Person of Interest Wiki
Person of Interest Wiki
Episode Overview   Summary   POI   Cast and Characters   Crew    
  Person of InterestSeason 1 (Flashbacks in parentheses) Season 2 →
101Pilot” (Reese) 109Get Carter” (Carter) 117Baby Blue
102Ghosts” (Finch) 110Number Crunch 118Identity Crisis
103Mission Creep” (Reese) 111Super” (Finch) 119Flesh and Blood” (Elias)
104Cura Te Ipsum 112Legacy 120Matsya Nyaya” (Reese)
105Judgment 113Root Cause 121Many Happy Returns” (Reese)
106The Fix 114Wolf and Cub 122No Good Deed” (Finch/Ingram)
107Witness 115Blue Code” (Reese) 123Firewall
108Foe” (Reese) 116Risk

POI 0107 Elias8.png



Air dateNovember 3, 2011

Running time43:25

Production code2J6207

Written byAmanda Segel

Directed byFrederick E.O. Toye


Images (48)

How many numbers will come up because we saved one man's life?

— Reese

"Witness" is the seventh episode in season 1, and the seventh produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on November 3, 2011.


The Machine identifies a school teacher who witnessed a mob hit as their next POI and Reese and Finch rush to save his life.

Origin of the Title

  • The title refers to Charlie Burton's role as a witness of a crime, but can also refer to how he is a witness of his mother's murder. (“Mission Creep”)(“Flesh and Blood”)

Main Plot Points

  • Person of Interest: Charlie Burton, a teacher who witnesses a gang-related murder.
  • Carter and Fusco investigate the murder of a Mafia don. The witness to the murder is the POI.
  • Reese rescues Burton but they are trapped in a Bulgarian drug dealer housing project while the Russian mob attempt to kill them both.
  • Anthony, Scarface, disguised as a cop intervenes. Finch "makes him" and enlists Fusco's help. They meet for the first time.
  • Carl Elias's identity is revealed
  • Scarface, Bill Szymanski and the Yogorov Family are introduced.

Episode Notes

  • After several weeks of embedded details, this episode introduces nascent mob boss Carl Elias. It is also the first episode that explores the idea that Reese is not infallible, but can be fooled by someone equally clever and seemingly benign.
  • The episode is set in Brighton Beach, a  neighborhood in southern Brooklyn with a large, multi-generational Jewish population which began immigrating during the Depression and in the years surrounding World War II. Newer residents are primarily Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. It is also the center of the Russian mafia in New York.

Vocabulary and Acronyms

  • Veni, vidi, vici (Latin): I came, I saw, I conquered. Elias's final quote in the episode.
  • Vory (Russian): Thieves. When Peter Yogorov tries to enter Will's apartment, Will tells him "that vory are supposed to show respect to one another." In the Russian Mafia to become a "Vor" (plural: Vory) (a thief) is an honorary title meaning to become a made man. The honor of becoming a Vor is only given when the recruit shows considerable leadership skills, personal ability, intellect and charisma.[1] Invocation of the term "Vory" was another way of saying, "Honor among thieves."

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • When Finch calls up the schematics for Scarface's SUV, they mistakenly show the plans for a vehicle equipped with a convertible top.

Production Notes


  • "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone (End of the episode)

Featured Locations

Main article: List_of_real-life_locations#1x07_-_Witness
  • The BRS (Bay Ridge Savings) bank where Finch hacks into the ATM is really a Jewish Community Centre (Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton - Manhattan Beach, Inc) located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue, adjacent to Brighton Beach


  • Will is reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, the tale of a man who disappears, is believed dead, and reappears with a new identity. Jim Caviezel (Reese) starred in a 2002 production of this story.
  • When Reese tries to give Charlie Burton, a.k.a Elias, a gun to defend himself, he tells Reese about a memory involving one of his foster dads. This implies that he has had multiple in the past, as Carter discovered of Elias’ life in the foster system earlier, foreshadowing the reveal at the end.


  • "The Machine found a man who was targeted for death. We just didn't know that he was also a killer." (Finch)
  • "How many numbers will come up because we saved one man's life?" (Reese)