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thewhiteowl

S01.E21: Brace For Impact

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2 hours ago, waving feather said:

Especially this. I'm not opposed to bad shows, I watch bad shows all the time but for goodness sake, get rid of the holier-than-thou speeches. And make politicians morally grey, which they are in real life! Stop with the black/white nonsense like making the Montana guy a complete asshole and team Kirkman as a bunch of saints.

I think Scandal is better at writing internal political conflict.

It was slightly better than Aaron was around because at least he is a little shady. Without him around, team Kirkman has the most boring group think.

They got rid of all the interesting characters (the ones that could have created conflict and, as a result, drama), and replaced them with these morally superior dullards. Sorry I am bad with names, but: -

  • That general at the beginning (they realised their mistake and bought him back). 
  • The guy you mentioned. 
  • The woman potential vice president who got downgraded to secretary for education. 
  • The governor who was threatening to break away at the start of the series. 
  • The male VP with ambiguous motives. 

Almost every antagonist was just dealt with too swiftly and all the interesting drama that might stem from them was removed from the show, and we're just left with the tedious "yes men"- not a recipe for good drama. This is why they started relying on crap like the French vetoing a down-scaling of nuclear arsenals, or a music grant getting cut, for drama... who cares about that (in the context of the show)? 

Edited by Chinspinner
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This show needs lying scumbag cabinet members...manipulating an incompetent POTUS...like that would ever happen....

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4 hours ago, Chinspinner said:

The governor who was threatening to break away at the start of the series. 

I totally agree.  I liked the angsty-ness of these types of situations.  The exploration of what would be the reaction if this happened?  Instead, they stone-skipped over these plot lines for the FLOTUS gun control faux pas and legislation for the arts.  It's too bad...and boring.

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8 minutes ago, TheGreenWave said:

I totally agree.  I liked the angsty-ness of these types of situations.  The exploration of what would be the reaction if this happened?  Instead, they stone-skipped over these plot lines for the FLOTUS gun control faux pas and legislation for the arts.  It's too bad...and boring.

Exactly, this should have been the entire sub-plot to the first series - the real threat of existing people in power refusing to recognise his authority and threatening to split the country - and it would have been resolved by virtue of the main plot concluding i.e. uncovering the terrorist group would have allowed the president to unite the country. How much better would that have been as an overall arc? 

Edited by Chinspinner
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10 minutes ago, Chinspinner said:

Exactly, this should have been the entire sub-plot to the first series the real threat of existing people in power refusing to recognise his authority, and it would have been resolved by virtue of the main plot concluding i.e. uncovering the terrorist group would have allowed the president to unite the country. How much better would that have been as an overall arc?

A ton better.  This is why I started watching - a unique premise.  But, as others have pointed out before, there are basically two shows competing in one hour...and neither one are being done very well.

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Kirkman as Abe Lincoln fighting secessionist Northern / Midwest Governors would not last very long and make the terror cells / conspiracy redundant. Look how long it took them to get proof...Michigan would be blown off the map by then.....

Edited by paigow
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I'm glad there was at least a resolution to the "who blew up the government" conspiracy, and that Whittaker was arrested, Lozano killed, and that rich guy identified.  Moreover, that the American people got these answers.

Rich guy lives and escapes to cause trouble and havoc in season 2.  I really hope that the new showrunner is going to concentrate on the spy action and ditch the boring political crap.  The first three episodes of the next season are going to make or break it for me.

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On 5/17/2017 at 9:17 PM, memememe76 said:

I am only watching this show for Nikita and Craig Manning. Oh man, they hugged!!! I liked Jason and the other fbi guy.

I have no interest in anything else on this show.

Same! I would watch a show that was just the FBI side of things with the White House drama as minor sub plots. I flipped when they bombed Chuck's apartment and we didn't see him for a couple episodes. If they kill him off, I'm out!

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This bad guy is essentially Blofeld 3.0 - unlimited resources, SPECTRE minions,...Kirkman should send drones to all active volcanoes that could hide a secret base....

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I was only half watching so I may have missed it but what was the bad guy's agenda in blowing up the capital? To create a completely new government? 

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There were a couple of decent scenes but, on the whole, this episode was really, really dumb. It's also really too bad that the conspiracy lived down to expectations -- undermotivated as all hell and bizarrely incompetent for an organization that supposedly pulled off a decapitation of the government. 

I'm not sure whether or not to watch next season.  So far it's been an amazing waste of acting talent.  Somehow, a bunch of these characters managed to interest me over the season even though all of them are written as Blandy McBlandersons.  Kal Penn is given crap to work with and somehow makes it tasty, Virginia Madsen owned every scene she was in (even when having to say bland garbage about Kirkman being awesome). They need to map out the next 20 episodes and stop burning through obstacles to Kirkman faster than they can be set up. 

