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Season 5 Ep 11 of Person of Interest shows us that The Machine has been giving irrelevant numbers to others (Logan Pierce, Harper Rose, Joey Durban) for some time now.

Fusco was surprised, however Reese wasn't, or he didn't show it. He was cool with it. Considering that in previous episodes, he and Finch didn't want to include others into the group or recruit more members, knowing that the more people know about The Machine the more they will be targeted.

Keeping that aside, So now Pierce, Rose and Durban know about The Machine and are an assets now.

Prior to this episode Jeff Blackwell was recruited, I assumed it was by The Machine, since the recruiter had used the same recruitment speech Finch used when he was recruiting Reese. Root thought Blackwell was a Samaritan asset. Considering that we are never shown how Samaritan recruits its assets, we see a lot of Samaritan assets trying to kill Finch and his group. I am assuming that Blackwell is indeed the Machine's asset.

The question is, The Machine was in an open state while Root and Finch were repairing it. Did The Machine start actively recruiting more people during this time without Finch's knowledge?

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Although S5E11 is the first time we've seen the Machine giving an entirely separate team direct access to the Irrelevant Numbers, she has recruited lots of people in the past.

Indirectly speaking, we have the Machine's shell company Thornhill Enterprises, introduced in Season 2, which apparently employs quite a few people. Thornhill has been used several times in the series since then, normally performing some subtle background task such as

installing all the nodes on the power grid in Season 4 that allowed the Machine to hide its presence from Samaritan and store itself on the grid.

or

delivering a false identity and other information to Shaw and Reese at the start of S5E11 when Harold was out of action.

More directly speaking, the Machine (through Root) spends Season 3 assembling a team of people in order to

create compromised memory devices to be installed in one of Samaritan's servers, preventing it from identifying the core team members.

In other words, the Machine has, directly and indirectly, recruited people in the past without Finch or Root's knowledge. This is very likely why Reese did not seem surprised at the introduction of the other team (though his default state is 'unflappable').

As to your question about whether the Machine was actively recruiting during repairs, there is no way to know for sure. However, given her past behaviour and the urgency of the fight with Samaritan, I would say it is very likely. Finch and Root had given her full access to the surveillance feeds, and during E2 we see her access external networks without their knowledge or permission when she locks them in the train car. Therefore she had the capability and motivation to recruit new people.

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