Person of Interest Review: Taking Root

at . Comments

What?!? There was no new person of interest for Reese to worry about this week?

Well, technically, the Machine didn't spit out any social security numbers, but Reese was honed in on one person: Root.

That's right, the computer whiz with a pretty face and a knack for crazy was still holding Finch hostage, and she was determined as ever to not only discover the location of the Machine, but to prove to Finch that people are just bad code.

Which is an interesting concept, in that despite the parallels between the two techno geniuses, their outlooks are vastly different. Finch wants to save people and recognizes innocence and goodness in others... while Root is vested in the ideal that people are manipulative, backstabbing and just plain bad.

I guess it takes one to know one.

Root Has Finch

Root is fantastically played by Amy Acker, who provides for a multifaceted character with devious undertones. As much as she seems friendly and sweet, she's also ruthless and a little nuts.

And while the episode was focused on her mysterious backstory, the show took our assumptions and flipped them upside down. Not only did we learn she was originally Sam from Texas, but back then as a blond-haired kid, she was one to be reckoned with.

I mean, c'mon. She beat Oregon Trail in seconds!

I have to note the interesting book choice reference, "Flowers for Algernon," and its relation to intelligence. The story itself is about a man undergoing surgery to increase his intelligence and the eventual repercussions of such an act.

Is that a foreshadowing for the Machine? Or does Root want to gain even more intelligence? It is great when seemingly small references can elicit a deeper meaning to the larger story.

And, truly, "Bad Code" was the second half to the Root story, finishing up where the premiere left off and giving us something of a complete movie.

Once again, the characters involved all had something to do. Fusco may have been stuck dog-sitting (which was hilarious), but he also dug up solid leads on the Alicia Corwin case. Carter and Reese worked together side-by-side, utilizing their specific abilities to unravel the mystery of the kidnapped girl, Hanna. It was kind of nice seeing them do more than just talk on the phone to each other.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the bar brawl. Reese really isn't the guy you want to mess with and there's something exhilarating about watching him take everyone out. Plus, he gets in those dry one liners to top it all off every time.

Certainly, Reese reuniting with Finch was a great moment, as these two really are a team. Similarly, it helped prove Finch's point that Reese is the so-called "good code."

Yet, it does make me wonder more and more about what the Machine can do and just how many people want to use it for nefarious plans. After all, Denton Weeks had no problem trying to get all that info from Finch to use for himself.

The mystery of the hour might not have been that enthralling, but it did give us a point of reference for the enigmatic Root. That said, I love that she confidently called Reese to tell him she'd be back. It not only allowed for a nice wrap up to the overall story, but laid the ground work for a return.

Person of Interest really does a great job in giving a certain level of serialization of story while neatly coinciding with the case of the week. The blend of elements makes for a compelling treat to watch.

Do I wish Finch had more to do? Sure. Do I wish we learned why Root is the way she is? Definitely.

But even my gripes seem minimal when overall the episode managed to entertain, entice, and have me ready for more.

After all, there's nothing like watching TV's best new hero save the day.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (275 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Another great episode and review. However, lol at the reviewer asking why Root thinks everyone is bad code. They just spent an hour telling you why. At an impressionable age, she saw an upstanding member of society kidnap (and ultimately murder) her friend. The police too lazy to run down the licence plate she sent them. The desperate librarian was more interested in finally getting a man, any man, even a child molester than in the truth. With all that plus her lack of family connections, her fearsome intelligence, and her obvious sociopathy, it is no wonder she thinks of humanity as bad code. She also grew up at the dawn of the information age, so the "bad code" tag is probably one that appeals to a loner who only had her codes for company after her only friend was murdered and she had to see the person responsible go on with their life like nothing happened.


We certainly enjoy Person of Interest. They got everything it takes in one show . Reese an Finch have come along way ,sense the start. Both are extremely competent in their own world. And Root the enemy of Finches is excellently by portrayed by Amy Acker. she has intelligence and insanity down to art.( very bad code.) Yet attractively beautiful and deadly. She will definitely be back. Carter and Fusco are definity needed and are becoming more and more a complete team. Next to NCIS , PERSON of INTEREST second best show on TV at present.


It's the show that keeps on giving...


Good episode. I did figure out it was Sam before the reveal but most viewers probably did too. I never did beat Oregon Trail. Root beating Oregon Trail in under 10 seconds was cool. "It's ok, we're friends now" - haha!


A humdinger once again.Great that the writers decided to get Harold back to his main job instead of just leaving him out in pain with that pyschopath. Regarding the part where Sam/Root actually gives the license plate during 911 call, i am not sure if that was Russell's car at all.The car is found in the garage but it seemed untouched for quite sometime like it has been hidden.
Moreover Russell was clearly a psychopath himself.He had the audacity to actually dump the girl's body in his own backyard.Which means he was very capable of covering his tracks.




I second the good reviews for this episode, but the only nitpick that I have is that the reviewer said Root was "a little crazy" or "a little nuts" which is vast understatement for a serial killer like Root, splendidly played by Amy Acker. I mean seriously, a woman who sees the general population as "bad code" and feels no remorse for killing them in gruesome ways is not just a little crazy, she's clearly insane. I was hoping Reese would off her in some nice, neat way, and that we'd then be rid of her, but now I am afraid she's going to rear her evil head again, a couple of episodes down the line. I was thrilled to see that Reese saved Finch, whom I adore, and I was equally thrilled that Finch made it crystal clear to Root that he'd rather die than let her have access to the machine. And I also LOVE the way Reese fights with such grace and economy of motion. He is a joy to watch. I thought the part with Fusco and the dog was also hilarious. And I am glad to see Carter stepping up her game.


Very good show. I'm glad Reece didn't have to spend a whole season looking for Finch. I liked the way the two police officers worked together. Look forward to next weeks show.


Agree, agree, agree. Except for the "letting root get way" thing. I thinks it's understandable on some level. And one other thing: what was root precisely planning on doing? Just shoot a cop and walk out with a guy on a wheelchair? She really is crazy... Love Finch and Root together, but especially their cat and mouse thingy.. it's just too much funnn!


RL, I know most people are likely to roll their eyes over you pointing out the difference between "honed" and "homed", but I appreciate it. Somebody's got to do it, that mistake is getting more and more widespread. Now if we could only do something about "step foot" instead of "set foot" I'd be a happier camper.

Tags: ,

Person of Interest Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Little tip. Someone offers you a great deal on any sort of male enhancement pill, don't click on it.


Bear, remember Lionel?