Root Person Of Interest 4x05 Homework

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One day, I realized all the dumb, selfish things people do... it's not our fault. No one designed us. We're just an accident, Harold. We're just bad code. But the thing you built... It's perfect. Rational. Beautiful. By design.


Root (née Samantha Groves) is a highly intelligent computer hacker and former contract killer known by her hacker name "Root". She has a special relationship with The Machine and is the only one to be in frequent and direct contact, acting as The Machine's 'Analog Interface'. When the government begins to doubt The Machine's information, Root takes on both the relevant numbers and the task of bringing Samaritan down.



Samantha Groves, known then as Sam, was born in Bishop, Texas, and lived there until her mother's death around 2002. Her mother taught her to follow her talents, specifically computers. As a child, computers made more sense to Sam than people. As an adult, she admits that she has been waiting for someone who shares her understanding of technology her whole life. Soon, she also finds that she can inflict harm on others with ease, although she tells Finch she wishes she was a sociopath because it would make what she does easier. She claims she does not enjoy killing people, but admits "(she) doesn't feel bad about it either".

One afternoon in 1991, Sam and her friend Hanna Frey are in the local library. As Sam looks for a book, Hanna unsuccessfully plays the simulation computer game "Oregon Trail" until the library closes for the day. After Hanna leaves, Sam stays behind, quickly finishing the game with apparent ease. As Sam leaves the library, she sees Hanna getting into a car that belongs to Trent Russell, a local man who is a member of the library's book club.

She recognizes his car and tells the librarian, Barbara Russell, what she has seen. However, because Barbara is in love with Trent, she intimidates Sam into keeping what she saw to herself. Later, Sam makes an anonymous 911 call describing what had happened and giving the operator the license plate of the car, but not mentioning Trent. (“Bad Code”) Hanna is never seen or heard from again.

Life as Root

With the death of her mother and her friend, Sam eventually disappears herself. Two years after Hanna disappeared, Sam hacked into a drug lord's bank account and stole $100,000 from him, using the money to frame Trent for the robbery and thereby setting him up to be killed. (“Bad Code”) After that, no one knew her whereabouts until she reappeared in New York, where she became known as Root, a hacker-for-hire, and some-time assassin. (“The Contingency”)

Root was responsible for the FBI Trojan Horse of 2009 and the null worm, a virus that infected over 7 million computers worldwide in less than a week. (“Mors Praematura”)

Root was hired by a business executive to send in a hitman to kill Cyrus Wells and his coworkers since the executive was suffering during the Stock Market Crash while Cyrus' company made millions. On April 4, 2009, an assassin sent by Root opened fire at the office he worked in - Cyrus' two college friends Sarah Lind and Alex Rice were killed while he and four others were injured. Cyrus spent 10 weeks in an intensive care unit.(“Root Path (/)”)

Root is hired by Pete Matheson, Congressman Michael Delancey's aide to assassinate the congressman. Using a patsy, an unemployed man named Scott Powell, Root is successful. However, her plan to kill Powell after the assassination is foiled by the timely intervention of Reese. Ultimately, the operation falls apart when Reese incapacitates one of Root's men and steals his phone. At the same time, Finch panics Matheson into calling Root with the help of Zoe Morgan and uses a forced pairing of Matheson's phone to record the call. Finch later sends the recording to Carter, exonerating Powell. In response, Root briefly hacks into Finch's network by creating a honeypot, presumably learning about Finch and The Machine in the process.

Realizing that her plan has failed, Root kills her client and stages it as an apparent suicide, exonerating Powell. Root abandons her location, the dorm room of an unsuspecting college student who has been away on winter break, before the FBI, acting on an "anonymous" tip from Finch can apprehend her. Shortly thereafter, she has a brief chat conversation with Finch through IRC, acknowledging him as a worthy opponent, and adding she is looking forward to their next encounter. She ends the conversation by calling Finch "Harold", indicating she knows who he is. (“Root Cause”)

Emergence as a Person of Interest

With Finch firmly in her sights, Root begins developing a plan to come face-to-face with him and to gain access to his Machine. As part of her plan, Root anonymously contacts HR and put a "hit" on herself, using the identity Caroline Turing, a meek psychotherapist. Soon after, The Machine sends Finch Turing's Social Security number, making her a person of interest. Root also hires a known con man to pretend to be another patient who posed a threat to her safety. To get close to her, Reese, as John Rooney, becomes one of her patients, and begins observing her.

Late one night, Turing is attacked by four assassins at the command of Officer Patrick Simmons. Reese, who is nearby, manages to get her to safety in a hotel, but the two are unknowingly being watched by the FBI. Under Donnelly's supervision, the FBI stages a full-scale assault on the hotel in an attempt to catch Reese, while HR continues trying to get to both Turing and Reese. With the help of Carter and Finch, Turing is led to an underground tunnel system beneath the hotel. Reese instructs her to find Finch at the end of the tunnel, while he holds off HR.

