Root and Shaw’s “Person of Interest” Reunion Is One of The Best Gay Things I’ve Ever Seen On TV

Feature image courtesy of CBS

Being a lesbian or bisexual woman who loves TV is like showing up as Charlie Bucket to wander through Willy Wonka’s wonderland: Everyone else feels entitled to as much lickable wallpaper, edible mushrooms, and everlasting Gobstoppers as they can get their hands on. We’re just lucky to be there. Part of it is a culture outside of television that legislates against us and uses as as scapegoats in political power plays. Part of it is the culture inside writers rooms where we’re often treated as one-dimensional side characters or disposable pawns. Part of it is the culture of network TV, where shows that are “too female” never even see the light of day. The reasons we’re devalued as viewers are myriad, but the end result is always the same — queer women are expected to eat scraps, and what other choice do we have?

Last night, though, Person of Interest skipped to the end of the whimsical tour and offered us the whole damn chocolate factory.

“6,741” saw the hugely anticipated return of Sameen Shaw, who sacrificed herself to save Root last season and has been held captive, off-screen, by Samaritan’s goons ever since. Before Shaw threw herself into that fateful storm of bullets, she kissed Root right on the mouth, a surprising and revolutionary TV moment.

If their simple kiss was the stuff of gay fandom dreams, their reunion last night was the stuff of euphoric hallucinatory blackouts. The stuff of Mulder and Scully reuniting, or Booth and Brennan, or Castle and Beckett — except, forgive me, Person of Interest did it better than any of those other will-they/won’t-they procedural pairings because they went all in inside Shaw’s head. The episode title comes from the number of sequences Greer has forced Shaw to run through in her own mind to prepare her for her return to Team Machine. 6,741 times she has imagined her escape and the subsequent fall out. Six thousand seven hundred and forty-one times she has returned to Root this way:

After breaking out of captivity and offing a dozen bad guys with a single shard of broken mirror, like all good TV special agents do, she makes her way back to New York City and phones in a murder threat. She’s sending up a flare to her team, but to the bad guys too, and the one who saves her after she saved herself is Root. Shaw hears Root’s voice before she sees her, and when Root steps out the shadows, the camera pans up from her boots to her stunned face with a sweeping, triumphant score. Root and Shaw’s chests heave, they stare at each other’s mouths and eyes, they banter in that flirty way they do — and then Shaw passes out. She’s fighting her brain implant inside the simulation as she’s fighting the actual simulation in real life.

Shaw wakes up to Root’s self-assured touch and sultry voice on the subway as Root digs out the brain implant with a pocket knife. And she wakes up again in Root’s bed. Root asks her to move in, caresses her face, gives Shaw her leather coat to keep her warm like a high school letter jacket, and tries to seduce her but gives in, instead, to being seduced. They wrestle each other all over Root’s apartment (obviously) to try to top each other (doubly obviously) and break a whole lot of dishes and glasses on their way to scissor town. It’s not just the sex, though: When Shaw simulates Root in her mind, it’s a dozen pet names — “baby,” “sweetie,” “my beautiful girl” — and gentle caresses and promises promises promises that she never stopped trying to find her. (The only thing Shaw wants as much as Root is reassurance that they never gave up on her.)

Team Machine can’t figure out if Shaw is compromised, if she has come back to destroy the Machine or to help them exact retribution on Samaritan. And Shaw can’t figure it out either. She blanks and glitches, but her simulation-Root doesn’t care. She wants Shaw to come back to bed and they’ll figure it out in the morning. She wants Shaw to come back home with her and they’ll figure it out tomorrow.

After killing Greer, Reese, and then turning her gun on herself, Shaw tells Root that when she was in captivity, when she was being tortured, “when things got too bad, there was one place I would go to in my mind — you. It was you. You were my safe place.”

When she kills herself, Greer forces her to start the simulation again, from the beginning.

