Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Big Person of Interest Twist, the Race Issue and That OMG Kiss

Taraji P Henson Leaving Person of InterestCBS’ Person of Interest this week shocked, and in some cases devastated, viewers by killing off a main character, played by original cast member Taraji P. Henson. But make no mistake, the onetime Academy Award nominee (for her turn in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) was not blindsided by the twist. (As the POI EPs told TVLine earlier this week, the entire cast was told on Day 1, “Nothing lasts forever.”)

Here, Henson tries to tender comfort to her fans, offers her POV from the other end of That Kiss and shares her hope that Joss Carter’s legacy is for other shows to “shake it up a bit” with diverse casting.

RELATED | Person of Interest EPs Talk Shocking Twist, Unscripted Kiss, ‘Messy’ Aftermath

TVLINE | People are understandably having a hard time digesting Carter’s death. What can you say to appease some of the disappointment they’re feeling?
I just want them to know that this was always going to be Carter’s story. She was never meant to last forever. And art imitates life, and sometimes the good guys don’t make it. Sometimes they’re the ones that lose in the end. I think what we did for TV [on Tuesday] night was great. I mean, TV needed that. So many times when you watch these procedurals, by the end of the show they found that one little piece of hair in the big old carpet that solves the whole mystery. Life is not that sewed up in the end. No, it’s messy and it’s ugly. Just when you got your life together is when you walk outside and catch a bullet. That’s life.

TVLINE | Tell me how the conversation went with [POI creator] Jonah Nolan, when he flew out and told you it was happening?
Well, we always knew it was going to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise. It was just about when. But, yeah, I found out on Valentine’s Day. I was like, “Jonah, you do realize we’re breaking up on Valentine’s Day?” He was like, “Oh, no… But don’t worry, it’s going to be incredible.” But I wasn’t worried, because the writing has always been superb. I totally trust the writers to handle Carter with grace and class, and they did. I’m the type of actress who loves to leave people wanting more. That’s just me. I don’t think I’m there in my career yet, where I ride out a show until the wheels fall off. I’m still getting calls by big-time movie directors and I still have a lot of movies I want to do. So that was always the plan. I don’t want people to think that we had some kind of argument, or there was a falling out. No, no, no. We’re all on the same page and it’s all good.

TVLINE | But diving deeper, as you can appreciate, some people are like, “Oh, man, they had to go and kill off the black character.”
I know…. That’s why we’re talking, so that everybody knows it’s not like that at all.

TVLINE | Instead, people should perhaps celebrate what a strong character they created, on one of TV’s most watched shows…
…and all the good that she did, yes. And we upped the ante for all the other shows. Like, “Come on, get on board! It’s too safe, it’s too safe, so shake it up a bit.”

RELATED | Person of Interest Recap: A Hero’s Number Is Up

TVLINE | What was No. 1 most important to you about how Carter went out?
I think [being killed in a shootout] is how Carter would Taraji P Henson Leaving Person of Interestwant to go out, as would any person who serves and protects for their country or for their city or state. When you put that shield on… you’d rather go out taking a bullet while serving and protecting than, like, being sick in a deathbed. That’s not a way you want to go out.

TVLINE | I understand that you and Jim [Caviezel] kind of took a flyer with that kiss, that it wasn’t in the script?
It wasn’t in the script at all. And I’m really a very spontaneous actress, so if somebody is going to try something new, I like them to just do it. Then you get the honest reaction. So, that’s what Jim did. He came over to me and was like, “I want to do something…,” and I said, “Don’t tell me, just do it.” And that’s where the kiss came from and that whole look on my face, because I really was like, “What the hell did we just do?”

TVLINE | I could see your eyes well up.
Yeah…. That was the night it was coming to a head. Like, I knew I only had a couple more [days on the show], so it was very emotional — for everybody, even the crew. You had big ol’ hairy-backed men coming up to me crying, “Oh, my God, we’re going to miss you.”

RELATED | Person of Interest Recruits Practice Alum, Warehouse 13 Vet for Big Arc

TVLINE | So if Carter hadn’t died, what do you think might have been next for her and Reese?
I don’t know. Since I’ve been on the show, I never tried to guess where the writers were going to go. Because every time I would guess, I guess wrong.

TVLINE | They could very well have just never spoken of it again.
You know what, probably not. Because you saw how when she got him out of jail they never talked about it. They never said, “Hey, that kiss….” And that’s what happens. When you’re in a vulnerable place in life, humans do the most honest things. [Joss and John] needed each other, the walls were closing in, they were about to die. “What if I never get to see this person again” So it just kind of happened. It was like, “Oh, my God, I just kissed my friend, my best friend.” But I think Jim really always wanted to kiss me. [Laughs] I think he always had a secret desire to lay a wet one on me.

TVLINE | As you watched your final episode, did you cheer Taraji P Henson Leaving Person of Interestwhen Fusco (Kevin Chapman) wrested himself free and got the drop on Petersen (Lee Tergesen)?
Absolutely. And he had me in tears when he was on the phone with his son. When he thought they were going to kill his baby? In. Tears. It was a powerful thing for him.

TVLINE | What will you miss most about this cast? Any idiosyncrasies, any wacky habits on set?
I will miss Jim with the random music. During a crazy car chase we once did, in between takes Jim was playing all of New Edition’s old songs. Me, him and Kevin were in the car having a New Edition throwback moment. In the middle of a car chase. I’m also going to miss smoking cigars on random rooftops in New York with Kevin Chapman…. I’m going to miss my deep conversations with Michael Emerson…. I’m going to miss that crew…. I mean, that was my family. I saw them more than I saw my family. They haven’t stopped texting me since I left!

Want more scoop on POI, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Mary says:

    Awesome interview! Thanks TV Line!

    • Larry says:

      I give the writers of “Person of Interest” an F grade for cater’s death. It no logical way too explain her removal at this time from the series! They have lost a fan.

      • Gene says:

        If you think anything in that episode deserved an “F” you are watching the wrong show. This is a show that absolutely does not compromise quality or intelligence for ratings, and because of its unique and complete commitment doing compelling drama, it is never one of those “sure thing” renewals. Carter may have died in the last season of the series. Who knows? She definitely died in one of the best episodes of any show on television this year. If you want a show that plays it safe, uses one formula for every show (“time to have a cute talk with the medical examiner now to provide three obvious clues so we don’t have to write in a lot of smart detective stuff”) you have plenty of shows to choose from.

        For extremely well written shows full of award winning cast members whose only predictable quality is that each show will be a wonderful, well-told story, you have less than a handful of choices., Apparently you just took one of those shows off your list. Your loss.

        • Bibi says:

          Well said Gene… Person of Interest is and will always be one of the best shows on Television right now… Killing off one of the main Characters was simply Smart Writing, because as much as we loved Carter, her death is making us want more. I’m sure we all know now that John is out for blood and we can not wait to see what he’ll do. I think the writers were brilliant in killing off one of the main Character… I look forward to Tuesday.

          • Get Real says:

            Bibi, look around. I mean, really look. Her death is making people all over the place say they don’t want to watch anymore. You just read where Larry said that, so I’m not sure what it is you’re not getting. Not only are people wanting less Person of Interest, some people don’t want it at all now. The way Joss Carter died was the definition of dumb writing.

          • sandra says:

            now lets see Jim C. get killed off, since you feel like that, because the dark haired women is him in female,so he(Jim) can go too

          • Mary Klein says:

            I disagree. Carter’s death would be great writing ONLY if they had not tied everything into a neat “little bow” so that the door was closed on a surprise return, (i.e.) having her kid’s Dad show up, that weak, anemic kiss, etc. It was shocking but it leaves a void that Root and Shaw cannot fill. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

          • I miss Carter!!! But I still never miss an episode of POI. I just prefer when they save someone and lay off the really heavy conspiracy stuff.

          • Summer says:

            Yes, no different than Christina Yang leaving Grey’s Anatomy. ..she clearly was The Main Character…but you have to keep the show fresh. ..

        • Get Real says:

          Stop being silly. It was a horrible mistake, and at least the network knows it or they wouldn’t be parading her around to calm people’s nerves. It’s not great writing that “does not compromise quality or intelligence for ratings” because that’s EXACTLY what it did. It’s November sweeps and they did this to get some shock and awe buzz as well as to get people to tune in to see “Angry Reese” on a rampage again. Problem is it’s backfiring. It wasn’t quality or intelligence to write Joss Carter OUT OF CHARACTER in order to kill her off. That’s stupid and low. If that’s the kind of entertainment you are interested in, then that’s what you’re getting. I, for one, am with Larry. I”m not sticking around for garbage. That’s what Person of Interest has turned into. Just. Complete. Trash.

          • viking 2 says:

            whats to say carter is somewhere safe for protection healing from here wounds and her funeral was staged

          • Cheryl says:

            Gene I’m sorry I just don’t agree with you. I just wish they wouldn’t gotten rid of the main character. I’m still going to watch because I love the characters.

          • Ashley says:

            I couldn’t agree with you more. I think it was done purely for a season 3 November sweeps shock value. There was no reason Carter had to die. Even if Taraji did want time off (according to EVERY interview she did not ask to leave now) they could have had the character off doing something else (off working for the FBI or something.) Plus so many things didn’t make sense…why no phone call for her, why no vest, why were they putzing around on the sidewalk when Simmons was loose and Reese had no gun? I’m really disappointed.

          • Chris Bard says:

            I agree with you generically, that killing off Carter was a bad idea. Unless they somehow come up with a replacement who is equally as appealing and sympathetic, it doesn’t matter if Nolan made this decision on day one or at the last minute. We need people we care about in these shows to mix it up with those we may not care so much about. I think someone should have been contemplating the potential fallout as the season progressed, considering her appeal. Some writers/producers/directors would allow audience response to help dictate who stays and goes as the storyline unfolds. I can do without the psycho wench. I like Sarah Shahi’s character a lot.

        • so much for US Law abiding female lead says:

          “This is a show that absolutely does not compromise quality or intelligence for ratings”

          LOL what! have watched the show back to back, apparently not,

          obviously these writers don’t know the first thing about “continuity” there’s No logic or real back story to “you changed me carter” or reason for the kiss other than “compromising intelligence”.

          it might be good for the female apatite for sexual encounters viewing and killing off Taraji P. Henson (being fine actress) because she wants to piss off and do other and better payed things is fine, it all comes back to lack of continuity again, where is the existing “Law abiding[to start with] female lead that can step in her police insider role and lots more intelligent life like options if they want to portray reality and expand the “Big Brother” narative

          • Jiron says:

            Read up Taraji’s interview on TVLine. The kiss was not written into the script. It was a decision made by Jim Cavieziel at that moment.

        • Jane says:

          I really hope that Carter is sitting somewhere trying to get well. It would be a real disappointment if they killed her off the show. I am definitely done watching if Carter is off the show. Bad move writers. You can not have thought this through. Bring Carter Back.

          • Jay Johnson says:

            I agree 100%. The show grabbed me and it has been wretched from my grips by such an undeserving an untimely removal of an integral.part of a remarkable cast. Writers, know that such a move can bring down a series and in this case, it is my sincere hope the show survives. We don’t need to be shook up, we need to be entertained and filled with anticipation of what comes next in 7 days.

        • Dee L. says:

          Gene & others commenting here, you are absolutely correct. While I am sorry to see the character of ‘Joss Carter’ gone, I knew Ms. Henson would want to continue to stretch her acting chops & I applaud her choice & look forward to seeing what she tackles next. She is a fine actress. I wish her all good things, and thank her for her outstanding work and for sharing her gifts with us.

          The comments here are the most cogent of all of the articles written about this topic. It’s a pleasure to read the article & viewers’ responses. I love ‘POI’ & will continue to watch. Remember, it is only a TV SHOW, and a damn fine one at that. It strives to entertain us and does so brilliantly.

        • Rosie W. says:

          I am devastated, furious, disappointed, and just plan mad!!!! I always wanted John and Carter
          to have a romantic interest in one another, and just when I got my hopes up — a crash and burn.
          John and Carter are the only two reasons I watched the show. Why not have her on her death bed or something? Anything but the death of her character.


        • Rich says:

          An angle dies and the devil (Root) comes on the show! That sucks!! This might be the death of the show in my eyes.

        • gahall says:

          I totally disagree with Gene and Bibi. I’ve been watching POI faithfully since the beginning, and there are just some characters that should never be written out because they form the backbone of the show – Reese, Finch, Fusco, and Carter. Killing Carter off was a HUGE mistake, and if any of the other three characters go, I simply won’t watch it anymore. Like Susan, I grow tired of the espionage trend becoming the norm. I was afraid of this once Finch gave the keys to the kingdom to the US Gov’t by sharing his technology for the common good. There’s no such thing as a politician having the common good in mind, on screen or off.

          • Alan says:

            I guess it’s time to distinguish between Carter and Taraji P. Henson. I felt that it was a waste of time to continue watching Person of Interest without a character as compelling as Carter. But on the other hand it’s no longer timely to be concerned about the effect of that show on the ongoing acting career of Taraji P. Henson, because she has a starring and Emmy-nominated role on Empire as Cookie Lyon, and of course one of her previous roles was her Oscar-nominated performance as Queenie in Benjamin Button.

      • MARIE K says:

        I’m looking for a new Tuesday line-up myself

      • Get Real says:

        Thank you, Larry. You’re absolutely right!! They rushed her storyline, totally disrespected the actress AND her character, and then killed her off in a completely DUMB way! You’re not alone, brother. People are dropping this show, and I think more doing so will be the trend.

      • johnnie says:

        I’m with you Larry. I enjoyed the balance of law that Carter offered and John and his people operating outside the law. Sure Carter did some things as we say “the means justify the ends”. Let’s bring Carter out of her coma or witness protection (hints for bringing her back from the “dead”). If we have to rely on Root the whole show is going down hill. This means the person of interest goes from coloring outside the lines to “crazy”. I guess that’s what the world is coming too.

      • Sophia says:

        My highlight of tv watching Amazing Race, Dancing withStars and it was POI that use to be (Thursday) I stressed about that but rushed home on my meeting night to watch onTuesday…only to find out not even half way through the season one of my favorite characters is killed off in….. a sloppy way.. Carter and John had been so smart prior to this …but walked out into a dark alley way with their last arch enemy still on the loose. It will be hard to rush home now although I have always followed John (real actor) career…yeah and why all the Caucasian women why not another women of color…

      • Shelia Rumley says:

        I agree with many other Fans that I did not feel that Carter’s death was Necessary. I want her to return to the show.

      • Cheryl L Smith says:

        I have not watched my favorite show since Carter’s departure. I will never watch it again. Wrong move, writers!

      • anne says:

        i din’t watch the show since carter is death

      • Cindy Bright says:

        Person of Interest has lost me as a fan. You kill carter and left root. Are you kidding!!! She has kill over a twenty people and now you want the fans to like her.. If this is base on batman then you know that batman had friends at the police office. I’m so mad!!! I had to come online just to find out what the hell happened. And now I know the real reason—– KMA

      • Blitzy Rosenblatt says:

        I agree. The writers are NOT as good as they think they are if, after the unscripted OMG kiss they could not come up with an amended story line for John and Joselyn. The show is not the same without her.

    • Parker says:

      I am very sadwe lost a great actress, maybe she could come back, like it was a fake death!!! That would be great

    • Twinkie says:

      I guess Ididn’t watch closely enough; but was it forshadow that her ‘number’ was up?

      • Lilly says:

        The pay phone nearby was ringing as she was shot. I don’t remember exactly, but someone commented that she saved Reese’s life, so that might explain the late notice.

        • Cheryl says:

          Lilly agree with you see did save Reese’s life. Did you notice how Finch froze when the phone ring. He didn’t even attempt to pick up the phone.

    • Jackie says:

      I LOVED Person of Interest. I believe Joss did not die but had to go into hiding so the crew could find crazy Simmons. Bring her back OR I Will be moving on to my casino games on my iPad on Tuesdays.

      • viking 2 says:

        I am with you Jackie – I give the writers a lot of credit – this episode sure has aroused a lot of people – but weather the kiss was something out of the blue – it sure opens a lot of angles for future episodes when she comes back. – if this is not the number one show on television , I don’t know what to say

      • Cheryl says:

        Yes Jackie …..I want her back. We all should ban together to get that character back on.

    • Cindy says:

      I agree. Thanks and thanks to the Carter actress for giving it And good luck to her in future endeavors; I’d like to see her in a series, as a character as strong a woman as Carter; maybe spinoff?, but if she prefers a movie, that would good. maybe the ext time she’ll get an Oscar.

    • ksmithe581@yahoo.com says:

      I have been a fan from the beginning but now that cater is off the show will just say that was my last show

      • D. Bowen says:

        That is the last show for me as well.

