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sjohnson

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  1. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    slf John and Sonya were effectively married. It's hard to get legally married when you have legal hazard walking into a courthouse. It's true that John officially claimed not to be with Sonya. The commanding officer is not supposed to sleep with his subordinates. Between dialogue saying they weren't a couple and what I saw on screen, I go with what I saw. (For this show that appears to be a minority viewpoint.)
  2. sjohnson

    S02.E02: unMoored

    Sometimes I can't tell how literally to read comments, without tone of voice or body language to help. Also, I don't know if the lyrics are changed. But I'm pretty sure if Andy could tear apart concrete and steel, then he could tear flesh and bone. The fact that Andy has only pushed people tells us who he is, and it's not someone letting go. The writing seems to be more of the kind that sees vicarious wish-fulfillment figures emoting as the payoff to a scene. I'm not sure the writers don't just think of Andy as a pussy who can't do what it takes. But then, the real explanation may be that they don't actually think of Andy as anything but a foil.
  3. sjohnson

    S02.E02: unMoored

    Perfect Xero I rather agree with you about Reed being hard-hearted if I relate what he's doing to real life situations. And I agree the show doesn't think Reed's in the wrong. But I don't think it's because the show would have us believe Andy doesn't need protection. The show clearly wants us to see Andy as weak and naive. But Andy's on team blue state, which is like being a revolutionary and that is unforgivable, despicable, terrifying, even as it is weak and naive. The thing is, lots of people value "strength," as in being a winner, (Andy is the loser on the show,) and cunning, and see weak and naive as contemptible. That's sort of contradictory, but political demonization works that way in real life. The show wants us to enjoy the affirmation of rightness (aka the status quo) when in the end Andy and his cohorts in evil are killed. Evangeline Whedon was no more supposed to be seen as hard-hearted than Reed when she suggested killing Lorna and Andy. The show isn't really interested in Andy which is why the character isn't really written and doesn't exist off screen. The thing is, even in its own terms, Lauren is a weak character when she has no genuine choices to make. They've already written themselves into a corner where if she does much of anything but kick him to the curb, she is an idiot like Caitlin. At this point she can only want him back if she wants to be Fenris. But that is not supported by anything on screen, except a lonely line of dialogue last season. At the end of the season, Polaris and Marcos and Andy made huge choices in response to the failure of the Mutant Underground, saving everyone by stopping Campbell. By jumping ahead six months to cover up the failure of the Mutant Underground, team red state has no challenges to resolve, except to punish the traitors. Polaris has no reason to be where she is either. Katsullivan Laughter is a useful defense mechanism. It is not a thought, much less an argument. If The Gifted lasts long enough to attract widespread notice, don't be surprised at the porn parody. But, supposing your non-interpretation of what's on-screen, narrowing focus to the literal reading of some of the dialogue is somehow correct, then you must have some understanding of what's happening. Thus when Lauren bursts out about killing fifteen people and slams Reed for not thinking about what Andy's return would mean for her? What obvious thing is Reed overlooking about Andy's return will make that worse?
  4. sjohnson

    S02.E02: unMoored

    Reed rejects Andy for the same reason Marcos rejects Lorna: Politics. Reed and Marcos are team red state, so when they insist their supposed loved ones do things their way, they're right and good. Also, the writers know exactly what they're doing with Andy/Lauren, which is a plausible deniability version of the Lannisters where of course it's simply rape, because this is modern times. As the perfect hero he must reject Andy. Caitlin is portrayed as less rational. I suppose they think agency for so many female characters makes this just a personal idiosyncrasy rather than because mother's are irrational about their sons.
  5. sjohnson

