Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I’m having a lot of feelings about “The Crossing,” and I’d bet that you are too. Let’s hash this out together and see where it goes.
Carter means a lot to me, always has. I’ve admired Taraji P. Henson for quite some time and I was so excited when I heard she’d been cast on a new show called Person of Interest. I knew I’d be watching it because J.J. Abrams was involved. Those two things were really all it took to get me interested in the show before it premiered. I’ve also been a Jim Caviezel fan for a while and if you’ve ever seen even one episode of Lost with Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, you know that man can deliver. Kevin Chapman’s Fusco grew on me and I was pretty into Amy Acker’s Root and Sarah Shahi’s Shaw almost from the beginning.
One thing that is very important to me about this show is that the team isn’t always safe. Their job is to prevent the death of an innocent person (usually) and they never know if the number they receive is the perpetrator or the victim. And I love that twist. It definitely makes for a more interesting show. So when Reese’s number comes up this week, we knew going in that his life was in danger. Strangely, I wasn’t that worried about him, but maybe it was because of all the promos I’d seen going into this episode. It looked like it would actually be Fusco’s number that was up, not Reese’s. I have to say, that was a pretty good fake out. But let’s talk about Fusco for a minute. I was genuinely upset at the thought that this was the end of the line for him. I think “The Crossing” is only the second time we’ve seen Lionel’s son and that just screamed “doom” to me. It seemed like he was going to die a sort of heroes death. His death was going to matter. He was taking one for the team. He was redeemed in his own eyes and in ours. But Lionel saved himself in the end because Shaw couldn’t. And I like that. I love that, actually. Fusco saved himself. It’s a big deal. But that wasn’t the end of the episode, so I knew something else was coming.
When Carter got Quinn to the FBI and the members of HR started going down, I got nervous again. When Carter was reinstated to detective I started really feeling the dread. And all that Reese and Carter stuff? So, so good. Carter’s journey has been so interesting this season. We met her ex and saw that her son has a relationship with him now. Her relationship with Beecher set her on this journey, but she allowed herself to feel something for Warren Kole‘s Ian Murphy while she was working that job. She got shot at when Laskey was killed, so we’ve seen her in the line of fire recently. And we knew HR was a huge threat to her life and to the life of her son. But it was important for her to take HR down so I was right there with her. I wanted – and needed – to see her take Quinn in. I needed to see the good guys win. So when Simmons turns up like the bad penny his is, it’s a surprise. He’s gunning for Reese and because Carter had just gotten him out of police custody, he’s unarmed. So he goes down and so does Carter. I can’t say it was really a surprise when she died, but it was a shock. And it was upsetting. Not only for me, but clearly for Reese and Finch.
I’ve always loved the chemistry between Carter and Reese so I was actually pretty excited about the kiss and everything that led up to it. And when things got truly dire and it looked like Reese was about to be discovered, he drew the bad cops away from Carter and Quinn. Nothing was going to prevent him from getting Carter in the clear. Nothing was going to prevent him from making sure Carter turned Quinn over to the Feds.
I mean, I guess there were signs that I just refused to see. As I mentioned Carter’s story has been so good all season. Her life has been in danger more than usual because of her plight to take HR down. She turned to John and to Harold when she really needed helped. She realized she wouldn’t be able to do this on her own and she trusted them to have her back. And they did. Right until the end.
This show isn’t really about happy endings, is it? Not for the Team. They’re all damaged, but trying to help others. They’ve all got demons and this job isn’t safe by any means. And we got two new series regulars this season. That’s a big cast for a show like this. So, maybe I should’ve seen this coming and I’m sure some people did.
So what does this mean for the Team and for Reese? Just from the end of the episode and from the previews for next week, we can tell he doesn’t take it well. Even though Carter tried to ask him/tell him not to let her death affect him like that. Reese doesn’t listen so well, especially when someone he cares about is involved. And you’ve got to admit, this is such a good twist in this story. Reese is usually the stoic man in the suit. Now he’s angry and he’s sad. He looks like he’s going off the rails. And that’s interesting. That’s something we haven’t really seen so far. So while I’m really and truly devastated about Carter’s death, we’ll feel the ripple effects of this for a long time coming.
Why is Carter’s death important to me (and hopefully to you)? Because she meant something to us and to the team. She was a character who brought something different to this group of people doing this important job. More than anyone, she knew the difference between right and wrong and knew when she was making the wrong choice, even if it was for a good reason. She was probably the person we sympathized with the most because she was the most normal (or as normal as you can be in the company of these people). She was a good cop and a good woman who may have been a bit corrupted or compromised by the POI team, but in the best possible way. Did she make bad choices? Sure, but we understood them. Would she still be alive if she’d never gotten mixed up with Reese and Finch? Probably and that’s very interesting.
How will the rest of the team take Carter’s death? How will this change their dynamic? How are they going to keep doing this without Carter? I can’t wait to find out.
Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.
There’s no way we could just write one article on such a major POI event. Tina Charles talks about her Carter/Reese Rewind and Repeat Moment here.