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.


I am just so shocked and in mourning... Carter was an amazing character that from the start was part of the reason I watched the show. I'm waiting for the interviews and reasons behind this because I can't fathom why it was done. I mean I know motivation to continue the fight is the main reason, but seriously couldn't the bad guys just loose and leave it at that. It was be far the best episode of the season. A small naive part of me wishes that it was part of the plan and she is alive. She needs to be witness for the indictments so here's hoping.
Also what got me is that the machine was late in giving him the number. Surely it should have notified Finch earlier? Something tells me the machine did that on purpose. Maybe Root got to it...

Sarah silva
@ Sa'ad702

I could care less about Carter's gender or race. What bothers me is that Joss was (as one other person here posted), the heart of the show. She was the ONLY character with warmth, a heart, and their head on straight. Everyone else, to one extent or another, in one way or another, is screwed up or just plain unsympathetic. EVERYONE. I suppose I'll watch the 3rd of this trio of episodes, for closure if nothing else, but at this moment I can't see much reason to watch beyond that. (And that, despite me being a fan of intelligent SF.) Certainly the regular appearances of two other female characters (each a borderline, if not full blown, psychopath) is not an enticement. Shaw? Are you kidding me? Root? Somewhat entertaining, but crazier than a (well, you get the idea). But no warmth, no heart. I don't know who I'm angrier at - the writers and producers (assuming this is their fault, and not the actress wanting to quit), or my husband (who just LOVES it when characters get killed off). ARRRRRGH.

@ unhappy

I agree with you 100% I "may" watch next week because it is part of a three part epi but after that I will never watch this show again. Root and Shaw really writers!!!!!!!!!!


I can't wait from week to week to see the show! But now what? I can't believe they killed Carter! Love Shaw. but my heart is broken loosing Carter. Fabulous program! Keep it going-PLEASE! Thanku

@ M.Maeurer

Fusco? Fusco.


Nice triple fake-out. Smart Elias. RIP Carter.


I saw the pilot after I watched tonight's episode and got goosebumps.


Bummer how the program ended. But, we will see Carter in flashbacks. The show will need do something with Root can only suspend their imagination so far for how she exists day to day. One would think she does need to bathe and wear clean clothing.


After watching ep8, I had a felling they were writing a closure for Carter, so was not shocked about her death in this one.


Come on people - the writers of shows like "Person of Interest" always trick the audience. The previews made us feel sure that Fusco would die, yet Fusco lived. Now they are tricking us about the death of Carter. I don't think it's fair to the audience, but there's no way the writers are going to kill off the character who represents the heart of "Person of Interest." It's a con job. I bet anything she was wearing a vest.

@ FilmAlicia

If she was wearing a vest, there wouldn't have been all the blood. I think she's gone.


5 star TV. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 😭 Carter 😭


I think it took a lot of guts for them to do this. As much as I like Carter, I knew that at least one of them had to be killed off eventually. I'm just glad they gave her a great sendoff.

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