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S06.E03: Killer Robots

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Elizabeth considers using autonomous unmanned weapons to pursue the mastermind of the gas attack. Blake is questioned. The First Couple search for the perfect dog.

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Blake is engaged! Military guy engages in treason and is perp-walked out! Henry proves that he was born to be FGOTUS by coming home with the perfect dog.

I love how Russell's behavior toward Bess has changed. And that she has very good reason for the world powers NOT to develop and use killer robots. (Though I wonder if her SoS felt diplomat-blocked by Bess's meeting with the Russian and Chinese ministers.)

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FDOTUS looks like a winner.

The PSA on killer robots was a little bit of a stretch; I don't think it's that easy to wrap up and put a bow on it even if China and Russia held hands with the US and sang Kumbaya, no matter how nice that would be.

So, no Stevie + Blake.

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Good job on the trilateral negotiations between the US, China, and Russia.  Because, you know, no other countries in the world have the skills or the technology to develop software like that.  Ask the Sony Corporation about North Korea.  Instead, the US should be working hard on developing anti-AI programs, if we don't want to get involved in using killer robots. 

Of course Henry picks a lovable mutt to be the FDOTUS.  But, the search for the right dog did ring a bit true.  People in power always, always look at the optics of their choices.

Note to Ambassador Harriman - Even in the afterlife, the lug nuts aren't located under the hood.  And I want one of those chingaderas in your toolbox, whatever it was.

Although he went about it all wrong, I tend to side a bit with the Admiral.  We should not be sacrificing our military when there are better solutions available.  The bunker buster bomb wasn't the answer, either.  The one we dropped earlier in Afghanistan did not do nearly the damage that the military wanted.  Rather than commit troops to a ground operation, they could have set a guidance crew on the ground at a safe distance and used highly accurate missiles.  That's been done before in real life.  But, the entire purpose of that choice, I acknowledge, was to have the discussion about the ethics (ding ding ding, paging Henry) of using AI to kill each other. 

I got a kick out of Blake pressing the Senator's buttons by describing his relationship drama.  But will he cheat on him with Stevie?  Stay tuned!

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There is a 0% chance Elizabeth McCord, POTUS and former Secretary of State, wouldn't know that South Ossetia is a semi-autonomous, lawless region within the Caucasian country of Georgia.  That is one of those problem areas of which any competent SoS or POTUS would be aware.  Really, of course, the writers just think the viewers need it spelled out for them very obviously, and it was really condescending.  I hate it when they make characters who should know things not know those things because the writers think we the viewers are too stupid to follow along.  It was very lazy writing.

I agree wholeheartedly on killer robots being a really, REALLY horrible idea, but it was really heavy-handedly dealt with here.

Awww, Blake and Trevor!!  I like Blake and Stevie as friends, so this was a lovely development.

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6 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

But, the search for the right dog did ring a bit true.  People in power always, always look at the optics of their choices.

I was surprised that "rescued dog, not from a breeder" did not come up in the first conversation.  And beagles (one of the "approved" breeds) were bred as hunting dogs.

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And Bess expressed interest in the DEA washout beagle when she was SOS. (The one that Daisy took home.)

I like that we can see a departed character in a dream...and the callback to him with the picture Bess has of him in her office with the button she gave him. (And, Harriman's influence still being felt in Russell's new assistant.)

I'm hoping that Keith Carradine is available for guest spots, because Bess has talked about what Conrad would do a couple of times now. And I can see her turning to her longtime mentor for insights,

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1 hour ago, Driad said:

Article just came in:  Military artificial intelligence can be easily and dangerously fooled 

(Not everyone will be able to read the full article, but the headline gives the idea.)

The author of that article (Will Knight) is cited in this public article, which mentions military use of AI, Russia and Chinahttps://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R45178.pdf
I wonder if the writers or their experts read it. 

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People in power always, always look at the optics of their choices.

