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Kara Stanton

2x13 KaraStanton.jpg

Played byAnnie Parisse

NameKara Stanton

Intro IDID.213/1128.01


Date of birthMarch 2x

CIA Operative (Formerly)
U.S. Marine (Formerly)

ResidenceNY, USA

OriginBrooklyn, NY, USA

AffiliationJohn Greer
CIA (Formerly)
U.S. Department of the Navy (Formerly)(Formerly)
US Marine Corps

First appearanceFoe

Latest appearanceTruth Be Told

FlashbacksDead Reckoning
Truth Be Told

Images (45)

Kara Stanton is a former CIA SAD (Special Activities Division) operative and John Reese's partner.

Character Background

Working for the CIA

Stanton met Reese for the first time in Hungary in 2006 to interrogate two men about the whereabouts of Alim Nazir. Prior to this meeting, Stanton was apparently informed by a reliable, anonymous source that the men were involved in getting Nazir out of the country. On this information, Stanton executed them in front of a shocked Reese, who expected them to be questioned before any action was taken.

She also had a photo of Jessica Arndt talking to Reese at the airport. Upon showing this to Reese, she told him that he couldn't go back to her, and that he no longer had any old friends.

Telling him to dispose of the bodies and gun, Stanton assigned him the cover name 'Reese'. (“Foe”)

Reese and Stanton posed as a couple during a mission in Prague and shot three men down (one man selling plans on a drone to two Chinese nationals). Reese wanted to finish the mission as fast as possible but Stanton told him that he should learn to love his work as a killer. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)

Stanton with Reese in the bar. (“Blue Code”)

Stanton, Reese, and their boss Mark Snow were operating illegally in New York City in 2008, holding a government employee captive after he tried to sell some software to the Chinese. When Reese was given permission to get some R&R, Stanton followed him to a bar and found him meeting with Jessica's husband Peter. She gave him a lecture, telling him that they're no longer like other people, and Reese reluctantly left with her before Jessica spotted them. (“Blue Code”)

Stanton and Reese were assigned to kill a couple in Paris. They followed the couple to a bar. Stanton did not care why they have been ordered to kill them and advises Reese to act more credible since they were posing as a married couple. When the bar's other patrons left, Stanton shot out the camera while Reese approached the couple.

Reese kissing Stanton. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)

After killing the couple, Stanton and Reese went back to their apartment to clean out any traces of their presence. Stanton told Reese that they could take a break. However, when he said he was fine, Stanton drew a gun on him and told him to choose between being a boy scout or a killer. She reminded him that he chose the life. Reese slammed her into a wall and said that he loves his work, and they kissed evidently indicating the beginning of a casual sexual relationship.  (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)

At some point in 2010, Reese and Stanton are sent by Supervisory Agent Terence Beale to Afghanistan, in order to find out who sold info to the Taliban about a classified shipment of Stinger missiles. The prime suspect was Brent Tomlinson, an army military advisor assigned to the base. After searching his room in order to find the money, that Taliban might have payed for the missiles, Reese saw through his lies and killed him. Afterwards, Stanton found the money, hidden in a secret compartment in Duncan's briefcase. (“Truth Be Told”)

Reese and Stanton while working for the CIA were sent after Daniel Casey, a supposed traitor to the government. They confronted Rick Dillinger, Finch's predecessor to Reese, who was protecting Casey whose number had come up, before men shot at them. Finch realizes that Casey has worked on the Machine with the government attempting to get control of the Machine and therefore will be eliminated By the government. Dillinger escaped with Casey but Stanton and Reese captured one of the wounded shooters, not knowing that these were Greer's men because Greer was also interested in getting information from Casey about the Machine. Reese first interrogated, then Stanton tortured the man working for Greer in a secure room and considered what to do with him; he managed to get up and jumped out of the building to his death.

