Missing info from: “Terra Incognita”
|“||I'm Carter. You didn't give us a name.||”|
— Carter, to Reese
Detective Jocelyn "Joss" Carter is a New York Police Department homicide detective who, after crossing paths with John Reese, tried to track him down. However, after being saved by Reese, she gradually decided to become an invaluable asset to Reese and his employer, Harold Finch. She was a single mother of one son, Taylor, to whom she was very close.
Carter served in the United States Army as a Warrant Officer, first at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (from February 2, 2002 until February 2, 2003), and was then relocated to Iraq, where she served at Camp Liberty in Baghdad from January 20, 2003 until March 20, 2004, serving as an Army Human Intelligence Collector and top interrogator. She received a Purple Heart in March 2004. (“Get Carter”) (“Title Sequence/Season 1”) She served in 95 Ivy which Reese identifies as military interrogators. Special Agent Donnelly also states that Carter was a senior military interrogator. (“2πR”) (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)
Carter passed the bar exam to become a lawyer in 2004 but gave it up to go back to being a police officer. (“Get Carter”)
Carter's ex-husband Paul returned to New York City after 2 years of disappearance following his post-traumatic stress disorder that he refused to get treatment for, causing Joss to leave him. Joss, who was still a rookie officer at the time, went to Paul to talk. They briefly argued, and Joss told Paul that she wouldn't let him see their son, Taylor, unless he sought counseling.
Later that year, Paul entered Joss' house unannounced to see Taylor. The two argued again, and Paul smashed a lamp in anger, causing Joss to reach for her sidearm. She ordered Paul to leave the house and did not see him again for three years. (“Endgame”)
Carter, now a detective, saw Paul again outside her precinct. Paul told Joss that he was now seeking counseling, showing her his VA card, and gave her his number in case she needed any help. (“Endgame”) One of her first cases was a murder involving Chase Patterson. She and Terney went to Patterson's penthouse. Later she can be seen interrogating Patterson about the events of the evening when his relatives were killed. Patterson told that he was in his cabin having problems with his drug addiction. Carter believed that Patterson was not involved. She decided to visit Patterson's cabin. While inside the cabin, she heard a noise. She went out, but no one was there. Later Terney called her and told that Patterson has left the country and that they have a new case. (“Terra Incognita”)
Following an attack on John Reese on the subway by Anton O'Mara and his gang, Carter questioned Reese and, following his refusal to cooperate or give information about his background, collected his fingerprints from the cup he drank from. After analyzing his prints, and discovering his prints were found in six different crime scenes, Carter returned for further questioning, only to discover Reese was released by his attorney.
The second arrest of Anton, along with his father in a shooting during a weapons deal, made Carter realize that they were defeated, yet again, by the same man. Later on, while arresting a corrupt police officer, he claimed to Carter that he and his accomplices were captured by a man in a suit. Unknown to Carter, Reese was mere feet away from her. (“Pilot”) A few days later, at a shooting crime scene, Carter was informed of the shooter being a man, which she assumed was "in a suit." (“Ghosts”)
Carter's main objective was to track down and apprehend Reese. Even though she was hunting him, he still saved her life when her number came up. She was grateful, but still didn't understand his motives or M.O. (“Get Carter”) She later helped agent Mark Snow of the CIA (Reese's former boss) to track down Reese, but she didn't know that Snow wanted to kill Reese; she only thought he wanted to question him. After learning she was wrong, she helped a wounded Reese escape to safety. (“Number Crunch”)
While following Reese and trying to avoid help from the CIA, Carter met with Harold Finch, who explained to her how they stop crimes before happening, and directed her towards a man who was about to kill someone. She arrested the man, and Finch called her to inform her that that is what they do. (“Super”) Carter also formally met with Reese for the first time at a diner, and helped him save their most recent number. (“Legacy”)
Carter began to work alongside Reese and Finch, even though she was unsatisfied with the lack of information they gave her, and she disapproved of their methods. Carter tried to sever ties with Reese after he was forced to cut a deal with Carl Elias to save an infant's life by giving up the address of a safe house of someone Elias was trying to kill and Carter was trying to protect. (“Baby Blue”) However, Carter's son was later taken hostage by Elias and Reese was the only one who could get him back. (“Flesh and Blood”) Carter got back on board with Reese and Finch and did whatever she could to help them.
Carter later worked alongside Agent Nicholas Donnelly and the FBI while they tried to track down Reese. She put the pieces together and realized that Reese was once involved with Jessica Arndt. She obtained Reese's military file and reviewed it; she later shredded the file, keeping only the picture of Jessica and Reese that she found in Jessica's belongings. (“Many Happy Returns”)
Carter was sidetracked by the FBI again just as she was leaving to go help Reese escape from a hotel that was being closed in on. She had to stay at the police headquarters watching as the FBI tried to catch Reese. HR was working simultaneously to find and kill the POI that Reese was trying to protect. Carter sent Reese a series of text messages, saving him from being captured or killed as he tried to find an escape route out of the hotel.
