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ottoDbusdriver

S01.E03: Half the Sky

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Episode Description:

 

Charlie has some flashbacks featuring her arrival at Midnight City when she first met Nick and see him brutally interrogate Fatah. After members of the militant Islamist movement Boko Haram kidnap 21 Nigerian girls, President Payton gives Charlie the difficult task to find and save the girls without Nigeria knowing America. was ever involved.

 

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What the .. what the ... what the hell was that ?  The whole concern about the kidnapped Nigerian soccer team came off as so disingenuous and forced into the episode for no apparent reason other than its topical.  They checked off mentions of all the other world hotspots -- Crimea, Ukraine, the Bering straight from last episode.

 

Did I miss something because I have no idea what the Chinese gov't oil interests in Nigeria have to do with the extraction of the kidnapped girls ?  They used private contractors that they arranged separately.  And why weren't the private contractors using silencers ?  How small was that forest that the private contractors were able to walk the width of it in the dark in 45 minutes ?  Because it seemed like the smallest forest in all of Africa.

 

You can tell a show sucks when they finally discover that they need subtitles half-way through the episode for the segments taking place -- sub-titles would have really helped in that opening sequence.

 

Would the secret service really let the leader of a foreign country anywhere near the President with a loaded gun ?  Because I was just waiting for a oh-noes-Dick-Cheney-shot-a-guy-in-the-face moment.

 

This show is all kinds of weirdness -- I still don't understand how these PDB preppers seem to have operational controls in the field, you've got Charleston Chew dissing her new boss in a meeting with POTUS and yet she still has a job, and we get a 5 year old flashback to some black ops torture ship where Nick and Charleston Chew are at odds about how to torture the guy that they eventually turned into an asset for themselves who may have turned on them and killed the son of POTUS. 

 

And FHOTUS is all grumpy pants that he can't access classified documents to find his son's killer.  Ummm, your wife was elected President, not you, so President Payton was bang on telling to go sulk in a corner because he didn't get his way.  Alfre Woodward doesn't do a good Presidental Press conference acting job.

 

Of course we find out that the PDB dept. has its own version of Jim and Pam from 'The Office'.

 

And Charleston Chew ends the episode by going manhunting at the bar for the barista/bartender that she wants to bang. Because, why not ?

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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What the .. what the ... what the hell was that ?  The whole concern about the kidnapped Nigerian soccer team came off as so disingenuous and forced into the episode for no apparent reason other than its topical.

 

Exactly what did it have to do with the USA anyhow?  A crime, committed in Nigeria, against Nigerians, by Nigerians, and yet the President and the CIA think it's appropriate to unilaterally stick their noses in it?  Does that mean that the next time some nutso takes a junior high-school class hostage in the USA, that it would be OK for special forces from, say, South Yemen to sneak into the country, shoot up the place a bit, and rescue the hostages?

 

You can tell a show sucks when they finally discover that they need subtitles half-way through the episode for the segments taking place -- sub-titles would have really helped in that opening sequence.

 

I don't understand.  All foreign-language sequences were fully subtitled.

 

...you've got Charleston Chew dissing her new boss in a meeting with POTUS and yet she still has a job...

 

Actually, I watched that part three times, and I didn't hear her say or do anything disrespectful.  She sat silently, and made no gesture or unusual facial expression, other than to smile slightly and say "Bye, guys!" when the president asked the men to leave.  Was that the disrespect that was so awful that the president pulled her up on it,  for which she later apologized, and for which her job might have been threatened?

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Exactly what did it have to do with the USA anyhow?  A crime, committed in Nigeria, against Nigerians, by Nigerians, and yet the President and the CIA think it's appropriate to unilaterally stick their noses in it?  Does that mean that the next time some nutso takes a junior high-school class hostage in the USA, that it would be OK for special forces from, say, South Yemen to sneak into the country, shoot up the place a bit, and rescue the hostages?

 

Actually, I watched that part three times, and I didn't hear her say or do anything disrespectful.  She sat silently, and made no gesture or unusual facial expression, other than to smile slightly and say "Bye, guys!" when the president asked the men to leave. Was that the disrespect that was so awful that the president pulled her up on it,  for which she later apologized, and for which her job might have been threatened?

 

Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS, and these aren't just isolated attacks with the girls. They tend to kill the boys, and suicide bombings are not uncommon. They fully support the Islamic State. Those details weren't mentioned in the episode but maybe the show took for granted that most viewers are aware of these details.

