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paramitch

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  1. paramitch

    Toy Story 4 (2019)

    Pixar is rightfully praised for their thoughtful work, and TOY STORY 4 is a good movie. But still, I wish I hadn't seen it. It wiped away the beautiful symmetry of TOY STORY 3 and (worse) gave us an ending in which Woody chooses "romance" with Bo Peep over his found family and lifelong friendships with Buzz and the gang. I hated what a terrible toy owner Bonnie turned out to be. Yes, she's a little kid, and yes, she doesn't know the toys are alive, but the depiction of how quickly she was already on the edge of abandoning these new toys made me genuinely sad. And worst of all, it tarnishes the perfect bittersweetness of the ending of TOY STORY 3. I also disliked the way our main characters were shoved aside here for new ones, I disliked the complete retcon of Bo as a character (both in her design, and in her abilities and personality), and hated the outcome, which basically reinforced the classic trope that romance is always preferable (and superior) to any other relationship. So we end up with a Woody who has repeatedly risked his life for his found family, who has assembled, expanded and protected that family... now abandoning those friends and family for his isolated romance with an unrecognizable Bo Peep in constantly changeful and dangerous circumstances. I wasn't happy for Woody. I was furious. I hated the way Buzz was sidelined, and how that friendship -- far deeper than the romance we saw here -- was simply tossed aside. I just didn't get it. I know people love romances, but we're talking about toys. Bo Beep did not seem to love Woody at all -- she was strong and brave, yes, but she showed little feeling for him. And after all, they are TOYS. So I just didn't understand how Woody suddenly prioritized the romance above his friends and found family. I'll always hate it. I know she looks different, but she's officially the same character, just suddenly 100% retconned and redesigned, and suddenly elastic and not a fixed china doll at all. It drove me crazy. I absolutely agree on Buzz and Woody. Their friendship is the true heart of the TOY STORY movies for me, especially after all this time. I did love Gabby, and especially Duke Caboom (seriously so much fun, and perfectly voiced by Keanu Reeves). Agreed. And I hated the way this utterly erased the sweetness of the TS3 ending and turned Bonnie into a shallow little jerk (in terms of toy loyalty). Toy Story 3 had moments of so much resonance and beauty and grim poetry that nothing will ever beat it for me. The incinerator scene alone and what it says about life and death and acceptance, just... oh, man. I think this is my main problem with 4. It felt almost like a spin-off. I've spent three movies and over a decade investing in the toy family, in Woody and Buzz and the gang, and in Andy and his family. I'm never going to care nearly as much about Bo Peep's world this fast. Especially since it was so strange and disconnected. The thing that most devastated me about TOY STORY 4 was the way it devalued Woody and Buzz's friendship and brotherhood, and sent Woody off with Bo, because of the implication that "romances are more important." Which drove me nuts. It just feels to me like this is such a common trope, and it would have been so much more meaningful to me if Woody had been presented with a romance, and he's happy with the idea, but he doesn't want it enough to leave his family.
  2. It took me awhile to see this (I loved the trailer so much I was almost afraid to watch!), but I was pretty happy with it. It wasn't perfect, and as always with these kinds of movies nowadays, the final third of the film was just one big bloated (if extremely cool) combat setpiece after another (see also WONDER WOMAN -- SOO MANY CARS TOSSED IN SLOW MOTION! AGHGHGH!). But I thought it was a great, fun candybar movie, and a worthy entry in the TERMINATOR series. And compared to the abysmal GENISYS, this was practically Shakespeare. (RANT WARNING: Look, I'm a TERMINATOR franchise fan, and am pretty forgiving. I liked T3. I even liked T4 with Bale. But, to this day, GENESYS is one of the worst, most insulting movies I've ever seen -- it badly rewrites TERMINATOR to be all about Reese, not Sarah, and laughably turns Sarah into a disempowered damsel. The worst offense for me was that they even changed the iconic picture of Sarah to now be looking RIGHT AT US versus off into a forbidding future because God forbid the movie have an iota of subtlety. I haaaaaated it. So. Damn. Much. And oh, God, the acting! I thought it was comically bad.) But I thought DARK FATE was terrific, if slightly silly fun. The opening genuinely shocked the hell out of me, but I appreciated the chutzpah of the move. I loved all three lead women, who were all interesting, strong, and fascinating (and beautifully acted), and most of all, I loved the softer energy of it, and every single time the movie slowed down to allow for conversations between such genuinely interesting characters. I was so impressed with the lead female trio. Linda Hamilton was such a badass, but also funny, complex, and vulnerable. Mackenzie Davis was a freaking goddess as Grace, and I loved the slow reveal of her backstory, sacrifice, and determination. And Natalia Reyes was a wonderful addition -- believably innocent, but also brave, kind, and swift to evolve. I've always loved Davis and expected her to become a star, ever since the first episode of "Halt and Catch FIre" (one of the smartest, best shows in TV history), but seeing her so strong and kickass here was incredible. She must have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the film, and the payoff was that her physical transformation was almost as big as Hamilton's back for T2. Like I said, my complaints are minor -- I just get tired of all of these things devolving into big giant fight scenes when I find the dialogue scenes so much more interesting. I'm not saying I don't like action, I'm just saying, does it always have to be 15-20 minutes at a time? Followed, almost always, by 15-20 minutes almost immediately after of ANOTHER big setpiece? Aghghg. It's so boring. But they did it well here, and I admit that the in-flight battle, the fall, and then the bridge battles were all pretty jaw-dropping, as was the final "kill box" battle (the only one I was emotionally invested in). But some of those quiet scenes were just so beautifully written and acted. Every scene between Grace and Dani (and yeah, I was totally shipping those two -- it seemed fairly obvious to me that there was a romantic undercurrent to them). And the gorgeous hotel conversations between Sarah and Grace (and eventually Dani). I even loved Schwarzenegger as Carl -- he actually ACTED! I mean, he really did. He was subtle and quiet, empathetic and truly interesting in that role. (I mean, look, I love Arnie, but he's not exactly an actor's actor. Seeing his