Dream sequences can often feel cheap and exploitive, but Person of Interest‘s decision to reunite us with Shaw through her own imagination was a brilliant, gutsy move. Shaw is guarded, closed off, cagey; you’re only ever seeing a fraction of her desires, her motivation. “6,741” opens up Shaw to the audience completely. We know her better than any character on the show now. We know her better than the Machine does. We know she needs to be her own hero. We know she needs Root’s unbreakable love.

It’s been a deeply frustrating and exhausting year for lesbian and bisexual TV viewers, but for one hour last night, Person of Interest allowed us to stop feeling like disregarded hangers-on and enjoy television with our brains and hearts like straight white guys get to do every night of the week, all year long. And by taking so many pains to give Shaw’s return the weight and pathos it deserved, the show also crafted one of the best episodes in its spectacular five-season run. The writing, the editing, the music, the directing, the acting. The perfectly proportioned genre puzzle pieces that make POI so special (and, ironically, make it such a hard sell). It’s a breathless, emotional, shocking hour of television that has every critic in raptures. The AV Club graded it an A and IGN gave it a 10 and called it “a masterpiece.”

All it takes is treating two women with scorching on-screen chemistry the same way you’d treat an opposite-sex pairing with that same rare and wondrous spark.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Also Root got hit by a stray bullet and survived! I saw on tumblr she’s now called the immortal lesbian! Root the immortal lesbian Queen here to fuck up your shitty tropes! :D

  2. I’ve never watched POI. Maybe I should in order to balance out how upset I am over Jane the Virgin’s finale. :(

  3. “Being a lesbian or bisexual woman who loves TV is like showing up as Charlie Bucket to wander through Willy Wonka’s wonderland: Everyone else feels entitled to as much lickable wallpaper, edible mushrooms, and everlasting Gobstoppers as they can get their hands on. We’re just lucky to be there.”

    Whoa, that hit home this morning, and not just about tv.

  4. This episode was so great. I’m so sad they’re cancelling POI. I’d love a Root/Shaw spin-off.

  5. I couldn’t really get into this show the first time I tried. But apparently Root is the cute doctor from Dollhouse and Shaw is Carmen? okay.

    • Yes @zenmonkeh it’s the best show on tv right now. It’s revolutionary story telling, now the origin for my two favourite episodes of tv EVER (if-then-else and this one), and this pairing is the hottest gay pairing ever. Also every other female character in its five year run is pretty much made of awesome.

  6. I thought it was a wonderful coincidence that this episode aired so soon after CBS came under fire for the #toofemale Nancy Drew controversy. Don’t like powerful women on your network? Here, have an episode told entirely from the point of view of a bisexual Persian woman where her romance with another woman plays a central part!

    Also, I’m so amused by the fact that now both AIs write Root and Shaw fanfic. Samaritan’s still needs work, though. It obviously has been reading too much fluff.

    • Replying to myself because it looks like I’m not done gushing about this episode! It was a love letter to Shaw from the writers, you could see how much they value her character and how much they trusted Sarah Shahi to do this episode justice, and she absolutely did.
      Some random thoughts:

      * So many things are clearer on second viewing. The entire episode, from the beginning, was just slightly off, but many details that prove it was a simulation are easy to miss the first time. It gets more obvious as the episode goes on (surgery on a moving subway car? an *empty* subway car in NYC?), but I was so overjoyed to see Shaw again that I didn’t realize it wasn’t real until she killed Reese. Speaking of, I know this is petty of me, but what a middle finger to the homophobic Reese/Shaw shippers! (But seriously, that scene made me emotional.)
      * The writers used this simulation in part to show more explicitly how Shaw feels about Root (see the IGN interview). She would never be open about her feelings, but in her mind, she was a bit more vulnerable and emotional with Root. “You were my safe place” and Shaw refusing to kill Root were more powerful than any “I love you” I’ve ever seen, but neither that line nor the pillow talk would actually happen.
      * If the simulation was a hybrid of Samaritan’s manipulation and Shaw’s mind, and Shaw’s reactions were genuine, does that mean that she actually likes Root’s pet names and cheesy flirting?
      * I like the theory that the domesticity and Simulation!Root being more forward and smooth were coping mechanisms. Real!Root got bunny slippers, a lava lamp and a bat stuffed toy for her bedroom.
      * Somehow CBS aired a sex scene between two women that included neck biting, lip biting and choking. Not to mention Shaw throwing Root onto that table! How did that happen?
      * We’ve now seen Harold and Root each die once in a simulation, John twice and Shaw’s had three “death” scenes, including two that took place in real time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think at this point she’s the character who’s the most likely to survive. If we see her die another time she’ll be like the Kenny of POI and I don’t know how many more deaths they can write for her before they stop having any impact.
      * Whoever runs the official Twitter account was basically spamming Shoot pics yesterday, it was amazing how little chill they have.
      * YOU WERE MY SAFE PLACE and I’m still emotionally compromised help