    S02.E02: unMoored

    Nobody sighted in North Carolina attacking the Humanity Today summit and assassinating a Senator (and the real target, Campbell,) is thought to be dead in a mysterious explosion in Atlanta. The catastrophe was in North Carolina, if you believe killing a Senator is unforgivable. But the red state team thinks the Hounds/Hound pair getting killed was unforgivable, just like killing guards to rescue the group at Trask was unforgivable, so they talk about "Atlanta." It seems we are to think the Hound program never existed and nobody saved anyone by stopping it. Lauren’s idea that she took the Hounds away from their families borders on the offensive, like her forgetting Cristina’s parents were killed two days before. A six month time jump so they can gloss over the absurdity of their comeback still takes a toll on the internal coherence of the story. Lauren would rather throw herself off a building to avoid a Fate Worse Than Death. Of course Andy’s innate vileness won’t let him see what’s wrong with raping his sister. To emphasize the point that Andy is contemptible, we get to laugh at him running into a wall....twice. Good times! Reeva knows the Struckers are like a set of dueling pistols: The complete set is much much more valuable. And it’s still true that Strucker mutation is dominant, and even an otherwise useless Andy can breed soldiers. And it’s especially true that killing your allies is no way to win loyalty. The subplot about killing Andy was about blackening Reeva’s character at the expense of making the character stupid. And about Andy telling the Inner Circle where the DC Mutant Underground is. Even a monster like Reeva can feign humanity when given a treat like that. There was by the no way no training for the whole six months because Andy is a minor character who doesn't exist when off screen, just like Bulk and Fade. The chances that a lawyer cured John’s drug addiction by chaining him to a bed range from zero to none, as the cliche has it. Dreamer no doubt helped him, except the show is building up Blink, so Dreamer’s disappeared from his biography. Bathroom sex because they imagine him chained to a bed? Oh, yeah, they’re really into Blink. John is of course an ineffective leader. In one way it’s not his fault, because the Mutant Underground strategy of keeping your head down and occasionally serving up the corpse of a militant is doomed to failure. Attrition by the remorseless grind of uncontrolled events guarantees it. Marcos had a lovely moment but the truth still is that he ditched Lorna over politics. Campbell's life was more important than his love. "Suppress and repress! That's the Strucker way!" Oh, yes. And it's not just Reed, it's Lauren too. What does it mean to her when Andy comes home? How could Reed and Caitlin possibly have any idea? Worse, the audience.
  6. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    Can't see this as right. Also, the first hand holding scene in the flashback is the precedent. For better or for worse, it's the show that has sexualized the Fenris visuals. Most of all, as to this scene, a disagreement over politics doesn't make Lauren scream in terror when she wakes up. That was not, oh noes I'm tempted by the dark side! That was, my own brother EEEEEEEE! Also, team red state is pure, while team blue state is eeeeevil.
  7. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    Do have to interject: C-section in an unfinished glass cage seems like not-an-option to me. But maybe I'm just a coward.
  8. sjohnson

    S01.E02: Reentry

    Again, I'm quite unconvinced the US government is so competent that it could have locked down the passengers after the news broke they were back. However I'm also convinced a simple phone call to the networks by Someone In Authority would lead them all to downplay events as much as possible. And the outright spooky elements, like the not aging, treated as merely a claim, not a mind boggling. But then, I tend to think of the news as mostly government stenography, with different viewpoints copying different factions. Part of the problem is that it's hard to show mass reaction without hiring expensive masses actors. And I'm afraid I agree with the producers that a lot of the audience wouldn't care about strangers on screen just to represent ordinary people.
  9. sjohnson

    S01.E02: Reentry

    The music in the head for Ben and Adio's dad was the ringtone. Dad heard it so that he would attract Ben's attention and lead Ben to Adio and prove the tune was a sign and a wonder. And of course the other point was the tune was the thief's ringtone and his phone ringing would attract Ben to Adio's happy ending. God sent them to watch the plane blow up so they would be singled out. There is no actual reason to think they went anywhere. They just jumped from 2013 to 2018. If they had gone somewhere they would have aged. They're the same age, they didn't go anywhere. Whatever the writers think they're doing, they are almost certainly going to contradict themselves and then pretend there are two (or more) factions working at cross-purposes. Otherwise we end up with a God who is an Idiot, which is anticlimactic. (Well, technically a Manichean God and Devil could work, but nobody is a Manichean.) The story lines still won't make sense. If they stick with bad SF, they'll just rely on paradoxes somehow being "real." Ben straightforwardly pleading for his wife to come back to him and instantly taking up her offer to cheat on her current lover is both more forgiving than Sis, and more selfish. But in audience terms it makes him a cuckold, which is antiheroic. Michaela nobly denying herself is suffering heroine. I'm not sure how Olive feels about her dad, her twin or her step. She does look down on her mother, which I guess is just the Wisdom of the Young and Pure.
  10. sjohnson

    S01.E02: Reentry

    Don't believe in Clarke's Third Law. But a character invoking it is supposed to leave it open to a handwaving natural explanation. Already forgotten who wasn't too pleased with the way God was doing things. Always good to have characters notice what's going on, makes them more like people. The guy invoking rights didn't say anything about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar, or the horse is already out of the barn. We should count our blessings I suppose. Cal's guardian angel is not the one who shot the woman, I'm sure.
  11. sjohnson

