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“Root-in-a-bear-suit” welcomes you to this blog post dedicated to Root and Sameen Shaw – aka Shoot – from the CBS science fiction/techno-drama series Person of Interest. If you are a newer fan of this dynamic, chaotic duo of badassery, you will find lots of goodies related to Shoot in this super-long guide about them. If you’re a longtime fan, hello!

I keep this post (mostly) updated with the following: polls for fans to vote in, interviews featuring the actresses who portray Root & Shaw (Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi), and any new (spoilery) information regarding the ‘ship in the upcoming fifth season. You’ll notice some “F” bombs in this post because CBS has been screwing with fans of Person of Interest on when the fifth season will air; we’re still in the dark beyond an announcement of “Spring 2016” and that’s totally unacceptable. We want our show, and we want it NOW!

This post is constantly being updated, but if there anything that you’d like to see added to this post, hit the Comments below and add your suggestions/screenshots/Shoot-related articles, fan videos, and fan art. Feel free to share it across the world on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook – pass it on to your friends who are clueless about Shoot and get them hooked.


LATEST POST UPDATES – 03/19/16

We got some new info about Season 5 FINALLY, but it comes with a bit of sad news as well. Most of us have been prepared for it, but I have to share it. Read below to see the latest news update.

Shoot got stopped in the Elite Eight of the Zimbio TV Couples March Madness ChallengeI won’t add much else to this, but there were a few fandoms anti-voting against us. To each their own, and I won’t say more about it ’cause I prefer to remain positive and neutral in fandom stuff. On the plus side: we do have new episodes to look forward to and more Shoot and then there’s gonna be lots of feelings to process and explore and I’m not mentally prepared yet for Root’s reunion with Shaw, or the rest of Team Machine (especially Bear).


Need More Root to Help with the Hiatus?

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Ms Buffy Buff (Cassandra) has written an excellent article on Root and her importance & significance not only on Person of Interest, but as one of the most developed and well-written characters in recent years, if not one of the best characters on television since its inception. Root has added quite a bit of flavor to what had originally started as your average crime procedural, and Amy Acker has demonstrated her finest acting work yet to the character. Read her post: Rooting for Root.


 

FUCK YOU, CBS! We FINALLY Get An Airdate, But…

CBS – the broadcast network currently obsessed with spinoffs of spinoffs, reality drivel, uninspired TV reboots of film/TV properties, and terrible primetime scheduling – finally gave us an airdate for the final season of Person of Interest. Starting May 3rd, Season Five will air in its regular Tuesday timeslot, but then they threw in a plot twist: they’ll be airing it twice a week from May 9th through the show’s finale on Tuesday, June 21st. It’s about damn time they announced something!

Honestly? I’m glad we finally got an answer,as to when the show returns. We have this shortened schedule but get two episodes per week, and my parents are going to have to deal with me for seven weeks as I invade their home and watch the show on their TV ’cause mine gets too much interference and can’t pick up CBS or ABC (no cable for this gal! Go digital antenna!). They’re going to see me at my fangirling best: crying, yelling, swooning, cheering, bawling, and a range of various emotions that might/might not be shared by them. Mom will be happy that Shaw’s back and Dad will be grinning over Root, and they’re both Shoot supporters. I love my parents. <3

If you didn’t see the sly “final season” that I slipped in there, it’s confirmed: CBS also officially canceled the show. Is there any hope the show could be picked up elsewhere? Sure? Do the cast & crew want it? Depends on them and any networks/streaming sites interesting in picking up the show. If this is the final curtain call, then I’m so very thankful  to everyone who worked on the show, for Mom stubbornly refusing to let me keep ignoring it, and the awesome friends that I’ve made in the fandom for the past year.

There was also some woman named Amy Acker that I met last year, and she was OK – I guess. HA! Sarcasm aside, she is one of the loveliest people ever and she’s making several convention appearances this year. I’ll be adding her convention appearances here shortly. If you have the opportunity to travel to one and meet her, DO IT! You won’t regret it!

Many entertainment sites have been reporting the news. I posted an article from TVLine, which you can visit by clicking on the screenshot below.

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Several months ago, a friend of mine created a Change.org petition that originally asked CBS to extend the episode order of POI’s fifth season from 13 episodes to more. At the time, the actors themselves had no clue if they were just shooting thirteen episodes or possibly more because CBS still hadn’t finalized a decision (back in May). Now we know that CBS has canceled the series and set the fifth season premiere for May 3rd, with the series finale airing on June 21st. Happy early birthday gift to me! :( I’m happy we’re finally getting to see the final thirteen episodes, but bummed out that it’s another series that I can add to my list of Shows That I Love That Have Ended Just As I Got Into Them.

The petition has changed to ask Netflix to save the show and air a future sixth season if that’s possible, in the cards, or if the universe so desires (and the fans demand it). Take a look at the petition and if you’re interested, give it your virtual John Hancock. Share it and spread it to fellow fans and help support a fellow fan who’s done a bit in the fandom to promote the show to those outside of our geek-o-sphere and welcomed me into the fold.


So, What’s the 411 on New Shoot Info? What’s Happening to Root & Shaw in Season Five?

[SPOILER ALERT! There are some spoilers for Person of Interest’s fifth season. You’ve been warned!]

It doesn’t help to be hearing about all of this badass stuff that’s gonna happen in Season Five without a premiere date to look forward to. I think this has been the longest wait for any show since forever. CBS claims that the show will be returning “this Spring 2016,” but what exactly does that mean? That means they’ll air it when they feel like it.  Can we just have the season start airing sooner rather than later? *heavy sigh*

Waiting for Season Five really, really sucks. On the plus side, at least WGN has been airing the episodes nightly on their network, and Netflix has the first three seasons to binge-watch. Still no word on when Season Four will be added to Netflix. Boo! It is available on Amazon Prime and iTunes, so that’s an alternative until Netflix adds it.

If you’re a spoiler-phobe and are trying to remain so, you should steer clear from here and keep scrolling. If you’re anxious for ANY news on the upcoming fifth season, watch the videos and view the photos below. Start with the NYCC 2015 Sizzle Reel, but be warned: you might find yourself in an endless loop of replaying the video several thousand times in a row (I swear I didn’t do that).