ability actually evolve into some fine work here was really wonderful to see.) She was 63 when she made this, and I think she looked amazing. And I loved her performance. I don't even know what to say here. "Positively ancient?" Just looking at her "puts you off?" Have you never seen a naturally aging 63 year-old woman before? There are all kinds of ways to be in your mid-60s right now. Depending on your DNA, health and financial circumstance, sure, you can be fit and supple, capable of firing a rifle. Or you may be living with aches and pains and spending most of your time golfing or gardening. Personally, I think Hamilton looked amazing here -- believably older after decades on adrenaline and alcohol, but still strong and kickass. As an actress, she has also been funny, charming and vocal about why she chose not to use botox or plastic surgery, and I think she is beautiful. Yes, her face has lines and wrinkles, but she is still the beautiful woman she always was. Hamilton did a fantastic interview with The New York Times before this came out, and that's where she talked about her age, work, marriages, sex life and lack thereof. I just loved her so much from the interview. She was so funny and open, and so humble. My favorite revelation she shared was that James Cameron basically fell in love with her as Sarah Connor, so she tried really hard to stay in that character, to be Sarah Connor for him, and of course eventually failed, because that isn't who she is. The fact that she still has a lot of affection for him was really so lovely (especially since he famously ended their marriage by cheating on her with Suzy Amis on TITANIC). Of course Linda knows she looks old. What I find refreshing is that she embraces it and refuses to feel bad about it. Hamilton is 64. Arnold is 73. What do you expect or demand that they look like in order to be acceptable for viewing? How is her not apologizing for looking old "saving face?" Maybe she just accepts that time marches on for all of us eventually. I'm happy the movie dared to cast these unsavory older people. I'm just sorry that you had to be subjected to looking at them. 100% this, Simone. Well said. Aside from Sigourney Weaver (who is wonderful at any age, of course)... does this mean that only attractive, fit, able-bodied young people are worthy of attention on film? And only in very specific traditional roles? For me, not only is this POV genuinely upsetting -- but how boring would that be? Isn't the whole point of film (and fantasy/sci-fi film) the presentation of diverse settings and characters? I heart everything you said in your post. That is all. This. I wanted so badly to like GENISYS, but honestly, even after three tries, I have never, ever been able to finish the final 20 minutes. It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen (and I will never forgive the way it retcons Sarah's story and insultingly turns it into Reese's). I thought this was worlds better, flaws and all. And I loved the way the ending here was full circle and evocative of the original TERMINATOR epilogue -- Sarah darkly looking ahead, yet once again having someone to care for, someone to train for the dark future ahead. And Dani having a protector again, a soldier just as loyal as Grace (and a new mission, to give Grace the happy life she deserves this time around).
  3. Wow. Pretty much perfect—smart, suspenseful, and logical. I loved the symmetry that Carrie—a patriot to her core—gave up country, home, family and loved ones, and the respect for the job that defined her, in order to save the world. It moved me deeply. One of my favorite elements of this season was the parallel of the Carrie/Yevgeny relationship to Carrie/Brody, and I think the hints to the events of those 7 months are there if we look closely. And my favorite aspect is that most of it was misdirection—that it was about a personal connection through her private hell, not traditional torture or spycraft. We already saw last season that Yev could be vulnerable to (and protective of) a female operative who was also a romantic interest, which was subtle setup for this season. And what I loved about this was that the 7-month asylum stay was supposed to manipulate Carrie into allegiance and manipulation by him (and them), but as with Carrie's observation of Brody (and growing sympathy for his trauma), intimacy can be dangerous on both sides. Here, Yev became Carrie and Carrie became his Brody (and of course immediately offered him and his side a huge amount of information if they could turn her permanently). I do think this translated to genuine love on both sides, and Carrie's flashes of memory I think back this up. As I posted on an earlier episode, I think it was one thing for Yev to SAY he was taking Carrie off her meds -- telling this to a strong, cold, functional Carrie as his respected antagonist. But that became something entirely different when he was faced with a nonfunctional, vulnerable Carrie in the depths of madness, willing to kill herself to escape her suffering. And I think that was the moment. I just think while Yev could deliver a cold bullet to a traitor fellow assassin, he could not watch this woman suffer. Yev said himself (and I believed him) that he not only stopped her suicide attempt, but he put her back on her meds. We know that they spent a lot of time together at this point, walking and talking, and that she was honest enough about her life to tell him about Brody, Frannie, and even her awful moment of nearly drowning Frannie in the tub. Then the clearest memory we get from Carrie is her being ripped away from Yevgeny as she embraces him, and her weeping heartbreakingly for him not to leave her. My take here is that at a certain point, Yev's kindness for her caused him to be removed from the asylum entirely, and a detached jailer was put in charge instead, her meds were permanently withheld, and that's how we got the Carrie who had completely lost herself at the end of S7. Yev, a game player, accepted it although I think he felt guilt over it (heavily implied in S8E1). And I think all of that directly factored into this ending -- Yevgeny is now a superstar with the GRU at that point. He'd uncovered the double agent who'd caused them decades of trouble, publicly turned a high-profile CIA operative (scoring major PR points when she wrote the book), and had made Russia look like a superhero in stopping world war. It's just that Yevgeny (who I think really loves Carrie) never quite got the depth of her loyalty to her country. I love that Carrie was willing to play the long game, to give up everything, in order to save the world and to try to make things right in the end (or at least somewhat balance the scales). And that Yev may love her but he will always underestimate her. Woe to him for doing so. Of course Yevgeny would have been lauded and richly compensated. He'd caught a double agent they hadn't been able to stop for multiple decades, causing irreparable harm, he'd turned a CIA hero into an asset who