      • Ok, I love this comment so much, I wanna have it framed. Especially “the Kenny of POI” which had me screaming… I agree, I think Shaw’s pretty safe now.

        • Phew, thanks! It occurred to me afterwards that it might have been insensitive, given that quite a few people were shaken by the simulated suicide. Dark humor helps me cope with the massive amount of feelings the episode gave me but I hope I didn’t trigger anyone.

  7. I have so much to say about this episode, and I’ve said most of it already in FB conversations with friends and in feelings-filled posts on Tumblr.

    But I need to put this here: If you watched Mad Men, did the thing with Shaw and the merry-go-round not remind you of Don Draper’s famous carousel speech? Shaw and Root end up at the park with the merry-go-round in the end because “the carousel brings us back home again to a place we know we are loved.” Because Root is her HOME. Because Team Machine is her FAMILY. Seriously, here’s the clip, watch it again and think about Shaw and try to tell me that was not an intentional reference.

    God I love this episode. Root and Shaw had sex, and then they both got shot, but in the end they both survived. Person of Interest literally hung a fucking lampshade on the Kill Your Gays trope, and it was a beautiful fuck you to every other show on television.

  8. I’ve never watched POI but I’m really intrigued about it now. I’m wondering if all the previous seasons are worth watching or I should jump straight in at the most recent episodes.

    • Nonono don’t do that! If you really hate the first few episodes we can give you links to skip lists, but it’s one of those shows where you appreciate the developments much more if you’ve seen all the episodes.

    • Ah dude you should make the effort to watch it all if you can, a) it makes the payoff so much more satisfying, b) its a damn good show regardless of Root and Shaw, c) it probably won’t make much sense without a little bit of backstory, they are in season 5!

      I mean I do happen to like sci-fi action/drama shows with explosions and car chases and people getting shot a lot, but Taraji P. Henson is awesome in it in earlier seasons and the white guys are actually case studies in how to write non-toxic masculinity. Plus great plots! And great camera work and music.

      I think there are guides online on which episodes to watch to catch-up – I guess it depends on what kind of tv shows you like.

      • Yeah I think I will like it, I do like sci- fi action/ drama shows and bonus if the white guys are actually good characters, it will save me fast forwarding. I think I’ll give it a go! I’m not sure by the articles I’ve read if Shaw is dead or not and the recent episodes are flashbacks/ dreams. I hope that’s not the case!

    • All the seasons are worth watching. I swear. You would do yourself a disservice if you skipped ahead.

    • if you’re in it just for Root and Shaw start with the season finale of S1, the first time Root is on screen, but don’t skip S2-S5 or you’ll be missing one of the best shows on TV right now.

    • I have this same question–I am very intrigued by all the good things I’ve heard about POI, but experience has shown I can’t sit through several season about two white guys and the killing off of yet another black female main character, especially right now.

      So I would appreciate thoughts about other ways to catch up.

    • Oh god no don’t skip straight to this season. You’ll miss out on all the intricacies and context. It starts of the typical crime-of-the-week but it subtlety weaves a greater plot throughout its early seasons. It covers philosophy, morality, and found families, all the while evolving into a quasi-dystopian war between God-like AIs.