Three awesome Root & Shaw photos, courtesy of Chris Fisher. You’re welcome. To see more of his gorgeous ‘POI noir‘ photos, visit his Instagram. (Updated: March 1st)

root-poi-noir-newshaw-poi-noir-newroot-poi-noir-new-2Photos Credit: Chris Fisher via Instagram

NYCC 2015 POI Sizzle Reel

The funniest thing ever from the show. As my dad said at the end of the clip, “They’re giving her [Acker] more of a lead role? Nice. She’s really good.” He’s a Root/Shoot fan, making even even cooler than he already is.

NYCC 2015 POI Panel – Full Cast
(sound/video not in sync; hard to find the whole panel on YouTube)

A little more than half of this panel is related to Shoot and Root and Shaw’s characters. Sarah gives a great speech during it about how important LGBTQ+ representation is on TV, that cannot be missed We’ll call this panel the best Shoot-related comic con panel ever (unless we get one that tops it). Also, did they mention a love scene between the two? I want Shoot back on my screen soon and I’ll take every single scene with them. Fuck you, CBS, again.

NYCC 2015 IGN interview: Sarah Shahi/Amy Acker

Really good interview from IGN. Can these two work on projects together in the future?

NYCC 2015 AfterEllen Interview: Sarah Shahi/Amy Acker

Editor’s Note: The video doesn’t want to properly embed in this post – just click the link to check out the article and video.

Amy drops a massive bomb in this interview by saying that the writers have always been for Shoot, but could never agree on whether Root & Shaw have had sexual encounters or not; she and Sarah think that they have, on more than one occasion. Kind of changes the context of several scenes in some episodes, especially in episodes like “Honor Among Thieves” and “The Cold War” that more than imply that they’ve been having sex on a regular basis.

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Bonus Photo Time! Taken from Sarah’s Instagram, this is the first shot of Amy & Sarah back together as Root & Shaw. – you’re welcome. The Internet might’ve broken that day – I know I ‘squee’d‘ a few times. In public. It happens.


If You Couldn’t Tell From Above, Sarah’s Back And Kicking Ass As Shaw. She Was Sorely Missed.

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This was the most frequently-asked-question that Mom kept bringing up whenever I’d pay her a visit: “Is Shaw coming back? I know she’s not dead. Is she returning? I miss Shaw.” I give her credit and kudos for getting me into the show and introducing me to Root & Shaw. I love that she’s still interested in the show and thinks Shaw’s the shit. If Mom was any character on the show, she’d be Shaw.

If you want to read a few of the interviews that Sarah’s done since her return was first announced, here ya go: TVLine’s interview with Sarah – the site that first delivered the scoop. Read the AfterEllen interview where Shoot is mentioned as totally being on and so, so canon. Read this Give Me My Remote interview where Sarah fangirl’s over Amy (those two are the biggest fans of each other).


Do The Actresses ‘Ship Their Characters?

I’ll get to the answer in a minute. First off, I’d like to welcome all of the new fans who might be discovering Shoot for the first time. Welcome to the fandom! If you are new to Person Of Interest and are wondering why Amy and Sarah seem so familiar to you, let me introduce you to the actresses:

AMY ACKER – best known for Angel (Winifred “Fred” Burkle/Illyria), Alias (Kelly Peyton), and Dollhouse (Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey); also known as the “The Most Precious Ray Of Sunshine That Makes Morally Ambiguous Characters Both Sweet & Frightening.”

I was lucky to meet Amy twice in 2015 (in Denver and Toronto), and she’s the nicest person ever & the coolest person to talk to. If Amy’s attending a convention in your area, you should go see & meet her. For inquiring minds: she’s drop-dead gorgeous and has not aged since she appeared on Angel – she’s immortal, like Illyria. She takes the time to talk to you, she never stops smiling, and her positivity is infectious. As many fans will tell you: we’re lucky to be living at the same time as Amy.

http://quoteimg.com/amy-acker-angel-illyria/ Amy as ancient goddess Illyria on Angel

SARAH SHAHI – best known for The L Word (Carmen de la Pica Morales), Life (Dani Reese), Fairly Legal (Kate Reed); aka “They Couldn’t Have Picked A Better Actress to Play Shaw Than Sarah.” Perfect casting is perfect.

I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s since she first appeared on The L Word, and I totally forgot that she was in the first season of Alias in a small recurring role. She also famously appeared as the first “supernatural” character on the show Supernatural, and she’s also made appearances in films like Bullet to the Head and TV shows like Chicago Fire. My favorite role of hers has definitely been Sameen Shaw. I recommend checking out Fairly Legal because it’s a fun show and Sarah’s great in it as the lead, and she is amazing on Life.

http://www.tvequals.com/2012/04/20/fairly-legal-what-they-seem-season-2-episode-6/ Sarah as Kate Reed on Fairly Legal

What’s really awesome about this ‘ship is that Amy and Sarah are very supportive of it. They are the captains of the ‘ship and have been since the beginning. Hell, I think Amy ‘ships it more than anyone else on the face of this planet. Their on-screen chemistry – the super-flirty /morally ambiguous hacker Root & super-sarcastic /emotionless ex-assassin Shaw – is electrifying to watch, and the writers have definitely taken notice and have given us many memorable scenes between the two.

Besides the actresses and the writers, Shoot also has many other show supporters including: directors, producers, other cast members, and the hardworking crew members who work behind-the-scenes in making the show look amazing quite cinematic and epic in scope. There’s not too many couples (canon or not) that have not only the actors (actresses in this case) – and their coworkers – jumping onboard and supporting their ‘ship.


Why Do I ‘Ship Root & Shaw?

I’ll let the three excellent videos below tell you all about Shoot. You’ll see why I ‘ship them so hard:

Credit: YouTube user Shoot!!

The first one features a lot of Root & Shaw’s scenes from the show: from their introduction in Season Two’s “Relevance,” and ending with their last scene (for the time being) in Season Four’s “If-Then-Else.”

Credit: YouTube user doudoulty

The second video features a list of 30 reasons why people should ‘ship Shoot. There’s lots of good reasons listed, and it’s also another good introduction video to the ‘ship for newer fans.

Credit: YouTube user SHOOTPOI

The third video features the song “End of Me” by A Day To Remember and it’s an amazing fan video. The scenes and edits fit the music perfectly, and it hits me so freakin’ hard in the feels every time I watch it. I love the song as well.

To answer my own question: I ‘ship Shoot because there’s not too many interracial queer couples on TV. I ‘ship Shoot because none of the other characters (heroes and villains) ever bring up that it’s two women in love, no matter how stubborn the women are in admitting their feelings for the other. They can see how much Root and Shaw cares fr each other, and they never question that loyalty and devotion. Hell, even Samaritan’s top agent, Martine Rousseau, ‘shipped it (more on her and her ultimate ‘shipper status later). Martine once snarkily called Shaw Root’s “little girlfriend,” and no one blinked ’cause EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Finch even mentions something very important to Root about her relationship with Shaw, which you can read about in the next section. I ‘ship them because they are a perfect fit for the other, and they may not care about humanity as a whole sometimes, but they do care in their own way by trying to save the world from POI’s ultimate Big Bad: the evil A.I. Samaritan and its acolytes in Decima Technologies. I find that so beautiful to behold, and seeing these women go to extraordinary lengths to save one another (even self-sacrifice) is something you don’t see often on TV or in films.

They’re not an unconventional couple that will never exist in any cheesy displays of affection that you see so often repeated on TV like on The Bachelor. They are two women who love kink, push each others’ buttons, rescue each other against the odds, and ultimately help anchor Person of Interest by being the only established relationship in a series that doesn’t focus on many romantic storylines or elements, if rarely. And they’re not afraid to talk about any of their nights together, no matter how subtle they are (we’re on to you, writers). Ever since Root first met Shaw, there’s always been an attraction the other, a complex game that came to a temporary neutral end. When Root sees Shaw again for the first time since her capture by Samaritan, I will be bawling like a baby. I’m not prepared for Season Five, but at the same time I can’t wait to see Shoot’s return. It’s been too damn long…


Are They Officially Canon?

Yes they are! Before the Season Four episode “If-Then- Else,” Root & Shaw lived in the Land of Subtext, though there’s been subtle and not-so-subtle maintext between the two (I see those knowing looks, ladies!). The show has never shied away from bringing Root & Shaw closer through non-stop innuendos (Root) and half-hearted threats of violence against all the flirting (Shaw). Their first meeting was far from romantic (almost deadly), but it has grown into something more throughout the seasons.

There were various hints in Season Three about their relationship moving beyond the “platonic friendship” stage *cough* ten hours to kill in a CIA safe house *cough.* In Season Four, it became much clearer with several pivotal scenes that cemented not only the attraction, but caring and protectiveness the women had in each other.

In the episode “Prophets,” Root is about to go on a (potential) suicide mission and asks Harold Finch (the Machine’s “father”) to deliver a message to Shaw if she doesn’t make it out alive.

The entire quote as follows:

Root: “If the worst comes to pass… If you could give Shaw a message…”
Finch: “I think she already knows.”

Gone is the flirtatious Root, but one prepared for her own death in this somber and beautifully-delivered scene. She’s prepared to die so that Shaw may live, and it’s not the only time she’s made that decision. She will protect Shaw by any means necessary, but Shaw turns that on its head in “If-Then-Else.” You can watch the scene below:

Shoot scenes from Season Four, Episodes 1-7 Credit: YouTube user Step Ohah

Shoot officially became canon in the episode “If-Then-Else.” If there were any doubts about the nature of their relationship, those doubts were quickly swept away during the last five minutes of the ending scene. It’s a bittersweet reveal, but very important nonetheless.


How Did Shoot Start? What Are The Pivotal Episodes/Scenes To Watch?

[SPOILER ALERT! There are MAJOR SPOILERS for Person of Interest, starting with Season Two through Season Four. You’ve been warned!]

Quick Note:  “Number” = a POI that Team Machine has to help, and they could either be a victim or perpetrator. “TM” = Team Machine.

++ – denotes important Shoot episode.

I won’t go into the overall storyline of Person of Interest. I do cover what some of the episodes are about if they feature important Shoot scenes. The show is so vast and richly complex that it’s impossible to summarize it to newer viewers. Start with Season One and DO NOT SKIP ANY EPISODES! Missing even one episode will leave you lost – trust me. There are some really good Root & Shaw-centric episodes throughout the show, but these are the episodes & scenes that feature Shoot together. Let the arm-flailing and shrieking begin!

BONUS! Season One, Episode 23 – “Firewall” ++

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Before there was Shoot, there was Root. Originally appearing as a “Big Bad” on Person of Interest, Root has become an essential member of Team Machine and quite an important one, too.

Before she became their direct link to TM, Root was quite the worthy adversary. First appearing in glimpses in Season One’s “Root Cause,” we don’t officially meet her until “Firewall.” Finch & Reese get the number of a psychologist named Caroline Turing, who appears on their radars after a hit is put out on her by the corrupted cops behind the group HR. As the plot unfolds, we later learn that Turing set everything up and is later revealed to be…Root! The plot thickens as she kidnaps Finch to learn more about her god, the Machine, in the first two episodes of Season Two. Some of her backstory is discussed in the Season Two episode “Bad Code.”

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Season Two, Episode 16 – “Relevance” ++

Our first introduction to Sameen Shaw and one of my favorite episodes of the series. We get some background story on her and the shadowy government outfit that she works for as a highly-trained assassin, ISA. Shaw’s also a former Marine and has an extensive medical background. She has her first run-in with Root and it’s not pleasant – or we’re so led to believe. The mutual flirtiness was quickly picked up by the POI writers who discovered that there was some great chemistry between Shahi & Acker. Only they can make possible future torture sexy.

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Season Three, Episode 6 – “Mors Praematura” ++

The first episode where Shoot team up and sparks are ignited. In the previous episode, “Razgovor,” Root makes an uninvited appearance in Shaw’s lil’ studio apartment, stun-gunning the poor woman in a super-brief scene, as seen below:

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But Root’s not there to hurt her. She needs her help for a “number” that TM gave her. Introducing “Heavy Innuendo & Heart-Eyes” Root and “Captain Grumpy” Shaw! Also includes the infamous “stuck in a CIA safehouse for ten hours” scene, which is a fan-favorite ’cause we all want to know what they did in those ten hours. I doubt they were watching TV… I’ll go with the majority of fans and say that they had their first sexual encounter here (which has been alluded to since in another episode), ’cause ten hours is enough time for sexy, kinky things to happen. Several times. With a hood and zip-ties involved. Throw in a taser for a good time!

