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Bad Code

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Episode Overview   Summary   POI   Cast and Characters   Crew    
← Season 1 Person of InterestSeason 2 (Flashbacks in parentheses) Season 3 →
201The Contingency” (Finch) 209C.O.D.217Proteus
202Bad Code” (Root) 210Shadow Box218All In
203Masquerade2112πR219Trojan Horse
204Triggerman212Prisoner's Dilemma” (Reese) 220In Extremis” (Fusco)
205Bury the Lede213Dead Reckoning” (Stanton) 221Zero Day” (Finch/Ingram)
206The High Road” (Finch) 214One Percent” (Finch/Ingram) 222God Mode” (Finch/Hersh)
207Critical215Booked Solid
208Til Death” (Finch) 216Relevance
Bad Code

POI 0202 Main2



Air dateOctober 4, 2012

Running time43:46

Production code2J7202

Written byGreg Plageman
Patrick Harbinson

Directed byJon Cassar


ID(s) from IntroNonstandard Intro

Images (47)

It's how Root works. She set him up.

— Reese

"Bad Code" is the second episode of season 2, and the 25th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on October 4, 2012.


The Machine delivers the number of a cold case that leads Reese ever closer to catching up with Finch and his kidnapper, Root.

Main Plot Points

  • Reese's search for Finch is successful with the help of Carter, Fusco and The Machine
  • Root's motivation for kidnapping Finch and freeing the Machine is explained
  • Denton Weeks's actions after knowing about the Machine are revealed
  • Denton Weeks is murdered
  • The Machine's location and how to access it is discussed
  • Carter begins to trust Fusco
  • Root promises she'll be coming for Finch when the time is right


Episode Notes

  • Root and Hanna were playing Oregon Trail on an Apple IIe computer. Oregon Trail was developed for the Minnesota Education Computing Consortium (MECC), and used by elementary schools in the early days of home computing to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. Later, it was marketed to home users by Broderbund Software, which ceased updating the software when it was absorbed by Scholastic Books. More modern versions of the program eventually returned to the market across multiple platforms when The Learning Company bought Scholastic's software rights.
  • Although Root's full first name Samantha was never mentioned in the episode, she is listed as "Groves, Samantha" in Hanna's missing persons report.
  • Bad code, according to Root, is a person who is evil and can not change his or her nature. Finch later uses the term in the episode “Triggerman”.
  • To celebrate Person of Interest airing on Netflix starting September 1, 2015, asked Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman to pick a few of their favorite episodes. Nolan picked "Bad Code", because with Root's introductory storyline it helped show people what the show can do.[1]

Acronyms and Vocabulary

Bear is trained to respond to commands in Dutch, including:

  • Liggen: lie down.
  • Laat vallen: drop that (lit. let it fall).  

Production Notes

  • Locations identified as Bishop, TX were filmed in Congers, NY.
  • Jonathan Nolan's wife suggested Amy Acker for the role of Root, as she was a big fan of Acker's from Angel. She noted that Acker can appear innocent, and at the same time be very slippery, which showed great depth as an actor.[1]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • Bear chewed the spine of the book in one shoot and the other side in the previous shoot.
  • The Texas flag out side of Razorback Bar hangs upside down: red over white when it should be white over red.
  • Hanna shares same social security number as Gordon Kurzweil, the first relevant number from "Super". (498-00-3145).


  • When meeting with Carter and Fusco at the beginning, Reese reminds them he promised to buy them a drink. After stopping Jablonski, Reese had suggested they have a drink together before leaving. (“Firewall”)
  • This is the second time where The Machine gave the number of an "Presumed Dead" person's. The first one was Theresa Whitaker in Ghosts,
  • The photograph of Denton Weeks in the newspaper article comes from a scene in “Super” when he and Alicia Corwin visited Nathan Ingram in his office. Weeks is wearing the same clothes and Alicia Corwin's ponytail can be seen in the background.
  • That particular newspaper article was written by Maxine Angelis who would later become a person of interest in “Bury the Lede”.
  • Relton, MD, the small town where Reese tracked down Root to Weeks' cottage, doesn't exist in real life. On Reese's map it was placed where there's actually a small historical town named St. Mary's City.
  • Finch left a tap code on Davenport's phone indicating Root's escape route. One might notice that Reese omitted the letter "K" from his deciphering grid. When using tap code, the letters "C" and "K" share the same grid square which allows the alphabet to be represented in a 5×5 grid.


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