Monday, January 30, 2012

Person of Interest 1.09: "Get Carter"

“We got into this to stop bad things from happening to good people. Carter’s been doing that her whole life. She’s not just another number, Finch. Some people the world can’t afford to lose.”
- Reese

We find ourselves back in time in 2004 in the Middle East in an underground bunker. It turns out the US military has captured a man named Yusef whom they believe to be helping Al Qaeda. He claims to only sell fruits and vegetables but the soldier talking to him isn’t buying it. He tells Yusef he’s going to have to talk to his boss. And in walks Detective Carter. I guess she was military before she was police. Back in 2011, we have a voice over of Elias saying that Carter needs to go. At the precinct, Carter gets in to find a chronic battered wife, Mrs. Kovach, there to bail out her abusive husband. Carter tries to impress upon the wife that she needs to stop making up excuses for the injuries but it doesn’t seem to help. Mr. Kovach does take Carter’s card. Just as she and her husband are leaving, Lionel shows up. It looks like Elias himself tried to take out Carter at the shooting a few episodes ago. So she pays his father a visit in prison. It goes nowhere fast and as she’s leaving, Elias’s father says that from the looks of things, Elias is going after her. Not the other way around.

Later that night, both Carter and Lionel show up at the homicide of a young man, Ronny Middleton. He was shot in what appeared to be a drive-by. And he was a witness against a local thug, Hector Alvarez, in a shooting but recanted and the DA dropped charges. Carter is out for blood now. She isn’t going to let the thug get away. Lionel starts shouting to get people’s attention for potential witnesses but runs into Reese. He can be a little creepy sometimes. Meanwhile, Carter tries to get information out of Mr. Castillo, a bodega owner where Ronny bought a Mexican soda before he was shot. Reese has finished talking to Lionel when Finch gets in touch. They’ve got a new number; Detective Carter.

The next morning Carter is having breakfast at a diner with her son, Taylor. Reese is a little surprised that she has a son but he’s been checking into her and knows the dad has been out of the picture for a while. Finch is installing a camera and GPS tracker in Carter’s car and almost gets caught. Reese tails her on a motorcycle (he gets to not wear his usual suit for this episode. He looks kind of good in leather.) to Alvarez’s auto shop where she confronts Alvarez and promises she’s going to get him for Ronny’s murder. Back at HQ, Finch is inserting a camera into a police bobblehead that Reese is going to give to Lionel to keep an eye on Carter at the precinct. We also learn a few interesting things about Carter; she was an army interrogator (which we saw at the start of the episode), she went to law school and passed the New York bar in 2004 but went back to the police force. And she has 3 major threats that could be trying to take her out; Elias, Alvarez and Mr. Kovach. So Reese has his work cut out for him. He knows he can’t get too close or else he risks getting caught but he can’t let her catch a bullet either.

At the precinct, Lionel has gotten the bobblehead and after a little funny scene where Reese tells him to turn to face Carter’s desk,. Reese also tells Lionel to get in touch with some of his corrupt cop buddies to see what they know about wanting to take Carter out. When Carter finds out the bodega owner never showed, she heads off to have another chat. Reese follows her and she hauls some guy into her car. Turns out the guy (Bottlecap) is one of her CIs. She asks him to check around about Elias and Hector. She gives him a small wad of bills for his time and the really heads out to see Mr. Castillo. Meanwhile, Lionel meets up with the Captain on a roof to inquire about getting rid of Carter. The Captain says that Elias runs a tight ship but it’s organized and low profile. And getting rid of Carter has gone all the way up the chain of command and has been approved. The Captain also tells Lionel to keep his distance.

At the bodega, Carter questions Mr. Castillo again. He says he didn’t see Alvarez’s car that night but he’d been in to buy condoms and beer before. But he refuses to give a statement otherwise. Carter walks outside and Hector rolls up in his purple car. She tells him to get lost and before he drives off, he makes a gun with his hand and points it at Mr. Castillo. Not good. Reese follows Carter to a bar where she confronts Mr. Kovach and he promises that if she goes after him, he’ll exercise his Second Amendment rights. She really needs to stop antagonizing these guys.

Back in 2004, Carter is interrogating Yusef and she’s much calmer and more compassionate than the guy who started the interrogation. Despite her compassion, she doesn’t get very far. Yusef pretty much tells her he’d rather die than help because Al Qaeda would murder his wife and son. Back in the present, Carter is back at the precinct looking at Ronny Middleton’s phone. She and Lionel have a little brainstorming session about why Hector would go downtown for condoms and booze when Lionel says Hector probably has a girl on the side. So Carter is going to make some calls and Reese calls Lionel to put him on Carter watch. Reese is going to have a little word with Hector and his boys. He also promises that if anything happens to Carter, Reese is going for Lionel next. Reese blows the door to the auto shop open with some kind of incendiary device, shoots the workers and makes off with the guns they were running and jacks Hector’s car.

We jump back to 2004 where Carter promises to protect Yusef and his family if he helps them. Carter rattles off a lot of personal information about Yusef and his family to show she’s not just in it to negotiate to get rid of dangerous explosives. She convinces Yusef to help, for the sake of their children, and he helps. But when the team gets back, she learns that they killed Yusef. She’s really pissed but she finds the men in her unit don’t care less.

Carter and Lionel head to meet up with her CI about Hector’s other girl. She promises to take her CI to his favorite place for dinner if the lead pans out. She certainly makes a lot of promises to people. At the precinct, in a rather amusing scene, she and Lionel introduce Hector’s two girlfriends to each other. Carter promptly locks them in a room with Lionel to sort it out. She also gets the news about Reese shooting up Hector’s shop. Reese feels confident that Hector is out of the picture as he’s on the run. Finch isn’t so sure. And Reese agrees when he mentions Hector is heavily armed.

At the precinct, Hector’s girlfriends give him up. Downtown Girl says he changed his shirt after coming back from the market empty handed and Uptown Girl tells them he has a warehouse in Queens he goes when he’s expecting a shipment. Just as Carter and Lionel are about to head out there, Carter gets a call from Mr. Kovach. She’s panicked and says her husband has a gun. When Carter and Lionel get there they find Mr. Kovach dangling from the rafters by his wrists and Mrs. Kovach hiding in the bathroom. The phone rings and she hands it to Carter. Reese warns her that someone wants her dead and that Alvarez is heavily armed. He hangs up and ducks out before she can ask any more questions. Carter gets back to the precinct to find they have a warrant for Hector’s warehouse and sympathy flowers waiting on her desk (which Elias just delivered). It’s clear he’s out for her.

The cops raid Hector’s warehouse and Reese is there undercover as a member of ESU. While there’s a big gunfight going on inside, Hector sneaks out in his truck around back and Carter manages to take him down without getting shot herself. So two of the three threats are taken care of. Unfortunately, she goes to meet her CI and he shoots her, claiming Elias gave him the choice of his life or Carter’s. But Reese has found her and shoot the CI before he can deliver the final shot. We then see that Carter was wearing a bullet proof vest (thanks to Reese’s hint about someone wanting her dead). Reese leans over just out of sight in the shadows and tells her that he knows she’ll still come after him but that she’s not alone. And he uses her name, Joss. The next morning, Reese manages to get back the surveillance equipment as Carter has breakfast with her son and grills him about the dance he went to. Just as Reese slips out of Carter’s car, he sees a picture of a soldier, clearly Carter’s husband. Guess he died in the line of duty.

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