        • Carter Cavalry says:

          I’ll never watch the show again and find the brashness and insensitivity of the writers loathsome. They fired Henson and made her keep quiet while they paraded her replacements in front of her, Even worse, they admitted killing off “the heart of the drama” on purpose, for shock value. Who do these clowns think they are? I hope the Person of Interest ratings tank, while former fans revolt in mass numbers.

          • William says:

            O ye of little faith, keep dreaming! This show still fired on all cylinders afterwards and have made us all hungry for the next season now! Goes to show who the smart people were all along!

    • Lois says:

      I suspect Taraji was fired but well compensated to go with the official story. I don’t know what the demographics are for African Americans who watched this show because of Taraji, but I suspect Nolan and Abrams or whoever is producing this show felt it was worth the risk. They are aiming for another demographic, younger, male comic-aficianados.

      • EndOfLine says:

        I agree completely…I as an African-am woman will not be watching show anymore. Thank goodness for Scandal.

        • Cheryl says:

          Wow …See writers she’s moving to Scandal. I’m really starting to think it was a color issue. They started bringing all these white characters on all of a sudden. I’m glad you’re moving to Scandal.

        • Rock says:

          So your a racist that only watches shows with black actress’s as leads? Scandal? Really? She is so weak. Can’t stand when she pouts and acts weak when her cheating bf calls. Lame show

          • Jay Johnson says:

            Nothing indicates racism played any part in the removal of Taraji from her character in the show. I do understand racism can be hidden so well that Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t be able find it. In this case, I am feeling not only disappointment from fans but hurt. When a show becomes a part of your life and it’s suddenly taken away, it takes time to grieve and heal. Writers be aware that when “Burk” was removed from his program I no longer had an interest in the show and never returned. The real live actors and Producers handled a bad situation badly.. Racism and ego’s ruined a career.
            Two actors were white, one actor was African American and one Producer was African American . I bring this fact into this situation to compare real racism with what is unknown, verses, what is known. I do not see any racism In Taraji’s demise, I will never say it did not play any part in losing her character. If it did, I will agree with some of these post and ask how stupid can these writers be

          • Alan79 says:

            I never thought racism played a role. But I no longer watch the show because it doesn’t make as much sense without Carter, as compared with its clarity when it first aired. Carter was an essential character. The show has taken a poor, weak, and confusing direction since those other two women became prominent parts of the story lines. Folks like me have a somewhat limited time to devote to following scripted dramas on a regular basis. There are four other shows on four other nights that I “can’t miss.” Without Carter, I no longer see any reason to set aside time for Person of Interest. And BTW, if you miss an episode CBS doesn’t have the rights to enable you to view it freely online.

          • mikep says:

            {So your a racist that only watches shows with black actress’s as leads? Scandal? Really? She is so weak. Can’t stand when she pouts and acts weak when her cheating bf calls. Lame show
            Comment by Rock – December 3, 2013 08:07 PM PDT REPLY TO THIS POST}

            The fact of the matter is … there are so few black actors that have a leading character roles…………………… that……. in itself …..attracts broader demographic to watching and would lend to the fact that any particular series… is only survivorable based on any particular characters fan base. For me, i evaluate a particular character based on his/her believe-ability and swag ( the way in which he /she portrays the character irreguardlless of the writers that wrote it.)
            A little background on myself;
            The shows i watch are as follows:

            Walking dead
            Under the Dome
            Burn notice
            Sons of anarchy
            Breaking bad
            agents of sheid

            Bad move by the producers in my opinion, because i think, it came down to money….. and to continue without her was the cheapest solution……………………SAD


      • Cheryl says:

        I don’t think she was fired. If they wanted her off because they wanted an all white cast. That would be very low down and dirty. Because she made the show. She’s an outstanding actress, it was a mistake to get rid of her. If it was her choice to leave to do something else then you go girl but if it was because they didn’t want a black actress for that role after 3 seasons that’s low.

        • Virginia Kennedy says:

          Why are people always looking for the race card to play. Carter played a prominent role in POI . I liked the show because people weren’t jumping in bed with each other that’s why a romance between Carter and Reese wouldn’t have worked out. Why do people want to boycott the show because Carter was killed off sounds like Racism to me. There are other excellent Characters namely Finch (my favorite character) Shaw, Fusco, Reese and Root yes Root to watch. Life will go on without Carter as much as I’ll miss her character.

          • Alan says:

            I too don’t believe that racism was involved. And I never even considered the silly possibility of a romance between Carter and Reese. I just think the plot lines became boring without Carter, and that the Person of Interest plot lines featuring other female characters were kind of stupid. Therefore, I decided to devote my limited time for watching TV to other scripted shows, although not necessarily shows that are on at the same day and time. Taraji P. Henson has obviously gone on to better things as the star of the highest rated fictional show on broadcast TV. The only thing that would have prevented that from happening would have been a mistaken decision by Fox, had one been made, to run it on Sundays, when other networks have a lock on the prime time competition because of both 60 Minutes and Sunday Night Football, or on Thursdays, when the ABC network has a three hour lock because of Shonda Rhimes’ brilliant work as a creator and/or an executive producer and show runner.

    • B. J. BERRY says:

      Carter was a major part of the show!! She was an asset and will be missed my many of her watchers. I love the show, but could have others gone before Carter.

    • Killing off Carter, the most stand out character on the show beautiful wonderful actress was the stupidist thing the Person(s) of Interest big wigs could have done. To replace her with a fat over the hill, mediocer actor leaving nothing but 2 also mediocer actresses.
      You( the big wigs) keep tinkering with succssfull shows that may not have the big money ratings you want, but your desperation to make the most money keeps destroying show after show. When I finish this e-mail, I will look up the creator(s) of the show (You/ or Group) so that when You Guys bring a new show on I, and my friends will not watch. Your desperate greed, and others like you, doing the same thing over and over only brings you much more losses in the end.
      If the show is just doing okay at the first season/year, you tinker with it, to it’s eventual, usually pretty fast demise. Do you even bother to see how angry and sad people are to see this happen to shows that are great, yet need more time to develope. So, Person of Interest & NCIS are now cancelled by me and thousands of others.
      AS I said I will look up who you are, and will never watch a show you put on the air again, and that goes for the other greedy losers like you. Greed, greed,greed, and I have had enough, I will stick to the smaller networks the give shows a chance. May your greed be your monetary, industry downfall.
      Done with Person of Interest, and any all all you put on the air. Remember, I am not alone in this, read the comments, you greedy, fools. I will consider posting to Facebook and Twetter, this e-mail to you greedy losers, Besides, BBC and Canadian shows are much better, with great new shows, and integrity and not your self-centered, Super Ego, Greedy Losers.
      You can always change your behavior and choices, and put MORE MONEY in your off shore accounts, you rich, tax dodging, dump it on the poor & what remains of the middle class, you sad greedy, empty shells.
      Wm. S. Dwornik 310-651-4975 my business partner and I can show you how to do this, and not keep cancelling, and losing show, after show.

      • Virginia Kennedy says:

        Why are people always looking for the race card to play. Carter played a prominent role in POI . I liked the show because people weren’t jumping in and out bed with each other, that’s why a romance between Carter and Reese wouldn’t have worked out. Why do people want to boycott the show because Carter was killed off sounds like Racism to me. Get over yourselves people it’s acting. Folks are threatening to jump of a bridge (literally) because Carter is gone.There are other excellent Characters namely Finch (my favorite character) Shaw, Fusco, Reese and Root yes Root to watch. I’m still a big fan and will continue to watch the show

    • They have lost two fans, so I am now watching other shows even reruns!

    • June Thomas-Watkins says:

      I still watch the show but I really do miss Taraji P. Henson and her character really help to make the show exciting. Now the show has no people of color and it takes me back to the 1950’s where blacks were not put on mainstream television. Please consider bringing her back they do it on soap operas all the time.

    • JAMES Carty says:

      the writers of person of interest should take a serious review of the movie a bridge too far then maybe they will understand why they should never have cut Carter from person of interest

    • dawbf says:

      It may have been smart writing but oh it broke my heart, i didn’t want to watch anymore! I had to DVR a few of them and then start watching. The whole episode was hard, I didn’t want Fusco’s kid or him to die, but if he did ,I think I would have understood more. Carter I just wasn’t expecting, and I still miss her character. When they had the funeral, I was like darn, she cant be captured some where or Elias hauled her off saving her at the last second, and since I had so much vested in the characters i was really sad. In fact, I did realize until then just how vested I was. Root is who I was hoping would die, or they would kill off in some fantastic way that left clues to the machine.. oh well ive started watching again, and I’ll get used to it just like John is….

