Today I (re)watch: Person of Interest, 3.08

Ohhh boy. I am scared to rewatch and review this and the next few episodes. It’s a lot of feelings happening right now. But it’s also really really good, so I’m excited.

At the very end of the last episode, Joss finally discovers who the head of HR is, and has been fired up and ready to end HR for good for a while. But she knows they have all the tricks, money and power in the world, so she has to play smart if she wants to catch Quinn. ‘Endgame’ is precisely about that: the final objective (Alonzo Quinn) is now revealed, so how will he – and how will Carter – use the other pieces in the board?

The pursuit of HR by Carter is hitting very exciting and terrifying territory, we get some flashbacks that tell us a bit more about her family life, and her friendships with both John and Fusco are given more weight and color. It is a very Carter-centric episode and I am 110% here for it.

I have watched the whole show before, so SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN. Big spoilers will be blanked out but references and irrelevant spoilers are going to be out in the open.

We open with a brief “previously on” focused on the HR plot line and what we have learned so far, and her discovery of Quinn as the boss.
Right then we jump to footage from the MPoV (Machine point of view) of a burning car, a truck stopping to see what’s up, and someone shooting up said truck with a grenade launcher and stealing it.

308 grenade launcher

What is John up to, even? I mean, it has to be John, right?

Back at the library, Harold just received 38 new numbers.
John: Maybe the Machine blew a belt or something.
Harold: It’s not a lawn mower, Mr. Reese.

The numbers belong to HR cops. Someone is declaring war, clearly. So John suggests getting Bear fitted for a bullet-proof vest. Bullet-proof pupper!

Then the MPoV rewinds to the day before they got the 38 numbers.

Joss clones Quinn’s phone, and follows Simmons as he fails to negotiate a new price for protection with the Russians. Usually HR will make sure Yogorov’s drugs pass through the city without trouble, and Yogorov decides to wing it without them because he is tired of their shit. Which, I mean, who isn’t?

Joss is being followed by a very unsubtle HR cop, and by John. She clocks them both, of course, and assures John that while she appreciates his offer to help her in taking on HR, she’s got it covered. She is still convinced she can do it the proper way, bringing Quinn to the FBI, and as an outlaw, John cannot be a part of it. Fair enough. Naive, but fair enough.
She cracks a joke about how she cannot possibly sneak around much, with John and Harry keeping tabs on her phone. And then, as soon as John leaves, she smashes it. Oh shit, our babe is going rogue.

[2005] Carter is fresh out of the Academy, talking to a coworker, when Taylor’s (Carter’s son) father shows up, after two years. It’s made clear that he has PTSD, and refuses to seek help, and Joss believes him to be a danger or at the very least an unhealthy person to have around her and her son. She tells him to get his ish together, or he will never have a relationship with their son.

Joss is ready to fight all of HR on her own, and I am apprehensively turned on by this. She calls in a favor with Elias, tell her to go visit a friend.
What friend, you ask? He pays a very fun visit to Peter Yogorov. I love how the way Elias makes his presence known is by improving Yogorov’s dinner, but putting in a bullet in a ravioli. What kind of dramatic asshole. Elias tells the Rusian that HR is doing the same thing to them as they did to Elias, and he wants to help out of spite. Which is not why, but it’s believable. Elias is petty and that’s why we love him. Joss has other plans though.
Once again, Elias offers to kill them all off for Joss. My sweet, thoughtful mob lord. Joss politely declines.

Joss is having a very busy day, though (and remember, this is one day before Harold got the 38 HR cops’ numbers). She meets up with Shaw, who brings her a huge bag full of weapons like Joss asked, and didn’t tell the men, like Joss asked.
Shaw: Boys can’t have all the toys.
Amen, sister.

Shaw also offers to help with whatever party Joss is throwing, but the way Shaw says it I think she thinks it’d be foreplay, and in any case, Joss declines.

So what is Joss planning, anyway? We go back (or, forth) to the footage of the truck on fire. The Russian truck full of drugs stops to see what’s going on, then a wild Joss (with a gas mask) appears! She throws a smoke grenade at them, knocks them out, and takes the truck and its 13 million worth of drugs. Where? Why? When? We don’t know.

Harold: Honestly, Mr Reese, this looks like something you would do.
John: Gotta admit, I wish I was invited.

