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Amy Acker Talks The Evolution of Root on POI

Written by Blue Finch   // March 23, 2014

Sarah Shahi, Amy Acker, Sameen Shaw, Ms. Groves

Amy Acker Talks about The Evolution of Root on Person of Interest


Person Of Interest star Amy Acker recently discussed The Evolution of her character “Root” on the CBS hit drama.’s Charlie Jane Anders posted the interview on Thursday, March 20th, 2014.


In POI 3×17 “-/-” Root was confronted with her past in the form of a man whose life she destroyed, Cyrus. With regard to that encounter, Amy says that her character is becoming less corrupt by her power, rather than more corrupt. Fans may have a different view, but it seems as though Root’s humanity may be showing!


Amy Acker On Her POI Character


“I think her moral judgment and the decisions she’s making have actually turned around a lot, and she’s been going further from that point [of playing games with people’s lives],” says Acker.


As long time fans know, when we first met Root [AKA Samantha Groves] she really had no use for humanity; we found out as a child humans had let her down. Computers she understood. As an adult we find Root using her computer skills for personal gain without any care for the people she destroyed along the way.


Now that Root has become the tool of the Machine she has been enthralled with since her first clash with Finch (Michael Emerson) and Reese (James Caviezel), even becoming part of the Machine herself, as happened in the latest episode, we see Root having to face the consequences of what she has done. As Samantha Groves becomes more machine than human, a machine is teaching her to become more human.


Speaking of becoming part of the Machine, it still doesn’t control her. She gets to make choices. The Machine doesn’t even tell her everything. As Acker states it gives her pieces of a puzzle to solve. And sometimes these puzzles are actual moral dilemmas Root has to figure out for herself.


At the beginning of season three, Samantha Groves spent a while in a mental institution. Root left there with the Machine’s help, leaving chaos behind. She tore her psychiatrist down. The person who was in charge of making her better apparently was  in more need of help than she was.


“So I feel like maybe the other people in the hospital are the ones who walked away learning stuff about themselves after she tore them all down.”


Maybe Root escaped thinking she hadn’t been helped, but while she left behind a path of destruction, she spared the life of her attacker because the Machine told her not to kill him. Dual lesson human life shouldn’t be taken and the Machine is her god, but a benevolent one.


Root has always recognized the Machine was created that way, sometimes even to Root’s disillusionment. Thinking it had been broken in order to learn to care. In that realization that a machine can be taught to care, the reverse can be true. Now there is the threat of a second machine.


Maybe Root’s thinking the world is crazy, chaotic, with no reasoning for anything and her belief the Machine can sort everything out will make her valuable in the finale of season three which is shaping up to be a war of the “gods”.


Acker goes on to talk about the odd friendship between Root and Shaw (Sarah Shari). There’s an ‘I can’t stand you but yeah I like you’ mix going on between these two. Root seems to enjoy antagonizing Shaw with the flirting. It may seem Shaw doesn’t care for Root at all, but as season three has progressed so far, she may be as close to a human friend as Root has had since childhood and her friend Hannah.


Person of Interest returns to CBS on Tuesday March 25th, 2014 with episode 3×18 “Allegiance” at  10/9c.



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