      • June says:

        I watched the show on the computer yesterday. It was okay but Carter helped to make the show greater. Writing her out is like removing a special ingredient from a favorite recipe and then making the recipe but it just doesn’t taste the same. PLEASE write Carter back into the show as the person who has an identical twin or something!!!

    • That is a bunch of bull. I surely believe it was a “Black thing.” Why not kill off Shaw, she was a wanted person anyway. Ok, fix it this way – Carter was operated on at a secure location. She survived. She was undercover, absent a while making sure her son was protected, then resurfaced later when HR is all destroyed (or mostly). Think of it like Black viewers watching – and the only character that gets killed is the Black female Star. And the other Black officer who Carter was killed earlier on. Sorry that doesn’t wash with me. You have lost credit from my me & my friends….Bring her back!!!!

    • HARLEM120 says:

      I feel that they used taraji to build up the show and now that they got the viewers so long token,and because of that I don’t watch it anymore.

    • tim says:

      U people complain and say you’re not gonna watch the show anymore cause 1 main character dies….IT’S FICTION PEOPLE, ENTERTAINMENT, GET OVER IT AND JUST ENJOY THE SHOW OR DON’T

    • Ratings for Person of Interest Season Three Speak for Themselves and Former Fans says:

      According to the ratings figures for season three of Person of Interest, the decline in viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic decreased 32.25% from season two. Overall viewership decreased 17.97%. Numbers do not lie. Many people stopped watching the show for whatever reasons, and the death of the Joss Carter character likely had something to do with why they did. The drama changed its course and its look and a lot of former fans opted out.

  2. BenM says:

    Pretty Heavy Spoilers …in the title. Yikes.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Amended, but primarily because I was already working to denote that she addressed the race issue. It has been 36 hours.

      • Magically Suspicious says:

        I was waiting to record all three of the ‘3 episode event’ and watch them at once. I know that’s on me to be careful about spoilers, but all I had to do in this instance was open this website and top of the page is a photo and a reference to Carter’s death. You could have tried a little bit.

  3. Sam says:

    And spoiled. Thanks TVLine.

    • Katherine215 says:

      You’re visiting *a spoiler website.* I’m pretty sure you can’t expect to remain unspoiled if you’re going to a spoiler site 2 freaking days after the episode aired.

      • I go to this site for news and interviews and never read the spoilers and would prefer them to be on a different site altogether. I really don’t understand the animosity towards people who don’t watch live TV for every show every damn day. It really isn’t a lot to ask to keep major plotlines away from accidental view and keeping off the internet until you watch every show ever is a stupid, unrealistic solution.

        • Lilly says:

          Give me a break. I, too, watch shows late. I don’t even have a DVR and have to find eps that I miss online in my spare time. I’m in an active chat room about Survivor (and receive email updates) but because I can’t watch it live, I avoid that chat room and don’t open the emails for a couple of days until I watch it.
          This page isn’t written just for the 15 of you who can’t watch a show right away OR manage your own computer travels like an adult…. There are many others of us who WANT to know the latest news and stay away when we don’t. Sorry.

          • So, you’re saying that it is completely unreasonable to ask that article titles and headlines be carefully phrased so people a day or a week behind can’t see it accidentally? Completely unreasonable? As has been mentioned ad infinitum, the title/headline ends up on other websites. I know enough not to visit the front page of this site ever, where it clearly says, “The actress shares her thoughts on Carter’s death, leaving the show and what she’ll miss.” I would have written it, “The Oscar-nominated actress shares her fondness for her castmates.” If I ran this site, no headline/title would contain the words death, died, dies, killed or murdered (except non-fiction news stories, of course). It’s a simple solution that would make everyone happy. So, why is that unreasonable? Why is that too much to ask for?

          • Katherine215 says:

            Yes, it’s completely unreasonable to expect a website to cater to your individual wishes, especially when it’s been 2 days since the episode aired! People likely search “Carter death” and having this in the address draws page hits. Which pay the bills. So you can continue to read here for free.

          • Meeno Bogg says:

            It’s a decision a website has to make, if they prefer the readers who will click on spoilers in headlines. I was a Zap2it reader forever, but their policy is to post spoilers in headlines, so I moved on to another site. Just like I will move on if TV Line goes the same route.

      • David Francis says:

        Grow-up nimrod.

    • Eran says:

      The words “Big twist” and “OMG kiss” are featured in the headline. What exactly were you expecting, going into this article? Christmas Carol lyrics???

    • Alex says:

      If it has already aired, it’s NOT A SPOILER.

    • Sheena says:

      Person who reads spoiler, then complains about spoilers: Person of Misguided Interest? Sneak Peaker of Interest?

    • Tenney says:

      It’s not a spoiler if the show already aired.

  4. D'Arcy says:

    Good one on the spoiler, TVLine. Normally you’re so much better than this, too.

    • Aeol says:

      It’s been two days. It’s being talked about everywhere. How long should any website have to wait? Stay off the TV WEBSITE if you’re going to get mad about TV news that’s already happened.

  5. Gwen says:

    Thank you for printing this interview. I thought the episode was extremely well done and I applaud the cast and the writers. Now hopefully we won’t have to hear any more haters going on and on about why the show killed off Carter. She died a hero’s death and I absolutely agree with Taraji’s take on it…life is not always tied up neatly at the end of the episode.

  6. Sheila says:

    She was written out because the showrunners did not like her speaking up about being left off the magazine cover (entertainment weekly? tvguide?). Reese and Finch were on the cover and she complained in a tweet. BOOM – she’s off the show. I am disappointed in CBS. She should not have publicly complained, but that is a minor thing compared with the importance of her role on the show. I was a fan of her character and the show. Root and Shaw are not improvements. I will not be watching this show any longer.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      “Boom, she’s off the show”? Two years after the fact?

      • Sheila says:

        Hi, Matt! I am a fan of your site. I guess I struck a nerve with some folks. Yikes!
        I had a feeling Taraji would be written out when the magazine thing happened…but NOT because of her race. (magazine thing was not about race either, imo) Showrunners have rough plots and arcs in advance. You have some idea of production schedules, at least a better idea than I do. I remember Sutter (SOA) saying he maps out stuff in advance. So, to answer you, yes. I am a cynic on this one.

      • Reason says:

        It was calculated, Matt, but Sheila’s right. They brought in her “replacements” last season and made her watch while they got central focus and she was sidelined. Then, they got rid of her in this episode in a ridiculous way. And that “Boom” was really a “Pow” when Simmons shot her and she (unbelievably) didn’t have on a bullet-proof vest.

      • Tom says:

        She is not out of the show you will see !
        All is a part of the plan

    • Jim! says:

      This is quite a bit of a stretch, and your connection between the two is completely unfounded. Did you not read the article? “This was always going to be Carter’s story”. The character’s death was not out of spite or retribution for anything behind the scenes. While I dislike the fact that the character is dead, it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the show. Joss’s story was told. It was a bold move, to kill off such a central character, but it’s boldness like this that makes shows like “Person of Interest” stand out from the crowd. Joss’s killing wasn’t jumping the shark, it wasn’t a ratings ploy, and it wasn’t a stab at the actress for any kind of wrongdoing. It served the story well and it made for an incredibly powerful hour of television. Trying to invoke something as innocuous as a tweet about a magazine cover as a reason to kill off a character? Absolutely amazing. And, for the record, the addition of Shaw? BRILLIANT and I think Sarah Shahi is doing an outstanding job in the role.

      • jj says:

        completely agree with you Jim.

        • Gwen says:

          Well written, Jim! And for everyone who complains about Shaw being one-dimensional, I wonder if those people have been watching every episode, especially the one where Shaw’s back story explains why she seems to be without emotion. I think Sarah Shahi is wonderful.

      • Sheila says:

        It is ok to disagree. However, the bottom line is the bottom line.
        Perhaps that is the reason they gave Taraji for writing her off – that it was always planned. I remind you that HR started off as a Fusco thing. I am not trying to invoke anything. I am expressing a bit of cynicism about the PTB.

