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S01.E06: Chip Off the Ol’ Block

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Is this supposed to air tonight?  My station has football instead, and searching the schedule does not find Salvation.

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37 minutes ago, Driad said:

Is this supposed to air tonight?  My station has football instead, and searching the schedule does not find Salvation.

Are you by chance in the Houston area?  I see that the Texans are playing a preseason game at the Carolina Panthers, and so the CBS affiliate in Houston would broadcast the game.  Hopefully, they would air Salvation at another time (or more likely, refer people to watch online, which sucks for those without a computer or internet access).

 

I'm in the Miami area, and we are lucky in that the CBS station here is owned by the CBS network (not an affiliate), and they own another station, My 33.  When a Dolphins game (preseason or regular season) is broadcast in prime-time on CBS 4, they move the regular CBS programming to My 33, so no one misses out.

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Are you by chance in the Houston area?

No, but thank you for the info. Local station here does have another station, but Salvation isn't there or anywhere else on the schedule. At least CBS usually puts episodes on line the next day. (Last time I tried ABC or Fox, they made you wait 8 days, so you couldn't see an episode on line until after the next episode aired.)

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I'm actually really enjoying this show. It's a bit cheesy, like a summer popcorn movie a la "Deep Impact" or "Armageddon", but still enjoyable.

 

Did anyone else get an "Evil Walter" vibe from John Noble tonight ? From Fringe ?

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That was a good episode except for the two children having tantrums. The girlfriend was totally predictable, insisting Liam be honest with her and then reacting very badly to the truth.

Why did John Noble have to show up? I've never liked him in anything I've seen him in.

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1 hour ago, willco said:

I'm actually really enjoying this show. It's a bit cheesy, like a summer popcorn movie a la "Deep Impact" or "Armageddon", but still enjoyable.

 

Did anyone else get an "Evil Walter" vibe from John Noble tonight ? From Fringe ?

Yes since that's pretty much his role ever since.

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Well, at least they are giving the Russians a motive, that might even be the US's fault. Here's hoping Project Atlas lives up to the hype. Incidentally, Atlas is not that obscure a word. Do they have agents patrolling reference desks in case someone asks to see the "Atlas"? Have they confiscated all copies of Atlas Shrugged ? :)

The plot is moving along briskly. That might be a nice attribute of summer shows.

Did Liam mention having a "photographic memory" at some point? (Not a real thing BTW) Is that what they are hanging the reconstruction of the EM drive on?

So, we could have dueling tractors in space at some point?

1 hour ago, Free said:

Yes since that's pretty much his role ever since.

That seems unfortunate. I really enjoyed his Walter, but his villain turns on Sleepy Hollow and here haven't done much for me. Not bad, just not terribly interesting; that is probably the parts not the actor, as they were/are the "straight up evil" type of villain.

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2 hours ago, willco said:

I'm actually really enjoying this show. It's a bit cheesy, like a summer popcorn movie a la "Deep Impact" or "Armageddon", but still enjoyable.

 

Did anyone else get an "Evil Walter" vibe from John Noble tonight ? From Fringe ?

Me too, and yes! 
But as someone whose doctor never considered cancer when I lost a lot of weight, I was concerned with John Nobel's slight frame. I hope he's okay!

@Latverian Diplomat, my sister has an "eidetic memory," so that plot device didn't bother me other than that it was a little too conveniently revealed when it landed on Liam.

I was relieved that Jillian was smart enough to not share the bloody hoodie discovery with the entrepid reporter/fake friend, but then I expected the you-have-to-see-this news show to be about the end of the world Jillian had leaked to the media because she self-righteously thought the public had a right to know.

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2 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Me too, and yes! 
But as someone whose doctor never considered cancer when I lost a lot of weight, I was concerned with John Nobel's slight frame. I hope he's okay!

@Latverian Diplomat, my sister has an "eidetic memory," so that plot device didn't bother me other than that it was a little too conveniently revealed when it landed on Liam.

I was relieved that Jillian was smart enough to not share the bloody hoodie discovery with the entrepid reporter/fake friend, but then I expected the you-have-to-see-this news show to be about the end of the world Jillian had leaked to the media because she self-righteously thought the public had a right to know.

