This week’s episode of Person of Interest continues immediately were ‘Endgame’ from the last week stopped. ‘The Crossing’ is the second episode in a trilogy that is intended to act as a reboot for the series. Person of Interest developed some problems during its second season when characters left the show in rapid succession requiring quick alteration to the storyline. Combined with the ending of the powerful character arcs for Mr. Reese (Jim Caviezel), Finch and Fusco the show has run on fumes. Season 3 saw the introduction of Sarah Shahi as Shaw to act as a counter balance to Mr. Reese but that was hardly enough. In this reboot trilogy PoI will deal out some hard punches in the spirit of the ‘The Dark Knight’ whose screenplay writer (Jonathan Nolan) happens to be this shows creator. Last weeks episode was highly rated but I have already seem some perfect scores for ‘The Crossing’ on the internet. Be advised, spoilers ahead! You don’t earn a perfect mark without making sacrifices.
As mentioned the episode continues where Endgame left off. Reese and Carter (Taraji P. Henson) have taken a wounded Alonzo Quinn prisoner and are trying to get him to the federal building in downtown New York to hand him over and take down HR. Simmons quickly manages to mobilize every street thug against them. After several encounters Reese and Carter hijack an ambulance to travel incognito. Simmons has already blocked all roads into Manhattan and seems to expect such a move. Shaw mobilizes Fusco. They decide to split up and anticipate Reese and Carter’s next move. Communication is made difficult after Quinn destroys Reese’s phone. Fusco (Kevin Chapman) moves unto an HR checkpoint and sees the ambulance approaching. At first HR lets it through but Simmons spots blood on it. A shootout results in which Reese and Carter manage to escape but Fusco is captured. Simmons tortures Fusco to find out where Carter hid her stash of evidence.
Shaw places a hand grenade in the hands of a morbidly obese HR cop and forces him to tell where Fusco is being held. The cop refuses, saying that though he may die doing so he has no choice because Simmons will kill his entire family. Root (Amy Acker) meanwhile is catching on that something is wrong and suggests to Finch (Michael Emerson) she ought to be released. Finch refuses saying she is too dangerous to be let loose. Root questions Finch about how many men he went through before he found Reese. Fusco leads Simmons to the wrong place and in return Simmons orders Fusco and his son killed. Shaw manages to take out the cop who is ordered to kill Fusco’s son but warns him she can’t save him, she hopes she will understand her choice. Just as Fusco is about to be shot he reminds the HR cop that one advantage of breaking his fingers is that he can easily break his thumb. Fusco has managed to get his hands through the handcuffs and lurches at the cop. In a struggle Fusco strangles him.
Reese and Carter meanwhile are forced to abandon the ambulance. Quinn warns them it is still four blocks to the federal building. After a gang spots them they are forced to hide in the city morgue. Reese sedates Quinn to prevent him from being a burden and places him in a morgue coolers. Reese manages to re-establish contact with Finch who warns him HR knows where they are. Reese and Carter prepare for a last stand, both reminisce about the closest moment they came to death. Reese shows Carter a bullet he meant to use on himself from the time before he met Finch and Carter. As Carter fetches chemicals to use against HR Reese gives her the slip and attempts to lure HR away from Carter and Quinn. Reese manages to down numerous HR cops but is himself wounded. As HR chases him down the streets Carter manages to take Quinn to the federal building where he is arrested. Finch manages to have non-corrupt cops arrest Reese for his own safety.
The episode concludes with showing how HR was dismantled. Simmons manages to escape through the Dragnet. Carter is reinstated as a detective and helps Finch with getting Reese released. Fusco thanks Shaw for saving his son. As Carter walks Reese over to Finch’s car Simmons walks out of the shadow and swears revenge on ‘the-man-in-the-suit’. He wounds Reese with two shots and Carter wounds Simmons. However, Simmons also shoots Carter and she dies in Reese’s arms. In the background, as Finch watches on, ‘The Machine’ rings the public telephone.
The Crossing is an incredible episode, the vibe you get is very similar to The Dark Knight. The ending is gut-wrenching though I am not opposed to letting Carter die. Her back story was never as interesting as that of Reese, Finch and Fusco. However, the episode is not going to get a perfect score. The last act is definitely the weakest as I really see no way how HR could let Carter and Reese escape from the morgue. I suspect that the writers wanted to first create a foreshadowing of Carter death and then let it seems as though it was going to be a happy ending. However, the last scene is long enough that viewers were alerted that something big was going to happen. For me, this set up doesn’t work even if the result is the same. With the death of Taraji P. Henson’s character I am also wondering whether detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman) will remain part of the team. I wouldn’t blame him if he wants to stay away from the man in the glasses and wonder boy. Some viewers have referred to this episode as a sort of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ story. I don’t see the resemblance other than the hard punches being dealt. Don’t forget, one Simmons doesn’t make for a very powerful HR.
Next week the last installment of this trilogy will air. I can only guess that Simmons will meet his end but what of PoI afterwards? I may have a few suggestions I hope readers will agree with.
1. Bring back some of the characters that were saved by Reese and Finch. The rich Billionaire and the judge saved during the first season are just two that come to mind. Such a move will give a lot of continuity for viewers I think. The irregular appearances of Zoe (Paige Turco) and Leon (Ken Leung) may also become a little bit more regular as they are both good fun.
2. Reese got his ass kicked a lot during the first season, then slowly he becomes the superhero ‘man-in-the-suit’ with wounds lasting only an episode at most. This episode does fix that partly showing that fighting crime is a truly dangerous job but the sense of realism was one of the things that made this show special. Let wonder boy get his ass kicked!
3. Season 1 had some very powerful non-mythology episodes that were impressive self-contained stories. During season 2 and 3 more time was allotted to the mythology during such episodes which cut into the story. Just like point # 2 I would like to see more realism and original stories.
I hope this episode will be a turning point for PoI, it is still my favorite show on TV but others such as The Blacklist and Almost Human are breathing down its neck.
Score; 9.7 / 10. Just shy of perfection.