publicly betrayed America, and made Russia look like heroes in stopping a world war. Best of all, the asset is literally under his thumb as his paramour. So to me it's believable that he and Carrie have a sumptuous life after that -- it would have been routine (it's one of the carrots the Russians often hold out as inspiration for a select few), and was also useful from a PR standpoint. Carrie is a celebrity to them now, adored for choosing them over the U.S. She even doubled down with her book, toasting every single bridge and US friend forever. Why should they doubt her now? Plus, her book probably made her a pretty tidy fortune on her own worldwide, which she would have been allowed to keep, as well. I don't agree. As many others commented at the time, Max's first act should have been to go for that black box. It was the single most important thing to take away from the crash site. Carrie asking him to get it wasn't irresponsible, but essential. Two presidents were dead. The evidence was crucial, even if lives were lost in attaining it. Carrie and Saul live in a callous world yet I still think they feel and mourn every death. I agree that Carrie is the perfect agent on the ground for Saul to run as the end of this episode occurs. He's retiring, even further beyond suspicion as an insider, she's a very public traitor, and their relationship means there's an instant shorthand between them. Best of all (for me), is his vindication of his faith in her, that she will always work for the greater good. I think she loves Yevgeny and that it's truly mutual. I think Carrie's already shown over 8 years that she's a superb compartmentalizer, as is Yevgeny. He put himself into genuine harm's way for her multiple times this season (while, yes, protecting a potential high-profile asset), as when he stayed behind as the extraction team came for her and Max's body. My bet is that both love and enjoy each other, have a great life, and hold 20% of suspicion that always goes with spycraft. (I do think she's smart enough never to snoop on him directly.) I think Carrie still holds the upper hand. As far as Yev knows, Carrie's bridges are all charcoal. She burned every bridge to get that recording, and came through. I love how wrong he is. Because Carrie and Saul will always be a family in some sense. I'm very puzzled by those who are hand-wringing over Frannie. Carrie aptly demonstrated last season that while she loves Frannie, she is also aware that she herself is not a fit mother. I was thrilled to finally have the issue ended, with Carrie's sister giving Frannie a happier home than Carrie ever could. And I also think it's deserved, as Carrie's sister and father had pressured her to have the baby (she didn't want to) and promised to care for it if she did so. I do think it's sad that Carrie's sacrifice included Frannie, but she can at least console herself that Frannie is safe and loved -- safer than if she herself were parenting her. Not really. They were in the embassy, on "Russian soil." Anna could have been openly arrested and yanked away by a cadre of guards and there would have been nothing anyone could do about it, then tortured for years. The only thing possible was for Saul's guy to try to sneak her away (and it almost worked). Beautifully said. I feel the same way. And after her relationship with Brody and all the conflicting loyalties and subterfuges, a relationship with Yev would be a cake walk. She'd be smart enough not to spy on him personally, so she could keep it clean. She could just be herself. and I think the book publicly stating her betrayal of her country for all time would also have been a relaxation factor for him. Me too! My vote is both. I found myself oddly touched by seeing them together at the end -- they both just looked so truly happy. (Sorry, I'm a shipper. And a sucker. And we've never seen Carrie so free and happy before.) Meanwhile, I yelped that she was still true to SpyDaddy Saul. The dawning look of revelation and joy on Saul's face was just lovely -- the realization that Carrie was still HIS Carrie, that she was still always going to be the person trying to do the right thing. 1. The paralytic allowed Saul the power of speech while immobilizing him. She was trying to get Anna's name without killing him. (Which, thank goodness, Carrie showed she would never be able to do.) 2. The GRU kill team's supervision gave Carrie the rest of the night (and morning) to go to Plan B with Saul immobilized -- to fly to talk to Saul's sister, knowing she was safe from a warning call from Saul. It's also why she swiped his sister's phone when she got into the cab, to delay discovery. I loved everything about this and your other post. This, 100%. I don't know -- to me he looked hale, just slightly careful in the aftermath of that heart attack, and that his sister was being protective. I didn't think he looked frail. I loved that he said he was "done" and his bookstore cover friend just grinned and said, "You sure?" because he knew Saul. Thank you everyone for the great debates over the years! A fantastic show beginning to end, and the conversations were so much fun.
  4. I think this season is excellent and complex -- thank God I have some critics I can go to who agree, like Brian Tallerico, who said: This has been my take on the entire season. The inclusion of arrogant political naifs who do not understand the simplest aspects of international politics has -- for me -- been the highlight. And it's another example of the writers showing themselves to be remarkably prescient. 1. Go back and look at the scene. Carrie has maybe two minutes tops with the black box (most of it used to listen immediately on-site). She does not have the opportunity or time to copy files. She listens to the evidence live, and is immediately knocked out. If she had had 60 more seconds, yes, she could have copied files. But she didn't. Is she naive to think she has the box and all is well, and Yevgeny will support her? Oh yeah she is. But she's blinded (as usual) thinking she's running him while he's running her. 2. This is 100% realistic in terms of current politics. Pakistan has been very willing to work with the U.S. in the past and overlook operations within borders (like the capture of UBL) after the fact, and while they could disclaim knowledge. But what the president is threatening here is full-scale invasion. Pakistan would have no choice but to react to a full-scale invasion with nuclear power, setting off repercussions among allies on both sides... = world war 3. 