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S05.E20: Quandary


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I guess that's one way to solve the "Stris" problem. I have to wonder what this means for Lina Esco's future with the show- and it's not a good look that, again, the show is losing a female main character- but I can't say I blame Esco for wanting to leave. She'll be 37 in six days and she deserves an opportunity where she can play a more complete, better developed character than Christina Alonso was.

I'm going to assume that Brigette Kali Canales (Alexis Cabrera) is going to get Christina's spot on the team. I'm still bracing myself for some kind of swerve regarding both Cabrera and/or Christina, but, as it stands now Cabrera will be the new female lead next season. I do believe there's something here with her character, although it's a bit troubling they seemed to brush aside her rogue tendencies without explanation, plus she seems to have a nice bond with Deacon. I guess we'll see where it goes, but there's a fit.

I also have to wonder where Norah Fowler (Norma Kuhling) fits into all this because she's also a potential new lead for next year. I hope there's still room for her because I like Fowler and want to see her again.

As for the case...well, at least the baddies had a motive and the show at least acknowledged that they were lucky they landed on the case in the first place. Plus the two teens (played by Lexi Simonsen and Denny McAuliffe) were great, as was Deacon's and Hondo's exchange with the gun dealer (did the guy really think the police were going to believe he was shooting squirrels with automatic AK-47's?).

Still, the case felt a little too generic and I have to wonder- other than the villains being too stupidly tied to their plan- why the bad guys didn't just kill the Governor when given the chance. That was their goal, right?

A mixed bag and two more to go before we close the book on the fifth season.

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18 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

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I guess that's one way to solve the "Stris" problem. I have to wonder what this means for Lina Esco's future with the show- and it's not a good look that, again, the show is losing a female main character- but I can't say I blame Esco for wanting to leave. She'll be 37 in six days and she deserves an opportunity where she can play a more complete, better developed character than Christina Alonso was.

I'm going to assume that Brigette Kali Canales (Alexis Cabrera) is going to get Christina's spot on the team. I'm still bracing myself for some kind of swerve regarding both Cabrera and/or Christina, but, as it stands now Cabrera will be the new female lead next season. I do believe there's something here with her character, although it's a bit troubling they seemed to brush aside her rogue tendencies without explanation, plus she seems to have a nice bond with Deacon. I guess we'll see where it goes, but there's a fit.

I also have to wonder where Norah Fowler (Norma Kuhling) fits into all this because she's also a potential new lead for next year. I hope there's still room for her because I like Fowler and want to see her again.

As for the case...well, at least the baddies had a motive and the show at least acknowledged that they were lucky they landed on the case in the first place. Plus the two teens (played by Lexi Simonsen and Denny McAuliffe) were great, as was Deacon's and Hondo's exchange with the gun dealer (did the guy really think the police were going to believe he was shooting squirrels with automatic AK-47's?).

Still, the case felt a little too generic and I have to wonder- other than the villains being too stupidly tied to their plan- why the bad guys didn't just kill the Governor when given the chance. That was their goal, right?

A mixed bag and two more to go before we close the book on the fifth season.

Two weeks notice from Chris, and two more episodes, coinincidence? The straight trade of Latina to new Latina who is only seen to share the faith that Chris and Deac  had their squables over seems to on the nose to me.  I am still waiting for the legacy name McCabe or even a T.J. to show up. Did a real life McCabe do something to the show runner?

As for burning alive as the execution, besides historically for witches  why does a team hold to that is a good question. We have a history of political inspired self immolations but not assisination by fire that I know about.

edit to add: I just remembered the fight against apartiad in South Africa had some of the executions by fire.

Edited by Raja
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On 5/8/2022 at 11:29 PM, Danielg342 said:

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I guess that's one way to solve the "Stris" problem. I have to wonder what this means for Lina Esco's future with the show- and it's not a good look that, again, the show is losing a female main character- but I can't say I blame Esco for wanting to leave. She'll be 37 in six days and she deserves an opportunity where she can play a more complete, better developed character than Christina Alonso was.

I'm going to assume that Brigette Kali Canales (Alexis Cabrera) is going to get Christina's spot on the team. I'm still bracing myself for some kind of swerve regarding both Cabrera and/or Christina, but, as it stands now Cabrera will be the new female lead next season. I do believe there's something here with her character, although it's a bit troubling they seemed to brush aside her rogue tendencies without explanation, plus she seems to have a nice bond with Deacon. I guess we'll see where it goes, but there's a fit.

I also have to wonder where Norah Fowler (Norma Kuhling) fits into all this because she's also a potential new lead for next year. I hope there's still room for her because I like Fowler and want to see her again.

I had to catch this on the Paramount App so I may have missed some details.  I have to say that, while I like Brigette Cali Kanales, I don't see how she can possibly be a substitute for Lina Esco.  Her character has hardly been developed enough for the audience to care about her.  I like Fowler a lot, and I feel like she has more of a connection to the team.  I have no interest in watching the show without a strong female character in the mix, so I probably won't watch if both Kuhling and Esco are gone.

I liked the Deacon and Cabrera scenes.  I appreciate how this show portrays the religion of its characters as a normal and healthy quality that helps them in their work as police.

I didn't care much about the case of the week. The Mama Pina storyline was so damn sad.  I really like that character, so BOO writers, for killing her off.

Chris flipping out and quitting SWAT was a shock.  She's lost her damn mind.  Am I the only one who wonders how she plans to pay her bills in LA while running a safehouse?  Is there an endowment for that or something? 

The fight between Street and Chris was very well-acted. They keep getting at some kind of emotional issues with Chris. I wish they showed more about where her issues come from instead of her just refusing to talk about it.  Maybe Street can still catch that boat ride with Luca.

Edited by nittany cougar
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I think Street could have given Chris a minute after giving notice from Swat.  She's the kind that needs to process, she's not going to jump from resigning to a relationship.

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Why it has to be Alexis Cabrera and not Nora Fowler? Am not interested in Cabrera.

Chris Alonso can be so damn annoying and insufferable when it comes to her personal drama and her indecisiveness but as a SWAT officer, she is irreplaceable. So if Chris really want to leave, Fowler is a much better replacement than Cabrera, in term of likeability. Hey writers, just undo her hearing issue. 🙄🙄🙄

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14 hours ago, Raja said:

As for burning alive as the execution, besides historically for witches  why does a team hold to that is a good question. We have a history of political inspired self immolations but not assisination by fire that I know about.

I believe the militia wanted to "make a statement" but, still, you don't get a bigger statement than killing the Governor, regardless of how you do it. Plus they seemed like the type who cared more about their legacy than about their lives (I believe Hondo even warned the team not to make them martyrs), so why they didn't just put a bullet in the Governor's brain and make one last stand is beyond me.

I suppose the only reason why they didn't was because then the show wouldn't have it's "happy ending" but I find that weak. We're five seasons in, I think we can have a case where the team isn't 100% successful every now and then.

13 hours ago, nittany cougar said:

The Mama Pina storyline was so damn sad.  I really like that character, so BOO writers, for killing her off.

I agree completely. The sad truth in Hollywood is that old characters basically only exist to die off and give the younger characters grief and/or to inspire them. They hardly do much else.

10 hours ago, jabRI said:

I think Street could have given Chris a minute after giving notice from Swat.  She's the kind that needs to process, she's not going to jump from resigning to a relationship.

I didn't like Street's timing either. Christina just made an important decision about her future, one that completely turns her life upside down. I don't think she's even begun to start thinking about what this means for her future and what she wants out of it. It's the wrong time to "lay down the law" and insist, Street, that she commit to you right then and there. Christina needs to figure out first how she's going to make running the safehouse work- that comes before deciding what, if any, relationship she wants to be a part of. I get he's running out of patience, but if he had a little bit of understanding, he might get what he wants.

I can't decide if the exchange was in character or if it was simply bad writing but it sure feels like- as much of the "Stris" storyline has been- it's drama for the sake of drama. Maybe because Street and Christina are the "young ones" the show feels like they could be written as the ones who lack maturity, which is the only reason I can think of for why their relationship drama feels like middle school drama while the relationship sagas of Hondo and Luca feel far more "adult". I really wish the show would have some consistency here instead of having two different standards for two different sets of characters.

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On 5/10/2022 at 6:01 AM, Danielg342 said:

I didn't like Street's timing either. Christina just made an important decision about her future, one that completely turns her life upside down. I don't think she's even begun to start thinking about what this means for her future and what she wants out of it. It's the wrong time to "lay down the law" and insist, Street, that she commit to you right then and there. Christina needs to figure out first how she's going to make running the safehouse work- that comes before deciding what, if any, relationship she wants to be a part of. I get he's running out of patience, but if he had a little bit of understanding, he might get what he wants.

I can't decide if the exchange was in character or if it was simply bad writing but it sure feels like- as much of the "Stris" storyline has been- it's drama for the sake of drama. Maybe because Street and Christina are the "young ones" the show feels like they could be written as the ones who lack maturity, which is the only reason I can think of for why their relationship drama feels like middle school drama while the relationship sagas of Hondo and Luca feel far more "adult". 

I think the exchange was in character for Street.  He was under the impression that the only reason that they could not date was because they worked together on the same team.  He figured that the obstacle to the relationship was gone.

It was not consistent for Chris. The writing has not portrayed her as being restless since Erika died.  She was shown drinking for a couple of episodes but she realized it was a problem and got some help.  There has not been any theme of lingering unhappinness shown this season until this episode.  In my opinion, that came out of nowhere.  

Edited by nittany cougar
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When I saw what was happening last episode, I really thought this was the moment Stris happened. Like, she realizes she could lose him, and it gets her to finally take the leap.

I was severely disappointed when Street left with the flight attendant.

Street has been pressuring Chris for a while now. Even when she came over just to offer her condolences, he was questioning why she was there, when she wouldn't commit to him.

It did seem disingenuous and kind of weird for her to say that if they were meant to be together, it would have magically happened, as if she hasn't been resisting it and finding reasons for it not to happen from the very beginning. I really wish they'd given us some kind of hint as to why she's so resistant to something that seems pretty simple. I know that she wanted to be taken seriously on her own terms, and maybe thought that her getting together with Street wouldn't blow back on him, but would definitely have an effect on her. 

And yes, they really haven't given us any indication that after her bender, she hadn't totally recommitted to S.W.A.T. She seemed to be fully there and never expressed a word of doubt to anyone about how unsure she was about her future and where she would go. It seemed to come out of nowhere. 

And I don't think Mama Pina's little operation there earns any money, so I'm confused as to how she's going to keep it going. It just seems like an impulsive, foolish decision that she didn't put any thought into. She's throwing away an entire career she loves. This is the kind of thing you mull over and ask advice about. 

I went and read up on if she's leaving, and pretty much there's been no confirmation that she is. So, who knows? But if she doesn't get together with Street, it will be a whole lotta build-up with no payoff, and that really sucks.

My level of frustration will be through the roof if this is how it all ends.

 

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On 5/12/2022 at 5:51 AM, nittany cougar said:

It was not consistent for Chris. The writing has not portrayed her as being restless since Erika died.  She was shown drinking for a couple of episodes but she realized it was a problem and got some help.  There has not been any theme of lingering unhappinness shown this season until this episode.  In my opinion, that came out of nowhere.  

6 hours ago, Sweet Tooth said:

And yes, they really haven't given us any indication that after her bender, she hadn't totally recommitted to S.W.A.T. She seemed to be fully there and never expressed a word of doubt to anyone about how unsure she was about her future and where she would go. It seemed to come out of nowhere. 

I agree with both of you. I'm sure the writers will retort, "someone who is unhinged can hide it well" but I'd call that a lazy explanation. Otherwise, I can say that Deacon is the most hardcore Satanist ever and that Hicks is actually a gargoyle but we never see that because they also "hide it well". To quote a member of the Criminal Minds board about an episode way back when, if the writers want me to believe something, they better put in the work showing it to me- I'm not going to do their work for them.

I think the thing that gets me about "Stris" is that they both are acting like teenagers. Or, rather, stereotypical Hollywood teenagers. Street has this whole "puppy love" thing going where he's just so eager to get with Christina and make the relationship happen right then and there, being completely oblivious to not just the actual obstacles in his path (like the reasonable one- they're on the same SWAT team) but also to what Christina herself may want and need at that particular moment. He comes across as incredibly needy and selfish, with that air of petulance that feels entirely unbelievable for a man of his age.

Then there's Christina, who seems to actually share Street's feelings for her but, also like a Hollywood teenager, decides that, instead of making some kind of firm decision- either to find a way to make things work or to say "forget it, this will never work" and leaving it at that- she just pretends the feelings don't exist and just puts up roadblocks for Street so that, for that moment, she doesn't have to deal with the situation anymore. All that, while not realizing the more she puts things off, the worse the situation gets.

In a real life situation what Street is doing is harassment. Let's make no bones about that. For all her hemming and hawing over how she actually feels about him, Christina is still telling Street- repeatedly- "no, I'm not interested, please stop talking about it". You'd think there would be some point where this would actually affect the working relationship between the two because it's not fun for Christina to have to work in an environment where she'll never know when Street will start getting all puppy-eyed for her again. There would have to be a point where Hondo would have to make a decision- because I doubt he wouldn't notice what's happening between Street and Christina- to keep Street and Christina on his team or to split them up for the better of the entire unit. Either that, or Street gets fired because Christina has had enough of his shenanigans.

Which all points to the "Stris" story being very poorly written. Clearly the show doesn't want me to think that what's happening between Street and Christina is harassment and that both actually want the relationship but they just don't know how to make that work. Which is not a bad idea for a story but it's not what we're getting. What we are getting is a decidedly one-sided pursuit where Christina is reduced to being both the object of Street's desire and the obstacle that gets in his way. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe I have ever seen Christina once make a move towards Street or even, unprompted, tell him that she actually does have feelings for him.

Every conversation they have can be summed up with Street declaring his love for Christina only for Christina to tell him that, while she does share the same feelings, the relationship just can't work, because "reasons". Then they bicker about it until the show decides they need to move on to the next scene. Rinse, repeat.

It's really the same, tired "love as a 'heroic' quest" story that Hollywood loves telling, only poorly dressed as a "forbidden love" love story. Is it any wonder this story has gotten so stale? The writers don't seem to realize the giant cliché they've been crafting for years, and both of the participants involved are suffering for it.

Spoiler

One last point: the season finale is called "Farewell", which may indicate that Christina is actually leaving the show. Of course, it could be a swerve (the possibility of which I will not dismiss) and someone else leaves the team or the show, or "Farewell" refers to some part of the episode's story and has no bearing on the cast. What I do think will happen is that Christina leaves the team but not the show, basically getting bumped down to a recurring character next season where she may be called upon for intel on undocumented immigrants (since she'll take over for Mama Pina) as well as to facilitate an actual love story between her and Street.

 

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7 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

Which all points to the "Stris" story being very poorly written. Clearly the show doesn't want me to think that what's happening between Street and Christina is harassment and that both actually want the relationship but they just don't know how to make that work. Which is not a bad idea for a story but it's not what we're getting. What we are getting is a decidedly one-sided pursuit where Christina is reduced to being both the object of Street's desire and the obstacle that gets in his way. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe I have ever seen Christina once make a move towards Street or even, unprompted, tell him that she actually does have feelings for him.

Here's how I think they want us to perceive this cat and mouse game.

Street is at the point where he's ready to make a commitment. He's all in.

Chris is supposed to be seen, as you said, having a particular "reason" for holding back that she's not sharing with the rest of the class.

My take is that we're supposed to wonder what's going on psychologically with Chris that's stopping her from committing to Street. So yes, they're basically making this her problem and not his.

And while I agree they could have had her occasionally let him know she had feelings, etc., it would probably be seen as leading him on, which might be why the show decided not to go in that direction. Instead, they focus on "something's going on with Chris, but we're going to wait a reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaally long time to reveal it, so we'll keep this tapdancing routine alive by consistently reminding the audience that Street wants a relationship, while Chris is dealing with an 'issue' that's stopping her from fully going all-in." 

But I also agree that if Chris just said, "Stop pursuing me. I will never be in a relationship with you, ever," instead of telling him it was because they were teammates, etc., making Street think this was the only obstacle, that would have helped.

So because she basically told him them being on the same team was the only reason they weren't together, Street saw that door as cracked open.

But on the other hand, once you put your feelings out there in the most direct way you can, you stand the hell back and give the other person some breathing room, and not the amount you perceive as enough, but what THEY do.  And if it takes too long, you just go to the person and let them know you're backing off and moving on. That's it. 

By showing Street repeatedly putting pressure on her, the show backfired in it's calculations as showing Street as the "good guy" and Chris as a huge roadblock to their happiness.

ETA: Interesting take re: the finale. It does leave a lot of options.

 

 

Edited by Sweet Tooth
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10 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I agree with both of you. I'm sure the writers will retort, "someone who is unhinged can hide it well" but I'd call that a lazy explanation. Otherwise, I can say that Deacon is the most hardcore Satanist ever and that Hicks is actually a gargoyle but we never see that because they also "hide it well". To quote a member of the Criminal Minds board about an episode way back when, if the writers want me to believe something, they better put in the work showing it to me- I'm not going to do their work for them.

I think the thing that gets me about "Stris" is that they both are acting like teenagers. Or, rather, stereotypical Hollywood teenagers. Street has this whole "puppy love" thing going where he's just so eager to get with Christina and make the relationship happen right then and there, being completely oblivious to not just the actual obstacles in his path (like the reasonable one- they're on the same SWAT team) but also to what Christina herself may want and need at that particular moment. He comes across as incredibly needy and selfish, with that air of petulance that feels entirely unbelievable for a man of his age.

  Reveal spoiler

One last point: the season finale is called "Farewell", which may indicate that Christina is actually leaving the show. Of course, it could be a swerve (the possibility of which I will not dismiss) and someone else leaves the team or the show, or "Farewell" refers to some part of the episode's story and has no bearing on the cast. What I do think will happen is that Christina leaves the team but not the show, basically getting bumped down to a recurring character next season where she may be called upon for intel on undocumented immigrants (since she'll take over for Mama Pina) as well as to facilitate an actual love story between her and Street.

I think that what the show is portraying is that he was a playboy, and this is the first time he's actually really loved someone.  So this is new, and the thought of losing Chris makes him kind of crazy.  

I think Chris has some sort of relationship or commitment issues, which is why she is freaking out.  Street got to the level of living with someone.  Chris was in that "throuple", which was actually a short term living situation.  Her other relationships on the show were one night stands. 

Edited by nittany cougar
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3 hours ago, nittany cougar said:

I think that what the show is portraying is that he was a playboy, and this is the first time he's actually really loved someone.  So this is new, and the thought of losing Chris makes him kind of crazy.  

I think Chris has some sort of relationship or commitment issues, which is why she is freaking out.  Street got to the level of living with someone.  Chris was in that "throuple", which was actually a short term living situation.  Her other relationships on the show were one night stands. 

Totally agree. I think we're supposed to see this as some kind of "growth" for Street, and Chris is holding it up due to her commitment issues, which is why the only recent situation she pretty much "committed" to was one she had to have known couldn't be maintained forever.

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