Person of Interest, Season 1, Episode 8: “Endgame”
Written by Nic Vav Zeebroeck and Michael Sopczynski
Directed by Sylvain White
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on CBS
“Endgame” kicks off Person of Interest‘s three-episode arc with stakes that don’t get a whole lot higher, as Officer Carter (Taraji P. Henson) goes on the offensive against HR. True to form, “Endgame” is another solid installment from Person of Interest. Seldom does this show ever fail to provide an effective episode and this week is no different. The shake-up of the show’s format is a welcome change. Most episodes follow Reese, Finch, and Shaw, with Carter on her own adventure and this week is very similar, except much more attention is spent on Carter’s dealings. The shake-up itself isn’t even evident until the show hits flashback-land, normally a danger-danger place, but this show always seems to make it work for them and it really helps the episode’s momentum when a couple of logistical mysteries are revealed in the flashback before catching up to present time.
“Endgame” is a great picture of how fascinating Carter’s character arc has been up to this point. When Person of Interest introduced her in the pilot, she was a strict, no-nonsense cop that was relentlessly hunting Reese in the style of Les Miserables and over time she has become still devoted to the law, but willing to make moral or ethical compromises to see the bad people punished. It’ll be interesting to see how far the writers are willing to go with Carter in her mission to take down HR and exactly what other compromises she’ll be willing to make in the future.
It is also good to see where Carter has come from and how her son’s father fits into her life and her past. Carter on the whole is a character that the audience doesn’t know a ton about. It’s been revealed over the past couple of seasons that Carter was an interrogator in the military and that she became a cop when she got out of the service, but little more than that is known. Her son shows up intermittently, but no context has ever been given to his relationship with his father or even where his father is. “Endgame” is really good at spelling out this situation and even (possibly) drawing some parallels between his PTSD and whatever Carter is currently going through with her own trauma after Beecher (Sterling K. Brown) and Laskey’s (Brian Wiles) deaths.
“Endgame” is only the first in a trio of episodes and, if previews are to believed (maybe, maybe not), a fan favorite character is going to bite the bullet in the coming weeks, an event which would be devastating to fans and casual viewers alike. It’s event television at its finest and the anticipation can’t be understated. Even as a standalone episode though, this is an extremely entertaining hour of television.