Person of Interest Review: Carter in Control

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Is the end of HR on the horizon?

Carter, despite her transition back to police officer, put her detective and investigative skills into high gear to try this week to try and bring down the corrupt New York cops and the Head of HR, Alonzo Quinn. And if the Russians were defeated as well, two birds with one stone isn’t half bad.

Ever since the start of Person of Interest Season 3, Carter drifted back from helping Reese and Finch with the Machine’s numbers and took her time getting the evidence and proof she needed against HR.

38 Numbers

It was a smart move for the series, one that continues to grow and evolve like the Machine itself. It illustrated not only the importance of her character, but her ability and skills to work without Reese and Finch. She can be just as determined, smart and calculating as the two leads, rather than just a shadow that follows their orders or shows up when they need it.

Plus, it’s remarkable to see how far Carter has come since Person of Interest Season 1. She was one of the weaker aspects back then, but the series has given time to create some personality and definitely a character that’s more than just one dimensional.

And while she’s never been my favorite character, Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 8 proved not only that her taking the core focus of an episode worked (and I wasn’t bored), that she has a badass side and a loving side, but can definitely play in the big leagues and know when it's necessary to call in for some kneecapping backup.

At the same time, incorporating relevant backstory that explored her past relationship with her child’s father was equally effective. Clearly, it was a tumultuous one, but her care and concern for both him and her son proved to have a positive effect in the long run.

It is funny on shows like this how those minor characters can suddenly disappear forever only to pop up when you forgot they even existed, but it was good to see her son was safe. I do wonder how much we will see of the father now, though.

Carter definitely deserved major credit for pulling the strings throughout the hour, and it was kind of crazy that her actions caused all those numbers to appear and give Reese and Finch a headache. Not to mention them trying to track her down.

Sure, she had a little help from her “friend” Elias (who I keep waiting for him to rise back up) in starting a war between the former partners the Russians and HR. It was a brilliant move that could have landed her in hot water or worse… dead.

But even in the span of the hour, Carter was able to grow beyond her necessity to carry out her task of avenging Cal Beecher and destroying HR all on her own. She was able to smartly recognize the power in numbers, friends and a man in a suit who knows how to expertly fire his weapon.

Although, her “adopting” Reese’s style of robbing the Russians with his grenade launcher and gas mask by herself was pretty cool. It was even funny when Finch immediately suspected Shaw.

I’ve been missing Fusco and hope maybe he can get an episode soon that focuses more on him, but I was pleased in seeing him bond with Carter and further establish their connection as partners. She gave him the key to all the evidence, not Reese or Finch.

He was even willing to drop everything and help her out, even if she ended up ditching him.

“Engame” was a very good Carter-centered episode and really allowed Taraji P. Henson to shine without providing anything melodramatic or overly unbelievable for her character. It was a good payoff for what Person of Interest Season 3 has been building for her.

I just hope that Simmons and his call to everyone to take down the “Man in the Suit” at the end doesn’t lead to unfortunate consequences after all her hard work. It’s obvious that HR isn’t going down with at least one more fight.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (138 Votes)

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


really good episode. Carter was amazing and I'm glad we found out more about her past. The preview shows that in the next episode Reese's number comes up and in the other preview you see Fusco getting beaten so it makes you think one of those 2 will be the one to die. I don't think they'll kill off Reese or Finch because they're way to important to the show. I read that who ever dies their death will affect the team and I don't think Shaw will die because of that because if she dies I don't think it will have a huge impact on everyone because she's new so I think it will be Fusco because his death will affect everyone and I don't think it will be Carter because she's been so important this season.


If the writers kill off Fusco, I'm gone. I'll watch Dancing with the Former Stars, or the show about catching big river fish or crabs or even Andrew Zimern eating worms or blood clots. Do not kill off Fusco!!! Ya hear me?


If the writers kill off Fusco, I'm gone. I'll watch Dancing with the Former Stars, or the show about catching big river fish or crabs or even Andrew Zimern eating worms or blood clots. Do not kill off Fusco!!! Ya hear me?


I was definitely on the edge of my seat last night as Carter continually refused help from Reese. She even dumped Fusco. When she was standing in the living room w/Quinn & co., I thought to myself - she's a goner. And, then yeaaaaaa, Reese showed to save the day in his usual badazz form - go Reese!
I can't imagine how Reese is going to get out of Simmons posting his picture. Don't know why they didn't arrest him with Quinn??!!
I have a nice memory of Quinn running for cover when Carter sent those bullets in his office. There is going to be a definite need for Teamwork in the upcoming eps.


still cannot remember a PoI episode that was not great … :D … given that carter had everything covered with the FBI, why did the machine give us all the numbers (HR then the russians) ? "she" could not anticipate the call to the fed ? or "expected" the cliffhanger ? … for once i was missing root … she turns mayhem into fun … ;D … maybe next week … and it was good to know the safe place for taylor … : D

Sarah silva

This episode was great! It had the perfect amount of Shaw.
I really like Carter and I enjoyed seeing her past and her in the present.
I did not see the preview last week for the 3 week Person of Interest events so I was left holding my breath the whole time waiting for Fusco to get shot as I have heard someone will die and I am sure it is going to be Fusco.
However it looks like he will die next week. I really do not want him to die.
We all know that Reese will not die even though Simmons said the Man in the Suit dies tonight. I just hope that his photo does not get out there and there will be all the legit police officers looking for him. That will put a crimp into things once the HR storyline is done.
I am looking forward to next week but sad that one of the good guys will die.


I have always liked Carter. Kerry Washington is the "it" girl with scandal but I have always said Taraji P. Henson as Carter doesn't get the credit she deserves. Carter is great female character on a show full of great female characters. I loved the back story with her husband and I have been wondering about him. I wish they would show more of Fusco and it was nice of Carter to give him credit by giving him the key and telling him he is/was the best partner she ever had. I am still hoping they are not killing Fusco off. I like him and they should give him more to do. We need to see more of a back story on Fusco, Zoey and the guy with the scare who is Elias second in command. It was nice to have a little Shaw and no Root this week. Great job writers!


What does it take to get 5 stars? This episode was "off the hook good".


I love this show, and this episode had me on the edge of my seat. I know that someone is supposed to die, but I truly hope that it isn't John, Finch, Carter, or Fusco. Even though I like Shaw, I think that if someone really has to die than it should be her. I cannot wait for next week's episode!

@ Amy

As to who will be the "Hero" who will die, I am making a wild guess that the Fusco clips in the trailers are a red herring and that it will turn out to be Carter's ex (ie: Her son's father). I am getting vibes from the way they played his backstory that they are setting him up as the one who is being referred to in the promos.

Ronald simkins

Excellent episode. I like how the show isn't just about one or two people.

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Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 8 Quotes

It's a brave new world boys. Don't you read the papers? Anyone can listen in to your phone, even when it's turned off.


Wait, that's my grenade launcher.