 

Yes, that was the disrespect the President was referring to. It's not so much about her job being threatened because I think the director knows better than to try and get rid of someone with such an obvious in with the President, but rather making for a tense work environment. Since Charleston at times pulls some less than fully by-the-book means of taking care of situations (like in this episode with getting the private contractors involved), it is better to have a boss who is on board with you or will at least get out of your way and let you operate.

 

It seemed like a small thing. But think about it. He is Charleston's superior. Being sent out of the room, while Charleston gets to stay, is already a blow to his ego. And Charleston rubbing his face in it with a "Bye guys!" If she felt like she just had to say something, she could have respectfully and sincerely said, "I'll see you back at the office." But there was no reason for her to say something and make her boss feel subordinate to her. I'm not crazy about her boss, but I think apologising is the right thing to do. I don't care if the boss is a man, woman, whoever. It was a disrespectful little jab. She's probably still smarting over his statement to her when they first met. She smiled and said she looked forward to working with him, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. He responded back, that she wouldn't be working with him, but for him. I don't think it was a good move for him to say that. So I can understand why she'd try to throw a little jab at him when she could, but it's just not a good idea in that situation, in that line of work.

 

Did I miss something because I have no idea what the Chinese gov't oil interests in Nigeria have to do with the extraction of the kidnapped girls ?  They used private contractors that they arranged separately.  And why weren't the private contractors using silencers ?  How small was that forest that the private contractors were able to walk the width of it in the dark in 45 minutes ?  Because it seemed like the smallest forest in all of Africa.

 

And Charleston Chew ends the episode by going manhunting at the bar for the barista/bartender that she wants to bang. Because, why not ?

 

The United States didn't want to look like they were poking their nose into a situation. Nigeria hadn't really asked America for help. So sending the troops in there like the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't going to cut it. So they needed a backdoor way that wouldn't look like America was involved. So they financed the services of a private contractor to the Chinese to protect their oil interests. And naturally, as part of the Chinese protecting their oil interests, they'll want to *wink wink* get rid of any Islamic militant groups along the way *wink wink*

 

It's a win-win. The Chinese get what they need, and are grateful to America for it. America takes care of the girls, because it's the right thing to do, and to basically send a message to Boko Haram that they're in for a fight if they continue trying to capture girls and sell them off as Muslim wives.

 

Charleston's been through a lot. She uses sex and alcohol to self-medicate. The President and her husband aren't doing that much better emotionally. Obviously it was a big trauma for them all.

Edited by fivestone
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Is anyone else distracted by how it looks like Nestor Carbonell wears more eyeliner than the women on this show.

Also how does Charleston, ugh that nsme, have time to work with all her drinking, one night stands and constantly changing from her i am cool clothes to office lady clothes?

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Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS, and these aren't just isolated attacks with the girls. They tend to kill the boys, and suicide bombings are not uncommon. They fully support the Islamic State. Those details weren't mentioned in the episode but maybe the show took for granted that most viewers are aware of these details.

 

So, under circumstances where a group considered a danger to South Yemen were active in the USA, it would be OK for the South Yemeni special forces to do their thing on US soil?

 

She's probably still smarting over his statement to her when they first met. She smiled and said she looked forward to working with him, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. He responded back, that she wouldn't be working with him, but for him. I don't think it was a good move for him to say that. So I can understand why she'd try to throw a little jab at him when she could, but it's just not a good idea in that situation, in that line of work.

 

Really.  I'd have been considering "See ya!  Wouldn't wanna be ya!"  The guy is a dick, and after the first 30 seconds on the job needed a nutting.  But in any case, it seemed like the Prez asked her to stay to tell her off for her perceived rudeness before she made her little remark.

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Yikes.  Stupid and bad all the way round.  Crap - I know producers think we are all dunces out here in audienceville but I really can't stand it when they make their contempt so blatant and present us with this sort of idiotic dreck.  

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I don't understand.  All foreign-language sequences were fully subtitled.

 

On the channel I watched, there were no sub-titles at all during the opening sequence when the bus full of girls were kidnapped.

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And why weren't the private contractors using silencers ?  

 

They were. That was actually a pretty accurate representation of a suppressed gun. Suppressors don't actually make a gun silent. It just takes them from ear-destroying loud to a startling bang. The PMC guns sounded like they were using sub-sonic ammo which I've been told is a bad idea for long range combat but might make sense in this case where most of the shooting was done up close. 

 

This episode was pretty clearly wish-fulfillment. We can't actually do anything about Boko Haram, but in the world of this show we can if we just use noble-minded PMCs. And the President apparently gets a lot of pressure to rescue some Nigerian girls on this show. In reality, Obama is getting no pressure to do anything about Boko Haram. The public by and large doesn't want more war.