      • Reason says:

        Shaw is awful, but on to you other point. Carter’s story was not “over.” Maybe they didn’t want to write for the character anymore, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t more stories to tell. There were, and it seems like there’s plenty of interest in those stories that won’t get told because she was killed off way too soon. The series has jumped the shark as far as I’m concerned and I think it’s too bad they didn’t want to do more with the character. Ms. Henson is a fantastic actress who deserved better. Much better.

        • Cheryl says:

          Reason I agree with you. She did deserve better. They could have kept her on. Even though it was not planned for Carter to stay. I hope they bring back on a black female actress. Mix it up. Carter brought her A game to the show. And Carter had a lot of fans.

      • easily confused says:

        I just wish they cast actresses in the roles of Root and Shaw who looked completely different from each other ; maybe instead of both being brunettes one cold be a blond or redhead : of one short and really tall? I’m elderly and have some vision problems; I keep having to ask my husband is that ….?

      • Cheryl says:

        You know what Jim your write Shaw is doing a great job. I took a gab at her and said that she wasn’t an improvement. I think that she’s a excellent edition to the show. She a female Reese.
        Root still is annoying. If she get killed off I won’t miss her.

    • Emac says:

      I totally agree with Shelia. Carter was an asset to the show. Root is so annoying and that storyline has long lived its value. Shaw is entertaining but not a substitution to the value of Carter. I was devastated by the loss of Carter and really have no interest in PoI anymore.

    • sarah says:

      The creators have stated over and over that they told each actor from day one that there was a shelf life for their characters. Taraji has also said that she would not have committed to the show had she needed to sign on for several years. She loves doing Broadway and movies so she was just fine with what she signed up for.

    • Tav says:

      I doubt it was as simple as that, nor do I think race exactly played a role in her departure, but I do believe at some point it became an issue of ~aesthetics.
      The actresses who portray Shaw and Root are a certain “type”, have a certain build and appearance (for comparison, actresses Kerry Washington and Nicole Beharie fit the same bill, so to speak). If Ms. Henson shared the same “look” I doubt CBS/POI would have decided to bring on 2 additional actresses and subsequently write her off.

      • ” If Ms. Henson shared the same “look” I doubt CBS/POI would have decided to bring on 2 additional actresses and subsequently write her off.”

        This is just…dumb. If it were an issue, Ms. Henson would not have been cast in the FIRST place. The producers have spoken about this and the actress herself has spoken about it. Let. It. Go.

        • Tav says:

          I’m sure they got what they wanted when they originally cast the show and only later decided they needed to be “hip” and “fresh” (or whatever lingo some exec probably dropped) to attract the target demo. In case you hadn’t noticed, as far as actresses go, the younger and thinner the better.

          • Reason says:

            Yeah, that’s what they think, but it isn’t true. They’ve actually lost viewers and their “target demo” since they’ve added Shaw and Root. So, so much for that thinking…

      • bird says:

        You sound just plain stupid.

      • ryan says:

        Totally agree with u. I really liked the Carter (& Fusco) characters because she (they) were not the Hollywood “type” When they brought in the 2 white girls, I thought..oh no, here we go again, they will soon take over the focus of Fusco & Carter. More boring Hollywood pretty white girls with Guns & botox lips.
        By the way, I’m a late 60’s white guy

    • Louise says:

      Sheila, Did you not read EVERY INTERVIEW. My gosh, Taraji is not a liar. She is fairly outspoken, so no way she’d be lying now. And, yes, it’s been over two years. Stop with all your hate. Enjoy the fabulous character she created and enjoy this wonderful actress without tainting her with your misguided — and ignorant of the facts — hatred.

      • Sheila says:

        Oh my! I thought everyone could freely express their opinions, Louise! There was more “hate” in your response than anyone else’s. Why do you let an opinion (everyone has them, just like everyone has you-know-what) rile you up? I did not attack anyone. Calm down. Breathe.

        I never called Taraji a liar. Did you not READ MY COMMENT? Nothing I say can taint Taraji. If anything, my comment was regarding my disappointment in the PTB of the show.

        You seem to believe everything you read as “fact.” That is misguided. Perhaps there is more to the story than what you can see on Entertainment Tonight. Maybe there is not. However, I thought this was an open forum. My bad.

        Feel free to RESPECTFULLY disagree. Also, look up the word “hate.”

      • Reason says:

        Come on, Louise. It’s call PR. She’s not going to say anything bad about the producers. It was never her choice to leave at this time. She said she didn’t want to do a show for 7-8 years, but she didn’t say she wanted to leave at the beginning of season 3. That was the producers’ choice, not Ms. Henson’s. Please get your facts straight. It’s a shame they got rid of her too soon. Her acting has been on fire this season!!! Too bad TVline only gives it an “honorable mention,” though. Where were they during that scene in Razgovor?

        • Cheryl says:

          Reason I agree with you. She did say she didn’t want to do it for 7-8 years. It was their choice to kill her off . They could have kept her a little longer. It was to soon. That is so wrong. The black actress always go first. Let’s see how long the other actress stay on. How long will their character shelve life be. I bet longer than Carters.

        • Jd moore says:

          This was a great show and the Carter role was perfect in terms of the cast mix. To remove and yes replace with 2 women whom I can’t get behind so yes with anger and malicious intent I hope the show bombs and is off the air ASAP. She may state the company line but knowing that Black characters are killed off 1st fast and in a hurry I and others will just have to show them we WILL NOT watch

    • Can I use you for my power point presentation? I need a good projector.

    • shantina says:

      I agree sheila, i will not watch any longer! The timer will be deleted from my dvr.

    • Gloria says:

      I will not watch the show anymore. This was a stupid move.

    • Cheryl says:

      Sheila you are on point with that comment. Root and Shaw was not an improvement. I hope they didn’t kill her off because of the magazine comment. That’s good you are finish with the show.

  7. shuayb says:

    Agh please if anyone doesn’t know what happened already is living in a major hole. I’m just sad that Carter won’t be in POI anymore. It sucks so bad. I’m happy where the story is and I’m glad that HR is no longer there. We can’t have too many villains.
    I wish Taraji everything of the best and I hope that we can see her in something awesome.
    Can’t wait to see her in Think Like A Man Too.

  8. Dee says:

    Aww, I will miss her character terribly. But obviously she will go on to bigger things. Wish her all the success in the world.

    Thanks for the interview, Matt!!! :)

  9. DanielleZ says:

    Taraji is a class act and I don’t doubt anything she’s said. I’ll miss Carter but I still love the show. Thanks for the interview.

    • Lilly says:

      Exactly. Still the haters are trolling here….
      How much more clear could Taraji have been?!? And what an insult to her integrity as an actor to insinuate that the writers needed to KEEP her on the show just because she is black, even though the show and the story has deep meaning as written? I hate that Carter is gone. And I sincerely hope they find a creative way to bring back the moral/cop dimension.
      But if everyone who says they only watched the show for Carter were telling the truth, the show wouldn’t have been renewed for season two, because Carter was a much more secondary character that first season.

      • Reason says:

        Funny, now you want to insult the integrity of the people that say they watched the show primarily for Carter. How do you know what people’s preferences are? Are you telepathic? Have a crystal ball or something? Personally, she was my favorite character. If anybody’s trolling hard here it’s you.

    • stevemackenzie58 says:

      Am I upset that Carter is dead and no longer on the show? YES! Will I stop watching Person Of Interest? Absolutely not. I love Shaw, too.

  10. KCC says:

    Good luck in your future endeavors, Taraji P Henson! Thank you for bringing the character of Joss Carter to life.

    • joe says:

      Amen to that that she is an awesome actress and brought power to her part. Well done Taraji you will be missed by all of us who enjoy your presence on the screen.

  11. John 1138 says:

    ” “Come on, get on board! It’s too safe, it’s too safe, so shake it up a bit.”

    How a great actor views it.


    • Lisa says:

      Thank u i agree. Also thnx 4 article. Im shocked about Carters demise. Its hard when a show loses a protagonist. Dont u wanna see how Caters death affects Reese? POI shakes me up n leaves me jonesin for the nxt ep.! A very intelligent show w/ silly & serious moments- not afraid to reach into darker themes. Lets not forget why The Machine exists at all, or the post 911 world which POI universe exists. I cant bleive ppl watch for only 1 charachter!? Tru fans wouldnt just stop cold. PS- Pls re-read article b4 commenting-_-

  12. Spoiler Junkie says:

    I am devasated at her character’s death and will miss her terribly. That being said, I still love the show and each and every character on it.

