Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
CooperTV

S04.E13: Reading the Signs

Recommended Posts

fb2b7b99-fe97-437b-b11b-dbaf31a79d24+%25

Quote

Elizabeth seeks creative solutions when the president of Sri Lanka’s psychic convinces him to not move forward with a trade agreement with the U.S. Also, Alison grapples with guilt for missing the warning signs after her college roommate attempts suicide, and Henry makes an abrupt career decision.

Promo

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, Netfoot said:

He's going to be King?

 

1 hour ago, bros402 said:

Major League pitcher

Perhaps Pope Henry I?

 

 

When I read this episode description:

"Elizabeth seeks creative solutions when the president of Sri Lanka’s psychic convinces him to not move forward with a trade agreement with the U.S.…"

—it conveyed  to me that, oddly, the country of Sri Lanka has an official psychic who has his or her own president. I do realize that the episode is really about the president of  Sri Lanka consulting a psychic on matters of foreign policy (which is reminiscent of the influence of Nancy Reagan's astrologer), but it took me three readings to get there.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

but it took me three readings to get there.

Same here.  Can't they get a blurb writer who stayed awake for one day of high school?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Driad said:

Same here.  Can't they get a blurb writer who stayed awake for one day of high school?

I'm not sure that would help in this case since high school teachers are likely to reenforce the Microsoft Word insistence on using active voice even when passive voice is necessary for clarity:

Elizabeth seeks creative solutions when the president of Sri Lanka is convinced by his psychic to not move forward with a trade agreement with the U.S.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Henry's career decisions always make me nervous.

Oh dear. Now I'm realizing how much psychics and religious prophets have in common and thinking Henry might become the next incarnation of Carnac the Magnificent (© 1964 Johnny Carson).
5a2437f7d6796c543d2e40c05a759668.png

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/9/2018 at 8:31 PM, CheshireCat said:

Henry's career decisions always make me nervous.

9 Reasons We (cbs.com) Love Henry McCord on Madam Secretary:

1 - He would do anything to protect his children.

2 - He doesn't let anything come between Elizabeth and himself.

3 - He’s tough, yet sensitive.

4 - He knows how to be sexy and spontaneous.

5 - He makes great arm candy.

6 - He can handle a powerful woman.

7 - He stands by his morals.

8 - He would never turn his back on a friend.

9 - He’s funny and smart.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Welcome back, favorite show.  I have missed you.

The Noodle story broke my heart.  As a parent of a college son who’s gone through very similar experiences, I fought back tears and thought Henry and Bess were very realistic in their responses.  Well done, Tim and Tea.

The tea-leaf reader storyline was amusing and on a serious note, I liked that the word he gave Bess was “run” (though I don’t want her to run for President).  I also liked seeing the partnership of Bess and Acting President whatshername.  

I like Bess’ new haircut.

Cool job on Henry’s part on resigning and telling the committee “now we’re done”.  I don’t blame him a bit.  He feels he’s working on behalf of the soldiers and the people of Afghanistan, but Morejon and his crew are using the budget to keep things under their control for political reasons (what else is new?).

Kat was slightly, very slightly, less annoying.  But I still wish she wasn’t in that role.  And why does the actress insist on having her hands in her pockets 100% of the time when she’s upright?  It’s weird.

No to Daisy and Matt 2.0 please.

Edited by MerBearHou
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, MerBearHou said:

 

Kat was slightly, very slightly, less annoying.  But I still wish she wasn’t in that role.  And why does the actress insist on having her hands in her pockets 100% of the time when she’s upright?  It’s weird.

No to Daisy and Matt 2.0 please.

Yes to both of these.

Overall, I was underwhelmed. The Noodle story just didn’t do it for me, and a lot of time was devoted to it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I liked the way they told the story of the tea leaf reading—for the most part. It could have benefited from a line about how there are some sincere Shaman/wise men who "read" the leaves to encourage people to make the morally best choices. Maybe with Henry back to being just Professor of Religion Arm Candy, he can mention it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

When they were in the conference room making fun of the tea leaf reader I kept waiting for someone to ask, "How is that much different than believing in a virgin birth, a dead man coming back to life, walking on water, etc?" Then I remembered I was watching US network tv and they wouldn't have the guts to bring that up on this show.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Maybe with Henry back to being just Professor of Religion Arm Candy

Surely you don't expect that to last?  What would a show about a strong, competent woman be, without a superhero husband to up-stage her every other scene?

16 minutes ago, thecdn said:

Then I remembered I was watching US network tv and they wouldn't have the guts to bring that up on this show.

After proving the tealeaf guy to be venal, that would only have worked if they could show that the Pope was in it solely for the power/glory/money/choirboys.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, MerBearHou said:

I also liked seeing the partnership of Bess and Acting President whatshername.  

I do like this chemistry.  I like how Bess was at first taken aback at Acting President whatshername's rejection--rejection!?!--of her carefully orchestrated trade plan, then later came to realize that it is Acting President whatshername's prerogative to do so, and that it was actually a carefully weighed decision and not a political tit-for-tat move to punish Bess for not making a public declaration of disinterest in a future run for the Presidency. 

There were also some good lines in this episode.  Wallis Curie-Wood's delivery of Stevie walking up to Jason and saying "You're a moron!" was absolutely a spot-on portrayal of a complex brother-sister-sister relationship.  "Grown up" Stevie is not above a simple, scornful, and easily understood put-down when the situation calls for it.  The scene blocking and her eyes really sold it.  

I also loved how Bess lamented "Sometimes I worry that Russell Jackson is your mentor..." in response to something Stevie said.

I like Tim Daly, and I really like the marriage and parentage scenes, but I'm really, really tired of his superhero schtick.  I need them to go back to him being the mild-mannered professor who occasionally through the course of his contacts and teaching at the War College stumbles on some international intrigue that he has to bring to Bess or the DoD to solve.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post

I may have missed it, but does anyone know if they'll have Noodle switch rooms? I know she's basically commuting at this point, but when she goes back?  There's no way she'll be able to concentrate knowing what happened. 

13 minutes ago, HurricaneVal said:

I like Tim Daly, and I really like the marriage and parentage scenes, but I'm really, really tired of his superhero schtick.  I need them to go back to him being the mild-mannered professor who occasionally through the course of his contacts and teaching at the War College stumbles on some international intrigue that he has to bring to Bess or the DoD to solve.

Word. Can he please go back to being just Dr. Arm Candy? I admit I didn't see him resigning, but dear God please let him take a step back.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

On the one hand, I’m glad Henry quit the job since I didn’t understand what it was or how he was qualified for it. On the other hand, I’m scared the writers will decide his next job will be any of the following: Congressman, Secretary of Defense, UN Ambassador, Vice President, or Captain America. I think we are safe on the last one because Marvel owns the rights.

I thought Noodle’s storyline was handled pretty well for one episode on network TV. She is the only McCord child that doesn’t make me grind my teeth.

Breaking Noodle’s nightlight was the last straw for Jason with me. He is now dead to me. May he go live with Jareth.

Edited by Athena5217 · Reason: Correct typo
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Athena5217 said:

Breaking Noodle’s nightlight was the last straw for Jason with me. He is now dead to me. May he go live with Jareth

It wasn't so much that he broke it, it was that he was unapologetic. But even his failure to show any empathy in that moment rang true for sibling dynamics—at least in my family—but maybe not for the much more well-adjusted McCords.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

At least someone in the White House apparently knew how to brew tea properly.  During the Reagan administration, Prince Charles visited.  They gave him a cup of hot water with a tea bag in it, but he did not know what to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, Driad said:

They gave him a cup of hot water with a tea bag in it, but he did not know what to do with it.

It is one of the most annoying things about visiting the USA.  You order tea, and they give you a teabag.  That happened to me in a restaurant once, and I asked, "What am I supposed to do with this?  Suck it?"  I thought they were going to throw me out, but then they pointed me to a stack of cups and a thermos of hot water, over on one side.

During my visit to the UK last year, one of the small pleasures was to order tea and have it properly served in a pot!  Fancy restaurant or roadside 'caff', the only way you didn't get a pot was if you bought your tea from a vending machine.  Or from a coffee shop named after the American patron saint, St. Arbucks....

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoyed the throw away throwback reference to the wet/dry vac that Noodle brought to college. 

Re. the making of tea: have to scald the pot and/or cup with the boiling water first, to warm them up so the tea brews at the proper temperature. I've never seen that done properly when on trips to the USA. (Once there was a microwave involved....).

Share this post


Link to post

Poor Noodle. She's the nice one. And it did bring to the fore the fact that the family does have a history of suicide (Henry's Dad). Outmanned Henry (as when he realizes he's making no headway with the Gang of 8, and when he confesses to Allison he thinks about what he could have done to save his father) is interesting Henry. It's when he's NOT Mr. Fixit, just honest and real. 

And I also like how they made it clear that while Elizabeth disagreed with the Acting President's decision, that she supported it because it was a real choice. With all the hinting and teasing going on, I wonder if Acting P is considering asking Elizabeth to be her running mate.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Happy  for Henry to go do something else. Profession of religious studies again maybe?

Noodles and Jason don’t bother me. The nightlight wasn't the issue at all, it just gave Noodles a place to  point her anxiety at.  That’s why Jason was flummoxed as how to answer- he didn’t understand why she was so upset. He’s the youngest.  

I would actually like to see Daisy and Matt together. They make a cute couple- one that didn’t have to be shoehorned into a two week story to explain the actress’s pregnancy. 

Kit can leave my screen any time. She just takes screen time away from the rest.   Sara Ramirez is just too high energy for the rest of th cast and the show itself.   

Edited by mythoughtis

Share this post


Link to post
32 minutes ago, mythoughtis said:

I would actually like to see Daisy and Matt together. They make a cute couple

They were together.  And no, it was anything but cute,

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

They were together.  And no, it was anything but cute,

I liked them together. Right up until they started fighting out of nowhere. Which was obviously a plot device.  As was the behavior that they had Matt do  that broke them up finally. Just my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post

I liked Henry in the earlier seasons when he could talk about religion and ethics with nuance. Helping people understand background, creating context so those in charge of serious weapons would know beyond black and white, all of that was interesting. And it provided some background for how Elizabeth thinks and does her job.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/11/2018 at 11:32 PM, MerBearHou said:

Welcome back, favorite show.  I have missed you.

The Noodle story broke my heart.  As a parent of a college son who’s gone through very similar experiences, I fought back tears and thought Henry and Bess were very realistic in their responses.  Well done, Tim and Tea.

The tea-leaf reader storyline was amusing and on a serious note, I liked that the word he gave Bess was “run” (though I don’t want her to run for President).  I also liked seeing the partnership of Bess and Acting President whatshername.  

I like Bess’ new haircut.

Cool job on Henry’s part on resigning and telling the committee “now we’re done”.  I don’t blame him a bit.  He feels he’s working on behalf of the soldiers and the people of Afghanistan, but Morejon and his crew are using the budget to keep things under their control for political reasons (what else is new?).

Kat was slightly, very slightly, less annoying.  But I still wish she wasn’t in that role.  And why does the actress insist on having her hands in her pockets 100% of the time when she’s upright?  It’s weird.

No to Daisy and Matt 2.0 please.

all of this!! I love Noodle!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎12‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 9:40 AM, thecdn said:

When they were in the conference room making fun of the tea leaf reader I kept waiting for someone to ask, "How is that much different than believing in a virgin birth, a dead man coming back to life, walking on water, etc?"

Christianity is familiar to all of them. Tea-leaf reading isn't. But the show did hint at the fact that there may be some truth to it, too. The tea-leaf-reader might have used the influence he has with the President to talk him out of the trade agreement because of his brother but that doesn't mean that it's what he saw in the tea-leaves. And the rest, they left open for interpretation, pretty much like the above and every other religion and belief is open for interpretation. We can either believe that something happened exactly like it was told or that something happened that led to it being told like it is. Just like we can believe that it was all a coincidence or that the tea-leaf reader might have a gift.

And speaking of believing, given that Alison was at home and not in need of her parents running anywhere, "run" is up for interpretation, too.

 

On ‎12‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 6:36 PM, nekilarose said:

I may have missed it, but does anyone know if they'll have Noodle switch rooms? I know she's basically commuting at this point, but when she goes back?  There's no way she'll be able to concentrate knowing what happened. 

It sounded to me like she won't go back until the next semester and by then she'd have a new room anyway, wouldn't she?

 

On ‎13‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 5:54 AM, shapeshifter said:

 But even his failure to show any empathy in that moment rang true for sibling dynamics—at least in my family—but maybe not for the much more well-adjusted McCords.

You think? I think it was very accurate for Jason McCord. He is the rebel after all. I loved that scene, wouldn't have minded if it had been a little longer.

 

On ‎13‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 6:31 PM, tvfanatic13 said:

Do NOT like Noodle's new haircut. Have I missed it before or is this the first time that we have seen it?

Nope, we've seen it before, I think in episode 5. The first time she came home from college.

 

On ‎15‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 12:37 PM, kwnyc said:

And I also like how they made it clear that while Elizabeth disagreed with the Acting President's decision, that she supported it because it was a real choice. With all the hinting and teasing going on, I wonder if Acting P is considering asking Elizabeth to be her running mate.

It sounds to me like it's still Bess who has the support of the party/donors. They mentioned it a couple of times in the episode, at the beginning at home when Stevie conveyed her opinion that sounded like it was heavily influenced by Russell and then again at the end, when Bess' staff mentioned it. I don't think they're building up to Hurst asking Bess.

 

I came away from the episode feeling weird. I definitely need to watch it again in a couple of days. I just expected it to go elsewhere, so, I came away being underwhelmed. I thought it started out good but then so much happened at the end and I felt that I couldn't appreciate all of the scenes because they needed to fit so much into them and they weren't as long as they should have been. Bess worrying about Alison took away from the politics, too, and that was an odd shift because it started out with the focus on the politics and then that became an afterthought.

That said, I liked how they dealt with the story in general. I'm glad that the roommate survived and I liked the call-back to Henry's father. It's good to see that they're not forgetting about him. And two seasons later to the episode, too. It's the third time they've included suicide though. I wonder if that's a coincidence or deliberate.

I would have loved had Henry made the decision to quit because of Alison and her roommate's suicide though. So, basically, that it would have made Henry remember Ivan and then Dmitri and the emotional toll the job is taking on him and that it also would have given him a desire to be more available to his children again. I think it's a pity that they don't allow to the character to reflect. They allow Bess to reflect plenty of times and I think it makes her character grow because it gives us an insight to her strength and weaknesses and we see her make mistakes and admit it or we see her struggle with decisions she has to make for the good of the country and I think it makes her human. I don't understand why they don't allow Henry to do the same. I think this whole intelligence job story would have worked a lot better had he been less righteous and admitted that he had a lot to learn and/or had admitted that he wasn't cut out for the job emotionally. Because he wasn't.

I would also have liked to see him and Bess brain-storm out of the box ideas to get the funding. Henry saying that he needed to think out of the box was a mean teaser. A lost opportunity, in my opinion.

But most importantly, I was underwhelmed with the final meeting. I wanted Henry to stick it to Morejon again, like he did in one of the earlier episode. He didn't have anything to lose and it would have been really satisfying.

I also would have liked to see Henry tell Bess that he quit. If the final scene had been longer they could have worked it in.

I liked the scene between Bess and the Sri Lanka President. I thought that was well done.

I'm also glad that the VP stopped being childish. And I guess, it is a point in her favor that she didn't go through with the deal just for the optics. I didn't actually occur to me that she was blocking the deal out of spite. But I did expect it to become a conflict. I think I would have liked that and it's one of the reasons why I feel weird about the episode. I did like that Bess sort of saved the day though with her Indonesia idea.

I did like the new hairstyle on Bess. It looked a lot better than at the beginning of the season. And what was up with the clothing in the episode? The dress Stevie wore at the beginning seemed odd WH attire. And Bess was wearing a blue close to the color of the Oval Office couch twice. The first time it was her blouse, the second time it was her blazer. Was that done on purpose of accidentially?

 

ETA: I also thought Russell should have been there. I know that he's Conrad's Chief of Staff but he was there when Bess was acting President and one would think that he'd keep an extra close eye on Hurst to make sure that she's not using this as a political opportunity and to implement her own agenda to distinguish herself from the WH.

Edited by CheshireCat
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎17‎.‎03‎.‎2018 at 5:00 PM, mythoughtis said:

Kit can leave my screen any time. She just takes screen time away from the rest.   Sara Ramirez is just too high energy for the rest of th cast and the show itself.   

She's so very different than everyone else. I don't know if it's how she plays her role and if she's supposed to be like that or if it's the actress. And I guess, it's natural to have someone who has a completely different energy on a team. I'm just not sure if it works on TV. I still haven't made up my mind about that. I think, another problem might also be that Ramirez is technically replacing Neuwirth even though Kat is replacing Jay on the show. So, they put a man in the place of the woman but still added another woman to show. I know that I still need to remind myself that she's the policy advisor and not the chief of staff. It may also be because she's upstaging Jay. She's a more powerful presence when she and Jay are in a room. Nadine was quieter but it didn't matter so much because everyone else was quieter, too. Now you've got Ramirez/Kat who's very present whereas the rest of the staff is still the same. It doesn't so much matter with Bess because Bess is the Secretary but when Jay and Kat brainstorm, it's hard to remember that Jay is Kat's boss because Kat seems to be more present/dominant.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×