Person of Interest Review: Against HR

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Person of Interest has always found a way to be intricate without being too complex, slowly building upon its main characters, introducing a variety of villains, expanding the mythos and providing a show that can ultimately just be an entertaining hour of action, humor and drama.

And, sure, you could tune in every now and again to watch the standard case of the week, but the series is clearly ambitious in its endeavors to go beyond that. It wants there to be payoff, to be surprises and to create a world that’s not always so single-episode minded.

So if the ending to Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 9 truly sticks, it will be one of the series’ boldest and most dramatic turns yet.

Reese's Number

For three seasons, HR has remained a pesky thorn in the side of Reese, Finch and company. Even when they’ve seemed down, they managed to rise back from the ashes and continue the dirty cop antics.

And in a lot of ways, I’ve enjoyed how the series doesn’t just kill off its villains. It’s nice to know that they can return at anytime.

But this episode was the finite conclusion - well at least 98 percent - of one of the first antagonistic organizations the series introduced.

In fact, there was a lot of callback to Person of Interest Season 1 Episode 1, providing of some full circle closure in a course of events that sparked from Reese fighting on a subway, Carter pursuing him and eventually joining him and even Fusco flipping from reluctant HR member.

It was great to see just how far the drama and the characters have come, while giving an intense way to shift things a new direction - and also closing another chapter.

Honestly, I was worried that Fusco’s deep ties to HR would end up getting him killed. Watching his torture scenes were nerve wracking, but I was glad he was able to stand up even in the most dire of situations.

And I was prepared for him to be murdered after Shaw saved his son and apologized for not being able to save Fusco. But when it came time for Fusco to meet his end, the bad guy talking to much made me think he wasn’t going to get it. Thankfully, he lived and managed to take out a dirty cop in the progress.

Really, it was great to see Fusco involved in more than one scene; he was integral to the plot. I’ve missed the guy and was worried it was his time to go.

On the other hand, Reese and Carter having their “final moment” before facing off against HR made me think perhaps she might be killed instead. Although, I’m still a bit surprised the show decided to have the two kiss, I understand where each was coming from in their sentiment.

There was some great bonding between the two characters that started out against each other but wound up saving the day together.

And that was the beauty of the episode: it kept me guessing, it kept me intrigued, and, while some things seemed obvious, it never bored me or had me rolling my eyes.

Would Finch give in and use Root to his advantage? Would HR win? Would there be collateral damage?

So, while I was pleased that HR was finally defeated, and solidly so, especially after the long fight against them, I was a bit disappointed in how it all seemed to wrap up so nicely like so many of these shows do. Happy ending with a bow.

But even now, I’m stunned by how the episode really ended: That haunting phone ring that played over Simmons’ return (don’t the bad guys love to do that?), the shooting of Reese and the killing of Carter. I mean, wow, killing a major character.

Like I said about Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 8, the show has done a fantastic job of turning her into a character, giving her motivations and goals, including her determinedly successful task of taking down HR. She became a character to care about and not someone who when faced with a similar situation I might have shrugged my shoulders in indifference.

Carter proved herself a true hero to the cause and a character that will be definitely and noticeably missed. It makes me really wonder the direction the show will take after such a jaw-dropping turn of events.

“The Crossing” was definitely one of the most shocking episodes, but also full of major payoffs, action, humor, character, story, and Person of Interest goodness. This will be an hour to remember. What a show.


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (293 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


way to go another character killed off a show. should have been root she's useless!!!!! fusco did great acting job so did shaw she showed feelings whrn she told fusco she had to choose brtween him or his son she's growing on me. in the takedown of bad guys i hope elias is involved he did like carter can't wait for next episode

Douglas ritter

I thought it was a shame that Carter was killed, yet I figured it out last week. The promos showed Fusco being tortured and that Sorry for your loss line by Root that was misleading with the AVO saying a hero will be lost. SO Fusco dying was too obvious, so it had to be Carter. Shame as I really liked her. Even though her character was just like the Black woman on Without a Trace. But yes, get rid of HR. I liked when they did a person a week. Root has just about outlived her usefulness. Shaw is great. And I liked Leon as well (The Asian man they have used a few times.)


The next episode promo's Simmons seems to beating Fusco badly. Is Fusco still at risk of dying? New surprise? Have we seen Fusco ever a fist fight? It's not a revenge if Fusco lost and someone else to save him?


I have enjoyed this show a lot but I have been getting bored and tired of both the Root and the HR storyline. I liked it a lot better when they followed a different story each week based on the number that came up. Sorry to see Carter go but hopefully now they will develop the dark haired cold gals character, catch the last HR guy, get rid of Root and move on to something new.


So Reese is going to go ballistic nest week and kill everybody with a pulse. Too bad. Nothing will ever bring Carter back. I think she added a very special dimension to the show and without her, things will just not be as cohesive or special. Her loss was a game ender for this former fan. No one else matters enough for me to remain invested. I despise the brash insensitivity of Nolan and Plageman. It is their show and they control it, but they can never control how people think and feel. The two seasons and a half I watched were very enjoyable and deeply satisfying, but the loss of a favorite character, with whom I identified greatly, is something which cannot be overcome by Mam's, Roots and Shaws and Zoes. Thanks for the memories. I am brokenhearted, but accepting. Life goes on in Sleep Hollow.......


I hated that they did that. I doubt I'll keep watching. I'm that upset and mad about it . I have never written a review on anything until now. I think it was stupid and I hope they realize what a mistake it was! She was great on the show!

@ Iris

It was lame... they don't care! no one is happy as long as I know!


Great episode. The highlight was Fusco . Great scene were he broke free and survived his execution. Fantastic. Great. I love it how he lied about the location of the bank. Always wanted someone to do that! Great acting. The bonding scene between Shaw and Fusco was interesting. Shaw starting to thaw? Carters demise felt logical, after the surprise had worn off. Rather her than Fusco! That last wet, dark film noir scene, with the phone ringing in the background, had me thinking of Hitchcock.


Wow, I did not see that coming! I had to do a Google search to see why they killed off Carter -it seems Taraji wants to focus more on movies. Great episode & I can't wait for next week. It'll be interesting to see what happens now that the most honest character on the show is dead.


I loved this show until last night. Why kill off a major player in the show? Why didn't the machine come up with Carter number before she was shot? The phone was ringing at the time she got shot along with John. Wow, these writers must be smoking crack while they are working.

@ former show lover

Because Simmons did everything by himself, if he didn't talked to anyone, wasn't seen on any camera, there is no way Machine could predict the crime, its a machine which is based on calculation and not some fantasy premonition.


like another poster said- you the writers, you hate the writers! This episode, like those before, have had great writing and plot. Just when you get Carter fully developed as a character, one I might add was a woman and a minority, she gets killed off. The show has really showcased strong females this season, and while the drama has been compelling, it is very sad to see her go...

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