Later on, Carter confronted Fusco, thinking that he was helping HR kill Reese, only to be told that he was working for "the Man in the Suit". Carter realized that Fusco was working for Reese and Finch and began assisting him while he helped them. (“Firewall”)
Sometime in the early season 2 in Reese's flashback, he and Carter can be seen together stalking a person who was stealing from HR. They were talking about different things: Reese's and Carter's military past and their future. Reese says that people like him never change and they have no future. (“Terra Incognita”)
In the FBI search for the Man in the Suit, Donnelly offered Carter a temporary assignment to the FBI task force hoping that she would help catching Reese. Carter accepted the offer but still continued to assist Finch and Reese. (“Shadow Box”) She and Finch worked together to get Reese out of jail with Carter destroying the records of Reese's fingerprints and switching out his DNA sample with another as a first step. (“2πR”) Carter was brought in to interrogate the four suspects and framed Wayne Packer but Donnelly caught Reese and Carter and prepared to take them to a safe house after having realized the two were working together. They were intercepted by Reese's former CIA handler Kara Stanton, who killed Donnelly and kidnapped Reese. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”) Carter reluctantly fled the scene and attempted to use her military knowledge to aid Reese in disarming his bomb vest. Reese convinced her to flee instead but Finch was able to disarm the bomb instead. Following the deaths of Stanton and Mark Snow, Carter was informed by SAIC Brian Moss that the FBI had identified Snow as "the Man in the Suit" and closed the investigation. Carter remained skeptical on whether it was truly over however. (“Dead Reckoning”)
After Donnelly's death, SAIC Brian Moss of the FBI looked over some files and found Donnelly's recommendation for Carter to join the FBI, and she took a polygraph test, which she passed. She was eventually turned down because of her relationship with Cal Beecher, who was under investigation by the NYPD's Internal Affairs. (“Booked Solid”)
After being rejected from the FBI because of Beecher, Carter began distancing herself from him and gets a call from Finch about a list of numbers which she investigates and finds fits a pattern. Carter begins to suspect an identity thief, particularly after Beecher points out in the security tape of one of the numbers the person switches the hand he uses to open and close doors. Carter eventually realizes that they are dealing with a serial killer who is taking over people's identities and killing them. Carter decides to go to Owen Island to help Reese and Finch, reluctantly taking along Beecher. Along the way, Carter confronts Beecher about his IAB investigations, but he tells her that as a narcotics detective it happens a lot. When Beecher starts to go too fast, Carter almost draws her gun on him due to her growing mistrust. Eventually, the two reach Owen Island with help from the Coast Guard where Carter finds Finch in time to save him by shooting the killer. Too later Finch realizes that the killer was wearing body armor, but Beecher kills him from behind before he can harm the two. The next morning, Carter admits she's still not sure of Beecher but she's glad he came along to help. (“Proteus”)
After Detective Bill Szymanski was framed by HR and later killed (“All In”), Carter grew increasingly suspicious of Beecher, as he got a false tip about dirty money in Szymanski's possession. She realized that Beecher was played by HR after Fusco recorded a conversation between Beecher and Elias, revealing this information. HR found out about Beecher's meeting, and had him killed. Carter arrived too late and was devastated to find Beecher dead. (“Trojan Horse”)
Carter attends Beecher's funeral which is presided over by Alonzo Quinn. After returning to the precinct, Carter witnesses Fusco being taken into an interrogation room by IAB detective Joseph Soriano. Carter questions Fusco on what IAB wants with him and Fusco reminds her how in the past, he'd offered to tell her but she didn't want to listen. Though Carter continues to press, Fusco refuses to tell her. She then gets a call from Finch and questions how he failed to save Cal which Finch doesn't have an answer for. Rather than helping Finch, Carter demands he help her by giving her his forced pairing program.
Using a forced pairing of Soriano's phone, Carter listens in on his interrogation of Fusco where Soriano accuses Fusco of covering up the murders committed by Detective James Stills and his gang. After listening to a video of Louis Azarello explaining the gang's system, Carter visits him in prison and questions Azarello on why after a year, Azarello came forward with his story about Fusco. Azarello suggests that his group has a code and Fusco broke it. Carter asks Azarello about the disappearences of Stills and Ian Davidson and the murders of Szymanski and Beecher and if its a comeback for HR, offering to get Azarello a deal. Azarello refuses to cooperate, but taps Stills' picture and suggests that "sometimes bodies have a way of showing up." Carter later tells Finch that her visit to Azarello didn't go well but she did find some useful information on one of the names he gave her, Brandon Boyd through a contact at the SEC and passes it on to him.
After giving the information to Finch, Carter continues to listen in on Soriano's interrogation of Fusco and hears him accuse Fusco of not just covering up for Stills' murders, but for being a murderer and dirty cop himself. Carter hears Soriano tell Fusco that he has stained carpet from the back of the car Fusco signed out the day Stills, disappeared, a call from Oyster Bay that night and four plots of disturbed ground where he suspects Fusco buried Stills' body and intends to search for it.
Carter meets with Fusco in the men's room at his request and he tells her that while he didn't kill Stills, he is still going to go down for it and deserves it due to all the other bad things he's done. Fusco tells Carter that he'd started covering up crimes, believing he was cleaning up the streets but murdered people and was a dirty cop. Fusco insists he's changed since he met Carter, Reese and Finch and he isn't asking Carter to cover for him, just to understand. Carter is horrified by Fusco's confession and leaves, telling him she doesn't know who he is.
Carter later calls Reese who is helping Doctor Richard Nelson get revenge against the man who killed him and asks what Reese intends to do about Fusco. Reese points out that Carter is Fusco's partner and Carter admits that despite how upset she is by everything Fusco told her, he's still Fusco. Reese points out that her view of Fusco contradicts with her motto of "once a dirty cop, always a dirty cop" before hanging up, leaving Carter considering what to do. Ultimately, Carter borrows Bear and uses him to locate and dig up Stills' body. With no body and Elias getting Azarello to recant, Fusco is cleared. The next morning, Carter asks Fusco to look over a lead on Beecher's murder and leaves the precinct with Bear, covered in mud and exhausted. (“In Extremis”)
Carter gets called to the scene of a triple homicide, two of which are Elias' men and one of which is an innocent bystander. Raymond Terney questions Carter on her continuing investigation into Beecher's murder and offers his help. Spotting Reese nearby, Carter follows him into an alley where Reese offers his condolences about Beecher and offers his help. Carter tells him that she's sure HR had a hand in Beecher's murder and is determined to solve it. Carter tells Reese that this is the eighth homicide in two weeks and wonders why Reese didn't stop them as they were mainly premeditated. Reese admits that there's an issue they are trying to fix and Carter tells Reese that "the Russians are worse the Elias: more manpower, fewer rules."