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Season Three, Episode 10 – “The Devil’s Share” ++

Root hasn’t been killed (yet) by Team Machine, but they are still reluctant to fully trust her, even though the Machine is now speaking directly to her (Root has become the Machine’s spokeswoman, or “Analog Interface”).  Root, Shaw, Lionel Fusco and Finch are out to save John Reese (Finch’s right-hand man) from a very dire situation while nursing a gunshot wound that almost kills him; he was shot in the previous episode. Reese went after HR, the corrupt organization of police officers and mobsters that were trying to control the city at the time, after their second-in-command Simmons murdered Team Machine ally Joss Carter. Of course, she and Reese expressed their feelings to each other and kissed, and that can never lead to good things. Kissing on this show can lead to death. The only person who’s escaped the “kiss of death?” Shaw.

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Season Three, Episode 12 – “Aletheia”

 

No matter how evil a character is – or was – at some point in their storyline, I find it hard to watch them get tortured by another morally-ambiguous character. Shoot share a scene at the beginning of this episode when Root comes in with her dual-wielding badass self as she rescues Shaw, Finch, and Arthur Claypool from the clutches of Shaw’s former employer, a humorless government official nicknamed Control (played by the amazing Camryn Manheim). In the ensuing gun battle, Root is shot while Shaw looks on, concerned for her safety. Root yells at her to escape with Finch and Claypool, though after escaping to safety Shaw wonders if Root’s OK. Unfortunately for Root, she’s kidnapped by Control and tortured for information on TM. The torture scenes are hard to watch, especially the scene where Control causes permanent hearing loss in Root’s right ear. Even through all that torture, Root doesn’t give in and she gets the one-up on Control in a chilling scene that has TM speaking through Root; Acker in one of her finest scenes.

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Season Three, Episode 17 – “Root Path” (aka “/”)

I LOVE Root-centric episodes ’cause they’re so unpredictable – just like the hacker herself. I also love the ones that feature a Shoot scene.  The Shoot scenes in this episode are brief but filled with Root’s patented innuendos and Shaw’s eye-rolling at it. The first one has some playful flirting from Root, with Shaw pretending to totally hate it (see the scene above).

The second scene has Shaw checking on Root’s wounds from several violent encounters. Root leans in with a sexy “I love it when you play doctor” before Shaw pulls away from her quickly. Oh, those crazy kids! I recommend watching the full episode because there’s a great scene between Root and Finch towards the end. You can always expect some superb acting whenever Amy Acker and Michael Emerson are in the same scene, with lots of emotional moments shared between their characters.

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Season Three, Episode 20 – “Death Benefit”

Two short Shoot scenes, but they’re two of my favorites. Root arrives on her sexy motorcycle to recruit Shaw for a trip up to Anchorage, Alaska to fight a militia and then down to Miami for a few cocktails and their version of “girl talk,” among the bruised & battered bodies of drug dealers. They know how to have a fun time. This episode is the last before a trilogy of episodes at the end of the season which show Samaritan’s activation. Decima Technologies, the sinister and shady tech company that built Samaritan, is run by a really dastardly bastard named John Greer – an ex-spy with a dark past who wants to create a New World Order using Samaritan as their leader. Things only get more intense from this episode on for Team Machine and Shoot.

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Season Three, Episode 21 – “Beta” ++

Consider this to be the Root/Shaw/Reese Power Hour. The episode is the first part of a trilogy leading up to Samaritan’s rise and Team Machine being forced “underground” to avoid detection from it and its operatives. Though there are no isolated Shoot scenes, there are lots of scenes with them and Reese, and I love it when this trio works together on “numbers.” It’s funny seeing Reese’s indifference to Root’s endless flirting with Shaw.

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Season Three, Episode 22 – “A House Divided” ++

Another Root/Shaw/Reese Power Hour episode. After Finch has been kidnapped by Greer and Decima, Team Machine has to reluctantly work together with Team Control, led by Shaw’s former mentor and attempted murderer Hersh. Both teams are looking for their respective employers, who have been kidnapped by a Decima off-shoot known as Vigilance: a violent anti-surveillance and privacy collective that uses various methods of torture and intimidation to try and force the government to stop spying on the American people. Root wanders off on her own for a bit and employs three hackers (all former POI’s) to modify seven Samaritan servers to help disguise Team Machine and the hackers from its gaze.

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Season Three, Episode 23 – “Deus Ex Machina” ++

Team Machine and Team Control are still desperately searching for Finch and Control and trying to stop their executions at the hands of Vigilance. There are a lot of Shoot scenes in this episode with Root & Shaw on a side mission to disable seven very important Samaritan servers by adding new identities for Team Machine (minus Fusco, who is not seen as a threat by Samaritan) and Root’s hacker employees: Daizo, Daniel Casey, and Jason Greenfield, who are all former POI’s. These seven people pose the biggest threat to destroying or disabling Samaritan in some way, and they have to be protected at all costs. Samaritan goes “live” at the end of Season Three, but our heroes are still around to kick its ass. The screenshots above are the last moments between Shaw & Root as their former selves before taking on their new identities, not knowing if they’ll ever see each other again. /FEELS

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Season Four, Episode 1 – “Panopticon”

Two fan-favorite Shoot scenes are in this episode, which sees Team Machine coping with their new identities and trying to save “numbers,” now that Samaritan is active and hunting down the Machine. Poor Shaw is stuck as a make-up saleswoman at a department store – her worst nightmare ever, though the five-finger discount on eyeliner is the only positive. Shaw’s manager asks her to promptly attend to a customer who has been waiting for a makeover for over 15 minutes. Shaw turns around and she sees…

…this crazy goddess in a tight blue dress, casually sipping on her iced coffee and giving her “I wanna sex you” eyes. I’d probably have the same reaction as Shaw, not gonna lie. ‘Cause HOT DAMN, ROOT! <3

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Season Four, Episode 2 – “Nautilus”

A less-than-minute long Shoot scene with Root & Shaw in a van. Root keeps checking up on Shaw, who is a bit annoyed by that (but secretly likes it). It’s a cute scene that’s all too brief in this episode, which features a future Samaritan player named Claire Maloney (if Martine is Shaw, Claire is Root).

