'Person of Interest' Season 3 premiere recap: 'Liberty,' but the Machine's still missing

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"Person of Interest" is back for Season 3, but so far it's left the mystery of the Machine's whereabouts behind in the Season 2 finale. Though the CBS drama has jumped forward in time, the characters don't seem to be as desperate to find out where the missing Machine is actually located as we were during the time between seasons.

Instead, Finch and Reese are back to the same old grind of following leads given by the Machine. In the Season 3 premiere episode, "Liberty," the number given is a member of the Navy dragged into a bad situation by his off-shore partner's penchant for skimming from items taken during their mission. Reese relates to the sailor's backstory, and makes it his personal mission to guarantee the man escapes the crossfires he found himself caught in.

A welcome addition to the Reese/Finch team is Shaw, who serves as backup on the mission to save the Navy officer. She is having as much trouble dealing with Finch's no-violence policies as Sarah Shahi teased she was, but she seems like she's integrated herself into the team pretty well. Shaw's humor is a welcome addition as well, whether she's eating a full steak off a fork or attempting and failing to shoot enemies in the kneecaps instead of more fatal locations. Though Finch and Shaw don't always see eye-to-eye, having her become more involved in Finch and Reese's dealings was definitely the right choice.

Stepping into the background more is Carter, who has alienated herself after the events of the Season 2 finale. She is keeping the fact that she's protecting Carl Elias a secret from Finch and Reese, which is bound to blow up in her face. Beyond just keeping him in hiding, she also turns to him as a source and lies about it to Reese. He seems a bit suspicious, as he reminds Carter at the end of the episode that she can always come to him for help. But Carter won't even let Fusco help her here, though hopefully that will change soon.

Love her or hate her, the character with the most interesting storyline in "Liberty" was Root. She is still locked up in a mental institution, and her plot played out over a series of scenes between her and her psychiatrist. She, it's revealed, stole his cell phone and has been talking to the Machine, which is forcing her to stay in the institution so she can work on her "methodology." But that backfires for the psychiatrist when he cuts her off from the phone and puts her in solitary confinement. When she is brought back out to meet with him again, Root reveals that she has been arguing with the Machine about whether or not to kill him, and even Root's God doesn't know how that debate will end.

The most important moment in Root's scenes came when she said she is scared about what's going to happen next. Finch echoed similar sentiments, which means things are likely going to spiral out of control on "Person of Interest" fast. Hopefully the subject of the Machine's location is brought up soon, because it seems strange to leave that open plotline hanging for an extended period of time. Still, "Person of Interest" is back to its fun old ways, making sure to take a moment for Reese to present Finch with a Boilmaker (a shot of whiskey dropped in a pint of beer) before they continue on their way.

What did you think of the Season 3 premiere of "Person of Interest"?

Photo/Video credit: CBS
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