After Casey went on the run again, Stanton went after Casey's friend Lester Strickland while Reese tracked down Casey. When men working for Greer burst in, Stanton shot Strickland dead along with most of the men, one of them escaped. Reese, meanwhile, spared Casey's life because Reese who is good at reading people recognized that Casey was not a traitor. Reese kept it from Stanton. In a car, Stanton informed Reese that their next job was in Morocco. (“RAM”)

Ordos Assignment

Reese and Stanton were in Morocco interrogating a suspect. A few hours later Snow and Alicia Corwin arrived and informed them that they were being sent to China to retrieve a high profile Stuxnet-like computer program from the Chinese. As Stanton left the room, Snow secretly ordered Reese to retire her, claiming she had been in contact with a terrorist.

Arriving in Ordos. (“Matsya Nyaya”)

The pair arrived in Ordos and discovered the site where the program was found. On arrival, they discovered the corpses of many software engineers, and much of the building's servers had been emptied. Reese found a survivor whom Stanton conversed with in Chinese. He said that men had turned up and took away the Machine. Upon hearing that, she promptly executed him and withheld what he'd said from Reese. With much of what they came for already taken, Reese and Stanton had no choice but to wait for their extraction at nightfall.

Stanton shoots Reese. (“Matsya Nyaya”)

When nightfall came, Stanton marked the LZ with infra-red chem-lights. Reese had readied his gun to shoot her in the back, but lowered it at the last moment, only for Stanton to turn and shoot him. She apologized, saying she had orders from Snow, and was told Reese had ties to terrorists. Reese laughed, telling her he had the same orders and that they were being set up, with the beacon actually signalling for a missile strike, not an extraction. Reese then made his escape, leaving Stanton standing in shock.

Overhead, a UAV observed as an incoming missile targeted the beacons. The wounded Reese managed to escape the blast radius, and turned back to see the explosion which he assumed killed Stanton.

Stanton, however, had managed to clear the explosion and escape China with the help of a dissident group in May. (“Matsya Nyaya”) While recuperating, Stanton disillusioned by and angry at the CIA was manipulated, brainwashed, and persuaded by a mysterious intelligence operator who later became the main force in creating a second machine called Samaritan. He recruited Stanton by promising to allow her to get vengeance on her would-be CIA killer, Alicia Corwin, and on the person who ultimately put her life in danger which later turns out to be Finch who allowed the case containing the code for the machine altered by him to be stolen which eventually ended up in Ordos, China. (“Dead Reckoning”) Finch later confesses to Reese that he knew that releasing the case with its altered code might eventually lead to bad things happening which turned out to be endangerment of the lives of John Reese himself and Kara Stanton.

Return to the U.S.

Stanton in the hotel. (“Matsya Nyaya”)

Snow and his partner Evans revealed to Detective Carter that over the course of their partnership, Reese and Stanton worked on numerous missions and often saved each other's lives. However, they lied and told Carter she was mutilated and killed by Reese before he went off the grid. (“Number Crunch”)

Snow and Evans were led to a hotel room after receiving some intelligence from one of their North Korean contacts which they believed would lead them to Reese. Upon their entry and subsequent search of the room, Stanton emerged from the shadows and ambushed them both, killing Evans and injuring Snow. (“Matsya Nyaya”)

Threatening Snow. (“Masquerade”)

Sarcastically saying she meant to "catch up" with Snow, she wreaked vengeance for him ordering her death by keeping him locked in a storage room with a bomb vest strapped onto him so that he wouldn't escape and so he would do her bidding in working for the man who would eventually build the second machine Samaritan. After Snow presented her proof that Alicia Corwin, the person who set her up in the mission to Ordos, was dead but that some kind of device had been cut out of her arm postmortem, Stanton told Agent Snow that she needed him to run a few more errands for her which all later appeared to be connected with new technologies. (“Masquerade”)

Snow was seen by Carter, leaving Fujima Techtronics. Stanton had evidently forced Snow to steal technology from Fugima even at the expense of killing anyone in his way as shots were fired during the theft. Carter followed and confronted Snow until he revealed that he is rigged with an explosive vest. Snow then tells Carter to tell John that, "she" is planning something big. Stanton then opens fire on Snow and Carter, forcing Snow to flee and ending the meeting. (“Critical”)

