‘Person Of Interest’ EP Reveals Why Fan-Favorite Character Had To Die

Thu, November 21, 2013 12:21pm EST by 115 Comments 10,936 Article Views
Person Of Interest Carter Death
Courtesy of CBS

With so many TV shows holding on to their main characters for dear life, ‘Person Of Interest’ fans were shocked when a fan-favorite character bit it on the Nov. 19 episode. The show’s head honcho has finally told us why, so read on for the gory details. Spoilers ahead!

CBS’ procedural drama Person Of Interest killed off one of its leads during its Nov. 19 episode, leaving viewers stunned and in need of answers. HollywoodLife‘s sister site TVLine chatted with the show’s creator Jonah Nolan to find out why they offed the fan-favorite right after that tantalizing kiss.

‘Person of Interest’: Why Carter Was Killed

Taraji P. Henson‘s Detective Jocelyn Carter was shot and killed during Person of Interest‘s Nov. 19 episode, right after she finally kissed John Reese (Jim Caviezel). POI creator Jonah Nolan says that killing Carter was a difficult decision, but one that was ultimately necessary.

“The primary concern is to tell a compelling and entertaining story,” he says. “Everything else is secondary.”

Fortunately, Taraji was fully prepared for her untimely demise. Nolan wants POI to be like The X-Files and 24 in that anything can happen at any time — including, of course, a main character’s death. “The promise we made to Taraji and all of our actors is we weren’t signing them up for a show where, even if everyone was wildly successful and the ratings were great, we’d have them spin wheels for 200 episodes,” Nolan says.

Um, after all of the fake-out deaths on Vampire Diaries and American Horror Story, I think we’re officially “Team Nolan” on this one.

The thing driving us from the beginning is that mandate of “Keep it f–king entertaining,” he continues. “You’ve got to keep things moving. We have a bloodthirsty group of writers — you’ll walk into the room one day and they’ve devised a way in which Reese and Finch are killed in a fire… When they have the capacity to surprise us, we know that that will surprise the audience.”

Well render us surprised, Nolan.

Carter’s Final Kiss: ‘It Wasn’t Scripted’

Of course, one of the most devastating elements of Carter’s death was the fact that after three long years, she finally kissed Reese before she died. It was a beautiful, touching moment, and — according to Nolan — something that was completely unscripted.

“The interesting part about the kiss is that it actually wasn’t scripted,” he says. “It was just a swapping scars moment. So when the actors went there, it was all of their own volition, because in that moment they both felt it. And when you removed that element, the scene didn’t feel quite the same.”

Yikes! No wonder they’re saying the fallout from her death will be “messy.”

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you admire POI for “going there” or do you wish they’d kept Carter around?

— Shaunna Murphy

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