Person of Interest Review: The Life of Detective Carter

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I've been saying for some time now that Person of Interest really needed to start delving into Detective Carter's past, exploring who she is beyond her fascination with hunting Reese in order to keep her from becoming a cliched and boring character.

Thankfully, after eight episodes, Carter not only managed to get plenty more screen time, but a bit of background information as well here. It's great to see that she has a kid and a relatively good rapport with him. Granted, we see her working all the time, so it's a wonder if she gets to spend any time with her child, but for now the recognition of their strong bond gives a bit of insight into her drive and dedication.

On top of that, the father (was that him in military uniform in the picture?) is no longer around. Was he killed? Was he abusive like the husband that she took an interest in? I know she mentioned losing someone important to you and how it changes you, but was that who she was referencing? There's still much we don't know yet. Either way, it was nice to finally see a few of the things that push her into acting so compelled to seek justice and "good" in theĀ  world.

Carter as the POI

And I know the flashbacks are meant to add another layer of depth to the characters, but I'm finding that really only the last part of the flashback is the one that matters. The first two really didn't add anything that wasn't easily explained through dialogue, such as her being in the military and an interrogator. Although for an interrogator people should be afraid to deal with, she never seemed too menacing or scary.

Plus, did she really believe that she could protect the Al Qaeda bomber after he helped them? Does she really believe that she can save everyone? I'm having a bit of a hard time in admiring her idealism or wondering if she is simply naive. Blowing up on your fellow soldiers, even if they couldn't care about the man, seemed a bit over done in attempt to prove once and for all her motivation to do good and stick to her word. I guess I just feel that less is always more in important and dramatic scenes like that.

One thing is for sure: Reese saving Carter changes their dynamic. She may still continue to hunt him (I still don't believe she can actually catch him), but she now is beginning to wonder if Reese is doing the right thing, even if he plays outside the law. The two seem to have a lot more in common than they might think.

We've clearly only scratched the surface of Carter and I just hope that it doesn't take another eight episodes to learn more.

After all, a show thrives on characters.

Like Carter, Fusco was allowed more to do this week. He may have been a dirty cop from the outset of the show, but he's shifting closer to Reese and the good guys. If anything, I love the banter that he has with Reese. The way Reese popped up out of the crowd when Fusco was shouting for people to call him was fantastic. I already have your number.

Reese did manage to don new duds and a ride. Clearly, leather jackets and black motorcycles are must haves for the holiday if you're a bad ass vigilante. It was a nice change of pace, especially when Carter gives her usual "What's he look like? Was he wearing a suit?" line.

Which, of course, makes me feel like the writers aren't completely ignoring specific points for the show. Reese asking Finch why the Machine missed out on the witness' death was one I'd been thinking of myself. How does it determine who to pick and what makes one killing less important than an another?

Even the continuation of the Elias theme was a nice mix in with Carter as the person of interest. It's good to see that the show can change it up between a larger continuing story and the closed episode type ones.

All in all, "Get Carter" touched on a lot of things that I've been hoping for the show to reflect upon, specifically Carter. While not everything I had hoped for, it remained a relatively decent episode. I just hope as the season goes on, we get to learn a good chunk of information instead of tiny bits and pieces. I need slices, not crumbs, to keep me satisfied in watching these characters.


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (134 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


We've clearly only scratched the surface of Carter and I just hope that it doesn't take another eight episodes to learn more.


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This the first episode I fell in love with. I like how they wanted to protect Carter.


I love Person of Interest. I like the way Carter's character is developing. I think her backstory is believable because soldiers and police officers are not born but trained. They are human beings with feelings. Training cannot take away who you are but add discipline. I understand her character from that point of view and can identify. It will be interesting to see how this series develop over time. This is television so I do not expect everything to be real or accurate. I just want to enjoy a good television show and this is one.


I really did enjoy this episode and was happy to finally see more of Carter. I also enjoyed seeing Reese in the leather outfit. I was wondering about the "cop" and the camera as well, why couldn't they have placed it in the back of the hat so that it was facing Carter, seems kind of weird how it was placed I guess in the stomach. Keep up the good work..