Reese later alerts Carter to the attempt on Ernest Thornhill's life. After investigating Thornhill, Carter calls Reese and Finch and tells them that the driver of the car that was bombed is stable and no one at Thornhill Corporation has ever met Thornhill, including his secretary. Carter suggests that Thornhill is someone extremely paranoid and Reese and Finch thank her before hanging up. Carter later calls Reese and tells him that she learned that Thornhill ordered the car service to send a car to JFK and then drive to his office without a passenger online. Carter asks Reese to tell her what's going on, suggesting that she can help them more if he trusts her. Reese knows she can but suggests that Beecher needs her help more than him before hanging up.
Later, Terney approaches Carter and tells her he has a lead on Beecher's killer. Unknown to Carter, Terney has received orders to kill her and its a setup. As a result, the Machine generates Carter's number but Root prevents Finch from taking the call. Accompanied by two other cops, Carter and Terney go to the address and head to the back while the other two cops enter through the front. As Carter walks in front of him, Terney prepares to shoot her in the back only to have a man emerge from the house and take aim at Carter. Carter shoots the man twice, killing him and foiling Terney's attempt on her life. Carter is later approached by IAB Detective Ed Solis who she believes is simply following routine procedure. However, Solis tells her that there is no gun by the suspect while Terney lies that he didn't see a gun though he believes her. Looking over at the man she shot, Carter discovers that his weapon has disappeared. (“Zero Day”)
Carter is repeatedly questioned by IAB about the shooting but is eventually left alone for awhile. As Carter waits in the interrogation room, she is visited by Terney who suggests she call her union representative. Carter refuses, telling Terney that she recognized one of the cops at the scene as a cop interrogated in the HR bust but let go and knows he removed the gun to frame her and states her intention to have Fusco look into him. Terney then reveals himself to her as a crooked cop and threatens to kill her, Fusco and her son killed if she doesn't stop investigating. While Carter is shocked, she uses the opportunity to discreetly perform a forced pairing of Terney's phone and overhears him plot to kill Elias' right-hand man and then Elias himself using a prison transfer that night.
Carter later contacts Reese to warn him that HR is going after Elias. Carter tells Reese that HR injured Elias' lieutenant which led to Elias having his bodyguards paroled to protect him. Though Carter shows an interest in saving Elias, Reese reminds her that Elias had tried to kill her and kidnapped her son and he has other priorities. Reese then hangs up on her.
That night, Terney and Peter Yogorov lead Elias into the woods to execute him. Before Terney can shoot, a masked Carter appears and shoots Terney and Yogorov in the arm. After Terney pleads for his life, Carter pistol-whips him unconscious and leads Elias to a nearby SUV. Elias is surprised that Carter rescued him and Carter admits she has no idea where they are going when Elias asks. (“God Mode”)
After Reese stops three cartel assassins from killing a diplomat's son, Carter, now demoted to patrol officer arrives on the scene. Reese compliments Carter on how she looks in her patrol uniform while Carter tells him the people he saves would be more grateful if he did it before all hell breaks loose and asks where everyone else is.
Carter brings a man she arrested for indecent exposure to the 8th precinct and explains to Fusco that given the number of times she's arrested him in the same location, he might know something about a murder Fusco is working. Fusco tells Carter that everyone knows she was framed for the supposed murder that got her demoted and is surprised she's willing to continue working as a patrol officer until she can retire. Carter then receives a call from Reese for help with his new number.
After Reese asks about where he could find a sailor on shore leave, Carter leads him to an underground club where they locate Jack Salazar. Reese asks if Carter needs a job, but she tells him that she is a cop and always will be. After Reese leaves to pursue Salazar, Carter is approached by a sailor interested in buying her a drink.
Finch contacts Carter for help with locating the Devil Dogs' fence for their stolen uncut diamonds. Telling Finch that she has "a source", Carter turns off her phone and enters the warehouse where she has Elias hiding. Carter is annoyed with Elias as she told him to lay low and Scarface has been spotted in Russian territory, but Elias simply tells her that "its all Russian territory now" and has his men clear the room. Before leaving, Scarface thanks Carter for saving Elias to her surprise. Elias realizes Carter hasn't told Reese or Finch about having him as she feels they won't approve and Carter explains that she can't put him back in prison without him getting killed by HR or the Russians. Carter asks Elias about the fence and he points her towards a Russian named Maksim and expresses his disappointment at her demotion as he feels her talents are being wasted. Though Elias offers to take care of HR and the Russians for Carter, she refuses and leaves.
Carter returns home after her shift and gets a call from Reese who she tells she heard about the shootout with the Russians. Carter asks if Reese was able to save his guy which he confirms and tells Carter that if she ever needs his help, all she needs to do is ask. Carter promises to do so before opening her closet where she has a board upon which she is tracking all the known high-ranking members of HR. (“Liberty”)
Carter visits Beecher's grave where she leaves flowers and meets Alonzo Quinn. Carter recognizes Quinn as Beecher's godfather and compliments him on his eulogy for Beecher. Quinn tells her he's heard that Beecher was murdered by a couple of Elias' men, but Carter tells him she thinks there's more to it than that and leaves for her shift, unaware that Quinn was trying to find out what she knows about Beecher's murder. Carter then calls Fusco and asks him what he's heard about the case and what the database says. Though reluctant, Fusco agrees to look into Beecher's case for her.