      This is an amazing and intelligent show that deserves more attention. The Shoot relationship is important and very beloved but the show is more than that, covering strong platonic bonds as well. I can’t recommend this slow burn drama enough.

    • The later seasons are better but honestly, you gotta start from the very beginning. Force your way through S1, fall in love with Joss Carter, watch Root steal the show with her character development, THEN enjoy the hell out of Root and Shaw. It’s so worth it. One of the most incredible television journeys I’ve ever experienced.

    • I watched the first episode of S1, the episodes of S2 that Shaw is in, parts of S3 (there’s an episode guide on Tumblr somewhere, you could probably find it on Google) and most of S4. I’ve obviously missed some parts of the overarching narrative but I’ve managed to follow anyway.

    • I would watch the whole thing. It starts slow ish and our wonderful queer ladies show up later, but you’ll miss a LOT of the magic that makes person of interest amazing, and you’ll miss a lot of information too.
      honestly I started watching because of Root & Shaw but I’m glad I did it from the beginning. Came for the queers, stayed for the all-around amazing show.

  9. I want to write an insightful comment that portrays my feelings and why I feel them, but I’m too busy crying and flailing. Sorry.

  10. I just have so many feelings about last night’s episode. On one hand :/ because it didn’t actually happen but on the other hand Shaw has truly wanted this to happen so many times! I wonder how their actual reunion will go because how can you top this.
    (Unless they just basically reair the same thing sans the chip’s interference which I wouldn’t complain about)
    (They could Endless Eight Shaw’s simulation and I’d be okay with that tbh)

    • OMG YES ENDLESS 6748


      minor variations on the Shoot smut, ofc. Shaw probably skipped the potential couch sex in 6741 because she got bored of it a couple hundred simulations ago. Simulation 1 probably was most right up against that locker, didn’t even make it to the bed. (Probably took a good 1000 runs for Shaw to even get to pillow talk variations)

  11. I’m still not over the fact that Shaw shot herself, in front of Root, 6741 times in order to save Root…to make sure she didn’t kill her safe place. I have to admit that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch that scene again, but Sarah and Amy were amazing down to mere facial expressions in the entire episode.

  12. This was an amazing episode, 43:46 minutes of “on the edge of my seat” television, even if we take into consideration that they were using an old plot device like the dream/simulation thing.

    The thing is that I’m struggling with two emotions here. First, my kinda intransigent fighting bitch, that thinks “yeah, CBS, it had to be a simulation?! Too much for you to make it real?!”. On the other side I have my fangirl part screaming: “Ohmygod, ohmygod, yes!!!!!”.

    So, let’s go with the fangirl side of things:

    – Shaw beating the crap out of people made me a little hot;

    – Shaw speaking Farsi with the taxi driver (I think that was the language, but corrected me please if I’m wrong) and not being a terrorist was a major plus here, which is kinda pathetic if you think about it;

    – Root’s shirt, when I saw that my mind went to the tearing of clothes scene in a milisecond and I knew for sure what was coming next;

    -the sex scene, well I was asking and checking myself “this is CBS, for real?”, just to be sure. Never in my life had I hope to see something like that in one of the big networks. HOT AS HELL!!!!!!!

    -every single interaction between Shaw & Root was amazing, but the park scene broke my heart into tiny pieces;

    -Shaw killed herself 6.741 times to protect Root. That’s love, motherfuckers.

    PD: just a warning about IGN review, don’t go to the comments. Last night it was a nightmare of lesphobic comments, and that was the last time I checked the thing.

    • Yep Sarah Shahi is fluent in Farsi.

      I don’t think we can blame CBS for the dream thing, that’s 100% a brain child of the writers, but the thing that I LOVE about it it’s that it’s beautiful symmetry to “if-then-else”: on the first episode you have the Machine running simulations and it ends with Shaw kissing Root and sacrificing herself, and on the other episode you have Samaritan running simulations and it ends with them fucking and Shaw sacrificing herself !

      • You may be right about the writers, the thing is that my mind always goes where the money is.

  13. OMG THIS SHOW ! So many emotions in one episode.
    I really didn’t expect that twist so when Reese is killed I actually thought “OMG this is groundbreaking television, they kill off a lead character 10 episodes before the series finale, telling us no one is safe, it’s so exciting!”. Then she kills herself and I’m like FLIPPING OFF ready to cry out in rage, but THANK GOD I was right to trust the writers and Shaw is still alive.

    I loved the domesticity, I loved the reunion with Bear (it’s EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE), and Sarah Shahi knocked it out of the park with her acting !!!

    The one thing I regret is her interactions with Reese. Somehow they felt off ?…

    • I think most of the discrepancies in characterization are intentional, because Shaw is not only in a simulation, but trying to avoid giving away any information to Samaritan. So she doesn’t give away the location of the subway HQ, she doesn’t give away Reese’s cover identity, she doesn’t give away Fusco being a part of the team.

      She even tried not to give away the safehouse, pretending it was “Root’s place.”

      At first, I was like “uh, geez, this reunion is a bit sappy,” but when you realize that it’s all filtered through Shaw having gone through thousands of simulations, and just filtered through Shaw period, the little exaggerations and changes from reality become even more poignant.
      (Just like the “reality” run in If-Then-Else was subtly different from The Machine’s simulation)

      • YES YOU’RE RIGHT I’m rewatching it right now and it makes SO MUCH sense and these actors are all just so wonderful <3.

        Like on episode 2 they cracked me up playing each other (Amy Acker playing Fusco and Michael Emerson playing Root and everyone else) but this time it's like all in the subtlety !

        Like Root is just that bit more intense, and Reese is just a bit more withdrawn and distant, and it's ALL SO PERFECT.

      • I actually forgot about the safe house, what is it / when did it appear ? Can someone refresh my memory ?

        • They’ve been using the safe house since…season 3? It’s one of Nathan Ingram’s old apartments, which Harold now owns. They mention in either S5E1 or E2 that the safe house location has been compromised.

    • The conversation with John felt off (like a few other things in this episode) because it was in a simulation created by samaritan. In this simulation, they were all interacting with shaw in order to be led to the machine.

  14. Root and Shaw have sex, and the people who die to not-so-stray bullets are white dudes named John.

  15. “It’s not just the sex, though: When Shaw simulates Root in her mind, it’s a dozen pet names — “baby,” “sweetie,” “my beautiful girl” — and gentle caresses and promises promises promises that she never stopped trying to find her.”

    That’s it! my feelings!!

  16. Completely off-topic but I told my parents to watch Orphan Black and they just sent me a message telling me they’re addicted to it AHAHAHA I’m so proud of them <3

  17. I might, I’m not saying I did…I might just have gone to some queer women meet up in my town, and I might…I’m not saying I did, have asked,exasperatedly, somewhere in the middle of beer number two, “Aren’t any of you watching TV? Because I NEED to talk about Person of Interest right now.”
    No one did, and it’s way past my bedtime and I shouldn’t even be on here.
    I felt so cheated by this episode, because it felt so,so off, that I was like, “Et tu, POI? On your last few minutes you grow crappy on me,too,now?”
    But just how brilliant was that?
    A perfect, PERFECT call back to 2×16, which was told from Shaw’s perspective AND If-Then-Else, which was the machine’s loving way of simulating its loved ones, compared to Samaritan’s brand of manipulative simulation, Samaritan who doesn’t quite get the characters right.
    But instead of telling it, they used us.
    They, the producers and writers put in little out of character and out of continuation clues.
    They put uns right into Shaw’s head, filled with muted colors and low lights.
    Filled with self doubt and violence.
    And so much unexpected tenderness and love.
    “Show,don’t tell.” my old English teacher used to always say.
    And did they ever!