FWIW, eidetic memory and what's called photographic memory are not quite the same thing, and the latter has never been shown to exist. According to this wikipedia page: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidetic_memory

Quote

they are also distinguished, with eidetic memory referring to the ability to view memories like photographs for a few minutes, and photographic memory referring to the ability to recall pages of text or numbers, or similar, in great detail

Clearly Liam would need the latter type to work his data recovery magic. It's an unfortunate choice on the part of the writers, IMHO, as

  1. It's just so hackneyed and 
  2. You could easily have it that Tanz or Liam just kept a copy. Keeping a backup copy of something you aren't supposed to could easily be seen as a paranoid business tycoon trait or a hacker trait. (Heh, you could even have them bond over the fact that they both did it?) That would actually be a character trait, as opposed to a super-power. Or hell, you could even have AI Tess the one that copied the data, as a character trait for her. (You humans always regret deleting data sooner or later).
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I was thinking they could just have the companies/divisions that created the parts for the EM drive send back their specs, they were going to have to make a larger version anyway. They had 2 prototypes made on short notice, I am sure the companies are standing by in case they need a third.

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I was thinking they could just have the companies/divisions that created the parts for the EM drive send back their specs, they were going to have to make a larger version anyway. They had 2 prototypes made on short notice, I am sure the companies are standing by in case they need a third.

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3 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

…FWIW, eidetic memory and what's called photographic memory are not quite the same thing…
You could easily have it that Tanz or Liam just kept a copy. Keeping a backup copy of something you aren't supposed to could easily be seen as a paranoid business tycoon trait or a hacker trait. (Heh, you could even have them bond over the fact that they both did it?) That would actually be a character trait, as opposed to a super-power. Or hell, you could even have AI Tess the one that copied the data, as a character trait for her. (You humans always regret deleting data sooner or later).

So much better.

I'm not sure what kind of memory my sister has, just that it would be very handy in a pre-microchip world, heh, like maybe the 1960s Star Trek. Whenever there's a new piece of office equipment, she reads the manual once, and thereafter has it in her memory whenever there's a problem or question of maintenance. 

Anyway, as someone who believes 3 backups is the minimum required, your version makes much more sense to me (1), as well as being more human. I hope this narrative choice doesn't mean Liam and his incredible brain being thrown into the damsel-in-distress role in the story. I hate that plot device, not just for the usual feminist reasons, but because it also often leads to gratuitous scenes of threatened violence, e.g.: Tell us the formula or we will poke out your girlfriend's eye! Ugh. Hopefully they will stay away from that trope.

ETA:
(1) or what @AnimeMania said

Edited by shapeshifter
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7 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Well, at least they are giving the Russians a motive, that might even be the US's fault. Here's hoping Project Atlas lives up to the hype. Incidentally, Atlas is not that obscure a word. Do they have agents patrolling reference desks in case someone asks to see the "Atlas"? Have they confiscated all copies of Atlas Shrugged ? :)

The plot is moving along briskly. That might be a nice attribute of summer shows.

Did Liam mention having a "photographic memory" at some point? (Not a real thing BTW) Is that what they are hanging the reconstruction of the EM drive on?

So, we could have dueling tractors in space at some point?

That seems unfortunate. I really enjoyed his Walter, but his villain turns on Sleepy Hollow and here haven't done much for me. Not bad, just not terribly interesting; that is probably the parts not the actor, as they were/are the "straight up evil" type of villain.

I know, but it's very noticeable once you think back on his roles.

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Ah, John Noble.  Naturally, there was no way he was going to end up being a kindly uncle, who was supportive of Darius.  Nope, he was apparently an arrogant jerk who would only support him if he dumped his girlfriend, and then got pissed when Darius cut ties and went off on his own.  And now that he knows Darius and crew stole the meteor crystal from him, he is going to answer with "retribution."  Fun times will not be had, when a John Noble character is pissed off!

Busting out the Mad Men characters for this one!  Good old Duck Phillips a.k.a. Mark Moses is Grace's father, who happens to likely be a CIA spook, who helped the team sneak into London.  Meanwhile, the Secretary of Defense is Brian Markinson Dr. Rosen in Mad Men, although he's really one of those guys that appears in almost every Canadian-filmed show out there (Dillion from Continuum!)

Anyway, so the plan worked, so at least they don't have to start a full-scaled war with Russia, but a cold war-like scenario is now happening over this mysterious Atlas thing.

Liam is finally forced to tell Jillian the truth, and she ends up leaving.  How sad (/sarcasm.)  Actually, my favorite thing about the entire thing was that they kept cutting to his copy of her book, and how much he loved her, and all I could notice was that despite only being published for a few months, it already looks beaten up like a book that has been out for years.  Liam must suck at taking care of his stuff.

Looks like they are doubling it up again next week.  Not sure when I'll get around to it, since next weekend is when The Defenders is dropping! 