Finch later has Carter look up Wayne Kruger but she isn't able to find anything suspicious in the database. Carter tells Finch she had to exchange her patience for the day shift as her new rookie partner, Mike Laskey enters her cruiser. Carter is annoyed with Laskey's enthusiasm and tells him to call her Carter, not ma'am and not to touch her radio before they drive off.
After Finch identifies Karen Mills as the woman who played an embarrassing video at Kruger's anniversary party, he contacts Carter who pulls Mills over, has Laskey wait in the car and approaches Mills with her cell phone tucked into her pocket so that Finch can listen in. Carter questions Mills on her actions and Mills explains she was sent the DVD in an anonymous package with instructions and took the opportunity as Kruger had ruined her life. Sympathetic with Mills' plight, Carter lets her go with a warning not to do something like that again and instructions to deliver the package to Fusco. Having overheard everything, Reese and Finch realize that Mills was not the person who orchestrated the other attacks against Kruger.
Carter and Laskey are called to the scene of a homicide and Carter describes how she would investigate the case before reminding her partner that their job is to secure the scene, not solve the murder. Carter gets annoyed when Laskey vomits at the sight of the body and feeds him ice chips before walking away and calling Fusco for an update on Beecher's file. To their surprise, they find it restricted and Fusco suggests that its because of "too many prying eyes." After Laskey comes up behind her, Carter quickly hangs up on Fusco and gets back to work.
The next day, Carter enters her patrol car where Laskey tells her that he knows she needed a partner to get back on the day shift. Laskey tells Carter that there were two people in front of him who both asked to be reassigned while Laskey had wanted to work with Carter and asked to be assigned to her. Laskey tells Carter that in the police academy he'd heard of her work on the Homicide Task Force, particularly her work in the takedown of HR and wanted to be like her and thus to learn from her. Laskey recognizes that Carter doesn't want a trainee and asks if she's not going to give him a chance, to cut him loose. Before she can respond, the two get a call and Carter chooses to let Laskey answer it, accepting him as her partner. (“Nothing to Hide”)
As Carter makes a DUI arrest, she gets a call from Finch asking for her help. Finch instructs Carter to wear evening attire but "less conservative." Carter joins Finch, Reese, Shaw and Zoe Morgan at Finch's safe house where Finch explains he wants the women to go undercover at Club Blur where their latest number Ian Murphy is stalking and possibly killing women. The three women compare weapons and Carter breaks up an impending argument about how Shaw looks and acts. Finch also gives them a dating app with profiles he has set up for each of the women to help draw Murphy to them.
At the club, the women have drinks and check in with Fusco who is undercover in the club as well. Though Carter is tense, Zoe gets her to have fun with them on the dance floor before Murphy arrives. Of the three women, Murphy is drawn to Carter most and flirts with her in a booth, eventually asking her to come over for dinner the next night. On Finch's prompting, Carter agrees but as she leaves the club, is followed by Murphy. Worried, Carter attempts to elude Murphy, eventually running into Reese and discovering Murphy gone. Fusco tells Carter that Murphy disappeared up the street and they realize that Carter is his next victim.
Carter goes on her date with Murphy, keeping her gun in her purse and Shaw on a nearby rooftop armed with a sniper rifle in case something goes wrong and she needs backup. Carter is surprised that Murphy noticed her nut allergy and he explains he's very observant and notes she is too, more like a detective than a patrol officer. Carter admits she used to be a homicide detective and while she didn't think she'd end up a patrol officer, its where she needs to be right now. Carter questions Murphy on his own history and he explains how he has been on his own since he was 17 and started his own business after an uncle he'd never heard of unexpectedly left him money in college and decided that if he was going to be on his own, he should do it by his own rules. Listening to Murphy's life story, Carter starts to become sympathetic to him.
After their date is over, Murphy walks Carter out and Carter admits she actually enjoyed their date. As they say goodbye, two men approach to kill Murphy. Carter signals Shaw and together they take down the two men, causing Murphy to demand to know who Carter really is.
Reese, Finch and Carter take Murphy to Finch's safe house where they explain the situation to him and accuse him of planning to hurt someone. Murphy tells them that he researches the women to go above and beyond on dates, but that's it with his relationships never continuing as he doesn't want them to. After learning that Bruce Wellington sent the men to kill Murphy from Fusco, they ask about his connection to Dana Wellington and Murphy explains, particularly to Carter, that he fell in love with Dana while she was in college and she got pregnant before he was one day told that she'd had an abortion and was paid $100,000 to leave her alone or be ruined. He was never able to contact her again but went to Dana's funeral where Bruce Wellington was enraged to see him, even after nine years though Murphy didn't know why.
After Finch is able to determine that Dana didn't have an abortion and Wellington wants Murphy dead to keep him from getting his son Alex, Carter tells the devastated Murphy about his son. Carter suggests to him that Dana had lied to him as it was the only way to keep him safe and tells him that Finch is going to steal Alex's water bottle so that they can perform a DNA test and prove that Murphy is Alex's father. Though Carter objects, Murphy insists on coming along with Finch so he can see his son.
After Murphy abducts Alex, he calls Carter and tells her that he did "something really stupid." Carter later finds the two in the park and sends Alex off to buy an ice cream before telling Murphy that they won't let Wellington take his son from him, but they have to do it right. That night, Carter shows Murphy Alex's birth certificate which Zoe was able to blackmail from the doctor that delivered Alex. Carter tells Murphy she is going to submit the birth certificate into evidence which will allow him to gain custody of his son and asks if he's ready to be a father. Murphy tells her he's more ready than she will ever know and offers her another date, sincerely complimenting Carter on how she looks in her uniform. Carter refuses though she suggests she might take him up on it "after the dust settles." Murphy kisses Carter on the cheek and leaves.