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Season Four, Episode 5 – “Prophets” ++

Not only are there a few Shoot scenes in this episode, but there’s also a really deep and heartfelt conversation between Root & Finch about her relationship with the Machine and their ongoing war with Samaritan and its acolytes. At one point Root looks sadly at Finch, a bit defeated and ready to go on a mission that could possible get her killed to save a “number,” and she asks him to pass on a message to Shaw if she doesn’t make it out alive. Finch quickly adds that Shaw already knows. We can guess what Root wanted to say to Shaw.

This scene in particular is the first indication that Root & Shaw are more than just friends. Shaw expresses her own worry about Root when she asks Finch if he’s heard from her after her run-in with Samaritan operative Martine Rousseau (i.e. the super-evil blonde version of Shaw). One of the best episodes of this season & the series overall; a Top Three for me.

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Season Four, Episode 7 – “Honor Among Thieves” ++

Sylent Mari Says: This was the first episode of POI that I watched after a phone call with my mom one evening. She randomly mentioned the show to me (I wasn’t a fan at the time), and she mentioned that I’d dig the character “Root” ’cause she was totally gay and had a bit of a crush on a character named “Shaw.” I had previously seen a POI episode with Mom (Season Three’s “Liberty”), and I was happy to see Sarah (an actress I’ve always liked) and Amy (a favorite actress) in it, but I never caught their characters’ names. Jump to this episode. I called Mom later and said, “Wait! So Fred from Angel is the gay hacker you mentioned? Why didn’t you tell me sooner that it was her?” “I wanted you to see for yourself.” Thank you, Mom, for getting me into POI and Shoot.

Lil’ bit jealous there, Root? A great Team Machine episode with two of my favorite Shoot exchanges. The first exchange occurs towards the beginning of the episode, when Shaw is helping out their current “number”: a handsome thief named Tomas. Root – hiding out in Team Machine’s subway HQ and recovering from her injuries at the hands of Martine – decides to tease and flirt with Shaw over their shared comm link while she’s out on her “date” with Tomas. The flirting obviously gets to Shaw a few times, but she tries her hardest to play it off in front of Tomas.

Later, at the end of the episode, Shaw catches Root by surprise as she’s walking down the street. Root’s a bit irritated over a mission she & Finch had that supposedly led to a Samaritan-based operation, but turned out to be false, but perks up when Shaw appears. Shaw gives a heartfelt speech about almost running away to Barcelona with Tomas “for a hot second,” but deciding to stay in NYC because there were some things that she cared about in the city. Root’s face perks up and she cheekily asks if that’s why Shaw came to see her, but her ego gets knocked down a few pegs when Shaw asks for her assistance instead. Root quickly recovers, then not-to-subtly adds that “this could take all night.” That final look probably killed half the fandom and re-affirms the theory that Root & Shaw have had at least one sexual encounter:

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Season Four, Episode 9 – “The Devil You Know ++

A good amount of Shoot scenes are found in this episode. It’s time for Shaw to have a her own run-in with Samaritan. Martine spots Shaw across the department store her “identity” works at, and it’s quite the epic showdown. Fleeing from the scene, Root arrives as her ‘lady-knight-in-leather-on-motorcycle‘ and they escape Samaritan’s gaze. Finch, extremely worried about Shaw’s run-in with Martine, orders the two to hurry back to their hideout. Root’s having a hell of a time convincing Shaw to return, and not even Shaw’s flirty “Please” – which throws Root off for a second – dissuades her. She ends up sedating Shaw after tricking her, gently holding onto her as Shaw falls into a deep sleep.

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Season Four, Episode 10 – “The Cold War” ++

The stakes are raised when Samaritan and the Machine decide to have a “peace summit.” Root meets Samaritan’s own “Analog Interface” and he’s a creepy-as-hell grade schooler named Gabriel. There are several Shoot scenes in this episode as well: some fun, some more serious. In one of the most emotional moments in the episode, Shaw (who feels helpless as she’s ordered to stand down) berates Finch for allowing Root to go by herself to meet up with Samaritan. Finch stares her down and pointedly tells her: “There is one thing of which I am most certain – Root is not alone.”

I just re-watched this episode with a friend recently and caught on to the double-meaning behind Finch’s statement. How did it slip by me before? My interpretation: Root was alone after all these years and had found the Machine, who saved her, but then Shaw came into the picture and changed her world forever. Root will never be alone again because she has the Machine as her God, but Shaw is her other-half (whether they admit it to each other or not). Later, Finch tells Root that Shaw has left their hideout and is looking for her, wanting to help out with saving numbers. Root’s face is almost a lead-in to the next episode, which is a defining one for Shoot.


And Then Season Four’s “If-Then-Else” Happened…

For many fans and critics alike, this is the best episode that has aired of the show to-date. There’s several episodes in this season that could contend as the best, including: “Prophets,” “Terra Incognita,” “Asylum,” and “YHWH.” For me, “If-Then-Else” is one of the finest hours of television ever seen. It’s structured like a 45-minute epic short film that features interesting twists, very creative and intense computer simulation segments, and one of the most heart-wrenching final sequences that absolutely floored me and left me a speechless, sobbing mess as the credits rolled. Sometimes a heroine has to sacrifice herself to save the world and the woman that she’s fallen in love with.

For Shoot fans, this is THE episode that definitively cemented the couple’s canon status. The wonderfully shot and well-written simulation scenes featured different scenarios that the Machine was calculating while Her Administrator (Finch), Analog Interface (Root), and Primary Assets (Reese/Shaw) and Secondary Asset (Fusco) were in vastly different situations: Shaw dealing with a potential suicide bomber on a subway train, and the rest of Team Machine trying to stabilize the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and surviving Samaritan’s trap for them. Even with all the craziness and nerve-wracking moments in the episode, we also saw the Machine having a bit of fun too with her favorite couple. The Machine is Shoot’s biggest ‘shipper; no one can compare. This conversation occurs in her second simulation of everyone’s current (dire) situation:

Root: “Hey sweetie. You busy?”
Shaw: “A little. Skip the verbal foreplay, Root. Why you calling?”
Root: “Can’t a couple of gals take a little break from work to catch up?”
Shaw: “I’ve been arrested and you’re fighting an A.I. apocalypse, so no – we don’t have time to catch up.”
Root: “Well, there’s no need to be rude.”
Shaw: “…I am not having this conversation right now.”
Root: “There’s no time like the present, Sameen. Why are you so afraid to talk about your feelings?”
Shaw: “Feelings? I’m a sociopath – I don’t have feelings.”
Root: “And I’m a reformed killer for hire. We’re perfect for each other. You’re going to figure that out someday.”
Shaw: “Root, if you and I were the last two people on the face of this planet-“
Root: “An increasingly plausible scenario, given Samaritan’s plans.”
Shaw: “Fine. Maybe someday…when Samaritan wipes everyone out…we can talk about it.”
Root: “You’re saying ‘maybe someday’?”
Shaw: “Yeah, sure Root – maybe someday. Is that good enough for you?”
Root: “Yes, Sameen – that’s good enough for me.”

