It’s turning out to be the Season of Carter on Person of Interest. Thus far, we’ve seen a more take-charge, rule-bending Carter – and it’s been fun. Last night, Carter was in top form as she powered through with her crusade to bring down HR. I have long hated the HR storyline for its thinness and periodic reemergence. It’s been a pleasant turn of events to see the organization gain substantive form and become a target of Carter’s wrath. It looks like we may finally get a period at the end of this storyline in the coming weeks. At least, I hope we do.
Carter has displayed an independent streak since the beginning, and last night we saw that it’s her default survival mode. In flashbacks, we saw Carter interact with her ex-husband. She stood her ground against his abusiveness and held firm that her ex would not see their child until he received psychiatric treatment. Carter finally became a fully fleshed-out character. She is a single mom who has struggled to take care of her child and a former soldier who battled her own PTSD demons. She draws on her strength and stubbornness to orchestrate a careful take down of HR. She doesn’t need help from Team Machine or Fusco – so she thinks.
By pitting the Russian mafia against HR, Carter sets up a volatile situation that exposes HR’s involvement in the drug trade. Using her connections in the FBI, Carter ensures that the two groups do not shoot it out, but are instead incarcerated. After extracting a confession from the Russian mafia’s leader, who Carter arrests under false pretenses to keep him out of the mafia/HR fray, Carter sets her sights on Quinn. As she gets closer to her target, the people in her life become more concerned about her safety. Reese ignores her pleas to be left alone, and Shaw joins with him to track Carter down. This is ironic considering that Shaw put the guns in Carter’s hands.
Fusco is also worried about his partner. In a touching moment, Carter tells him that he has been her best partner. Fusco responds that there is no way he will let her go this alone. It’s a good moment for them because it shows that Fusco’s past deceit is water under the bridge. This is only fair considering that Carter has her own secret business – her rescue of and continued communications with Elias. Carter even brings in Elias as a tool in her plan. Carter and Elias are awfully chummy, and I’m wondering when the moment will be when they revert back to their roles of good guy and bad guy.
While we didn’t get a lot of Finch face time, we did have some good moments with Reese. It is an important development for Reese when he understands that Carter could take care of herself. It was also important when Carter lets down her guard and realizes that she does need some help and there are people she can rely on. When Carter is under the gun in front of Quinn at the end, it’s great to have Team Machine burst in and have her back.
If you haven’t seen the preview for sweeps week, I won’t spoil it here. But, there may be some big changes on the horizon for Team Machine. I’ve seen some grumblings in the Twitterverse about the direction this season has taken. I think the show has moved in a positive direction and is going beyond the serialized format. The characters have more substance now, and as a result, I feel more invested in them.
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