  13. Andrea says:

    I like Carter too, but I’m also fine with Taraji’s exit. On Letterman last night, she specifically said that she enjoys doing feature films and she didn’t want to do TV because she didn’t want to be committed to one project for seven years. She said that the producers knew that and told her that Carter would have a definite beginning, middle, and end. Taraji said this was her opportunity to have the experience of doing TV without the long commitment.

    Things seemed to work out for everybody. She played a terrific character, and it seems that she and the producers were on the same page in terms of longevity. I’m not sad because it appears that things worked out as those involved wanted them to work out.

    Good luck to Taraji as she continues to move forward in her career.

    • DenverDean says:

      I rarely watch Letterman, but happened to flip right before she appeared. What a wonderful actor and person? She’s a class act and anyone trying to make this about a firing or race is just wrong. It’s a real bummer when a show loses an actor like her, but it’s good that POI is not just following the “procedural” template.

      • Can't Watch Without You says:

        Right now I think they are following the “cancellation” template. And I do think they treated her wrong because of her race. She’s the only dark person there and interestingly enough she’s the only one they had to be told by the network to write for. Hmm.

  14. Supernatural Fan says:

    today is thrusday! if you haven’t watch it by then, that your fault. TVLINE spoil shows and give INFO. DONT LOG ON HERE AND GET MAD BECAUSE A PERSON DIED ON THE SHOW! Its media the show aired now they are talking about it. if you see something that say shocking twist on POI my guess is not to click on it until I watched the show! get a grip people geez!

  15. sharlimar says:

    Taraji much success. I was not ready for you to leave the show. it was wonderful watching a feminine police officer. your character was well developed. I will continue to watch the show but I will miss your presence.

  16. kel says:

    Great interview! TPH nailed it and I hope she gets an Emmy nom for this. She seems very happy with the ending Carter got. It was sad, and targic, but again realistic. If you want shows that are all sunshine and puppies, this isn’t the show for you. They warned from the Pilot that what they were doing was going to cost them their lives. Carter won’t be the last. “I said I tell you the truth, I didn’t say you’d like it” -Finch.

  17. E says:

    Her death was shocking!! It’s been a while since a TV show has shocked me. Well done. She will be missed.

  18. Cheryl says:

    Carters death was cheap and unnecessary. There are many way to shake up a show,to entertain without killing a character. But that requires thought and imagination not blood and seriously real life the way the bodies pile up on this show Cops getting killed left and right and Reese and Carter carelessly taking a stroll at night with Simmons on the loose and out for blood
    She was the the heart and balance of this show killing her off comes second in foolish show running to Root being in the show a third season and insanely made a regular.

    • HereThere says:

      But ever since Carl’s death and Carter decided to take down HR, chances of her coming out completely unscathed is always on the low end of probability. In fact when Carter, the most morally uncompromised character on the show, told her rookie partner “you work for me now” we all knew that she really is not going to stop until HR is gone or when she is dead. So even though Alonze was arrested, with Simmons missing, it was never gonna ends well.

  19. Elaine says:

    Great interview, Matt. I’m glad you did this to clear things up for the fans. There were so many silly negative comments, though God knows they came from a good place in people’s hearts – their love for the character. Taraji is one class act. I can’t wait to see what she does next (and I love her saying how directors are calling her for movies all the time — shows they know a great actress when they see one).

    POI is one of my current favorite shows. I really enjoy all the characters and the new female regulars really add to the show. I understand some people’s frustration with the Root character, but I believe she’s going to become a very interesting character because she’s the only one who can communicate with the Machine…;and while we haven’t seen too much interactiion with the Machine lately, that’s going to change. Having her relationship with the Machine added to the fact you can never trust her will make Root a blast to watch in the future. Every show needs a good villain, and having one as one of the main characters is brilliant — kinda why I really like The Black List as well — we don’t know for sure how much of a good guy or bad guy Spader’s character really is and that’s exciting.

    Very glad Taraji is happy with this exit and that it worked in with her career plans. I’ll sure miss her though……….. but I’ll sure never miss an episode of POI>


    • Elaine says:

      Oh, and if there’s an episode of a favorite show that I’ve missed. I just don’t go to any spoiler/gossip/entertainment sites.I can’t expect these sites not to talk about TV episodes, especiallly the really big ones. It’s their job after all. I figure if I see a spoiler now, it’s pretty much my own fault. I do wish the headlines wouldn’t contain the spoilers though (cause these headlines show up in news aggregator sites as well, so even if I avoid entertainment/tv type sites, sometimes I’ll still view an unwanted spoiler there. That suck, but hey, that’s life.)

    • Can't Watch Without You says:

      You’re being silly if you think that interview was anything other than PR spin to help out the producers that fired her.

      • Ashley says:

        Exactly-she’s been saying the same thing in every interview like it’s been rehearsed. I don’t think she had any intensions of leaving soon. I don’t believe either that Carter was planned to be killed from the start. Who hires a movie star for a role and plans to kill them before seeing how the show even does? I think it was done purely for shock value. The show is in season 3 and they were looking to shake it up and of course during November sweeps. I’m really disappointed at how the producers treat the fans.

  20. tp says:

    It will be time for JC to leave in a little while too. He hasn’t made a movie in a while.

  21. sarah says:

    Love her! I was very sad when she was killed off but I never once thought it was due to race! I am glad she cleared it up as tons of people were so sure it was!

    • bird says:

      Sarah really. That was a damage control interview with some spin. Basically she was helping them out. They could have kept her around at least another year. This was quick for a main character This show new exactly what it was doing by killing her off when they promoted Sarah and Amy at all of the events. To deny Carter’s racial identity is hurtful, as harmful as trying to pretend Carter was not a woman, or a veteran, or a mother.

      • Lilly says:

        So impressed that you are so much smarter than Taraji herself. Why don’t you look her up on Twitter and call her a liar? Her interview above and on Letterman showed her to be a class act who is in demand. I wish her all the best and will be drawn to watch her in new ventures. Why can’t you do the same?

        • Can't Watch Without You says:

          It’s called PR. She’s not a liar, just a smart actress who wants to work again. You don’t say anything but glowing things about producers and directors in Hollywood, no matter how horrible they are, if you ever want to have another job. Before you spew your venom you should learn how things really work.

          • Lilly says:

            I did not “spew venom”, as you put it. I was simply calling you out on very strong, disagreeable comments after Taraji herself had given TWO immediate interviews with GLOWING comments to the contrary. I’m not an idiot. I know politics plays a role almost everywhere. But there are ways to say nothing negative without JUMPING to grant two interviews that PRAISE her fellow workers and employers. All I was doing was pointing out that perhaps – just assume for a minute “perhaps” – she MEANT what she was saying and didn’t have a political gun pointed at her head. She could have side nicer things without going as far as she did.

          • kel says:

            She didn’t have to do the interview, or she could have said generic answers and still been respectful to the show. And not burn any bridges. She’s telling everyone and anyone who will interview her that she was not ever going to stay more than three seasons. Yes the writers decided when that would be, but she seems quite proud of her work and exit from the show. There are no behind the scenes reports of any bad feelings between her or anyone. Why can’t you buy that just maybe she’s telling the truth? If she had no issue speaking her mind about the TV Guide thing, well over two years ago and before the show even debuted, why would she go way out of her way now, when she’s been written off to say nothing but nice things about the show?

          • Can't Watch Without You says:

            Come on, now. Be smart, Lily. As an actress in Hollywood, was she really going to give ANYTHING but glowing praise to the producers? Of course not. You really need to have a clue. I’ve seen her interviews, the QandA she did with CBS, and read her interviews. At no point does she say that she wanted to leave now. She says every single time that the producers decided, so I don’t know what’s so hard for you to understand. She still may technically be under contract even though her part on the show is over, I mean obviously she had filmed that episode BEFORE she did some of the promotion for it and we hadn’t seen it yet. That’s something the actor is obligated to do, you know, like how actors film a movie and then promote it and do interviews. They’re not doing that as a way of “jumping to grant interviews.” They’re doing their jobs, just like she is now. The praise for her co-workers, I do believe is genuine. Jonathan Nolan, mmmh, maybe not so much. But like I said, she would be praising him regardless because that’s what you do when you still want to work in Hollywood.

          • Gloria says:

            I will not watch the show again. The producers are arrogant animals!!!

    • Mm Me says:

      I miss Carter! Now they have Jim and Shaw – male and female characters acting the same…boring…two killing machines…need Carter back for another prospective.