As Finch is confronted by Alicia Corwin regarding his involvement with the Machine, Root arrives and kills Corwin with a gun shot to the head. She introduces herself to Finch as Root. Finch drives away at gun point, with Corwin's body left behind. (“Firewall”) While holding him captive, Root explains her desire is not to control the Machine, as Finch believed, but rather to "set it free". (“The Contingency”)


ResidenceWashington D.C., USA (formerly)

Latest appearance“.exe”(Simulation)

Images (209)

"Prophets" is the fifth episode of season 4, and the 73rd produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on October 21, 2014.


Finch is suspicious when a gifted political pollster’s number comes up at the same time that his typically ironclad predictions go wrong, and believes that the two events are linked. Meanwhile, Reese is sidelined by a direct order from Captain Moreno.

Origin of the Title

A prophet is a person who is believed to be able to foretell the future with a high level of accuracy. Unlike a psychic, a prophet's predictions are based on their knowledge or the evidence that surrounds them. Although the term is traditionally used in a religious context, it has come to be used broadly, including to describe Simon's ability to predict election results. It also alludes to Finch's inability to accurately predict what the Machine will do in the future. Furthermore, a prophet is commonly known as someone who receives revelation from a higher power, an apt description of both Root and Martine Rousseau.

Main Plot Points

  • Person of Interest: Simon Lee, a political pollster, whose predictions go awry, resulting in a candidate's loss of a major election.
  • Samaritan begins to place puppet elected officials in governmental positions by tampering with 58 national elections.
  • Reese is temporarily assigned to desk duty and must see a psychologist following a series of questionable shootings.
  • Samaritan is shown to also have a "God Mode" when Martine appears in pursuit of Root.
  • Finch and Root discuss the Machine's method of communicating with Root, and how she is coping with less and less contact from it.


  • Finch and Ingram struggle with the early development of the Machine's programming when Finch attempts to teach it morality.
  • A series of iterations of the Machine's code must be rewritten when it attempts to fight back and preserve itself in an increasingly aggressive manner.

Episode Notes

  • In chronological order, the next flashback would be Finch testing the Machine in “The Contingency”.
  • The autodialer malfunctioned on October 21, 2014, the same day as the episode was broadcast.
  • In SPOV, a double triangle was shown to prioritize a specific target.

Production Notes

  • The scenes with Root and Martine Rousseau shooting through the ceiling were filmed at Roosevelt Hotel on August 22, 2014.[1][2]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • During Simon's telephone call in which he declares there is no conspiracy, Samaritan monitors the call and designates his location as being in Queens. However, the GPS coordinates shown point to a street corner in lower Manhattan.
  • In the flashback the webcam that is seen is a "logitech c920". That particular webcam didn't came out until 2012, so its presence is anachronistic.



  • Reese mentioned Carter, during the therapy session.
  • Finch calls Root by that name, not "Miss Groves" as usual.
  • Finch and Root both pose as reporters from The New York Journal.
  • Finch's reporter alias, Harold Cardinal, is another bird name.
  • Finch was labeled with a red box, during a flashback in this episode, when he destroyed the last of the "malfunctioning" revisions of The Machine.
  • The Burmese cat on the picture is actress Wrenn Schmidt's own.
  • When the Machine tried to access the WiFi on Nathan Ingram's computer, an email conversation with an employee at IFT can be seen in the background. Ingram and an employee named Corey were communicating about a system malfunction possibly caused by food and drinks. Just seconds later Finch pours something over the laptop's keyboard.
  • In cryptography and computer security, Alice and Bob are commonly used placeholder names in explanations of various protocols.
  • In the first flashback, the code Harold investigates is part of a decompiled (reverse-engineered) source of Stuxnet.
  • The last scene in the episode mirrors the second-to-last scene in “Firewall” with Finch instead of Reese.
  • Google and Yahoo are mentioned in this episode.


  • "Election's got me in a real democratic mood. You always have a choice, even if its between two bad options." (Reese, to Doug)
  • "Trust me, you want me to take a break." (Shaw)
  • "I killed it because it lied." (Finch, to Ingram, about the Machine)
  • "Hey, Eeyore. Where's the perky psycho? You're creepin' me out." (Shaw, to Root)
  • "Friendliness is something that human beings are born with. A.I. are only born with objectives. I need to constrain it, control it. Or one day it will control us." (Finch, to Ingram)
  • "It's going to be a long fight, but it must be won at all cost." (Finch)
  • "There are far too many bad people in this world, and not enough good. I knew a detective once; she was the best cop I ever knew. Never lost sight of good and evil. I couldn't save her. Now this job is dangerous; you think I am too. So be it. Maybe that makes me unfit to be a cop. And if I don't save these people, nobody else will." (Reese)
  • "The difference between the Machine and Samaritan... it's you." (Root, to Finch)
  • "Find the Machine." (Samaritan, to Greer)
  • "It's time we had a talk, you and I." (Finch, to the Machine)
  • "ADMIN IS NOT ADMIN" (The Machine, to Finch)



Start a Discussion Discussions about Prophets

  • Discussion for Episode 405: Prophets (October 21, 2014)

    22 messages

    • Hub13

      Rubbra wrote: We now have a bright side to all the casino closings in Atlantic City: locations for TV shoot-outs. (Not saying this was shot...

    • Rubbra

      Hub13 wrote: Actually, it was shot at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. Good to know. I wonder how, and if they have two lobbies.

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