Person of Interest Review: Taking Root
What?!? There was no new person of interest for Reese to worry about this week?
Well, technically, the Machine didn't spit out any social security numbers, but Reese was honed in on one person: Root.
That's right, the computer whiz with a pretty face and a knack for crazy was still holding Finch hostage, and she was determined as ever to not only discover the location of the Machine, but to prove to Finch that people are just bad code.
Which is an interesting concept, in that despite the parallels between the two techno geniuses, their outlooks are vastly different. Finch wants to save people and recognizes innocence and goodness in others... while Root is vested in the ideal that people are manipulative, backstabbing and just plain bad.
I guess it takes one to know one.
Root is fantastically played by Amy Acker, who provides for a multifaceted character with devious undertones. As much as she seems friendly and sweet, she's also ruthless and a little nuts.
And while the episode was focused on her mysterious backstory, the show took our assumptions and flipped them upside down. Not only did we learn she was originally Sam from Texas, but back then as a blond-haired kid, she was one to be reckoned with.
I mean, c'mon. She beat Oregon Trail in seconds!
I have to note the interesting book choice reference, "Flowers for Algernon," and its relation to intelligence. The story itself is about a man undergoing surgery to increase his intelligence and the eventual repercussions of such an act.
Is that a foreshadowing for the Machine? Or does Root want to gain even more intelligence? It is great when seemingly small references can elicit a deeper meaning to the larger story.
And, truly, "Bad Code" was the second half to the Root story, finishing up where the premiere left off and giving us something of a complete movie.
Once again, the characters involved all had something to do. Fusco may have been stuck dog-sitting (which was hilarious), but he also dug up solid leads on the Alicia Corwin case. Carter and Reese worked together side-by-side, utilizing their specific abilities to unravel the mystery of the kidnapped girl, Hanna. It was kind of nice seeing them do more than just talk on the phone to each other.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the bar brawl. Reese really isn't the guy you want to mess with and there's something exhilarating about watching him take everyone out. Plus, he gets in those dry one liners to top it all off every time.
Certainly, Reese reuniting with Finch was a great moment, as these two really are a team. Similarly, it helped prove Finch's point that Reese is the so-called "good code."
Yet, it does make me wonder more and more about what the Machine can do and just how many people want to use it for nefarious plans. After all, Denton Weeks had no problem trying to get all that info from Finch to use for himself.
The mystery of the hour might not have been that enthralling, but it did give us a point of reference for the enigmatic Root. That said, I love that she confidently called Reese to tell him she'd be back. It not only allowed for a nice wrap up to the overall story, but laid the ground work for a return.
Person of Interest really does a great job in giving a certain level of serialization of story while neatly coinciding with the case of the week. The blend of elements makes for a compelling treat to watch.
Do I wish Finch had more to do? Sure. Do I wish we learned why Root is the way she is? Definitely.
But even my gripes seem minimal when overall the episode managed to entertain, entice, and have me ready for more.
After all, there's nothing like watching TV's best new hero save the day.
Person of Interest: "Bad Code"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.