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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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
  • 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (287 Votes)

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

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Sarah-silva

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well tv did it again killed off a good character her and john had such good chemistry. i won't stop watching but not happy with the ending. it was obvious it would be her. i don't mind shaw but find root annoying and useless

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well tv did it again killed off a good character her and john had such good chemistry. i won't stop watching but not happy with the ending. it was obvious it would be her. i don't mind shaw but find root annoying and useless

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I really really liked Carter's arch and the fact that she is killed off is a bummer, but come on people, you guys are really done with the show because they killed her off? This is the best show on network tv and one of the best on tv in general. Last nights episode and the last 4 or 5 eps have been incredible, I don't have the same disdain for Shaw that most do and Root is crazy but I love her. In fact everyone on this show is awesome. It sucks that Carter is gone, but considering it was the close to her big arch, it made sense, and now the show can delve into the Vigilance and Decima story lines a little deeper. I am loving this season so far, I just am astounded by all the whining and bitching.

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@ derek

I agree. I'm surprised and disappointed over the negative and angry comments being made (that they killed her off due to race, etc). I thought it was a great development in a great show, and unfortunately it took the death of a major character (played by a great actress) to make the show great. It's too bad they can't celebrate the invaluable contribution she made to the show and look forward to what's coming.

Phxcowbot
@ derek

She said she was going to bring down HR, and she did.
Mission Accomplished.
Epic ending to an epic character
*Applause*

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DH and I were really disappointed in last night's show. It was great until they killed off Carter. At that point the show went from being ground breaking to formula. I thought they were smarter than to use that old school killing off of a character to pretend you're edgy. Where's the kind of twist they had with Root's escape from the psycho ward, where the machine stages a breakout and starts becoming a character in its own right??? The machine is smart enough to transport itself into hiding and run two teams independently of each other. Yet it doesn't move to protect its assets when its clear Finch can't, except to ring a couple of pay phones on the street? I kept expecting the machine to do something like send a computer call out to a locksmith to break out Root. Or after calculating the chances of Reese's survival to make some other move on its own as it did with Root. So Finch can see more and more that he may have created the machine, but its gone way beyond being an ordinary machine. And he's not in control any more. Instead we get a romantic kiss out of no where, which is formulaic writing to tip us off that one of them will die. And we move to kill off one of the female characters because there's a formulaic writing rules on TV for some reason that you can only have one or two female leads on an adventure show, not three. And all the leads have to be "tortured." The series became a cliche last night. What a bore.

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@ Jenna

I agree the kiss was out of no where. Reese and Carter do love each other but they are not in love. Now all of sudden he was going to kill himself until she came in and saved him! Really? What is the purpose of Zoey if he was in love with Carter? This show Pissed me off last night!

Sarah-silva

I have never seen this many comments on here!
I am very sad.
I do not know what I was more shocked about the Carter and Reese kiss or the fact that she was the one to die!
I knew that it would not be Reese or Finch and I had a feeling it would not be Fusco. I knew 100% it was not going to Shaw or Root and personally as good as they are I would have wanted it to be one of them over Carter.
I really want to know the reason for killing her off. I did not think of Carter and Reese as a romantic pairing but I liked it and then when Fusco did not die I feared it was going to be Carter. However part of me was hoping it would be no one and the creators were toying with us.

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I feel for Sarah and Amy. The people who are mad that Carter got killed off is going to take their backlash on Shaw and Root. It is very coincidental that they came around this season, pushing both of them and this "girl power" $HIT down our throats. Jonathan and Greg knew it all along. I personally can't stand Shaw and like Root but neither of them deserve what's about to happen when those two deserve all the credit. I will watch part three, but like everyone else I am indifferent on what to do next.

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@ lll

Those two meaning Jonathan and Greg.

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I got interested in the show because of Ms Henson and there is no reason for me to keep watching anymore, especially now that i know it was not her decision to leave. The cast was great but IMO the promo was highly deceptive and tptb manipulated the fans.

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I AM NEVER WATCHING THIS SHOW AGAIN! You replace a well rounded female character with pycho Root and Robot Shaw! Never again will I watch this show.

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Carter's death is just so unnecessary. It was done purely for the shock value. I find it so upsetting! Its a nasty nasty thing to do. They better fix this. Have her survive somehow!!!!! Come on! It was just so unnecessary!!!

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@ Suz

Because they happen to be white...there is also another white female who used to come frequently and she may become a regular. They are just whitewashing the show.

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@ Suz

CBS has done a lot of things latesly that makes one wonder whether they are interested in having minority shows or not. Either executive director for casts Peter Golden is a racist or he is reacting to the gagger (the term used by racist) white audience who dont like interracial romance or even minorities on American TV and have nostalgia for the past: 1. First came CSI. They killed off Warwick Brown the black character. Now not one minority in that show...not even a white Hispanic. 2. Now Golden and company plan to whitewash person of interest. Carter was really the only minority in the show except the head of HR who is gone for sure...perhaps shot dead by Mr. Reese. 3. NCIS...they got rid of Hispanic playing Jewish, Zeeva, and now are replacing her with a white blonde female. They already tried to have the black director killed...he is probably gone at the end of the season and the show will turn all white. 4. Who knows what will happen to NCIS Los Angeles. Is LL Cool J going to be around? What about the Kenzie character now that the Portuguese-American is beginning a romance with the blonde guy? Dont be surprised at changes there. 5. Hawaii Five 0...Grace Park has been missing for a while as she looks for her romantic interest who has been kidnapped. Are both of them going to get killed in the end and her character replaced with a white person? 6. Mentalist...they killed of the white love interest of Mr. Cho. 7. In Big Bang Theory they broke off the Raj-white girlfriend pairing because some in the audience could not stomach it..it is a comedy so Raj has not been killed off. Remember this: when there is inter-racial romance one of the characters involived will leaver or get killed off...that is what happened here in the Person of Interest..and it will keep happening in the future.

Sarah-silva
@ George

I do agree with some things BUT Grace Park was pregnant so it makes sense she has not been on, she will be back in Jan. I find it also interesting that you fail to mention that Danny is missing on H50 and has been on very little lately.
They do have Chi McBride on now who is black.
Also another thing to mention is that on Blue Bloods we have Bayez (Danny's partner) and she is not white.