 

By the way, I'm a little confused about why they used a PMC for this operation. Apparently they didn't want American boots on the ground and so needed some plausible deniability. But then after the girls are rescued, there's a headline on the news saying something like, "Hostages Freed by Private Contractor." Some secret operation that was!

 

Edit: Forgot to mention that it was nice to see that Hollywood typecasting is still at work. Tzi Ma plays pretty much every middle-aged Chinese man in existence, and Hakeem Kae-Kazim is the go-to guy for evil African warlord.

Edited by Xantar
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The PMC guns sounded like they were using sub-sonic ammo which I've been told is a bad idea for long range combat but might make sense in this case where most of the shooting was done up close.

 

It's pretty useless using supersonic ammo and a silencer, since the sonic boom from the bullet traveling downrange from the muzzle is way louder than the detonation of the cartridge.  So, silenced weapons only make sense with sub-sonic ammo.  No sonic boom.  A lightly loaded small caliber weapon (like a .22 Short) can be silenced so well that the loudest noise is the cycling of the bolt, which is why they are often fired single-shot, with the slide locked. (Ruger, etc.)  However, for maximum knockdown, you want to maximize energy (½MV²) and the usual solution is a large caliber -- therefore heavy -- sub-sonic round, like say 45 ACP with 230 grain ball at maybe 850 feet per second.  (Can you even get 300 grain ammo any more?)  Since you aren't getting your energy from you need to get it from M therefore you up the mass of the slug.  For once, .45 caliber makes sense.

 

Yes, any suppressor will adversely affect the accuracy of the weapon it's attached to, increasing the size of the group.  At short range the effect is less noticeable,  As range increases, it matters more and more.

Edited by Netfoot
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Is anyone else distracted by how it looks like Nestor Carbonell wears more eyeliner than the women on this show.

i read an interview with him when he was on Lost. He said those are his real eyes, no liner. In which case, he could use some concealer!

 

I got a kick out of the green night-time GoPro camera view that Charleston and the group were watching live as the girls were rescued. It was supposedly all from one guy's helmet camera, yet kept jumping around to show individual girls, different views, all cut and spliced together. Way to (not) keep it real, show.

 

I couldn't figure out how Charleston goes from primped up in a great suit with hair all done up while with the prez to lounge-casual pjs and straggly hair as soon as she gets back to her office. Does she have a separate wardrobe allowance and dressing room at the office? Plus those guys she works with are all a bunch of jokers, no? What fun they all are having! And an office romance! How (not) interesting.

 

The barrista was pretty good looking though. But who was coming through the door to rendezvous with Nick in that hotel room? I thought Charleston had made a deal to sleep with Nick if he arranged the girls' rescue. But then, what do I know. (Or care, I guess.)

 

Anyone want to bet that Charleston will NOT be on the Top 10 Most Popular Girl Names for 2015?

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I got a kick out of the green night-time GoPro camera view that Charleston and the group were watching live as the girls were rescued. It was supposedly all from one guy's helmet camera, yet kept jumping around to show individual girls, different views, all cut and spliced together. Way to (not) keep it real, show.

 

Every man had his own camera.  There were several different views displayed simultaneously in the operations room.  If there was any jumping back and forth, it was our perspective (the TV viewer).  In one scene the image panned left to right from one monitor to the one next to it, showing the perspective of another man.

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So, under circumstances where a group considered a danger to South Yemen were active in the USA, it would be OK for the South Yemeni special forces to do their thing on US soil?

 

 

Really.  I'd have been considering "See ya!  Wouldn't wanna be ya!"  The guy is a dick, and after the first 30 seconds on the job needed a nutting.  But in any case, it seemed like the Prez asked her to stay to tell her off for her perceived rudeness before she made her little remark.

 

I can't speak for the OK-ness of the situation or not, but if the South Yemeni felt like making an attack on US soil was what they needed to do to for their purposes, that's their business. The only question would be, how far would they get?

 

I don't like Charleston's boss, either. Still, I don't think the President asked Charleston to stay solely to chastise her for her rudeness before the remark, but yeah, I agree that she was perceived as rude even before the remark. But during her apology Charleston basically referenced the comment by saying that sometimes she is too casual in the way that she speaks with the President because of their prior relationship, etc. I would love to hear her say I wish she could have said "See ya!  Wouldn't wanna be ya!" or something to that effect. But it just isn't smart in the political world. She's better off smoothing things over with him so that he'll be willing to cooperate with her. In certain work settings, you just don't have the luxury of saying what you really want to say. You smart off to your boss at McDonald's? Maybe you end up cleaning out grease traps for a week. You smart off to the wrong person in political settings? Next thing you know nobody is willing to help you or back you up or give you the tidbits of information you need to get your job done efficiently. Or maybe somebody actively sabotages you. You just can't afford than in a 'one hand washes the other' world like Washington - especially in the D.C. the State of Affairs universe.

 

By the way, I'm a little confused about why they used a PMC for this operation. Apparently they didn't want American boots on the ground and so needed some plausible deniability. But then after the girls are rescued, there's a headline on the news saying something like, "Hostages Freed by Private Contractor." Some secret operation that was!

 

It's not so much about the operation being secret, but rather keeping the headline from reading: "American military forces free Nigerian hostages!" In the State of Affairs universe, the President wanted the world to know, hey, Boko Haram is not going to be allowed to have free reign to kidnap and sell off young girls and who knows what all else. But Madame President did not want to make it look like the American government had anything to do with it, so as not to ignite political conflicts or even incite war.

 

I couldn't figure out how Charleston goes from primped up in a great suit with hair all done up while with the prez to lounge-casual pjs and straggly hair as soon as she gets back to her office. Does she have a separate wardrobe allowance and dressing room at the office?

 

The outfits that Charleston wears to the White House are everything! Sure wish I had them hanging in my closet. :-) For what it's worth, my former boss (a lawyer) used to do something like that. Of course, she looked nice and business-like on a daily basis. But she also had her court outfit that she would put on and later take off when she was back in the office. Going back to her regular office wear gave her a sense of freedom that her court clothes didn't. I can't defend Charleston's straggly hair, though!

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You smart off to the wrong person in political settings? Next thing you know nobody is willing to help you or back you up or give you the tidbits of information you need to get your job done efficiently. Or maybe somebody actively sabotages you. You just can't afford than in a 'one hand washes the other' world like Washington - especially in the D.C. the State of Affairs universe.

 

The outfits that Charleston wears to the White House are everything! Sure wish I had them hanging in my closet. :-)

 

Which is why Izzie's boss instantly proved his unsuitability for management of the unit.  (Or a McDonald's.)  He may think his shit don't stink, but he has to be an asshole to think it's wise to mouth off with the "with me/for me" comment to the one person in the department who can burn him down by just saying nothing when he needs to know something.  And did he not know that she has considerable protection from POTUS's nuclear umbrella?

 

She can leave her dresses in my closet as well, if it means she's going to come by when she needs to change!

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She was definitely mouthing off with the "Bye boys" thing. And she was staying behind to give the briefing, which (it was said) the President likes to hear alone.  But the President was right to mention it.  And the boss was a jerk to not graciously accept the apology.  They're trying to hard to make him seem like a moron, between that reaction and the "with/for" thing.

 

He did let her do her thing on the operation, though.  The operation she shouldn't have been running, but whatever.  Flattest CIA organization ever, I guess.

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I thought it was refreshing for someone on a network show to point out that something other than torture or abuse might be a more effective interrogation technique. I thought it was tremendous to see Charleston stand up to Nick on the ship and it really made me respect Charlie's character more. She is actually quite a complex character, and I continue to impressed with Heigl's acting. I wish the show was better though.

 

There are a lot of unbelievable things on this show, but one of the hardest to believe is that that was not guyliner on the new CIA director! That's amazing - he looks like he is in full mascara and everything. I will try not to be so distracted by it in the future.

 

Speaking of clothes, I thought the worst was that weird smock they put the President in during her shoot with the Chinese premier. It looked like a lunch lady smock, and it even had a nametag thing that said POTUS. So weird. Maybe that was some sort of official shooting thing?

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There was one short scene where I forget what Charleston was doing, but she was looking at someone, stopped and said, "SERIOUSLY?"

 

So, was that a shout out to Grey's or what?

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i read an interview with him when he was on Lost. He said those are his real eyes, no liner. In which case, he could use some concealer!

Lost fans dubbed him 'Guyliner"!

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Is anyone else distracted by how it looks like Nestor Carbonell wears more eyeliner than the women on this show.

Also how does Charleston, ugh that nsme, have time to work with all her drinking, one night stands and constantly changing from her i am cool clothes to office lady clothes?

Does anyone else keep thinking about Tucker Carlson? Help! I don't want to think about TC. And on an even more shallow note why was POTUS wearing that white double knit dress. I had one like that in the 80s though. Sewed it up myself. 

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There was one short scene where I forget what Charleston was doing, but she was looking at someone, stopped and said, "SERIOUSLY?"

 

So, was that a shout out to Grey's or what?

 

Yeah I was like "seriously, did she just said seriously in exactly same tone as in Grey's" ? 

 

ROFL at the coffee shop scenes, on the MILF think (it should have been MLF but yeah he wants some), and as always fake drinking coffee from empty cups, in this and all shows I've seen.

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This was too shitty to even mock.  I'm watching, but it's more with amazement that this has even been permitted to be broadcast, it's so embarrassing.

 

I don't know what's worse.  The cartoonish African villains who spend all their time "muhahaha"-ing over the fate of the girls instead of doing what those guys would ACTUALLY do (gang rape the girls instantly--not that we want to actually SEE that), or the stupid domestic shennanigans, where people in the CIA and White House run around doing foolish bullshit, like they're bopping around Seattle Grace Hospital.  You can also see all of the show cost-cutting, with the rooms all hallways  that are supposed to be in the White House and CIA HQ, and the well... lack of people in both locations.  Literally both of those locations in real life would be like anthills, with people crawling around in the background like crazy, but we rarely see more than 3 or 4 people in frame in total even (and that's including our stars).

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And that battle footage, where we had a night vision still camera there ahead of time when the Black Ops team snuck in? (and various alternate angles) Good lord. The eyes couldn't roll back far enough for that one--and that's even before the melodramatic climax.

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Boko Haram has ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS,

 

Additionally, although it got just a bare brief mention, it was noted that the group's demands for the girls' released were directed at the US, not at Nigeria.

 

Charleston Chew

 

Hee!  Definitely the Vanilla flavor

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ROFL at the coffee shop scenes, on the MILF think (it should have been MLF but yeah he wants some), and as always fake drinking coffee from empty cups, in this and all shows I've seen.

I know, right? Those cups are so light, I keep waiting for them to blow out of peoples' hands. Plus most of the time no one even pretends to fake-drink out of them. You'd think a PA could fill them with water or something, just so they LOOK real. I did wonder if Charleston ordered her coffee with milk, light foam. If so, she was really setting herself up. I wondered, though, what the age cut off is for a MILF. Sort of insulting to Charleston since I do not believe she considers herself that old yet.

 

You can also see all of the show cost-cutting, with the rooms all hallways  that are supposed to be in the White House and CIA HQ, and the well... lack of people in both locations.  Literally both of those locations in real life would be like anthills, with people crawling around in the background like crazy, but we rarely see more than 3 or 4 people in frame in total even (and that's including our stars).

Well, maybe not, especially if you are a White House fence jumper. Hallways in that place are pretty empty from what I understand.

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I wondered, though, what the age cut off is for a MILF. Sort of insulting to Charleston since I do not believe she considers herself that old yet

 

Not my specialty, but I thought you had to be a Mommy.  Age got nuffink to do wid it.

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Could not get past the first few minutes. Tried watching the ending tonite on xfinity but gave it up thinking it might curdle my eggnog and Kahlua. What a gawdawful silly written show. I'm a big fan of "the Blacklist" warts and all but am hoping it doesn't fall to the nbc curse.

Edited by wiggiebegone
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Not my specialty, but I thought you had to be a Mommy.  Age got nuffink to do wid it.

I suppose this show would require actual thought put into it for them to actually CARE what "MILF" actually means.  They basically used it in place of "Cougar" here (because Cougar isn't as dirty and also didn't work for the joke of putting initials on the side of the cup).

Actually, if I'm being fair, I suppose it didn't require thought of a type think of that joke (the initials for coffee service choices spelling out M.I.L.F).

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Ok, so finally got that Nick is some sort of government operative that was interrogating Farad, whose Charlie's intelligence located for capture.  And I'm going to assume that this Sid guy is another covert gov't operative/friend of her father's who helps her out because of said father (who I guess must be dead because they keep referring to him, but no one ever says where he is and it all seems to be past tense).  So Charlie and Nick somehow 'turned' Farad, or at least Farad made them think he turned, and then when they let Farad go to be their asset, he did turn back or something happened that got SOTUS killed, SOTUS was either trying to shoot Charlie or Farad, who I think it was dragging charlie away from crash.  And somehow POTUS knew something about all this, but not everything.

 

Just be nice if they showed us this whole background story and move forward from there.  The flashbacks are confusing (which is one of the things that got me annoyed on HTGAWM).

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