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S04.E02: Off the Record

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While Elizabeth is in Libya to help negotiate an end to their civil war, a tragic accident with her chauffeured car embroils her in an urgent situation to secure medical care for a gravely wounded local girl.

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Well, it looks like Stevie/Dmitri are pretty much guaranteed, now.  Which is unfortunate, because I am getting totally sick of every single facet of the Dmitri arc.

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At about 40 minutes in, I was all ready for a rant about how much I hate this Dmitri arc and they're going to make him a drug addict and get together with Stevie and *drama*. Then, Dmitri did the sensible thing and told Henry, and Stevie and Jareth made up.

Then the end of the episode happened. At this point I am expecting Stevie and Dmitri to start dating. I just hope the drug addiction is not in the picture at that point.

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Whew! I just checked Wallis Currie-Wood's (Stevie) IMDb page and found no other current projects, so we don't have to worry about Dimitri/Alex accidentally murdering her in a withdrawal induced rage should she decide to offer to use another shade of beige-white to paint his apartment.

I sort of enjoyed the predictable, tied-up-in-pink-ribbons outcome of the warring factions being inspired to make peace by Bess's heroics to save the life of one girl who was run over by Bess's chauffeur, but then I've watched TV since the 60s. They didn't even bother to mention, that I can recall, that Bess would have to at least considered the optics of the child dying; the audience was supposed to believe that Bess was purely motivated by compassion, right?

Dimitri's description of present day Russian torture was eye opening. 

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I don't mind Dmitri, but I was ready to roll my eyes at the addiction storyline. Then he told Henry, and honestly I think that's a much more interesting storytelling choice than spending a whole season with him trying to hide it.

I'm already tired of the idea of Dmitri and Stevie dating, but it's actually not because I dislike Dmitri. It's because I'm tired of Stevie's romantic life, and her bouncing around, wishy-washy, unable to decide what to do with her life character arc. I do actually get how she may have rushed into things with Jared too quickly and could have doubts now, but for crying out loud, her past relationships have been the drug-addicted son of the POTUS and her 20-years older boss (who also technically works for her mom). Jared may have his issues, but at least he's not a drug-addicted former Russian agent now working for the US under Stevie's dad. Jared has an inferiority complex about his heritage, but Dmitri is going to have mountains of issues to work through. Come on, Stevie, get it together and recognize what you have!

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Seriously. Dmitri was brought into the US after prison/torture and just installed as a cable guy in Arizona without ANY counseling or followup? And then brought into an intelligence organization without a thorough psych check and pee test (did I miss the pee test?) This is not a guy who should be revisiting his past trauma...he should be getting heavy-duty therapy and support (and for that matter, so should his sister.)

But a romance with Stevie will "fix" him, I guess. I really hope they don't go there, because nothing good can come of it. 

Also, when Elizabeth wanted to go on the helicopter with the kid, and HER handler was threatening to bodily carry her away, I was waiting for her to bust out her CIA hand-to-hand combat. THAT would have been worth watching.

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This show is getting tiresome. I liked Dimitri in his first appearance. I’ve hated every appearance after he was released from the Russian prison. He did receive counseling in Arizona.  Obviously no drug test though. Why would anyone ever think he was stable enough to be used this way? 

I would just like for Henry and Bess to admit they are occasionally wrong. 

Eta: just watched the last scene. They should have just ended it with the McCords  squabbling while painting ( not the joking paint fight). So that Stevie understood the squabbles are normal.  For example- it’s not fun watching my spouse and me in a canoe. 

Edited by mythoughtis · Reason: I grew up being told x and me was never correct. Only now I find out that’s incorrect.
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I have never liked the Dimitri arc(s). I don't like the Captain Arm Candy, spy, arcs either. I like Madam Sec a lot, just not the rest. I almost didn't watch the whole episode.

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This episode was too preachy and plot contrivanc-y to me.  Bess going to any length to save the child.  The warring sides coming to an agreement because they were so inspired. Dimitri and Stevie happening to run into each other. Dimitri's co-workers being so insensitive on his first day.  

I like Dimitri's character, but I really want to see this blow up on Henry-  for him to realize he isn't always right.  Also, that not every bad thing he's done in the name of good can be erased.    

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I really don't want to sound like a complete wuss here but, due to the usual over it's time slot football game, this weeks episode didn't start until 10:30. I get up at 5:30. I missed it completely. So, well...damn.

Just saying.

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21 minutes ago, deaja said:

I like Dimitri's character, but I really want to see this blow up on Henry...

I want him to go for Henry with a can opener.

But it isn't going to happen.  Dmitri's early admission of drug addiction simply opens the way for Henry to be all wonderful about it.  It's obvious that no shadow will ever fall across Henry.  So, no matter how Dmitri has been screwed over, it's never going to blow up in Henry's face.

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5 hours ago, Beden said:

I really don't want to sound like a complete wuss here but, due to the usual over it's time slot football game, this weeks episode didn't start until 10:30. I get up at 5:30. I missed it completely. So, well...damn.

Just saying.

Actually, the show started on time and this episode was not a run over. It was scheduled for 10:30 PM because of NFL Doubleheader of which there are many others scheduled for this season. In this case, the game was over on time.

10/15/17 (Su.)10:30 PM CBS (#MS402) "Off the Record"

Edited by VinceW
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Hey!  What's with all the Dmitri hate?  I think he is smoldering and a good actor. He has a lot going on underneath. He's clearly attracted to Stevie and vice versa.  I'm all for seeing where this goes!

Of course the British boyfriend is the better choice, but the passion with Dmitri will be something unlike anything Stevie has experienced so far, I'm predicting.

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I have no problem with the actor. It’s his storyline after he got out of the Russian prison that I’m not on board with. Stevie’s storylines never interest me. 

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I can see Stevie with Dmitri. In a way, they'd be a shadow of the relationship she saw modeled with her parents--both of them "true believers" in the classic West Wing Bartlet Staffer style, devoting their lives to public service and the common good.

But, damn. If Stevie thought Jared got pissy when all he thought her mom did was manipulate her to want to paint, wait until Dmitri inevitably finds out that it was his new girlfriend's mother who agreed to let him be tortured and likely killed!

Talk about your in-law issues!

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So Stevie is such a super important member of Russell’s staff that she is constantly getting summonses from “work”.  What IS her work other than getting coffee and snacks?

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Obviously Stevie & Jareth are all but over, but it doesn't necessarily mean she'll end up with Dmitri.  She has Dr. Professor Captain Arm Candy Dad to prevent her from getting anywhere near him.   She probably won't be told "Alex" is a druggie, but he'll find some way to keep them apart. 

Is Tea's hair a little shorter this season?  I like it.    

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13 hours ago, shksabelle said:

So Stevie is such a super important member of Russell’s staff that she is constantly getting summonses from “work”.  What IS her work other than getting coffee and snacks?

Maybe she picks up folders and brings them to Russell.

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On 10/21/2017 at 5:31 PM, leighdear said:

Obviously Stevie & Jareth are all but over, but it doesn't necessarily mean she'll end up with Dmitri.  She has Dr. Professor Captain Arm Candy Dad to prevent her from getting anywhere near him.   She probably won't be told "Alex" is a druggie, but he'll find some way to keep them apart. 

Is Tea's hair a little shorter this season?  I like it.    

Not liking the new Tea hairstyle so much.  The possible Stevie/Dmitri relationship teaser put forth in the finale last season is much the same as the Bess for VP teaser put out there in the season 2 finale. It is not going to happen for a lot of reasons especially as Elizabeth gets involved and finds out what might be in the works with Dmitri working for the CIA. The druggie issue put a quick stop to some kind of possible romance. IMO. In his state of mind right now, Dmitri is a loose canon.  I feel sorry for Talia given the way that Dmitri has been interacting with her. 

Edited by VinceW

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12 minutes ago, VinceW said:

Not liking the new Tea hairstyle so much.  

