TVLine's Performer of the Week: Kevin Chapman

Kevin Chapman Person of InterestA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Kevin Chapman

THE SHOW | Person of Interest

THE EPISODE | “The Crossing”

THE AIRDATE | November 19, 2013

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

THE PERFORMANCE | While Taraji P. Henson’s POI swan song served up a gut punch (and as such is given an Honorable Mention below), Chapman’s performance in the same episode left just as deep an impression.

Grabbed by Simmons & Co. in the course of arranging safe passage for Reese, Carter and their prisoner Quinn, Fusco faced a grim fate, since his captor was determined to elicit the location of the files that could bring down HR for good. Fusco, though, fought the good fight – as much as anyone could while bound to a chair, suffering bruising blow after bloody blow and more than a few broken fingers. See, Fusco’s an old school lawman, so he’s tempered to take whatever rough guff Simmons was ready to give.

But then Simmons, irked by a false lead, gave Detective Lin to green light to snuff Fusco’s kid, as his father listened, helplessly, over the phone. In that circumstance, no amount of NYPD grit can steel a man. Chapman showed us a tough lug cut off at the knees, overwhelmed by emotion as all he can do is wait to hear a life-shattering gunshot at the other end of the line. “Just close your eyes…. It’s gonna be OK,” Fusco offered Lee through sobs. “I love you.”

A shot did go off, but it was Shaw getting the drop on Lin. Fusco’s words were terse, but appreciative beyond measure. “You done good,” he told her – before confronting his tormentor, Petersen. Taunted about not being able to share a handshake, Fusco nodded, “Oh yeah, you broke my fingers – which made it no big deal for me to break my thumb” and thus slip off his shackles. In a blur, Fusco disarmed Petersen and choked him out on the floor.

Later, Fusco had opportunity again to thank Shaw, “truly,” Chapman’s expression and tone pointing at the bond forged ‘tween the two during an insane odyssey.

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

HONORABLE MENTION | In the 40 minutes preceding her POI death scene, Taraji P. Henson‘s moments were not as showy as cast mate Kevin Chapman’s, yet they cemented Carter’s legacy. In the midst of an arduous trek to the Federal Building, Carter used a rare quiet moment to trade war stories with John Reese, a man every bit her equal. And though we now know the reaction to the unscripted kiss was Henson’s own, the way she nimbly presented that emotion as Carter’s touched us. In the hour’s final scenes, Henson surfaced two different shades of Carter – a brighter-eyed detective anticipating a very new day, and a fighter taking one last hit from an old foe, her dying thoughts selflessly reserved for her son’s welfare.

HONORABLE MENTION | It’s hardly breaking news that James Wolk has been an utter revelation in CBS’ The Crazy Ones. But in the rookie sitcom’s latest episode, “Sixteen-inch softball,” the Mad Men actor scaled new heights of comedy greatness — no easy task when your co-star is the legendary Robin Williams. From teaching Williams’ Simon how to swing a bat in the office to pumping him up out on the field (his sports announcer shtick was a thing of absolute beauty), Wolk solidified Zach as one of the most effortlessly likable and charming sidekicks on TV.

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37 Comments
  1. KCC says:

    Yay! He was amazing this week. His grief when he thought that they were going to kill his son. Perfect!

  2. TVPeong says:

    Completely agree. Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Chapman were on fire this week. Can’t wait to see the next Person of Interest

    • carlycane says:

      Kevin did deserve it over Taraji. People felt sorry for Carter when she died, but Fusco brought the waterworks. Your heart couldn’t help but break.

  3. Totally agree. Think it’ll be Jim Caviezel next week.

  4. Tom Charles says:

    Billie Piper or John Hurt next week.

    • FatherOctavian says:

      I would agree with this. I think Billie Piper gave her best ever “Doctor Who” performance in the 50th Anniversary Special. A really understated, complicated and multifaceted role.

  5. John says:

    That show has risen above many others. Surprisingly great casting choices in Carter and Fusco when so often only the main leads get that sort of care. I dropped in for the NYC location scenes ( Washington Square Park is a favorite) and have stayed from the respect.

  6. DL says:

    Person of Interest has proven itself to be so much more than a procedural this season. Great acting, great writing, well done all around. (Honorable Mention to Covert Affairs for being another show to elevate itself beyond its original premise)

  7. Maddy says:

    AMAZING!

  8. Diz says:

    Yes, one of my favorites. It was gut wrenching, but I loved every moment.

  9. Britt says:

    Yay!!! Person of Interest is one of the best shows on TV. I really loved this past episode, even though the ending made me sad :( They really should have NCIS numbers every week. Plus Bear is my favorite (well both dogs that play him)

  10. kel says:

    Totally agree with this! TPH was great, but Kevin Chapman was the show stealer. I know people are going to want Reese to kill Simmons, but I hope it’s Fusco. Carter meant a lot to him too, but Simmons also tortured him and was going to have his son killed. I cannot wait to see the next one. And go POI! Glad to see it’s getting its due in the press.

    • JM says:

      Agree that it should be Fusco. As you said, Carter meant a lot to him as well. Plus he has more history and baggage with Simmons.

      • Jim says:

        Plus, he’d get to keep his ”promise” that he’d sent Simmons to hell! There’s no better way for Simmons to die than fur Fusco to remind him of that.

  11. the look in fusco’s eyes when he was choking the guy scared me
    i’m surprised no one has talked about it

  12. stevie says:

    can’t stress that enough:
    best show on TV. period.

  13. Michael says:

    Just a thought, maybe Reese could take in her son. I think this would make for a good season. Carter was targeted, now HR and its remaining people want him. I could so see this. I want this.

    • Shaun says:

      um,he’s with his dad now.No need for John.

    • Wake Up says:

      I think it would be nice if he continued a relationship with him, but his father should be the one to finish raising him. That just seems right. With all the running around Reese does, I doubt he could consistently be there for Taylor.

  14. Morisot says:

    Yea. Love Fusco!

  15. Zach says:

    Am I the only one who is getting tired of all this James Wolk hype? I think he’s a good actor. I think he’s charismatic. But I honestly think that Hamish Linklater and Sarah Michelle Gellar definitely outshine him. I did find the announce bit really funny, but I think lots of the reason everyone thinks he’s so special is because of his looks.

  16. lululime says:

    I’ve only seen the first 3 episodes of Crazy Ones and I thought James Wolk was … not the greatest in the cast. Like they cast him just because.

  17. Sally says:

    Agreed. Kevin Chapman was brilliant, in the emotional scenes and especially when he took down Peterson! Deserved this. Taraji was excellent too.. I’ll miss Carter!
    I enjoy James Wolk too..he’s def funny and his chemistry with Robin Williams is great too.

  18. Shaun says:

    I’d probably take Tom Mison for his work on the interrogation of Death.

  19. Wake Up says:

    It was a good performance. I wouldn’t call it a scene stealer, but it was good. Taraji’s performance is what has stayed with me, and I’m still reeling from it. Simply amazing!

  20. DanielleZ says:

    Totally agree with all 3 of your choices. Kevin Chapman’s performance was terrific in ‘The Crossing’ as was Taraji P. Henson’s. I’m going to miss her on Person of Interest. Next week’s episode looks awesome from the promo. I love this show! James Wolk has been a surprise on The Crazy Ones. First and only time I’d ever seen him act was last season on Mad Men as Bob Benson and he was great. I’m enjoying him on The Crazy Ones.

  21. Leigh says:

    I will miss Carter but she had a farewell episode few characters ever get. Fusco showed more depth than ever before. The natural expectation is that John, with the help of Finch, will do his “vengeance ride”…think Tombstone…but I like the idea of Fusco dealing the final to Simmons…and Simmons must die…no trial and jail for him.

  22. Hannibal says:

    Everyone on Sons of Anarchy especially Hunnan and Perlman

  23. sarah says:

    everybody on person of interest deserved it this week
    tom mison is amazing and getting even more awesome with every episode of sleepy hollow

  24. Robin says:

    The writers seem to do ok with some back burner story lines, but they couldn’t think of a way to keep Carter alive on the back burner? That’s the problem with movie writers. They mostly know how to write one kind of story arc. Straight ahead hero kills or dies. Killing people off is usually lazy. Why do you think shows have to bring people “back from the dead”? Some shows get stronger: NCIS; but I’m not sure in this case. They were amazing (POI) up to now.

  25. Ike says:

    The performer of the week is the entire show (in fact it’s the show of the year). POI has been the best show on TV from day one!

  26. jerrired says:

    Yes to James Wolk. I started the Crazy Ones for Sarah Michelle Gellar-Prinze and Robin Williams but I kept watching because I love how charming Wolk is in it.

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