Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I’ve had a random thought that won’t go away for the past one or two episodes now, and it’s not really a theory, it’s just an intriguing thought. 

Basically, it’s this observation that maybe we the audience are a literal part of the POI universe.

I mean yes, we are watching them, but I think it’s a little more than that. I think that maybe the Machine is showing them to us.

So when the Machine doesn’t function correctly… we are no longer shown POI in the way it was intended to be shown.

That’s why last week it skipped to the Relevant list. That’s why we’re the ones who keep seeing the glitches, not Harold. That’s why each scene transitions using the feeds from surveillance cameras.

But if this is true in any way, the real question is - who told the Machine to show them to us?

an interesting theory, but IMO it’d be damn near impossible to write an entire tv show that silently breaks the fourth wall like that. the best example i can think of is the “Blink” episode of Doctor Who, where the weeping angels can’t move if anyone is looking at them — including the audience. So the camera, and therefore the audience, is tacitly acknowledged by the universe inside the show.

but with Person of Interest, the only parts we see from the POV of the machine are the connection screens of CCTV footage etc. the other 95% of the show is normal TV drama format, which is obviously not Machine footage. it’s definitely the case that we see glitches/footage that Harold doesn’t know about, but that’s more like the way we see John doing things that Carter doesn’t see, and vice versa. the transitional screens are the scenes in which the Machine is the main character, rather than the Machine speaking directly to the audience, i think.

as a storytelling technique it’s certainly less ambitious than the Machine communicating directly with the audience, but i think Relevence was definitely a step in the right direction towards acknowledging the Machine as an actual character — particularly if you do view those transitional screens as being “Machine scenes” the same way there are John scenes, and Harold scenes, and scenes from the POV of minor characters.

TBH, i think POI could (and should) go a lot further with the surveillance/Machine details than they already do. it was a nice start to see drone footage in the transitional scenes in Relevance — because it was an episode from the point of view of someone working for the “official” side of the machine, which would presumably use more government footage…? — but i feel like as it stands, POI has barely scratched the surface. by and large, the ~futuristic technology~ in POI comes across as a lot of old-school background check/law-enforcement database stuff, plus the undeniably frightening concept of a Machine that can access… well, everything. but i don’t think we see enough of the “everything”, if you see what i mean. it should be scarier.

and this time next year, will Google Glass be incorporated into the show? i’m pretty sure that POI takes place in an alternate universe rather than the “real world” where most TV shows exist, but i’ll be interested to see whether a Google Glass equivalent is introduced.


  1. darklysnarky reblogged this from judgebunnie
  2. muffinsandmatriarchy reblogged this from relevanttosomeone and added:
    Superb observations, although I completely agree with the original statement and the one just above. Just because the...
  3. relevanttosomeone reblogged this from judgebunnie and added:
    In the commentary for the Pilot episode, Jonah Nolan said that the basic idea behind the entire show (past and present)...
  4. judgebunnie reblogged this from hellotailor and added:
    I agree with everything above. Though I differ from the above in that I think the whole show, in the way that it’s...
  5. hellotailor reblogged this from saulsgoodman and added:
    an interesting theory, but IMO it’d be damn near impossible to write an entire tv show that silently breaks the fourth...
  6. the-alphakids-have-the-phonebox reblogged this from saulsgoodman and added:
    Holy shit I just got chills. What if, even scarier, this is all a playback? Like, all of the things we’re seeing already...
  7. virmiired reblogged this from saulsgoodman
  8. sparksel reblogged this from saulsgoodman and added:
    Oooo, I like this theory. At the very least, it is something that the writers could potentially expand upon (and after...
  9. glowkind reblogged this from saulsgoodman
  10. girl-in-the-suit reblogged this from saulsgoodman
  11. caroloftheshells reblogged this from saulsgoodman
  12. hausoffandoms reblogged this from saulsgoodman
  13. unbuttonedinawood reblogged this from saulsgoodman and added:
    The Machine is indirectly asking us for help. If it can get all these people to care about Finch and Reese and Carter...
  14. dxmichelle said: Woah…that is nuts. I like it! :)
  15. saulsgoodman posted this