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1 hour ago, waving feather said:

I was only half watching so I may have missed it but what was the bad guy's agenda in blowing up the capital? To create a completely new government? 

"Pax America" -- a new government (by whom and for whom is unknown, along with any other interesting question).

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6 hours ago, blackwing said:

Rich guy lives and escapes to cause trouble and havoc in season 2.

As he drives around with a truckload of high explosives, which he explains nonchalantly as "stuff he bought on the open market after his mercenary organization collapsed."  And the FBI believes him.

14 hours ago, waving feather said:

I think Scandal is better at writing internal political conflict.

Ouch.  You know you suck at writing when people think Scandal is the superior product.

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The Hannah Wells Hero Hour is not what I signed up for. The original premise of this show was the best part of the show. I would have loved had they spent more episodes on the buildup, execution, and immediate aftermath of the original bombing. The series got into trouble once it tried to move on from that premise and present poor imitations of West Wing and 24. The premise was the thing...and they kind of wasted it.

It really didn't help that the president and his family were so dramatically uninteresting. I was fully pulling for the president's wife to be involved in some conspiracy because that would have been outstanding. Instead, everyone in that family dragged the life out of the show.

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I was extremely distracted during the car chase when Hannah would hit the Ford Focus repeatedly, and yet the dents instantly disappeared every single time. The all-new Ford Focus: dent-proof when chased by the FBI! FFS.

When Leo showed up at the end I said "the guy who runs the marijuana dispensary called, he wants his sweater back."

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That's it?  Kind of an underwhelming finale.  Nothing really suspenseful, nothing too bad really happened to any of the heroes, and it feels like nothing really change from the status quo.  Really not a great way to make me look forward to the next season.

At least they caught the mole/Whitaker, but Lloyd naturally escapes, and has pretty much become a Bond villain, with his secret tunnels, unlimited funds, and now all of the government's secrets.  Yawn.  Oh, and Lozano is now actually dead thanks to Hannah.

When I saw Malik Yoba's name in the credits, I was wondering if Jason would still be alive, but it ended up being a flashback to Jason and Hannah first meeting.  It was a nice moment, even though I got a kick out of how Maggie Q's wig looked exactly the same as the one she would wear on Nikita, whenever they had to make her look younger.  

Kirkman is wise enough to realize that he really needs Aaron, but doesn't want to just can Emily, so he's going to find Aaron another role in his administration.  A little flimsy there, but whatever, Adan Canto is one of highlights of the show.

Hey, Cochrane's back!

No final update on Hookstraten?  Boo!

Bill Smitrovich showing up as the talking head/pundit during Aaron and Bowman's exchange was kind of random.

I guess Abe is going to be sticking around as a thorn in Seth's side?

Kiefer Sutherland did a good job with the big speech, but it was pretty damn sappy.  And I'm pretty sure even Bowman joined in with the standing ovation, which is really hard to believe, because real life politics have taught me that no one ever gives their political any due, and I certainly can't buy that Bowman would be an exception.  He would remain seated and then go on all the cable news afterwords, complaining about how Kirkman's speech was full of empty promises and platitudes.

I'll likely be back, since there is enough about this show I like, but it really didn't end up being what I was hoping.  I wanted an inside look about how the U.S. government recovers from a disaster, but instead it's your average conspiracy thriller, mixed with dumb family drama and empty political "intrigue."  Maybe fourth time is the charm, showrunner wise.

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So that was really it?  The big bad is Patrick Lloyd and runner-up is Whitaker?  So dull.  I was really hoping for someone we "know" to be involved, not these random characters that were shown a couple of times during the season and easily forgotten.  I kind of wanted a scene of Whitaker being grilled after his arrest.  He ran around the WH so smug with his goofy little computer clones, I wanted to see someone smack him in the face!

Poor Jason, but he should have copied Foerstel on the info he sent Hannah.  He couldn't have known she was kidnapped and wouldn't see his e-mail right away but damn.

Actually all season I was waiting to find out that Foerstel was in on the conspiracy, but that never happened.

I'm disappointed to lose Hookstraten.  She started out as an interesting character and potential adversary for Kirkman, but then she just kind of faded away.

I'm glad the Power of Three is back (Aaron, Emily, and Seth) even though Aaron's reintegration into the fold was contrived.

I'd like to see Hannah "Never Get Backup" Wells and Chuck work together more but not sure if they are keeping the Chuck character or not.  Of course he seems to be more of a computer whiz and not a field agent but she needs someone to work with instead of always going off on her own.

Was Kirkman's speech supposed to be inspiring?  It was like watching Kirkman on crack or something.  He's always idealistic and almost saintly, but this speech was souped up beyond even his usual levels.  I wasn't sure what they were trying to communicate with that scene.

