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402Nautilus 410The Cold War” (Greer) 418Skip
403Wingman 411If-Then-Else” (The Machine) 419Search and Destroy
404Brotherhood 412Control-Alt-Delete 420Terra Incognita” (Reese)
405Prophets” (Finch) 413M.I.A. 421Asylum
406Pretenders 414Guilty 422YHWH
407Honor Among Thieves 415Q&A
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4x14 - Guilty.png



Air dateFebruary 10, 2015

Running time43:51

Production code3J5414

Written byDavid Slack

Directed byKate Woods

Viewers9.53 M

ID(s) from IntroID.414/0210.15

Images (24)


We can't bring anyone new into this. We also can't do this alone.

— Reese

"Guilty" is the 14th episode of Season 4 and the 82nd produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on February 10, 2015.


When the Machine arranges for Finch to sit on the jury of a murder trial, he begins to suspect that a fellow juror is set to rig the proceedings. Meanwhile, Reese begins to open up to the department’s therapist.

Origin of the Title

As the title suggests, the episode is about who is, or who feels guilty: Harold sits on a jury while Reese works in the background to keep the accused from falsely being convicted while each copes with his own feelings of guilt over the team's losses.

Main Plot Points

The events in this episode are in Machine point of view.

  • Person of Interest: Emma Blake, a retired teacher serving on the jury with Prof. Whistler. Former POI Zoe Morgan helps Reese behind the scenes as they try to discover what Emma's agenda is.

Episode Notes

  • Reese tells the therapist that there was a "death in the family," implicitly referring to Shaw, suggesting he and Finch have come to terms with Shaw being dead.
  • Guilty” is the second episode written by David Slack (and his last script for the show) that takes place in a courthouse; the first being “Judgment” in season 1, also happens to be his first credited episode. Both episodes start and end with Finch and Reese sitting in a diner, also serving as a bookend to Slack's stint on the series.
  • Professor Whistler's jury invitation states his date of birth as April 7, 1962.
  • Frequent reference is made to SAR Limits, which refers to the Specific Absorption Ratio for Cellular Telephones. The Specific Absorption Ratio measures the amount of radio frequency energy emitted when using a mobile device. These measurements are important because once they exceed a certain limit, the radiation could prove harmful, as was the case in this episode. The current FCC limit for public exposure is 1.6 W/kg.[1]

Jury Duty in the United States

Prof. Whistler's jury duty summons

  • Finch, as Prof. Whistler, must perform jury duty, a responsibility each American citizen must assume. Trial by jury, as embodied in the the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, is a core right of the accused in any criminal case; civil cases can include a jury as well. Any qualified citizen can, at any time, be summoned for jury duty in the jurisdictions in which they live, usually receiving a summons much like the one Finch was holding roughly a month in advance. Jurors can be summoned by the county or state of residence, and rarely, the federal government. Terms of service and practices vary by state and municipality. In New York[2] and California, jurors must be available for a period of one week, often calling in every evening to see if they must report to the courthouse the next day. Jury duty is mandatory, and although jury duty can be postponed under limited circumstances (which Emma suggests she would have to do as a teacher), jurors must serve when called. Jurors not paid by their employers during their term of service are paid by the court, generally around $40 a day.
  • When summoned to report, potential jurors meet in a jury assembly room until they are called to a court room as part of a panel of potential jurors. Summoning of jurors for jury duty, when to report, and placement on a panel is done randomly, a process which creates a pool of varied, and presumably less biased, potential jurors. Once in a court room, the potential jurors, again selected at random, are seated in the jury box, and undergo voir dire, during which the lawyers involve question jurors to determine any potential bias; each can excuse a set number of potential jurors until the jury is empaneled. The final jury will be made up of twelve jurors plus one to three alternates who sit through all proceedings, and can serve if a juror must be excused.
  • Following the trial itself, the final part of jury duty is deliberations, when the jury must make a determination of guilt. Each jury selects a foreman, who chairs the deliberations, speaks for the jury and presents its decision. Jurors review and discuss the evidence until they are able to reach a decision whether or not the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In most cases, jurors are free to return home at night during deliberations (which can run for a period of days), but in cases where a jury's deliberations may be tainted by media coverage or be under threat, they can be sequestered and housed by the court for the period of deliberation, as was the case in the episode. Having delivered their verdict to the court, jurors are excused, and have completed their service.

Production Notes

  • This is the second of four sweeps episodes to feature the return of a former POI, in this case, the eighth appearance of Zoe Morgan, who helps Reese protect Finch and the POI while they are on jury duty.
  • The New York City Supreme Court was used for exterior shots. The jury waiting room in the beginning of the episode is the actual Bronx jury waiting room.[3]
  • The diner where Finch and Reese meet is Chelsea Square Restaurant on 23rd Street near Ninth Avenue. It makes another appearance in “Blunt”.

Bloopers and Continuity Errors


  • "U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer (one of the juror's ringtone)


Fake passports for Shaw.

  • Writer David Slack tweeted that this is the first episode in the show's history where there was no gun fired.
  • David Slack also said the Morse code and laser was a homage to the movie The Hunt For Red October.
  • Reese finds a stack of fake passports Finch made for Shaw. They are passports for the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Brazil.
  • In order to be excused from jury duty, Prof. Whistler tells the judge that he doesn't trust the government because it is spying on the people with "an intelligent supercomputer that is slowly but surely taking over the world", basically summarizing the title sequence of the show. After another juror had to be released from duty, the judge calls on Harold as a replacement by saying "Professor Whistler, your number is up."
  • By calling the juror's phone, and subsequently having him eliminated from the jury, the Machine made sure that Finch would be called instead, allowing him to keep an eye on the latest number, just as it did in “4C”.
  • The ringtone on the juror's phone, "U Can't Touch This" is an homage to Shaw's comment in “Aletheia”: "There's a time for a scalpel and a time for a hammer. It's hammer time."
  • Reese compared Fusco to a fungus. He did so once before in “The Contingency”.
  • Prof. Whistler's jury invitation states his birthdate as April 7, 1962, and his home address as 750 E 72nd St Apt 620, New York, NY 10021. It is dated December 15, 2014, roughly one month after the episode was shot.
  • When preparing Harold for the jury hearing, Zoe jokingly asks if Harold is from the Midwest because he is much too friendly and agreeable. This may be a nod to the common assumption about people from the Midwestern States to be more polite and calmer than people from other regions in the United States. As a matter of fact, Finch is originally from Lassiter, Iowa.


  • 'It's just you and me again Mr Reese.' (Finch, to Reese)
  • "But can you imagine how that would feel? To know that something bad was gonna happen and it was your fault if it doesn't get stopped?" (Emma, to Finch)
  • "Let me guess; you'll handle this... Look, I get it. After what happened to Shaw, you and Glasses are worried the same thing's gonna happen to me. And you know what? It might. And I'm fine with that. You don't get to decide what or who I'm willing to die for. I made my choice a long time ago, so stop shutting me out." (Fusco, to Reese)
  • ”Well, maybe it’s time for some new habits.” (Reese)
  • "I thought we agreed to leave Detective Fusco out of our business.” (Finch) “I tried. But he’s like a fungus. We can’t bring anyone new into this, but we also can’t do this alone.” (Reese) “A conundrum I know all too well. After all, Mr. Reese, that's why I hired you." (Finch)