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301Liberty 309The Crossing 317Root Path (/)
302Nothing to Hide 310The Devil's Share” (Multiple) 318Allegiance
303Lady Killer 311Lethe” (Finch) 319Most Likely To...
304Reasonable Doubt 312Aletheia” (Finch) 320Death Benefit
305Razgovor” (Shaw) 3134C 321Beta” (Grace)
306Mors Praematura 314Provenance 322A House Divided” (Collier)
307The Perfect Mark 315Last Call 323Deus Ex Machina” (Collier)
308Endgame” (Carter) 316RAM

POI 0321 Main.png



Air dateApril 29, 2014

Running time43:31

Production code2J7621

Written bySean Hennen
Dan Dietz

Directed byFrederick E.O. Toye


Images (48)

Just remember, what our Machine sees, Samaritan sees. Two gods playing with the same deck of cards.

— Root

"Beta" is the 21st episode of season 3, and the 66th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on April 29, 2014.


As Decima uses Samaritan’s feeds to hunt Reese and Shaw, Greer exploits Finch’s greatest weakness in an attempt to lure him out of hiding: his love for his former fiancée, Grace Hendricks.

Origin of the Title

In computer science, beta, the second letter of the Greek alphabet, refers to the final trial version of unfinished new software, as well as the process of testing software and hardware.

Main Plot Points

  • The Machine detects Samaritan coming online and begins calculating a systems conflict and how to handle it.
  • Now online, Samaritan begins searching for the Team.
  • A man named Raul tries to rob a convenience store but is interrupted by Shaw who points out the many mistakes he's made.
  • As Reese and Shaw walk down the street, they are grabbed by Root who shows them Decima Technologies operatives preparing to ambush them.
  • Senator Ross Garrison meets with John Greer and his technician Virgil in their base of operations for an update on the status of the beta test.
  • At the same time, Samaritan is able to find a connection, the same person that the Machine sent the number of to Reese: Grace Hendricks, Finch's former fiancé. Greer orders Grace brought to him.
  • Identifying himself as Detective James Stills and reminding Grace the last time they met, Reese tells Grace that they need to get her to a safe place.
  • Virgil detects the rescue of Grace and reports to Greer. Annoyed, Greer orders Zachary to take all operatives into the field, get him Grace and kill everyone else.
  • Reese and Shaw take Grace to Fusco at the 8th precinct where Fusco isn't happy to see them due to the danger Reese is in there as a wanted fugitive.
  • With Samaritan having tracked Grace to the precinct, Greer positions Zachary and his men outside but decides to try finesse first. Greer sends in an operative disguised as FBI agent Maybank but he is taken out by Fusco and Reese.
  • Root enters the precinct after having gotten herself arrested and gives Fusco instructions on tools to get her.
  • Reese attempts to stop Zachary but he is able to escape with Grace.
  • Root discovers a fourth undocumented cargo ship at the docks.
  • Grace is taken before Greer and interrogated about her link to a Finch. Greer then tells Reese and Shaw to pass on a message to Finch to trade himself for Grace the next morning at dawn at the Jefferson Bridge.
  • The time Samaritan has access to the NSA feeds runs out and Samaritan goes off-line once more.
  • In Mount Vernon, Root meets with Reese and Shaw and reveals that she stole seven of the Samaritan servers from the cargo ship and that even without Finch, the fight isn't over yet.
  • In Decima's new headquarters, Greer and Finch finally meet face to face.


  • In 2010, Grace attends the funeral of her fiancé Harold Martin, the only person there besides the priest. While the priest offers words of condolence due to the tragedy of the ferry bombing, Grace is saddened that not a single other person attended Harold's funeral.

Episode Notes

  • Anance (or Ananke), the name listed on the cargo bill, refers to the Greek primeval goddess (Protogenos) of inevitability, compulsion and necessity. In a famous quote, MIT mathematician and computer scientist Norbert Wiener made Ananke the personification of scientific determinism.

Production Notes

  • The funeral scene was filmed in Little Italy, at the original St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.
  • The family and baby pictures in Greer's folder about Grace are Carrie Preston's own.[1]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • The Beta test concluded at around 11:20 AM. However, in the opening scene, it's around 12:12 PM and Samaritan has been running for around 4 hours. This would mean it went online somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 AM.



  • Finch used another bird alias, Harold Martin, when he was with Grace.
  • The image of Reese that Samaritan uses to track him down is the one captured by HR in “Endgame”.
  • On board the ship, the brand name on the case of wine in the mess room is "Les Lèvres", French for "the lips".
  • Mount Vernon, New York, where Reese and Shaw meet Root in the end, is also the name of Jim Caviezel's place of birth in Washington.
  • Fusco introduces himself as "Lieutenant Fusco" when talking to a Special Agent named Maybank, who wanted to take Grace into custody but was actually working for Decima.
  • The coordinates in “Root Path (/)” during The Machine Assessment, [40.71448 / -74.00598] was shown during Samaritan Beta Test and captured Ivanov, Kirill V.
  • Harold mentioned in “No Good Deed” that he build an app that alerts him if he ever got within 100 meters of Grace. 
  • The name on the passport given to Grace is "Grace Ellsworth." Ellsworth, Maine is home to a bird sanctuary called Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary. Ellsworth is also the name of Goofy's old pet crow in the Mickey Mouse universe.


  • "Who died and made you Finch?" (Shaw, to Reese)
  • "We need to get invisible fast!" (Root, to Reese and Shaw)
  • "Just remember, what our machine sees, Samaritan sees. Two gods playing with the same deck of cards." (Root, to Reese and Shaw)
  • "This is a life, and Finch would tell us to save it." (Reese, to Root)
  • "How is Detective Stills one of the good guys when he's not even Detective Stills?" (Grace, to Fusco)
  • "What is going on? I barely believe this is a police station!" (Grace, to Root and Fusco)
  • "You're in a situation you can't control that's larger than you can imagine. Sit tight and we'll keep you alive." (Root, to Grace)
  • "I'm sick of hiding. Let's make some noise," (Shaw, to Reese)
  • "There's one more thing. I'd like you to avoid violence if at all possible. But, if they harm Grace, in any way, kill them all." (Finch)
  • "From the day the Machine went online, part of me knew that I would never be able to sever myself from it, and that anyone I'd ever cared about was in danger. It was foolish to imagine otherwise. I tried to guard myself, stay hidden, from the Government, the authorities, people looking... Here we still are. This moment was inevitable. This moment was always looking for me." (Finch)
  • "Chin up kids, we're not out of the game yet. Trust me," (Root, to Shaw & Reese)