    You know, they didn’t have to go there.
    There is not a lot of fanfiction even, for these two, because writing Shaw, an unapologetic sociopath, and wresting an emotionally engaging relationship from that mind and heart is no easy feat.
    But they did, and they went all the way in,literally.
    And not only did they lovingly explain and explore one of their most elusive characters, they centered her emotional world, her morality, both things we were led to doubt Shaw even possessed up until now, around Root.
    How fucking epically romantic.
    My fucking heart, people.
    It broke 6471 times.

    • I’m sorry no one knew about the show! I would be dying to talk about it.

    • There’s not a lot of fanfiction on that? Are you kidding? There are thousands of Shoot fics on AO3. Where are you looking?

      • Well, ao3, there are not nearly as many shoot fics as there are Clexa ones (even before season 3) and there definitely are only a handful of lengthy good ones which are in character.
        I am very up for being proven wrong, you know, especially by example, preferably with links:-)

  18. It was so good. After watching it for the first time I stared at my computer screen for 15 minutes, I was too overwhelmed with feelings. And then I left the Internet because I needed to process things by myself. Amy and Sarah were so good in the ep, I want them in all the shows.

  19. I’m not sure about this, but I think there’s a law set in stone that says:


  20. I’m trying to figure out what the Hell this show is about from the comments and all I’m getting is that nothing in this episode actually happened, it was all a simulation, and so is, like

    A lot of the show??

    Time Machine?? Wtf is this show

    • The shows starts out appearing to be a slightly novel twist on the standard network tv crime procedural, and then slowly becomes a Terminator prequel series.

  21. When I thought she was dead, I lost my mind. The betrayal! Fucking Goddamn CBS! After everything that’s happened this year, it was just too much.

    And then it wasn’t.


  22. I’ve never watched this show but can’t help but be excited about having an story like this on TV…Guess I will have to watch all 5 seasons now.

  23. Also, I really loved the symmetry of Shaw’s last episode before leaving and her first episode returning were both actually taking place inside an AI. And they both gave us Shoot.

    • So many wonderful parallels are drawn in this episode. The two things that Root loves the most in this world (the Machine and Shaw) are now being forced to die at the end of each day, their existences confined to recurrant 24 hr episodes. I think (hope) that Harold will be forced to see how closely his treatment of the Machine matches the cruelty of Samaratian.

      • I noticed that too! Only shaw has to be multiple times a day, if it’s been over six thousand times.

        Actually I just calculated it (cuz I clearly have too much free time) and it’s almost 25 times a day.

  24. I feel this was a very clever way to give us everything we wanted while still having her actual escape go very differently.
    Also, having her kill herself at the end was genius as it was probably the only way they could make us relieved rather than annoyed it was all in her head.
    I have this horrible feeling Root is going to die :(

      • I’m having the same fear after seeing last night’s episode, where Shaw was not even mentioned, and it was like nothing had happened.

        • 5×04 was initially filmed as episode 7 because of Sarah Shahi’s schedule, she wasn’t available earlier. That’s why Shaw wasn’t in last night’s episode. We’re getting three episodes next week though, so I’m pretty sure we’ll see her again soon.

  25. I’d never seen POI but decided to watch this super gay episode after reading this.

    It mainly made me miss Carmen.

    It seems like a pretty good show though, and will probably eventually watch it from the start. I love me some AI shit, especially after The 100 got me thinking about it more than usual.

  26. The internet spoiled the episode for me, and normally IDGAF about spoilers, but holy hell if I could only choose one episode of television, in the history of television, to watch spoiler-free, it would have been this one. I’m so pissed. I mean, I’m over the moon for the insight into Shaw and how she views the members of Team Machine, especially Root (YOU WERE MY SAFE PLACE OH MY GOD OHHHH MY GOD, and she kills herself SIX THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE TIMES rather than harm Root), but UGH THE INTERNET. I’m so mad at it right now!

    Real talk, though: “when Root steps out the shadows, the camera pans up from her boots to her stunned face with a sweeping, triumphant score.” That moment, right there, is the one moment I forgot I already knew what was going to happen. I thought, this show started as a clever crime procedural on CBS. It’s become one of the most intelligent, thoughtful series I’ve had the fortune to watch. And the romantic focus of this show, the relationship that gets the lingering shots and the stirring music, is the one between these two women.

