I’m not opposed to interracial romances, but it sure seems like pop culture still is.
If you watch Person of Interest, but missed the last few episodes, tread carefully because here there be SPOILERS.
Trapped in a tight situation with the possibility of escape dwindling, John Reese (Jim Caviezel) took the time out to tell Detective Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) that he had feelings…woah..ohh…feelings…for her. Like “wanna date? ” type of feelings.
Where did this come from? In nearly three seasons, Reese and Carter hadn’t shared much more than a firm handshake, never mind a secret love. A Reese/Carter romance would represent a complete reset of the expectations viewers had for the show. Giving a silent, strong type like Reese an honest-to-goodness girlfriend (never mind a Black one) would possibly humanize him in unexpected ways.
So of course Carter had to die. And so she took a bullet meant for Reese. Whatta woman!
If anyone ever read the Vertigo comic, Y: The Last Man, an unspoken romance bloomed between the protagonist, Yorick and 355, the secret agent only known by her code number that took several years before they revealed it to each other.
And then…well, let’s just say there was no happy ending and it was remarkably similar to the way Joss Carter went out.
Call me cynical, but Reese’s confession to Carter how she had “saved” him from offing himself and the resultant kiss between them seemed a bit forced to me. I don’t recall any hints of romance between them in the last three seasons. I haven’t seen every episode so it’s possible I missed the warning signs. But since this big reveal came without any earlier warnings in the episodes I did see, it seems like a stunt more than a natural progression for the two characters.
So where did this come from and more importantly, why? To make Carter’s death just a bit more tragic? I always saw the mutual respect between them, but forbidden love? You might as well say Reese and Finch have demonstrated more fond feelings between them and there’s more subtle sexual tension between Shaw and Root.
It still rings false to me, but this week’s episode was a nice coda on John’s rage over losing Joss and any opportunity to use Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” is not one to be passed over.
Some PoI fans were less skeptical than I was of Reese and Carter admitting they had the hots for each other and positively swooned that the show “went there” with the kiss between the hunky White hero and his sexy Black squeeze.
Went there? When where? Where William Shatner as James T. Kirk boldly went where no one on television had gone before 45 years ago when he planted a wet one on Nichelle Nichols‘ Lt. Uhura on Star Trek?
Haven’t these people seen Scandal? Aren’t we moved past the point in pop culture where kissing someone outside of your race is a death sentence? Carter’s fate on Person of Interest turns the clock back.
When Agent 355 and Yorick Brown, the titular last man on earth she had been charged with protecting learned that the true love of his life was the woman right by his side all along it was the characters learning what the readers had known along.
She confesses her love. She kisses him passionately. She dances with him. She whispers her name into his ear.
Then Boom! Head shot!
Black women and White men fall for each other all the time in real life. Why does a sista have to catch a bullet in pop culture?
Every Thursday night when Scandal airs social media goes nuts over the latest dilemma in the life of Olivia Pope. I’m not a fan of prime-time soap operas no matter how popular they are, but I’m encouraged that show runner Shondra Rhimes hasn’t killed Pope off for her White secret lover who happens to be the President of the United States.
What’s the message for Black women who cross the color line? Enjoy it while it lasts but it shorten your life? Beware of disapproving White killers? If you’re going to get with a White guy, don’t settle for less than a president?
Henson knew her character was going to die, which is okay. Carter wasn’t the type to die of old age anyway. Yet the way PoI handled her departure was clumsy and contrived. It was easy to kill off Detective Carter. The bolder move would have been to let her live and see where this seemingly forbidden love might go.
- ‘Person of Interest’ Bosses Defend the Big Death, Reveal Reese’s Reaction (aceshowbiz.com)
- Vicarious Viewing- Person of Interest Mid-Season Review (SPOILERS ABOUND) (rbpierce2483.wordpress.com)
- “Endgame” – Person of Interest Review (Season 3, Episode 8) (ironyisapoormaster.wordpress.com)