Person of Interest

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Name: Person of Interest
Abbreviation(s): POI
Creator: JJ Abrams, Jonathan Nolan
Date(s): September 2011 - June 2016
Medium: television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Offical CBS site, Wikipedia, IMDb,
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Person of Interest is a crime drama with science fiction elements, specifically the existence of an Artificial Intelligence. It is set in post-September 11, 2001, New York City, with current action airing in real time (an episode that airs in 2013 also takes place in 2013), and flashbacks going back in time as far back as the terrorist attacks in 2001.

The show aired on CBS during prime time, with very little sexual content or swearing but a fair amount of violence in nearly every episode.

Canon Overview

Person of Interest is a buddy show where the two main characters are both clams.

Harold Finch is a reclusive billionaire with a genius for computer programming. John Reese is a former CIA wetworks operative and former Special Forces officer with a penchant for kneecapping people, who had given up on life until Finch found him and gave him a job.

The premise of the show is given by voiceover in the opening credits each episode:

You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the Machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. People like you. Crimes the government considered “irrelevant.” They wouldn’t act so I decided I would. But I needed a partner. Someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You’ll never find us. But victim or perpetrator, if your number is up, we’ll find you.

Like many modern shows, the series mixes an overarching storyline with episodic cases. Each episode introduces a new "number" or "Person of Interest", requiring the assistance of the show's protagonists while the broader plot is advanced.

Finch and Reese eventually gain the day-to-day help of police Detectives Lionel Fusco and Joss Carter, both of whom make it into the main credits. Beginning in season 2, they also have a dog, Bear.

Intermittent help also comes from two people who were once "numbers" to be helped: Zoe Morgan, a political "fixer" who handles problems for those who can afford her, and Leon Tao, an accountant with a poor sense of judgment. Late in Season 2, Sameen Shaw is introduced as a government operative working to eliminate the Machine's "Relevant Numbers" (threats to the United States). Having begun to suspect the existence of The Machine, she is saved from near certain death at the hands of her former employer by Reese and Finch. Presumed dead and with a similar life experience to that of Reese, Shaw later saves Finch and becomes a series regular in Season 3 as part of "Team Machine".

They have a number of enemies, as well, who provide much of the overarching storyline. Like many well written shows, however, these enemies occupy a grey space. Enemies from Season 1 such as mob-boss Elias and hacker Root both become assets by Season 3 as part of a larger conflict against two evil organisations known as Decima and Vigalence.

In Seasons 4 and 5 the overarching antagonist is a counterpart for The Machine called Samaritan. Arguably a more invasive, equally powerful artificial intelligence, Samaritan operates in coordination with Greer and its main asset is Martine A. Rousseau.

Fandom Overview

The fandom exists across multiple fan areas, including Livejournal, Dreamwidth, Tumblr, deviantArt, and forums. Fans may refer to themselves as "Irrelevants", because that's the name given to the people Finch and Reese help.

Slash, femslash, and gen are the biggest categories of fanworks, followed by het, poly, and other. The fandom generates fanfic, fanart, and vids.

POI was included in Yuletide in 2011 and 2012, but is unlikely to be eligible in later years, thanks to the fandom's steady growth. Person of Interest Appreciation Week was held in 2016.

The Machine is generally considered at least semi-sentient, and fanworks are created about it, or from its point of view.

Crossovers are moderately common, mostly concentrating on other canon with a modern New York / USA setting. The Avengers crossovers are common on all sites, often involving contact between The Machine and J.A.R.V.I.S. and/or Ultron. Other favourites include Due South, seen mostly on AO3, and Doctor Who on Occasional crossovers reference Amy Acker's role as Winifred Burkle/Illyria in Angel.


There was little to no femslash at first, but after and alliance with Root is established and the introduction of Sameen Shaw as a series regular, Root/Shaw started gaining in popularity. The femslash following skyrocketed after Root and Shaw shared an angst-driven kiss in Season 4. To date Root/Shaw is the only current canon pairing on the show. Canonically The Machine ships them in its simulations.[1]

The most popular slash pairing by far is Finch/Reese (smushname Rinch). Other slash pairings include Harold/Nathan (Harold's old business partner), Reese/Fusco (Rusco), and Finch/Fusco, plus a few others. Root/Zoe Morgan is a popular crackship.

The most popular het pairing is Reese/Carter (Creese or Careese), but Reese/Zoe Morgan and Harold/Grace show up fairly regularly.

There are also a few poly ships, most notably Root/Shaw/Kara and Root/Shaw/Carter.

Notable Fanworks



Art Gallery

Archives and Links

The fandom is very active in several different discussion boards to trace through theory and speculation, though their presence on tumblr and other more conventional fansites is growing.



Search for Person of Interest or for the character or pairing of your choice (try alternate wordings for the pairings).



  • Person of Interest Discussion Forum - Discuss episodes, ships, characters and actors), "details of interest", and "fun stuff" (including art, vids, news, fic recs & discussion, etc.).
  • Person of - Discuss episodes, characters (and their actors), theories, and spoilers. No fanfic, other than recs. Includes a German section for all categories, although it doesn't look like it gets used much.




  • Meme of Interest -- Kink meme that opened on March 28, 2013. Accepts all kinds of prompts and fills.


POI Chat room, hosts regular chats and livechats during episode airings.

The main terms to search for are:

  • person of interest
  • irrelevants

Don't bother searching for POI - that was an already established tag for something else, and the fandom largely avoids it.

Pairing terms are:

  • rinch (for Finch/Reese stuff)
    • finchreese
    • reesefinch
    • finchxreese
    • reesexfinch
  • creese (for Carter/Reese stuff)
  • careese (ditto)
    • carterreese
    • reesecarter
    • carterxreese
    • reesexcarter
  • rusco (for Reese/Fusco)
  • Root x Shaw (since the fandom can't decide between Shoot, Raw, and Sam Squared and uses them interchangeably)


Person of Interest wiki on Wikia - fan-run wiki on a pro platform (Wikia).

Person of Interest wiki on - pro site, not fan-run, but anyone can sign up and edit.