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Person of Interest – Nine reasons it’s X-Files reborn

Is 'Person of Interest' the new 'X-Files'? Hmm, a hot female sidekick who rocks a pageboy; a tall, seemingly emotionless one-note man who remains badass in his pursuit of the truth, and a conspiracy theorist geek who lives in the shadows. Can't tell which is which? Exactly.

The X-Files, the 1993-2002 Fox cult fan-hit TV show surrounding shadowy government conspiracies, was one of my favorite ’90s shows. Because of their enormous (albeit unintentional) chemistry, I LOVED Mulder and Scully. Person of Interest reminds me of X-Files, not just because of the distant, yet intensely loyal friendship between Reese and Carter, but everything that constituted X-Files’ core appears in Person of Interest.

Think about it. X-Files’ key elements included the fear of widespread government coverups; a bespectacled, seemingly distant (yet highly loyal) boss; a rogue loner agent; a respected agent hired to watch the loner; highly technical conspiracy theory addicts and informational assets; an untrustworthy former partner who seemingly never died; a creepy shadowy man pulling strings from on high; a pervasive paraonia of being watched; and, an unexpected, yet intensely close friendship between the partners.

From that summary alone, you already know how the rest of this article will play out. So, I have to ask — is Person of Interest the new X-Files?

  1. Like X-Files, Person of Interest’s core plot surrounds government conspiracy and its dogged cover up of the Machine’s existence.
  2. Like Skinner, Finch is a bespectacled, seemingly distant boss who, underneath it all, remains incredibly loyal to Reese.
  3. Reese, like Mulder, is a rogue, isolationist agent on the outs with the agency he works for. Unlike Mulder, he’s absolutely ousted. But, like Mulder, he’s hella tall, rocks a shortish haircut and maintains a similar low-key speaking style.
  4. Carter, is a highly respected, suit-wearing officer who initially tracked and reported on Reese’s movements, until, like Scully, she  joins Reese’s cause. Like Scully, she’s the prototypical good girl. Like Scully, she has multiple academic degrees. And, in “Wolf and Cub” (and other episodes) she rocked the similar side-parted, pageboy hairstyle like Scully’s.
  5. Technically, Finch is Skinner and the Lone Gunman combined, but Fusco could also fill this role. Like the Lone Gunman he walks the outskirts of accepted society and although people mock him he provides Reese with necessary information and insight into an underworld he could not fully access without Fusco.
  6. Cara and Krycek should create their own TV series called Betrayal. Like Krycek, Cara’s practically a human cockroach who survives missile air assaults and everything in-between.
  7. If Snow isn’t the Cigarette-Smoking Man, I don’t know who is. Unlike the CSM, he spends less time in the shadows, but he controls things from afar with a quiet menace. While tobacco is CSM’s hardest drug, Snow gets into even harder ones. I don’t believe Cara killed Snow, since we never saw his body. Like the CSM, he’ll probably return when we least expect it.
  8. Talk about paranoia. Everyone watches EVERYONE in Person of Interest, even moreso than in X-Files, especially when you include the all-seeing machine. Reese watches his colleagues; Carter watches her colleagues; Finch watches his colleagues and the Machine watches all of them.
  9. Although Carter and Reese will probably never reach Mulder and Scully’s consummated relationship level (despite the unabashed fanfic I wrote), “Wolf and Cub” came close to the four-pronged friendship I hope the show develops. I loved  the individual friendships between Carter and Fusco, Fusco and Reese, Reese and Carter, as well as Reese and Finch which played off of and intersected with each other. It’s funny. When watching X-Files in the ’90s I never wanted the intertwining relationships increased. But, with Person of Interest, every week I fear the characters’ minor betrayals of each other will rupture their relationships and return them to opposing game corners.

So, what do you think? I know, I know. I compared the show to Burn Notice last month and others  compared it to Batman before me. Is it the earmark of a good show when everyone wants to compare it to other good shows (A-Team, etc.)? Or does Person of Interest appropriate a too-oft used template that’s easy to juxtapose with others? While, yes, Person of Interest incorporates the tried and true procedural process, I believe it adds minor re-workings and plot twists which turns it into something new and different. But, like X-Files, it remains deliciously addictive.

Photo Credit: TNT, CBS,

29 Responses to “Person of Interest – Nine reasons it’s X-Files reborn”

June 19, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Hey An,
POI and X-Files! I do not see any resemblance, POI is totally different show, the story line is way different from the X-Files. I agree about Carter and reason number 4, that is true, but Reese is NO Mulder, the focus of POI is the Machine and helping people, and it was Supernatural stuff, UFO and solving mysteries in X-Files, that is my take, but I really do not see it, having said that Thanks for bringing up a new topic to discuss, it is always fun to talk about POI…FANS love it

June 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Person of Interest bears more resemblance to The Equalizer (CBS, 1985-89) than anything else, IMHO. Both shows are about secretive ex-spies who use their assets to help regular people who are in danger.

June 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I have to disagree with you strongly on this one An–POI is one of a kind. Which means POI is in a totally different category. I did like X-files and if I did miss an episode, it didn’t bother me. But I cannot miss an episode of POI.

June 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I have to disagree with you, I think the only similarity is that Michael Emmerson played in both shows, of course in x-files was just a guest star.

July 1, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Guess who was at the premier of Karate Kid on the red carpet? That’s right, Jim Caviezel was there. And as you all know Taraji Henson played the mom in Karate Kid. What a coincidence that both are now doing POI together. I know you could say that of most hollywood actors. But that is so not JC–but interesting. It was great to see JC and Will Smith hugging. Maybe he was taking the kids.

