Person of Interest: s03 e09 – The Crossing


This was the one where it was really never going to be the same again.

‘The crossing’ is the second half of ‘Endgame’. Joss Carter has Alonzo Quinn and everything she needs to bring him and HR down for good. There’s only one catch: she has to get him to FBI headquarters across town. Across a town where every dirty cop and every crook has John Reese’s photo. And whilst Simmonds wants Carter and Quinn alive, the order is shoot to kill for the Man in a Suit.

Meanwhile, Harold Finch has received a string of numbers with one thing in common. They are all aliases, all aliases for John Reese.

Getting to FBI HQ is a problem. With reese runing interference, they get to the City Morgue, four blocks away, but that’s as far as they can go. Finch has brought Sameen Shaw into play. Lionel Fusco has helped Resse and Carter get as far as they have but he’s been captured, the key to the safe deposit box with all of Carter’s evidence taken, and they’re torturing him for the Bank’s name and location.

Meanwhile, Finch faces a dilemma. Root has a connection to the Machine fundamentally different to his own. She can help. She wants to help. It’s not that she cares all that much for John but she understands just how much Harry does: John is Finch’s creation as much as is the Machine. Nor is he Harold’s first partner. But Harold can’t break his fear of Miss Groves: she has changed the Machine. She has become closer to it than he has.

Fusco’s in deep trouble, fingers broken, but still defiant. This once dirty, once lazy cop has transformed, imperceptibly, into a stalwart. He’s tough, still wise-cracking, and he sends Simmonds on a wild goose chase to the wrong bank. In consequence of which Simmonds sends someone to Fusco’s home, to kill his son, Lee, with Fusco listening in by mobile phone. The shot is fired. Fusco crumples, his son is dead. But the voice on the line is Shaw: it is going to be alright. But if she is there for Lee, she cannot be where Fusco is for him.

The promotion for this episode leaned heavily on the idea that Fusco would die. But not tonight, brother, not tonight. Broken fingers made it easy for Fusco to break his thumb, slip his cuffs, attack and throttle his intended killer. Not Fusco.

Meanwhile, HR are in the Morgue, the power’s down, John and Joss are trapped. It’s the longest time they’ve spent together without an immediate threat, so they talk, compare scars. John explains just how important Joss is to him, how her intervention when he was a homeless drunk, planning on killing himself, changed him into what he is now. There’s a tremendous warmth between them, a growing intimacy.

And then John exits. Harold runs interference for him, he leads the HR cops away, and is arrested – by two honest cops found by Harold. It means arrest. But it’s better than death.

So Carter makes it. Quinn’s threats continue to the end but now they’re hollow. HR is broken, the story goes public, Simmonds is still missing but the lot are in custody. Joss is reinstated as Detective and uses her influence to get ‘John Doe’ out of the 3rd Precinct, in an echo of their first meeting.

What a long, strange trip it’s been, all the pieces, bright, shiny, sharp-edged, brought together in perfect balance to create so tense, so thrilling, so roller-coaster an episode, everything is going to be alright.

And then Simmonds steps out of the shadows and shoots both Reese and Carter. Aghast, Finch watches, a payphone ringing unanswered, conveying another Number but this one too late. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Joss Carter. Simmonds is wounded, Reese is wounded, but Carter is dead.

22 thoughts on “Person of Interest: s03 e09 – The Crossing

  1. “The Crossing” [3×09]
    Written By: Denise Thé
    Directed By: Frederick E.O. Toye

    Person of Interest is on the hottest of hot streaks, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. “The Crossing” takes the setup from “Endgame”, and runs with it. “Endgame” was more tightly focused on Carter. “The Crossing” takes the form of a gritty 70s thriller and gives everyone in the ensemble a chance to shine, from Shaw saving Fusco’s son to Fusco’s acceptance of his death. It had me riveted, shocked, and ultimately stunned. It’s another stellar, jam-packed hour of television that is so well put together it makes one want to study the craft of it-many of these episodes could be shown in film school. Carter’s death, while rubbing some fans the wrong way, ultimately works for the story. The stakes have to be raised, and there has to be a cost for taking down HR.

    Grade: A

    1. Yeah, they always planned to kill her off, and she was not satisfied with her part, mainly being relegated to the b-plot. I can’t see how there’d be much for her to do with the next story arc about to happen. Someone said awhile ago that the main characters of the first 55 episodes of Person of Interest are Reese, Fusco, and Carter; the main characters of the final 48 are Finch, Root, and the Machine. I think there’s truth to that. Also, Carter went out with two of the best hours this show ever produced.

      1. I can’t agree with that. The number of times Fusco was left out, or relegated to just a cameo, he’s hardly a main character. Carter’s death gave him a role to fill, and ‘The Crossing’ and its sequel showed he had the chops to fill it.

      2. He does get quite a bit of focus in Season 1 though, and that’s when the bulk of his character arc takes place, I’d argue-“The Devil’s Share” really being the conclusion to it, the completion of his transformation. I commented on your Season 1 reviews that one can observe how Fusco changes episode-to-episode in that season, which is still one of my favorite things about Season 1. He does get plenty of great stuff later on though, I agree.

  2. I think we’ll have to agree to differ on this one. There is still more to come in Fusco’s career, he’s just had to grow to be equal to it.

    Only 48 episode’s left? Damn: what will I follow it with next November?

    1. I don’t think we differ that much on this one. I agree with all of what you say. Fusco absolutely continues to grow throughout the show.

      49 episodes left! “The Devil’s Share” is the 55th episode, and it marks the end of the 1st half of the series. This show’s flying faster than DS9 is, eh? Goodness that show drags when you watch all of it…..

    2. As for what to watch next, if you’re still feeling into tech stuff, I recommend ‘Halt and Catch Fire’, which is an AMC drama centering on the PC and World Wide Web Revolutions, and one of the best dramas ever made. It’s only 40 episodes, though.

      1. I look forward to it. By the way, once you’ve finished POI, that will make your site the only one besides TV Fanatic’s to review every single episode of the show.

  3. I was very reminded of your ‘change is necessary’ essay from a while back, and I have to conclude that you are absolutely right. Change is *necessary* and vital for a show to avoid stagnation.

      1. They both aired on CBS……other than that no other similarities. Except that now I might have to thank CBS (never watched Big Bang Theory myself though), as they did have some good shows this past decade. This one obviously being the best.

      2. People and tv shows who refuse to change usually in my experience end up like the stoner from ‘Most Likely To…’: strange and out of place. POI sheds its skin about every half-season.

    1. I do find it kind of funny that CBS aired both of them. And Two and a Half Men, which is complete garbage. They’re polar opposites. Back in POI’s first and second seasons, they aired on the same night. Must have been a fun Thursday night.

      1. CBS is the programming wasteland of American television. The fact that they had good shows at all still astounds me. Every other network was foolish for passing on POI.

  4. Change is indeed essential. If you ever read any of my posts about the BBC Cops series New Tricks, they managed a double change: replacing the entire cast andd reinvigorating the show’s seriousness

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