1. Root’s vision of the universe (Root Path, 3x17)
If someone asked me to show them one scene that perfectly encompasses Root’s philosophy, they’d get this brilliantly written and amazingly acted scene shoved under their nose. It shows us how she sees the world – aimless, just a series of random occurrences and coincidences, no reason and no logic, and no meaning either. It also beautifully highlights how she views TM and why its presence and continued survival is so important to her. TM is the one thing that gives her purpose and direction. It brings meaning to an otherwise pointless existence. It gives her a reason to live.
2. Root as The Machine’s Analog Interface (Aletheia, 3x12)
This is one of my absolute fav scenes from the entire show because it’s a brilliant demonstration of one of Root’s primary roles on the show – that of TM’s analog interface. Root was already a part of TM a long time before ep 100. She was already its voice and its ears and its hands. This scene also showcases Root’s absolute devotion to TM and how far she’s willing to go for it. She’s willing to bear any amount of pain and torture, and she absolutely believes that it cares for her and will help her out of this situation eventually (and she’s proven right!). And finally, god bless Amy Acker’s goddamn acting during this scene!
3. Root being self-aware (Prophets, 4x05)
I adore moments like these because Root is so deliberately
flashy that it’s really easy to just classify her as the ‘perky psychopath’ and leave
it at that. But this moment right here shows that Root does understand the dangers associated
with being on the front lines as TM’s analog interface in an AI war with SAM.
She’s completely aware of what her future is likely to hold and she knows how
this is going to end, and she still goes ahead 100% with it anyway. Because she
sees TM as something completely worth sacrificing herself for. And because she
now also has people that she thinks are worth protecting at any cost. Root being introspective is a rare treat and this scene also stuck with me for the foreshadowing that it provides.
4. Root’s hatred of humanity (The Contingency, 2x01)
Root’s utter disdain for humanity is my absolute fav.
She doesn’t celebrate the flaws that people have as an inevitable part of being human. She just sees it as proof that humans are rotten to the core and should be exterminated. However, I love that Root isn’t just spewing random bullshit. She’s speaking from an evolutionary perspective. She thinks humans had evolved as far as we can and is enamored by the idea of artificial intelligence specifically because it’s perfect and rational by design and would fix everything wrong with humanity. Which makes it deliciously ironic that she winds up as the analog interface to an AI that celebrates humanity in all of its flawed glory and teaches Root to find something valuable in human life. And this brings us neatly to…
5. Root’s fierce love for her family (The Day The World Went Away, 5x10)
“I can’t lose you… you’re too important to me!”
“You can’t live with me, I can’t live without you.”
“This might be the first time I feel like I belong.”
Yes okay so I cheated a little with the quotes for a bit of context, but this gif highlights something that is very important to me and a concept that is immensely staggering – Root has no regrets. If you asked her, she would go back and do this all over again. No matter what struggles and pain she has endured, she wouldn’t change any of it, because she also gained something from it all. She found people who she loved and who cared for her in return. She found acceptance and belonging. She found herself a family that she would fight tooth and nail to keep. And that’s pretty priceless.
(x)(x)(x)(x)(x) and a special thank you to @isagrimorie for making that last gif from ep 100 for me. Honourable mentions go to: “We might as well be a symphony” (The Day The World Went Away, 5x10, reserved for Shoot moments), the Truth Speech (Liberty, 3x01), and the Hand Drilling (MIA, 4x13).
Person Of Interest Meme → Favourite Episodes
→ 3x01 Liberty: “The truth is, God is 11 years old, that she was born on New Year’s Day, 2002, in Manhattan.
The truth is that she’s chosen me, and I don’t know why yet, that for the first time in my life I’m a little scared about what’s gonna happen.”
Denise: “No. I would not want Root to be mad at me.”
And so begins one of the best chilling performances Amy gives as Root.
Denise: “Our Dr. Carmichael here, Bruce Altman, I love when he starts to realize that she actually does knows things about him. Things she really shouldn’t know and things she would have no way of knowing.”
Greg: “I think her spiel is an excellent reason why more people might be concerned about the loss of their privacy.”
Root: “Would you like to know the truth, doctor? About what we’re arguing over? Whether or not I’m gonna kill you.”
Soooo yeah, look at that face, terrifying indeed. The only reason why Root hasn’t painted the walls with the doctor’s brains was because the Machine told her not to. The Machine is literally Root’s morality.
This is why I never believed her when she claimed she doesn’t like killing people. She may not ‘like’ killing but she doesn’t mind killing either and for her line of work, most of the time for Root killing people is the most expedient.
(”Plus, paying those two to kill Tomas is cheaper than paying all three.” - Honor Among Thieves.
Root also killed a man who worked for her simply because he saw her face, also turned out she never paid the guy too. Root doesn’t like paying for things out of her own pocket.)
But really look at that face, Root was dead serious when she said the only thing keeping the doctor alive was the Machine.
I can fully believe that the way Root was staring/glaring at the doctor in the first two photos? She’s imagining all the ways she would kill him, if she were allowed.