across the fucking board, the majority of white people of all ages voted for trump! so it is really not women of color who need to get up and do this work to change this nation – it is white people! and not just white men! white women too! i see you becky! 53% of white women voted for trump! white allies, go talk to your sisters and your aunts and your mothers! stop expecting women of color (especially black women! bcus 94% of black women voted clinton!!) to get up and fight rn! we fought! it is absolutely your fucking turn.
Root is my favourite character of all time. I have read so many books and fallen for so many shows, related to so many characters, hoped for them, struggled with them, smiled with them and hurt when they were hurt. but Root is my favourite character of all time. my tag for Root is #love of my TV life.
today, for the first time in my life, I cried watching a TV show. I cried because Root died and Root means the world to me.
I don’t want to make her death political but it will be made political, and in a way, rightfully so. I also don’t want to discuss the narrative choice, one I do understand. I don’t want to do it right now because this is my memorial to Root.
this is the space that I’m choosing to share how much I love Root.
this is my love letter to Root.
I have loved Root since before I knew I was watching Person of Interest. one of those lazy days at home, nothing else was on TV and I saw this flashback-looking cinematography. I was curious and I stayed. now I know that the episode that made me stay, two years before I became a fan, was 2x02, Bad Code.
I loved Root because she was pretty and a little on the crazy side. I loved Root because of how passionate she felt about humans being bad code. I loved Root because she became ruthless and misanthropic but she became that way because her best friend (her first love?) died at the hands of a paedophile. one she dealt with because Root, for the five seasons we’ve seen her, has always fought for what she believes in.
I love Root because she’s one of the most intelligent characters I have ever met. she knows so much about so many things, she adapts to all types of environments and people. I love Root because the show set her up in the role of the Prophet - the voice of reason, that people refuse to listen to with grave consequences. the Prophet, such a mythical, central figure, who until now had always been played by a man, usually a white man.
the Prophet always dies, so I should have known. but love makes you hope. Root made me hope.
I was raised in a Catholic school and, despite not identifying at all with the Catholic church anymore, I am a spiritual person, I am a person of faith. I see Root believing and I understand. maybe I don’t believe in an all-seeing AI with good intentions and admiring morals, but I do believe in something greater than myself. I also believe in Nature. unlike Root, I believe in people.
but what we believe in doesn’t matter so much as the fact that we are both believers. that we walk this earth with the skip on our step brought upon by faith.
I love Root because she had every reason not to, but she opened her heart to the Machine and to the team. I love Root because she’s so self-aware, she is so in tune with who she is and what she’s done, that she respected the space needed by every single member of the team to accept her. it was an acceptance that came at a different pace for Harold, Shaw, John, Fusco, but one she earned with the power of her perseverance, and of her respect for their needs.
Root is so so funny and she is funny in a witty way. her jokes, her comments, her interventions are fucking smart. but Root also has a darkness within her, one born entirely out of pain. we’ve seen it here and there. in Root Path when she’s faced with a number that is now a janitor because she killed everyone he loved in her time as a killer for hire. in Prophets when she shows she understands that she’s lived a more than questionable life, that a good death would be a privilege. in MIA and Sotto Voce when it was made clear that there’s no point for Root to live without Shaw.
you see, Root understands herself so well, but she doesn’t quite love herself all that much.
so I’ll love her for all the love she didn’t give herself.
I’ll love her for that time she was locked in a mental hospital and she doubted herself.
I’ll love her for that time she could have chosen to flee Harold’s prison, but she stayed because it was the right thing to do.
I’ll love her for that time she was tortured and lost her hearing, all for her Machine.
I’ll love her for all the philosophical and theological debates she had with Harold, debates that had me on the edge of my seat, debates that made my brain light up with challenge and awe at conversations on a show that were finally, finally up to my intellectual needs and abilities.
I’ll love her for how she despised John so, but grew to rely on him and trust him and consider him a part of the family.
I’ll love her for how Bear couldn’t care less about her for the longest time, but even the dog she took the time to conquer and love.
I’ll love her for being a queer woman who didn’t have an arc about “omg I’m gay what do I do??”, who didn’t have an arc about how it hurts and/or sucks to be queer. or how it sucks and hurts to be neurodivergent. I’ll love her for being a queer woman who could be literally anything else, but who is a queer woman. the one I never thought I’d get to have.
I’ll love her for falling in love with Shaw for all Shaw is. for falling in love with competent, neurodivergent, ruthless, loyal Shaw. I’ll love her for teasing and flirting with Shaw but never once disrespecting Shaw’s boundaries, never once crossing the line of what Shaw is willing to accept. oh, she played with the line a lot, of course she did. she pushed the line farther and farther back, but she did it with Shaw’s consent.
I’ll love her because Root and Shaw, despite all odds, have showed me what a healthy relationship looks like between two women. one that grew with time, patience, respect, playfulness.
I’ll love her because she’s so fucking extra, with her two guns, and her awkwardly-timed flirting, and her recklessness with her own life.
I’ll love her because she tilts her head when she smiles in a condescending way. I’ll love her because her voice goes ridiculously high-pitched when she’s scared for the people she loves. I’ll love her because she can’t wink and I’ll love her because she doesn’t roll her eyes, even when she’s annoyed.
I’ll love her for her black-painted nails and her love of purple and black. I’ll love her for her beautiful hair and her infinite wigs. I’ll love her for how hot she looks in glasses. I’ll love her for Mr Berenstain and Barbie Nanny and Alien Fangirl and Wedding Crasher.
I’ll love her for her relentless defence of the Machine, of her own beliefs, regardless of Harold’s preferences and morals, and for her unshakable respect for Harold’s decision and point of view.
I’ll love her for the absurd heart eyes she throws at the Machine (every now and then) and at Shaw (all the time).
I’ll love her because she’s grown so much and evolved so much and she did it in front of my own two eyes, with me rooting for her the whole time (yes, even when she was a villain).
I’ll love her for that smile, you know the one, the teary-eyed one. I’ll love her for going from calling Shaw Shaw to calling her Sameen and sweetie and, maybe someday, beautiful girl. I’ll love her for defying Harold’s Ms Groves with her good-spirited Harry. I’ll love her for how big lug and helper monkey went from insults to pet names.
I’ll love her for how unique and remarkable she is as a character. one I’ve never seen, one who’s made me fall hopelessly in love.
I’ll love her for giving me so much joy and so much hope and so much love. I’ll love her because I don’t know what else to do.
Root is my person. and Root will always be my person.
You wanna know what I think is an underrated but potentially adorable concept?
Imagine having a friend or S/O who’s an empath. Imagine having a friend or S/O who can feel their loved ones’ emotions and physical pains and perceive them as their own.
Now imagine an empath who’s ticklish.
Imagine how cute it would be if you ran your hand along your own side and your empathic companion couldn’t resist the urge to squirm and giggle, and as it goes on, they can only curl up and laugh helplessly because the only way they could stop it is by stopping you from tickling yourself but they can’t do it because they’ve already succumbed to squeals. Imagine the empath themselves isn’t extremely ticklish, but you are and you turn their gift against them by tickling yourself. Imagine that that’s the reason why they’re laughing just as hard as you are when they tickle you. Imagine that they struggle to keep up the tickling assault because it tickles them so badly, it they’re still willing to try because it’s worth it regardless!
“Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. You, and all of us in this room really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society, right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press. Who are we? And what is Hollywood, anyway? Just a bunch of people from other places. […] An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work. But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It- it sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good - there was nothing good about it - but it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment, when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter - someone he outranked in privilege, power, and capacity to fight back. It- it kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie; it was real life. And this instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. […] This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution, so I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists, because we’re going to need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth. One more thing. Once, when I was standing right on the set one day, whining about something, you know, you were going to work through supper or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me: ‘Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?’ Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege, and the responsibility, of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once: ’Take your broken heart, make it into art.’ Thank you, friend.” – Meryl Streep, 2017 Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille acceptance speech