This episode did a great job of establishing a new balance in the constricted universe of characters in the show. I loved that Carter is not presented as a saint, but rather as a driven, rigid figure who is being forced by circumstances to recognize that life is lived in the gray spaces between good and evil. Her interactions with Reese will only get better as the show adds more twists and shadings to their struggle. And yes to the ladies out there who are enjoying just leaning back and watching JC kick ass while flashing his beautiful eyes and gray-flecked temples. Yowza!


Person of Interest is a great show. We look forward to it every week.
I like how John does what ever it takes to save someone.
Didn't like John getting shot. Then there were no previews for next week?
Both Jim and Michael are Great!!!


Really enjoyed this episode. I've actually been a fan of Carter since ep 1 but like the reviewer rightly said, I've been waiting to see what makes her character tick - not the whole package as another poster said here, but at least a bit about her and what drives her. The Reese and Carter interaction is great - Reese obviously respects and admires Carter and for him to even admit that about someone (given what we've seen of his character) is fine by me:) I can't wait to see her have more interaction wtih him and Finch - as she continues to be the good cop and they 'operate' in the background, essentially kinda helping each other out. Fusco being sort of stuck on the fence right now rounds off an awkward and sort of reluctant foursome on this great show. Ok, rambling now..Anyways, this is a great show - one of the best tv shows on right now (in my humble opinion) and I'm definitely hooked.


Well all I have to say is that this show is "AWESOME"!!!! I just LOVE.LOVE.LOVE. this show and all of the characters. I think that Taraji is great as Det. Carter & Jim is great as Reese; and I hope that the writers definately add more scenes with Reese & Carter together!!!! I think that they would be a HOT couple if they ever hooked up, cause they are a lot alike!!! I have watched last weeks episode over 3xxxx's, can't get enough of it cause it was so good. One of the best episodes yet!!! Keep up the good work writers, I am HOOKED on this show and it comes on right after the Vampire Diaries :):) My THURSDAY'S r my fav. TV night now!!!! Keep it coming!!! Person Of Interest is the S#!T!!!!!!!!!!!! MUHAZ!!


I thought the episode was great! Tariji P. Henson is a spectacular actress, truly great...but I've felt since the beginning that the character of Carter did nothing to show off her acting chops, and initially I may have even said it was a gross misuse and disservice to Tariji's talent that she plays such a character. I was ecstatic to finally see Carter get fleshed out and become less one dimensional. Her character was probably the one aspect of the show that seemed to lack. I think the episode served its purpose. I never believed from the beginning that Carter was a worthy adversary for Finch and Reese, she just wasn't believable, and honestly she still isn't, but the difference now is I think they've set Elias up to be the ultimate antagonist of the show, and they've done that brilliantly, so I'm inclined to believe that Carter may be more of an ally than a foe. So I'm convinced now that she isn't meant to appear as an actual threat to Reese and Finch. I loved how strongly Reese felt about protecting her, and that they seemingly have similiarities and he seems to respect her, which for a guy like him is a huge deal. It's the first time he's shown genuine respect for someone to that degree. I think she reminds him of himself, perhaps before he ended up being so jaded. I also liked the buildup of her having a strong moral code that seems to drive her. It made sense and at the very least it made her more belivable as a character. I appreciated this episode doing that...finally giving her a foot to stand on. She isn't quite up to the level of Reese and Finch, or Elias (all three superbly written complex characters), she's not even quite up there with Fusco just yet (whom I did notice was NOT exactly helpful and probably would have stood by and watched her die if Reese hadn't have put the fear of God in him), but she finally redeemed herself as a character, being a bit more fleshed out, a bit more developed, likeable, relatable, and interesting. I absolutely adored that scene with her and Reese in the alley ( I agree with the reviewer the only really necessary flashback was the one with her colleageues and how that tied in with Reese) and it just made me actually long for more scenes with those two...because they could be promising.

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