Person of Interest doesn’t make moves lightly. While there is a lot of pain out in the fandom over the loss of our beloved Joss Carter, make no mistake about it: The producers knew exactly what they were doing – and Taraji was all for it. This woman is not only talented, but extremely professional. Her love is theater and feature films, television wasn’t her favorite venue. However, because Nolan and Plageman promised her that her character would have a beginning, middle, and end – and wouldn’t simply be treading water, or spinning her wheels, for 200 some episodes, she was willing to sign on to Person of Interest. We’re not only better for her presence, we’ll be better for her loss. It will just take time.
CBS put out this video to show some behind the scenes footage and allow us a chance to hear from the various actors themselves what their reaction was. We get to see some of their reactions, and it’s obvious all were moved. Jim Caviezel is certainly deeply moved.
Speaking of emotions, that ‘kiss’ the one I said was felt forced, to me at least, well. it wasn’t scripted. In fact, when Nolan heard about it, his first reaction was, in essence, we’re not using that take. This scene, the scar scene, is about two enduring friends, know they’re facing their likely demise, sharing their friendship, nothing more. As he says, unfortunately, when Greg and he sat down to watch the first cut, they watched the cut with the kiss in. When they watched the cut without the kiss, they realized that all of the power disappeared from the scene. For three days they debated, crowding every writer, producer, editor into the editing suite and discussing back and forth. When all was said and done, it stayed because it truly felt earned. Nolan, it appears, is a bit of a controller and doesn’t like unscripted things; however, sometimes, he concedes, you have to trust the actors. According to Taraji, it was Jim’s idea, and as he was going to tell her what he wanted to do, she stopped him and said just do it, don’t tell me. She prefers to be spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ for then the reactions are more real.
I’ve gone back and watched the episode again with the above knowledge in mind. It didn’t seem as forced. I’m coming to realize that in Reese’s mind, he truly believed he was going to die that night. After all, it was his job to save the numbers, except – as Joss pointed out – Reese feels compelled to save everyone else but himself. He had already decided he would die if it meant saving Carter. I believe that Reese flashed for a brief moment back to that airport in 2006 when he ran into Jessica and didn’t tell her what he truly felt: Wait for me, please. He decided that since he was likely to die that night, he wouldn’t have that same regret. He cared deeply for Carter. It may have even developed into romantic love, provided his life was different. Nevertheless, he wasn’t going to go to his likely grave without saying what he felt and thought, so he went for it.
We’re 48 hours post-Carter, and it’s still hard. I have faith that we’re in good hands with Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman. They planned this move from the beginning, at least insofar as each character has an end date, even if it hasn’t been fully decided. Further, Taraji knew this past Valentine’s Day that Carter’s story was coming to an end, wrapped up with the end of HR – which is 98% concluded. I think the remaining 2 % is imminent. Her story has been exhilarating, from straight-laced detective bent on capturing the Man in the Suit, to reluctant, and curious, ally, to all out protector of John, to the point where she lied to the FBI and broke many federal laws to ensure his release, to breaking Elias out of jail and keeping him hidden to taking on corrupt cops at all levels and bringing them down. In the end, she was crowned a hero by the police force and the Machine even honored her with a yellow square. The character had a beginning, a middle, and an end. And her end is just the beginning for what’s next in store for Person of Interest.
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2