The last five minutes of the episode are insane, emotional, and a beautiful (temporary) send-off to a beloved character. Each of the simulations bring death to various members of Team Machine, but a shot-in-the-dark scenario (2+% success rate) is the only one the She sees as possibly giving Her team even the slightest advantage. She relays Her game plan to Root, who directs the team to stay together while they stop the market fluctuations and secure their escape route – a service elevator. That stupid, evil elevator. Meanwhile, Shaw is able to talk down the suicide bomber, who disables his device, and she arrives in the middle of a gunfight between a trapped Team Machine and the approaching Team Samaritan. As the central figure of the episode (alluded to many times throughout), Shaw really shines as the biggest hero of the hour.

In the middle of the gunfight, as Finch and Fusco help an injured Reese to safety, Root asks Shaw why they aren’t together. Love this following exchange (no, it wasn’t a simulation):

Root: “We’re so good at this together. You’re going to realize that someday.”
Shaw: “Root, no offense. You’re hot, you’re good with a gun. Those are two qualities that I greatly admire. But you and me together would be like a four-alarm fire in an oil refinery.”
Root: “Sounds cozy.”

The group safely makes it to the elevator but there’s no power to it. There’s an override button across the hallway; Shaw’s gonna press that damn button. Root grabs her because she’s not about to lose the woman that she’s come to love & care about – she’s gonna protect them all and be the one to press that damn button. Shaw turns around, mutters “Oh, for God’s sakes,” and then grabs Root by her signature leather jacket and gives her the kiss that fans have been waiting for a long time:

Shaw abruptly ends the kiss by shoving Root towards Fusco, who grabs onto her while Shaw runs out to push that godforsaken button. Root screams for Shaw from behind the elevator’s locked gate as Shaw falls to several bullets courtesy of Martine, who smugly comes up and points her gun at Shaw’s head. Shaw stares at her in defiance while Root falls apart and screams her soul out (dare you not to tear up at least once), fearing the worst has befallen her love. I’ve seen this episode tons of times and still get heartbroken during this final scene, even though I know Shaw is coming back. ALL. THE. FUCKING. FEELS.


UGH!!! ALL THE FEELS!!! NOT SHAW!!!

Why Shaw? Sarah Shahi was pregnant at the time with her twins, so she has taken a temporary hiatus from the show. Originally the writers had planned on offing Reese, but that changed when Sarah told them of her pregnancy. But did Shaw survive? As my mom once said after “If-Then-Else” aired: “No – they can’t kill off my favorite character. First they killed Sara [Lance] off of Arrow, and then Shaw. F-U TV.” Fear not, Mom! There’s good news ahead!

A Positive Outcome!

The following episodes are all Root-centric, but there are many Shoot feelings in each of them; I recommend several boxes of tissues to get through them in one piece. It kills me every time to start Season Four from the beginning and marathon through it – well, just the one time so far. I see my favorite perky psychopath around her favorite grumpy sociopath, and the feelings are so strong and so very mutual between them.

FANGIRL WARNING: We are now entering sad!Root Mode. Please proceed with caution. ALL. THE. SHOOT. FEELS.

Amy Acker deserves so many kudos for her acting in the series. This scene from “Control-Alt-Delete” breaks my heart every time.

Season Four, Episode 12 – “Control-Alt-Delete”

In this episode there’s a continuation of the storyline that “If-Then-Else” started. This time Shaw’s former employer and Root’s former torturer, Control, is involved. In the middle of a mess regarding national security and Samaritan, she is kidnapped by Reese & Root after they launch a rocket at her SUV and hold her hostage in a warehouse, asking her for information about Shaw’s whereabouts. Control repeatedly tells them she has no clue what’s happened to Shaw because she’s completely in the dark. Later on she goes to the stock market, seeing it freshly painted, and she knows that Samaritan has been lying about a lot of things. It’s time for Control to go full BAMF and find out more about Samaritan’s true intentions.

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Season Four, Episode 13 – “M.I.A.”

M.I.A. “Kiss-Cam” courtesy of the Machine. You’re welcome.

There is a major twist at the end of this episode that made lots of POI fans happy. Reese & Root, at the end of “Control-Alt-Delete,” get a really strong clue from Finch and the Machine that Shaw was possibly being transported in a white moving truck and heading to a location outside of the city. After causing mayhem and destruction across five states looking for their Mayhem Twin (Reese) and girlfriend (Root), it figures she’d be close to home. After a very strange visit to a strange town called Maple in upstate New York, Team Rocket (Reese & Root) thinks they’ve found Shaw, but it turns out it’s not her, but a secretary at the New York Stock Exchange who was injured & kidnapped in their battle with Samaritan, and possibly implanted with a neural device that could be used to control people. Root’s heartbroken face says it all, and even Reese’s face falls as he realizes it’s not Sameen.

While the rest of Team Machine has quietly said their “Goodbye’s” to Shaw at this point, Root’s not ready to let go or give up. Even the Machine tells her to stop searching for her, but Root refuses to believe that she’s dead. She can’t. If she loses that slightest bit of hope that Shaw could possibly be alive… True love never dies, as they say. And Hell hath no fury like a hacker who’s lost her girl and will kill everyone on the planet just to see her again.

The episode’s twist? We see Samaritan’s “father,” John Greer, talking to someone off-screen. We hear a familiar raspy voice and – SHAW’S FREAKIN’ ALIVE!!! If you think about it, she’s more useful to Samaritan alive than dead. Could Shaw be forced to do Samaritan’s bidding at a later time? That’s up in the air, and the episode “Asylum” explains a little more.

