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S02.E03: Crimes and Punishment

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Loyalties are tested when Grace is asked to lie under oath. Also, Darius tasks Liam with a dangerous mission, and a shocking act of violence plunges the nation into chaos.

And once again I come to this board to comment on the most recent episode, only to find no thread yet started, and so, once again I start the thread with just a tiny suspicion that life has imitated art, and that while I am posting new threads, perhaps Rome and the entire globe are burning after being…?

Well, actually, the town where my ex has lived since 1991 was wiped off the map by a forest fire over the weekend, but no asteroid yet. Right?

How crazy was it on the life-art imitation scale that the (fictional) White House council is Kavanaugh?

So did Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchmen not know how to disappear a body, or…?

I'd like to think Liam does believe the Mata Hari scientist lady is bogus. I'd also like to see him use that to some advantage, but that would be out of character, so maybe he can win her over to the good side—once he and we viewers figure out what side that is. I'm just not sure Team Sincere knows how to save the world any more than Team Takeover.

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I am not sure why so many people want the Vice-President to become President? People vote for who they want to be President and typically don't have any say who is Vice President. As long as the President is of sound mind and body, I don't understand why anyone would feel she should be replaced.

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31 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

So did Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchmen not know how to disappear a body, or…?

Yeah, that was very sloppy for a supposed professional.

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Just now, Free said:
33 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

So did Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchmen not know how to disappear a body, or…?

Yeah, that was very sloppy for a supposed professional.

So, assuming it's not sloppy writing (it's been surprisingly tight for a scifi summer show) likely either Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchpeople were

  1. compromised (more threatening of families)
  2. followed (not by Darius's drone!)
  3. or…?
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shapeshifter, thanks for the comments.  I would appreciate any other descriptions of what happened last evening.

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1 hour ago, Brooks said:

shapeshifter, thanks for the comments.  I would appreciate any other descriptions of what happened last evening.

Paging @ottoDbusdriver! Are you by any chance watching this and could give us one of your typical, post-length recaps?

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Who sang that song? It sounded like the Kingston Trio to me, but I have no idea.

Why doesn't ReSyst want input from Tanz?

Of course Grace lies a champion.

I can't help but think that what with the coming meteor most Americans don't actually care about a Presidential power struggle.

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

So, assuming it's not sloppy writing (it's been surprisingly tight for a scifi summer show) likely either Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchpeople were

  1. compromised (more threatening of families)
  2. followed (not by Darius's drone!)
  3. or…?

3. Richard and Larry. Since Richard showed up this episode (Jonathan Silverman) and then Bernie, I mean Clare, washed up, I’m guessing her body got away from Larry while he was trying to pick up Jillian.

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1 hour ago, mertensia said:

Who sang that song? It sounded like the Kingston Trio to me, but I have no idea.

Why doesn't ReSyst want input from Tanz?

Of course Grace lies a champion.

I can't help but think that what with the coming meteor most Americans don't actually care about a Presidential power struggle.

That song was Run from Me by Timber Timbre.

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12 minutes ago, dangwoodchucks said:

That song was Run from Me by Timber Timbre.

Ah! Never heard of them, but thank you.

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5 hours ago, Brooks said:

shapeshifter, thanks for the comments.  I would appreciate any other descriptions of what happened last evening.

You can watch it on the CBS website, rather than someone typing up a recap. Might be easier.

This whole civil war sub-plot is ridiculous. And I don't mean in the fun ridiculous way, just the annoying ridiculous way.  First of all, and I could be misremembering, didn't Evil President only get the job because they thought Good President was dead? Clearly she's not dead so why does he (and the rest of America, apparently) think he has any right to the presidency? Furthermore, with an asteroid about to smash into the Earth, would anybody actually give a crap?

Also not fun? Grace and that stupid ghost. *eye roll*

On the plus side, we need way more scenes with just Darius and Harris. All I could think during that one scene was how hot it would be if they started making out. #sorrynotsorry

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30 minutes ago, Rachel RSL said:

This whole civil war sub-plot is ridiculous. And I don't mean in the fun ridiculous way, just the annoying ridiculous way.  First of all, and I could be misremembering, didn't Evil President only get the job because they thought Good President was dead? Clearly she's not dead so why does he (and the rest of America, apparently) think he has any right to the presidency? Furthermore, with an asteroid about to smash into the Earth, would anybody actually give a crap?

The writers have answered this question on TwitterBecause Bennett WAS actually sworn in under the 25th ammendment. The fact that Mackenzie wasn’t really dead puts things in a legal grey area. It’s a real constitutional crisis! We talked to some lawyers about this. It’s legit

Make of that what you will, but that's where they are coming from.

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20 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

So did Grace's ex-fibbie father's henchmen not know how to disappear a body, or…?

If he had cremated the body, Grace wouldn't have lied on the stand, to wit, "I have no idea where Claire is.  She's in the wind."

I can just imagine Resist watching the news, and thinking "We have a nuclear weapon aimed at the world, and these idiots spin their wheels arguing legal points and then blow up the court.  Why are we wasting our time with this?"

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On 7/10/2018 at 6:30 AM, shapeshifter said:

Paging @ottoDbusdriver! Are you by any chance watching this and could give us one of your typical, post-length recaps?

Hey @shapeshifter -- unfortunately not, but this show is in my weekend binge queue.  I watched the first episode last year and saw the snark potential, but haven't got back to watch it all yet.