3. "Goat herders and poppy farmers?" Seriously? It's worth noting that the U.S. has fought a losing battle with those "goat herders and poppy farmers" and the entire surrounding region for decades now. I'm a US patriot and the daughter of a Navy officer who worked under NATO, but underestimating your enemy (much less assuming superiority) is a massive mistake. And not to mention racist and disrespectful. This exact POV is everything that's wrong with our politics in the region. It's a PC USB-connector variant. It's not that hard to carry a few ongoing. They would be standard for any agent in the field. Some laptops even have compartments for a variety of such cables for people in certain jobs. My take is they need the box and nothing else will do. Everything else is fakable. Russia is stronger when other superpowers are in flux, chaotic, and are disempowered. They use those things brilliantly. I hate, hate, hate the "Carrie's magic vagina" phrase. It's sexist and unfair. I've watched thousands of hours of TV, and I've seen how many unconventional, unattractive, older or unshapely men lead series and somehow get every woman they want. Which, fine. It's fiction. And for what it's worth, I love plenty of those unconventionally attractive men too -- don't get me started on how much I love guys like Hugh Laurie or Kevin James or James Gandolfini or John Hawkes, etc. They don't have to be movie stars, in fact, I'd prefer that they weren't. Carrie, as played by Danes, is a lovely young woman who is brilliant, slender, brave, and creative. She has long blonde hair and represents the epitome of Westernized female beauty in a realistic way. I can buy these men (what, we're talking about 4 or 5 over an 8-10 year period in-show) find her attractive, and really don't get the big deal or why it's so unbelievable that she could attract almost any guy she wants. I definitely don't get why it's a subject for constant mockery, but YMMV. Listening to the file is not the same thing as copying it. She could possibly have had access to a temporary archived version after listening but it's not a 100% given. I could fault Carrie for not saving/uploading the file if she had had even 60 seconds further, but she didn't. She listened once and was knocked out. I still find her pretty blameless there, although personally I would have grabbed the box and tried to listen from a hidden or remote location. But on the other hand, I can understand why she stayed and listened ASAP because she was then able to pass the info along. I'm 100% agreed on Russia's motives and find them believable. Carrie trusting Yevgeny was frustrating but believable to me. Loyalty is her Achilles' heel. He helped her with Max so she didn't let her guard down 100%, but she thought she controlled him. And she was wrong. Sexuality has always been a believable and documented aspect of spycraft, and one Carrie has never shied away from. In part, because she's a patriot that I firmly believe would sell any aspect of herself to save the world, and (secondly) because she's turned on by danger and intrigue on an occasional personal level (as with Brody, Quinn, Yevgeny, etc.). She's shown she can use sexuality coldly and also give in to it in another more personal way. My take is that the ends justified the means, and (as we've seen here) as long as Carrie got results, the agency sat back and let her do what she needed to do. It's interesting to me that Carrie is so stigmatized by her use of her sexuality. Especially when compared to Elizabeth and Philip on "The Americans," where it was routine, and accepted from episode 1. For me, both are equal presentations -- both sides think they are doing so in service to a greater good. It's just that Carrie is so intense and yet so opaque I think many people are threatened by how she does so. Especially as she is alone, so she doesn't share her feelings about the episodes (unlike Philip and Elizabeth). Ironically, this makes me sorrier for Carrie than for Elizabeth or Philip. She has to do so much of this stuff on her own, and I can't help but think that when she spends her body constantly in service to her country, that she may not always be clear emotionally about where the line is drawn herself. I've always said, if Saul ever called Carrie "peanut," I'd fall out of my chair in sheer happiness. Man, I miss that show!
  5. I did love that Saul pointed this out and was 100% on Carrie's side. The irony here is that Carrie's loyalty is her greatest strength and her Achilles' heel. She said she would find Max and she did. And she proved that she would, and that this was her goal. Carrie can be an annoying asshole who cannot follow an order to save her life (truth), but she openly proved everything she had said about what she would do was genuine, so I will always love her for that. If they had backed her up, Max would have lived. Great point -- I was confused by nobody mentioning Max's status as a special asset on a short-term mission. I loved Max since S1, always will. But I think Carrie -- while she did take him for granted, yes -- could have named many things about him. Funny things he did or said. His favorite chips or soft drinks. His love for Fara. I know people hate Carrie, but I do think she saw and loved him, she just... took him for granted. And I was really happy she was honest about it. 1. Carrie got assurances from Saul that -- as she had proved her mission and had been simply trying to save Max (nothing she hasn't done before) that she would be brought in peacefully. She was willing to go. The guns and restraints just triggered her (I do think she should have submitted, personally, but c'est la vie). 2. It's not unusual for people to survive first-round executions, from firing squads to electric chairs, even to decapitations (see also poor Mary Queen of Scots). Haqqani's shooters managed to hit center mass but miss the heart, so it was believable to me he'd survive enough to stand up one more time. 3. Carrie put her entire life, loyalty and career on the line to save Max. She was devastated to lose him. I think it's okay that, once he was dead, she gave in to her grief. It doesn't make her a bad person. 4. The black box should have been the primary objective from minute one. We'll see how it goes, but Max's retrieval of that box could change the course of the world and possibly avert nuclear war (given the friction between Pakistan, a nuclear power, and the U.S. This was such a great observation! I wondered about his use of a Russian word in that moment, so I love that you pointed it out. We'll see where it goes from here. As far as Zabel, I love that Hugh Dancy is playing such an awful guy, and while the agendas are different, he is a very smug, ignorant, Stephen Miller-esque character. I was filled with dread all episode, but I still cried. I kept hoping he would live. Aghghgh. Yeah, this. The agendas differ but the personalities are laughably similar. It's not really implausible. Saul was the reason Haqqani turned himself in to the U.S. to begin with. So his continued access makes sense. Carrie wasn't surprised by the search, but by the clear "police" approach. The "you are now in custody" aspect now" was clearly implied. After Saul had promised this would not be an issue. Oh, poor sweet Fara (and sweet Max's unrequited love for her)! Sniffle. Agreed, it's vital. Although I don't agree that it was a stupid way to create suspense -- it makes total sense to me, and has proved an entertaining mystery to me so far.
