Any marginally observant person who has taken a walk around New York City, especially downtown Manhattan will probably not have a hard time buying the premise of Person of Interest. Which is that essentially after 9/11, the government authorized the creation of an intricate system that employs the use of cameras, cell phones and online monitoring to detect possible terrorist activity.

The show jumps off from that point with Michael Emerson, so brilliant as Ben Linus on Lost, playing another elusive character. This time around he’s the billionaire architect of the government’s spy machine who’s gone off the grid after realizing his personal Frankenstein was also detecting everyday crimes that were considered irrelevant by the powers that be who are only interested in foiling terrorist plots.

Motivated by guilt or unknown reasons to be revealed later, Finch devises a back way into the system that spits out only the social security numbers of individuals who are either perpetrators or about to become victims of crimes. Armed with smarts, money, and information all he needs is an enforcer. Enter Jim Caviezel as John Reese, a mysterious ex-CIA operative presumed to be dead whom Finch recruits to be his avenger. Reese is simultaneously tortured, calm, and deadly with his own code of ethics at times tempered by cynicism and at other times by heart.

There is an edgy chemistry and suspicious yet grudgingly respectful partnership between the two men, who both have something to hide.

Taraji P. Henson is the dogged, straight shooter Detective Carter, who is on the trail of and always one step behind the man in the suit, Reese. You believe her as a New York cop and the whole show is cast with actors who seem like real people and can actually act.

So far, Person of Interest is a stylish thriller procedural with traces of The Fugitive, The Bourne Identity and ‘80s TV show, The Equalizer. The pacing and plots have a smooth, seamless touch as opposed to the heavy-handed storytelling of Ringer, where another Lost alum the thick lashed Nestor Carbonell isn’t faring as well as Emerson in his return to series television.

Three episodes in I want to know more. The writers do a good job of dangling bits of information about Reese and Finch that pique your curiosity just enough to keep you coming back. If they can keep the ‘number’ of the week storylines fresh and the mysteries the two men are hiding genuinely unique and intriguing, the persons of interest will be an ongoing audience.

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