Warning: This post contains mild spoilers about the Person of Interest series finale.
Person of Interest fans might want to grab a box of tissues. After giving a sneak peek of next Tuesday’s penultimate episode during the ATX TV festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, creator Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman teased the CBS series’ dramatic finale airing June 21.
Making the news easier to digest, the guys shared a comedic twist: “The whole thing turns on a Fitbit,” said Plageman. The audience erupted in laughter, but he wasn’t joking. “There is a Fitbit,” Nolan confirmed.
After a brief pause, Nolan got serious. “But yeah, [the finale] was a chance for us to revisit some of those relationships that we haven’t gotten a chance to get to before,” he said. “And there’s an awful lot compressed into it, but I think it’s a more emotional finale than I anticipated we would have in some ways.”
When moderator Eric Goldman of IGN asked about the show’s would-be future if season 5 weren’t its last, Plageman, who directed the penultimate episode, revealed more loss might be around the corner following Samantha “Root” Groves’ (Amy Acker) death.
“I think the premise of this show — the idea that there’s an artificial super intelligence that can do these things — is still one that’s relevant,” said Plageman. “Regardless of the characters, it’s something I can see another incarnation of someday. But I think by the time the bloodbath of the finale’s over, you might have had different thoughts.”
As Nolan explained, they designed the finale and 13-episode season to tie up loose ends once they had a “good idea” that a sixth season wasn’t in the cards.
“But we also didn’t want to give up on the essential franchise of the show, which is kind of the random access aspect of it, the number of the week,” he said. “So it’s balancing those things. But I think we set off the intention of Root’s transformation into the Machine from the beginning of this. This was the season which we had to get it that.”
Even though Nolan “would have loved to have kept going,” he’s happy with the outcome.
“It’s a great position to be in,” he said. “You’ve got 13 [episodes]. You know you’re probably not getting any more after that. If they had given us [more], we might have tried to tap dance for another season after that and gotten called out. But this is kind of perfect.”
The remaining episodes of Person of Interest air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.
Entertainment Weekly is on the scene at ATX in Austin, Texas. Go inside the TV festival with all our coverage, available here.