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.


It was shocking to see carter die and don't know if I will watch anymore!


The writers killed Carter - I want to hate them and love them at the same time. The unexpected is part of the reason I watch Person of Interest. On the other hand, I loved how the team had bonded. This season has really showcased Henson's acting skills. Her character will be truly missed.
I am happy that Fusco didn't get killed and I wanted the same for the rest of the cast. But again, POI has always changed their game plan and I hope it continues to work as well as it has in the past.
p.s. The Carter & Reese kiss - left me w/a big question mark in my mind.


hey. Can you refresh my memory?
I knew Carter and John sort of liked each other and cared for each other but why all the romance in one episode? Or did I miss anything before?
And killing her?! I don't see a reason for that! I think she wanted to leave the show and they just killed her on the set. I can't accept other reasons... and I didn't like Romeo and Juliet scene! not like "John" and so amateur!

@ rihanna

Jonathan Nolan said that he didn't view the kiss as necessarily being romantic.

@ Joe

Well, I think a non-Romantic kiss would me on chicks... The day after John told Carter he was happy when his number came up, he was with her... hard to believe it wasn't a romantic thing! anyways, I still think it wasn't necessary... but they are the writers... we watch what they create!

@ rihanna

I liked the episode, (except Carter died) however - the kiss blew me away also. I thought did I miss something. Their characters always came across as really, really good friends - nothing more.

@ Excited+Fan

imo, neither the kiss nor Carter's death seemed necessary!
as you said they were loyal noble friends, like Finch and John. Are we going to see them kiss and get Romantic, too?! ;)
that was exactly what I told myself; did I miss an episode or something?


This episode was really good. I thought Fusco was going to be the one to die but I wasn't shocked when Carter died because she was my next guess. It made since that Carter was the one to die because in the last episode it was like they were preparing us for it and in the other episodes it as building up to this. I can't till part 3 it looks really good and it's about them getting revenge which make it even better and any show I've seen when that happens it's always really good. It looks like in the next episode Root gets out of the cage and helps them which should make the episode even better.

@ marissa

The upcoming episode looks soooooo exciting - I can't wait!!


Damn. I hate that Carter's gone. She really grew on me. I'd like to think I saw it coming when the two kissed. It seemed too good to be true. Yet, like you said, Sean - the show keeps you guessing. It's an amazing, top notch series.


According to Taraji Henson on Twitter, she will be on Letterman tonight to explain all. You may want to watch before deciding never to watch again.


I loved Carter, and am sorry to see her go. But I think it was in keeping with this show that all along has said how high the stakes are. Early on in the series, I remember, Reese telling Finch (or maybe it was the other way around) that he'd be surprised if either of them lived through it. It's another reason to stay glued to the show, because you never know what can happen; we can't be complacent that the good guys will always win and be back again next week.


Person of Interest is one of my very favorite shows. However, I am extrememly disappointed that Taraje/Carter semmigly has been killed off. Wsn't prepared for that. With her passing, although I love John, I may not watch this show as much first hand. Rather I'll just record it and watch whenever. I always get leary when you start killing off major characters off of a successful show. So, no I'm not a happy camper here, not thatanyone cares. Why did she leave???????


So Shaw takes a pizza pocket out of a guy's hand and replaces it with a live grenade?! That may be the coolest thing Shaw has ever done. what a great image


I am officially done with the show how could they killed off Carter are they stupid she was the female lead of the show. I hate Root and I don't like Shaw I wasn't happy both became a regular of the show but I kept watching for the 4 main characters Reese, Finch, Fusco and of course Carter. We hardly saw Fusco this season and now they killed Carter. Bye!! Bye!! show time for me to look for something else on Tuesday 10pm.

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