  22. SavhCaro says:

    Taraji P Henson is a class act. Wish some of her fans would take a lesson from her. She explained everything perfectly and logically. To challenge WHAT she said is like saying she’s lying.
    This interview & every interview I’ve read all say the same thing. This was planned, it was known from the beginning. It is a credit to the creator, Jonah Nolan, his fantastic group of writers and the actors themselves that we all became so vested in these characters. It is our passion for their stories that keeps coming back week after week……THEIR stories not just her story. I have a feeling next week is going to be just as painful to watch……then that long break til SOME TIME in January!

    • kt says:

      Taraji is doing some good PR. She seems humble, gracious and not the type to bite the hand that fed her. She stated that if they call her to be in flashbacks that she would do it. IDK. IMO, i don’t think she was ready to leave the show. I have heard her say in the past that she worries about when the jobs will stop coming. I hope many doors open for her.

      • Can't Watch Without You says:

        Exactly. She’s a smart woman and she knows how Hollywood works. It’s her job to “cover” Jonathan Nolan and co. even though they were the ones stupid enough to fire her, ending her character’s story arc so soon and in such an unsatisfying way. PR is the perfect word for it because that’s what it is. That’s all it is. I wish her to find something really great next!

  23. Tiffany says:

    Taraji left on good term and that the way I like it. Not like on Grey’s. But hate that Carter didn’t get walk out the door. At least the writers let her go out a HERO, which I appreciate. Unlike Shonda Rhimes did with Lexie Grey, Shonda let Lexie go out a ZERO and treated her memory like she was a ZERO. That’s I still LOVE Person of Interest after Carter and HATE Grey’s after Lexie.

    justyway, I will miss Taraji P. I have been a big fan of her since the Division on Lifetime years ago. I hate she left just when I finally was able to watch the show every week. DANG IT. But I’m excited she getting back into movies. I love her in them too. Will continue to watch POI. Hope they do a lot of Carter flashbacks. And hope in the end show, we found Carter not dead. She was just in witness protection. So can see her again. Much LOVE Taraji and POI.

    • Julie says:

      Chuyler Leigh wanted out of Grey’s. While I wish she didn’t have to be killed off, leaving the show was her idea. Eric Dane is the one who was let go.

  24. angel says:

    I think people are missing the point regarding the race aspect. It’s not that most people think she was killed because she was black. It’s that because the show decided that she would be the ONLY black character that makes killing her so difficult to process for a lot of viewers who watched the show specifically because she was a lead character. This is something that could’ve easily been remedied by not having her be the only black character on the show with 3 white male costars for two seasons, and leaving Sarah Shahi as the ONLY character of color left now that Taraji is gone. THAT’S what the producers need to fix and that’s why the decision to kill Joss as a catalyst for John’s man pain to go into overdrive is so unfortunate. They could’ve easily wrote her off a different way, but they chose not to and now people are upset. They have every right to be.

    • She wasn’t killed off ONLY as a catalyst for the overdrive, it is just a logical conclusion to what happened. Someone I care about dies I’m not seeing logic of reason for a while. We see someone die in the process of making an important change to the way one of the largest cities in the world is run, making the world that much better. It was an understandable end to a storyline and Carter went out swinging, can’t ask for much better in a death. I mean compare this with, say, BBC’s Robin Hood, where they just randomly had Maid Freaking Marian die simply because they wanted to ‘rock’ the show. Deaths rock the show, yes, but if they’re done well than it doesn’t feel like some cheap ploy. This was done well.

      • HereThere says:

        But Marian did die in the legend/story. It was never a happy ever after ending for Robin Hood.

      • angel says:

        I didn’t say it’s not logical for John to be upset that his friend is dead, I’m saying that the reason they chose to kill her instead of having her leave to protect her son (an even more logical conclusion to that story at this point) is so that what mental stability or hope that John established up until now would be taken away from him. This was essentially a reboot for the character, and the previews indicate bringing him back from the brink is going to be a major aspect of the rest of the season. Her death is being made all about him–it’s his story, his reason for doing whatever he does next. And I don’t need Carter to sacrifice herself to have a satisfying exit, her stepping away from the Machine and her job for her son would’ve been a satisfying exit, and one that would’ve made me consider still watching the show.


  25. lame says:

    If the show mirrors reality, the last person left standing at shows end should be Shaw walking into the shadows of a dark, dank New York night after exacting revenge for the murders of Finch and Reese.

    • John 1138 says:

      And given how the writers amuse themselves figuring out the “best” ways to off those two (another TVline piece) that very well MAY be the ending…..

      • John 1138 says:

        From the EP interview: “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. [Laughs]”

  26. mandy says:

    Thanks. Such a great interview, and she really is a class act. I love her comment about staying with a series ‘until the wheels fall off’. Hello, CSI! And don’t get me started on the lack of diversity in CBS procedurals.
    Actors should really challenge themselves. I get it; TV can be a steady income. But, I truly admire those that seek challenging roles and embrace creativity. Taraji was a big part of why I enjoyed the show; not sure I will watch without her. But I do wish her all kinds of luck and will follow her career wherever it goes.

  27. Cheryl says:

    Taraji is a great actor but I was starting to get bored with her character. It was like her role was getting lost in the show. I was hoping for a love interest to develop with her and John. I guess that won’t happen.

    • Can't Watch Without You says:

      You should realize that her role “getting lost in the show” was on purpose. They marginalized the character for half a season and even isolated her because they were planning to get rid of her. I guess they thought it would make the impact less. They thought wrong. I love her and won’t watch without her. She’s miles above and beyond better than those other 2 women they have now.

  28. Ty says:

    Great Interview TVLine. Sad to see her go, but that made for an amazing episode. Really happy to see that it wasn’t Fusco.

  29. brenna says:

    Love the interview. Loved Carter and will miss her, but I wish all the best to Taraji. How sad for the cast and crew. Sounds like they were all good friends. Still love the show.

  30. Parker says:

    That was a great interview! Thanks TVLine! I will miss her character but I’m sure we will see a lot more from Taraji!

  31. Sarah says:

    Carter was a phenomenal character and Taraji Henson and the showrunners should be proud of what they created with her. I never even really knew Taraji until this show, and now I’m a huge fan. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Awesome interview!

  32. John 1138 says:

    It’d would be interesting to have Jim share what his idea was based on as well.

  33. Zepp OnAir says:

    The interview was fabulous, very interesting, the bad was the elimination of a character’s level of Carter. A person watching a drama to show like the POI, bases its attention grounded on the main characters. When production of the show takes, summarily eliminates one of these characters of greater importance, will, it loses all that atmosphere, that whole personality that the show acquired in episode by episode, in previous seasons. Ie show becomes something else, same suit but another drama that will not definitely like that POI I enjoyed watching with great expectation and with much interest.

  34. David says:

    I’m sad to see Carter go, but that was an awesome story arc that came to an end. Hopefully they can get back to focusing more on random numbers that come up.

    Unlike others here, I’m interested to see where they go with Root. She’s like the jester in a Shakespeare play: insane or foolish on the surface, but in the end the only one who really is sane. Her devotion to the machine is an interesting juxtaposition to Finch’s hubris (as she sees it). It could be really entertaining and meaningful if they play their cards right.

  35. Why says:

    Something “ILL” happened. The public will never be told the thruth.

  36. Carol says:

    If Taraji P. Henson was always planning to leave the show, does this mean that she signed up for a three year contract, unlike the standard seven year contracts used for most TV shows? Also if she is leaving voluntarily, I find it odd that she did not mention the fabulous projects in film or theatre she has lined up to try next. As we know, she has made several films during her seasons on Person of Interest as has Jim Caviezel. There is no reason to imagine that she could not have continued this practice for many seasons to come.
    I find the circumstances of this departure extremely troubling. I find it hard to imagine that a middle aged black actress with a son in college would walk away from a weekly paycheck for the prospect of “possible future maybe” offers of more films down the road. Does not compute for me.
    The idea that the Carter arc was “over” seems ridiculous to me. Are we to honestly believe that there were no more stories to tell about this layered, complicated character? What about her descent into alliance with mob boss Elias? What about her new discovery of the existence of the machine? What about Reese’s on-going attempt to recover his humanity and repair his damaged soul? There was plenty to explore with Carter. The show runners simply went for the unoriginal trope and crass shock value of a violent death instead of exercising their considerable imagination. This is too bad for all of us who loved Person of Interest.