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Regarding the keys being left in the bomb van. Weren't they trying to set up Hannah as the bomber (plans in her apartment etc). On the off chance that the FBI might have disarmed the bomb in time, it would have damaged the narrative if she hadn't the keys with her. Granted, if the bomb had gone off, the lack of keys wouldn't have been an issue. 

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If you are a bombing mastermind, suicide bombing yourself at the FIRST target of four is counterproductive to overall success...

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5 hours ago, Ceindreadh said:

Regarding the keys being left in the bomb van. Weren't they trying to set up Hannah as the bomber (plans in her apartment etc). On the off chance that the FBI might have disarmed the bomb in time, it would have damaged the narrative if she hadn't the keys with her. Granted, if the bomb had gone off, the lack of keys wouldn't have been an issue. 

If you needed to have the keys in/ near the van so as to implicate Hannah, you would not leave them where they are easily found, just stick them in the footwell under the chair or something, or, more likely, down a nearby drain (i.e. she disposed of them to prevent anyone driving the van). But, more importantly, the entire plotline doesn't make sense. 

Being harsh, the scene was only thrown in there to fill the action quotient, and presumably occurred immediately before the first ad-break/ straddled the ad-break? (I dunno, watched it on Netflix). The reason the keys were in the van is because the scene did not fit into the narrative and was a poorly written afterthought thrown in there only to stop people flicking channels during adverts.  

Edited by Chinspinner
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On 5/19/2017 at 3:55 AM, paigow said:

This show needs lying scumbag cabinet members...manipulating an incompetent POTUS...like that would ever happen....

And we need more plots about this newbie cabinet getting completely punked by the Russians! On second thought, nah... too strange for fiction.

On 5/19/2017 at 7:37 AM, TheGreenWave said:

This is why I started watching - a unique premise. 

For a TV show certainly. For a book, not so much.

On 5/20/2017 at 0:29 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Oh, and Lozano is now actually dead thanks to Hannah.

I'll likely be back, since there is enough about this show I like, but it really didn't end up being what I was hoping.  I wanted an inside look about how the U.S. government recovers from a disaster, but instead it's your average conspiracy thriller, mixed with dumb family drama and empty political "intrigue."  Maybe fourth time is the charm, showrunner wise.

Lozano really got himself a Sunnydale Special there, didn't he?

I agree that this show is having an identity crisis. Is it a political thriller or is it an action show? Because it's not particularly good at splitting the difference. FWIW, even the best shows suffer from this. Better Call Saul is sometimes about the struggles of Jimmy McGill who will go on to become Saul Goodman. It's also sometimes about Mike from Breaking Bad and at those moments is a straight Breaking Bad prequel. The difference between those two plots is jarring sometimes and the show has been known to just drop the other plotline altogether if this week's gangsta shit/lawyer shit is compelling enough to merit its own hour.

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On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 6:23 AM, RogerDodger said:

The show's not great, but it holds my interest enough that I'll keep watching.  Kiefer is one of those actors that I'll watch in almost anything (well, not Touch, even I have my limits).

 

I think I quit now. I don't care a bit what happens next. 

I don't like Kirkman because I can't believe such a naive man would ever succeed as a POTUS. 

On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 8:25 AM, Happy Harpy said:

I liked the scene of Hannah mourning Jason. It was understated, in the best way, and Maggie Q did a great job. The pictures that Jason sent and the mole reveal didn't drag on forever, it's a positive.

Even the scene where Hannah mourned Jasom left me cold. The protagonists are so hollow that I don't care what happens to them.

Jason's pictures and audiotape showed the biggest fault of this show. It was a great mistake to keep Hannah as a lonely heroine. After the President ordered her investigate, she had to share information. Even when she wouldn't have, when she was missing, of course her emails would have read by others in the inverstigation. The mole in the White House - and therefore Lozano in Pentago - succeeded only because of this stupidity. 

If the Mole was so good with computers, why didn't Lozano tell him to destroy Hannah's emails, just in case Jason had sent her one? 

Why was there no following of the calls and texts of White House staff? What kind of conspiracy uses such a self-evident code words as "package"?

On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 8:46 AM, Bobbin said:

Just some observations: Doesn't an unknown intruder alert involving a falsified ID require that no one be unescorted anywhere in the Pentagon? And a lockdown means no one is allowed on or OFF the premises. Finally, if you have an intruder and the computers coincidentally start acting funny, shouldn't you check out, oh, I don't know, maybe the (unguarded??) SERVER ROOM?! And, maybe, SHUT IT ALL DOWN?

 

On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 9:06 AM, buckboard said:

If they knew the identity of a terrorist who had gotten into the Pentagon, wouldn't the military issue a Red Alert (or whatever they would call it) and have every person in the building looking for the terrorist?  And if the guy got INTO the grounds, wouldn't they have FBI and military security at the entry/exit points to capture him on his way out?

And while I'm ranting, when Hannah FINALLY called for backup, where the heck were they?  Even the Washington PD didn't seem to have any interest in two cars bashing into each other for 10 blocks or more?
 

 

On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 6:51 PM, Moose135 said:

I couldn't believe all of that - they put the place on "lock down" yet he could wander around at will, go into a super sensitive computer center and connect to the network without anyone seeing him, then just hop in his car and drive away.  The crap they spread in this show just gets higher and higher.

As Lozano used no disguise, he could have arrested on the gate of Pentagon - or at least the entry would have denied of him.

Actually, he could have arrested even earlier if only there had been a search warrant of him once it was revealed that he - a man who tried to kill the POTUS - was alive. 

All in all, the whole plot leading to the finale was only due to the stupidity of Hannah, Kirkman and other "good quys" - and ultimately due to the stupidity of the screenwriters who made the protagonists so stupid.

I don't demand that the protagonists can't make mistakes - they wouldn't be human if they didn't. But as they (except Kirkman) are supposed to be professionals, those mistakes can't be such that anyone watching the show knows them at once. 

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On ‎20‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 7:17 PM, Blue Plastic said:

Was Kirkman's speech supposed to be inspiring?  It was like watching Kirkman on crack or something.  He's always idealistic and almost saintly, but this speech was souped up beyond even his usual levels.  I wasn't sure what they were trying to communicate with that scene.

If I had been a member of Congress or a journalist, I would have been extremely dissatisfied listening to Kirkman's speech: he told only the name of the chief suspect who was still free but not that there had been a mole in White House, that the late Vice President had been a member of conspiracy and that the man who had tried to shot Kirkman himself had been alive and free until now - and most of all, none of the evidence.

Of course the audience knew all, but it could be presented at least shortly by Kirkman, with flashbacks of the past - and then the reaction of the audience would have been a great shock, maybe even disbelief, instead of elation. 

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On ‎20‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 7:17 PM, Blue Plastic said:

I'm glad the Power of Three is back (Aaron, Emily, and Seth) even though Aaron's reintegration into the fold was contrived.

I liked them, but because they were brushed aside for so long, I am no more interested in them.

Basically, there are a bigger problems: in order to be interesting, the protagonists must have weaknesses nor problems. They have none.

And the relationship must at least have differences of opionion and values, in order to be interesting. There are none.

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On ‎18‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 5:05 PM, Chinspinner said:

Haha, if I was watching this speech at home, I would be asking if I had missed the first twenty episodes. The worst flag-waving excesses of this show, and the soap-boxing by the show-writers during the political scenes become incredibly tedious, and were summed up in this speech- it might just be that this stuff does not sell outside America, it only results in eye-rolls.

The message also feels incredibly out of date, since the show's enemy, the terrorist movement, as it is described in the show, won the last election, and the politics espoused by the protagonists, lost.  

The cliffhanger left me thinking that if they are all that inept at their jobs, they deserve whatever they get. 

I noticed this post just now.  

There is one point where I disagree: the terrorist movement didn't won the last election. But they chose KIrkman for Designated Survivor, so it's they who made him the POTUS. And this oh-so-honest man who had promised to be transparent didn't reveal it to the Congress and the people, and let the Congress decide if he was trusted enough to continue in his office.

Kirkman also praised Abe as a star journalist although this Pulitzer-winner let himself duped by the Mole. And of course comparing the press silence about Roosevelt's health during the WW2 was naive at best, but more likely stupid. Roosevelt's health problems were only about his image as a leader, not about national security. Would any President worth his salt chose to let his country's safety depend on it if Abe chose to sacrifice his ambition for patriotism?

That said, as I had said before, it would be better to reveal before at least something about what was going on. If the public had known that the man who shot Kirkman was alive, they could have helped the police and Lozano couldn't have gone around without disguise.      

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Thinking about this show as a whole, it's evident that almost every action where the conspiracy succeeded was due to the stupidity of the "good" protagonists:

- Just divorced Langdon falls in love with the Mysterious Lady - well, that can happen, but come on, when she asked about the security of Capitol, how stupid the Chief of Staff can be not to suspect foul play? And when he finally suspects, he doesn't call to the FBI that could have got people out - no, he decides to drive to the FBI building.

- Jason Atwood is pressured by his son's kidnapper to confess that he killed the leader of al-Sakar - an ordinary parent could do it, but come on, why would the deputy chief of FBI believe that his son would be released after he had seen the kidnapper?  

-  Hannah has got evidence that MacLeish is a member of the conspiracy and she is in hurry to get them to Kimble, so that she can prevent him to become Vice President. But instead of taking photographs of documents with her cell phone and send them to Kimble, she decides to drive to Capitol.

- After MacLeish and his wife are dead, nobody bothers to investigate her recent phone calls, evidently believing that there is no mystery why she came to Arlington. 

- After Hannah and Atwod find out that Lozano is alive, there is no search warrant and he can move around without disguise.

- For a long time nobody is bothered to find out if the Mole is still alive and working inside White House and when it turns out that he indeed is and does, he can call and text freely using an obvious code names, without any following-up.  

- Nobody reads Jason's email to Hannah although she is missing and could be dead; if they had read Jason's email, Mr Mole would be caught before he could get Lozano an entry to Pentagon.

- Although there is information that Lozano is inside Pentagon, the gates aren't locked and he can simply drive out.

- And before all: only half a dozen people knows about the conspiracy which means that it would be quite easy to end inverstigation: killing them all. And after that the conspiracy would be free to act. 

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I think this would be a more interesting program if they lost the entire FBI ActionGirl thing and turn it into a proper investigation.

Didn't any one else think that after all the stuff we have seen the Conspiracy doing, that only 200 people were arrested? And most of them seemed to be campers like the Dakota people. How about every one of the mercenaries who ever worked for Blackwater ? Can any of them be trusted? And the General who was under house arrest-- did he have any ties to Patrick Boyle?

The political stuff has been poorly handled. And yet it is the most interesting part. You guys have a president who lost the election and here is a program about a president who was never elected.  The fun to be had in comparing two presidents!

I agree with the poster who pointed to the story about the Michigan governor. Say, is he in jail? Out on bail? Who's running the state?

And who are the new members of Congress? Besides Josh Chan. (and will he get a chance to show his dance moves in season 2?)

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1 hour ago, femmefan1946 said:

And the General who was under house arrest-- did he have any ties to Patrick Boyle?

Evidently not as he gave Aaron information about persons who had so high security status that they could have made Kiefer DS.

Of course it's possible that he made this to cover his own deeds and make himself trustworthy in the future. But so far, the show hasn't used such clever tricks.

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On May 26, 2017 at 6:19 AM, Roseanna said:

Thinking about this show as a whole, it's evident that almost every action where the conspiracy succeeded was due to the stupidity of the "good" protagonists:

- Just divorced Langdon falls in love with the Mysterious Lady - well, that can happen, but come on, when she asked about the security of Capitol, how stupid the Chief of Staff can be not to suspect foul play? And when he finally suspects, he doesn't call to the FBI that could have got people out - no, he decides to drive to the FBI building.

- Jason Atwood is pressured by his son's kidnapper to confess that he killed the leader of al-Sakar - an ordinary parent could do it, but come on, why would the deputy chief of FBI believe that his son would be released after he had seen the kidnapper?  

-  Hannah has got evidence that MacLeish is a member of the conspiracy and she is in hurry to get them to Kimble, so that she can prevent him to become Vice President. But instead of taking photographs of documents with her cell phone and send them to Kimble, she decides to drive to Capitol.

- After MacLeish and his wife are dead, nobody bothers to investigate her recent phone calls, evidently believing that there is no mystery why she came to Arlington. 

- After Hannah and Atwod find out that Lozano is alive, there is no search warrant and he can move around without disguise.

- For a long time nobody is bothered to find out if the Mole is still alive and working inside White House and when it turns out that he indeed is and does, he can call and text freely using an obvious code names, without any following-up.  

- Nobody reads Jason's email to Hannah although she is missing and could be dead; if they had read Jason's email, Mr Mole would be caught before he could get Lozano an entry to Pentagon.

- Although there is information that Lozano is inside Pentagon, the gates aren't locked and he can simply drive out.

- And before all: only half a dozen people knows about the conspiracy which means that it would be quite easy to end inverstigation: killing them all. And after that the conspiracy would be free to act. 

In the universe of the show, did 9/11 ever happen? A big takeaway from 9/11 was that if the FBI, the CIA, and various other alphabet intelligence agencies had shared info, the dots of the plan would've been connected before it happened. If this show's terrorist plot is the alternative of 9/11, some of the stupidity might be understandable.

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On ‎28‎.‎5‎.‎2017 at 7:33 PM, shapeshifter said:

In the universe of the show, did 9/11 ever happen? A big takeaway from 9/11 was that if the FBI, the CIA, and various other alphabet intelligence agencies had shared info, the dots of the plan would've been connected before it happened. If this show's terrorist plot is the alternative of 9/11, some of the stupidity might be understandable.

It must have happened, because everyone was sure that Capitol was bombed by Moslim terrorists, without ever investigating alternatives. Except Hannah who made comparision what has happened in earlier cases (silence in communications, families brought to safety etc) and now there wasn't any such signs.   

And stupidity wasn't due to that the intelligence agencies didn't share the information, either, because (if I remember right) CIA was never even involved, nor the intelligence services of the allies. It was simply "I can't trust anyone" even if it included more dangers.  

Fiction about one hero(ine) against all isn't always stupid as fiction. If the details are right, the audience can believe almost anything. But the hero(ine) can't be stupider than the audience.    

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13 hours ago, Roseanna said:

Fiction about one hero(ine) against all isn't always stupid as fiction. If the details are right, the audience can believe almost anything. But the hero(ine) can't be stupider than the audience.    

∆ This. You want your hero/heroine to be effective, and that means being generally smarter than the bad guys. I'm simply not going to root for someone who gets beat all the time or just gets lucky- what's the fun in that?

Ultimately, that's where Hannah Wells failed. We never truly saw her as capable, since she was almost always beaten (sometimes literally) and often failed because she didn't think of something obvious (like not sending her files to Hookstraten from her phone).

More often than not, Wells failed because the plot needed her to fail- not because she was genuinely outsmarted. Ultimately, that's why she failed as a character.

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9 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

∆ This. You want your hero/heroine to be effective, and that means being generally smarter than the bad guys. I'm simply not going to root for someone who gets beat all the time or just gets lucky- what's the fun in that?

Ultimately, that's where Hannah Wells failed. We never truly saw her as capable, since she was almost always beaten (sometimes literally) and often failed because she didn't think of something obvious (like not sending her files to Hookstraten from her phone).

More often than not, Wells failed because the plot needed her to fail- not because she was genuinely outsmarted. Ultimately, that's why she failed as a character.

Plot induced stupidity is true for all the characters.

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10 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

∆ This. You want your hero/heroine to be effective, and that means being generally smarter than the bad guys. I'm simply not going to root for someone who gets beat all the time or just gets lucky- what's the fun in that?

Ultimately, that's where Hannah Wells failed. We never truly saw her as capable, since she was almost always beaten (sometimes literally) and often failed because she didn't think of something obvious (like not sending her files to Hookstraten from her phone).

More often than not, Wells failed because the plot needed her to fail- not because she was genuinely outsmarted. Ultimately, that's why she failed as a character.

Actually, want the hero/heroine to be smarter than me. This show isn't supposed to belong to the genre "Had I but known".

In the beginning the bad quys can be or seem to be smarter, otherwise there would be no plot. But the hero/heroine can't be stupid even then but the things must seem at that time to be such that it's quite natural that she makes error of judgment. Or they are due to the weakness whose effects he/she later wins. 

Also, a weakness is necessarily in order to to make the hero/heroine likeable. He/she is super in the work, but...  

Hannah lost her boyfriend in the Capitol bombing and therefore even Jason suspected that she wasn't impartial by suspecting MacLeish. But later this background story was completely forgotten.

Jason's decision to put his son's life first could have worked if he had been an oprdinary citizen and not the FBI deputy chief - but even then we must have known the boy earlier.    

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1 hour ago, Roseanna said:

Actually, want the hero/heroine to be smarter than me. This show isn't supposed to belong to the genre "Had I but known".

In the beginning the bad quys can be or seem to be smarter, otherwise there would be no plot. But the hero/heroine can't be stupid even then but the things must seem at that time to be such that it's quite natural that she makes error of judgment. Or they are due to the weakness whose effects he/she later wins. 

Also, a weakness is necessarily in order to to make the hero/heroine likeable. He/she is super in the work, but...  

Hannah lost her boyfriend in the Capitol bombing and therefore even Jason suspected that she wasn't impartial by suspecting MacLeish. But later this background story was completely forgotten.

Jason's decision to put his son's life first could have worked if he had been an oprdinary citizen and not the FBI deputy chief - but even then we must have known the boy earlier.    

Well, few people are smarter than me. :P

I would disagree that a weakness is needed for likeability. "Likeability" is very subjective, and, ultimately, it rests upon the hero having a compelling story.

I would argue that what is needed is a weakness the hero needs to fight through to succeed, because someone who overcomes their challenges is ultimately compelling. Furthermore, you want a villain who can exploit that weakness for their own gain and make the hero's task even harder. It's one thing to have a villain who keeps the heroes on their toes, but it's another thing if those villains know exactly how to do that.

It's that latter part where this show failed.

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1 hour ago, Danielg342 said:

Well, few people are smarter than me. :P

I would disagree that a weakness is needed for likeability. "Likeability" is very subjective, and, ultimately, it rests upon the hero having a compelling story.

I would argue that what is needed is a weakness the hero needs to fight through to succeed, because someone who overcomes their challenges is ultimately compelling. Furthermore, you want a villain who can exploit that weakness for their own gain and make the hero's task even harder. It's one thing to have a villain who keeps the heroes on their toes, but it's another thing if those villains know exactly how to do that.

It's that latter part where this show failed.

When you write a character, one of the first things you do is write their flaws, because the flaws and the failures before the success are what make a character compelling. If you don't, you have a Mary-Sue. The funny thing with this show is that the writer's seemed to attempt to write a bunch of Mary-Sue's, but failed because they had to force plot-induced stupidity on them... both of which suggest terrible writers.

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1 hour ago, Danielg342 said:

Well, few people are smarter than me. :P

I would disagree that a weakness is needed for likeability. "Likeability" is very subjective, and, ultimately, it rests upon the hero having a compelling story.

I would argue that what is needed is a weakness the hero needs to fight through to succeed, because someone who overcomes their challenges is ultimately compelling. Furthermore, you want a villain who can exploit that weakness for their own gain and make the hero's task even harder. It's one thing to have a villain who keeps the heroes on their toes, but it's another thing if those villains know exactly how to do that.

It's that latter part where this show failed.

I think it both ways. It's quite true that the hero's weakness is needed for the plot.

What I meant by saying that the hero needs a weakness to be likeable is simply that perfect people are boring and have no need to grow.      

27 minutes ago, Chinspinner said:

When you write a character, one of the first things you do is write their flaws, because the flaws and the failures before the success are what make a character compelling. If you don't, you have a Mary-Sue. The funny thing with this show is that the writer's seemed to attempt to write a bunch of Mary-Sue's, but failed because they had to force plot-induced stupidity on them... both of which suggest terrible writers.

Aristotle says something like that the character is what a protagonist does. That is, if something is not shown in deeds, it doesn't exist.  We are told by the ex-President that Kiefer has a potential for greatness, but so far his actions show quite opposite.   

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1 hour ago, Chinspinner said:

When you write a character, one of the first things you do is write their flaws, because the flaws and the failures before the success are what make a character compelling. If you don't, you have a Mary-Sue. The funny thing with this show is that the writer's seemed to attempt to write a bunch of Mary-Sue's, but failed because they had to force plot-induced stupidity on them... both of which suggest terrible writers.

I think you have the right idea, in that the writers never understood their characters' weaknesses. What I will say is that a flaw is not a flaw if it does not hold the character back in some way. A detective whose only flaw is that he's allergic to berries isn't going to be compelling because, unless he's at an orchard, it will never hold him back.

A detective who can't work well with others, on the other hand, can be compelling, because it will hold him back. Eventually, he'll have to consult with someone else or work with an expert in a field he's not to familiar with, and his dismissiveness could impact how much his partner will help him- and have an impact on how well he can solve the case.

Arguably, this is what I believe they wanted to do with Hannah but never quite got there. Initially she "didn't trust anyone"- not even Atwood- but this soon fell by the wayside, as suddenly she started trusting Kimble, Atwood, Forestall, the President, Mike, etc., unless the plot called for her not too.

Same thing with Kirkman. He could have been the "idealist who is too naive to understand the narcissistic nature of politics" and thus never understood that politics is all about dealmaking. They seemed to want to go there with the gun control story but I'm not sure they ever committed to it, and it contradicted his pragmatic nature before.

Hopefully in S2 the showrunner will have a better idea of how these characters tick.

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2 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I think you have the right idea, in that the writers never understood their characters' weaknesses. What I will say is that a flaw is not a flaw if it does not hold the character back in some way. 

Hannah did never held back but went always towards the danger, not caring to get back-up first, still less think that also others could do it whereas she alone had complete information.

The writers seemed to think that it was admirable but it really was a very big flaw. She wasn't brave but foolhardy, even suicidial.  

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1 hour ago, Roseanna said:

Hannah did never held back but went always towards the danger, not caring to get back-up first, still less think that also others could do it whereas she alone had complete information.

The writers seemed to think that it was admirable but it really was a very big flaw. She wasn't brave but foolhardy, even suicidial.  

Her fearlessness was both a strength and a flaw.

In contrast, what was Nestor Lozano's flaw? What weakness did he have that Hannah could exploit? Same thing about the Conspirators- what limitations did they have? They just seemed to be ever-present and able to recruit anyone on a whim, with all dying for the cause. We never learned how they got their members and how their operation really worked, information that could have helped take them down.

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13 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

They just seemed to be ever-present and able to recruit anyone on a whim, with all dying for the cause. 

Well, that was claimed in the show but it was not the reality that was shown to us.

As far as we know, they could recruit only two important people inside the old power structure, Congressman Macleish and the Mole, as well as one cunning assassin, Lozano. In addition, they could use the weakness of Langdon and Jason Atwood which is the chief reason they succeeded in addition to elemental mistakes made by Hannah and other "good" protagonistists.

There is only one suspicious point: Lozano was evidently trained by CIA but although he had gone rogue as Hannah's source said a long ago, nobody inside the organization seemed to care about it. Nor did Hannah and Kirkman bother to investigate CIA - arresting grassroots memebers seemed to be enough. Kirkman even went to the Congress  to celebrate the victory and was greatly susprised when Chief of Conspiracy's plan was revealed.

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On 19/5/2017 at 2:31 AM, jhlipton said:

One a cop show.  One's a political show.  Together they fight crime .. and each other.

Perfectly put.

I finally watched the finale, and it was better than I expected (only because I expected it to be terrible). I didn't like the actual ending, I found it totally underwhelming, especially since I was waiting for some last minute twist, but overall it wasn't a bad episode for this show's standards.

Some scattered thoughts:

It's not as fun to watch the hunt for a mole when a) you already know who the mole is and b) you don't actually know who the mole is, because he's one old white guy in a sea of old white guys and what does he even do?

That was a good fight scene, between Hannah and Lozano. A somewhat decent ending for him.

Reed Diamond is only getting hotter with age.

Chuck! And Hannah! Together again! Not gonna lie, "Can I get you a... hospital?" was a great line. I loved those two.

That Jason Atwood/Hannah flashback got me. I shed an actual tear. I hated losing him, but at least the show didn't gloss over his loss and what he meant to her.

Rob Morrow took a chance with his portrayal of Abe and, at least for me, it paid off. It was especially evident in his scene with Kirkman, how he was setting the tone, and not letting Kiefer's chill and understated vibe dictate the overall vibe of the scene. He took charge (and, of course, Kiefer played off of him wonderfully). Morrow was one of the few actors who were able to do that (along with Virginia Madsen, of course).

Kal Penn, Italia Ricci and Adan Canto are very charming and compelling performers who deserve better material. I'm glad they'll be back as a trio in S2, they do their best work together. The jokes between them and those few nice moments between Aaron and Kirkman were the hightlight of the White House storyline.

Nice to see the Kirkman kids one last tim... yeah no. I laughed when they randomly popped up after like 8 episodes. And that speech did not affect me. Whatever. Kiefer can only do so much.

I am not particularly excited for season 2, especially after three totally underwhelming cast additions. I don't understand why the show insists on getting rid of all its best actors and replacing them with nobodies. On that note, I'd love to see Rob Morrow and Reid Diamond back, but I'm not holding my breath. They'll probably be replaced too.

This show had so much potential, and it wasted almost all of it. Other shows would thrive with a cast like this. I would hope for an improvement in season 2, but I'm not that optimistic.

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18 hours ago, jhlipton said:

Didn't the Pentagon scenes thrill you?  LOL

I was honestly watching those scenes and asking myself, "why????" So pointless and dumb. And all for that borefest of a final scene? Since there was no twist, I would have written the reverse.

Kirkman gets the "terrible" news that everything's been compromised and the country is not safe, he freaks out, but then he has to deliver this huge speech. So he pulls himself together, he gets some strength from his kids (LOL), and then he goes out there and crushes it, delivering this grandiose and inspiring speech, while he's internally panicking. And the season ends on his face, as he hear the applause, and we see his expression shift from jubilation to concern.

The opposite didn't work for me. "Yay everything's great" to "omg no it's not". We didn't have time to enjoy the victory and we also didn't have time to ponder the potential disaster. A switch would have been better, if you ask me.

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9 hours ago, Princess Lucky said:

So pointless and dumb

At least you were warned.  Those of us who watched at the time had to put up with Why don't they...why didn't they... [head-smack]!!!!" without knowing just how silly the plot was!

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15 hours ago, jhlipton said:

At least you were warned.  Those of us who watched at the time had to put up with Why don't they...why didn't they... [head-smack]!!!!" without knowing just how silly the plot was!

Haha, yeah, thanks to you! Honestly, with drastically lowered expectations, it wasn't even that bad, it was just (hilariously, at times) underwhelming.

The worst part is, I think it's only downhill from here.

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7 hours ago, Princess Lucky said:

Haha, yeah, thanks to you! 

The worst part is, I think it's only downhill from here.

Glad to help -- and I think you're right.

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On 7/21/2017 at 11:42 PM, jhlipton said:

At least you were warned.  Those of us who watched at the time had to put up with Why don't they...why didn't they... [head-smack]!!!!" without knowing just how silly the plot was!

I think the preceding 18ish episodes or so functioned as a warning for us.

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