Throughout the months of POI episodes, I’ve seen posts where people talk about the lack of scenes for certain characters, in particular John Reese. It doesn’t need anymore saying how much I love John, he’s my immediate favorite after Harold; however, I don’t understand the…
My problem with POI right now isn’t the addition of Shaw or Reese’s screentime, particularly. It’s that it isn’t as well written or interesting since they stopped focusing on the number of the week and started focusing on Shaw, Root and the Machine. I liked the number of the week format, and from two thirds of the way through S2 and continuing on through season 3, what we’ve had is a sense of them making it all up as they go along and creating ongoing arcs and enemies that never get resolved and just become more and more convoluted and less and less interesting as a result. The finale of S2 had every single villain the show has established so far thrown at it and was boring and disjointed as a result.
I like Shaw (I’m a massive Sarah Shahi fan going back to her days in ‘The L Word’), but she fits the tired trope of bloodthirsty female ninja who is a sexy killer and that’s not a trope I personally enjoy. What was engaging initially about Reese and Finch is that they were both such very damaged people who healed each other through their work together, at least a bit. Shaw isn’t even seeking redemption - she enjoys killing and hurting and her enjoyment is used as a joke as Harold tries repeatedly to rein her back in. She doesn’t seem particularly sold on the ‘helping people’ thing - she seems to be onboard simply because it gives her a reason to be a badass. Reese sought redemption through the work, but Shaw doesn’t seem to care much as long as she gets to kill people. I hope the show turns that around but they seem too in love with her as a sexy emotionless killer to do so.
I have problems with both the main female characters on POI - Carter was fantastic but she got killed off, pointlessly from what I can understand from the interviews. Root and Shaw are both problematic as female characters, and both intrinsically less likeable than the two men - on purpose it seems, and written and performed that way. That also bothers me. Shahi is capable of being a good deal more interesting, engaging and sympathetic than the character of Shaw is allowing her to be. I think she’s wasted on the show to be honest - she deserves her own show with a more interesting, nuanced, *real* character to portray. I think the actress playing Root is both annoying and miscast, and I find her irritating every time she’s onscreen. I’ve seen her in a few things now, and this is easily her least convincing role.
There’s no point pretending POI is as good as it was. Every single episode used to rock, because each one told a tight, involving story. That’s simply not the case anymore. The plotting is becoming more way out and convoluted, and the show isn’t as engaging as it was. I don’t think it’s particularly well written TV anymore, but it used to be.