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← Season 1 Person of InterestSeason 2 (Flashbacks in parentheses) Season 3 →
201The Contingency” (Finch) 209C.O.D. 217Proteus
202Bad Code” (Root) 210Shadow Box 218All In
203Masquerade 2112πR 219Trojan Horse
204Triggerman 212Prisoner's Dilemma” (Reese) 220In Extremis” (Fusco)
205Bury the Lede 213Dead Reckoning” (Stanton) 221Zero Day” (Finch/Ingram)
206The High Road” (Finch) 214One Percent” (Finch/Ingram) 222God Mode” (Finch/Hersh)
207Critical 215Booked Solid
208Til Death” (Finch) 216Relevance

POI 0207 Main.png



Air dateNovember 15, 2012

Running time43:47

Production code2J7207

Written bySean Hennen

Directed byFrederick E.O. Toye


ID(s) from IntroID.027/2005.01

Images (60)

How much more do you really want to know?

— Reese, to Carter

"Critical" is the seventh episode of season 2, and the 13th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on November 15, 2012.


The Machine gives Finch and Reese the number of a brilliant surgeon, but they soon discover that a resourceful third party has raised the stakes for this POI, forcing them to turn to an unlikely source for help.

Origin of the Title

Critical refers to a medical condition that is imminently life-threatening.

Main Plot Points

Episode Notes

  • Alistair Wesley is a former MI6 officer (agent). MI6 is part of the British government's secret services. Officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6 retains its WWII era name in common parlance. "6" is charged with gathering foreign intelligence for the British government. Although it has some similar goals, it is not a direct equivalent of the CIA.
  • Wesley's team is made up of ex-SAS troops. The Special Air Service is a special forces regiment in the British army. They are among the first such units, and considered to be a model for special forces worldwide.
  • Madeline is directed to administer 100 cc. of heparin to Veldt early in the procedure. Heparin is an anticoagulant, which would sustain bleeding in a patient not needing treatment for a clotting disorder.
  • It is evidently Mark Snow who planted Carter's card on the dead janitor with the address where Snow would be. Snow knows that Carter is indefatigable in tracing her targets and Mark hopes to get her help in getting away from Stanton.
  • Leon Tao becomes a POI for the second time when he engages in gold farming. Gold farming is the process of acquiring large amounts of online currency in a so-called massively multi-player online game (such as World of Warcraft), then selling it online for real-world money. Although prohibited by most games, gold farming has become an industry with full-time employees in some developing countries, and is dominated by China.
  • While reviewing Madeleine's background with Reese, Finch notes she married Amy in June, 2011.  New York legalized same-sex marriage on July 24, 2011, one of only nine states to have done so as of the time of broadcast.

Acronyms and Vocabulary

  • Tao reports to Finch that Wesley and his team are attempting to influence the value of Veldtcorp stock in order to profit from its sale, referring to it as an "interesting arbitrage opportunity." Arbitrage is the financial process of buying a financial instrument (stock, bonds, commodities, etc.) at a low price on one market, then quickly reselling it on another market where it has a higher value, thus making a profit on the sale. The process is legal, and most brokerage houses have an arbitrage department; the illegality arises when sellers attempt to influence the value of the instrument on one of the markets, such as Wesley and his team attempted to do.
  • "Recce" is British-English jargon for reconnaissance; the American English equivalent is "recon."
  • Ontspan! (Dutch): Relax!

Production Notes

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • Leon Tao is impressed, when Finch demonstrates with a Dutch command, that Bear is multilingual; but Leon was present in “The Contingency” when Reese introduces Bear and informs the gathered group that Bear's special breed is trained to respond only to Dutch commands.
  • As the "fake" cop draws his gun at the park as John and Amy are about to escape, the barrel of the gun is plugged.


  • The article describing Veldt's wind farm initiative was written by Maxine Angelis.
  • This is the first episode in which a number that already appeared has reappeared.
  • Wesley addresses Reese over the phone as "Mr. Mystery Guest", Hans Gruber's original designation for John McClane in Die Hard. Wesley likewise takes umbrage at being thought a 'common thief', pointing out that he is an exceptional example of the breed.
  • At the end of the episode, Wesley says that he met Reese at a market by the Bosphorus (and calls Reese by name—"You are John Reese"). But Reese said he remembers the place, but not remembers Wesley.


  • "Never did figure John here for upper management." (Leon to Finch)
  • "Gives new meaning to the phrase hostile takeover, huh?" (Leon Tao)
  • "Finch! Bubby -- I hacked into a back door..." (Leon)
  • "You may know [Finch and I] once had people who cared about us; not any more. But you, you still have your son, and your life is still yours. So I think the real question you have to ask yourself, detective, is how much more do you really want to know?" (Reese, to Carter)