My Warming Glow colleagues do an outstanding job of covering some of the best shows on TV, as well as our all-around favorite series, and some might even say* that they do the best job in the entire world. But the one show that we don’t ever discuss that everyone should discuss is one of my all-time favorite shows and the only non-sports reason that I even watch CBS – Person of Interest. And if you’re a fan of Jonathan “Chris’ Brother” Nolan’s super-secret agent drama like I am, then you know last night’s preview for the upcoming three episode arc, “Endgame,” is probably the most intense that this show has ever been.
And that begs the question – are they really going to kill off the lovable epitome of redemption, Detective Lionel Fusco? The quick answer: It sure as hell looks like it.
Of the criticisms that I’ve read about Person of Interest, a recurring one suggests that this show is often too PG for its own good, from John Reese, Det. Joss Carter and the wonderful Samantha Shaw (played by the wonderful Sarah Shahi) always shooting bad guys in the knees and arms to none of the good or bad guys ever really being in trouble. But I’d respond to that by pointing out that this third season has been a lot edgier in terms of punishment and, more specifically, the demise of villains, with the fourth episode, “Reasonable Doubt,” being a good example of a show that can fit the wholesome CBS mold and still prove that the main character isn’t afraid to orchestrate a double homicide.
That said, are the show’s writers willing to take a huge step in killing off not only a main character but also one that is adored by fans? Showrunner Greg Plageman sort of hinted at that to TV Line.
“We promised our actors and our audience that these characters wouldn’t be static, stuck in an endless loop — that they would have a journey. And, of course, every journey comes to an end.”
However, while I’m not nearly as good and in-depth with the theories and guessing games as Dustin is (I am 1-for-1 on my Parks and Recreation plot guesses, though), Hero Fix just ran a complete breakdown of the Person of Interest panel from New York Comic Con, and Kevin Chapman, who plays Fusco, offered some insight on where his character is mentally this season.
“I think that’s one of the things that makes the show so interesting is that if you line each of the cast members up shoulder to shoulder there, are no two cast members alike,” Chapman said. “Everyone brings their own dynamic to the thing. What I think Fusco does is he gives it a sense of gravity. It grounds the entire piece. Just for the simple fact that you have this CIA operative, this billionaire – you don’t know how much money he has — you have this cop who has this military background but you’re not quite sure what her military background is. These are all characters that could very easily take flight into a place of disbelief. You see these characters and you see them unfold and then you see this schlep of a cop and you go, I see that. This looks real so the rest of it looks real and it brings the piece down and gives it a keep it to a place of levelness.”
Chapman’s character Fusco is in a very difficult position this year. “Fusco’s swimming in a tank full of HR. He’s the only one left at the precinct. Carter has been demoted,” Chapman said. “Fusco knows that Carter is out for revenge for the loss of her boyfriend. I think the relationship the dynamic has changed. I think Fusco has a level of unpaid gratitude to Carter for her support at the end of Season 2 when things got real dark for Fusco, and we weren’t quite sure that he was going to make it to the other side.”
If I had to make a guess, I would say that Fusco won’t die. He’ll be brutally beaten and tortured for information, only to eventually be saved… by someone who will instead be killed. Reluctantly, I think that’s going to be Shaw (Shahi). I don’t think she was meant to be a full-timer on the series, and I think that we’ve finally been seeing the bits and pieces of her background as an emotionless killing machine because she’s going to eventually make a decision and sacrifice that shows she is capable of caring.
I hope I’m wrong and nobody dies, but then that would simply feed into the criticism. Change is good, whether I like it or not.