Following Snow's mission to Fujima Techtronics, Stanton takes the NSA-certified hard drive Snow stole to two men to have it formatted to her specifications for her mission. (“Dead Reckoning”)

Stanton approaches Reese. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)

Nicholas Donnelly's number came up and Finch called him to warn him. At this point Stanton rammed the vehicle that Donnelly was using to transport Reese and Carter to a safe-house. As the trio were recovering from the collision's impact, Stanton shot Donnelly twice, before approaching Reese and sedating him. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)

After Stanton kills Donnelly and kidnaps Reese, Carter awakens, having been left unconscious in the SUV by Stanton and frees herself. Carter warns Finch that she believes the woman who attacked them was Reese's former partner who Snow had told her was dead while Finch gets Stanton's number from the Machine, confirming it for them.

Reese wakes up on a public bus with Stanton and Snow and is surprised to see them both. Stanton tells Reese that the two of them were never very good at being dead but she thinks Snow will be great at it. Stanton reveals she has strapped both to bomb vests and can detonate them at any time, threatening to do so if they try anything. All Stanton tells Reese is that he and Snow are going to do some "fieldwork" for her and gives them their assignment. Before departing the bus, Stanton states that what they're doing is about the afterlife and negotiating their place in it.

Stanton sends Snow and Reese, who she communicates with through an earpiece, to retrieve the hard drive from two men she sent it to for formatting. When the men up the price by $50,000, Stanton orders Reese to kill them and arms his vest when he hesitates. After the men draw guns on Reese and Snow, Stanton kills them with a sniper rifle and tells Reese that that was his only warning.

At a diner, Stanton is amused by Reese's refusal to eat and tells him that he will eventually like Snow did. Noticing Snow is amused, Stanton demands to know what he finds funny and he tells her that she and Reese are damaged goods and sending them to kill each other wasn't just efficient but poetic. Snow explains that the airstrike was just to make sure they were dead and Stanton sends them to ambush two men leaving the diner. Stanton orders them to take the two men, who are ATF agents, jackets and car and respond to a call the agents receive.

Holding her victims at gunpoint. (“Dead Reckoning”)

At the building, Stanton is revealed to have called in a bomb threat to clear it out and orders the two men to take the elevator to the 21st floor, giving the two the code. Stanton warns them that there will likely be two Delta Force operatives waiting in what she describes as a Level 5 DOD facility and after they take the operatives out, arms their vests on a fifteen minute timer as further incentive as they will soon drop out of contact in the SCIF facility. Stanton directs the men to take out the guard at the security desk and from there the alarms, cameras and the last two hours of backups. Stanton then directs them to find a technician with high-level clearance and the temperature-controlled room labeled Applied Research. After the two find the room, Stanton orders them to get inside and have Snow take it from there.

After Reese starts the failsafe to erase the hard drives containing cyber weapons which he believes Stanton intends to steal, she arrives in time to break up a fight between Reese and Snow and disarm their bomb vests, telling them she just needed the two to clear the way for her. Stanton leads the men to the Network Monitoring Area where she reveals that she is not there to steal something but rather to upload it. Stanton uploads a virus from the hard drive into the government's most secure networks while Reese tries to convince her to let go of what happened in Ordos and end it. Telling Reese she intends to, Stanton rearms his and Snow's vests on a five minute timer and leaves, stating that she's missed working with Reese "but its true what they say: you can't go home again." Stanton locks the three men in the room and destroys the control panel so they can't escape.

