Before the airing of the Season 5 premiere of Person of Interest, MStars News had an exclusive interview with actors Michael Emerson and Kevin Chapman talk about the return of Harold Finch and Lionel Fusco in the war between The Machine and Samaritan.
From the beginning, former billionaire Harold Finch (Emerson) and ex CIA operative John Reese (Jim Caviezel) raced against the clock to prevent violent crimes before they could happen. With the help of the artificial intelligence known as The Machine, they managed to save innocent lives right when their numbers popped up. But they never expected to go up against an even greater threat known as Samaritan.
In the fourth season finale,YHWH concluded with Team Machine fighting for their lives. With no gun whatsoever, Finch walked out in slow motion alongside Reese and Root as they started shooting down Samaritan’s agents. Finch had a briefcase with a blinking light, signifying the Machine’s fading heartbeat.
MStars News: Fusco had a close call when Elias (Enrico Colantoni) and Dominic (Winston Duke) were shot down by Samaritan.
Kevin Chapman: Fusco has a lot of unanswered questions. He kinda goes rogue a little bit. He’s conducting his own kind of investigations. He knows that there is something going on. But he’s not sure what it is. But he intends to find out.
MStars News: What is Harold Finch’s mindset now when the show returns?
Michael Emerson: He’s in full improvised mode. It’s a mad scramble. They’re all doomed! [Laughs] They’re all doomed because Samaritan is in charge. They have to go even deeper underground. Priority one is to reboot The Machine. Without The Machine, there’s nothing they can do.
MS: The role of Fusco has allowed you to show off your dramatic and comedic side. Do you prefer when the tone of the episode turns lighter or more serious?
KC: The comedic side is my personality. It’s me being a clown! [Laughs] It’s always great to play a character with a sense of duality. Is he a good guy doing bad things? Or is he a bad guy doing good things? It goes from performance to performance. You try not to judge the characters. You leave that up to the viewership; how they see the character. It’s always nice to play someone on the dark side.
MS: Last season, Reese attempted to teach Harold how to use a gun. Will Finch have to change his stance on guns after the fourth season finale?
ME: As the threats surrounding them, dire and terrifying, Mr. Finch might have to make some adjustments to certain ethical decisions. He might have to think of the possibility of violence.
MS: How is Finch’s relationship with Reese at this point?
ME: Mr. Finch is depressed I guess you can say. Things are not going well. He’s not sure that the thing he’s built is doing what it should be doing. Was it all possible for not? He and men like him have seen the world and wonder if it’s doing mankind any good. I do think he needs something. It’s a crisis of faith. Maybe he needs a little bucking up.
MS: Do you feel the pacing of the show has changed because the season came down to 13 episodes?
KC: I don’t think our pacing has increased at all. I think we’ve maintained that. I think the writing has gone to a new level. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised. We’re a show that does 9 million live. And then another 3 to 4 million. It’s a very unique situation. You have roughly 13 million people watching you every week.
MS: In the fourth season finale, The Machine called Finch its “Father.” Will we see more of that relationship develop in the remaining episodes?
ME: I thought that was an important scene. I’m really attached to that business of that relationship. Mr. Finch tries to put a show of no personal feelings for the Machine. And yet, you see that the Machine is so human. Now he’s just confused. His parental instincts have stuck. He has feelings for the thing he has made. It’s sad and wonderful at the same time.
MS: Because this is the final season, what strikes your mind when you look back on Person of Interest?
KC: We talked a lot about topics that the world really didn’t address. You look at the Eric Snowden stuff. We were talking about that stuff 2 years prior to that stuff. That’s really cool to me to be a part of something like that. It makes people look and go and, “Whoa! Maybe there is something!”