I am incredibly disappointed after watching this episode. Not because of the content, because that was impossible not to like, but because I realised that the mini-arc had ended - and that is a disappointment, considering the quality of the episodes. Hopefully, Person of Interest will keep that quality up from now on, in every episode they ever make.
Those who predicted Carter's death would hit Reese hard were absolutely right. We saw a side of Reese that we've only seen in flashbacks to after Jessica's death. Suffice it to say, Quinn can count himself lucky to be alive. What amazed me was that he didn't even seem that scared, even though he knew that Reese was probably going to kill him. Reese's quest for revenge was never going to end with anything but Quinn and Simmons' death.
Although an empty gun proved otherwise for the former, the latter was Reese's main concern. Despite being in the worst shape of his life - bleeding, dying - he still tried to go the distance to honour Carter. As Finch rightly pointed out, it isn't what she'd have wanted. While Reese seemingly didn't care about this (which seems strange considering their friendship), Fusco did appreciate this.
As much as it was much better that Fusco didn't kill Simmons, throughout that entire scene I was wanting him to do it. It had suddenly occurred to me when Simmons had been given a new passport at the start of the episode how much I wanted to kill him. This is what Carter's death has done to fans of the show (or at least me): made us hate Simmons with the kind of passion that Team Machine do. I find that brilliant.
Anyway, back to Fusco. While it would have been incredibly fitting had he killed Simmons, it was a much more emotional moment when he didn't. Similarly to what Reese told Carter last week, Fusco was also saved by Carter. His speech referring to this was highly emotional, even more so than Reese's. Not that we didn't already know it, but she was the one that everyone loved above the rest. Without her, Reese and Fusco would not be where they are today. Instead, Reese would have killed himself, and Fusco would be in deep with HR, beyond the point of salvation. Without her, both of them will no doubt be missing a part of themselves for the rest of their lives.
With this memory in mind, Fusco decided to go the route that she would have taken. The one that results in Patrick Simmons never leaving an 8 x 12 cell. When you think about why Fusco did this, it is completely understandable, and completely the correct, and only way to do it.
And then we come to Elias. He had always been loyal, and had loyalty shown towards him. Those who betrayed him wound up dead; those who didn't got to live. Detective Carter, although the two started as enemies, did save his life from HR. The tables had turned, so when he couldn't repay the debt and save Carter's life, he brought
revenge justice to Simmons - giving him nothing short of what he deserved. What he said was true: why do civilised people have to treat criminals, murderers with more respect than they treated their victims? It's a good job Elias isn't civilised. Simmons needed to die, if not for the sake of the show moving past HR, but for Carter. Yes, it's true that Carter would have wanted Simmons in prison, but Elias honouring Carter's memory in his own way is just as powerful. And it eliminates the possibility of his return. Which no one wants.
In the permanent absence of Carter, and with Reese out the lam bleeding to death, Finch called upon Root to help out. Now, as much as I think she's a deranged b*tch, she is incredibly useful. Being able to
talk listen (she always says talk but she listens to it more than she talks to it) to the Machine in the way she does is something that was crucial in finding Reese. And, her skills with a gun are cool. Has she been taking lessons from Reese and Shaw?
While Finch allowed her to go free, she decided to return to her cage after Reese was saved. I found this strange, but less so when she explained her reasoning (which in itself - how can anything be bigger than this?). What I did find strange was why Finch locked Root away again. I completely expected him to leave the door open. It's probably a good thing that he didn't though.
After this epic three-part story arc, there's only one (OK, two) thing(s) to say. RIP Joss Carter. Good riddance HR.
Some odds and ends:
- "I had a partner. She was good for me. For a lot of reasons. She reminded me that I could be good again too. I could be a good father, a good friend, a good cop. I'm not gonna let you undo all the good she did. Carter saved my life. She saved me from myself. Because she believed in me. And I'm not gonna throw that away over a piece of crap like you." Heartbreaking from Fusco.
- "I offered to kill you for Detective Carter many times and she always said no. She was civilised to the very end. I don't think she liked me, but I liked her very much. You killed her. So now I consider it my responsibility to fix the particular problem that is you, Officer Simmons."
- Reese had a yellow box around him in 2007. As far as I remember, he didn't know about the Machine in 2007. Shaw and Fusco, both without knowledge of the Machine in 2005, had a white box. Does this mean that Reese did know about the Machine 6 years ago?
- On that note, interesting flashbacks. Finch went to a therapist after Nathan's death, Shaw consulted by one when it is clear that she shows no emotion to her patients, Fusco to one after he killed a man as a revenge shooting
- Fusco snapping Simmons arm was gruesome. I've watched it many times now and I hate it. Ouch.
- I know I said that arresting Simmons is what Carter would have done, but I would have liked to have seen how Carter would have actually gone about things if it were Fusco who had died. Would she have gone the vigilante route? I doubt it.
- Epic music when the team enter the building.
- Not that I'm supporting this idea in any way, but I'm surprised Reese didn't go after Simmons's family. It's not like Simmons went after Fusco's, or what he would call his own in both Carter and Fusco...
- I would like to congratulate Person of Interest for leaving me plagued with constant thoughts about what might happen for the past three weeks. More story of this quality please.
What did you think of the episode, and of the mini-arc? Did Simmons have to die? Did Quinn deserve to? How much will Carter be missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.