Stanton talking with Greer. (“Dead Reckoning”)

Heading to her getaway car, Stanton calls John Greer to tell him that she'd succeeded in her mission. Greer is pleased and tells her that he and his people will take it from there. Stanton demands her payment: the name of the man who sold the Ordos Laptop which led to her ill-fated mission. Greer tells her that all he has for her is a name, a name that doesn't exist in any known database. Wishing Stanton better luck, Greer gives her the name which she writes down on a piece of paper in her notebook: Harold Finch. Stanton enters her car and puts down her phone and notebook. Before she can drive away, Stanton hears the sound of one of her bomb vests arming and turns to find Snow in the backseat. Snow tells her "you were right Kara, about me being dead. I'm gonna be great at it." Stanton desperately reaches for the bomb vest but is unable to reach it in time. Moments later, the vest explodes, killing Snow and seemingly Stanton. Unknown to Stanton, the very man she was looking for, Harold Finch, finds Reese on the building's roof and disarms his bomb, saving his life.

Two days later, SAIC Brian Moss tells Carter that the FBI identified Stanton as one of the suicide bombers that broke into the DOD facility. As Snow matches the description of "the Man in the Suit", they believe Donnelly was getting too close to discovering the truth so Stanton and Snow killed him and the FBI closes their manhunt for "the Man in the Suit." Two days after Stanton's death, Finch is unable to determine what the virus she uploaded is supposed to do but knows that its supposed to go live in a little over five months time. (“Dead Reckoning”)

After the Machine fails to give out a new number for three days, Finch realizes that the virus Stanton uploaded is starting to affect it but is still unsure of what it is going to ultimately do. (“Proteus”)

After the exposure of Rylatech, Finch tells Reese that he connected some of the coding in the spy's network to the virus Stanton uploaded. Finch is able to determine two things: that Stanton's benefactor's of John Greer of Decima Technologies and that the virus she uploaded was created to specifically target the Machine. (“Trojan Horse”)

At Thornhill Corporation, Reese and Shaw encounter Greer who Reese realizes is the one who sent Stanton. Greer tells them that the virus Stanton uploaded was not created by Decima Technologies but rather adapted from the Ordos Laptop that Reese and Stanton had been sent to retrieve in their ill-fated mission. Greer tells Reese that the virus was created by the laptop's seller Harold Finch, a name that Reese recognizes unlike Stanton. (“Zero Day”)


  • Kara used to be a Marine before joining the CIA, and studied The Titans at Annapolis Naval Academy. (“Blue Code”), (“Dead Reckoning”)
  • She can speak Mandarin Chinese (“Matsya Nyaya”) and French (“Prisoner's Dilemma”).
  • Her death certificate states December 23, 2010 5:10AM as the date and time when she was supposedly declared dead. (“Dead Reckoning”)
  • Previous addresses include:
    • 845 W. 95th St., New York
    • 1270 Parklawn Place, Mockville, MD 2085x
    • 6291 Simpson Street, Winfield, KS 67156 (“Dead Reckoning”)
  • Her last reported employer is listed as Yeardley Pharmaceuticals. (“Dead Reckoning”)
  • While speaking with Carter and Fusco, Finch indicates that "Kara Stanton" is in fact her real name and not an alias like "John Reese" is. (“Dead Reckoning”)
  • Stanton's method of uploading the virus to the Machine by breaking into the DOD facility is similar to the tactic Finch later uses in “.exe” to upload the ICE-9 virus to Samaritan.
  • After her escape from Ordos and her kidnapping of him, Mark Snow thinks Kara has gone insane. (“Masquerade”)
  • Harold Finch described Stanton's bomb vests as being a phone wired to a capacitor based trigger that will release its charge and detonate the bomb once the phone is called. Stanton was capable of arming, disarming and setting timers for her bomb vests with her cell phone but anyone who could hack the phone connected to the bomb vest's unlock code could also disarm it. (“Dead Reckoning”)


  • In “Matsya Nyaya”, Kara wears Jimmy Choo Sepia heels.
  • Kara's firearms that she uses are a Walther PPK (often used with a suppressor), a Heckler & Koch P7M8, a SIG-Sauer P239, and an MP-10 in China.
  • Kara appears to like sushi. (“RAM”)



Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 5