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.
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.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.