taraji p henson (character dies on poi)

*Oh noooooo! Spoiler Alert. Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen Tuesday’s jaw-dropping, game-changing episode of “Person of Interest!”

“Person of Interest” fans, b-r-e-a-t-h-e. We know you held your breath while watching this episode. Are you OK?

Can you believe that after two and a half seasons, it’s time to say goodbye to Taraji P. Henson’s supercop Joss Carter? The girl went out with a bang (quite literally); sacrificing herself to save Reese (Jim Caviezel).

EW/Entertainment Weekly was on set for the final scene, and later they got the scoop from Henson about when she found out, what it was like saying goodbye, and why this might not be the end of Carter. Below, check out EW’s interview with Henson

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first learn that Carter would die?

TARAJI P. HENSON: I always knew that we would have a beginning, a middle and an end. You don’t tell the audience “Hey, she’s not gonna last!” because that’s the whole surprise element, but that’s what’s so innovative about the show and that’s why I joined. We always knew we would do two, maybe three seasons.

What was it like filming your last scene?
The mood on set was bittersweet, even with the crew. We laugh and we joke, but at the end of the laughs, it was a sigh. I was trying to keep the spirits up, so all night I was cracking jokes and not hugging and getting too emotional with everyone.

Was it a challenge for you to keep the secret?
Yes! I felt like I was lying to my lover. It was hard because I’m Chatty Cathy, and I love to share and talk and I’m a horrible liar. I felt like people could see it on my face.

The show is a frequent employer of flashbacks. Do you think you’d be up to return in one?
Maybe they’ll write me in — I’m totally up for that. When [creator] Jonah [Nolan] first called and asked me to read the script, I just knew there was nothing like this on television. You always know these characters are going to make it, that they’re going to live, and sometimes they tease you with a cliffhanger at the end of the season, but everybody knows deep down that character’s coming back. I just thought [Carter’s story] was brilliant and I was down for it.

The show seemed to be finding a really good balance between Carter, Reese and Finch.
They really started to click. They were her boys, they were her angels, they protected her. But remember, in the end, she takes the bullet protecting Reese. I’m telling you, the audience is going to be floored.

Carter felt like such a real character. What did you love about her?
Some shows never really find the complexity of women and what we juggle. This woman is a cop and a single mother. This is a real person. She reminds me a lot of myself. She’s very strong, has very respectable morals and values, is someone you can look up to. A hero, basically. To me, Carter was a superhero, just [with] more pantsuits.

How did you and the cast celebrate after wrapping?
They got a disco ball and a DJ in the camera truck. We had cigars and champagne, and we sent Carter off with a bang. I’m still smiling inside and out.

What’s next on your plate?
The first thing I want to do is a play. I love theater, because that’s where I was trained. After I come off of a big project and I have space, I always go back to theater.

There’s MORE of this Q&A at EW. Get it here.

Watch Taraji speak to David Letterman about the demise of her “Person of Interest” character: