Wow! That was a Joss Carter — courtesy of Taraji P. Henson’s stellar performance — thrill ride. From firing grenade launchers to calling in favors from Elias to sipping coffee with Quinn and managing to not spit it all over him, Carter was on fire! That woman knows how to play her cards close.
Elias, in an all-too-short of an appearance, was fantastic. Enrico Colantoni plays the part with absolute relish. With the Russians and HR soon to be out of the way, there will be a power vacuum just waiting for Elias to step into. I hope that is the plan. I also hope for more David Valcin, Scarface. He has only a few lines, but he infuses them with charisma and venom – a delightful combination for this viewer.
Shaw and Finch were in the backdrop here, relegated to information gathering and support. That’s fine as this was the Carter tour de force: Makes me fear for her future. While Fusco is getting all the attention in the promos: beaten up, crying into the phone, having a gun pointed at his chest, it’s Carter whose story has come a long, long, long way. The flashbacks show her as a rookie officer on the outs with Taylor’s father. We come to learn about her personal struggles, not only as a returning vet, but with trying to assist a returning vet. We also see her as a single mother determined to protect her son.
The flashbacks show her determination to keep pushing Paul to get help, and we are brought up to the present to see that her efforts, as well as Paul’s bring about the very conclusion she hoped for: Taylor has a father who can and will care for him and have a relationship with him. It’s also another reason why I’m worried: Taylor is taken care of. If it is to be, Carter dies, Taylor’s story has already been told. He is safe. He has a father. He’ll be all right – eventually.
Those flashbacks also help explain and deepen the Carter we met in the Pilot when she first interacted with Reese in the police station. Her inquiries went beyond that of a detective seeking answers. She recognized the signs.
The Pilot was also revisited as Carter ambushed the office supply truck, also stocked with drugs. That was John Reese in the Pilot all over again, complete with soundtrack. Ramin Djawadi tweaked the music slightly to set it apart from the normal Reese with grenade launcher or vehicle smashing music. Joss Carter now has her own violence in motion soundtrack. Love Reese’s reaction: “Wait, that’s my grenade launcher?” Yes, John, the one you stole from Anton, the very one.
This is a very different Joss Carter. Long gone is the idealistic detective bent on keeping the law at all times. This Joss Carter is going to take down HR with any means at her disposal, fellow officer to hold onto the evidence and who she makes amends with on every level (Fusco), sociopath who can procure any and all weapons (Shaw), fugitive mobster who owes her a favor – as well as enjoys a front row seat to conflict (Elias), and a vigilante turned do-gooder, but always a protector, (Reese).
Carter’s journey from the Pilot to “Endgame” could very well be at an end. I’ll not be happy with her dying, but story wise – at least as it is currently set – it makes a lot of sense. Killing Carter will unglue a lot of what holds the team together. I could be completely wrong, it really could be Fusco that dies, but PoI is known for having a twist. Nolan and Plageman have said that the price will be high for taking down HR. They have also said that they are preparing the fans, in a way, for that high price. Still, I’m thinking Fusco’s peril is a huge misdirect.
We’ll know in a week, two at the most. What I do know is that this episode was excellent.
I like how the Machine, in a sense, responded directly to John’s question: “So who lit the fuse?” The Machine, this time in red, accessed the archived data and brought us back to show us just how Carter maneuvered everything right up to the burning car ambush. Then, when we’re watching what we’d already seen at the beginning, the camera pans back and we’re in the library with Finch and Reese, from there the action moves forward again. A neat little storytelling trick that PoI manages to keep fresh each time they pull it off.
So with part one done, complete with fantastically staged gunfight and Reese mayhem abounding, we’re launched into part two: The Crossing. Trilogies have a flow. The beginning sets everything into motion, lots of action and skirmishes, allies and alliances are found and formed. Part two tends to be a bit more closed, lots of dialogue and a chase which continues for most, if not all, of the action. It ends in a cliffhanger. Part three is where everything culminates. The battles are for permanency. They are big and bloody and the fallout is everywhere. As awesome as Endgame was, it is only the beginning. It’s going to get bloody going forward, and we’re going to be weeping when it concludes. Then we’ll regroup and come back for the second half of the season…most of us will.
Speaking of the second half of the season (and needing to inject some positive) Amanda Segel tweeted recently that PoI will have 23 episodes this season. Hooray!
Also on a happy note, my favorite director, Jeffrey Hunt, is currently prepping episode 14. Since he earlier tweeted about how his memories of Hawaii will have to carry him through when he is in NYC shooting PoI in February, I’m guessing this is the first of perhaps at least two episodes he’ll be directing this season. Love Jeffrey Hunt’s work!
Until next week…thanks for reading. Elle2