After the escape of Vanessa Watkins, Carter and Laskey are amongst the police officers recruited for Detective Gary Cameron's manhunt. As they leave, Laskey notices Terney giving Carter an intense stare and she advises her partner to stay away from him. That night, Carter calls Finch and tells him that a tip came through that Vanessa was spotted a drug dealer's building in Washington Heights. Carter warns Finch that Cameron's ordered them to consider Vanessa armed and dangerous which is not standard operating procedure when there's no evidence that the suspect has a weapon. Carter warns Finch that for a reason she can't understand, Cameron is determined to bring Vanessa in dead or alive before hanging up and returning to her patrol car.
Carter and Laskey are amongst the first police officers to arrive at the scene and Finch calls Carter, telling her that he has tracked Vanessa's phone to the southwest corner of the building's roof. Carter reaches the roof where she tells Vanessa to come with her, that she can help her. Vanessa tells Carter that no one can help her but she swears that she didn't kill her husband. As Carter watches, Vanessa jumps into a garbage truck going by below and gets away. Carter then meets with Reese and tells him that while she doesn't know if Vanessa was telling the truth, in the moment on the roof she believed Vanessa was. Reese questions if Cameron is HR but Carter explains that she has learned that Vanessa had humiliated Cameron and catching her and making her pay is personal. After Reese leaves, Carter turns around to find Laskey close behind her, startling Carter. Laskey apologizes and tells Carter he'll wait in the car next time, relieving her as Lasky apparently didn't see anything.
The next day, while the two are out on patrol, Laskey asks Carter about Reese who he believes is her boyfriend. Laskey tells Carter that its good she's moving on from Beecher and mentions about his upcoming wedding to his own fiancé. Carter then gives Laskey relationship advice for his wedding.
After Reese captures Vanessa, Finch calls Carter in to help determine what to do with Vanessa, telling her that they first need to determine whether or not Vanessa is guilty of her husband's murder. At Carter's suggestion, they decide to perform a mock trial with an innocent verdict causing them to give Vanessa a new identity and a guilty verdict causing them to turn Vanessa over to Cameron. Though Vanessa is reluctant, she recognizes Carter as a good cop and decides to trust her. In the trial, Carter questions Vanessa who admits to stealing a copy of the case file off of Cameron's desk and thus knowing about the planted gunpowder residue. She also turns over $500,000 found in Scott Rollins' locker that she insists is a payoff for framing her. Carter points out that the money could've come from anywhere and Vanessa could use her husband's life insurance policy to pay off his debts, but Vanessa tells them that she and Jeremy have a living trust where if he dies under suspicious circumstances, she doesn't get the money which instead goes to their charity, Innocents Now. Vanessa begs the three to believe her and Carter points out that even without the money, Vanessa has motive due to her husband's affair. Vanessa admits to an affair of her own and gives them the email she used for it. Vanessa tells them that they both broke off their affairs and were trying to fix their marriage and Carter asks Vanessa to look her in the eye and tell her that she loved Jeremy. When Vanessa does, Carter asks her if that's still true after Jeremy had an affair with her best friend. Vanessa is shocked by the news and Carter believes her.
As the three discuss their verdict, a call comes over Carter's radio that Vanessa's stolen car has been discovered. They then learn from Fusco and Shaw that the co-signer on the charity account is Jeremy under an alias and realize that he is in fact alive, faked his death and framed Vanessa for murder. The three show Vanessa the proof of Jeremy's plot and warn that she is still in danger as she could put Jeremy in prison. As a call comes in about the stolen SUV being found, Reese leaves with Vanessa while Carter is surprised to discover that Cameron and his men ended up in an illegal gambling den on the wrong side of town. Finch explains that he called in a tip on the gambling den based on information from Zoe Morgan and had Reese ditch the SUV nearby.
After Reese takes Vanessa to safety, Carter prepares to go back to work as her lunch break is nearly over. However, she discovers that Vanessa defaced the picture of her husband when she was telling Carter she loved him and Carter revealed the affair. Finch discovers from the H-SAID database that Henry Shain, Jeremy's alias had his passport bought by his wife who bought her own and the wife is Vanessa. Carter and Finch realize that Vanessa helped Jeremy fake his own death and steal the money from their charity before he double-crossed Vanessa and framed her for his murder and she tricked them. Finch quickly calls Reese and informs him of the development and he finds that Vanessa never boarded her bus. They realize that Vanessa is the perpetrator, not the victim, having planned to murder her husband ever since she learned he framed her. Reese realizes that even worse, he gave Vanessa a weapon. Finch tells Reese they need to track Vanessa down and that the sea isn't being watched and would be perfect for Jeremy's escape route. (“Reasonable Doubt”)
Carter follows Terney to a meeting with Simmons and Peter Yogorov, using her forced pairing of Terney's phone to listen in on the conversation while taking pictures. Carter overhears Simmons mentioning that HR's boss will be involved in their coming operation. Leaving, she runs into Reese by her SUV and Reese tells her that he and Finch have been aware of her efforts to gather incriminating evidence on HR for awhile now. Reese tells Carter that Finch estimates that she has enough evidence to take down half the organization and could use that to make deals to get the other half, but Carter refuses since Donnelly had tried that but they missed the head of HR which allowed it to rebuild. Carter tells Reese if they had gotten the head of HR, Beecher might still be alive and she's playing by different rules now where there are no deals and she doesn't make a move until she can bring down HR's boss. Carter tells Reese that she has learned that HR is running a joint operation with the Russians and if can she can watch the meeting, she might be able to find out who HR's boss is. Though Reese offers her his help, Carter refuses though she promises to call him if she does need his help.
Finch later calls Carter in hopes that she can identify Tremors who they suspect of having Parkinson's disease. Carter is unable to find any criminals with the disease but tells Finch that Gen lives in an area where there are no cameras. Spotting Laskey returning to their cruiser, Carter ends the call and Laskey asks her where she was the night before, but Carter ignores the question and asks about Laskey's new gun. Laskey tells her he bought it at a gun show in New Jersey the weekend before and Carter reminds Laskey that every gun in New York needs to have a ballistics test on file. Carter then confiscates Laskey's new gun.