    • Joe says:

      So to play the race card, you essentially call Henson a liar…stay classy

      • bird says:

        I do believe that Carter was an excellent example of a multi-dimensional Black woman with a wide range of talents, flaws, skills, limitations, and heroic qualities. As such she was exceedingly rare in our modern literary form, television. Denying Carter’s racial identity is hurtful, as harmful as trying to pretend Carter was not a woman, or a veteran, or a mother.
        There are many valid responses to this loss. Ceasing to watch the show is an individual choice many will make. Others will decide to stay with the rebooted version and see what comes next. I believe none of these choices are wrong, nor should those who are considering these options be deterred or trivialized in any way.

    • Kelly says:

      There was another interview she did where she said it is not about they money for her, she wanted unique projects, not to be stuck in one spot for years. She also mentioned being on Broadway and she has a lot of scripts coming in. She seems quite proud and excited about her work on POI. She’s an outspoken lady, if she was upset about leaving the show, she would have said it. She’s had nothing but glowing things to say. There is no conspiracy here.

      • Can't Watch Without You says:

        It’s called Hollywood. If you are an actor and you EVER expect to work again you say what you are supposed to. It’s that simple.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          So… Cote de Pablo never wants to work again? According to your rules and all.

          • Dee says:

            I don’t watch NCIS, but are you saying that Cote de Pablo has been going around bashing the producers of the show? That’s hard to believe, but occasionally an actress does make that mistake… and pays for it.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Not what I said at all.

          • Me Too says:

            @Mitch, but it’s what you implied. So, what exactly are you saying? In Hollywood, like with any job, you do what you are supposed to in regard to your bosses or you don’t last. You ask about another actress, which has nothing do with Person of Interest as though that makes some sort of point to the contrary. It does not. So again, what are you saying because as of now you are not making sense? Do you think you could get away with bashing your bosses publicly and still work for tvline.com and easily find work again at a mainstream site?

  37. rina says:

    She was pretty outspoken when she got the job that she enjoyed comedy and films a lot more but wanted to try tv out. I don’t doubt she refused a long contract

  38. Ange says:

    Honestly, I would not expect her to say anything different than what was said in this interview. Entertainers do not always reveal their true feelings. After all they are actors

  39. barbara says:

    great interview matt *thankyou*. although she wanted to go i still wish she hadn’t she and jim had great chemistry helping each other with cases. she said more or less other shows should not be neat and tidy i certainly don’t what characters on my shows getting killed off this was bad enough. and fusco did great job but to take over carter helping with cases not liking that. shaw was great she was so heartfelt when she told fusco she had to choose. root annoying but if she and hopefully elias who liked carter take the bad guys down maybe there’s hope

  40. monieet says:

    I am so pissed she was killed off and why now. The Elias story is not finished. She did not get to tell anyone she let him out. I started watching this show because of her, and stayed with it because of her character. Taraji has to be a professional if she want to work again, so go with the company line. It is all explained to neatly. I too tuned into Letterman to see her. Person of Interest is not going to survive this mess. When they bring her back, I will come back.

  41. Maryann says:

    Fantastic interview! Thank you!

  42. Maryann says:

    Well, I certainly made the right call watching this episode as it aired! It is unbelievable to me that tv sites can’t avoid putting major spoilers before the break. For people who don’t own a DVR, it is EIGHT DAYS before they can watch CBS shows online, unless they want to pay for them. Avoiding tv sites altogether? Totally unrealistic. What about all those timely articles about other shows thAt we DID get to watch on time? There are so many new articles, that waiting a week would put one hopelessly behind. Again, just how hard is it to avoid spoilers in the headline and photo, and just put all the spoiler info after the break?!

  43. Hugh says:

    First Ziva, now Carter. Losing all my favorite actors is depressing me. Who’s next?

    • Kitty says:

      You are so right Hugh! I love Ziva and Carter and don’t like losing them. At least with Coty it was her decision and that makes it easier to accept. I believe that idiot Jonah Nolan knew by killing off Carter the show would get a lot more buzz because she is black. I’m so mad at him.

  44. dan says:

    what i was wondering is why did it have to be carter that died when fusco was so close to death himself

  45. m says:

    super sucks carter is gone.
    really really pissed.
    love the show sooo much.
    its getting too scary though…
    loved the kiss between john and carter, awesome!

  46. Liz says:

    Just for the record I’m not okay with this. At all. I get they wanted to ‘keep it grounded’ but they didn’t have to kill her off. She’s one of the main cast! It’s just wrong. I’m going to miss her so much.
    (And I adore Shaw so thank goodness we have her)

  47. Can't Watch Without You says:

    Okay, so this didn’t post the first time so trying again!

    I love you Taraji, but I still think the producers mishandled the character and cut her story off way too soon. You didn’t leave, they told you to go. On Valentine’s day no less!! But while you were there you made me love Carter in a way I don’t think I’ve loved most any other woman on television. You are amazing!!!

    I know that actors are always supposed to take the fall for the (poor) decisions of producers and directors, but they’re not getting away with that with me! You keep being the sweet peach you are because I know you can’t say anything but praise lest you not get any work in tinsel town, and I want you to find really good work.

    Now we’re left with Shaw who is awful. I mean Shaw is just awful. And Root’s crazy lady routine is getting really tired. They can NEVER replace you. You have another fan for life here.

    Wishing you the best because you deserve that and more!

    Love!!! (((Hugs)))

  48. Can't Watch Without You says:

    I love you Taraji, but I still think the producers mishandled the character and cut her story off way too soon. You didn’t leave, they told you to go. On Valentine’s day no less!! But while you were there you made me love Carter in a way I don’t think I’ve loved most any other woman on television. You are amazing!!!

    I know that actors are always supposed to take the fall for the (poor) decisions of producers and directors, but they’re not getting away with that with me! You keep being the sweet peach you are because I know you can’t say anything but praise lest you not get any work in tinsel town, and I want you to find really good work.

    Now we’re left with Shaw who is awful. I mean Shaw is just awful. And Root’s crazy lady routine is getting really tired. They can NEVER replace you.

    Wishing you the best because you deserve that and more!

    Love!!! (((Hugs)))

  49. HarrisB says:

    I totally agree about a lot of the postings here,Taraji P. Henson has been acting in movies and television for a long time and I’m sure if they asked her to stay for a couple of more seasons,she could have made it work. She was one of the best actors on the show,and amoung the other actresses,SHE WAS THE BEST,by far,plus there was so much more they could have done with her character,like futher exploring her relationship with Reese or learning more about The Machine,now that she knows of its exsitence. All of this continues to break my heart,because I have been a long time fan of Ms.Henson,and during season 1,I just happen to watch the show on a whim,and when saw Taraji P, Henson was on it,I was intrigued,then when I learned that she played one of the main characters,I was hooked. Now fast foward to Now !9th 2013,and watching what happens to Carter,just continues to make my heart break and while the show is well written and well acted (for the most part), Taraji’s character brought a demension to show that will be nearly impossible to overcome,her acting and her way of portraying Joss Carter was just so well rounded,people could see the adventures through her eyes, and I think thats just one of the reason why so many fans (like myself) are very,very upset about this turn of events, I will still watch the show from time to time to see how certain plotlines play out, but I have to admit without Taraji P. Henson on this show as my anchor,my passion for it will be gone, and that is so sad,but I just can’t help it. Killing off Detective Carter way too soon. ONE. BIG. MISTAKE. But I wish Ms.Henson all the success in the world,and hopefully because of all this fan attention and love,this will translate into even bigger and better roles for her in the future.

    • Sweets says:

      I don’t think I can add anything else to what you’ve said. Joss Carter is the number one, and the main reason I started watching PoI. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the other characters. Even Fusco. And crazy-lady root. But Joss Carter was the reason I started watching this show… I tried watching episode 10, I couldn’t get beyond the first 3 minutes. I didn’t consciously choose not to continue watching, I just found that I didn’t have any more excitement for the show. And this is the thing some people refuse to understand. For me, it’s not an issue of race. Or sex. It was the character she portrayed. Detective Joss Carter. She’s gone, I see nothing tethering me to the show anymore.
      So long, detective. Personally I’m done with the show.

  50. Nicole says:

    Great exit interview. Loved getting Taraji’s final thoughts.

    • Alison says:

      We just saw the last of Carter here in Australia. Every week I cannot wait for next episode. I am so devastated and shocked – I have removed it from my record list and unless Carter returns I won’t. Alison Brisbane Australia