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Season Four, Episode 16 – “Blunt

There’s a brief exchange between Root & Finch in this episode, but we still see the effect that Shaw’s disappearance and possible “death” has had on Root. She’s been doing her own missions for the Machine, taking some time away in private after TM told her to “Sierra. Tango. Oscar. Papa.” (S.T.O.P.) looking for Sameen. Root wants to recruit more people to help them and Finch is appalled by the idea, especially after “everything that has happened” – a reference to Shaw. Root calls him out on that, asking him if that’s what they’re calling Shaw now, and Finch responds in return and reminds Root that she’s the one that doesn’t want to talk about Shaw. Cue a slight stab to the heart during this scene.

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Season Four, Episode 18 – “Skip”

sad!Root needs a hug from everyone. Who’s first?

This episode has one of my favorite Root scenes from the series, though it’s hard to watch because it packs such an emotional punch. Without spilling too much, there’s a moment in the episode where Root breaks down and tells Finch that Shaw’s “death” was her fault. She contacted Shaw for help at the stock exchange, and that guilt has been living with her this whole time. Even if Root hadn’t called her that day, Shaw would have still appeared for her friends and helped them out in their battle against Team Samaritan. This episode is also a Season Four highlight. Some fans dislike it, but I happened to like it. My only complaint is that the two storylines didn’t really gel together, and the pacing felt off.

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Season Four, Episode 19 – “Search and Destroy”

shoot00028There was badass!Root sorely lacking in this section. You’re welcome.

There is an epic Root vs. Martine fight in this episode; that’s all you really need to know. Team Machine have some awesome moments in the episode, but when Root spies Martine from across a snowy wooded area – she’s out for blood. This blonde bitch took Shaw away from her and she’s going to make her suffer. Reese stops her before she can choke out Martine, leaving Root quite angry and bitter about it. Later on in their underground subway hideout, Root is bandaging her bloodied & bruised knuckles as Reese comes in and tells her that killing Martine wouldn’t bring Shaw back. Root gives him this death glare and he acknowledges that he should have let her kill Martine. Well…hello “Asylum!”

One thing that really jumps out is Martine’s appearance. Her hair is dark brown and it’s loose and wavy. When she and Root have their confrontation, she’s even dressed similarly to Root’s style. It’s not something that I noticed at first, but after “Asylum” aired it dawned on me why.


And Then Season Four’s “Asylum” Also Happened…

What I love the most about Person Of Interest is that is such an unpredictable show that you will never, ever be emotionally prepared to watch an episode as a fan or guess where the storyline is taking us next. There are some wild moments in “Asylum,” a surprising death, and the escalation of three major storylines:

  • The Brotherhood vs. Elias, Reese & Fusco
  • Control vs. Samaritan
  • Finch & Root vs. Samaritan

Finch and Root have the most important storyline, IMO, because it deals directly with Samaritan and the reveal of its very sinister plans involving the Machine, as well as the reveal of Shaw’s whereabouts. While there are no direct Shoot scenes, there are several Shoot-adjacent scenes. And Root… If there’s ever a situation where I need someone to have my back, I want Root by my side.

Finch & Root (Team Nerd) are in the subway hideout, monitoring a situation between the Brotherhood and Elias and his crew when a cell phone starts ringing, startling the two. Root looks for it and notices that it’s Sameen’s cell. Shocked, she picks up the phone and hears the very voice she’s been hoping to hear for so long. It’s not a pleasant conversation: Shaw is asking Root for her help.

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It’s on. Root is going to find Shaw and rescue her, and will even sacrifice herself as long as Shaw makes it out alive. Anyone who crosses her path will truly know the definition of pain and death – mostly death. When Root’s so intensely focused it’s best to let her be and do what she needs to do to accomplish her mission. Finch, as hard as he tries to dissuade her on many occasions, tags along because he cares for Root as deeply as a friend can and doesn’t want to see her hurt or killed. Such an extreme change in their relationship from the first time Finch encountered Root to now.

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Poor Finch is desperately trying to keep up with Root as she hurries up to the top of a skyscraper to play a very scary game of “Chicken” for the Machine for information on Shaw’s location. TM isn’t budging at first, but as the situation becomes more precarious as Root blindly walks across the ledge of the building, TM relents and tells Root where to find Shaw.

Did the Machine know there Shaw was this whole time? Apparently so. And I’m pretty sure Root is hella pissed at Her. Why did TM keep this info hidden for so long? I’ve got some thoughts here in a minute.

Shaw’s been hidden in a mental institution that has an amazing amount of power (electrical and networking) going to it. That’s a little suspicious. In order to get closer to where Shaw’s being hidden, Team Nerd goes undercover as a doctor (Root) and patient (Finch).shoot00050

There’s some really funny lines between them, but there’s a slight moment of panic when a real doc asks Finch about his mental state and he stalls for a second, and we get this look from Root:

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That *THUD!* was millions of Root fans fainting from a single raised eyebrow. Amy is the master of the raised eyebrow and manages to always make it look both intimidating and sexy. Finch finally relents and plays along.

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Finch causes a distraction that allows Root to search for Shaw as he looks up information on Shaw on one of the institution’s computers. We get this catchy new nickname describing a certain “patient”: Compact Persian Sociopath. Yup – that’s Shaw in a nutshell. Root makes her way up to the floor where Shaw’s being held and it turns out to be something neither she nor Finch were expecting: Samaritan’s central HQ. HOLY. CRAP. Root tells Finch to escape while he still can, but he’s gonna stick with her ’til the bitter end. Or until he’s captured.

shoot00057 “We meet again, for the 1000th time…”

Root finds Shaw’s room and rushes towards a familiar black coat. It’s the same coat that Shaw was wearing the day of the Stock Exchange crash. As she’s clutching onto it, she hears vehicles starting. Rushing to a window, she sees visual confirmation that Shaw is alive and being led to a black SUV by Samaritan agents. So damn close! Meanwhile, out comes Martine from the shadows, smirking as evilly as one can while she says that she was able to break Shaw after months of unsuccessful attempts.

How did Martine finally break Shaw (if she actually did)? As I mentioned briefly in “Search and Destroy,” Martine’s look was much different than the last couple of times that we’ve seen her. Several fans quickly pointed out online that Martine probably changed her appearance to look like Root, tricking Shaw – who’s been heavily medicated and possibly hallucinating under the drug cocktails they’ve been giving her. The only person that Shaw really, truly, deeply loves and cares about is Root, and she probably told Martine a few things while assuming she was speaking to Root this whole time. Definitely a great plan, but oh so dastardly.

