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Tuned In: Person of Interest uses Johnny Cash version of “Hurt” in “The Devil’s Share” 

The Devil's Share
Photo Credit: Giovanni Rufino/CBS

WARNING: Major spoilers for latest Person of Interest

Let me start off by saying we just witnessed another powerful episode of CBS’ Person of Interest. You take away a character like Carter and you’re left with a giant hole. You’re also left with the survivors who were touched by having someone like Carter in their lives. You see the devastation. You see what they’re willing to do to avenge her, to get justice for her. I, for one, was almost as affected by her death this week as I was when it all went down last week. Actually, for the last seven days, I’ve felt like I was in mourning. It’s crazy. I am usually able to shake things like this off quickly. Not this time.

After all was said and done, Reese extracted the information on Simmons’ location out of Quinn. And Harold was able to stop him from offing the HR boss. He convinced Reese that Carter would never have wanted him to kill Quinn in her name. He’s better than that. I will admit how much I loved seeing Reese so affected by her death. The two had a special connection.

Like Kara said in her recent blog, Carter’s death mattered. It mattered to Reese. It even mattered to Shaw. And wow, did Fusco get to play the hero and bring Simmons in. He didn’t succumb to his need for revenge. He didn’t have to. Carter inspired him to be a better man. And he wasn’t about to lose that part of himself.

I had a feeling Elias was going to be the one that offed Simmons in the end. And while he let his right hand guy do the actual deed, he watched. He’s a criminal. I don’t mind at all that he took Simmons out. I’m glad Reese and Fusco didn’t have to be the ones to do it. Elias and Carter built a bit of a connection as well. So the fact Simmons died on his orders, was completely and utterly satisfying to me. 

The last three November episodes turned out to be a magnificent arc. It remains to be seen what Carter’s death will mean in the long run, at least for me. This is a significant loss. I don’t really want a Person of Interest world without her but that’s what we’re going to get. I’m extremely sad right now. I hope the show continues to give me reasons to keep on watching.

But the purpose of this Tuned In column is to discuss the song utilized at the beginning of the episode: the Johnny Cash version of the Nine Inch Nails hit, “Hurt.” The country music legend covered the song in 2002 for his American IV: The Man Comes Around album. 

The song seemed an obvious choice to help depict the despair and grief that was present at Carter’s funeral (where we saw her ex and her son, Taylor). A little too obvious. And It all played out very much like a music video because along with the cemetery scenes, we also saw Simmons lay the groundwork for his getaway as well as bulldozers Shaw and Reese in their quests to find Simmons.

Having said that, the use of “Hurt” was still effective for me because the song — especially the Johnny Cash version of it — has the ability to trigger my tears instantly. The raw emotion the song conveys lent itself perfectly to the characters’ pain. So the second I heard the music, I was no match for it. The tears that started pouring last week, returned for another round.

It’s not my favorite POI music cue ever. That honor would go to the Dangermouse and Sparklehorse tune called “Revenge” used in the season one episode “Many Happy Returns.” But it did enable my sadness and heartbreak to immediately surface as soon as “The Devil’s Share” started. So in that way, it did its job. I love the song so much even though it’s one I can’t listen to a lot because of the emotion of it all.

From here on out, I hope the show doesn’t forget about Carter. She’s too important. I know Reese won’t forget her. He almost died trying to make it up to her for not being able to save her. And, hopefully, we’ll be able to see Carter again. At least in flashbacks. And since this is Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for this show and that we were able to have a strong, female presence like Taraji P. Henson’s Joss Carter for as long as we did.

Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

Related Story: From 2012, the reasons why we’re thankful for Person of Interest

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2 Comments

  1. CannonFodderG

    Good write up. And I have to absolutely second your choice on the perfect music selection for “Many Happy Returns”.

    1. Tina Charles

      Glad you agree. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

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