Carter takes Laskey to a street corner and gives him an order for a nearby food truck while she continues her surveillance of Terney. Carter watches Terney give a tanker truck driver orders and then call Simmons to tell him that "the package has been delivered" and that his operation is on schedule. As Carter listens, Terney is ordered to "pay the man" and she sees him load money into a bag. Carter then calls Laskey and tells him that something had come up and for him to go back to the precinct and cover for her and she'd make her own way back.
Tracking Terney, Carter runs into Reese who is tracking Tremors. To their surprise, they witness Terney paying off Tremors and realize that HR is behind the kidnapping of Gen. The two take Tremors to a nearby rooftop where Carter determines that HR used Gen's fingerprints to identify and locate her but is unable to figure out what Gen has on HR. Finch is able to use Gen's tapes and Carter's surveillance to determine that HR is manufacturing a new drug called bath salts which is what actually caused Tremors' problems, not Parkinson's. Reese puts a cup of what he claims is nitroglycerin on Tremors hand and the two interrogate him. Tremors explains that HR and the Russians are manufacturing the drug and the Russians are going to call a big meeting with all of the major drug dealers in the city to make them stop dealing other drugs and only deal the new drug. With the confirmation from one of Gen's tapes, they realize that HR is tailoring crime to their own benefit and are planning to use this new drug to make themselves and the Russians rich. However, Tremors doesn't know where the drug lab is located having only helped cook the first batch of drugs before being exposed to the chemical and HR then moving the facility. Reese takes Carter aside and though reluctant to make deals, Carter has no problem agreeing to trading Gen's tapes for Gen. Reese then tells Carter that he actually put corn syrup in the glass and Tremors is in no real danger.
Carter later receives a call from Reese who tells her that Shaw is meeting Simmons on Randall's Island to trade the tapes for Gen and he will be there to back her up. Carter offers her help, but Reese refuses the offer. Laskey listens to the conversation with a parabolic microphone and reports on the trap to Simmons before approaching Carter to ask for her help with a problem he's having with another cop. Carter eventually agrees to meet Laskey at a nearby bar to talk about his issue.
That night at the bar, Carter asks Laskey who his problem is with and he tells her its with her and unwillingness to trust him so he can back her up. Carter shows Laskey a picture of Simmons paying him off and reveals that she knew from the beginning that he was an HR cop. Laskey questions Carter on her secret activities and warns her that Reese is going to pay the price because she kept pushing after HR spared her life. Carter tells him that Reese won't but he will since they used him to feed bad intelligence to Simmons which got Simmons and his men away from Gen. Laskey threatens Carter's life, but she is unworried, telling him that if he "wants to play Billy Bad Ass" to go right ahead but she knows he's afraid of her which is why he has the bar owner Jerry, who Carter recognizes as a dirty cop, for backup. Carter tells Laskey that she was going to take them down with the rest of HR but will arrest them now instead. Jerry tries to kill Carter with a shotgun, but she shoots him twice, killing him and then turns on Laskey before he can raise his gun. Carter disarms Laskey who points out that she just killed Jerry which can be used against her. However, Carter reveals she used the gun she confiscated from him which is registered to Laskey in the state of New Jersey. Once she submits the gun for ballistics, Jerry's death will be linked to it and Laskey. Carter tells Laskey she won't do that because "you don't work for HR anymore son, you work for me now", effectively blackmailing Laskey into being her mole in HR. (“Razgovor”)
As Laskey meets with Morozov, Carter monitors the exchange through a forced pairing of his phone as Laskey gets Morozov's protection payment for HR and speaks in Russian to Laskey who seems to understand every word. Laskey shows her the payment and Carter orders him to deliver it and find out where it goes. When Laskey balks, Carter reminds him that she can still frame him for murder and asks about how he seems to know and understand Morozov. Laskey tells Carter he's known Morozov since he was a kid and the payments are about loyalty. Carter is unimpressed, warning Laskey that HR will soon show him what they want for his loyalty before driving off.
Carter later takes pictures as Laskey meets with Simmons who has killed Morozov for skimming money and orders Laskey to bury his friend's body. The next morning, Laskey hands Carter a cup of coffee, clearly shaken up by what he had to do. Laskey tells Carter that his real name is Mikhail Lesnichy and he is one of twelve Russians HR has posted on the police force. Carter realizes that HR is seeding the police force with cops they know will be loyal while cementing their relationship with Peter Yogorov and the Russian mafia. Carter asks Laskey about the money but all he knows is that its being stockpiled by HR and they millions of dollars in the stockpile. Carter warns Laskey that it will only get worse leading Laskey to wonder what could be worse than burying a friend. (“Mors Praematura”)
Carter meets Alonzo Quinn for breakfast at a diner and she admits that her current job as a patrol officer isn't as exciting as her former one as a detective. Quinn asks about her investigation into Beecher's murder and Carter tells him she checked out a few leads but Beecher's file was sealed. Carter admits she suspects HR is involved and tells Quinn that the FBI just scattered HR, not destroyed it. Though Quinn offers his help in her investigation, Carter refuses and leaves to pick up Laskey and start her shift.
