For Person of Interest's LGBT Root and Shaw, 'A Lot of Milestones' Ahead

Person of Interest Root Shaw LGBT

When GLAAD released its latest hand count of the LGBT characters currently populating the TV landscape, both Person of Interest‘s Root and Shaw made the list — for the first time ever.

“As they should,” co-showrunner Jonah Nolan observed when speaking to TVLine at the CBS series’ 100th-episode party. “It’s firmly established in canon.”

Of course, though it was Shaw (played by Sarah Shahi) who planted a kiss goodbye on Root (Amy Acker) in last season’s pivotal, heartbreaking episode “If-Then-Else,” the former until that point had been decidedly reserved with her feelings — despite Root’s occasional come-on.

“Shaw has always been the one that doesn’t experience emotions the same way that every other person does,” notes executive producer Denise Thé. “Her emotions have always been dimmed. So to awaken those in her, you have to have pretty strong chemistry” — which the lady killers indeed share (and then some).

“However you want to quantify it,” says co-showrunner Greg Plageman, “the audience has definitely felt the tension.”

And from the sound of it, things will only get more tense once Season 5 secures that elusive premiere date.

When last we tuned in, Root worked with Harold to extract The Machine from Her hiding place in the nation’s electrical grid and squeeze Her into a suitcase packed with memory boards. But leading up to that dire denouement, Root — alas, unsuccessfully — followed every lead available to track down Shaw, who had been grabbed by Team Samaritan following the “If-Then-Else” shootout.

It was of course just prior to taking one (or several, bullets) for the team in that melee that Shaw said that very special goodbye to a gut-punched Root. With Shahi set to return to the series not long into Season 5, will Shaw and Root mark any other relationship milestones, if and when they are reunited?

“I think you’ll see a lot of milestones,” shares Thé, who penned “If-Then-Else.” “As a writer, these ladies are so fun to write — they’re flirty, they’re fun — but there’s a deeper relationship, a deeper emotion simmering there.

“We have a very ‘interesting,’ Shaw-centric episode coming up,” Thé continues, “where you get to see what her life has been like, living in the grip of the enemy. And you’ll also get to kind of experience what the road might be like if she ever was to get back” to Root, Harold et al.

That episode — the fourth of the show’s midseason run, and raved about by Shahi herself — is, Nolan echoes, no less than “awesome.”

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