Person of Interest “Terra Incognita” Review (Season 4 Episode 20)

Person of Interest Terra Incognita Season 4 Episode 20 02

This week’s Person of Interest was a bit of an odd ball. It didn’t have anything to do with Team Machine’s mission, Samaritan, or even the war between Elias and Dominic that was briefly mentioned. It was more a therapy session between Reese and the ghost of Carter.

When I saw that Carter was returning this week, I was skeptical as to how that would work without feeling like an attempt to capitalize on Taraji P. Henson’s new success on Empire. I was pleasantly surprised. Within the first 30 seconds of Carter talking in the car with Reese and Finch, it felt like she’d never left. It wasn’t Cookie on a stake out—it was Carter. Her reappearance didn’t feel forced or insincere. It felt right that she was the person Reese turned to as his life started to slip away.

The person of interest is Chase Patterson, the son of a family who was brutally murdered. Prior to her death, Carter was investigating the Patterson case. Reese finds the case file and decides to go off on his own to solve it. He has a chance to involve Fusco and Finch, but chooses not to. Reese was the hardest hit by Carter’s death, and it’s almost like he still doesn’t want to open up about that grief.

Throughout the episode, there’s a nice juxtaposition between Carter working the case during her life and Reese retracing some of her footsteps. There are also stakeout scenes where Reese and Carter talk, and Carter pushes Reese to be more open. Reese recalls Carter showing him a photograph of Jessica and pushing him to tell the real reason he left her. He eventually confesses that part of the reason he broke things off with Jessica was to make it easier for himself. He’d be a better soldier without worrying about someone waiting for him at home.

Reese ends up at the Patterson’s cabin and finds Chase. Reese doesn’t see the other person in the room and is shot from behind. He’s seriously wounded and dragged out into the snow. Chase is forced to consume a potentially lethal amount of prescription drugs. As Reese lies dying in the snow, he manages to get one shot off to kill the attacker. The idea of the bastard half-brother is a bit lame, but Chase and the investigation are superfluous. We don’t know if Chase dies and we don’t know for sure who rescues Reese. What’s important is the conversation Reese and Carter have while he’s dying.

Reese has to face his ghosts. In his mind, he thinks that he opened up to Carter about Jessica, but ghost Carter tells him that he never did. Like a guardian angel, Carter keeps Reese from making foolish decisions under the effects of hypothermia. She also shows him how his tendency to isolate himself is bad. He’s alone in the forest because he didn’t want to open up to others. If he’d told Finch, he and Root would be on the way to save him. This all feels a bit like a lead up to Reese declaring his love for the doctor. I hope we’re not heading in that direction.

It was great to have Carter back. She’s still sorely missed.