“Person of Interest” returns from its fall break on Tuesday (Jan. 7) and launches into a new story arc for the CBS drama. Following the death of Carter and reveal of Control, the series is poised to head in a brand new direction.
Zap2it spoke with Kevin Chapman about what’s next for Detective Lionel Fusco. He showed his best side in the aftermath of Carter’s death, but Chapman is unsure if the changed Fusco will stick around forever.
“One of the things I would like to see is I would like to see Fusco be morally challenged. He was in the past, but he’s kind of had someone looking over his shoulder. That element is no longer,” he explains. “It was really nice to see, when he had the confrontation with Simmons, that speech about what Carter meant to him and that she showed him that he could be good again and then he locked Simmons up. I would be interested to see how long that stays at the forefront of his character.”
Could Fusco go back to his old corrupt ways? Chapman doesn’t think it’s entirely unlikely.
“Who knows? He could. I love American history and Abraham Lincoln had the greatest quote. He said, ‘Most men can face adversity, but a real test of a man’s character is success.’ We’ll see where that takes old Fusco, because it really will be a test of his character,” he says.
Regardless of whether Fusco becomes less of a good guy, he still will have a more important role within the police precinct. He is now the show’s last connection to the NYPD, and has some big shoes to fill now that Carter is gone.
“With the loss of Carter and the demise of HR, there are a bunch of old cops leaving the precinct and a bunch of new cops coming in,” Chapman says. “We’ve got a lot of young patrolmen and detectives looking to Fusco for the guidance that Carter once provided, so that’s going to be rather interesting as well to see that how that unfolds and to see just how calibrated his moral compass actually is.”
Though Fusco spent a decent amount of time in the background of Season 3 as the writers played up Carter before her death, Chapman has been happy with the direction the show has taken his character. In particular, he was thrilled to see Fusco’s role in the three-part story event leading up to the demise of Carter.
“I was really blessed that Jonah Nolan and the writing staff really gave Fusco the opportunity to show the redemption and idealism, it remains possible in this world full of corruption. That was really great to see, and it was really humbling and exciting to see the response from the fans when they thought it was Fusco meeting his demise,” he says.
Chapman has a story idea he’d like to see explored by the “Person of Interest” writers, though it won’t happen until Season 4 at earliest. As fans have come to know Fusco’s son over the years, Chapman would also like to introduce the boy’s mother.
“I had pitched an idea to the writers about seeing Fusco’s ex-wife. For two and a half years we’ve seen his son, but we’ve never actually seen the ex-wife, and I thought it would be great if Fusco got that call from a woman that he once had a history with and obviously the relationship dissolved, and she’s coming to him for help,” he explains. “He helps her out of the love for his child, but not so much for his love for her, but he has to keep it from the child. He’s reluctantly helping someone that he really doesn’t want to help, but he’s doing it out of the love of his child, which I thought would be very interesting.”
With more and more information coming out about Prism and the government’s surveillance systems on the United States population, Chapman chuckles over the fact that “Person of Interest” is becoming less and less of a fictional show. “Thanks to the NSA, we’re no longer a dramatic series. We’re more a reality show,” he quips, suggesting a name change to “The Real Housewives of Intelligence.” Chapman is happier the more obvious “Person of Interest” is with its real-life inspiration.
“I love the little jab that the writers gave the Prism program in [‘Lethe’]. I’m just kind of paraphrasing here, but they called it a ‘decoy project that kept the people from finding out the truth,'” he recalls. “I thought that was kind of funny. Our writers are pretty funny like that.”
“Person of Interest” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS.