With season two coming to a close, CBS’s hit drama Person of Interest is not pulling any punches: Root’s reappearance coupled with a virus that could permanently cripple the machine, continuing troubles with HR and the new threat of organization known as Decima, there is a lot at stake in the final episode.
The other day we landed an exclusive interview with executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman. They talked about the machine’s role in season two, their plans for season three and beyond, as well as a little about the season two glitches and what fan favorite characters might be returning next season. The second season finale of Person of Interest airs tonight. Hit the jump for the interview.
JONATHAN NOLAN: Great, we’re doing great.
Season two is clearly about the machine and its history, and the virus that breaks it down towards the end. When did you guys first decide that this would be the arc for season two, or did you have something else planned?
NOLAN: Yeah, this has always been the plan. We wanted it from the beginning, season to season, to evolve that relationship between human characters and the non-human characters on the show, to continue to ask the question: what is artificial intelligence and when it turns up, how’s it going to interact with us? What does that relationship look like? We’re rolling the ball along in that regard in a big way with the last two episodes.
Yeah, I watched “Zero Day.” It was intense.
GREG PLAGEMAN: Thank you!
PLAGEMAN: I think there’s always been something of a personality in there. That’s a question of whether or not Finch has ever given it more than 24 hours to develop.
So in my research I’ve noticed that people have actually taken the time to translate the code for the glitches that have flashed during the episodes, and it’s actually yielded some really interesting results, my favorite being the Voynich Manuscript in “Relevance.” Is there significance to the glitch translations, and were you actually hoping that someone would take the initiative in translating them?
NOLAN: Yeah, we love to play games here at Person of Interest.
PLAGEMAN: We have a pack of coders, shackled [laughs] . . . to their computers, coming up with this stuff.
Is there any significance to the specific translations?
PLAGEMAN: Absolutely, I think, you know, we’re talking theme and subtext, but also a little bit of text if you’re paying close attention.
With the ever-growing popularity of the show, it’s safe to assume that you’re going to be around for a little while. How much of the show have you plotted out? Do you have the season arcs for three and four already planned out?
PLAGEMAN: Oh yeah.
NOLAN: We’re gonna play a little bit of a game here. Greg and I felt like we had responsibility when we wrapped up the pilot, to have a roadmap for where the show went. When we pitched the pilot, we knew what we wanted the last episode to be, the last image, I think we even know what the last song is.
PLAGEMAN: It’s true.
NOLAN: How many years we take to get there, that’s up to the audience.
So, with every show that gets another season, you might get a new set or a new character, the network adding a little more money to the budget: do you have any idea of what you might be adding for season three?
NOLAN: Well it’s really that, sadly it isn’t about the season. [chuckles] It isn’t the way it used to be. You know, we certainly have a great budget on the show, but the expansions to world of the show really arise because, and this is kind of the idea of the premise of the show, where is each week you’re kind of meeting . . . It’s random access. Each week the machine is spitting out a number for a new person or a new world within New York that you get to know. And the idea from the beginning was that some of the characters would stick around and become part of the lives of the show, and the world of the show itself will continue to grow. So whether it’s a Paige Turco’s character, Ken Leung’s character, we always build that universe out. And then you have these characters who come along and who bring a whole new dimension to the show and we use them as a sort of lens into the other’s universes of the show, so that’s the case here with Sarah Shahi’s character Shaw and her entry into the world of our show. So we’re very much hoping to see more of her next season.
NOLAN: Ooo! Yeah, we love Logan.
PLAGEMAN: I think that’s the fun of this show, is that we sort of always reserve the right to have the flexibility to bring back people that really pop, actors are fun to work with, but also open up another avenue on our show to explore, that feels relevant to the themes and roles that we like to explore.
At the CBS Upfronts, they mentioned that there might be animated webisodes, can you tell us anything about that?
NOLAN: We’re not talking about that project yet.
The Person of Interest season finale airs tonight on CBS.