  6. I posted more on this in the last episode topic, but I think Yevgeny is a genuinely interesting paradox who also echoes Carrie, to a degree, this season. From S7, we've seen that he is willing to be ruthless, but I would also point out that in every case, he was ruthless (lethal) with people who had already flipped and/or were willing to sell him out right then and there. It's not a particularly nice quality, but it makes sense to me. And even with Dante, I believed him that he wouldn't have killed Dante (wanting to save the asset relationship) until Dante blew the whistle over the phone. Meanwhile, we also had the counterpoint in S7 that Yev was willing to risk everything for Simone, saved her multiple times at risk to himself (and little benefit, as killing her would have been the smarter option if he was cold enough). Until the penultimate episode, when it's definitely arguable that he was willing to kill her (it sure looked like it). So then we get to the final episode, his fury at Carrie, but also his genuine respect for her. Sure, he's cruel to her -- he's trying to get her to do what he wants, and that's going to include plenty of persuasion and even psychological torture. But here's where I think it gets interesting, and brings us to a different S8 Yevgeny -- and relationship with Carrie. Vulnerability can work both ways. I think he ended up genuinely caring for her. And of course, it's obvious that to some degree she spent months desperately holding onto him as someone she knew (enemy or not) as her sanity fell to pieces. The flashbacks of Carrie weeping and begging him not to leave her are, to me, deeply sad. He might have been a captor and villain, but she recognized him and at some point it appears she forgot that he was the person responsible for hurting her. Anyway. So I think it was easy for Yevgeny to threaten Carrie, to play cat and mouse with her in the asylum. Until she began to truly lose her mind. I think it was one thing for him to threaten her with this, but entirely another for him to see it happen. Carrie was a respected adversary, and for him to see just how far down the rabbit hole she would fall -- a side effect of that is that she would have been 100% vulnerable, emotionally, psychologically, physically, etc. And I think that would have been far more difficult for Yevgeny, based on the character we've seen, than a strong, cold Carrie soldiering on through 7 months sanely would have been. I think he could have laughed safely distanced at Carrie trying to seduce guards, scoff at persuasion/torture, or try to escape -- but seeing her emptied, raw, scared, and with zero ability to protect herself -- it's a different situation and much less fun for a "spycraft spy." Just my take. It's why I don't see S8 as any kind of contradiction -- rather, an evolution and aftermath of a situation that probably surprised him (even while poor Carrie is slightly clueless thanks to her faulty memory, but it's obvious she feels an intimacy with him she doesn't understand).
  7. I'm so confused by this. Carrie has, since Season 1, been shown to be an experienced and highly regarded field operative -- one who had overseen operations, handled firearms, conducted missions in highly volatile foreign and domestic settings, etc. All of which she loved as part of her job, and which were in danger if her bipolar disorder was discovered. Across eight seasons now, I'd argue that we've seen her handle herself well in situations involving both up-close combat and escape, in handling firearms, in comfortably supporting military operations, and in overseeing ops herself. I can definitely point to at least one scene in every single season of the show to support this. Carrie's no housecat -- she's always been a jungle cat who loved the chase. I didn't like him punching Carrie, but if she presents herself as a combatant, holds off his entire team, and then is revealed to have fooled him long enough to bring down a years-long plot, it's believable to me that he'd do so without necessarily having it mean, exactly, that he's an abuser. Carrie is certainly more than able to defend herself under normal circumstances. Which is of course a ridiculous thing for me to note since Yevgeny is a pretty scary, deftly subversive lying murderer, anyway. Yet, the show has also painted him as showing hints of compassion or the ability to be grayscale. He truly seemed to love the frenchwoman from last season, and the people he killed in almost every instance seemed to be people who had been game players or turncoats aware that what they had done would get them killed. It doesn't mean Yevgeny is a nice guy, but I do think he's interesting enough for the show to explore further. I also got the impression that, given that Carrie spent SEVEN MONTHS in prison under his personal supervision (and spent the majority of that time under severe mental illness to the breaking point) that this may have also sparked a level of intimacy between them that gave Carrie Stockholm Syndrome to a degree, and yet that also may have sparked a degree of protectiveness in Yevgeny (or that's my impression). It appears to me that in the flashes we've seen, he was sometimes genuinely caring with her (or pretended to be). The irony to me is that -- if I'm right -- that if Carrie hadn't been so vulnerable, he probably would have been able to maintain detachment and coldness. But honestly, I can't imagine being unmoved by watching her crumble away and lose her sanity. It's one thing to say he would do it, but another to actually sit by and watch it happen -- especially an opposing agent he visibly if grudgingly admired. I noticed that too -- her face literally changes color when he calls her out there. I love Claire and think she's an incredible actress who cares deeply about the craft. I know it's become something people laugh at, but she's still one of the best "criers" I've ever seen onscreen. It gets me every time.
  8. I don't mind the thickness of his accent (I am a firm believer in closed captioning) -- my problem is that G'ulom's actor plays him so over-the-top and theatrically evil that it drives me nuts and breaks immersion for me. He plays every scene wiggling his eyebrows and fingers, twirling his bowtie and going, "III AMMMM EVILLLL" and it's so distracting for me. It's unusual for "Homeland," which usually casts quieter actors to add dimension and believability. G'ulom is written well, but his actor makes him a cartoon character.