They quickly realize it was Carter, and John goes all protective brother all over the place, which is more than a little silly. She is a boss ass bitch.

So anyway, after she steals the Russian truck (and plants an HR phone on the scene, framing them for the theft), she goes and shoots at Alonzo Quinns office from a window, making it look like the Russians are retaliating because of the missing truck thing. It’s a convoluted bloody mess, and it’s all Joss’ doing. I couldn’t be more proud.

Poor Harold, he has a million numbers up on his little board. All the Russians want all the HR cops dead, and all the HR cops are “arresting” all the Russians to go bump them off later. So was that Joss’ plan? To have them kill each other at random? Well, obviously not. She is a planner, a lawful good, and probably a Virgo. She calls the FBI on all of them, so now they’re all going to jail, and then she gets to Yogorov before Alonzo Quinn does, and corners him until he agrees to testify against Alonzo Quinn. She is interested in cutting off the head, but only legally. And even though that’s very square, the way she got the Russians to go after the cops and the cops to go after the Russians and then got everyone busted? That was pretty sneaky and I approve.

[2005] Taylor’s dad shows up unanounced and uninvited to Carter’s house one night. Tries to play it like everything is gonna be fine, even though he has taken no steps to ensure everything could possibly be fine. He gets mad and throws a lamp to the ground, to which Joss reacts instinctually by grabbing her own gun. Which is such a good way of, writing-wise, showing (vs telling) what Joss was fearful of and to what degree. She doesn’t feel she can trust him, and we see it in her body. She tells him in no unclear terms that he needs to leave and fuck right off until he gets help. 
I have never been a vet and I am always a little wary of people who think therapy is the only way to heal or to solve a problem, but she is a lawful person, what can I say. I’m also not a mother, and I bet I would be a lot less lenient about the kind of specific steps I would need from my partner in that situation than without kids.

Everyone keeping Lionel in the dark about everything ever is a running theme in the show. He never knows fully what he is getting into but he gets into it anyway and gives it his best. He is such a good cinnamon roll, and everyone underestimates him most of the time. He is hurt that Carter has kept him at arms length about her plan, so she gives him a key to a safe at a bank, where she has all the intel on HR. “In case something happens”, she says. How dare she just drop that phrase like that? She drops that kind of emotional turmoil in the core of my soul, and ditches everybody, again.

[2008] Joss has recently been upgraded (not “promoted”, that sounds less funny) to detective. Paul (Taylor’s dad) shows up, but is now looking better. He tells her he is going to counseling, working on goals, and just wanted to drop by to offer if there was ever anything she or Taylor needed, they could give him a call.

Why would they show us these flashbacks right now, though? If your head is going sad and stressful places, it’s going in the right general direction.

Joss calls Taylor, tells him she’s sorry (and stumbles to make an excuse to say sorry without sounding like she’s walking into a landmine, which she is). Taylor reminds her that she has people who have her back, and all she has to do is ask.

308 taylor joss

She is about to cry, which means I’m also about to cry.

After getting the sworn testimony from Yogorov, she needs an arrest warrant, which means she has to trust at least one judge not to be dirty (Didn’t John and Harold help a judge in season 1? He would have come in handy right about now.).
When she arrives at the judge’s house, Alonzo Quinn and Simmons are waiting for her. They have even prepped the living room floor with a plastic bag for her body to fall on. They do not for a second fuck around, jeez.

Quinn lectures her about how she’s all alone and how he wished she had bumped her off at the same time as Beecher so they didn’t die alone, and how she was never going to win. She sighs, gun aimed at her forehead, and admits she was wrong when she thought he could take them on by herself. Everyone was dirty, and there was no winning like that. Except… she called some friends of her own! Harold plays back a recording of everything they just said, and with perfect timing that only television has, John bursts in shooting everyone, and manages to get out with Carter and Quinn.

But… now what? They need to get to the FBI building alive still. And now, thanks to a cop cam, Simmons has a photo of ‘The Man in the Suit’ (you thought that cheesy nickname had died with Donelly in season 2? Ya thought wrong.) And he wants to send it to every criminal, every cop, every garbage person in the city.

Simmons (with his cliche villain voice): The Man in the Suit dies tonight.
Will he die? You’ll have to watch the episode, or read my next review. In a year and a half. (Kidding. Maybe).

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