Hello Dawn and the Internet,
Today I should like to squee about Person of Interest. Mostly about Person of Interest and slash, so in reality, this is a squee about slash. Although it will be full of Very Deep Thoughts regarding this show. Well. Regarding this show and slash. But they will be deep.
So, I think this show is amazing. I bullied my sister into watching this show because I think it is amazing, and now she thinks it's amazing. Five episodes in and I've been continually impressed with it, although I am still holding some reservations that things might go terribly wrong in the future, because I've been hurt like that in the past.
When I was telling Dawn to watch Person of Interest she asked me if there was slash in it, and I was all, "...Well... I'm going to say there is," because I was totally slashing the main characters at that point, but I recognized that this might be a hard sell.
In order to properly explain my feelings on this matter, I first have to go back to Hawaii Five-O. H50 was my new show of last year. I started watching it because my dad, who is old enough to have watched the original, was going to miss it and he was bummed about it, so I told him I would watch it for him and give him the recap. And then, about ten minutes into the show, it was all, "Oh, hello. You're pretty. And gay. I love this." And my dad was less than impressed with the show, and it was really had to explain that I only watched it for the gay.
And then the internet exploded over it, writing all kinds of slash, and I felt rather vindicated with my assessment of the show.
I think it goes back to something elspethdixon wrote in her ship manifesto for Steve/Tony (I would link to it if I knew how. Or if I was sure I was allowed to. I'm not sure what the protocol to linking to things is), about how for her, there were some fandoms that the gay is largely wishful thinking and other fandoms where the gay is pretty much canonically there. (I'm paraphrasing.) And I thought that was really wise, and a good point. For me, H50, Merlin, BBC Sherlock (hell, all of Sherlock Holmes), Ben 10, and a whole bunch of other shows, the slash is pretty much canon. (Re: Ben 10-- I love Gwen. Gwen is awesome, Gwen is everything a teenage girl should be in fiction, and I really do like her with Kevin, but so often during the show I just want to go, "Oh, sweetie, you're better than this. Your boyfriend is in love with your cousin and you just need to accept that." And that's not even touching on the Julie aspect where it's, "Your boyfriend is in love with himself and as soon as he notices outside sexuality, he will eventually realize he's gay. Since he is not ta very good boyfriend to you right now, you really should dump his ass.")
Anyway. Back to my point.
Person of Interest is harder to classify. It's not so, "Oh, hello. Gay," as say, H50 was. In fact, it has one up on H50 in that it actually has a plot, and action, and character driven problems, so you don't really need the slash as a reason to keep watching because it's just so amazing. (This reveals to the world the fact that the slash is largely the reason I watch anything. Who's surprised?)
I'm calling it my favorite superhero show at the moment, because it totally *is* a superhero show. Reese and Finch are Batman split into two people. It has the requisite tragic backstory for both characters, and the good cop that's chasing them down who you know is going to end up helping them by the time the show is over, and it just has all the good things that a superhero should have. All the things that shows like No Ordinary Family, The Cape, and to some extent, Heroes, all failed to have.
Finch and Reese are both broken men. As soon as the show opened up with Reese and his girlfriend and him losing her and getting all sad, I was all, "Oh no, not another one." Because it seems like every show needs to have the main character lose a wife/girlfriend/child/both to have epic manpain. Gibbs in NCIS pulled it off very nicely, but other shows, like Leverage, Mentalist, Dark Blue, Unforgettable, all sort of annoy me because it just seems so gratuitous and that there's other ways to make a character interesting without giving them a requisite tragic backstory.
But Person of Interest isn't like that at all. Both men have a tragic backstory and it *drives* them to do good. It's what's driving them to go out and save people. Which is how a tragic backstory works in the superhero mythos, like with Batman and Spiderman. Whereas say, something like the Mentalist, where he's using his tragedy for revenge and he doesn't actually care about the people he helps, it's just a way to pass the time until he finds Red John.
And the thing about Finch and Reese and how they're both broken men is that they literally complete each other. Reese has the ability to do good, but he didn't have the way, and Finch had the way but he didn't have the ability. The two *need* each other in order to complete the job, they wouldn't be able to do what they do without the other person. And I think that, right there, is a deeper bond than anyone else has currently on a television. It *is* a very deep bond, even if they don't fully trust each other yet.
Also, again with the literally: They literally only have each other. While Finch has been very mysterious about his past, we gather that everyone he knew thinks he's dead, and the same goes with Reese. They don't have any other friends or family or coworkers; the only outside contact with humanity they get is with one another.
Right now, Reese tries to find out about Finch as much as he can, and Finch resists. There is a mysterious man in Finch's past and I am guessing that he is the one Finch lost that made him want to go out and help people. It's been implied anyway. I think it would be absolutely amazing if the show actually went in the direction of Finch actually being gay, because so few network television shows ever go in that direction. But regardless, you can tell Finch doesn't want Reese getting too close because otherwise he might lose someone else he cares about.
Dawn describes the show as a "slow courtship," and I think that's valid. The show builds up the slash, the two men are learning how to be human again, how to function again, how to live for something greater than their pain, and it's going to take awhile before they can call each other friends. But I think there is a slow flirtation, and I really like where it's going, and I want to see more of it.
So i am avidly watching the show. And who knows, there may even be fanfiction in the future, but that would require getting over my Steve/Tony fixation, which doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.
The Tales and Times of a Closet Fangirl
- Person of Interest Squee