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

Thu, November 21, 2013 12:21pm EDT by 90 Comments
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

More Shocking TV Deaths:

  1. ‘Person Of Interest’: Fan-Favorite Character Killed In Shocking Twist
  2. ‘Sons Of Anarchy’: Shocking Death Signals The End Of An Era
  3. ‘Vampire Diaries’ Recap: Two Lovers Are Forced To Make A Sacrifice

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Nat

Posted at 10:45 AM on March 18, 2014  

Nolan made a terribly major mistake for killing off Carter….so now how is Reese and Finch gonna enlist help from inside info from within NYPD to get info for which they have no access, like sealed records and finger print ID? Fusco? Come on! Fusco does not have the Carter finesse in handling delicate matters. As we have seen, in whatever Carter did, she revealed her intelligence, principles, and true-police bravery in mmany of the decision she made…should have just let her be hurt and go into rehab for a while before sending her back to the show if they really wanted her to take a hiatus..in this way, should there be a need for Carter to come back, there is always this flexibility….plus this show spent 2 entire season to show us Carter’s dependable, likeable and loyal characters, traits I truly appreciate in a person. Now if the show wants another someone to take her place, they will have to spend just as long to get similar character smoothly transition into the comfort friendship of Finch, Reese, Fusco, Shaw and even Zoe Morgan. I thought these 3 ladies made a good team together when one episode allowed them to be….

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Wayne

Posted at 9:22 PM on March 13, 2014  

Carter was terrific – disappointed she’s gone. Loved her character! The show and its chemistry within the show’s characters are not the same without her. Never missed an episode before her departure. Bring Carter back as a special agent or ?

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Keith

Posted at 8:55 PM on March 12, 2014  

While I loved the show as an entity, Joss Carter (Taraji Henson) was the catalyst. The unspoken attraction between her and Reese was what made it work. Kind of like Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty many years ago. They would never have had to become a couple, just let the embers smolder. I wish Miss Henson the best for her future career. Count me as another one who will not watch POI any longer.

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Sebastian

Posted at 10:58 PM on March 11, 2014  

I think was very stupid to kill Carter. She was my favorite actress in the show, even I do like the other ones, like shaw.
Please, resuscitate her like in other shows.

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Kanga

Posted at 1:43 AM on March 6, 2014  

I am a optimist, the ratings need lifting. So John cradled Carter in his arms, did he check for a pulse, no! Did you see Carter in the Morgue or casket, no! The writers may review the script for a re-write, who knows, maybe Carter will return as a undercover agent!

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Paul Hatfield

Posted at 10:11 PM on February 18, 2014  

You should have definately kept Carter When something work do not mess with it. Stupid move.

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Jeanette Calder

Posted at 10:10 PM on February 18, 2014  

Totally agree with Rod Cauffman “we watch programs for an escape. If we want reality we’ll watch the news channels. I won’t watch POI anymore, thats for certain” Have barely watched an episode since and it was the ONLY show on that I used worked my schedule around. Mistake, show is pretty flat now.

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Rod Cauffman

Posted at 12:42 PM on February 16, 2014  

At least bring her back as a ghost or something as in NCIS. we watch programs for an escape. If we want reality we’ll watch the news channels. I won’t watch POI anymore, thats for certain

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Nancy MacKell

Posted at 4:03 PM on February 5, 2014  

They gotta bring her back, like Buna (below comments) indicated. It would be awesome. I love this show and she added a certain element that made me want to watch it all the more. I can see no reason why they cant keep all of the characters on the program. They are all so damn good!

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Cathy

Posted at 2:39 PM on January 20, 2014  

I think it was stupid to kill of Carter. The show was going to be hot if they built a romance between Reese and Carter. Now like CSI , when they remove Grissom and put Lawrence Fishbourne, they replaced him again and put Ted Danson in the show. Now the show is not worth looking at.

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Goh

Posted at 11:16 AM on February 3, 2014  

When the kissing scene happened, only thought in my mind was: Oh~oh, they gonna kill Carter (obviously they can’t kill Reese), because till today, I never see an white guy has an happy ending with a black girl or vice versa (main character) in any show (just like the Sleepy Hallow). I think till today even after Obama had become president for all these years, most of the Americans are still racist (especially Hollywood). I hate this, please bring Carter back even they can’t be together!

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Larry Lewin

Posted at 11:40 PM on January 1, 2014  

So it now appears Ms. Henson is now unemployed. I wonder what exactly is meant by, “Fortunately, Taraji was fully prepared for her untimely demise.” This was a very stupid move by the writers and Jonah Nolan.

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Buna

Posted at 5:54 PM on December 17, 2013  

Ha Ha guys Carter’s death was needed! Guys ate quick to forget that John Reese is a presumed dead former CIA agent.
Like an agent Carter can’t continue her police work. EXPOSED! She has become one of them now! Joining Finch and gang presumed dead.

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Misha

Posted at 1:42 PM on December 15, 2013  

Joss Carter was an interesting actor in the show and am just wondering what Cisco,Reese and Finch plan on avenging her death..Bear too kinda liked her
All in all…this is an exhilarating show..but that was not good Nolan not good at all.

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Imma

Posted at 9:02 AM on December 12, 2013  

Killing of carter was a bad move @Nolan..no matter how you try to justify it. I agree it should have happened at some point but your timing in this case sucks! unfortunately in your bid to be entertaining…uve lost a chunk of the loyal viewers

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alton

Posted at 6:37 PM on December 9, 2013  

I will not watch POI again, this was a really bad decision that the producers did on this TV series, I am truly upset by their actions, will not watch any more of their shows -

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David

Posted at 10:20 PM on December 6, 2013  

Killing Carter was too predictable and I think it may have been more to the point if Finch had been killed much as I like his character particularly as the computer doesn’t “talk” to him now. Root could have then stepped into his place or am I talking about a future episode here or is she still too evil and cannot be trusted?

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DONNA

Posted at 10:34 PM on November 29, 2013  

why one of the few women on the show? The show will hurt without Carter. Think this was a BAD call to be honest.

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Faye shultz

Posted at 12:03 PM on November 28, 2013  

we are going to miss Carter, Loved her acting.The show will not be the same with her gone.

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David

Posted at 11:08 PM on December 6, 2013  

Totally agree

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PETROS Vittas

Posted at 6:00 PM on January 4, 2014  

Totally agree too

 
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