An ex-assassin and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes--including the civilians' roles--are left a mystery.

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Top Rated TV #247 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 John Reese (103 episodes, 2011-2016)
...
 Lionel Fusco (103 episodes, 2011-2016)
...
 Harold Finch (103 episodes, 2011-2016)
...
 Root / ... (65 episodes, 2012-2016)
...
 Joss Carter (55 episodes, 2011-2015)
...
 Sameen Shaw (50 episodes, 2013-2016)
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Storyline

A billionaire software-genius named Harold Finch creates a Machine for the government that is designed to detect acts of terror before they can happen, by monitoring the entire world through every cell-phone, email and surveillance camera. Finch discovered that the machine sees everything, potential terrorist acts and violent crimes that involve ordinary people. When the government considered violent crimes between normal people "irrelevant", Finch built a back door into the system that gives him the social security number of a person involved in a future violent crime so he could act. Partnered with John Reese, an ex-CIA agent, the two work in secret to prevent violent crimes before they can happen. Eventually their activities lead to being hunted by the New York Police Department, CIA Agents in pursuit of Reese who was listed as dead, a computer hacker named Root who wants access to the Machine, and government officials who want to keep all knowledge of the Machine a complete secret. Written by Jones

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ever think you're being watched? See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

P.O.I  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Showrunner Jonathan Nolan said the writing team decided to make Root a prominent character mainly because of the theme music composer Ramin Djawadi wrote for her. In an interview he once said "Ramin had written this theme for Root and it was amazing. It's a really fun, mysterious character, but we really wanted to hear that theme again! So when we came back to the [Season 1] finale again, we know where we wanted to go with the character". See more »

Goofs

When younger Finch goes to university he is conspicuously taller than the Finch we see in all other episodes. See more »

Quotes

[Opening narration, Season 5]
Harold Finch: You are being watched. The government has a secret system...
Harold Finch: [voice warping] secret system
John Greer: A system you asked for to keep y-y-you sssafe.
[visuals glitch POVs between that of Samaritan and of the Machine]
Harold Finch: A Machine that spies on you every hour of every day.
John Greer: You've granted it the power to see everything, to index, order, and control the lives of ordinary people.
Harold Finch: The government considers these people irrelevant. We don't.
John Greer: But to it, you are *all* irrelevant. Victim or ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Transcendence (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Give It Time!
23 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love the lead actors, Jim Cazaviel and Michael Emerson, who play Reese and Finch in this post-9-11 world. Finch finds and bails Reese out of jail and hires him to help protect Jessica Hanson in the first episode from being killed or killing. Unlike other crime dramas on the air, they don't play by the book which is refreshing. I hope they add more female characters in to help explain Finch and Reese's backgrounds. I love Michael Emerson ever since his performance in Lost. As Finch, he's totally believable as the rich billionaire who wants to make a difference and stop further horrible attacks such as murder. We don't know why he does it except how he felt after the September 11 attacks in New York City but he realized how much or how little money and power. Finch developed a system to help track persons of interest before something terrible happens to him. Reese is perfect as a former government agent disillusioned by the agency and the world to help him foil further plots. I keep looking for the future for this show and hope it lasts a season.


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