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