rating: 3So here we are again, still being watched by the governments secret system that spies on you at every hour of every day. The machine is back and so is our favorite concerned third party. From the looks of things Mr. Reese and Mr. Finch have been busy in the off season doing what they do best, as well as dealing with new recruits. Unlike the bridge between season 1 and season 2, last seasons excellent game-changing finale didnt really leave a crisis to be resolved or a cliffhanger to be continued. Instead the show gave us a shake-up in its usual dynamic by putting the machine on the run and adding a few new facets on the number receiving side of things, namely by splitting the machine communication between three different parties. So the premiere episodes job was simple: to introduce us to the new dynamic in an entertaining and refreshing way, as we have come to expect as the norm of the show and to continue with the creative high the show left off with the conclusion of season 2. So did the season 3 premiere succeed with this? Well, kinda. From what I saw in the episode, it seems that the writers played it safe with introducing the new dynamic to the audience, which makes sense in hindsight. The show has moved to a new night and throwing potential new audience members right into the mix would immediately alienate them. Still, with season premieres come higher expectations, especially with Person of Interest. Looking at it from the outside, Liberty felt like an episode in the middle of the season. Not many plotlines were introduced or touched upon, and those that were mentioned were only touched upon briefly. At least we got to see Elias back in the outside world as well as the introduction of a potential new story arc with Elias being Carters secret keeping, as a result of Carter rescuing Elias at the end of last season. I wouldve preferred a bit more exposition in that plot line, as the last season ended with Carter and Elias sitting in a van in the middle of nowhere with no idea what to do, and season 3 picking up months later. Most likely this will be explored in later episodes of the season, since the machine does have that handy-dandy archive section that doubles as a flash-back factory. Its obvious that HR will continue to play a major role this season, with Carter seemingly out for blood against the head of HR after the death of Cal Beecher. Thats one arc to look out for. The episode did provide a very entertaining opener, as it quickly showed the status of all the main players in Finchs expanding network of mysterious saviors. We have all the hallmarks of what make Person of Interest such a great show. We have Reese casually texting next to a group of kidnappers hes infiltrated to save his new target, followed by a shootout and a spectacular crash, which is then punctuated with some witty banter between Reese and a patrolman uniform-wearing Carter. This show has got combining humor and action down to a science. Right after that scene, the show repeats the same pattern with a trigger-happy Shaw, Fusco disguised as an Amish coach driver, and of course Finch with Bear at his side. Similar scenes, but not quite the same and manage to be both entertaining. Speaking of Shaw, we have to take a few moments to talk about her integration into the show. Her introductory episode last season was definitely a highlight, and I rejoiced at the news earlier this year that Sarah Shahi has been promoted as a series regular for season 3. HOWEVER, her now constant appearance has been somewhat both a blessing and a curse. Though not an ensemble show by any means, season 3 already feels a bit cluttered with the addition of Shaw. Last season it worked fine, because we never knew when Shaw will appear and how long she will be around. This time though, it looks like she is now a full time partner in all the cases Reese and Finch will be handling. It feels like a bit of a disruption to the current dynamic weve grown to love. But hey, either well learn to love it or Jonathan Nolan will find more inventive ways to integrate Shaw into the team without it feeling a bit awkward. As for the case of the week, there really isnt much to say about it. Its standard POI fare, although a bit too standard for a season premiere if you ask me. It did deliver on the humor infused action and great one-liners from Reese. This weeks turned out to be a victim, just like it is 65% of the time, and at the end hes saved by our lovable crew of vigilantes. The back and forth chemistry between Reese and Shaw is great as always, whether they are shooting people or pulling bullets out of them, so theres a plus. Reese did connect with the Naval officer due to a similar background Reese had as a young man, giving way to some nice character moments for Reese near the end of the episode. That about covers it. But somehow I feel like Im forgetting something..oh wait, of course! Root! Shes still chillin in the looney bin, communicating with the Machine like its her one and only god. Of course to us she makes perfect sense, but to any regular Joe close by, youd think they havent given her enough meds. Her parts were there to mostly remind us of the current status of Root and potential set up for a bigger arc later this season (Roots gonna break out of that place right?). At the end of the day, Liberty was a standard POI episode that made for a somewhat disappointing premiere that nonetheless still proved this show is purely entertaining. There was a lot of set up and check-ins (wheres the government people controlling the Machine yo?) and huge arcs in the horizon for now, but one things for sure: its good to have Person of Interest back.