has.) Jim Caviziel is the ex-CIA operative that Emerson has recruited to determine whether the so-called person of interest identified by the program is likely to be a victim or perpetrator, and to stop the crime from happening.
There are some scenes of quick violence, and Caviziel's character has a penchant like the T-1000 terminator in "T2: Judgment Day," which is to say that he tends not to kill but prefers instead to disable by shooting bad guys in the legs. Well, that is, when he's not beating them up. Indeed, the episode begins with a predictable, yet cathartically enjoyable sequence on a subway, where a gang of thugs approaches Caviziel, expecting to rob him, and certainly not expecting to have him singlehandedly demolish them all. . . .
It seems like this is one of those shows where there is a long arc in the background dealing with the skeletons in Emerson's and Caviziel's closets, but the primary episode to episode focus is on the instant matter, which will of course be wrapped up at the end of the episode. CBS does know what it's doing with these kinds of shows, and I expect "Person of Interest" to be something like a modest hit for this season. I'm not terribly excited about it the way that I was for, say, "24" or "Prison Break," but off the top of my head, it may be the best non-reality drama for me that's not on the USA Network (which has "Burn Notice," "White Collar," and "Covert Affairs" -- all of which are better than any dramas on regular network TV).