Carter follows Laskey as he meets with Simmons and Terney, using her forced pairing of Laskey's phone to spy on their conversation. As Carter watches, Simmons and Terney tells Laskey that they need his help to deal with an antique dealer named Sven who they are using for money laundering and who "messed up big." As Carter listens in, the two explain that they need for Sven to do one last job for them then for Laskey to kill him. Carter follows Laskey and Terney to the auction Sven is at and monitors them through Laskey's phone. As she does, she spots Shaw and Reese and Reese explains to her that he is following a con man who is conning her antique dealer. The two realize that Hayden is planning on stealing HR's money and is thus in trouble so Carter agrees to stay with Sven while Reese takes care of Hayden. As Carter monitors, Sven buys a baseball card for $900,000 and Terney tells Laskey that he will kill Sven the next day before he notices Hayden. After the auction, Carter follows Sven back to his antiques shop and notes that he just throws the baseball card he bought for $900,000 into a cabinet, leaving them wondering what Sven's connection to HR is. Carter later identifies two cops that attack Hayden as HR cops.
In order to find out Sven's connection to HR's money laundering, Carter visits Elias at his warehouse hideout. Elias tells Carter that the money is what the Russians pay HR to turn a blind eye to their activities and they launder the money by having Sven put the money into his accounts and use it to buy a high-priced item put up for auction by a seller representing HR. After Sven wins the bid, the money goes into HR's accounts with the items he buys actually being worthless which only works when no one on the outside knows about it.
Carter returns to her patrol car where Laskey questions who she keeps meeting and asks for help as he can't just murder someone. Laskey admits that he can't look the other way anymore and Carter is the only one on his side. Carter makes it clear she's not on Laskey's side but she won't let a murder happen on her watch. She then orders Laskey to call out sick the next day and follow Simmons around and take pictures of whoever he meets with.
That night, Carter goes to Sven's antique store where she demands answers from him. Sven pulls a shotgun but is stopped from shooting Carter by Fusco who she had called in for backup. The two tie up Sven and interrogate him during which Sven admits to being blackmailed by Simmons into laundering money for HR. Carter then reveals that Hayden had conned Sven and he bought a baseball that was actually worth 4.4 million dollars with HR's money. As Sven panics, Fusco pushes him over and pours fake blood all over his head. Carter then tells Sven that he has now died and been reborn and to get out of New York. Carter takes a picture of the "dead" Sven and sends it to Laskey along with orders to tell Simmons that Sven has been dealt with. Laskey then informs her that Simmons is aware of Sven getting conned. Carter warns Finch and Reese, telling them that somewhere in the city the "Soda Kid" is walking around with the baseball in his pocket and HR after him with no idea of the threat he's facing.
The next day, Carter arrives outside the auction house with Shaw where Laskey tells her that she was right and HR was never going to let Natalie Boal go. Laskey tells Carter to "make it look good" and hands his gun over to Shaw who disassembles it and gives Carter advice on hitting Laskey. Carter knocks Laskey out and rescues Natalie, commenting that she didn't need the advice as she's punched a lot of guys herself.
That night, Carter meets with Laskey in the lobby of his apartment building and he turns over all the pictures he took of Simmons and the people he met with. Carter compliments Laskey on his work and warns that it will only get harder as things will only heat up, but Laskey now understands that he was wrong about HR, having thought it to be about loyalty only to discover that HR is instead about murder and greed. At that moment Terney enters, looking for Laskey for help to find the missing baseball and having overheard their conversation. As Carter and Terney have a stand-off, Terney tells Laskey that they are going to kill Carter or HR will kill them. As Carter warns Terney against it, Laskey starts to draw his gun causing Terney to shoot him and Carter to shoot Terney in return. Carter checks Laskey and is distressed to find him dead before turning her attention to Terney. Carter tells Terney that with the amount of blood he is losing he will be dead in only a minute or two and suggests he make them count. Carter asks Terney to identify HR's boss and seeing he can't speak, grabs Laskey's pictures and asks if HR's boss is in one of the pictures. Carter asks Terney to die a cop and with the last of his strength, Terney marks a man in one of the pictures with a bloody fingerprint before dying. Carter looks at the man Terney indicated and is shocked to discover that the head of HR is Alonzo Quinn. (“The Perfect Mark”)
With Quinn exposed, Carter became more determined than ever to bring down HR for good, and took measures that grew increasingly objectionable to Reese and Finch. With help from Sameen Shaw, she intercepted a drug delivery carried out by the Russian mob, causing the Russians to blame HR for it. Carter then used a sniper rifle to fire at Quinn while he was at his office, causing HR to suspect the Russians, and sparking a war between the two crime organizations. Carter then took the leader of the Russian mob, Peter Yogorov, into custody and obtained an arrest warrant for Quinn. Though she was eventually captured and held at gunpoint by Quinn's men, Reese saved her and Carter was able to apprehend the head of HR. (“Endgame”)
Carter, planning to take Quinn to a federal building, went with Reese while evading thugs, as HR put a bounty on Reese's head. They escaped an area being patrolled by HR and went to a morgue, where they kept Quinn sedated while the two talked about their past lives and shared a kiss. Reese took down two HR cops who were after him and helped Carter escape the building, but was arrested by two honest cops.
