"Person of Interest" will hold your interest

"Pilot" -- When the social security number of a young prosecutor comes up, Reese (Jim Caviezel, right) and Finch (Michael Emerson, left) work together to figure out if their person of interest is the victim or perpetrator, on the series premiere of PERSON OF INTEREST, Thursday, Sept. 22 (9:00 - 10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS ©2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson in "Person of Interest."

(CBS) "Person of Interest" debuted on Thursday night with an action-packed pilot that will certainly hold your interest.

The new CBS series, created by Jonathan Nolan, who wrote "The Dark Knight," and co-produced by J.J. Abrams, brings Jim Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ") and Emmy-winner Michael Emerson ("Lost") together to solve crimes before they occur.

Pictures: New fall TV on CBS
Pictures: Michael Emerson

Caviezel plays John Reese, a former CIA agent who's off the grid after losing the woman he loves. He's disheveled, depressed and sleeping on the subway when he's discovered by the mysterious Mr. Finch (Emerson), who gives him a new purpose in life.

In post-Sept. 11 New York, Finch has developed a Big Brother-like system of security cameras and other technology that monitors everything and everyone. He can detect crimes that are going to happen but the computer only provides a "person of interest" and doesn't specify whether that person is the crime's victim or perpetrator. That's why he needs Reese and his CIA skills.

The episode moves along with a brisk pace and there's some wit amid the stealth and standoffs. Emerson proves once again that he's great at playing cryptic characters (remember, this is the man who played Benjamin Linus on "Lost"), and Caviezel plays Reese as a man with nothing to lose. Taraji P. Henson is seen briefly in the pilot as an NYPD detective who is skeptical of Reese and will hopefully get more screen time as the show continues.

It will be interesting to see where "Person of Interest" goes from here. Predicting and preventing crimes will (and should) continue to be a big part of the show's fabric but there also needs to be a broader, overarching storyline that can further character development and propel the series forward. Perhaps that will come from delving into Reese's love interest and how she died, Finch's ambiguous background or the story behind the technology that now fuels the duo's moral vigilantism.

But whatever it is, the show's mix of action and mystery will likely keep viewers - well - interested.

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