    God Friended Me

    Judging from the first few minutes, God does miracles to save soul of witless atheist. Well, I wish God did miracles to help people, but He doesn't. (Don't ask me to justify or condemn this policy of His, that's above my pay grade.) When the rabbi who believes in physical miracles (something by the way that lots and lots and lots of high-toned believers claim *not* to believe) asks the lead "What happened to you?" this is the show explaining it's about how miracles are done to cure his lack of faith. That's Signs, except stretched out. Gonna pass. I liked the lead, but I though Jason Ritter was even more charming, and much funnier, and much more believable as someone who needed divine help to boot.
  12. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    I'm getting a little shocked that so many people thought Andy's first season hairstyle was better. To my eyes the bleach job doesn't make him look so pallid. I thought first season was a lot like Jaime Murray on Dexter, except none of the other characters notice his Canadian tan. The dude matches Polaris pretty well, and I think she's getting chalked in makeup. I don't know if Natalie Alyn Lind is a natural blonde still, but her complexion is noticeably darker than Percy Hynes White or Amy Acker, to my eyes at least. Of course the best thing would have been short hair the actor had in the two movies released recently. If anything, the do in season one was a ridiculous attempt to make him look more juvenile, as unlike a lot of child actors, he's not particularly short. The show hates Andy, so we're supposed to hate Andy. But I'm feeling a little resistant, because at this point the show has actually ended up endorsing those guys who were attacking Andy: They knew what a nasty little shit he really is, and did what any decent person would do. Like True Blood, the actual story contradicts the verbiage from characters (and producers/actors too.) Worse, that's an unpleasant attitude. Even if you tell yourself Andy=Carrie, Carrie is still a monster, whose death is the happy ending, especially as a scapegoat for our guilty displaced wishes to kill all those HS assholes. Aside from the one-note evil, Andy is not really characterized. Formally he's a major character. And even more he's formally lined up to be a major part of the Lauren story. But he's not really a major character. We have a fifteen year old runaway hanging with supervillains. Does his cover include school? Is he driving a hot new car? Is he drinking at adult parties? Does he smoke pot, or experiment with drugs? The first episode established he is unattractive to women, so does he rent? Basically he's a placeholder, a mere foil for Lauren, and doesn't really exist off screen. The thing is, having a black cardboard cutout opposite Lauren doesn't give the actress anything to work with. Reeva Paige supposedly wants powerful mutants to build a mutant homeland. Obviously since the Strucker mutations are dominant, she wants Andy to breed new soldiers, no? But no minor character is going to be so important to the long term plot. The vision tells us he wants to rape his sister, which is pretty evil, but, forget for a moment whether it's really believable for what little we know about "Andy." Lauren is naturally terrified by Andy's sexual assault. That's why she screamed so loudly. It's not like the dream was about the temptation to be Fenris powerful. The real thing is, why didn't she talk to her parents?
  13. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    on the one hand, Polaris ended the Hound program by assassinating Campbell...Justice done the only way it could be in my opinion. I'm actually skeptical that the necessary information plus all the surviving Hound program graduates wouldn't have been started up again without him (and Montez.) But both parties and the episode apparently resolve all the implausibilities with a six month closing of the eyes. But then, like the Frosts saving Blink and Lauren from Trask, resisting government officials is deplorable when it leads to the deaths of authority figures. (This is official, Lauren was as much or more upset about the guards' deaths, not Sonya's.) Thus this is evil, and Polaris is evil. on the other hand, Polaris gets misty eyed thinking about her man, and is willing to sacrifice herself in giving birth. This is a resounding affirmation of marriage (not legally, yes, but still) and motherhood. So this is good, and Polaris is good. It's true that Marcos ditched her for being evil, but suffering is redemptive. Is Polaris scheduled to return to the good side?
  14. sjohnson

    S02.E01: eMergence

    I think the main points were 1) the Hellfire Club has been replaced 2) the Inner Circle is evil, evil, evil, evil because a) Polaris is crazy, b) Reeva Payge is a black militant c) Andy sexually assaults his own sister* 3) Eclipse ditched his wife for political disagreement and now he is going crazy because he wants to kidnap the baby 4) for no reason, Reed is developing superpowers that for no reason he doesn’t want, even though he was already slated to be experiment on. On the non-development side, Blink has of course latched onto the guy she hit on after his wife’s funeral, John is still ineffective, Lauren is still a blank, and Caitlin still talks like a soccer mom but always breaks bad when it comes to a showdown. As to whether it's good? Well, using a six month gap to wish away the obstacles and make the Mutant Underground effective non-violence is indeed a cheap shot. No, you can't finesse it by saying the government thinks they're dead. In particular, the government does not think anyone involved in the attack in Charlotte was killed in Atlanta. So that was flagrantly stupid. The idea that working "shelters" is good intelligence gathering would be bonkers, if it weren't obvious it was merely supposed to exalt Lauren. Whether it's homeless shelters, or battered wives shelters, is irrelevant. It's like Colleen Wing working a community center, it's a nobility marker. Last and least, I don't find Andy's new hair style particularly attractive either, but then, the care Marcos lavishes on keeping his stubble exactly the right length to just not quite be a *beard* looks equally foolish to me. So what do I know? *The blonde woman whose hair slo-mo blows in a wind from nowhere while lit in a golden haze is such a cliche for sexy that it’s been used as a visual joke. Thus when Andy clenches her hand and won’t let it go, visually it is rape. Rape adjacent at least. Given that Lauren magically knows what Andy looks like now, it is obvious this is supposed to be a true thing about the character. Lauren doesn’t seem to want Andy, but then, apparently Natalie Alyn Lind has been directed to keep facial expressions from distracting attention from her breasts.
  15. sjohnson

    S01.E01: Pilot

    On the issue of public reaction to their not aging being underplayed? My guess is that a lot of people don't understand they haven't aged. The doctors reaction to Cody's case was entirely based on the ingrained assumption. They were even surprised he was still alive. Saanvi had to reiterate the point. To be very even-handed, looking pretty much the same would really only be remarkable in children.
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