PERSON OF INTEREST — SEASON 1–4–2011
This series is extremely difficult to analyze because it is so unreal that it sounds untrue though we know it is particularly true, with a few mistakes.
The first mistake is that it is the government that has devised a way of taking control of everyone and every possible misdemeanor or crime, terrorist or not. It is private businesses, big private corporations plus some public services that have taken control of all communication between and among people. It is not so much for finding who is going to commit a crime, but rather in order to manipulate people into doing anything that will serve the interests of the private corporations or public services. These interests might be commercial to sell goods, or ideological to sell ideas that have nothing to do with truth or even reality but everything to do with reproducing and perpetuating a certain system of ideas that enables the people in power to remain there, be they CEOs, religious pundits or politicians.
The second mistake is that terrorist acts and attacks are not interesting as such to anyone, but people in power, particularly politicians, need these terrorist attacks to consolidate their security discourse that take control of the minds of people. At the same time, it enables the state to have strong security and investigating or intelligence services to prevent these terrorist attacks and thus to increase their prestige in society. Politicians are thus divided between an official public discourse about controlling terrorism and at the same time the need of such attacks or at least projects of attacks that could be thwarted to justify their power. This is rather clearly said here and there in a fuzzy way, centered on a female Secretary of Defense and a male Senator responsible for some security committee in the Senate, who are at least not very clear about their interest and are totally blind, deaf and oblivious of the interests of the people.
The third element that is underscored is the role of social networks that are in no way social but are in all possible ways blinding and manipulative. And that’s where the load carried by the camel brings the camel down. These networks, within the net neutrality approach, are preaching the absolute freedom of expression stated by the first amendment of the US constitution. It is today, in 2017, and next year, in 2018, that the Senate, hence the government is requiring all big firms, companies and businesses dealing with social networks to “control” fake news and other manipulative free expression. The government is asking, requesting, demanding on the side of some Senators a full and effective censorship, that can only be implemented by a program that will ban all discourses that would contain some words like S** or F*** or S***. Not to speak of course of words like racism, communism, socialism, anarchism, race, black (why not, but of course not and never white), supremacy, segregation, discrimination, and many others. This is absurd since sentences like “it is important to segregate nuclear molecules from non-nuclear molecules” could be banned the same way as “segregation between r***s brings violence down.”
This US federal government is asking for what is practiced in China and many other countries, what is the law in France and other European countries where it is forbidden to establish any ethnic statistics since these are considered as racist and racism is a crime, banned as such in all public expression, meaning any expression in front of a third person who may report it: it could be your husband, or your children. We are not in science fiction. In France such facts are real and common. Any member of any family is supposed to do what any citizen is supposed to do: report something considered as criminal by the law: a son can come to the police and say “My father, said yesterday all b****s are dark in their intentions and criminals by definition.” This is obviously racist and the son is accepted even as a witness in a French court against a real crime that could follow such a private declaration in the family home. The Senate of the US is totally misled. Against fake news there is only one weapon: the truth but the truth is not always very fascinating, or agreeable, or simply flattering, I mean it does not flatter the basest instincts of man and women, of children too.
In the 1960s in France one popular joke was: “In what country does the Hilton Hotel has room 171 next to room 48?” The answer being Poland of course, Warsaw exactly, I have always wondered if this joke was anti-Polish or anti-American since the Hilton Hotel is an American chain. All ethnic jokes are of the same type. They might be of bad taste or even gross, but they exist all over the globe changing from one country to the next. One of these is the Parisian joke that makes a Parisian answer an American tourist who says: “In America we have the longest rivers, the highest skyscrapers, the most comfortable hotels, etc.” the following wise crack: “For sure, but in Paris we have the fattest fleas in our hotels since they are feeding of the fattest tourists, that is to say American tourists.” I have heard that one so often that after a while it is not funny anymore. And what about “Who in a street fight has brought his electric razor?” Don’t tell me you do not know that one. And this “How many …. [often Irishmen but it could be anyone] are needed to change an electric bulb?”
This series goes a lot that way but opposes a “machine” that is under the control of the state — but is it really? — to a “samaritan” that is under the control of some ambitious fascist people from private corporations. That is not what menaces our countries, nor by the way the alleged manipulation the “Russians” would have done in the US during the latest presidential campaign. What is at stake is that a campaign for the “control” of social networks comes today from the state and first of all from the Senate. They are trying to impose onto private corporations and the Internet the control — and we mean censorship — of free expression on their platforms.
The series is extremely interesting because of the great imagination it demonstrates. This imagination is probably a little bit trite and you will recognize many elements that have already been used in many other novels, short stories, films or series. It is what I could call composite imagination, but it is packed with action, violence, crimes, vicious and sordid perverts, though any sex is practically never shown. As an entertainment from 12 years of age onward, this series is good. As a work of the mind, a creative work of human imagination it is good though not that phenomenally creative. Too many special effects and not enough human depth. But the super bad ones hiding on the ninth (apocalyptic) floor of a mental institution is really a good idea: to desire becoming the next shadow and invisible Hitler you have to be deranged and you have to live in a permanent mental institution with no furlough or leave.
At the end of the fourth season, the cleaning up of Augeas’ stables is practically finished and suspense is suspended. It is only a few more episode to clean up the pigsty of the American political system based on corruption, authoritarianism and even soft everyday dictatorship.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
PERSON OF INTEREST — SEASON 5–2017
There is little to add about this series if the first four seasons have been covered, and since I did cover them, I will not repeat what I have already said. The interest of this mini fifth season is to close up the story, clean up the plate and more or less give us a vision of the society we should all target and wish to have.
The end is radical. A special virus has to be introduced/uploaded onto/into the Samaritan for the “Machine” to take over, destroy the totalitarian and terrorist Samaritan and at the same time destroy itself. This double destruction goes along with the death of most main actors of this “Machine-Samaritan War.” Carl Elias, John Reese, Harold Finch, Root on the Machine’s side and John Greer on the Samaritan’s side are all terminated. The plate then is clean, both machines are completely destroyed with the help of a military satellite and a rocket that will be attributed to China by a rotten senator though we know it is not true since John Reese commanded this last step just before being shot a good number of times though each bullet he received was counterbalanced by one assailant shot dead, which means a lot of them.
There is, of course, a final twist but You can imagine what it is. Happy ending in blood and execution of all culprits. Two on the good side survive Lionel Fusco and Sameen Shaw. Root in a way survives too or at least does not really die in spite of a bullet because she became the voice of the Machine who became female though Harold Finch had not specified the gender, the name and the sexual orientation of this machine. She turned out to be a lesbian, for at least as long as the Machine will live.
The suspense is good, special effects are good, spectacular developments are numerous, gore and violence are overwhelming and you get some surprisingly impressive view of New York and its skyline.
A good finishing season for a series that had anyway reached its ultimate terminal station. Beyond there was no more possible development. So let’s enjoy the happy ending for human society all over the world and for sure it is impossible even for the most sophisticated cyberwar machine to take over the whole world for the sole benefit of the USA, or rather with the USA being the only tool of the take-over of the world by a band of power hungry and dictatorial criminals who put the USA under duress, directly at the highest level of its federal state. In other words, any project of that type is impossible no matter how strong and ambitious the governing people of a country like the USA might be. The Botmaster will never win such a war but the Botmaster is not a stranger, is not a foreigner, he is one from inside the inner and even innerest circle of the federal state in the USA.
No bluffing and no duress and no sheer and mere violence will achieve such an imperialistic objective. This series is optimistic, particularly in the present situation.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU