Post Mortems
Person of Interest Root Dies

Person of Interest Bosses Spill Secrets Behind Episode 100's 'Avalanche of Grief and Loss,' Share One Regret

The following contains major spoilers from Person of Interest‘s 100th episode.

The 100th episode of CBS’ Person of Interest did a real number on fans, bookending a thrilling action sequence with two tragic blows.

Having blown his cover identity by unwittingly frequenting the same cafe he visited with Grace 10 years ago, Finch was stashed away by Elias at a meth lab protected by rival gangs. Alas, the gangs’ temporary truce did not go unnoticed by Samaritan, who dispatched agents to put a bullet in Elias’ forehead and then grab Finch. Root and Reese, joined by Shaw, intercepted the car carrying Finch, after which Root whisked Harold away, with Samaritan giving chase. Root would use some nifty gunplay (and driving) to neutralize the threat, only to later take a bullet meant for Harold, fired by Samaritan noob Jeff Blackwell. By episode’s end, Root succumbed to her injury, while The Machine — now communicating aurally, using of course Ms. Groves’ voice — sprang Harold from jail.

“We wanted Root to go out like a champ, frankly — not out with a whimper,” co-showrunner Jonah Nolan tells TVLine. “She goes out swinging f–king hard.”

Here, Nolan and co-showrunner Greg Plageman expound on the eventful milestone outing. (Click here for our Q&A with cast member Amy Acker, about Root’s heroic death.)

TVLINE | For starters, why Root? Why was she the big loss entering this final salvo of episodes?person-of-interest-harold-root
GREG PLAGEMAN | Root has always implored Harold Finch to make his machine more assertive in this war, and now, faced with what they’re up against, Root ultimately is the one who makes the sacrifice to save the father of The Machine, and that’s Harold. I think it’s true to Root’s character — her first love was The Machine. She always believed people were “bad code,” and more than anything she wants Harold’s machine to win this war. Her going down in this matter seemed apropos.

TVLINE She did go down in a blaze of glory, after making one of the sickest kills in TV history.
JONAH NOLAN | Yeah, I was holding onto that one for a movie, but I decided Amy Acker was worth it.

TVLINE | I couldn’t tell, did that guy in the SUV turret get decapitated, or was he just conked on the head by the flying hood?
NOLAN |  You know what, I’m still upset about this. We did have a dummy in place for a decapitation. On CBS, boobs not so much [are allowed to be shown], but decapitations potentially. But we ran out of time on the day. We also didn’t want it to detract from the gigantic explosion of  it all.
PLAGEMAN | I think I was more impressed by her handling that sniper rifle and [steering] the wheel with her boot. Jonah and I felt very strongly that we needed to make something that our daughters could aspire to.
NOLAN | [Laughs] A real role model moment there!

TVLINE | That sequence did not look inexpensive.
PLAGEMAN | That was the other big thing about this episode!
NOLAN | Greg was busy prepping [to direct] 12, and the production team in New York had been very grateful that I had been busy with [HBO’s] Westworld for a couple of months, but this is an episode I had very strong feelings about. So I came back like a bad penny, and the early-run budgets on this were like… 400 percent over? Poor Greg was trying to prep his directorial debut, which is f–king magnificent, and I was eating into his budget with the expansiveness of what we planned for Root’s bon voyage, this berserk enterprise. Fred Toye directed the episode, after he also directed an episode of Westworld….
PLAGEMAN | He robbed a few banks, too, to get more money.
NOLAN |  He shot his last day on Westworld Episode 6, jumped on a red-eye and was in his second day of Episode 100 on POI. He was an absolute champ. He shot two killer episodes of TV, and we were in constant contact. He’s still a little upset with me because of the scope of what he was asked to shoot on both shows. But yeah, this episode of POI is one of my favorites we ever shot. It looks fantastic and it’s beautifully done.
person-of-interest-episode-100-car-chase copyTVLINE | Did you assign any additional value to “Episode 100,” or was it equally important as one of the final season’s precious 13 episodes?
PLAGEMAN | Given the gravity of the loss that we knew was coming, we had to earn it. And I think, it was extremely exciting. We always wanted to explore another side of Michael Emerson’s character, when he had finally had enough, and it felt like a big episode, emotionally for our characters, and it felt like a major turn for one of our main characters.

TVLINE | In the million months since you filmed this episode, a controversy arose about TV shows killing off LGBT characters. But I think that in your defense, Root was a richly realized character, over four seasons. And as you have said, she died meaningfully.
NOLAN |  Thank you for that. We haven’t seen these other shows [that killed LGBT characters], so I can’t speak to that, but it’s really just about characters getting their due and not feeling disposable, and not feeling like the audience’s investment in a character is being used against them, or that they’re being set up for it. This was always the end of Root’s story, this was always where we were going. It became clear at the beginning of the season that this was the end of the ride for us… and Root’s journey has always been getting ever closer to The Machine, so the end of her story was always basically becoming The Machine. That’s another thing I thinks separates this from the pack, and this is how Root feels about it — it’s an evolutionary step. We’re not trying to sucker-punch the audience.
PLAGEMAN | We’re aware of the objections now to that [“Bury Your Gays”] trope, and I think we circumvent that in many ways. This is a real relationship between [Root and Shaw]. Not only was it consummated but there are real feelings there in subsequent episodes. Not to mention, as Jonah said, we’re heading down the final stretch here. This is not the only loss that Team Machine is going to encounter.

TVLINE | On the topicperson-of-interest-shoot-sex of consummation, although what we saw a few weeks ago was just a simulation, did I read somewhere that you said Root and Shaw actually first got “together” in Season 3, Episode 6…?
NOLAN We definitely implied as much at various moments. Look, we’re on CBS, there’s only so much we can show, a lot of that is left to the imagination.

TVLINE | But would people be correct to say that Root died before having been with Shaw?
PLAGEMAN | That’s an extremely literal and sad interpretation. [Laughs]
NOLAN |  You’ve got to fill in the blanks a bit, but 306, “Mors Praematura,” was an episode that hinted as much. That’s left for the audience to decide. But I certainly wouldn’t feel like their relationship went unconsummated in any sense of the word.

TVLINE | Elias similarly person-of-interest-elias-dieswent out as a hero. How important was it for you to “resurrect” him and get back Enrico Colantoni, if only for a short bit?
NOLAN |  Enrico Colantoni is a f–king magnificent actor, and has been such a fun collaborator for us over the years. We’ve always managed to make it work, when he’s available, and he’s had some great moments here. It was always the plan to fake his death and bring him ever closer to our team. If there’s one thing about the season I regret it’s not having a little more time to play with relationships like these, and spend a season with him on our team. But again, we’ve had to get to the end a little sooner than we wanted. We wanted to spend a little more time with Elias all the way inside the team, though we’d have to be careful with that — Elias isn’t much of a joiner! [Laughs] But that relationship between him and Finch has been so much fun to develop over the years, from the sort of chess conversations to really bringing him all the way in. The idea in this episode was that it’s almost like an avalanche of grief and loss bearing down on Finch, and the cumulative impact of it for Finch is watching as this set of decisions that he’s made, this sort of plan that he has held into all of these years, comes literally to grief with the death of two of his allies and friends.

TVLINE | The Machine actually speaking at the end, springing Harold from jail…. I almost feel like that’s Rocky getting up from the mat before pummeling Apollo Creed. Is our team about to rally?
PLAGEMAN | I got chills, man. One of the things that Elias really served to do…. When a character with that power says to Harold Finch, “You’re the one that people should be afraid of,” he gives that a certain weight and heft that we understand something’s coming for Harold Finch, because Elias told us so.
NOLAN | And at Comic-Con three years ago, when asked, “When will The Machine get a voice?,” we did say, “Someday, but you won’t like how it happens.” I think we fulfilled that mandate.

TVLINE | Lastly, and for what it’s worth, I’ve enjoyed getting two to three episodes a week this final season. It’s been quite a charge. Not so much a “burn-off.”
NOLAN |  Oh, that’s cool. We said this in an interview a few weeks ago, that it’s not a “burn-off.” I guess we’re supposed to feel slighted, but no, for the fans who engage in the show, it was always agonizing for us waiting for them to get to see episodes. Like, I’ve been waiting for people to watch Episode 4, and Episode 10, and Episode 12 and 13 of this season. These are hallmark episodes where our story makes big changes, so it’s a lot of fun for us to have the fans “shotgunning” the whole season like this. Like you said, it’s a charge.

What did you think of POI 100, and how Root and Elias were killed off?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. NM says:

    Another female lead bites the dust on a CBS drama.

    • Patrick says:

      But this death had meaning and gravitas.

    • You. Don’t. Kill. Root.

      She was the most badass of them all!

    • BWine says:

      So you are really going to lump Root’s death in with those other chicks who died on those other shows? Really?!?Root’s death was character driven and f*cking EPIC!! She died defending the machine and saving its father. That entire episode from start to finish was some of the best tv I have seen in years, and at the end, when Harold picked up the phone, and the machine spoke to him in Root’s voice, I cried. It was just too perfect. Bravo to everybody on this show, because this was one hell of an episode!

      • Jake says:

        Exactly – some people just want to bitch – it was sad, but true to the show.

      • Joe says:

        Likely only bear and one person survives finale…probably fusco since he has a kid and is more connected to real world…

        • Keezu says:

          Exactly what I think Joe. Bear, because, well he’s a dog!, And Fusco, because he represents everyman, while the rest of them have been cut adrift a long time ago.

      • Babygate says:

        No more CBS! They like to think themselves so progressive and in tune with the viewer but in fact, they are just pandering to the same demo over and over again and playing it safe. They cannot convince me that this could have been handled in a different way. So far this year really stinks for queer characters. We’ve lost Lexa from The 100, Callie from Grey’s and now Root, the best character on TV. What kind of queer-baiting conspiracy is this? We waited for Clexa to finally get together and the minute they do, Lexa gets hit by a stray bullet. A STRAY BULLET. We wait two seasons to see Calzona finally reconcile and at the last minute Callie moves to NY. And now after Shaw finally gets free from Samaritan and makes her way to Root, Root dies???? What the…? This is infuriating. I’m glad POI is done. It can never be the same without Root.

        • Keezu says:

          I’m LGBT Babygate, and I have no problem with Root’s demise. It was always telegraphed. She spoke of it often. And she got to see Shaw one last time and got to kick ass. And now she is a part of the Machine. And you can bet she will be joined by most if not all the others. They’ve been telling us this for ages. They KNOW they will not survive this war. They merely need to win it, no matter the sacrifice. Please don’t make this about LGBT sensitivity. This is about great story telling and terrific character arcs. We are too used to needing happy endings. Root would probably be happy her ending was this way. She saved Harold and the Machine chose her voice as her own. All Root ever wanted…..

          • Anna says:

            What is wrong with a happy ending. I can see the world around me has nothing to do with happily ever after. It’s sad we live in such a sonical world that the heros have to be killed off to make a good story line. I’m not LGBT, but I didn’t want to see the good guys die to stop the bad ones from winning. CBS already sucks, look at all the good shows they’re cancelling.

          • Svs says:

            Anna, the show isn’t here to fulfill your wishes. It’s here to tell a story. It’s not a slight, so off the victim horse ya go! W000sshhhh!!!

            From a gay man,

        • Root Cavalry says:

          Never the same without the great Root. Absolutely!

        • Starr Hendricks says:

          Amen. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

        • Cat says:

          You do realise that Callie wasn’t really going to go to New York but the final episode was already shot before Sara revealed she wasn’t coming back so it now will be a permanent move instead of a plot device.

      • Oh, I have nothing against CBS killing off characters. It’s just Root. I always envisioned she being alive and the machine transfering to her, like she being the live interface forever — maybe all of the others dying — a la Samaritan. But I guess potato potato.

      • corners says:

        “That entire episode from start to finish was some of the best tv I have seen in years, and at the end, when Harold picked up the phone, and the machine spoke to him in Root’s voice, I cried.”

        Me too. This show and ts characters have captured me.

    • Keith says:

      It’s the final season so it really doesn’t matter

    • qzr39419 says:

      some months ago i was not a rich person but one day my friend told about online job i
      start my work online and get 100$per hour continued…..,,,,,,http;//

  2. Steve says:

    Didn’t realize there were too posts when I posted in the other, but this episode was mildly disappointing for me as someone who has watched from the start. Both Elias and Root’s deaths were visible from a mile away.

  3. Cameron says:

    No, you did not circumvent the trope. You literally brought up all Shoot shippers and then freaking ruined everything just to protect Harold. Screw you guys. You don’t get a pass.

  4. Morgan says:

    Bulls**t!!! I am so angry. There was no consummation. There was only disappointment for the loss of such a great character.

  5. niloofar says:


  6. I’m so glad this show is ending, because Root was literally the reason I got really into it. So, I’m glad it is dying with her. I was so sad there are only a few episodes left and now I’m like, okay, die, you, too!

    • Murica! says:

      What is wrong with you?

      • The show was always just bleh before Root and Shaw took center stage, really.

        • Hari says:

          Well, I Couldn’t Agree With You More

        • Root Cavalry says:

          Show was above average – much better than other formulaic CBS pap. But after Rooty and Shawsome were inserted it became stuff of legend. One of the best series in TV history. No ifs, ands or buttshapes

          • Olivia says:

            I’ve been binge-watching the show for the past week. I’ve had already so many shows to watch when it was a weekly rendez-vous… but as soon as I realized that the series finale was upon us, I took the time to get into it. I’ve been hooked from the start. BUT. The arrival of characters such as Root and Shaw made it absolutely EPIC. I’m glad I got the chance to watch it all without having to wait in-between. I just finished watching this ep. If I’m as pissed as I am having watched the show that way, I can’t even begin to imagine how Root fans who’ve been invested “in real time” are feeling. I’m also pretty angry at the trope, even though I understand the direction of the story (and it actually is not gratuitous, for once). But yeah, losing Root as 1) an amazing badass and still endearing character 2) a LGBT lady, especially this year, is making me want to bitchslap the dudes behind the show right now. Especially with the bait & switch simulation stuff and the fact that Root and Shaw didn’t have any quality screen time before they were separated again, forever (beyond deserving the HBICs Of The Year Award). Don’t even get me started on the lack of kiss or some expressed feelings beyond flirting/jokes before Root met her maker. Alone. Offscreen.
            Actually now I’m kinda hoping everyone’s a goner apart from Bear. I’d spare Shaw if it weren’t for the unbearable idea that she has to live with that loss after finally breaking out of her shell for Root, surviving torture because she gave her hope, and having no other anchor in her life.

            Kudos to Amy Acker for an insanely good portrayal of Root. #RIPCocoaPuffs

    • Root Cavalry says:

      Super memorable character – enhanced by the legendary American acktress Amy Acker

  7. JCPrime1 says:

    I’m glad CBS canceled the show now. Thank you, CBS.

  8. Kat says:

    I have such mixed emotions about this episode. On the one hand there was some genuinely brilliant writing. On the other hand some of it was a bit heavy handed – I knew exactly what was going to happen with Root within 10 minutes of the episode starting, right down to the Machine choosing her voice. Having Root talk about death, saying the Machine was going to choose a voice…one or the other I might have not picked up on, but both? That was decidedly unsubtle for this usually very nuanced show and it spoiled my enjoyment of all the good stuff that came after because I kept waiting for the inevitable. As for the death itself…I’m torn on this too. Fiction doesn’t exist in a vacuum but it does exist within it’s own world, so you have to take into account both the micro view (the show/book/etc by itself) and the macro view (the larger cultural context). Any discourse that ignores one or the only is only seeing half the story. This spring has been absolutely ridiculous with regards to queer women dying on TV. There are very few queer women to begin with and the percentage of death this season is astounding even to someone like me who’s used to this trope by now. I think POI, in a lot of ways, earned this death. I think it fits with Root’s character, I think it fits that she is what will finally spur Harold and the Machine to declare all out war on Samaritan. I think if queer women had anything even slightly resembling decent representation I would…well, not like it, I’d still be horribly sad. But I can respect heartbreaking storytelling and like I said I think Root’s death was earned. But the fact is we don’t have decent representation. We pretty much just assume at this point that queer women will die because it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed yet again. So I’m torn. It’s not fair for POI to bear the weight of every other writer’s choices, but they don’t exist in a vacuum any more than any other show or book or movie. The collective weight of so many voices deciding that queer women are more effective storytelling if they’re dead is heavy enough to drown you after awhile. I wish I could separate this from everything else and just take it on its own merit. I can’t. I don’t hate it, but I can’t entirely respect it either. I want to, but I can’t. I’m just…torn. I hope that what they have for us in the remaining three episodes will be satisfying enough to leave me more good feelings than ill ones.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, my initial reaction was similar, but then I started thinking about the internal story. With all the blah, blah, blah about “we’re all just simulations” and with Root’s deep connection to the Machine, I figure that Root has become the Machine (and the other way around) and that Root would have wanted this more than anything, even though she had finally found love and a family (such telegraphing) within the current simulation. And then I remembered Amy Acker’s previous role in Angel as Fred, the heart of the show, who was killed and transformed into an alien being – which made me remember Buffy and the killing of Tara and then I was all ” grrrrr” again.

      • Kat says:

        I mean they’re definitely going for that, but I remain skeptical. I’ll be sticking around to the end so hopefully they can pleasantly surprise me but I don’t really see how Root is the Machine now. The Machine is mimicking her voice, and it knows enough about Root that it can probably mimic some of her vocal mannerisms and joke patterns and decision making if it wants, but that doesn’t make it Root. It makes it really good at mimicking Root. IDK, there was some really nice philosophy going on in this ep, but there was also a fair amount of grand speeches that, IMO, didn’t actually mean anything. It was a lot of fancy words to try to make us feel something that the technology they’ve previously presented doesn’t actually support. But we’ll see, maybe they’ll do something with Machine Root that I’m not expecting.

        • Keezu says:

          Root is merely the first (well second, after Carter). They’ll probably all join her. She wasn’t singled out, and certainly not because she was queer. (and I get it, I’m LGBT). Root’s death is a plot device, and the creators had this in mind for her early on, as it is her attachment to the Machine that supercedes everything – one reason the whole Shoot thing worked… both her and Shaw were non-caring people when they first met Harold and the Machine. Root has been trying for ages to get Harold to actually fight, to let the Machine fight back. Her death is the catalyst for that, so she is not killed in vain. Root’s death will inspire the team to bring the fight to Samaritan in a way they couldn’t before. And the creators have said she won’t be the only fallen soldier. I’d be surprised if Shaw and Reese survive. And Harold even. Root was a great character on a great show, but like everything in real life, all things do pass. There is a time and place for the good fight…. ascribing Root’s character’s death to LGBT issues is not the battle here.

          • Kat says:

            I didn’t say Root was killed *because* she was queer. I have literally never said that about any queer woman’s death. And yet somehow every time that’s what people act like I’m saying. Is reading comprehension really that hard? I’m sorry if that sounds rude but I’m a little sick of every single time this discussion comes up people arguing strawman arguments instead of what’s actually being discussed. “There are not many queer women to begin with compared to other types of characters and a really unfortunately high number of them die to the point where it’s really hard for queer women to find positive representations of themselves and it would be really nice if that changed and until it does every queer woman’s death is going to hurt more than other types of characters dying even if it’s well written” is not the same as “I think writers hate queer women and kill them for being queer because they want to make queer viewers cry”, but people sure do like to act like I’m saying the latter when I say the former.

          • Dennis Marshall says:

            Keezu, I agree with you 100% – summed up Root’s journey and are
            very correct in stating that LGBT issues have nothing to do with Root’s

        • Olivia says:

          You are 100% right, Kat. It’s exactly how I feel too.

      • Anna Karima says:

        But Root is the machine. She wouldn’t exist without it.

    • ario says:

      What’s been so amazing and Root and Shaw’s evolution is that it wasn’t planned. There was never any regard to gender it was simply about two people who belonged together. The fact that Root died had nothing to do with her relationship to Shaw, and to deny her character this end would be to cheat the character in the name of cheap fanservice.

      • Keezu says:

        Arlo, exactly! And these weren’t exactly two “normal” people lol.

        • Keezu says:

          And I mean “not normal” as in they would have their most intimate conversations in the midst of a fierce gun battle. I’m not sure I would date someone like that… although it sure would be exciting!

          • Mulloy says:

            No matter how much we like the characters, the only “normal” one is Bear. All of Team Machine are damaged and extremely flawed. Root was probably merely the most damaged of a group struggling for redemption.

      • Anna says:

        Well I’ll take cheap fan service. I just don’t think her death really had to happen to move Harold. I almost stopped watching when they killed Carter. CBS didn’t own POI so they weren’t making big money just breaking even, they pushed the hand of those in charge. So, you get what you get.

  9. Tage says:

    Really wish Root hadn’t died. It would’ve been less predictable (and trope-fulfilling) if Finch made the ultimate sacrifice (as the father of the Machine) to save his creation and his friends. Pretty disappointed.

  10. Isa says:

    The show deserves to be cancelled

  11. Kevin K says:

    It was very sad after Carter’s death in the middle of Season 3 and in the 100th episode, two major characters bit the dust in Elias and most importantly Root but Shaw coming back from the dead was a real “game changer”. Can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen in the final three episodes of the series.

  12. Renee says:

    Anyone else feel like this episode was just strange? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop or flip around but nothing. It seemed to start so abruptly and
    Root’s random speeches really telegraphed what was coming.
    Plus, why are you explaining this in the middle of a firefight?
    And where did former criminal get sniper training? And why going after Finch five minutes after Greer is all ‘we’re not going to kill you, you’re going to work for us’

  13. Stop killing us, or stop writing us.

    There is no. good. death.

    Not when it keeps our mortality rate at 99.9999999999999999999999%

    • jj says:

      Sara Lance, Nyssa, Arizona, Callie, Penny, Mulan, Red, Dorothy. And I am sure others on shows I don’t watch. All LGBT female characters who survived the season. Arguments are much stronger when you don’t exaggerate.

      • HenryP says:

        Come on now don’t go bringing facts into the argument here.

        I’m reading a lot about the Dead Lesbian trope. At the risk of attack I am genuinely unaware of this. I accept that I may just be unaware but the list above does cover a number of shows I watch and I may just be missing this. Who are all the queer women who have died in the last year. With the exception of Root I am struggling to identify them. (I am in the UK so I may not have seen them yet).

        This is a genuine question rather than an attempt to wins people up

    • BillyBobJohnson says:

      So every LGBT character should wear their PC Body Armor so they never die? Why don’t you just make them all Super Heroes. Would you be happy then?

    • mary says:

      I wouldn’t count Root. It’s the series end(with only a few eps left), most of them will probably die. If it was the season before, maybe.

  14. Chris says:

    The really funny part about all the bellyaching here is I remember back when they introduced her how I read in this same comment section how much everyone hated the character! Especially after Carters death.

    • BWine says:

      I was one of the people that didn’t like her character when she was first introduced, but Root has come sooooo far. Everyone seems to want to add her to the list of dead tv lesbians, but I think that does a great disservice to her character. While Harold has always been the moral center of the show, Root, in many ways, had become its heart, and to me, it makes perfect sense that she would sacrifice herself to save Harold who was not only the Machine’s father, but wass also a father-like figure to Root too.

      • Normandy says:

        Disservice is the name of the game when it comes to a lot of the whiners on this board. They sure like to reduce these characters into simple and basic concepts and ignore everything else about them.

      • mary says:

        That’s why people shouldn’t discount new characters. People do it with every show. They go on & on about how they hate so, so. She/he is no replacement for….

    • Eurydice says:

      I hated her, too – she came striding in as a droning, moralizing know-it-all. And I still kind of hate her, but I got used to her as an avatar of the Machine – so her death within the story really doesn’t bother me.

    • Normandy says:

      Person of Interest flies in the face of the typical CBS audience that eats up NCIS and CSI. The CBS audience hates anyone new, doesn’t want anyone to ever die (even if the TV show were about the end of the world, they’d want everyone to survive the planet blowing up), and wants every episode to end with a ribbon and having everyone be happy.

      • Anna says:

        I agree, but I don’t think everyone should get a trophy for participating. I understand this isn’t PleasantVille but, I’ll take a pretty ribbon or two. I just didn’t like this EPISODE, and I’m a Bond kind of girl. That shoot em up missed something knowing they were killing her off. And everyone accepts that a criminal just out of jail could shoot a sniper rifle that well? Ok, one person’s like is just the same as another’s.

  15. Eric H says:

    Some people are real salty tonight over her death. The fact that people care enough about her to get angry about her demise shows that Nolan/Plageman did their job well. The one thing that they did somewhat poorly was hiding who’d be the big death because they gave her way too much dialogue about death and existence to not make it her.

  16. Wesley says:

    I knew this was going to happen. Then again, I’m sure everyone who read the interview that Matt did with Nolan a couple days ago knew this was going to happen as well. Although Matt seemed a little perplexed that we all jumped to that conclusion…but whatever.

    First and foremost I want to thank Amy Acker for her brilliant portrayal of Root. I loved her from the jump and was so happy the writers added her to the show full-time. I want to thank Nolan and company for writing such an awesome character.

    That said, the way they handled her death was very sloppy. She deserved way more. Carter got a big send off, dying in Johns arms while Finch looked on in horror. Shaw *died* in an epic blaze of glory while everyone was there. Root gets shot, the writers toy with us by saying she’s in critical condition, giving us hope, then we see her corpse on slab in the morgue. Sorry, but that was about as unceremonious a way for a character of her awesomeness to be written out.

    I take exception with Plageman saying they circumvented the trope. Actually everything of substance that happened with the Root/Shaw “relationship” basically took place in two simulations, so they did not in fact go all in as they say. In fact, all they really did was construct a set-up to a relationship–a really well done set-up to a relationship–but failed to actually make good on the pay-off. Maybe that was CBS saying they didn’t want things to get to real. Who knows, maybe Matt does.

    Killing Root just after Shaw comes back, and Shaw’s complete “who-gives-a-bleep” reaction to hearing of Roots demise was, in my opinion, as brutal a gut-punch as losing Root herself. Almost. I Shaw’s reaction was the producers sticking up a giant middle-finger to anyone that actually cared about the Root/Shaw relationship.

    Whether or not the relationship was consummated doesn’t even matter to me, really. I was looking for a little more emotional truth between them after that big reunion the episode before. That, to me, would have been way more important than whether or not they slept together off-screen in some hypothetical fanfic from season three, before they really started to establish the relationship.

    Also, anyone who was around when Buffy aired, and watched it, and studied it can’t profess ignorance about dead lesbian tropes. Joss Whedon talked a lot about it back in the day.

    That said, I don’t think Root fits in to that kind of big offense. I do think her death had merit. She was always walking a tragic path. it just wasn’t handled very skillfully. Nor was everyone’s reaction to her death, sans Finch. Carter’s death and Shaw’s *death*, while sad as hell, were two of the greatest moments in this shows history, for the way it was executed to everyone’s reactions to them. This death just left me cold, like nobody even cared that she died, except Finch. Sadly, based on Shaw’s reaction tonight, I doubt we’ll ever see her even think about Root or even mention her name from this point on.

    Kudos again to Amy, and to the show for giving us Root. I wish my heart was broken cleaner and more elegantly, the reactions, especially from Shaw left me cold as ice.

    • Gregory Eckes says:

      I saw Shaw’s reaction in two ways.

      1. Even though she didn’t kill Root in any of the simulations, going through 7,000 of those has desensitized her to the deaths of her colleagues.

      2. This is war and in war there are casualties. My guess is off screen she goes to a private place and mourns

  17. Adam says:

    I just really wanted the machine to go, “Hey Harold, it’s me…Cookie!”

  18. jj says:

    For everyone who wants to simply reduce Root’s death to a dead lesbian trope and attack the writers. Let’s consider a few things. 1) They didn’t kill her off because they didn’t want to write for a lesbian character. The show is ending in a few episodes. 2) For the last couple of seasons, there have been 5 primary characters. 2 of whom are lesbian/bi women. None of whom were straight women. 3) The writers developed those 2 characters as much if not more so than the other characters. Root and Shaw have really been the only major love story in the entire series. 4) Both characters are complete badasses who were never portrayed as being lesser than the other characters because they are women or because they are gay/bi. Be angry with other writers for killing off lesbian characters. But theses writers and this show gave lesbians and bisexual women representation and don’t deserve to be lumped in with the writers from those other shows.

  19. Joe says:

    CBS has made a big mistake by cancelling P.O.I. What will they replace it with? A boring medical drama? Cop show? How about a family sitcom? I’ve never been been sad about a show being cancelled until this one. Truly a loser’s network; we should all boycott CBS.

    • mary says:

      You can’t blame CBS, it’s a business. If anything blame viewers for baling. It’s a ratings/cost game.

  20. Jake says:

    I was one of the few who liked the Root character from the beginning. In fact, I don’t understand people who don’t get that to have a good show you need a good antagonist (which is what Root was in the beginning) or the show is dull or crap. I hadn’t seen Amy Acker before this series, so she was a pleasant surprise as well. Also, I never thought of her as “The Lesbian Character” (which is as it should be), so I don’t get why so many want to define her that way.
    Further, since no one has mentioned it, I was also sad to see Elias go. I have seen Enrico Colantoni throughout his career (from Just Shoot Me, to that lame Canadian SWAT show where they never shot anyone and were always talking about feelings, not action) and this is my favorite character portrayal of his. Quiet, but menacing at the same time. Loved his scenes with Finch. The scene in the last episode where he blew up the The Voice character – the dialog between him and Harold was almost funny.

    • Anna Karima says:

      I enjoy watching Enrico but you are mistaken. They did a very important epi in that “lame Canadian SWAT show” where they did kill someone. Ed, I think was his name, was the sniper in the group and they took him to shooting someone, all the way thru then end of the psychological and physical things a sniper goes through if he kills someone. How they are investigated completely to make sure the shot was warranted. It was very informative.

      • mary says:

        Flashpoint-should never have been cancelled.

      • bj says:

        “lame Canadian swat show”? Flashpoint was a great series.

        • drhenning says:

          Glad it is constantly on ION.. Flashpoint holds up decently.. But it is Canadian.. Same with Saving Hope.. another show on ION that was ditched by US network but continues in Canada and on ION..

      • karrie pittsburgh says:

        Love Mr. Colantoni in both shows. In Flashpoint, he was the character you wanted to give a big hug to. In Person of Interest, he was the person you wanted to give a big hug to, but then run like heck, lol. I wish we could have seen him as part of the POI team for longer too. It’s like there a just a few more stories we could have experienced before the end, to see Elias functioning in something not quite his comfort zone. But then CBS has a knack for messing with their creations and annoying the fans no end.

    • Joe says:

      “I think he is far enough away”… Pulls out detonator…also liked how they brought Elias story full circle back to the building where he was a number in season 1…

    • Eurydice says:

      LOL, about Flashpoint and all their feelings. So true. But actually, they killed quite a lot of people – it’s just they were very, very sorry afterwards.

    • Mulloy says:

      +1. He actually made me care about Elias. He is consistently underrated, but a brilliant performer. (Great in Veronica Mars as well).

  21. marie ciarlo says:

    Who’s gonna watch bear the dog.

  22. Bella says:

    Harold Finch has said more than once during the course of this show that “we’re not all going to make it out of this alive. Maybe none of us do.” I would not be surprised if there aren’t more deaths on our team. I hated seeing Root and Elias go, especially Root (even though I hated her in the beginning), but she went out on her own terms, and the way she would have wanted to. She had meaningful relationships with people probably for the first time in her life, but the survival of The Machine was still her primary focus.

  23. LindseyM says:

    About a month ago, in this very site (and another one, tv insider, I think), I said I wouldn’t bother with this season, because I was sure they would f* up with racial representation again, and make Shaw’s story all about Root. I was positive Shaw would become a Carter 2.0…

    Now, I saw the headlines, I read some articles, and I can’t believe this really happened. I can’t believe they managed to f* up way more then I feared.

    Instead of being racist (just like they have been before), they decided to go full sexist and homophobic! “Anyone can die”, but, somehow, it’s *always* a woman dying to futher a man’s plot! This show has three cis/het white males from the very first episode, but “anyone can die = woman dies”. How original! #not

    And, no, Nolan and Plageman, you didn’t subverted the trope. You honored it, just like all other shows. The so called “consumation” only happened in a simulation, you got then back together and in the very next episode you killed one of them. And, worst, she died alone, off screen, not a single f* given. But, of course you will go on with excuses and delusions, instead of just being brave enough to own that you f* up.

    Also, congratulations for f* up with both Root and Shaw’s storyline, POI Writers! All that bs about Shaw’s journey, and the outcome is “meet Root, be happy for five minutes, lose her, go revenge mode”. Again, sooo original! And Root? Seriously, why did you guys even bothered with that character development from late S4 – which probably continued in S5, if the bigger plan was to stick with the idea you had earlier in S2/S3? Why bother to make she fall in love with Shaw, put Shaw over the Machine and all, if, in the end, she would just revert back to putting the Machine first? And, how on earth could you, POI Writers, think that Root deserved such a pathetic death? Again, alone AND off screen? What an epic fail!

    Before I go, I wanna apologize with the Root fans. I was positive this show would f* up with Shaw, and wasn’t worried about Root, because I never, ever, imagined they would epically f* up with her. You all deserved much better than this. Root deserved much better than this. Shaw deserved much better than this. I’m glad POI got canceled. I’m also glad POI will probably sink into oblivion, with just die hard fans talking about it. You deserve this downfall, POI.

    • Eric H says:

      Need a little more cheese with that whine? Based on this, you seem to think women and LGBT characters should be protected from death while all the men need to die. With you basically boiling Root down to only her sexuality, you missed the whole point of Root’s motivations and her arc that made her death fully earned, not some odd way of keeping women/LGBT characters down. Ever since she was introduced as a cold, loner hacker to a fully-realized, humanized member of Team Machine, she was always willing to sacrifice everything to protect the Machine, which she thought might include her death protecting its creator, Harold. She’s the one who kept faith in the Machine even when Finch lost his and the team was scattered. The fact she was willing to sacrifice everything (even her relationship with Shaw) to protect those around her shows the remarkable character growth she’d gone through in the past 4+ seasons. That’s something they wouldn’t have happened had the writers/producers not really cared about her.

    • KL says:

      I think you need to chill out a little bit!

    • mary says:

      You do realize everyone dies at some point-race, religion, sexual orientation does not stop death? Now look to this show-we’re lucky POI even kept the character the way viewers went at her. And pathetic death? If you bothered to watch this season, you would have a little more knowledge to engage properly. Instead you are just spewing about something you don’t know.

    • ComeOn says:

      That is not fair. Root was not the only one sacrificed her life for Finch. Elias believed in Finch’s machine and repaid his life debt. You are upset Root is dead because she is gay? That she dedicated her life to Team Machine the last few years mean nothing? That everyone of Team Machine are willing to give their lives for Finch so the world won’t be rules by a ruthless ASI that has no trouble planning for genocide for ‘greater good’ does not matter? Fighting for free will is not worth dying for?

  24. PatriciaLee says:

    The husband says, “Loved it!” On the other hand, I’m bummed out Nolan didn’t arrange things where everyone got saved, leading to an open ending where they started saving people, again, as a team with the Machine the newest team member. That way, they could give us TV movies and novel spinoffs, and we would have gotten an alive Elias doing his in-the-shadows-ancient-Roman thing. I’m a Roman mystery junkie, and that perception of Elias really got to me.

  25. The Carpooler says:

    I don’t think I’ve seen the word TROPE used so often in one thread. I feel so left out because I didn’t use it in context of the story. Oh well.
    Great episode, great actress in Amy Acker. I’ll miss her and this show.

  26. TFL says:

    The Machine is our narrator from episode 1 this season. Now, it comes full circle. Bravo writers. Just brilliant storytelling. Long live Root!

  27. TvLover says:

    TvLine should to put Amy Acker as performer of the week, or at least an honorable mention for sure. I mean that was a great episode and I’m so glad her character went out like the bad**s she was! And is still connected to the team because she’s the voice for the machine, which I think was fitting.
    Also, it’s sad about Elias, but he went out for the good side.
    Just really hope that if there should be any more fatalities on team Machine that it not be Bear.

  28. I just can’t wait to see how far Finch is gonna push Samaritan, but i expect it to be very very far, and it’s gonna get really ugly too.

  29. Douglas from Brazil says:

    everytime a gay character is killed the whiners cries, I’m sick of this whining about bla bla gays bla bla.

  30. leila says:

    Why does this have to be the final season?!
    Gutted when they killed off Carter-now Root, and Elias? These Allies could have helped The Machine
    The ex Mi5 dude needs to go!
    I suppose one Ally where it was insinuated that she died was Carolyn Manhiems character Control… she could be a valuable assets to bring down Samaritan…

  31. ComeOn says:

    When Root talked about they are all simulations and The Machine knows them better than they know themselves and they will all live on via The Machines, and then The Machines chose her voice, all I can think about is River Song of Doctor Who, after she died she lives on via a giant computer!

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  33. Mike says:

    It’s too bad the producers had to do ANYTHING different than what they were intending regarding how this series ended! The plot development and climax has been awesome! Carter dying and now Root is the drama of the story line. It’s what helps put Finch over the top to bring on the Grande finale. The producers did a great job ending Root’s story, but yet her voice continues as the voice for the machine. People that are all upset about these characters dying don’t have a true appreciation for art.

    • Jake says:

      That’s just it – Root was almost a daughter to Finch (I liked the wedding episode where they danced at the end) and it would take a shock like her death to make Harold go over the edge (like Elias predicted – “watch out for the quiet ones”). While John is his friend John is also a soldier, so his death, while tragic, would have somewhat less impact than Root’s,
      So I expect (and hope) that Harold gets out the big can opener and opens the giant can of whoop-ass on Samaritan.

  34. Weezy says:

    What a brilliant episode. Gave me the chills that the early seasons did. In fact, this might have been my favorite episode of the series thus far. I can’t wait to see how Harold responds…

  35. Jeanie E. Simpkins says:

    I was totally saddened with Root died and Elias as he was on our team now.. But having her voice for the Machine was totally awesome and she would have loved it..After all, she so believed in the Machine and the Worlds futer it was a great ending.. I will miss her character as she is a terrific actress….but I feel bad that she and Shaw just couldn’t be together. over all you all did good and I WILL TRULY MISS POI.

  36. ago says:

    shame this is the last season, it was really great at making me paranoid lol.

  37. Stan says:

    I’m very sad. This had been my favorite season of POI. They are still trying to do the basics, but do it while fighting Samaritan. Bringing Elias and Fusco fully into the fold was great story telling. I will miss Root, but her “evolution” was necessary.

  38. ernestine12 says:

    I thought it was a good but sad episode the death of Root/Elias was very heart warming because they both died protecting their friend (Harold). The machine taking on Roots voice was an excellent move and also some more fight. I only wish as do many other fans that someone else’s will pick up this outstanding show with A game actors/Actresses it deserves to continue,. I’ve been following the show since S1 and will be there until the end. I hope we don’t lose anyone else from TM, let the beast lose Harold, John, Shaw, Fusco, bear! Ty all cast and crew its been a fun ride!

  39. Shiloh says:

    I know this is very late but, I love this so much, because it seems so rare these days: “…but it’s really just about characters getting their due and not feeling disposable, and not feeling like the audience’s investment in a character is being used against them, or that they’re being set up for it… We’re not trying to sucker-punch the audience….”
    Also, I always felt that Shaw and Root felt inorganic to the show, like…fan service. I still sincerely feel that way. Shaw was written as clearly sociopathic and Root, if not sociopathic, then she was pretty darn close. So, it seemed very contrived to me that they fell in love, and dissonant with what I’d come to expect on the show. To me, this was the only flaw in this magnificent show. It has stayed excellent, in all ways, till the end. And, I loved the sniper scene banter the two did in the interview. Fracking awesome. Especially, to paraphrase, ‘giving his daughter something to aspire to.’ Also, Amy Acker is definitely so worth it. One last thing, sad we never got to see Elias on TM. Would’ve been great, no doubt.
    Great interview, as always, Matt.

  40. njartist says:

    This episode was incredible! Finch who is usually so careful of safeguarding
    the monikers assigned by The Machine had an all too human moment. He
    went back to the place where he & Grace had their date. Then all hell broke
    loose. One of the better aspects of POI is that the characters are fully realized
    they are human beings and they have their flaws as well as their own particular
    strengths. There is no “hero worship” witness the differences between Harold
    and Root regarding The Machine. Yet each respects the other. I did not see
    Root’s demise till the very end. What a wonderful character and the writers/ producers
    and Amy Acker did an outstanding job developing Root. Her death and that of
    Elias though painful do move the POI story towards its completion. Thinking of
    the slaughter spilled upon the streets OF NYC due to the fierce gun battles
    between Samaritan & Team Finch one has to think -what does the public think
    is going? Anyway with Root’s truly heroic death and Elias being shot dead that
    pales the chances for Netflix to continue POI. I do hope that Blackwell gets
    what he deserves. Interesting to note that it sounded like Samaritan was talking to
    him as Root talked with The Machine. It would be nice if POI ends with Samaritan
    being defeated and those responsible exposed, Finch returning to either academia
    and/or research and Fusco and Recce still partners on the NYDP with Shaw realizing
    that love is possible continuing to work with the team. Next week’s episode looks
    like it will be just as intense.

  41. Mike C says:

    The big three networks no longer have a clue what their audiences want. They have bought into their own BS, picking their navels and wondering where their audience went. If a show is clever and, PC gods forbid, heroic and principled characters (who were never cartoons), they must tear it down. Hero’s cannot be endured. Harry, John, Root, Fusco, Shaw and, in the end, Elias are heroically human. This may not stand.

  42. Starr Hendricks says:

    If it was always planned all along, why the hell did they allow the declaration of love and the promise mutual self sacrifice between Shaw and Root the episode the day before? Root was willing to die for Shaw and she was the one who said she couldn’t live without her. It makes no sense to me to spend all that time focusing on this huge reunion so it could then be ripped out from underneath the fans. It seems like there was some pandering to the lesbian/bi fans; ratings likely even though the show was cancelled. Harold’s dying would also have had a huge impact and would also have been a worthy arc in the story. I loved this show, still do but this was so unnecessary.

  43. Mike says:

    My prediction on how it all ends is, it will end like it began, with John and Finch. All the rest of the cast will probably die. I know producers love to do these symmetry things, so having it end up the same as it began will probably be how it goes down.

  44. Graciela Hernandez says:

    A show who is not afraid to kill main characters is great! It keeps the show interesting characters don’t get stale and predictable

  45. Brett says:

    So sad to see one of the best characters killed off.I can’t bare to watch any more should of killed Harold the whimp.Root and Shaw is the reason I continued to watch boo bad move.Couldn’t care less biyt show now

  46. Will Mason says:

    I realize that “The Machine” has Root’s voice but it shouldn’t have her personality. When she called Harold….Harry… it made me believe that she is not really dead. She doing this to protect the group from Samaritan. Now if she is dead, the machine needs a name too….like “Root”

  47. Chell Crist says:

    I’m really gong to miss this show.

  48. ivyjo2u says:

    Disappointed! It was totally out of the realm of what the show had always previously
    been been!

  49. corners says:

    I dont think the person we saw in the morgue looked like Root.

  50. Alicia says:

    I’m so angry that Carter got killed off but the writers decided to keep Root, such an annoying character. No bad ass girl power for me. I’m on a Netflix binge and I’m so bored with her voice& stupid behaviors!!! What a total waste of a beautiful show!! I mute the TV when she talks’