Person of Interest
|Name:||Person of Interest|
|Creator:||JJ Abrams, Jonathan Nolan|
|Date(s):||September 2011 - June 2016|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
|External Links:||Offical CBS site, Wikipedia, IMDb, epguides.com|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
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 airs on CBS during prime time, with very little sex or swearing but a fair amount of violence in nearly every episode.
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 credits every week:
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 week there's a new "number", or person to help, while the broader plot is advanced.
They also get more intermittent help from two people who were once "numbers" to be helped: Zoe Morgan, a "fixer" who handles problems for people who can afford her, and Leon Tao, an accountant with a poor sense of judgment. Later in Season 2, Sameen Shaw (an ex-Government operative working to find the Machine's "Relevant Numbers") also joins the gang 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 cracker Root both become assets by Season 3 in a conflict against two greater 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.
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.
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.
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 Fanfiction.net. Occasional crossovers reference Amy Acker's role as Winifred Burkle/Illyria in Angel.
There was little to no femslash at first, but after the introduction of Root and Sameen Shaw, 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.
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.
Sample or Notable Fanworks
- We are watching you! by ~tedizack on deviantArt. Cartoon style, summarizes the entire team including the Machine's point of view.
- Loosen Up by Artmetica on Livejournal. Realistic portrait, great use of light, expression, and body language to convey emotion.
more samples needed -- different styles, tropes, etc.
- Dangerous if Unbound and Fealty by astolat
- Detritus by Speranza
- Point of A Pistol by giddygeek
- A Perpendicular Expression by leupagus
- Torque by Lithiumdoll
- Root Cause by kesdax
- Breakfast and Sex by SoThatHappened
- I'll Be Watching You, by Lithiumdoll
- Embers, by lim
- Omnia Videmus, by lim
- Welcome To The Machine, Luminosity
Where to Find the Fandom
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.
- Person of Interest Fanfic Archive
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 Interest.net - 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.
- Person of Interest forums at tv.com - Mainly ep discussion.
- Person of Interest forums at tvrage.com - Mainly ep discussion.
- Person of Interest thread on Television Without Pity forums - This is single catch-all thread in the "Other TV Shows" forum, as TWoP never picked up POI beyond a few "weecaps" early in first season. Still an active thread, though.
- Person of Interest (CBS) - general POI comm, for fic, art, icons, discussion, etc.
- We Get Carter - a Joss Carter community
- Women of Interest - a community for the women of Person of Interest
- Person of Interest Fanfic Community -- accepts all kinds of fanworks, including fic, art, vids, fanmixes
- Meme of Interest -- Kink meme that opened on March 28, 2013. Accepts all kinds of prompts and fills.
- kink-of-interest Kink meme, never opened
POI Chat room, hosts regular chats and livechats during episode airings.
The main terms to search for are:
- person of interest
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)
- creese (for Carter/Reese stuff)
- careese (ditto)
- 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 IGN.com - pro site, not fan-run, but anyone can sign up and edit.