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Why exactly is everyone acting so pearl-clutchingly surprised that the Russians are pissed? You don't need 'Atlas'* (whatever that is) to see that Russia might not take it too kindly that the US government kept the arrival of an Asteroid which would more or less flatten their whole country a secret. Of course they would try to get their hands on a piece of tech that could prevent that. Just be glad they did not send a memo to China.

Casting agents have 'John Noble' indexed under 'shady, disapproving, disturbed and possibly evil father-figure/mad scientist' - s. Denethor, Walter Bishop, Morland Holmes.

 

* But maybe Atlas is the asteroid - i.e. an experiment gone horribly wrong. There is that pic with the kids and the rock with Tanz industry tech. Which I suppose does not refer to Darius but evil uncle.

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On 10/08/2017 at 5:43 AM, Latverian Diplomat said:

Did Liam mention having a "photographic memory" at some point? (Not a real thing BTW) Is that what they are hanging the reconstruction of the EM drive on?

No, he didn't. I'm sure you are correct about the term being flawed, but I wouldn't fault a TV show for using it interchangeably with the more correct 'eidetic memory', because it's a term the average viewing audience is going to be familiar with. However, nothing was said in the episode about Liam having (or not having) a photographic memory. He was asked if he could re-create the EM Drive from memory, and he replied that his memory wasn't the problem - the unique crystal required was the problem. Which gave us our episode plot.

I agree with everyone who said there should be back-ups of the stolen data! We were shown that everything connected to the project was being moved off-site because it wasn't felt to be safe at Tanz, so I can fan-wank that they just dumped everything in the same truck (and weren't expecting Croft to wipe the hard drive copies), but there really should be a back-up at some other secure location. And heck, maybe we'll later be told that there is, and that's why Darius is so confident the device can be re-created! I wouldn't put it past either him or the show.

On 10/08/2017 at 3:58 AM, orza said:

That was a good episode except for the two children having tantrums. The girlfriend was totally predictable, insisting Liam be honest with her and then reacting very badly to the truth.

Yeah, I'm enjoying the show, and enjoyed this episode. I didn't mind the 'tantrums' of either Liam or Jillian, for that matter. Both felt earned. Jillian has been aware of something being 'off' for some time, and now she finds that not only has her boyfriend been lying to her, not only is the whole of her new life built on a lie, but the world is going to end - I'm not surprised she reacted badly. I'm not surprised Liam snapped either, for that matter - he's under a huge amount of stress and has been through some pretty traumatic ordeals since all this began.

I'm enjoying watching the progress of the characters and their relationships. Like, Liam started the show hero-worshipping Darius, who represented pretty much everything he aspired to become...but the problem with hero worship is that once you actually get to know the person you admire, they tend to turn into just another flawed human being, and it's easy to resent them for not living up to the pedestal you had them on. Especially when you are both under a lot of pressure and therefore not necessarily giving the greatest impression of yourself! And that's pretty much what we've seen happening here over the last few weeks. Liam started out worshipping Darius as his hero...and then started working with him closely and came to realise that his hero is just another flawed human being after all. He has been kept at arm's length by Darius for the most part, mostly seeing only the public face and privy only to the part of the project he is working on himself, so he became frustrated, because Darius does and says things without explaining himself, and Liam seems to get exasperated by things he doesn't understand. He also had Malcolm Croft dripping poison about Darius in his ears for a few episodes, and we can't be sure yet whether that was just sour grapes or a legitimate point, but either way Liam has internalised that criticism of his former hero, more so than he possibly realises. He was prepared to believe that Darius might be a traitor until he found proof that he wasn't - but even now he knows that Darius is trying to work for the greater good, he is now too aware of his hero's flaws to be uncritical. So the relationship has changed as Liam's opinion of Darius has changed.

Darius I think has been the most constant character, he seemed to form a plan of action early on and has pursued it fairly consistently ever since, but we as an audience have got to know him much better - mostly through Grace, who has so far been pretty much the only person who has been allowed to see past the public face to the man behind. He has certainly confided in her more than in anyone else - to a certain extent, anyway. He remains a very guarded character, hard to fully understand, and that is clearly a deliberate tactic on the part of the show - but we do now know quite a lot about him. Even an explanation for the question I asked last week about how he comes to have an English accent if his childhood friendship took place in America! It was clearly a deliberate decision to have Darius's Tess backstory come out in the same episode that Liam challenged him about bringing Jillian to Washington, because that allowed us to understand a motivation that Darius is never going to admit to Liam: that at least part of the reason he did it was a clumsy attempt to not do to Liam what his uncle did to him. Nicholas presumed that a girlfriend would drag Darius down and took steps to separate them; Darius, on realising Liam's attachment to Jillian, decided to do the opposite and bring Jillian into the fold so that Liam could have her close at hand while he worked - equally high-handed, but, you know, he was trying.

We've seen Grace start out as the dutiful government employee, but quickly start to move outside of the rules when she saw (or was encouraged to see) that the rule book was hampering the effort to save the world, and we've seen how much she has struggled with that - in this episode, for the first time, we see Harris doing likewise. And that's pretty huge, actually, because Harris has from the start been an absolute stickler for the rules. But he reached his breaking point last week when he saw a longtime acquaintance and world-saving task force comrade being tortured by his own government because the finger of suspicion had been pointed in his direction, and he saw that same man pick himself up afterward, dust himself off, and get straight back to the business of cooperating to achieve a greater good. So now Harris has taken the same step that Grace did a few weeks ago - he has stepped outside of the rulebook, in the interests of saving lives, and has offered his support to the maverick. That's really interesting development.

I also loved that little moment where Harris offered comfort and reassurance to Liam, in a way that guarded, emotionally stunted Darius could never do. Harris is a father, and he's an ex-soldier. And as an ex-soldier he can relate to the things Liam has been through, and knows what that kind of trauma does to a man. His experience and understanding were exactly what Liam needed in that moment - and because Liam wears his heart right out there on his sleeve, despite all his best efforts, every man and his dog could see that he was struggling and needed a pep talk. And then it struck me that Darius has also been through a lot in the last few episodes - he was tortured, for pete's sake, found his best friend murdered, had to solve the murder himself because the authorities wouldn't. No one is offering him any comfort, and I'm not sure he'd take it if they tried. But Grace is becoming a close friend, and since the show is clearly aiming for love triangle territory, it'll be interesting to see how that plays out, now that they are all becoming proper allies.

I'm pretty sure I had more thoughts while I was watching, but that'll do to be going on with!

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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

I agree with everyone who said there should be back-ups of the stolen data! We were shown that everything connected to the project was being moved off-site because it wasn't felt to be safe at Tanz, so I can fan-wank that they just dumped everything in the same truck (and weren't expecting Croft to wipe the hard drive copies), but there really should be a back-up at some other secure location. And heck, maybe we'll later be told that there is, and that's why Darius is so confident the device can be re-created! I wouldn't put it past either him or the show

Backups in the cloud, people! The fall semester is about to start, and if your flash drive gets literally eaten by your dog, that excuse is not going to bring your term paper back!
And what's your backup plan for if/when your old or brand new laptop hard drive crashes?
And you better have more than one cloud backup for when hackers bring down Google Docs the night before your group project is due.
Okay. Enough with the PSA.
Meanwhile back at the episode:
When Grace was instinctively holding Darius' hand (platonically, presumably) after we had heard the story of his regrets at losing his One True Love, and then we see Grace and Harris passionately embrace (the world is ending, so, why not?), and then we see Harris as the noble father figure soldier to the orphan:

1 hour ago, Llywela said:

also loved that little moment where Harris offered comfort and reassurance to Liam, in a way that guarded, emotionally stunted Darius could never do. Harris is a father, and he's an ex-soldier. And as an ex-soldier he can relate to the things Liam has been through, and knows what that kind of trauma does to a man. His experience and understanding were exactly what Liam needed in that moment

—well, all this reminded me that not only does Ian Anthony Dale typically lose his shirt by the third episode, but he  generally puts on the red shirt (metaphorically speaking) before the end of the season or series, if ya know what I mean.

Edited by shapeshifter
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9 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

then we see Grace and Harris passionately embrace (the world is ending, so, why not?)

That reminds me...I thought their romance was Top Secret?! He's her boss, no one is supposed to know! Then all of a sudden, there they are snogging right out in public - and in front of Darius, too, who is absolutely going to take note and make use of that knowledge in some way!

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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

That reminds me...I thought their romance was Top Secret?! He's her boss, no one is supposed to know! Then all of a sudden, there they are snogging right out in public - and in front of Darius, too, who is absolutely going to take note and make use of that knowledge in some way!

The promo seems to be suggesting a love triangle, so it's even worse.

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I just remembered that Darius already knew about them being together - he was onto them the moment Harris introduced him to Grace. And Grace knows that he knows, because he mentioned it at that party they went to, and she may well have told Harris...but even so, there were other people around, including Liam, so it still seems pretty indiscreet. I'll give them the pass, though, for rising passions in the heat of the moment - dramatic dangerous mission completed, end of the world imminent, and whatnot.

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Yes, Darius knew already about Grace and Harris (because Darius knows everything except how to back-up data). Plus when the apocalypse comes knocking you really don't care too much about workplace policy anymore.

A love triangle is certainly a possibility but I'm not so sure about Harris getting the red shirt. Darius' tragic backstory *eye-roll* sets him up for a sacrifice in the name of love.

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57 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Plus when the apocalypse comes knocking you really don't care too much about workplace policy anymore.

Maybe not in front of wealthy indistrialists and ex-commando buddies - but I bet they'll continue to be more circumspect at the Pentagon!

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They were using blasters during the raid. I know Darius had some explanation about them being electrical charges, but it sure looked like Star Wars blaster fire to me. 

I'm giving up on the science. Right now I'm sort of hoping that Liam, while standing on a monolith dressed as a 60s version of a Native American, yells "Kirk to Enterprise" a into his iPhone and there's a super alien ray that moves the rock for them. It would make as much sense as what they're doing.

I am a little concerned that Liam's girlfriend whose name escapes me is upset with him for not committing treason (leaking highly classified National Security information). That seems to be a bit of a high bar for a young man to clear. 

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Something that occurred to me about the plan to move the asteroid is that nuclear weapons, just like ordinary weapons, depend mostly on concussive force (as well as heat,yes) to do their work.  Is that really a possibility in the vacuum of space?  Wouldn't the force be dissipated in all directions?

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8 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Something that occurred to me about the plan to move the asteroid is that nuclear weapons, just like ordinary weapons, depend mostly on concussive force (as well as heat,yes) to do their work.  Is that really a possibility in the vacuum of space?  Wouldn't the force be dissipated in all directions?

I think they want to use the gravity tractor method (Gravity Tractor) and pull the asteroid enough to miss the Earth, not use nuclear weapons. The Pentagon's plan was to crash a satellite into the asteroid which might have broken it to pieces which might have rained down on the earth. The stolen Uranium was to power "The Salvation", a different spaceship that will take 160 people to Mars after the asteroid threat has been averted.

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Here's the thing, though. They don't have enough time for a gravity tractor to work. The momentum of the rock -- with its size and speed -- make a gravity tractor completely impractical.  gravity tractor takes a lot of time to make a course adjustment. The only thing that would work with this rock is a high-impact billiard shot with a directed, close impact nuke bigger than anything we've ever made-- just nudge it enough, but they've set up a scenario now where's there's really nothing that we have that could make a difference. 

It's been weird with this show, because you can see where the showrunner lost control of it. He wrote the first two episodes, and you could see he was really looking at a realistic-ish scenario to a real potential problem. Then somewhere someone else got involved -- other writers came in -- and the science went to hell, and so did the plausibility. And instead of using the scenario they've created for drama, they've decided to manufacture a conflict of the week. Too bad, but that's apparently what happened. 

 

OhI also wanted to ask this -- since when is a billion dollars a bunch when it comes to government contracts? The feds keep throwing the word around like Doctor Evil when in a government system trying to save the world, it's next to nothing. 

Edited by whiporee
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I think the asteroid is man-made and probably has it's own propulsion system. They probably determined the size of the object by it's brightness, which can be faked. I think John Noble and the Russians are creating this scenario to steal tech from Darius Tanz.

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2 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I think the asteroid is man-made and probably has it's own propulsion system. They probably determined the size of the object by it's brightness, which can be faked. I think John Noble and the Russians are creating this scenario to steal tech from Darius Tanz.

I did wonder that myself - but if they've got the tech to fake an asteroid that size, they don't need to steal anything from Darius!

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Can Jillian and Amanda be the first to die when the asteroid hits? Something about both of them bugs me. Maybe it's their acting or just that they seem obnoxious and distracting.

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12 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

Can Jillian and Amanda be the first to die when the asteroid hits? Something about both of them bugs me. Maybe it's their acting or just that they seem obnoxious and distracting.

I'm more inclined toward it being the writing of the cardboard cutouts characters than the acting.

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Is anyone else bothered by the constant smile/grin Jill ian always has....many times inappropriately. Her character bugs me big time.

Wish the science would come back but....too late for that, I think.

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On 8/15/2017 at 5:27 AM, MVFrostsMyPie said:

Can Jillian and Amanda be the first to die when the asteroid hits? Something about both of them bugs me. Maybe it's their acting or just that they seem obnoxious and distracting.

Yeah I'm not a fan of either of them, they're just so pointless and irritating so far. 
 

ETA: Not a fan of Liam this episode, whining to your boss that you can't deal with your relationship problems is ridiculous, he didn't make you shack up with your insta love, or stalk her outside a book shop or even lie to her repeatedly. 

Edited by wayne67

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