This week's Person of Interest broke our brains, our hearts, and various other items we smashed when we got to the end of the episode. Yes, it was amazing. But why does someone always have to die? Why? Spoilers ahead!
So last week, Carter sprung the trap on HR. She'd figured out that Quinn was the bad guy running pretty much every corrupt group and criminal ring in the city – and she had the Intel to take him down. And this week, she and the Machine Gang closed in, nabbing Quinn so that they could bring him to the feds (who aren't trapped in Quinn's web of municipal evil). The problem is that Simmons has the Warriors and pretty much other random gang in the city on their tail.
There's a tense but kind of hilarious moment when Reese and Carter are trying to sneak Quinn to the feds via subway. Finch calls Reese, informing him that he is the number of the week – just as the Warriors step into the subway car. There's a great showdown, with lots of sneering and punching. Later, Reese is tailed by other random street gangs too – all of them with the same "thug lite" look.
Unfortunately, the bad guys have finally figured out that the Machine Gang is communicating with smart phones and not brain implants as I had always thought. So there is a lot of grabbing phones and smashing them, leaving Reese without Finch in his ear – and later, leaving Fusco stranded too. But we'll talk about Fusco in a minute. First, let's talk about what happens when the network connection between Finch and Reese is severed by Quinn's foot smashing his phone.
The obvious thing for Finch to do in this situation is turned to the Machine, who can track Reese wherever he goes. But unfortunately, the Machine doesn't just talk to Finch. He's reminded of this by a half-sneering, half-contrite Root, who is still locked up in the library. She points out to Finch that this is the relationship he wanted with the Machine – distant, and all business. "My relationship with her is more intimate," she says. She offers to talk to the Machine, who can easily help her rescue Reese and Carter. But Finch refuses.
This is when Root drops her bombshell – she knows that Finch has had other assistants before, and they've all died. Once again, she offers her help. Doesn't Finch want to prevent Reese's death, after so many of his predecessors left him? Finch says nothing, neither confirming nor denying her accusation about Reese's predecessors. I can't wait to see those flashbacks, if they ever happen.
After what can only be described as a madcap chase, Reese, Carter and Quinn are holed up in a morgue. And Fusco, who has been defending them from the sidelines, is captured by Simmons and his HR psychopath buddies. Segue into one of the best Fusco scenes ever, as he shows us how tough and loyal he is. The bad guys punch him, break his fingers, and finally threaten his son's life – all trying to find out where Carter has hidden the evidence she has against HR.
When all hope is gone, and Fusco is on the phone with his soon-to-be-executed son, Shaw saves the day. Well, she saves his son's day, arriving just in time to murder the guy who was going to murder the kid.
Which leaves Fusco to fend for himself. When the HR torturer holds up his gun, laughing at the fact that he's already broken Fusco's fingers, we get a great comeback line. "That made it easy for me to break my thumb," Fusco growls. And then he busts out of his handcuffs, using them to strangle the shit out of the HR guy.
OK that is some serious samurai mask face right there. Fusco gets it done!
That leaves Reese and Carter facing a ton of HR guys who are about to swarm the morgue. They have just a few minutes left to figure out a plan, and they use that time to talk about Deep Personal Shit. And by that I mean, Reese finally tells Carter how much she means to him – and they kiss. No! Nobody wanted that. This is the worst idea ever. Especially because sudden, trumped up romance between two characters always means death.
So we survived the icky kiss, Finch saved Reese by getting him arrested and put in jail outside the reach of the Warriors, and Carter got her man. I love the expression on her face when she marches Quinn into the FBI headquarters. He is going down! Plus, now Carter gets to be a detective again.
For about two minutes, before she shot by Simmons, who has been lurking in the proverbial shadows. She gets a couple shots off too, wounding him, but not killing him. So then we have to watch as Carter dies in Reese's arms, begging him to take care of her son, while he kisses her head.
Worst. Decision. Ever. Carter is one of the main reasons why we watch the show. She's one of the few uncorrupted characters, positioned as a detective with the NYPD because she's actually a good guy – untouched by HR, unburned by the CIA, and coping the pretty damn well with being a single mom who is also a badass.
I can't say how disappointed I am that Carter's character is the one to go. I get that lots of new characters have been added, but none of them can occupy that position of moral certainty that Carter always did. Shaw is too much like Reese, and Root is an absolute wildcard. This show needs the balance that Carter provided.
Yes, it was great drama. But Carter's death was badly written, and badly conceived. Giving her a stupid little mini romance with Reese before she goes? Really? Didn't this complex, independent character deserve better than that?