  9. Chalk me on the side of those who thought this was a strong season that had a lot to say about men, women, bipolar disorder, the dangers of social media and fact manipulation, and more. I have a close family member who is bipolar and the show is surprisingly accurate (and I appreciated the positive appearance of ECT here earlier in the season, as it can be a godsend to break the depressive cycle for many who are bipolar). A few general comments: The "Gorin" character that people keep wondering about is the guy who was mentioned multiple times as the ultimate high-profile hostage request by Russia. And the one Saul kept refusing as a trade, as too much for them to ask for. So when Gorin shows up as mentioned here in the trade, we know it's because Saul was so desperate at that point, and after 7+ months, that he was willing to trade for 3 high-profile Russians INCLUDING their ace in the hole Gorin -- just to bring Carrie home. Carrie could have removed the Simone wig at any time, but the entire purpose was to make them think they were inches behind Simone. If they for one minute thought it wasn't her, they could have stopped the pursuit (and Saul's escape and flight). It's completely logical that Carrie kept up the pretense for as long as possible. And typical of Carrie to sacrifice herself. The Russian asylum was meant to be huge and old. Not because it's a sumptuous Anthropologie set, but because it's where Carrie is being sent to be lost, locked away and forgotten. She will feel lonelier in a large empty, cold room, and lord knows, the Russians would believably have plenty of such buildings. As someone whose hair grows like a weed, to me Carrie's hair grew believably for a 7-8 month period -- it was already long, she just added 3-4 (messy) inches. And it's believable to me that they may have even cared for her and taken care of her personal grooming, in case they needed to present her on video, or defend her care as far as the Geneva Convention. (Beyond that? It's a TV show. So she doesn't have roots -- I'll live.) Meanwhile, as far as people wanting Carrie to die, the opening credits literally take place in her brain. The show is first and foremost about Carrie. The opening credits don't explore Saul's inner thoughts or guilts, or anyone else's. Just Carrie's. So there's no way she's going out before deep in the final season, if that. Last but not least, I get why people find Carrie maddening (and I think that's deliberate, and mostly well-done), but I definitely don't think Danes is insisting on love scenes for vanity's sakes -- she has ironically often talked about how uncomfortable she is in filming them. (She's given some funny anecdotes about having to film some of her S2 or S3 (I think?) Brody love scenes while VERY pregnant and hiding it, LOL.) I do think Carrie is believably beautiful, brilliant, and intense enough that she could certainly attract the men she has on the show. For me, there's a danger of sexism to the idea of Carrie's "magical vagina" or attractiveness, when she is pretty conventionally attractive -- fit, blonde, lovely, young, and smart. Especially when the vast majority of so many fricking shows spotlight men who are none of those things (and I find plenty of them attractive anyway, so I'm not knocking them physically, just pointing out the disparity). Even here, we have people wishing for shows about Saul's escapades and love life -- and look, I love Saul, and will always adore Mandy Patinkin -- but he's 68 years old and basically a cuddly grandpa, yet somehow Carrie as attractive to 30/40something men is unrealistic? YMMV. I know I sit at a lonely table, but I still enjoy the show, so just my 2 cents. Thanks, and onward to season 8!
  10. It's not about being "a bitch." See farther down. It's about being loyal and supportive to your employees as someone with half a billion dollars during a national crisis when they have no other income. She failed to do that, and it's public record. She is also one of the ONLY ONES who did not do so. So -- yeah. She's a jerk. Yeah, it's been leaked for awhile now. I've been genuinely sad to hear it. The many industry trade articles and others at the very least confirm the pay situations. While we will never know if she did not interact with crew or many guests (although I 100% believe it, it's very common), we do know she did not take care of her people during Covid, and that is verifiable. Utterly inadequate, and worse, made it all about her. Not the people she let down. Not her loyal staff that she failed. So incredibly sad. I've never watched the show again after the October allegations, even though I still checked it out, thinking of my late mom. But yeah -- nope. I have no trouble believing this at all. It's honestly pretty standard with many celebs, unfortunately. Which is also (sadly for the celebs) one more way they distance themselves from reality and truly live in a bubble of unaccountability. I know people don't want to accept that Ellen isn't a kind person (it's awful to me because she seems so kind, and has promoted kindness, so I get it). And I want to note -- Ellen's show made my mother so happy during her final years (she passed away in 2013). She adored Ellen like I can't even tell you. Every single day, her timer and DVR were set to 4 p.m. for Ellen. It gave her joy. Every single weekday. And I had fun while caregiving Mom, watching Ellen with her -- and best of all, seeing my Mom's homophobia fade away. Mom had always been conservative, deeply Southern, and I'm sorry to say that while she was a largely wonderful person, she was deeply uncomfortable with homosexuality. She didn't wish harm or unequal rights, but she just sort of kept thinking they just needed to meet the right person of the opposite sex. So -- as someone with many gay friends and loved ones, one of my favorite things with caregiving Mom was being able to say, "You don't need to be scared of something just because it doesn't apply to you," and by the end of her life she was joking about her crush on Ellen, and being jealous of Portia. People can truly evolve and open their minds. But here's the thing -- I've always loved Ellen, there's one thing that's verifiable. Her actions. And I find them irrevocably unsupportive and insincere. And they are public record. Talk show hosts who paid their staffers through Covid include the following -- many from their own pockets: Trevor Noah (The Daily Show) John Oliver Seth Meyers Stephen Colbert Samantha Bee James Corden Jimmy Kimmel Howard Stern “Desus & Mero” Talk show hosts who did NOT pay their staffers through Covid: Ellen DeGeneres (cough, BE KIND) (And, I'm sure, many others, especially on Fox) PLUS: Ellen personally went out of her way to hire NON-UNION crew to take up the slack, in addition to not paying her staff. Who had not heard from anyone about their work or status until they saw that Ellen's show would continue -- with another crew. Ellen's personal worth is estimated at $300-400 million total. She earns approximately $88 million per year. So for me, yes, her behavior in this crisis is disgusting. Articles on this topic to back up facts: https://www.insider.com/ellen-degeneres-mean-backlash-nikkietutorials-timeline-2020-4 https://www.vulture.com/2020/05/james-corden-trevor-noah-paying-salaries-of-furlough-staff.html https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/ellen-crew-furious-over-poor-communication-regarding-pay-non-union-workers-during-coronavirus-shutdown-exclusive-1234582735/ https://www.vulture.com/2020/04/the-ellen-show-crew-communication-non-union-hire.html https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8228773/Ellen-DeGeneres-comes-fire-shows-crew-furious-communication.html https://www.telegram.com/entertainmentlife/20200515/howard-stern-trevor-noah-and-other-talk-show-hosts-are-giving-it-away-during-pandemic-lockdown https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/ellen-crew-furious-over-poor-communication-regarding-pay-non-union-workers-during-coronavirus-shutdown-exclusive-1234582735/ I always loved Ellen. But I'm a publicist who's done a fair share of entertainment PR work. These people's JOBS are to be charming. To be funny and publicly approachable. I've had terrible personal experiences with publicly "sweet" people you wouldn't believe. Who were the worst, meanest, most toxic, entitled people EVER. So yes, I believe the staffers about Ellen. I think she can probably also be loving and kind in her deeply insular bubble, the problem is, as with most of these -- is that she doesn't remember what real life is like anymore. The moment she compared living in her mansion in Covid to "being in prison," let's face it, this person has no idea of real life anymore. None. So that's my 2 cents. I do feel my opinion on Ellen is pretty irrevocably tarnished. But I'm so happy to know of so many who reached into their own pockets to make sure their teams were cared for. I'll love them forever. The saddest part is, Ellen could have done this, and promoted it as part of her "be kind" initiative, and the world would have loved her, and it would have cost her PENNIES on the approximately $90 million she makes per year. I mean, come on. So her penny-pinching and smugness just makes it worse here. So yeah, my opinion of Ellen is irrevocably changed. I don't hate her or wish her ill, but yes, I firmly believe she is exactly who the whispers paint her to be -- a rigid, cold, uncaring person whose money has tarnished her so much she doesn't even know how regular people live anymore. And she doesn't care how her own team lives or survives. She has demonstrated that repeatedly (and again with the half-assed "I will do better" apology, which included not one single step for her to actually improve her workplace, and which, I am 100% certain in hypothesizing, also came after she gutted her organization of people she felt were "disloyal." Ellen is a charming, likable, really good actress who is totally willing to ditch a team of employees who supported her since her first episode. I don't wish her ill -- I hope she learns from this, truly -- but I'm kind of happy that now people know that.