I'm with @Driad on this. Why wouldn't their first choice not be a mutt from the pound? I thought they might adopt a disabled dog (fondly remembering Ben-Hur Brown). 

I think it's good this show is winding down. Go out with some dignity intact.

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I'm really tired of having Henry sit in those White House meetings.  Don't think that it's his place.  The show is really wearing on me.

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I'm happy for Blake because I love him, but who the heck is Trevor?  Am I clueless in having zero idea there was a Trevor in Blake's life -- and a quite serious, long, now-fiancee relationship at that?

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1 hour ago, MerBearHou said:

I'm happy for Blake because I love him, but who the heck is Trevor?  Am I clueless in having zero idea there was a Trevor in Blake's life -- and a quite serious, long, now-fiancee relationship at that?

Now that you mention it, I’m guessing the same black hole that swallowed up Jay and Matt spit out Trevor. 

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3 hours ago, MerBearHou said:

I'm happy for Blake because I love him, but who the heck is Trevor?  Am I clueless in having zero idea there was a Trevor in Blake's life -- and a quite serious, long, now-fiancee relationship at that?

I want to say he showed up once before a few seasons ago as someone Blake once dated.  I don't know that he has been seen since.  I agree that Blake's serious relationship with him seems to have come out of nowhere. 

And am I the only one who rolled their eyes when Henry was in the killer robot meeting?  

Also, Bess' blue silk tie with blue vest combo felt like it was something a stripper might wear as part of their routine.  All she needed was a straw hat and cane.  She's worn variations of that look before, and it has never looked good to me.  

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1 hour ago, txhorns79 said:

Bess' blue silk tie with blue vest combo felt like it was something a stripper might wear as part of their routine

LOL. She had at least two of those silk, noose-like ties. If they are going to be part of her regular attire, I will be glad this is the last season.

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An interview with whoever chooses Bess's outfits would be interesting. Remember the 3/4 sleeve jackets over long sleeve blouses. I would like to know what image of Bess they are trying to get across ... maybe she never looks at photos of herself?

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Tea Leoni is so attractive and I think she wants Bess to be someone who *almost* doesn’t give a shit about being attractive.  She’s put-together just enough to look professional but doesn’t want to call attention to herself because of her looks.  She wants Bess to be seen for her smarts, not her looks.  Therefore, her clothes are basic, boring sometimes, borderline frumpy sometimes.  Oh, gosh, yes — the 3/4 jacket over the long-sleeve blouses!  The black bras under the ivory tops that are almost always untucked in the back.  A sporty girl from a horse farm.

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38 minutes ago, MerBearHou said:

Tea Leoni is so attractive and I think she wants Bess to be someone who *almost* doesn’t give a shit about being attractive.  She’s put-together just enough to look professional but doesn’t want to call attention to herself because of her looks.  She wants Bess to be seen for her smarts, not her looks.  Therefore, her clothes are basic, boring sometimes, borderline frumpy sometimes.  Oh, gosh, yes — the 3/4 jacket over the long-sleeve blouses!  The black bras under the ivory tops that are almost always untucked in the back.  A sporty girl from a horse farm.

Yes, and I’ve expressed similar sentiments about her wardrobe, but the ties really bother me. 

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2 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Yes, and I’ve expressed similar sentiments about her wardrobe, but the ties really bother me. 

Ditto — I hate the ties!

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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

LOL. She had at least two of those silk, noose-like ties. If they are going to be part of her regular attire, I will be glad this is the last season.

Can't stand those ties around her neck; come to think of it starting to feel the same way about the show.

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What's the deal with the Wentworth Miller mustache-twirling, growly voiced, bad guy routine?  I know he's actually in his 40's, but he looks about 19 up there.  It's approaching laughable territory.  And every question they had him ask had such an obvious answer by Blake & his lawyer. 

Really a waste of time, as we know they won't find anything improper at the end and they have so many other storylines they could use to help wrap up the show.

