We pick up where we left off a month ago, with Alonzo Quinn in the custody of Reese and Carter, who need to get him across a hostile city to the FBI building. The word is out, so both police and criminals – to the extent that there’s a distinction in this episode – are trying to stop this happening.
And things are so bad that Reese himself is the Number of the Week, with Finch trying everything he can to avoid taking assistance from Root. She, though, gets in a solid counterpunch, noting Finch’s concern for Reese, and concluding that he isn’t Finch’s “first helper monkey”. The possibility of Reese having predecessors hadn’t even occurred to me until that point, and I’m assuming it could be fertile ground for future episodes.
Anyway, to start with NYC vs Reese provides nothing more than a spot of tuning-up for the Man in the Suit – I’m still nowhere near tired of the gag in which we see Reese confronted by a group of hostiles, followed by a cut to the aftermath of the fight. It’s slow progress, though, and eventually they seek refuge in the city morgue, where Reese and Carter share (literal) war stories and open up to each other – it would have been a lovely scene even were it not for the (apparently unscripted) kiss they share. It’s a well-judged kiss as well – somewhere well above platonic affection but just short of out-and-out romance.
And it leaves us with something to ponder while poor old Fusco, who has been captured, is being tortured in an attempt to get him to give up the location of Carter’s evidence on HR. He doesn’t break, of course – I always get the feeling with Fusco that everything he does is driven by his private need of redemption after spending much of his career as a dirty cop. When HR threatens his son he yields, but by then it’s too late; fortunately Shaw anticipated this and is able to stop HR from killing Fusco, Jr.
Understandably, about three-quarters of the way through an unbelievably crowded episode one or two plot leaps need to happen pretty quickly: Fusco gets free, Reese leads the baddies away from the mortuary, Finch quarterbacks, and Carter is able to get Quinn to the FBI. So HR is more or less vanquished, and Carter is promoted back to detective. But there are still a few minutes to go, and Simmons is on the loose, so we know that celebrations are premature. And as Reese and Carter chat outside the police building, with Finch watching, a payphone starts ringing. I’m guessing that the Machine was trying to tell Finch that the latest Number was Carter, because before Finch can get to the phone, Simmons reappears and fires at Reese and Carter. Reese is hit but survives. Carter, though, is killed.
I’d like to say it was a surprise – in fact, I’d like it to have been a surprise – but given that it’s over 18 months since this episode was shown in America it’s been impossible to avoid finding out that Carter dies, although I didn’t know exactly when and how until the end of the episode. It’s a huge loss for the show, of course: Taraji P. Henson, as she’s proved in Empire, is an intelligent and nuanced actor, and Carter has been a mainstay of the show since the very start. Nor does Person of Interest have a huge core cast, compared to some other shows. Still, she went out in style: if I had a criticism of ‘The Crossing’ it might be that there was so much going on that it almost became overwhelming, but that’s like complaining because, as Chandler said in Friends, your wallet’s too small for your fifties and your diamond shoes are too tight. This was amazing.