Carter took Quinn to the federal building, where he was arrested and awaiting trial. Carter was promoted back to a detective, and Finch came to congratulate her. She told him that she figured he built "a super-computer" that tells him when a crime is about to happen, by which Finch was impressed. Carter met with Reese in the same room they were in during their first time meeting each other (“Pilot”), quoting their words during that time, and Carter got Reese out of the precinct. With 98% of HR down, Carter told Reese that Simmons was the last one remaining, right when Simmons showed up and shot them both as Carter shot him back. Reese embraced a dying Carter while Finch watched in horror, and Carter told Reese to keep Taylor safe before dying and her last words, to Reese, were "Don't let this change you."(“The Crossing”)
Carter was buried with full police honors, including a seven-gun salute. Her funeral service was well attended with Paul and Taylor sitting in front, where Taylor was presented the flag from her coffin. Fusco sat off to the side, bruised and angry while Finch and Shaw stood quietly, well away from the group, with Finch's face reflecting the pain he felt. Carter's death prompted Reese to go on a vengeful hunt for Simmons. (“The Devil's Share”)
For the last time, Carter is seen in Reese's hallucinations. She tells him that he has no time left, that he is dying. A moment later Reese is seen bleeding and inside Chase's car. When he asks Carter what happened, she tells that he has killed Gil. Carter tells that Reese needs medical attention, or otherwise he will die by freezing. Carter convinces him to move forward in order to get Patterson's car keys. She tells that Reese has hypothermia and no one can save him. Reese than explains the reasons of leaving his girlfriend Jessica. Carter responds that John need to let other people be closer to him and that someday he will become happy. (“Terra Incognita”)
- At the time of the pilot, Carter had 37 opens cases and 14 active cases. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- One of Carter's open cases was a cold case from 1960. (Rosenstock) (“Zero Day”)
- Carter's phone number was (212) 555-0487. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- Carter's sidearm was a Glock 26 in Season 1 before switching to a Glock 19. She kept the Glock 26 as a backup gun.
- Carter's smartphone was the HTC Desire HD and later in season 2 the HTC Evo 4G LTE.
- Carter's New York State Driver's License number was 119-49305. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- Carter's home address was 3001 E 5th Street, Apt 2A, NY, NY 10003. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- The neighborhood crime index at Carter's address is 3.3. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- Carter studied at Milton University. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- Carter applied to the NYPD Police Academy on December 10, 2004 [Redacted Name]. (“Title Sequence/Season 1”)
- When Finch is in Carter's car, a picture falls. (“Get Carter”) It shows a man in uniform (possibly her husband and the father of her son). These are the awards and decorations visible on his uniform in order of precedence: Combat Infantryman Badge : 1st row ; Achievement Medal, National Defence Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon.
- Carter displayed an NYPD Unit Citation ribbon above her badge after she was demoted to patrol officer.
- In season 1 Carter uses a burner phone given to her by Reese to communicate with him and Finch (“Legacy”) except on one occasion when they tried to call her regular cell phone and she didn't answer due to distancing herself from them. (“Identity Crisis”) Starting in season 2, she stops using the burner phone and starts getting calls from them on her regular cell phone. (“Masquerade”) She only uses the burner one more time afterwards before abandoning it for good. (“Triggerman”)
- Due to her time in the military, Carter possesses an array of skills including interrogation, infiltration, espionage and surveillance. (“Get Carter”) (“2πR”) (“Prisoner's Dilemma”) (“God Mode”) (“Razgovor”) (“Endgame”) Carter also stated a belief that she could disarm Kara Stanton's bomb vest after having seen many while in the military, but this skill is unconfirmed as Reese refused to let her try. (“Dead Reckoning”)
- After Agent Donnelly starts closing in on Reese, Carter removes his fingerprints from the system which she had collected herself and replaced his DNA sample. While aware she's crossing a big line in doing so, Carter says that by that point, she had crossed the line a long time before. (“2πR”)
- For most of her association with Reese and Finch, Carter didn't have Finch's forced pairing program despite Fusco gaining it after Root kidnapped Finch. (“Bad Code”) She was however a victim of the program when Elias was after her. (“Get Carter”) After Fusco was set up by HR, Carter demanded the program in order to help him, using it listen in on Detective Joseph Soriano's interrogation of Fusco in secret. (“In Extremis”) After learning that Raymond Terney was an HR cop, Carter implemented the program on his phone and put it to extensive use against HR by tracking and recording Terney through his phone with the forced pairing. (“God Mode”) (“Razgovor”) Carter later used the program against HR boss Alonzo Quinn to learn and sabotage his plans and later to gather the evidence needed to take him down with Finch's help. (“Endgame”)
- Carter's police vehicle stays the same through the first season and early second season until she wrecks the car rescuing Fusco from Monty Spencer. (“Masquerade”) She then begins driving a new vehicle.
- Despite making many enemies in the criminal underworld, Carter also gained the respect of Elias and Peter Yogorov to the point that Elias and possibly Peter worked to avenge her death.
- Carter appeared in every episode from her introduction in “Pilot” until her death in “The Crossing”.
- Her shield number is 55432. (“Liberty”)
- Carter's quote on a dating app was "don't worry, I left my sidearm at home." (“Lady Killer”)
- Carter was able to help get Fermin Ordoñez's family into the country from Cuba. When setting it up, Carter told Secret Service agent Regina Vickers that all they needed was some cash and a little help from the Coast Guard. When questioned about how she pulled it off by Reese, she just told him she had her own bag of tricks. (“C.O.D.”)
- Carter is the only non-hostile character to deduce the existence of the machine based on Finch and Reese's activities. After she talks to Finch to confirm her suspicion, The Machine changed her box from white to yellow. She is also identified by the Machine as an asset.
- She is also one of four people whose number has come up more than once since the show began.
- Carter appears in Reese's hallucinations, when he is shot by Gil and in a flashback during an earlier stake-out that forms part of his hallucinations.
- In the simulation where the Machine was not created, Carter managed to lock down high-ranking HR members (including Quinn, Simmons, Stills and Terney). As a result, she was promoted and became a lieutenant. (“.exe”)
- After once being asked if she had any more guns besides her sidearm, Carter revealed a box of guns in her police car's trunk to Reese. Impressed, Reese commented "girl after my own heart." (“Blue Code”)
The Decision to Kill Carter
In an Entertainment Weekly interview with Producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman, Nolan said, "We felt from the beginning that this is where we’d want to go with Carter by the third season. Real characters have real journeys, and that means that requires an end. We’ve consistently had these midseason moments where we put our characters in jeopardy, but if we did another one of those and it wasn't the real thing, you get to a point where the audience is starting to get turned down on us."