  11. In case it's of interest, a few links I pursued after watching the show -- all of these are fascinating. Some superb reviews and recaps: AV Club (Sean T. Collins Recaps -- absolutely terrific) https://www.avclub.com/c/tv-review/the-terror/season-1 Vulture https://www.vulture.com/2018/03/the-terror-recap-episode-1-premiere.html The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/05/the-terror-amc/559031/ Vox https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/3/26/17163368/the-terror-review-amc-dan-simmons-jared-harris The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/jun/12/the-terror-review-amc-ships-souls-and-spirits-are-crushed-in-the-arctic Collider https://collider.com/the-terror-tv-series-review-amc/ Further real-life historical analysis: I got really interested in the history behind it, so here are some useful links if anyone else wants to dive in: History Buffs: The Terror https://www.newsweek.com/terror-true-story-amc-real-history-series-horror-monster-862376 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/04/franklin-expedition-ship-watson-ice-ghosts/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/second-ship-sir-john-franklins-19th-century-expedition-found-180960437/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sir-john-franklins-doomed-ship-just-turned-arctic-after-170-years-180952658/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/heres-how-amc-producers-worked-inuit-fictionalized-franklin-expedition-show-180968643/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin's_lost_expedition https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/archaeologists-get-eerie-first-look-inside-arctic-shipwreck-franklin-hms-terror-180973011/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/divers-recover-more-than-350-artifacts-from-hms-erebus-shipwreck-180974251/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/537632/facts-about-the-franklin-expedition-the-terror
  12. On the plus side, the constant sunshine of those months would make it easier for them to navigate by landmarks -- we've seen pretty detailed maps in several scenes with the Captains and officers, Blanky, etc., so that probably helps when they aren't able to make true noon observations (or celestial ones). On the down side, I know this resulted in a lot of the men dealing with such further physical hurdles as being both freezing and sunburned at the same time, and dealing with snow-blindness hampering their vision. I've been to Alaska a few times, and also live in the Seattle area, so I've experienced white nights, and even in Seattle, in summer the sun goes down around 11 or so, and starts rising again at 3-4 a.m. In winter (right now, for instance), the it gets light very slowly, maybe by 10 a.m., and starts to get dark at 3 p.m., and it definitely affects your inner clock. I would agree with you that this had to affect the men as well, although after a few years in the Arctic at this point, perhaps they would have been used to it.
  13. I've been rewatching, and it's plain if you do so that Hickey has ALWAYS been a manipulator, an agitator and a psycho. I really missed so much of it the first time: Hickey's first scene is a master class of subtly sowing dissent and potential mutiny. He talks about the unfairness of their situation, that the dog is well-treated and how it's a waste of food and attention, and that it's unfair that a dog "that can walk the quarterdeck" (i.e., the officers' station) is higher positioned than they are. Again, this means something different when we look back -- at first, I just thought he was a scrappy guy envying officers. He's not. He's an evil man already manipulating people to his will. Hickey's next big scene is him stealing the ring from Young's dead body. I remember thinking he was a good guy here on first watch, but WATCH CLOSELY! He's not. The coffin lid shifts, and he looks down and sees the sparkle of the ring on Young's finger, right-hand-side of the open coffin. It glitters in the sun. The other men joke about moving the lid. Quoting piety, Hickey then goes down to "shift the lid," then we see him slip something (the ring) into a pocket, then smile, and disquietingly, the smile includes him sticking out his tongue in a kind of weird enjoyment. All while pretending to be a martyr to cover the corpse "as his father would have wanted." When Hickey is 'caught' in a compromising position with his lover Gibson belowdecks by Irving, Gibson comes out and simply looks a bit abashed. Hickey takes many seconds longer, then walks out from hiding, and THEN openly adjusts his fly, blatantly showing what they'd been up to and making Irving (and Gibson) complicit. He could have adjusted his fly before exiting, but he does so deliberately here. I remember when I first saw this I was on Hickey's (and Gibson's) sides, feeling for them having to hide their relationship. But here it is plain that it's just another machination of Hickey's -- he wanted Irving to see, in order to manipulate people into loyalty to him, and he gains two powerful holds here over both men. ALSO -- I thought (and I think most people thought) that Hickey shit in Gibson's bed for his blaming Hickey unfairly to Irving as a 'seducer.' But if you look back, Hickey is shitting in the officer IRVING'S bed -- the officer. He even tries on Irving's white glove and looks lovingly at his hand in the glove. Then shits on the bed, caressing the glove on his hand (which he is still wearing). Again, he is envying a status he doesn't have. Then, while the crew and marines are paying tribute to the loss of Captain Franklin, Hickey is down below and rifling through Crozier's papers (and of course discovering Crozier's original plan to strike out for help with a party on his own, even against Franklin's orders, and even though it would mean the end of his Navy career). In E4, Hickey and his handpicked crew of loyalists (already growing), go and kidnap Silence and then tell tales about her and the Tuunbaq. I firmly believe what Hickey tells here is total lies. Including his assertion that the Tuunbaq looked him in the eye -- TWICE -- and spared him. No. No, I don't believe it did. Hickey carries out a more successful racism campaign later in the series, when he murders an officer (I think it's Irving?) and ensures that a peaceful Inuit party is slaughtered (the