July 3, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Awesome Taber, Great OBSERVATION as always, keep up the good job :)

July 1, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Taber you are over reaching. But I do see the connection single mom raising son encounters karate instructor in China who has a tragic past and his life is enriched by Henson and her son. Somewhat similar to POI. But remember Caviezel adopted two kids from China could have been taking them to see the movie since it was filmed in China. But could see where you came to the conclusion. Let’s just all wait on season two for now.

Oh, by the way An, do not compare POI with X-files. Two different shows. Must disagree with your blog on this one.

July 2, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I seek to agree first, so I can see the comparison…its one big difference, X-files was scarey and it was a show my mom watched and I watched by force…okay, by lack of choice. I liked the X-files because I have a wild, crazy natural imagination and I can really get into the supernatural. Okay, the other big difference is POI is kind of uh not-so-far-fetched…I see cameras everyday, drive thru, on freeway, at work, at the red light, and I know from watching forensic files that the government can use cameras to solve crime, the one difference is the show uses it to prevent crimes…isn’t it a ripoff from Minority Report…you know where Tom Cruise solved murders or crimes before it happened. I understand what Ann was trying to do and all I can say is nice try…I mean it! No seriously, nice try! :-)
Oh, Ann was talking about the characters similarity…not the plot…nope still do not see it!

July 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Good to see your comment Pseudo, and I hope to see Harper’s comment too, long time no comment Harper…

July 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

And some another interesting thing about this awesome show is casting couples, Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston, Amy Acker and James Carpinello, and I see possibility of casting Paige Turco’s husband Jason O’Mara as guest star in season 2.

July 4, 2012 at 9:23 PM

I visited the site; I was just waiting for the discussion to pick up and move away from the X-files comparison, since it hasnt I thought I should point out the obvious…people are just not feeling the X-file comparison. I do not support the comparison of Scully and Carter at all. I like, like and like so more me some Carter, but she is [to me] the most unlikely person to be a cop. Her personality and character screams nurture, so I was thinking more of like a mom or nurse or both without the badge…I do like her cast as a police, because its something different and I do like curve balls that do not hurt. I can not wait for the crazy media to go nuts about this show so we can start getting some leaks about whats going on with the show.

July 5, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Hey dear POI fans
Person of Interest – Season 2 – Premiere Title will be called “The Contingency”, WOW…

And Pseudo that was really interesting point about Carter.

July 6, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Hey dear fans VOTE for POI here, NOW

The 2012 STV Favourite TV Series Competition – Day 11 – Once Upon A Time vs. Person of Interest & Stargate SG-1 vs. Friends

July 8, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Went to see spider man with my family and it was great to see POI advertised on the big screen.

July 9, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Wow, must be awesome, good for you Taber. :)

July 11, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Jim caviezel aka reese named one of the sexiest men on tv

July 12, 2012 at 1:58 AM

WOW, JC truly deserve the title thanks Taber, and a GREAT news:PERSON OF INTEREST: CBS Coughs Up Season 2 Premiere Date> Thursday, September 27 at 9/8c. I’m already very excited about it.

July 14, 2012 at 7:12 AM

Emmy Awards Nominations: Drama Actor
Caviezel plays John Reese, a former Green Beret and CIA field officer who is presumed dead but now helps stop crimes from taking place. This is his first time eligible at the Emmys for this role.

JC, Michael Emerson and Taraji are nominated.

July 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Hey dear fans.
Check out awesome videos of comic con 2012 Person of Interest on Youtube.
Do not miss it.

July 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Hey Mary, thanks for the information truly enjoyed both clips. Reese looks more bulky in his arms maybe it’s for his upcoming movie with Sylvester Stallone. Great to see the fans loving on POI–I can’t wait for season 2. In the meantime I’m enjoying the reruns on CBS which eases the pain somewhat!

I hope they win an Emmy. But it’s going to be tough with Reese up against Finch.

July 16, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Hey Taber, Ya I have noticed the bulky arms too, and wish JC all the best, cannot wait for season 2.
have fun watching the reruns Taber.

July 16, 2012 at 3:40 AM

Comic-Con 2012: Person of Interest Panel

July 18, 2012 at 8:18 PM

That clip was crazy! Taraji and Kevin were acting like real life buddies. I think no one truly gave a straight answer on any of the questions…maybe Jonah and Jim gave a semi-straight answer. They were smart asses and were really enjoying themselves. I mean Jonah, Greg, and Jim were blunt and just didnt answer some of the questions. I like them!!!! It was funny how the actors tried to explain the characteristics of their character and wasnt even sure if they were right…and was like Jonah and Greg, “am I right.” Its crazy and for good reason, because those actors, Taraji and Michael would slip and tell too much…I think so anyway, I got my long overdue POI fix…thanks again

July 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Yes Pseudo and This Unique show has really LOVELY cast and BRILLIANT creators.

July 16, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Watched the Comic-con interview with Nolan and the cast of POI. Heard Nolan talk about flash backs relating to those that have died for eg. Jessica. Nolan went on to say that no one is safe. Nolan, if you eliminate either Finch, Reese, Carter or Fusco I will NO longer watch the show (well I guess I could live without Fusco) I don’t care how many flashbacks you do. Reese, Finch and Carter are the backbone and success of POI and if one is eliminated well for me i will just start watching Castle instead–and I’m not really a huge fan of Castle.

So please, please, please do not eliminate any of the three main characters or there goes the ratings and the show.

July 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Totally Agree Taber, :)

July 16, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Hey Guys –

Carla of CC attended the POI press room. Look for her video on CliqueClack later in the week!

July 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Sure An, Thanks.

July 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Thanks An looks like all had a lot of fun.

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