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  1. I really like Joey and wish we could have kept him, his trepidation made him a great counterfoil to the more gung-ho Yoyo. I like his story as written, though, short as it is - it feels natural enough that not all the Inhumans Daisy helped make the transition would want to be agents. Joey tried it, hated being responsible for a person's death, and decided the job wasn't for him. He got a solid character arc from the first discovery of his powers, though learning to control them, to parting company with SHIELD, and I do appreciate a well-constructed character arc. I also really like Rosalind and really wish we could have kept her, too! To answer @BaggythePanther's question, I'm fairly certain that Will's death and Ward becoming Hive was always, always the plan. You know, because: Ward. Made for a grand finale for a character and actor who'd been with the show from the start. Will was never anything more than a plot device to a) keep Jemma alive on an inhospitable planet where she should otherwise have died, and b) further complicate the Fitzsimmons relationship.
  2. Yes! I'm really impressed by how well all the details hold together, over seven seasons. The writing team did a great job of understanding (and remembering) the finer details of the universe they created, weaving everything together to create a coherent tapestry. I don't notice much contradiction over the seasons, but I do notice how well everything fits together, the storytelling constantly reaching back into its own history to draw out new nuance. Yeah, the backstory with Kora really explains a lot about Jiaying and why she ended up volunteering at the same clinic as Cal - she was studying to be a doctor, Cal told us in S2, and had intended to return to Milwaukee with him to finish her training. Linking that story to the backstory about Kora's suicide suggests that Jiaying pretty much fled Afterlife after her daughter's death and tried to bury herself in a new life. I wonder, though, if the village where she met Cal was the village she originally came from, her original home? I think it probably was, since Whitehall seemed to know where to look for her. How unfortunate that she returned there just as Whitehall was released from prison after so many years! I think the only thing we know about Simmons's parents is that they exist and are still together, because they are always spoken of as a unit and she has them listed under the same number in her phone. When she thought she was going to die in S1 she told Coulson to tell her dad first, so he could soften the blow for her mum. The impression I got was that they are resoundingly normal people who would not understand the life Jemma leads in the slightest. Oh, and we know they live in Sheffield - Coulson talked about going to Sheffield to give them the bad news after Simmons got sucked into the portal in the S2 finale. We don't really know much about Elena's family, either, beyond the cousin who died in her first episode and the sad backstory about her uncle being murdered that we got in S7. I would add Bobbi and Hunter to that list, as their only backstory was with each other, but they weren't really around long enough to be explored in depth. On this re-watch for the first time I remembered to watch Age of Ultron in its proper place in the season, between 2-19 and 2.20 - I think that's the last real tie-in, isn't it, that is alluded to in the show? Other than a couple of vague references to Thanos in S5 that never got paid off, that is.
  3. Got to admit, I'm a little worried about Boyega at the moment. He has had some awful experiences and seems to be under so much stress 😞
  4. Maybe it's just me. Sometimes an actor just doesn't work for you personally, a chemistry thing - like how I've never liked Benedict Cumberbatch and most people think I'm crazy for that! 😄 I always forget how much I enjoy that run of episodes in the second half of S2, when SHIELD seems to be splintering into factions again and no one is entirely sure who to trust, and Skye is tentatively bonding with her parents and finally discovering her own history and identity, for which she has longed for so long, and Ward is in the mix again like the wild card he is, and Afterlife seems like such a wonderful place, before it all goes to hell, and it's all just really well done. I don't know how much of the storytelling was planned how far in advance, but it all holds together really well, picking up story and character strands that were seeded way back at the very start of the show - not just for Skye but also May, with the Bahrain backstory that finally pays off here, giving us painful new insight into her psyche.
  5. I don't think we see a great deal more of Charlotte in the books than we do on TV, but we spend a lot of time inside Strike's head and he spends a lot of time thinking about her, which means we get quite an in-depth understanding of Strike's opinion of Charlotte and their history together, which is not quite the same thing as being allowed to get to know Charlotte herself. That said, their relationship and history are definitely a lot more nuanced in the book, which I think is always going to be the case. I think one of the problems any adaptation of the Strike novels faces is that these books are quite internal, so to speak. A lot is revealed about the main characters through their inner monologue, which doesn't translate well to the screen. I imagine it would be a lot simpler to adapt Miss Marple or Poirot mysteries, in comparison, because they focus heavily on the case at hand and don't really spend much time exploring the inner lives and relationships and interpersonal dynamics of the detectives. Recurring bit parts aren't really the same thing as a strong secondary cast who are allowed to exist and develop within the story as individuals in their own right. The Strike series doesn't really have any genuine secondary characters. Even occasionally recurring characters are only ever seen or heard of when they are useful to the plot. I mean, an entire sub-plot around Strike's sister and her family was removed from this series because it had no bearing on the main storyline and both Strike and Robin's personal stories could be pushed forward without it. And yet the existence of that sub-plot in the book was really good development for them both and did impact on both of their personal stories, gave Strike in particular much more dimension than he got to have on-screen, so it was a shame to lose it. Having seen the furore today over the upcoming fifth Strike novel, I think this might be my final foray into the Strike universe. I like the lead characters and really appreciate what they each represent, a disabled man forging his own path through the world and a woman who struggles with her mental health but is still allowed to be good at her job, but that just isn't enough for me to continue engaging with Rowling as her prejudices find their way onto the page more and more.
  6. Hmm. I'm inclined to blame both, because a really strong actor can elevate that kind of material and really sell it in spite of any contradictions. The biggest problem I have with Lincoln is that he just comes across as really bland even when his story should be genuinely compelling, like when he's on the run in S3 with his whole world imploding and doesn't know who to trust. Plenty of actors in this show managed to do a lot more with a lot less.
  7. Me too! I love S1, and I don't think any of those early episodes were wasted or meaningless. Every one of them serves a purpose, establishing and building the characters and their relationships and the universe in which they operate. Lincoln just showed up in my re-watch and my heart sank. That character just really never gelled, for me, and I'm never quite sure why. Is it the writing or the actor? I lean toward the actor. The character always seems really weak, but I think a stronger actor could have elevated him. As it is, he just comes across to me as a charisma black hole. Chloe Bennet does a good job of selling why Skye/Daisy falls for him, but Lincoln himself...no, I get nothing. And yet his angst after the fall of Afterlife should be compelling! I think it's the actor - with apologies to his fans!so Also, the Real SHIELD crew are bugging me all over again. As believable as it is that a vast organisation like SHIELD would splinter into multiple factions after its fall, none of them sure who to trust, the way it plays out with Bobbi and Mack's little coup just doesn't quite work for me. It seems such a counter-productive approach for their faction to take. I love Coulson and Hunter (and then Fitz) on the run, though.
  8. Well, now that all 4 episodes of Lethal White have aired, my main observation is that the story as told in the novel really needed more than 4 episodes, to truly do it justice. They had to boil it down to its basest constituents to fit it all in, and all the sub-plots and characters suffered as a result. The fifth novel is due out soon and is apparently another 300 pages longer again than Lethal White - this series seems to be going the same way as Harry Potter, getting longer and longer with each successive book. They are definitely going to need more than 4 episodes for that one! Not making quite so many changes or adding any new stuff would be good, too.
  9. Too little, too late, for my money. I needed the show to acknowledge in the moment that the Doctor was in the wrong in what he did. Instead it supported his claim to the moral high ground, upheld his action as morally justified, which it absolutely was not. A mini arc about him being out of control more than two full seasons later was way too late to reflect any retrospective critique on his actions in that first Christmas special, and he certainly never apologised for what he did, either to Harriet or to the course of human history, which he materially altered for the worse. His past selves would be ashamed of him. Every one of them knew better. The Third Doctor faced a similar moment when the Brigadier took punitive action against an enemy the Doctor had negotiated a truce with. He was similarly furious then. But he knew better than to destroy his ally over it; he had a much clearer grasp of the big picture.
  10. Heck yeah, that one still burns, even all these years later. Not even so much that the Doctor did it, because lashing out in a moment of self-righteous fury strikes a strong character note for him, but more that the show never called him out for it, played him as the morally virtuous hero standing proudly on the moral high ground while destroying a loyal ally for the terrible crime of defending her planet. It still enrages me now. If the show had ever truly acknowledged that he overstepped the mark on that one, that he was a hypocrite who did the wrong thing, I might not mind so much. I mean, he'd even told us that Harriet Jones was supposed to oversee a golden age, and he then changed the course of human history by tearing her down like that, which led directly to the Master's reign of terror in the following season, and neither the show nor the Doctor ever acknowledged his culpability for that.
  11. Diana Rigg's final TV performance was in the new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, which is currently airing in the UK - she made her first appearance as Mrs Pumphrey just this week. 😞
  12. Gilmore Girls. Rory is already 16 in the pilot, Lorelai explicitly says so on-screen. Then she celebrates her 16th birthday a few episodes later. Also, Luke's diner gets a complete remodel between the pilot and second episode - the diner we are later told that he has never, ever re-decorated or changed in any way since converting it from the hardware store it used to be.
  13. All of which proves that a lot of the SHIELD old guard learned nothing from the whole Hydra situation, even while believing they had. They responded by mistrusting one another and hoarding resources in small cells, doubling down, instead of sharing and cooperating with one another to rebuild trust. The Real SHIELD crew talked a good talk about transparency and how bad it is that Coulson, as Director, keeps secrets from his agents, but all the while they themselves were keeping secrets and lying and hiding in the shadows. Re-watching this arc, the Real SHIELD gang make a big noise about how they had to set up on their own because Coulson was crazy, with the compulsive alien writing and whatnot, but Bobbi and Mack were already in place, spying for Gonzalez, before any of that was revealed. Which means that in the beginning, it was more a case of, 'oh, looks like Fury has chosen Coulson as his successor, not sure I agree with that, so let's send in some spies in search of evidence to justify a coup'. The senior agents like Gonzalez never even tried to work with Coulson, instead they let him believe they were dead, even while he was reaching out to all the former agents he could find alive, trying to bring all the loyal agents in out of the cold.
  14. I dunno. Coulson was the one on Talbot's radar, and he had an entire secret base full of secondary red shirt agents, engineers and technicians, plus multiple enormous aircraft including the Bus. Not to mention, Gonzalez seemed content to sit back in the shadows while Coulson's team were more openly fighting the good fight and taking all the heat. How much shielding of society did Gonzalez's gang actually achieve from their aircraft carrier? If they spent most of their time in covert mode, spying on another SHIELD cell instead of more pro-actively working against Hydra, etc, it seems reasonable that they remained overlooked, with the attention of the armed forces elsewhere (namely, on Coulson). And, sometimes you just have to suspend disbelief and go with the flow!
  15. Given that they like to film on location across both Wales and England, they are going to have to be cautious even here because the regulations are slightly different in each country, which might also have an impact on filming. I guess they are just going to have to get creative!
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