TV Rage: Person of Interest

Person of Interest is one of my favorite TV shows right now. It’s really raised the bar on just how good a network procedural can be. Unfortunately, it’s also seriously annoyed me with its most recent episode, and when I say annoyed, I mean pissed me right the hell off.

poi2

Yeah. This is Finch’s reaction to my WRATH.

Actually, other shows have annoyed me recently too — I mean, sweet Jesus, Walking Dead, what the boring, boring hell — but I’m going to focus on this one today. (Honestly, I’d planned to write quite a bit about Scandal as well, as both Scandal and Person of Interest have made extremely disappointing choices with their female characters of late, but I’d like to get to bed on the sooner side. Maybe next week, folks. I’m pretty sure my ire is going to continue.)

BIG TIME SPOILERS for Person of Interest’s “The Crossing.” If you have not seen it, please do not read.

So. Let’s talk about the death of Detective Joss Carter.

carter

Now let’s be clear. I’m not mad at PoI just for killing Carter. I am, admittedly, a teeny tiny bit frustrated because I feel like, as a character, Carter’s finally come into her own, and I’m disappointed I don’t get to watch her anymore, especially now that she’s totally awesome. But she did bring down HR almost completely by herself, and that’s pretty badass. Also, PoI has been promoting this three-episode “event” of theirs with the heavy implication that someone important will die, and there’s nothing more lame sauce than doing that and then just killing off some random guest star who nobody cares about and has been in maybe a handful of episodes. Taraji P. Henson has been a main cast member since the pilot, and killing her off is a fairly bold move, which I approve of.

Here’s my problem:

poi

Until this episode, Reese and Carter have never had a romantic relationship. I’m not saying they weren’t important to one another. I’m not saying they haven’t had some nice moments or couldn’t have ended up together eventually, but they so weren’t there yet. The Big Moment in this episode couldn’t have felt more artificial if it tried. Reese is just like, yeah, we’re trapped together, so let me suddenly tell you all about how you kept me from committing suicide and gave my life meaning. And while I’m like, “Wait, wasn’t it really Finch and his Machine who gave your life meaning?” Reese and Carter just proceed straight on to Kissy Face.

It’s bad. It’s really, really bad.

Of course, I could get past that hastiness of Kissy Face if Reese and Carter weren’t solely getting together to throw Carter’s ass firmly in a refrigerator.

Look, not every woman-in-a-refrigerator story is automatically bad. Some of them are actually pretty good because, sure, it’s an overused trope, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work for you, if you do it right. But this . . . this is pretty terrible. Killing off a girlfriend is one thing, but turning someone into a last minute love interest just to immediately bump her off and give your lead hero Rage Face . . . yeah, that is immensely cheap.

It annoys me especially because I’ve been championing Person of Interest as the best show for women on TV right now, and then they do something like this. Of course, it’s not all bad. PoI still has Root and Shaw, who are pretty awesome. (Zoe, too, although she’s not main cast.) And most of the episode is really pretty solid. I especially like the misdirect — John and Fusco are the ones supposedly in danger, but in the end it’s Carter who actually dies. Still, I can’t help but feel that she deserved a lot better, and I wish like hell Person of Interest had realized that. Maybe I’ll feel a little better about all this once I see how the story actually plays out . . . but right now I’m just feeling bitter and frustrated.

My hope? Fusco, not John, is the one who ultimately kills Simmons. That wouldn’t make up for this, not completely, but I think I’d like it a lot better.

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8 Responses to TV Rage: Person of Interest

  1. Rob Hudson says:

    Word, Carlie-Person.

  2. Dave Nielsen says:

    Actually, other shows have annoyed me recently too — I mean, sweet Jesus, Walking Dead, what the boring, boring hell

    I couldn’t disagree more on this one. There have been a couple of episodes that dragged, but I’ve enjoyed the last few especially the most recent – which I’m surprised you didn’t like because it added something to The Governor. I don’t really dig the eye patch but I thought he emerged a little bit from cartoonish, comic book villainy to something with a tad more depth. He’s done evil things, but we got a sense here of the man he was, even though the ability to do evil was always there.

    The Big Moment in this episode couldn’t have felt more artificial if it tried.

    For once they were facing the real possiblity of dying. That’s bound to speed things up a bit. Those feelings were there – they knew, and made sure we knew it (long before this episode).

    Reese is just like, yeah, we’re trapped together, so let me suddenly tell you all about how you kept me from committing suicide and gave my life meaning. And while I’m like, “Wait, wasn’t it really Finch and his Machine who gave your life meaning?”

    Without her there was no meeting Finch.

    It’s bad. It’s really, really bad.

    No, it really wasn’t.

    Killing off a girlfriend is one thing, but turning someone into a last minute love interest just to immediately bump her off and give your lead hero Rage Face . . . yeah, that is immensely cheap.

    Yeah, it would be. Good thing that’s not what they did.

    Still, I can’t help but feel that she deserved a lot better, and I wish like hell Person of Interest had realized that.

    Simmons is the one who deserved better. That line he used?

    Fusco, not John, is the one who ultimately kills Simmons.

    I’d prefer it if Fusco killed Simmons, but garroting that dude was pretty hardcore.

    The one thing that annoys me about this show is how in their universe shooting someone in the knee results in unconsciousness.

    • There have been a couple of episodes that dragged, but I’ve enjoyed the last few especially the most recent – which I’m surprised you didn’t like because it added something to The Governor.

      I have to catch up on the most recent Walking Dead episode, but I didn’t find last week’s with the Governor to be particularly revelatory in its character-building. Mostly, it seemed like an hour of Sad Sack Governor hanging out with the dumbest family alive. It felt plodding and unnecessary, although maybe they’ll go somewhere with it that I like. At the moment, though, I’m just eagerly hoping for his eventual death so I don’t have to watch him anymore.

      As for as POI is concerned, Fusco was pretty badass. I loved all that stuff. But I hate what they did with Carter. Maybe the episode that’s on tonight will make me feel better about it, but I doubt it, and I still think she deserved better. (Probably Simmons too, though. I wasn’t crazy about the line or the whole moment in general. It felt very generic.)

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        They were one of the luckiest, not the dumbest, to not have been very much touched by the whole zombie apocalypse. I think it was the AV Club review that said they would have been more believable early on, not three years in. There would have to be some people who have got lucky and been in a more out-of-the-way place where they managed to escape the worst of it.

        This did in fact add a lot to The Governor, but wasted it – the following episode has him back to a cartoon character, and it seems we’re looking at more or less a repeat of last season’s ending.

        • No, I think I’m going to stick firm to dumbest. I understand that this is a world where we’ve never heard of zombies before, but that we’re discovering people in the fourth season who have never once tried to shoot the undead things in the head? No. That is dumb. I agree with AV Club — first season, maybe second I would have been okay with this. But not certainly now.

          I think they tried to add to the Governor in the past two episodes. I don’t think they really succeeded, but I’m okay with it because the mid-season finale was pretty awesome. SO MUCH BETTER than last season’s actual finale. (And it was, actually, maybe one of the only episodes where I thought the Governor was actually even mildly interesting.)

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        I wonder why she shot him, though? You’d think she’d blame him for her daughter’s death, and would want him to “live” as a zombie.

      • Dave Nielsen says:

        the mid-season finale was pretty awesome. SO MUCH BETTER than last season’s actual finale.

        Agreed. I did kind of wonder how much fuel that tank would have used to get there – but who cares, it was awesome to see a tank.

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