Carl Mason is an incidental character who appeared in The Forever People.
Carl once dated a woman named Sarah Rhoades, and eventually impregnated her with their son, who she named Bobby. However, he wasn't ready to be a father, so he and Sarah ended their relationship and he hadn't heard from her in a while. A month prior to The Forever People, Sarah suddenly contacted him again, telling him she and Bobby had joined a cult. However, she wanted to leave, but the cult didn't want her to leave, and Carl agreed to infiltrate the cult so he would help her and Bobby leave. When he didn't receive anymore calls from Sarah, Carl became worried and hastened his plans, somehow managing to get in contact with the cult and requesting that he join.
The Forever PeopleEdit
Carl is first seen sitting on the bench at a bus stop waiting for the cult to appear. He waits for hours until Colton appears with a van. Colton throws a bag at Carl and tells him to put it on, which he does. Then, he puts him in the van and then they drive to the ranch. Once inside the ranch, Colton asks Carl if he is aware of what he is signing for and if he is ready to enter Level Two, to which he replies yes. Colton opens the door of a walk-in freezer and makes him step inside. He tells him that this is his "baptism" and that there is no turning back. Colton tells Carl good luck and closes the door, leaving Carl to freeze until he becomes unconscious.
Later, Carl is revived by Colton by using warm water bags and a defibrillator. When Carl asks if he made it, Colton confirms that he did. He says that he is one of them now and the other members approach Carl and meet him. Afterwards, Carl kneels before Colton and kisses him on the head. Later, Carl helps Kanak pull out Lewis out of the freezer, and Colton revives him. However, while Colton is giving a sermon about fear, Lewis is visibly nervous and breaks down. Carl watches as Colton tells Lewis that he is not ready to enter Level Three and then the two other cultists take him out while Lewis says that he just wants to go home. Later, Carl, along with the other cultists listen as Colton gives another sermon about some of the cultists advancing to Level Three. Then, the BAU show up and as Morgan talks to Colton privately, JJ talks to Carl in another room.
She asks Carl what happened to his hand, but he doesn't respond. Instead, he asks JJ what happened to her hand. She takes off the bandages to show bruises from her sparring. Then, Carl takes off the cast and shows nothing wrong with his hand. JJ finds a note in the cast, which shows a drawing from Bobby. JJ realizes that Carl has a son. JJ is about to go find Bobby, but Carl warns her that if he is exposed, the cultists will kill his son. Carl tells JJ about his life and about infiltrating the cult to rescue Bobby. JJ asks Carl why he didn't go to court and get custody, he replies that the cultists don't respond to lawsuit. JJ promises Carl that they will find Bobby and Carl makes JJ promise that she will not let him down and get the both of them out, which she promises to do.
Later, as Colton's lawyer gives Colton's message to the cult members, Kanak brings in the children, including Bobby. Carl spots Bobby and watches as Kanak puts the children in the trailer. He waits for Kanak to leave and then he enters the trailer and asks a girl where is Bobby, Suddenly, Kanak appears behind Carl and knocks him unconscious with a bat. Then, Kanak takes Carl to a walk-in freezer in his house. As Kanak is about to kill Carl, JJ appears and holds him at gunpoint. JJ is able to subdue Kanak and rescue Carl even with the gas leaking all over the freezer. Afterwards, Carl is in the police station meeting Bobby. At first, Bobby doesn't recognize Carl, until he shows him a drawing. They hug each other and Bobby asks Carl where has he been, to which he replies that he was looking for him. Then, Carl promises Bobby that he will never leave. As Carl hugs Bobby, he says thank you to JJ afterward.
Carl's efforts to get his son out of the Forever People was most likely inspired by the story of Timothy Stoen, who was a member of Jim Jones's Peoples Temple cult and the father of John Stoen, a child who was held against his will by the cult. Like Carl, Stoen tried to have John removed from the Peoples Temple, though his and Carl's methods differed considerably from there (Stoen defected from the Peoples Temple and started a legal battle against it and Jones, while Carl infiltrated the Forever People to establish contact with his son). Stoen's unsuccessful legal battle with Jones (which ended when John Stoen was among the hundreds killed in the Peoples Temple mass murder-suicide) seems to have been alluded to in a scene where Carl declared the uselessness of suing the Forever People.