For most fans of Person of interest, this episode from season 1 was one of the most standout episodes. It had everything from a relatable story that had you soon siding with the perpetrator to an ending that made your jaw drop. This was the episode that got viewers hooked.
Cura Te Ipsum carefully brought to light the real life difficulties, victims of sexual abuse as well as their families, have to face on a day to day basis. This particular storyline follows the story of Megan, who’s sister took her own life due to being sexually assaulted and having her claims against her attacker (Andrew Benton),dropped. Naturally of course she is on a revenge mission to bring her sister’s attacker to justice, by any means necessary and it falls to Reese and Finch to piece together her plan before it’s too late. Yet as straightforward as it seems, the storyline throws you a few twists and turns to keep you on your toes, You are left guessing just who exactly they are protecting, her sister’s attacker or are they saving her from herself? As Reese states “She knows what it’s like to save a life, not take one, it will destroy her”
Reese then takes it upon himself to try and be a confidant to her, as he follows her to a support meeting for victims of sexual abuse. He sits in as one woman opens up about her attack but as she describes what happened, it gets too much for Megan who promptly leaves, Reese quickly following behind her and as they talk away from the main group, it is then you get a glimpse into Reese’s past and an understanding as to why he has taken this particular case to heart. You see a glimpse of his Vulnerable side as well as the trained cold hearted killer.
Reese knows this man will not stop if he is not caught but he also knows that Megan won’t stop either as he unearths her plan to eradicate her sister’s attacker for good, putting Reese and Finch into a tight spot as well as throwing the story into another tail spin and it means Reese needs to call a favour from his asset Fusco in order to save Benton from certain death. However his plan is foiled, Benton is free once more and Megan starts to put her plan into action. Reese is forced to intercept Benton but a favour comes back to bite him in the ass and Benton walks straight into Megans trap. This is where the tempo of the story ramps up as Reese battles against time to save Benton and stop Megan making the biggest mistake of her life, all in the name of revenge.
You are then treated to a poignant scene in a cafe as Reese manages to get to Megan in time. He spills that he knows what she is up to and urges her to sit and have a cup of coffee while he calmly tells her what he knows about her and her plan, he speaks to her from experience when he warns her not to go through with it, telling her that taking a life in cold blood will kill her but Megan seems set to go through with it until Reese tells her from his experience, what will happen once you take a life. “You lose a part of yourself that matters the most.” In a way he is kinda reaching out to her here, almost saying “Please don’t choose the path I took”He then gives Megan the choice to go through with her plan or to let him talk to Benton but he doesn’t do it in his usual cold hard way, he is LITERALLY begging Megan to not go through with it, coaxing her to do the right thing by using the right words, telling her to let go and grab a second chance of life. He knows how hard it is for her not to fall into that trap of seeking revenge and walking down that dark path. He’s been there and the way the writers use the keys to the van, it is symbolic of what is unfolding before your very eyes. A man who once was about to give up on life due to personal tragedy, was now giving someone else a second chance. It is almost poetic! And when she asks “Who are you? Why are you here?” all he does is calmly says “I already told you, everybody needs someone to talk to” After those tense few minutes she sees reason and hands Reese the keys, leading on to the ending.
Reese tells Finch that he and Benton are going to have a talk but knowing Reese’s history and the man Benton is, you can almost taste the venom that laces those words. It turns the suspense up several notches and after a little subtext to the main overall plot, you are taken back to Reese and Benton as they sit at a table in an empty beach house, the waves calmly lapping at the shore as sea birds call out their greeting and Benton shakes off the after effects of being sedated.
The moment Benton asks “Where am I” is the moment Reese unleashes the killer within. The way his eyes locks onto Benton in a predatory fashion, the way the music emphasises that Reese has made his choice just adds to the suspense as Benton tries to make sense of what has happened. Reese informs him that the woman who had kidnapped him was sent away because “She’s not cut out for this. She fixes people, not like us, we break them” and then there is a cut to a gun on the table and it dawns on Benton that he is in serious trouble. Benton questions him, asks him what he is going to do with him, Reese calmly tells him he hasn’t decided yet as he takes his role as judge, Juror and executioner, asking Benton the question “Do you think people ever really change?” You get a sense that Reese gets some sort of sick pleasure as Benton is turned into a man pleading for his life as Reese inflicts his silent torture with his ice cold stare and unreadable facial expression.
To Benton’s credit he does try to call Reese’s bluff but the moment Reese reaches for the gun is the moment Benton rapidly back tracks on himself and admits he has done some things and crossed some lines but he assures Reese he will never do those things again. You can see it written all over Reese’s face that he is not convinced and that this is all an act to keep his own life. He makes a statement to Benton
“I could let you go. Because you know that for the rest of your life, that I’d be watching you. And if you hurt anybody, I’d stop you. And maybe you could change, and maybe so could I. But the truth is… people don’t really change do they?”
And once again the suspense is upped another notch as Benton desperately tries to reason with Reese but it is clearly evident that you cannot reason with him. His mind is set as Benton is reduced to the sniveling sleazeball that he truly is and Reese can’t help but stick the knife in and give it a twist as he states “Maybe it’s better this way, maybe it’s up to me to do what the good people can’t. Or maybe there are no good people, maybe there are only good decisions.”
Benton pleads with him to not make a choice he will regret but he is talking to a man who has killed plenty of times in the past. He won’t hesitate to pull the trigger although that would be easy, he wants Benton to suffer a little more, he asks Benton what he would regret more, letting him live or letting him die? as he moves his hands to the gun once more and shoots Benton that all too distinctive Killers gaze before finally delivering the killer line “Andrew, help me make a good decision”
You are then treated to one more shot of the two men sitting at the table before the episode ends. Leaving you wondering what exactly Reese did to Benton
This episode had it all. An intense story filled with twists and turns that was well paced,character development to the main characters, a developing season storyline that didn’t detract from the episode, a well orchestrated soundtrack, suspense, some thought provoking lines and a sensitive issue that was handled with delicacy.
It beautifully raised the awareness of those silently suffering from any form of abuse as it encourages you to speak up, to talk to someone because it is not a fight that you have to do on your own, there is someone there who will listen.
So my advice to those who wish to give Person of Interest a go, watch the first episode to get the jist of things and then skip to Cure Te Ipsum and watch a piece of beautifully crafted piece of storytelling unfold before your eyes, Your emotions will be tested, your heart strings pulled and your nerves frayed.
I have the most scared dog ever right now because of an afternoon thunder storm. Reesey hates them :( The only good thing is he gets a lot of “poor people ritz” (unsalted saltines) because they are his favorite. What do you do to help your dog during a thunder storm?