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Root is drugged in the middle of her fight in Shaw’s room as Finch is brought up to the room too. Greer comes in, smiling that smile that villains do when they think they’ve won it all, as he talks about Root’s direct connection to the Machine through her implant. Wait – how did they find out about it?

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Team Samaritan knew that Root communicated with the Machine directly, but they never really knew how.  Shaw revealed to them at some point that it was actually a cochlear implant. As Martine tells Root: “Your little girlfriend told us all about it.” Root sneers and spits back, “She would never.” What’s really important about that exchange is that no one corrects that fact – Shaw is technically Root’s girlfriend. Greer, Finch, Martine, Samaritan, the Machine, Reese, Fusco… They all know. Even the bad guys know that Shoot is a thing.

But the threat of laying a hand on Finch takes Root into temporary God Mode, finally getting revenge on Martine by snapping her neck in a “Oh my god, that just happened!” scene. My dad high-fived me and cheered on Root after that scene; turns out he’s a big Root fan too. Greer just stands around as smug as ever, not even blinking as his top operative is killed in front of him. Finch is speechless the whole time and probably extremely thankful that Root is on hisside.

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Samaritan, in the midst of all the chaos, offers the Machine a compromise: reveal Her location to it, and it won’t kill Her human agents. Finch is still speechless as Root turns towards a camera and screams at it, begging the Machine to keep fighting and to look for others that will help Her out. Finch, back in “Prophets,” once told Root that they were all interchangeable and that TM doesn’t care about them; only about Her needs and wants. Root argued that the Machine does care or they all wouldn’t be alive, counting all of the near-death experiences they’ve all been.

As the clock is ticking down the Machine finally – for the first time – speaks up:

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Last sad!Root picture, I promise.

The Machine saves Her team by relenting to Samaritan’s request, and as Its acolytes and Greer run off to find Her location, Root and Finch are still in shock that She finally spoke up and told them how much they all mean to Her, and how She was unable to rescue Shaw. I mentioned earlier that the Machine didn’t give Shaw’s whereabouts before. I think, along with a few other fans, that She’s been secretly in contact with Shaw and has her working as a double-agent. Make it seem like Sameen’s working for Samaritan, but in reality sabotaging them from the inside with the Machine’s help.

There’s a brief scene at the end where we see Shaw riding shotgun as she looks out of the SUV’s window, her reflection on the passenger side mirror, while a voiceover from the Samaritan operative that Control’s been dealing plays in the background, talking about people being given second chances and a rebirth to really find their true purpose. Hmm…

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Anything in the Season Four finale “YHWH?”

Well… There’s no mention of Shaw, but there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene where Control’s right-hand woman is killed (or temporarily taken out) by someone holding a syringe, and the hand looks suspiciously like Shaw’s. That’s the only possible glimpse that we get of her until she comes back kicking ass and kissing Root in Season Five. “YHWH” is a highly-recommended episode that is filled with lots of action, suspense, and a heartbreaking moment between the Machine and Finch at the end. Collective *sign,* everyone.


AND HERE COME THE (FAN) ACCOLADES!

SpoilerTV Wins for 2015

SpoilerTV is a popular site for fans who want to catch the latest news, reviews, and so much more about their favorite shows. This year, Person of Interest showed up and swept several polls, making their first appearance on the site in major ways. Let us count the ways:

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As you can see above, Amy Acker and her character Root turned out to be quite the popular players, and deservedly so (as well as Michael Emerson). I’ve dubbed this year as #YearOfTheAcker because Amy’s profile has certainly risen to new heights thanks to her involvement on POI as the fan-favorite Root. It’s her highest-profile role to-date, and one that brings so many unexpected scenes of badassery from the character.

The much-touted episode “If-Then-Else” won the Episode Cup, beating out another POI episode: the Season Four finale “YHWH.” Many fans (like me) regard “If-Then-Else” as a highlight of the series for several reasons. The biggest reason – which takes up a chunk of this post – is the escalation of Root & Shaw’s relationship from flirting to casual encounters (a tidbit that was dropped at NYCC) to full-on relationship, which will be further explored during Season Five. For the umpteenth time: seriously, CBS? When’s it gonna air?

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ZIMBIO POLL SHOUT-OUT FROM AMY ACKER!

When it comes to actors & actresses who love the fandom they’re representing, there are two groups: those who just do their job and that’s that, and those who are so beyond grateful for their fans. And then there are some who dig the fandom so much that they also support the ‘shippers as well. There is no better example of an actor or actress who really loves acting and absolutely loves their current character, who is so kind & gracious to their fanbase, and is also the most down-to-earth individual ever than Amy Acker. She is also the biggest ‘shipper ever of the ‘ship her character is one-half of: Shoot. She loves Shoot fans, she gets a kick out of seeing fans wearing their Shoot shirts (got first-hand experience in that, LOL), and she can’t wait to see her ‘ship reunited in the coming fifth season. She also doesn’t shy away from talking about Shoot and brings them up often. She’s a fan like the rest of us, and that is the coolest thing ever.

To see how big of a fan she is, you can check out this short article that Zimbio posted. The most important thing from the article is the video message below, which she recorded at San Diego Comic Con 2015.

Side note: She is always smiling or laughing. Like the awesomest positive energy too. Having a bad day? Just watch a video with her in it and try not to grin.

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More About That March Madness Zimbio Poll

How popular is Shoot? We’re the small-yet-growing fandom that could. Earlier in March of this year (2015), Zimbio (a pop culture/entertainment website) had their annual TV Couples March Madness Challenge. The poll featured both canon (official couples) and fanon (fan-favorite) couples and the competition was fierce. During that time I got heavily involved in the Shoot fandom, and this post was my contribution to rallying the fans to vote as often as they could, and giving my reasons why people should vote for them in the poll if they were new to the fandom. Research for this post involved watching lots of Shoot fanvids and watching the episodes that they appeared in – no matter how brief their appearance is. One can easily lose track of time watching anything Shoot-related. In the end, the Perky Psychopath and her Compact Persian Sociopath won – surprise winners as they were first-year nominees, and they absolutely dominated. #TeamShoot

zimbio-win Zimbio posted two really fun articles that all fans should check out that dive into the A-Z’s of Shoot and the creativeness of fans (including Clexa fans from The 100, runners-up and another fandom to check out) in promoting their favorite couples during the Final Two.