Person of Interest (2011–2016)
Frequently Asked Questions
It is based on a screenplay developed by J. J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, which is inspired by movies like Enemy of the State, The Bourne Identity, and particularly Minority Report. The idea for the show came about long before Edward Snowden and Prism story came out. The show also contains the usual "cop tv drama" elements.
It was revealed at the end of season two that Finch was injured in the ferry explosion that killed his friend Nathan Ingram. He has been seen in flashbacks to have spent time using a wheelchair for sometime afterwards, in 2010. It wasn't just his leg that was injured, his cervical vertebrae was affected and he has pins in his neck from spinal fusion surgery, as shown in an early season one episode. Finch limps and has trouble turning his neck.
The Machine applies differently colored boxes in order to categorize the people it observes. Boxes can change as the Machine re-evaluates its assessment of the individuals it monitors.
White box: Individuals the Machine is currently monitoring, but who do not pose an immediate threat.
White box with red corners and crosshairs: Indicates imminent/ongoing violence by the indicated individual.
Red box: Relevant threats and individuals who pose a threat to the Machine or one of its administrators.
Yellow box: Individuals who know about the Machine.
Black box with yellow corners and crosshairs: Individuals who know about the Machine and communicate with it. The Machine designates these individuals as an "analog interface". Root is the only known analog interface now.
Blue box: Members of government teams; the scope of this box is unclear, but includes agents acting on "relevant" numbers.
Wheeled vehicles (such as cars, trucks and buses) are coded based on status of individual passengers within.
Starting in Season 3, the boxes are slightly modified to have solid vertical lines rather than dashed ones, along with a central target identifying the vehicle being monitored.
The Machine also categorizes and marks watercraft and aircraft.
Boats, ships and ferries are assigned a white diamond. (Seasons 1 and 2) In Season 3, this was modified to have solid lines instead of dashed ones from the left and right corners to the crosshairs above and below them, with a central target similar to that of the vehicle box. It is not known if the colour changes based on the occupants.
Airplanes and helicopters under normal operation receive a green triangle along with flight number and airport codes.
Aircraft under imminent threat or transporting software considered a threat to the Machine are assigned a red triangle instead of green. (4C (2014), RAM (2014)).
The Machine can also recognize celestial objects such as Mars,(God Mode (2013)). and can access satellite imagery to track air traffic or individual planes.
The Machine monitors areas around potential terrorist targets, such as sky lanes, shipping lanes, and major railroads,(Dead Reckoning (2013)). Exclusion zones are coded in white or red, which may represent a threat appraisal, or the value of the target.
To evaluate strategies, the Machine simulates some of the possible future scenarios. During these simulations the boxes appear in a usual way, but it can simplify parts of these simulations in order to save time. In these cases the boxes appear with a simplified style.
Harold Finch owned (owns?) the tech company (called IFT) that built The Machine. He's a tech genius and possibly set up the company when he was younger with fellow M.I.T. classmate Nathan Ingram. The company then expanded and grew from there like many other "dot-coms", (think Bill Gates and Microsoft), eventually becoming a tech billionaire.
In an episode of the second season, Carter asks Reese to tell her more about what they do and how they get their numbers. Reese replied that everyone who knows the secret has lost everything in their life and as Carter has a son, Taylor, it's best for her not to know. Carter never asked him again.
In Season 3, however, Carter admits to Finch, before she dies she guesses that they get their information through a computer searching government feeds. She was able to figure this out on her own, hence why she never really asked too many questions.
Fusco was forced into tracking down numbers with Reese via blackmail when it was discovered he was a dirty cop. As such, he knows not to ask many questions & do as he's told.
As the series progressed Fusco would later build a friendship with the rest of the team, and is shown to enjoy helping people. Despite the machine, Samritan and several related topics being said around him, he never asks too many questions as he doesn't seem to care, due to the fact that he has rediscovered the joys of being a cop and helping people again.
In series 5 Fusco is official filled in on the whole thing, but is not deterred from helping Reese and Finch in there mission to take down Samaritan. He even tells Reese, in the penultimate episode of the series, he is grateful for the chance to redeem himself that he has been given.
Both theses questions go unanswered, however John's military file as seen in the episode "Many Happy Returns" shows his middle name begins with a H and his last name ends with an S. Also, in episode 18 of Season 1 "Identity Crisis" Harold, under the influence of ecstacy says "Goodnight Nathan" suggesting Jonhs real name is Nathan. Furthermore in the series final a tombstone shows the name John Tal... weather Harold paid for John to be buried under his real name is unknown. As for for Harold, his name will always be a mystery as he is "a very private person".