Samantha Groves, also known by her hacker name Root, is a computer hacker with an obsessive interest in The Machine.
Sam Groves was born in Bishop, TX and lived there until her mother died around ten years ago. According to Sam, in discussions with Finch, her mother told her to "follow her talents" - and she was good at inflicting harm on others without guilt or remorse (although she would later tell Finch she wasn't a sociopath, although she sometimes wished she was so her actions would've been easier). Also, as a child, computers made more sense to Sam than people, who she sees as "bad code"; admitting she has been waiting for someone who shared her understanding of technology her whole life.
Sam and her friend Hanna Frey were playing computer games in the local library until it closed for the day. After her friend left, Sam stayed a little longer successfully finishing The Oregon Trail. When she wanted to leave the library, she saw Hanna getting into a car that belonged to Trent Russell, a local man who was a member of the book club.
She recognized his car and told the librarian, Barbara Russell, about what she saw but since the librarian was in love with Trent she scared her into keeping it to herself.
Two years after Hanna disappeared, Sam hacked into a drug lord's bank account and stole $100,000 from him, using the money to frame Trent for the robbery and thereby setting him up to be killed. ("Bad Code") Sam later moved to New York and became a professional assassin and ruthless hacker-for-hire, under the alias "Root". Root does not enjoy killing people, but "(she) doesn't feel bad about it either". ("The Contingency")
Root was hired by Pete Matheson to assassinate Congressman Michael Delancey. Through the use of a patsy, Scott Powell, Root was successful. However, her plan to kill Powell afterwards was foiled due to the timely intervention of John Reese. Ultimately, the operation fell apart as Reese took out one of her men and stole his phone while Finch provided a phone recording to the FBI proving Matheson's involvement.
Realizing this, Root killed her client and staged it as a suicide out of guilt for his actions, exonerating Powell. Root cleared out of her location, the dorm room of an unsuspecting college student who had been away on winter break, before the FBI, acting on an "anonymous" tip (from Finch) could apprehend her. She had a brief instant message conversation with Finch, acknowledging him as a worthy opponent and said she was looking forward to the next time. She ended the conversation with "Harold", letting him know that she knew who he was. ("Root Cause")
As part of Root's plan to come face-to-face with Finch, Root anonymously contacted HR and put a hit on herself, under the name of Caroline Turing. Turing's Social Security number appeared through The Machine, making her a Person of Interest. Reese, discovering Turing was a psychologist, became one of her patients.
Later that night, Turing was attacked by four assassins hired by Simmons. Reese managed to get her to safety in a hotel for the night, and the two were unknowingly caught on the FBI's radar. Under Donnelley's supervision, the FBI staged a full scale assault on the hotel, while HR was trying to get to Turing. With the help of Joss Carter and Finch, Turing was led to an underground tunnel system under the hotel. Reese instructed her to find Finch at the end of the tunnel, while he was holding off the HR hit men.
