Jim Caviezel Jim Caviezel

CBS' Person of Interest (9/8c) is one of the fall's few new dramas of interest, and it appears to be a keeper. Though not without some formula aspects — this is CBS, after all, so things tend to get wrapped up pretty neatly by the hour's end — the intriguing Interest sends its damaged heroes on their high-tech vigilante missions under a tantalizing cloak of paranoid secrecy. Each week, there's also the promise of heightened and stylized mayhem at the hands of the coolly lethal Reese (Jim Caviezel), who's so unflappably taciturn in his explosive takedowns of rooms full of bad guys he can make Jack Bauer look like a blabbermouth wimp.

Reese's partner in crime-stopping, Michael Emerson as the mousy genius Finch, is equally reserved and mysterious, but just as determined to see justice done by targeting potential victims and/or perps, staying a step ahead of the perplexed authorities. There's an urgency to their rogue actions, and that's especially true with this week's episode, made available for preview, in which they come to the aid of a tough judge (David Costabile, most recently the ill-fated chemist Gale on Breaking Bad) who's being squeezed by villains (including Fringe Observer Michael Cerveris) who've kidnapped his son.

When Reese steps in, the judge alternately sputters, "Who are you? What are you? Where are you getting your information?" (The last question involves "the Machine," which no one really understands, so best not to go there.) Reese follows his leads with Terminator-like bluntness, not exactly taking no prisoners — because a few end up trussed in a car trunk — but never flinching from hand-to-hand combat or a gun battle. It's all a bit over the top, but much twistier and less conventional than the standard whodunit. It's worth checking out as it settles in on one of the week's busiest nights.

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