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S01.E10: Unbroken Circle

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So we are just going to ignore that Tyler is this evil guy who puts bombs on kids and has them blow themselves up? One performance of Hamlet and his issues disappear?

And why was Miranda so sure everyone in the airport was not sick but everyone on the plane was?

The show had some moments but overall I hated it. 

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Well.   I hate the changes to the Tyler/Prophet story from the book (which I read fairly late into the show) and thought the whole Hamlet therapy bit was awful.   I think they were attempting to bring everything full circle and tie all the characters together at the end, but blah.    The first episodes were far stronger than the last few; this show did not need 10 episodes (which is true of many many shows).  

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Somehow they managed to make an even dumber version of the Superman/Batman Martha thing: "my family was killed by hurricane Hugo!" "Omg I was named after that deadly hurricane because my parents are weird! I'll definitely listen to whatever you say now, random person".

I'm assuming they explained it some time earlier, but Tyler just had Hamlet memorized?

They really tried going for the Leftovers type emotional finale but forgot to make any of these characters worth caring about.

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11 minutes ago, Nellise said:

I'm assuming they explained it some time earlier, but Tyler just had Hamlet memorized?

They really tried going for the Leftovers type emotional finale but forgot to make any of these characters worth caring about.

No, of course it was not explained that Tyler had Hamlet memorized. Just like it was never explained why this one stupid book, Station Eleven, was so great or had such a pull on these dumb kids. They had access to all the books in any library and this is the one they chose to memorize?

I didn’t care about any of the characters either with the exception of Jeevan and Frank.

 

 

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4 hours ago, gibasi said:

So we are just going to ignore that Tyler is this evil guy who puts bombs on kids and has them blow themselves up? One performance of Hamlet and his issues disappear?

And why was Miranda so sure everyone in the airport was not sick but everyone on the plane was?

The show had some moments but overall I hated it. 

Ditto.  To quote Clark "what the F" 

And not to mention at the end, the now happy twisted Pied Piper and his band of illiterate homicidal children just go off into the sunset (with elderly mom, who is totally prepared for a life on the road after a lifetime of relative comfort)?  ?!?!?! 

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I had forgotten a lot of the book, even though I had read it twice, so I reread it last week. Big mistake. Even forgetting that the book existed and taking this series on its own merits, it wasn't very good.

The whole Shakespeare as family therapy thing was ridiculous. For one thing, Hamlet and Gertrude don't come to any kind of understanding in the play. It's not a feel good family show. And then, speaking as an amateur actor, memorization is the least part of doing Shakespeare. It takes practice and training to do it even passably. 

And the children with bombs thing was never adequately explained. There was one line, a couple of episodes back, where "David" says that the bombs weren't his idea but that of one of the other children, when he was recovering from his stab wound. I never caught the name of who it was. Then they didn't even include that in the previouslies, so when the kid shows up with a bomb after the play (I think that's what it was, but of course it was too dark to actually see anything) most people will think it was the Prophet's doing. Luckily, Kristen was able to diffuse that by reading from the magic book. Then again, maybe this time it WAS the Prophet's doing, who knows. I was totally confused by that point. 

I did like seeing the Javeen/Kristen reunion, though I guess it was offscreen that he finally explained what happened to him to keep him from returning. I'm glad that the airport will be added to the circle. 

Emily St. John Mandel was a producer, so presumably she signed off on the changes to her book. Then again, Stephen King was involved with the Amazon series of The Stand, which was so bad that I quit watching about three episodes in. I would think that authors would be more protective of their work, but I guess money talks. 

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2 hours ago, Jodithgrace said:

I did like seeing the Javeen/Kristen reunion, though I guess it was offscreen that he finally explained what happened to him to keep him from returning.

This was a pretty major failure I thought (on top of everything else). One of the major themes seemed to be loss/leaving and they didn't show us Kirsten learning that she hadn't been abandoned.

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Yes they left the best part off screen, I wanted to see Jeevan (who was my favorite character) tell Kirsten that he didn't abandon her on purpose and that he did come back for her.

I kept waiting for the place to get blown up or people to get killed. Also Jeevan hadn't even treated the Conductor so Clark and Elizabeth were just going to let her die?

Tyler is no hero, he stole those kids away from their families.

Edited by Armchair Critic
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Everyone is suppose to have a happy ending it seems.

First Alex wants to stay at the airport but then arms Tyler with the knife that killed Frank.  What exactly is Tyler's beef with Clark?  If Clark didn't say "I loved him too Tyler" he would have disembowled Clark right on stage?

Then she joins the Children of the Corn, along with Elizabeth, who's just happy to follow his son into the wilderness.  She's not young any more and she wants to be with her son but she gives up creature comforts or basic necessities like a stable food supply that easily?  Did Tyler tell her about the Red Bandanas?  Did she get a look at the children, who hasn't had a good shower in how long and wearing twigs as hats?

Are we suppose to believe that Shakespeare is so cathartic and uplifting -- after all it facilitated reunions -- that it sustains all these survivors of the Before?  Not food or electricity but food for the soul?

Thus the TS will keep circling, adding more dates to its tour.  They want to keep art (which is from the Before) alive but not try to rebuild towards the Before.  Maybe artists are overrepresented among these characters.  Not enough engineers, scientists or builders, who might be more inclined to rebuild civilization.  

In Dr. Chaudry, it seems Kristen took Jeevan for granted, preferred Frank, didn't really engage with Jeevan in the cabin, preferred reading the book.  Maybe over the years she came to miss him, appreciated what he did, including trying to protect her the first year even when she didn't show much gratitude.

So she seemed to be heartened, truly moved to see that he was alive again, even before he explained to her what happened.

Is the message suppose to that what matters is people, the meaningful relationships, which endure through a pandemic?  As long as they're together, putting on plays for each other, it's all good?

Even after these tearful and joyful reunions, is it enough just to be together with the ones you love?  We know in this world, relationships often fracture over money and other disagreements.  Money or the way to obtain material needs and comforts doesn't make you happy.  But without these things, you might be stressed enough to be unhappy, even with those whom you love.

In Station Eleven, we see that only the MoC is able to grow food, keep the lights on (literally), have some kind of stability and security.  They never show how the other peoples achieve these things.  How does Tyler feed himself and all those kids?  After a few months, Elizabeth may be famished and cursing Tyler.  And the TS may be bartering performances for food but if there's a tough winter or drought and people don't have any surplus, then the TS may have to become farmers themselves, turn those instruments into plows.

 

 

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After watching last night I was disappointed and angry.  So all Tyler needed was a hug from his mommy and he'd stop blowing up other people's communities and stealing their children?  He was a psychopath, not Peter Pan.  But after sleeping on it, I dunno.  Maybe it was more satisfying to make him a redeemable character and to give Elizabeth and Clark closure.  Life doesn't really work that way but fiction does.

I did like that Kirsten and Jeevan reunited.  I was afraid he had left the MoC after Sarah died.  I'm glad Kirsten didn't immediately accuse him of leaving her, but apparently allowed him to explain what had happened to him.  

Danielle Deadwyler (Miranda) was the stand out in this episode.  

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8 hours ago, aghst said:

What exactly is Tyler's beef with Clark?

If I remember right, as a child, he overheard Clark wanting to get rid of him from the airport. 

2 hours ago, Haleth said:

Danielle Deadwyler (Miranda) was the stand out in this episode.  

I thought she was the stand out of the episode.  I found her to be very moving, and was hoping to the end we'd find out that she somehow had survived.  Alas, it was not to be. 

Quote

So she seemed to be heartened, truly moved to see that he was alive again, even before he explained to her what happened.

She mentioned earlier in the episode to Elizabeth(?) with regards to Tyler about how rare it was to get someone back who had been lost, so I saw her immediate embrace of Jeevan as her practicing what she was preaching.

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I had SUCH mixed feelings about this episode. The creeping child mob with the landmines cast a pall over the whole episode for me. So did Alex handing Tyler a knife. (What could possibly go wrong?) So did Tyler's instant redemption from psycho murderous cult leader to sweet misunderstood guy. 

On 1/13/2022 at 3:48 PM, Jodithgrace said:

I did like seeing the Javeen/Kristen reunion, though I guess it was offscreen that he finally explained what happened to him to keep him from returning. I'm glad that the airport will be added to the circle. 

Yes, this was touching. I liked it. 

13 hours ago, aghst said:

Did she get a look at the children, who hasn't had a good shower in how long and wearing twigs as hats?

This cracked me up. As Elizabeth wandered off with the horde of lost children I thought "She's the Wendy! Wow, she's going to regret agreeing to be the mother figure to 100 dirty, needy children." She'll run screaming back to the airport paradise in no time, or as soon as she runs out of chunky costume jewelry. 

The last scene was very touching, but as Jeevan hobbled off I thought," Seriously? He's going to walk home? They couldn't find him a ride?" and "So I guess the Red Bandanas aren't a thing anymore? He's safe to walk home totally alone?" 

Finally, the whole basis of the series is confusing. Miranda writes a graphic novel with a character named after a hurricane but also the name of the pilot she contacts to protect a bunch of airport people from a pandemic. The novel also obsesses Arthur's little friend, and helps his son create a weird, murderous child cult. So the point is? 

I really need to reread the book. 

Edited by Melina22
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Patrick Somerville is on The Ringer Watch podcast with Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald.

He said Alex is Rose, the baby that Jeevan helped deliver in episode 9 when younger Tyler came to the birth center afterwards.

So does Alex know Tyler from then or is she suppose to have some mystical connection and that is why she follows him?

She may want to get away from Kirsten and the TS but follow Tyler into the wilderness?

After she talked about staying in the MoC for a year?

 

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In contrast to most everyone here, I liked it. Were there problems throughout the series? Sure. To me, this felt like more of a show centered on a particular vibe that needed hand-waving for "weird shit happens during an apocalypse in a sci-fi novel" -- but it made me feel and think and that's more than I expected going into it.

BTW, there are a good number of answers to the questions y'all are asking in the interview I linked to in the media thread...the showrunner recounts his choices on a lot of the issues you guys note (you probably won't like the answers, but at least you can read what he intended, lol).

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I liked it too. They definitely wrapped it up far too well though. Something was missing and I would have preferred more explanation about David/The Prophet them having fleshed out more of the other characters. Maybe some things would have made more sense if I'd read the book but it was definitely an interesting concept.

Edited by overtherainbow
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6 hours ago, tljgator said:

BTW, there are a good number of answers to the questions y'all are asking in the interview I linked to in the media thread...the showrunner recounts his choices on a lot of the issues you guys note (you probably won't like the answers, but at least you can read what he intended, lol).

This is what I've noticed in a lot of the positive reviews of this show, they quote the showrunner in what he wanted to do and they don't really review what the show actually was or handwave away all the stuff that doesn't make sense. There are a lot of people who make shows or movies that have grand, interesting ideas, but the hard part is getting that across on screen. So if you're going based on what the creator says versus what they actually produced, of course things will seem more interesting (or at least justified). But that does not make what they produced any better. Most people don't intend to make something bad or mediocre. We shouldn't have to go to outside sources to "really" get it. As a counter-example to this show: the Leftovers is extremely weird and metaphysical, but the characters' actions make sense within the show and so it's more believable despite being more fantastical.

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7 hours ago, aghst said:

He said Alex is Rose, the baby that Jeevan helped deliver in episode 9 when younger Tyler came to the birth center afterwards.

That doesn't make sense. We saw flashbacks of young Kirsten playing with baby Alex, so Alex must have been a child of a TS member.

It also doesn't make sense that the pilot of the plane listened to Miranda, a complete stranger, asking him to essentially sign his own death warrant. He was in the cockpit and not coughing when he spoke to her, so there was still a chance he could have survived. But he just took her word for it that everyone at the airport was otherwise safe and sacrificed himself?

One thing I'm not sure I understood, was the girl with the dirty face wearing a body bomb? Her torso seemed to be wrapped in wire and a bunch of tin can tabs, and in her bag was what, explosives? So was she planning to blow everyone up and Kirsten showing her the book changed her mind? That was confusing, but I don't care enough to go back and rewatch.

The book was really good and I think the show would have been much better had it stuck to the book plot.

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19 minutes ago, Nellise said:

We shouldn't have to go to outside sources to "really" get it.

I totally agree. I read in one of the interviews that the show runner said the series was "about joy" and how Shakespeare was like a universal language for human emotion. For a second I felt bad I didn't experience either of these things watching the show, then I reminded myself that we feel what we feel. I can't "make" myself feel what the show runner intended. In some scenes I did, but in a lot I didn't, not at all. 

I do question if it's still true that most people love Shakespeare, or can even relate to it. I sense this is a lot rarer than it used to be among the general population. 

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31 minutes ago, Melina22 said:

I totally agree. I read in one of the interviews that the show runner said the series was "about joy" and how Shakespeare was like a universal language for human emotion. For a second I felt bad I didn't experience either of these things watching the show, then I reminded myself that we feel what we feel. I can't "make" myself feel what the show runner intended. In some scenes I did, but in a lot I didn't, not at all. 

I do question if it's still true that most people love Shakespeare, or can even relate to it. I sense this is a lot rarer than it used to be among the general population. 

I have an English degree. I barely got through the Shakespeare class I took 25-odd years ago. It's an extremely limited viewpoint to equate Shakespeare—a cishetero white Englishman alive 400 years ago—with the expression of human emotion. His writing is certainly lovely, but it's hardly accessible nor is it universally applicable.

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I certainly had my issues with this show and this episode in particular, but the heart of this story (for me at least) had enough power to force a very unmanly sound out of me when Kirsten saw Jeevan. I was genuinely surprised when I spotted him at the after party, and it was nothing but tears for me for the rest of the episode. Whatever else they got wrong, which was a lot, they got that right.

I very much disagree about Shakespeare. The langauge is difficult and very alien for a modern audience, so I fear his works will keep slipping further into obscurity. But I don't think his time, or his demographics, disqualify him as someone who had an enormous amount to say about the human experience. The wonder of it is just how remarkably applicable it is all these centuries later, and how much humanity there is to be found in it. People really haven't changed that much, or at least their feelings haven't.

Now the way Shakespeare was used here? Good Christ. 

The actress who played Miranda was mesmerizing. I kept wondering how good she would be in something where she was given dialogue that an actual person might speak. 

Alex was incredibly irritating, if only because I could never figure out who she was, what she wanted, or where her sympathies lay. She was a cypher, but not in a good way. More in a we-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-this-character way.

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I wonder if the series had been not been spaced out week to week if it would have been better. I had to stop in places when the story jumped around in time to remember what had happened several weeks ago. My favorite episodes were with any episode that had Jeevan and earlier on with Frank and young Kirsten.  I remained confused throughout the series., trying my best to make sense of it. I read the book years ago, but that didn't help as I am old and can't remember too much about it, except that I enjoyed it.

Edited by Kenz
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9 hours ago, MJ Frog said:

Now the way Shakespeare was used here? Good Christ.

You know what would be uplifting for people that just had all of their friends and loved ones die? A play in a language they can't really understand and where everybody dies.

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I liked the adaption.  Clearly it was made to have a more hopeful ending for many characters, which i liked, given that usually most post-pandemic shows are so bleak.  I have to echo Clark's "wtf" with Tyler's kid cult being way much larger than previously indicated.  Unless it was intended to be other people from the MoC also leaving the airport to explore the area.       

Sure, not everything made complete sense, but that's ok with me.  

i would think that the airport is one of the better places to stay for winter, so not sure why the TS was leaving with winter coming on.

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I've really enjoyed this show as well. I haven't read the book or anything that the showrunner or anyone else shared about the show. Still enjoyed it. I think the acting has been phenomenal. It's been odd and hit close to home even if so foreign in every way. I've been feeling emotional during every frickin episode for reasons I've never been able to pinpoint but I'm very grateful for it & this show. 

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For me, Tyler was not redeemable, so that didn’t work for me. And why choose to go there?  They killed beloved characters. Why spare a sociopathic child killer? I fail to see the point.  His mom could have mourned him for real……and moved on.  
 

I never fully understood the obsession with the book that Kirsten loved.  I suppose I have to go back and rewatch it, but I don’t think I could endure it.  If anyone can say in a short description I’d appreciate it.  
 

 Kristen came off as a very selfish person, who grew more clueless over time, imo.  Her obsession and demanding behavior almost got Jeevan killed early on. And, her demands held them up a day and made them available to be confronted by the intruder.   And, she enables Tyler later on…….etc.  I really want to like a story of hope after the world almost ends, but…..there were so many issues with this series.  I see how something similar, but different might work.  Perhaps, the book is better.  Idk.  I did like the soundtrack a lot. 
 

 

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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3 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

Kristen came off as a very selfish person, who grew more clueless over time, imo.  Her obsession and demanding behavior almost got Jeevan killed early on.

I can kind of understand her being obsessed with it initially because it was the last thing given to her by someone from "before" who had meant a lot to her. Later that day she watched that person die on stage, then the pandemic erupted and she had to go home with a stranger, then she got the texts that both her parents were dead, then Frank, to whom she had grown attached, was killed. That's a lot of trauma for anyone, let alone a child, so I don't mind that she sought refuge in the book for the first year or two. But what doesn't make sense is her (and Tyler) still being obsessed with it twenty years later. There are many other books they both had access to while scavenging for supplies in dead people's houses, so it doesn't make sense that they kept reading the same one over and over for twenty years.

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