As Finch was confronted by Alicia Corwin regarding his involvement with the Machine, Root killed Corwin with a gun shot to the head. She introduced herself as Root, and told him that had much to talk about. Finch drove away at gun point, with Corwin's body left behind. ("Firewall")
Planning to escape with Finch to Texas, Root stopped by in Maryland where she gained access to Denton Weeks' house. She lured him there to overpower and question him about the whereabouts of the Machine. When he didn't tell what she wanted to hear, she killed him by shooting him in the chest. She didn't know that at the same time, Reese had already tracked her down through her friend Hanna's case. At the train station, Reese managed to save Finch while Root escaped. She called him on his mobile phone later that day to thank him for solving Hanna's case and telling him that she would be in touch. ("Bad Code")
While holding him captive, Root explained to Finch her desire is not to control the Machine, as he believed, but instead to "set it free". ("The Contingency")
While posing as assistant, she eavesdrops on the Special Counsel's phone calls. When Samantha Shaw appears to speak with Veronica Sinclair (Michael Cole's contact in the CIA), the person in the hotel is actually Root, who managed to get there first and tied Veronica in the bathroom. Pretending to be Veronica, she talks with Shaw for a while until she discover what's happening. Root tasers Shaw and zip-ties her to a chair, threatening with torture her with a hot clothing iron in order to obtain a name given to her by Daniel Aquino. However, she doesn't have time to continue because Wilson's men arrive, so she escapes to not be spotted by anyone. ("Relevance")
She later returns when the virus infecting the machine is almost complete and threatens to kill Grace Hendricks when meeting with Harold again outside of Grace's home. The two of them begin to try to find out what payphone the machine will call from, though the Office of Special Council began to buy payphones throughout the city. They found it within a library, though Decima mercenaries along with Reese and Shaw were fighting below. The machine later contacts from two payphones, giving control to both Root and John Reese for twenty-four hours. ("Zero Day")
Root leaves with Harold using control of the machine to find and locate the remaining scientists Lawrence Szilard who had moved the Machine to its current location to tell her where it was, though he was killed by a government agent with a sniper shot to his back.
When Root and Finch arrived at the nuclear storage facility, she was in horror to discover the machine had been moved by itself to another location, heartbroken and in tears she threatened to kill Finch for betraying her, though before she could, she was shot in the shoulder and tended to by Reese.
After escaping Special Counsel and Hersh, Root had been moved to an insane asylum and after walking down a hallway, she receives a phone call from the machine. Asking her if she can hear it, to which she replies "Absolutely." ("God Mode")
- Trent Russell (orchestrated events so he would be murdered in revenge for the death of Hanna Frey)
- Michael Delancey (shot once in the chest by her partner, Gage)
- Scott Powell (attempted to have killed and framed for murder; failed)
- Pete Matheson (client; shot once in the head and staged to look like a suicide)
- Owen Reynolds (shot once in the head)
- Alicia Corwin (shot once in the head)
- Harold Finch (abducted and held captive at gunpoint; eventually rescued)
- Julie Davenport (poisoned)
- Denton Weeks (shot twice in the chest)
- Unnamed guard (attempted to shoot; failed)
- Veronica Sinclair (held captive; eventually rescued because she had to leave)
- Samantha Shaw (held captive and attempted to torture; failed because she had to leave)
- Special Counsel (Tortured)
- 3 unnamed Decima Technology assasins (shot)
- 2 unnamed ISA operatives (shot)
- Root was able to temporarily infiltrate Finch's private network when he attempted to do the same to her via what appeared to be a vulnerability in her system. While Finch and Reese's operations were not completely compromised, the Library did have to be temporarily abandoned and Finch did have to rebuild his entire network from scratch. It is unknown how much information about the Machine Root was able to extract while connected to Finch's network. Presumably though, it was enough for the Machine to designate her a yellow-colored border, signifying at least some knowledge of the Machine.
- It is currently reasonable to assume what information she did take from Finch assisted her in the creation of the Caroline Turing identity, as well as her machinations to ultimately capture Finch himself.
- Root uses a Samsung NP300V4A Notebook, a Google Samsung Nexus S smartphone, and arms herself with a Heizer Defense DoubleTap 9mm pistol.
- Unless Caroline Turing really has a background in psychology, one can assume that she may have gained the information for her evaluation of Reese's character profile through watching him for some time.
- Root's love for The Machine and her great wish for seeing it free, while having a complete disregard for Other life may indicate that she may even have feelings bordering, romantic feelings towards it (The Machine.) It is highly uncertain if her feelings are reciprocated.
- Root's Caroline Turing alias may be an allusion to Alan Turing, an early theorist on the subject of artificial intelligence and developer of the Turing Machine.
- Root's real name, Samantha Groves, might be a reference to Andrew S. Grove, former CEO of Intel, who wrote the book "Only the Paranoid Survive". The title has been mentioned by Finch in "Wolf and Cub" after Root hacked into the Library.