    Things like this go a long way toward healing the hurt inflicted by other shows. Yes, even the great, gaping wound left by that one show, the one I vowed never to forgive, the show I cannot name. The vow is still in place, but the wound hurts a little bit less.

  27. when i saw the convenient boat i knew that shaw was allowed to escape, dreaded to see how she would kill herself before hurting root. i was grinning like a fool watching them go at it, but what surprised me was how gutted i felt when shaw killed herself. I’m sitting there with tears rolling down my face telling myself that this was not a tropy thing, it actually felt real and like fantastic story telling and acting. but man did i feel like i was watching lexa die again, few deaths have hit me as hard as lexa’s and “shaw’s”. good writing or not, it overwhelmed me so much to see us die this way, the unbelievable pain that seems to be the gay condition. what i’m, down to my bones, grateful for is that it hasnt ended for them. the AUDIENCE not just me are sitting here waiting for root to save her girlfriend because shaw is barely hanging on.

    over seven million people watch this show and its still getting cancelled, kinda nonsense is that.

  28. Just rewatched the episode and started tearing up over the “I couldn’t have stayed with you at the beginning.You were bugging me too much.”
    And the music with the Shaw and Root


    Did we watch the same episode? Because in the episode I watched, an LGBT woman was kidnapped, forcibly confined and operated on, and spent the entire episode suffering from disturbed thoughts. In a mentally unstable state she almost murders her partner (shortly after they make love of course), and then commits suicide by shooting herself in the head. How could this muddle of Hays Code lesbian cliches possibly qualify as, “The Best Gay Thing I’ve Ever Seen On TV”? Before you say, “Oh well she didn’t REALLY commit suicide,” you’re wrong. The entire episode was structured so that the viewer is not aware of the simulation until after the trigger is pulled. Framing a suicide in a larger narrative don’t alter the actual content of what is shown on screen. Granted this episode is better written in general than the episode where Lexa is murdered (POI is better written than the 100 overall), but I think it’s ridiculous to be so thrilled to watch yet another LGBT character get shot in the head.

    • I get what you’re saying, but she really didn’t commit suicide. The writing of this episode is subtle, but it is laced with multiple cues that let the viewer understand that they are not observing “real” events. IMO, it’s made pretty clear that, by the end of the episode, Shaw is fully aware that she is operating within a Samaritan simulation when she decides to stop playing by exiting the game.

    • Yeah, at that point in the episode, I believe very few people thought it was still real. Reese had been shot, the *entire* episode was “off” on purpose as far as character’s actions and dialogue. If their intent was some kind of snuff-film shit, well then yeah, what you said stands. As it happens, this was one of the only ways to show the inside look into a “sociopath” like Shaw and get at her deep feelings for Root and her teammates. In the overarching narrative / plot thread, as long as the rest isn’t leading us to a trope, then I have no problems with this ep. Bravura performances and incredible testament to one wlw’s love for another.

  30. This episode made me feel things I have never felt watching a TV show. The build up, the tension, the heartbreak, it didn’t feel cheap, it fit in the context of the show perfectly.

    Heather — you have summed it up exquisitely, thank you. I was waiting for this article just so I could understand that other people had also experienced the extent of these FEELS!

    My Dad loves these sorts of shows (Criminal Minds, CSI, etc.) and Person of Interest is his favourite. And oh my goodness. Even without the LGBT storyline, it is worth watching. I started for Root x Shaw, and stayed for the incredible writing, brilliant plot twists and thought provoking futuristic content. This is the best episode of the show, and maybe the best episode of television I have ever seen! Incredible.

  31. shaw returns ! scene after scene root + shaw blew me away! the we get the most erotic sexy sensual thing I’ve ever seen! I was stunned didn’t see that 1 coming!they were meant 2 b together! god I wish I could trade places with either 1 of them!i just love them to death!

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