worst irony here, beyond the evil and reprehensible bloodshed of good people including a child, is that this party could have saved them all -- gotten word to other villages and Inuit, helped to get them saved (and food and supplies). Even Hickey's over the top insubordination of Captain Crozier (and the ensuing lashes) simply helps him cement his status as a martyred outsider who was unfairly punished for a good deed. It's grotesque and subtle but it's there. (And we see Hickey's picked men trade glances while it takes place -- it's classic mutiny behavior. Hickey is using sympathy to build his own power base.) And this is all before Hickey's worst deeds -- lies, betrayal, mutiny, joyful murder (of peaceful Inuits and children, as well as of crewmates, colleagues and former lovers), and unrepentant cannibalism. The show blindsides us early on about Hickey and it's brilliant. He seems sympathetic, even admirable, because unless we look closely, he's just a good-hearted guy who had to hide his orientation, who helped cover a coffin and then overreached to "save the crew" from an "evil" Inuit girl -- and got flogged. But, as I noted in the rewatch thread, just in the first 4 episodes I rewatched, for me it is plain that Hickey is a bad, manipulative man from moment one, and one who is subtly gathering threads of loyalty to himself for future manipulation. He does not care about shame or theft or death. He is already turning this survival situation into his own private game. Oh, this! All of this! I 100% agree. Hickey brings on each new level of increasing evil upon them all. He is a horrible person in every way. No soul at all.
  14. Oh, gosh, I didn't realize that. I'm so sorry! Will fix ASAP.
  15. paramitch

    The Rewatch

    @Captanne, this. I decided to do an almost instant rewatch to see what I'd missed, and it's been immensely rewarding. I felt exactly the same way. I was gushing to friends about it all weekend and just telling everyone "Watch 'The Terror,' it's incredible." And knowing they probably wouldn't! Aghgh. Meanwhile, the rewatch. Just wow. I've caught so much. And that early sight by Collins of the dead sailor underwater -- and that feeling of lonely dread! Just incredible foreshadowing. As are all of the conversations around the Captain's table. Loved the tiny detail of Captain Franklin pulling out a piece of lead from his meal in an early episode (I think after they've been stalled 8 months or so), and setting it by his plate! And most importantly, as of Episode 3, Hickey has ALWAYS been a manipulator, an agitator and a psycho. I really missed so much of it the first time: Hickey's first scene is a master class of subtly sowing dissent and potential mutiny. He talks about the unfairness of their situation, that the dog is well-treated and how it's a waste of food and attention, and that it's unfair that a dog "that can walk the quarterdeck" (i.e., the officers' station) is higher positioned than they are. Again, this means something different when we look back -- at first, I just thought he was a scrappy guy envying officers. He's not. He's an evil man already manipulating people to his will. Hickey's next big scene is him stealing the ring from Young's dead body. I remember thinking he was a good guy here on first watch, but WATCH CLOSELY! He's not. The coffin lid shifts, and he looks down and sees the sparkle of the ring on Young's finger, right-hand-side of the open coffin. It glitters in the sun. The other men joke about moving the lid. Quoting piety, Hickey then goes down to "shift the lid," then we see him slip something (the ring) into a pocket, then smile, and disquietingly, the smile includes him sticking out his tongue in a kind of weird enjoyment. All while pretending to be a martyr to cover the corpse "as his father would have wanted." When Hickey is 'caught' in a compromising position with his lover Gibson belowdecks by Irving, Gibson comes out and simply looks a bit abashed. Hickey takes many seconds longer, then walks out from hiding, and THEN openly adjusts his fly, blatantly showing what they'd been up to and making Irving (and Gibson) complicit. He could have adjusted his fly before exiting, but he does so deliberately here. I remember when I first saw this I was on Hickey's (and Gibson's) sides, feeling for them having to hide their relationship. But here it is plain that it's just another machination of Hickey's -- he wanted Irving to see, in order to manipulate people into loyalty to him, and he gains two powerful holds here over both men. ALSO -- I thought (and I think most people thought) that Hickey shit in Gibson's bed for his blaming Hickey unfairly to Irving as a 'seducer.' But if you look back, Hickey is shitting in the officer IRVING'S bed -- the officer. He even tries on Irving's white glove and looks lovingly at his hand in the glove. Then shits on the bed, caressing the glove on his hand (which he is still wearing). Again, he is envying a status he doesn't have. Then, while the crew and marines are paying tribute to the loss of Captain Franklin, Hickey is down below and rifling through Crozier's papers (and of course discovering Crozier's original plan to strike out for help with a party on his own, even against Franklin's orders, and even though it would mean the end of his Navy career). So, just in the first 3 episodes I rewatched, for me it is plain that Hickey is a bad, manipulative man from moment one, and one who is subtly gathering threads of loyalty to himself for future manipulation. He does not care about shame or theft or death. He is already turning this survival situation into his own private game. Also, last but not least (I'm finishing E3), I'd forgotten that Blanky forgot the words to the captain's funeral hymn (and it is a line about death, "Oh, death, come close mine eyes," which I'm sure is a deliberate thing -- for me it continues the subtext that this entire show is about the confrontation with and acceptance of death). Further, it's touching to see how wildly upset Fitzjames is over the captain's death. He runs out bravely after his attack with a rifle, and is later absolutely destroyed and tearful as Crozier takes command. He's respectful, though, so it's touching to see his relationship with Crozier already begin to edge toward understanding.
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