And seriously?  No FCOTUS?  Haven't they heard recently that the White House has rodent problem?  

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9 hours ago, Kleav said:

The McCords are definitely dog people.

Well, horse people too. (I confess I would've liked to see a storyline about her trying to open the White House stables back up. The lines about losing Lady could've just as easily been about Buttercup.)

I appreciated the nod to Gordon, but none for Waffles?

The business with the 6-week-old puppy was odd; why not just put her back with her litter until she's a little older then? Her breeder wouldn't keep her for that much longer after weaning whether she went to the McCords or anyone else. (Indeed, I'd bet they already had a buyer lined up for her before they realized they had a chance for one of their dogs to be FDOTUS.) But yeah, all said a shelter dog was the obvious politically-correct choice.

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I did some research after my original post, as I had never heard of a Portuguese Water Dog.  President Obama did state that they were actively looking for a shelter dog, but instead chose two PWDs from breeders, although one was a returned animal, and the other was a gift from Sen. Kennedy.  I thought, at the time, that it was an odd choice, being rather rare, but everyone has their reasons. 

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On 10/21/2019 at 9:33 AM, Driad said:

And beagles (one of the "approved" breeds) were bred as hunting dogs.

So are Dachshunds.  So what?

On 10/21/2019 at 3:26 PM, cameron said:

I'm really tired of having Henry sit in those White House meetings.  Don't think that it's his place.  The show is really wearing on me.

He still has a closet in the Whitehouse, where he stands all day, waiting to pop out when someone desperately needs to know what Thomas Aquinas would say about something.

And yes, this show would improve tremendously if Henry would get himself swallowed by a squid.  Or something equally dramatic... but final.

21 hours ago, Kleav said:

The McCords are definitely dog people.

Cats are OK.  Especially when your dog gets hungry.

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2 minutes ago, Netfoot said:
On 10/21/2019 at 9:33 AM, Driad said:

And beagles (one of the "approved" breeds) were bred as hunting dogs.

So are Dachshunds.  So what?

Someone in the discussion said no working dogs or hunting dogs, because their ancestors were exploited.  But the two recommended breeds were beagles and cocker spaniels; both originated as hunting dogs.

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9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Allergies, IIRC.

Yup, one of the girls. I recall talking to some owners not long after that who were worried about a 101 Dalmatians effect, but fortunately it doesn't seem to have happened, or at least I haven't noticed a huge uptick in the numbers of them walking around.

Honestly, that should be a factor in a FDOTUS pick too. They can call Hope a mutt, but she looks like a lot of border collie blood to me, and considering their intelligence and energy requirements, they would make a really bad 'trendy' pet. (At least Bess's staffers will have more fun trying to tire her out than they would have had constantly grooming the sheepdog!)

3 hours ago, Driad said:

Someone in the discussion said no working dogs or hunting dogs, because their ancestors were exploited.  But the two recommended breeds were beagles and cocker spaniels; both originated as hunting dogs.

More to the point, beagles are still very visibly used as working dogs, which the show knows perfectly well - see again: Waffles. They're not put at risk as often as most military/LE dogs (eg shepherds), but yeah, that was a weird line considering their conclusions.

Edited by Emma9
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3 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Cats are OK.  Especially when your dog gets hungry.

Yeah, I don't find that in any way funny since my first cat was, in fact, killed by a neighbor's dogs (all dalmatians, by the way, so fuck dalmatians forever) when I was a kid.  That same neighbor came over six months later with two of her fucking horrible dogs, and one of them almost killed another of our cats right in our yard before our Australian shepherd went absolutely ballistic on the dog for attacking one of her sheep.  So, no, joking about dogs eating cats does not amuse me.

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Bo's a good boy, but I was crushed when the Obama's dog process boiled down to accepting a high-end gift dog.  Talk about optics--imagine the good that would have come from the wildly popular First Family visiting a rescue facility, checking out the hybrid vigor.  : )

Then there was the announcement about the allergies and, okay, maybe, I guess.  There were probably the same 47 layers to be weighed and considered as on the tv show, but I'm still annoyed with Ted Kennedy.  Butt out with your impeccably bred Portuguese Water Dog; Petfinders.com could have rustled up a hypoallergenic pup if they'd had the chance. 

[Ha, thanks for reading, if you made it this far.  It's still such an issue that people don't realize they can get any kind of purebred dog from rescue.  PSA!  Spread the word.]

P.S.  Agree that Hope is a border collie with a small mystery contribution somewhere in there.  Is there room at the WH for a sheep meadow?

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17 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

I will be happy if he pees on VP Asshat's leg.

Nah, VP has potential for good; probably better not to irritate him. Let’s save the leg-peeing for some other asshat that they can’t diplomatically effect any other way. Unless VP does some new dirty dealing. In that case, yes, let it squirt!

*************
 

18 hours ago, candall said:

Ha, thanks for reading, if you made it this far.  It's still such an issue that people don't realize they can get any kind of purebred dog from rescue.  PSA!  Spread the word.]

I didn’t know that. Is there any chance that this could turn out to be the case with the presidential pooch without them knowing in advance? If so, political Dog Drama would ensue. 

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21 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

I will be happy if he pees on VP Asshat's leg.

I wonder if Noodle is still dating Morejon's son? Presumably, the McCords and Morejons got to know each other a little better when their kids were dating.

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So forgive these somewhat insignificant questions - 

What's up with her hair. She grew it out but is wearing it up - like in updos - in every scene in which she is "presidential." I find this odd. 

Also, why the loose ties with her blouses? They spend a lot of time focusing on her gender as the first female president and then she wears a tie to what? Look like a man?

Edited by Bobcatkitten

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It's interesting that even as a fictional President the number one discussion people are having about her is her wardrobe and physical looks. 

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On 10/27/2019 at 12:51 PM, Bobcatkitten said:

So forgive these somewhat insignificant questions - 

What's up with her hair. She grew it out but is wearing it up - like in updos - in every scene in which she is "presidential." I find this odd. 

Also, why the loose ties with her blouses? They spend a lot of time focusing on her gender as the first female president and then she wears a tie to what? Look like a man?

I agree...I don't like the loose tie/scarf look...I think it looks too 'casual".   But then her hair being in an up-do/bun type thing seems to convey "more serious", I guess.  It would be like if Elizabeth Warren was elected President & she would grow her short hair out long & then would put it up in a bun, people would wonder why did she do that?

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On October 28, 2019 at 6:26 PM, Grrarrggh said:

It's interesting that even as a fictional President the number one discussion people are having about her is her wardrobe and physical looks. 

I don't know if I'm the most objective party here, but: I seldom notice what Elizabeth is wearing either positively or negatively, and I don't consider that a bad thing. Contrast that with shows like Scandal and Suits, where it was obvious that the viewer was supposed to drool over the awesome clothes that, frankly, I thought looked terrible most of the time.

So while I agree with the sentiment, I can't be sure whether it's for feminist reasons or because I apparently just have bland taste in fashion.

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On 10/23/2019 at 7:41 AM, Emma9 said:

I appreciated the nod to Gordon

 I think my favorite exchange of the episode was this:

Mike B: None of these dogs can be a Gordon! That was only one.

Elizabeth: (very compassionately)  I know.

On 11/5/2019 at 10:40 AM, Emma9 said:

So while I agree with the sentiment, I can't be sure whether it's for feminist reasons or because I apparently just have bland taste in fashion.

I don't really have any issue with the ties or most of what Elizabeth wears. (Well, except the black bra under a white / light-colored shirt.) Her style seems to be similar to Kathryn Hepburn: mostly classic shirts and dress pants, maybe a little bit masculine in style. It seems fitting for her character's personality and "I don't give a damn about fashion" sort of attitude. (She definitely doesn't share Noodle's passion for fashion.)

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