I'm a fan of professional women looking the part, not like a Real Housewife of Wherever.   Madeleine, Conde and Hillary all had short, easy-care 'do's.  I prefer my political leaders to NOT obsess about their hair and choose convoluted styles, but that's just me.  ;-)  Even the as-seen-on-TV ones. 

Bess is always well put together, fashionable enough without being outrageous, and I love whoever keeps putting her in vintage Peter Frampton T-shirts for bedtime.  I had 3 different ones back in the day!

Edited by leighdear
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On 10/21/2017 at 0:57 PM, shksabelle said:

So Stevie is such a super important member of Russell’s staff that she is constantly getting summonses from “work”.  What IS her work other than getting coffee and snacks?

They need constant coffee and snacks.

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On ‎22‎.‎10‎.‎2017 at 2:44 PM, VinceW said:

Not liking the new Tea hairstyle so much. 

Me neither (though from what I understand it's actually Bess' hairstyle but that doesn't change the fact that it's the worst they've come up with yet). I liked last season's and season 1 the best.

Is it bad of me to wish that Henry will fall on his ... butt, with Dmitri? I don't want anything to happen to him but what they have done to Henry is just ridiculous and I just want him to fail. Big time. Screw something up with a choice he makes, doesn't even have to be Dmitri, hell, have Bess have to clean up his mess because it'll cause an international incident with the Russians. That would be nice. Although, I'd already be happy with a big failure that throws him out of the CIA. How can a marine who studied theology lead a CIA division anyway? Recruiting assets, fine. I can get behind that and suspend belief enough. It's a TV show. But leading a whole unit? He has not had an ounce of training about how to analyse anything, not to mention that he has no clue about how to read people. This is just... no. It's way too far out of the realm of even beginning to be a possibility. (And what's up with his crappy ties? Not only do I find wool ties (or whatever material it is) ugly, it's cut off at the end which I think, makes it even uglier.)

What was the point of Stevie running into Russell with the coffee? And why does Stevie have to continue to be an intern? Were they running out of ideas of how to keep her on the show otherwise? They manage with the other kids. Her job seems kind of pointless and I was going to say that I doubt she'd be a paid intern anyway but that's not possible in the US, is it? And whatever happened to her passion about microloans? Why can't she go into that field/direction? That could interlace with Bess' job, too.

I'm starting to wonder if Jareth has figured out who he is and what he wants yet. After the argument he and Stevie had, I'm wondering how much of what he said in his apology was his opinion and how much he said just to please Stevie. I believe he loves and he probably admires Bess, too, it just seemed that he felt he had to apologize, so he did, instead of asking Stevie to sit down with him and talk about what was really bothering him and why they had started to argue about paint. He seems to be the kind of person who tries to say what he thinks others want to hear instead of saying what he thinks.

That said, I do like him with Stevie and while my happiness doesn't depend on whether the relationship lasts or not, I wouldn't mind if it does and I'm not really a fan of the Stevie/Dmitri idea, mainly because sometimes people can be just friends. Would be nice if they went that route. I doubt it, but it would be nice.

I liked the episode otherwise. I thought the paint-fighting was cute, though I wasn't sure if Bess was really upset or just pretending to be. And I really hope that that wasn't really her favorite shirt because who puts on their favorite shirt when they paint?

I loved the interaction between Bess and her detail. I don't have a hard time imagining that there are moments when those who are protected by DS or SS drive those who are doing the protection nuts. It can't be easy for both sides (and it's actually something that I would have loved to have explored more in the 1st season. Suddenly having someone following you around everywhere you go can't be fun or easy at the beginning).

I also liked the political story of the episode. Maybe it wasn't realistic but it sure is what I would like reality to be like and it's exactly why I watch this show/why I watch TV shows. The only criticism I have there is that Bess is supposed to speak Arabic well enough to be appointed station chief in Baghdad. I understand that Leoni couldn't possibly learn all of what she would have needed to be able to speak but she could, at least, have understood conversations well enough to answer before the translater, at least, occasionally. Now, maybe the dialect is so different in Lybia that she wouldn't understand, I have no idea how many different dialects there are and how diverse they are, but if that were the case, a brief remark of hers about that would have been nice.

Edited by CheshireCat
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