By Terri Schwartz
Oct 01st, 2014

It only took two episodes, but "Person of Interest's" core heroes are back up and fighting again by the end of Season 4, episode 2 "Nautilus." As is the case with the CBS drama's best episodic installments, a procedural mission involving a new number turned out to be anything but when it was revealed Samaritan is recruiting new talent.

In last week's premiere episode, Greer made a point of saying he and Samaritan need to flush out Finch, Reese and Shaw. If that truly is his goal, this is the way to do it. The week's number, an orphan named Claire, was perfect Finch bait when it came to getting him out in the open.

Interestingly, the episode actually pushed Finch and the rest farther underground as he introduced Reese and Shaw to the new underground lair the Machine pointed him to in "Panopticon." Here he told the rest of the group that they are back to fighting against the evils of Samaritan again, but that decision was made only after they lost Claire to the dark side.

"Person of Interest" has definitely been in its comfort zone for the first two episodes of Season 4, going through the motions of missions-of-the-week while also slowly moving forward the season's larger story. Here's hoping showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman have been moving their chess pieces as carefully as the Machine clearly has been, and that they're ready to make a dramatic move soon.

It's inevitable that Samaritan will locate Finch or someone else on the team at some point in Season 4 -- where's the drama without that threat, after all -- but hopefully the stakes don't take too long rise to that point. "Person of Interest" is fun when the gang is in hiding, but it's great when it ditches procedural elements and tells a more streamlined dystopian story, which is very much what it did at the end of Season 3.

While next week's Fusco-oriented episode looks cute, "Person of Interest" shouldn't wait until November sweeps to make its big splash. Season 4 might be set in a Samaritan-run futuristic police state, but it's time for the team to start fighting back a bit more directly, and for the Machine to get a one-up on its enemy.

"Person of Interest" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Photo/Video credit: CBS