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This episode kind of felt like a stepping stone in the plot, more than anything else - it was functional, got from Point A to Point B efficiently enough, but seemed mostly to take us in a big circle - this is two episodes in a row that have ended with President McKenzie portentously predicting civil war. Part of me wants to complain that the heavy focus on Grace's PTSD is a distraction from the central plot, but then the other part of me is glad to see a female character being given a meaty storyline that doesn't revolve around her love life, so there's that.

Was it just me, or did we see Darius's hand shaking quite badly in one scene? I'm sure we've seen him surreptitiously wiggling and massaging his fingers previously, so maybe we're seeing the onset of Huntingdon's symptoms - I'm sure the stress he's under won't help much with that! I was glad to see him actually creating something in this episode, that nifty little dragonfly drone (although he's lucky Resyst have allowed Liam to keep the same bedroom!) since although the show keeps telling us about Darius's genius, it hasn't done much to show it - he's been kept fairly hands-off with the grunt work of the tech, for the most part, all talk and ideas with the actual work done by others, while we've also had both Croft and this new scientist woman Alycia verbally dismissing him as a fraud, so it was about time we got to see some evidence to support his reputation. I suppose he is meant to have built the Ark almost single-handedly, so there's that, but it just feels like we need to see him working on the tech to reinforce the idea that he is the genius he is meant to be.

I guess Jillian really is taking the place of Darius's season one assistant, the super-efficient Carissa.

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7 minutes ago, Llywela said:

Part of me wants to complain that the heavy focus on Grace's PTSD is a distraction from the central plot, but then the other part of me is glad to see a female character being given a meaty storyline that doesn't revolve around her love life, so there's that

It hadn't occurred to me that all of these seemingly needlessly endless PTSD hallucinations were supposed to serve as a pass on the Bechdel test in our #MeToo era, but if that's what they're about, guys, you're not doing it right—IMO.

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4 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

It hadn't occurred to me that all of these seemingly needlessly endless PTSD hallucinations were supposed to serve as a pass on the Bechdel test in our #MeToo era, but if that's what they're about, guys, you're not doing it right—IMO.

I don't think that's what it's about - it seems designed more to deepen Grace's character, show her dealing with the consequences of her actions and trying to navigate an extremely demanding situation while also completely overwhelmed by guilt and trauma. Which I appreciate, since her primary story arc in S1 was which guy would she choose (I do also appreciate, mind, that she's an age appropriate love interest for her male leads). For S2 she's so far been given a character story that's about Grace herself, dealing with the consequences of her own actions and choices, and I appreciate that.

I mean, Harris has barely been allowed to react to the apparent death of his son at all, so by comparison, Grace's story is excellent, because it allows her to be human. She feels much more like a real person because of it. Although that also raises questions about the female character being given an emotional storyline while the male character is shown to be stoic and strong, which is something of a stale old trope, but I think in this situation, Grace's character benefits from it.

I had another thought just then. What was it?

Oh yeah, it was about the Resyst occupation at Tanz, and Liam being apparently allowed to keep the apartment he was already living in, because my next thought after that is to wonder about the rest of the sleeping arrangements for all those scientists and the armed guards watching over them, and how all that is meant to be working in practice, and who exactly is living it large in Darius's Treehouse itself right now? I think that whole Resyst storyline would be easier to grasp and take seriously if they weren't so faceless - and I mean, I know that's meant to be the point, no one knows who they are or how they are funded, which adds to their menace and apparent unstoppability, and all the rest of it, but for me as a viewer, I think I need there to be a face, a leader...and no, that old lady avatar they use doesn't cut it.  A ringleader twirling a moustache in the Treehouse and issuing orders - Resyst's own version of Bennett, in fact - would improve that sub-plot no end, for me.

But since Alycia seems to be a Resyst mole among the scientists, maybe we're heading in that direction. Will she tell them what she knows about Liam's contact with Darius and the chip with the virus that could destroy TESS (and if not, why?) - or is that chip going to turn out to be a Chekov's Gun, coming back into play at a later date?

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I feel pretty done with the show, but at the same time, I kinda want to know how a few things turn out. I really like this cast, but the writing is all over the place and so much of it doesn't work. They have laid zero ground work for this push for VP to be the "man of the people" that his taking to the airwaves would be effective in rallying the troops as it seems like they want us to believe. The brother on a mission for his sister feels out of place and approaching unlawful in the way they are handling this. He seems way more like a creepy PI with a suspended license for doing something untoward than an actual respectable DC cop that anyone would think they have to make time to answer questions for. So much of this show doesn't feel based in reality, but that storyline, his storyline, seems like they want us to be there, so the unbelievability of it is a problem. And I like how he's digging and connecting dots, but hasn't found jack about what an evil, basically treasonous person she was.

Harris having that phone convo with Grace in the same room with his an extended bar hookup is laughable. Harris with his background and being shown how thorough he is with covering his tracks.  Nonsense. As is this body suddenly showing up. Grace's father can be a spy with connections up to who knows where that no one knows what he does for decades, but him and his men can't hide a body? Right. There's more, but you get the drift. Just so much of this is not written well and not executed well. The personalities of the characters remain appealing so it is watchable, but I find myself asking, why the heck I'm spending an hour on this when all I really want to know is the end result at this point.

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54 minutes ago, JasmineFlower said:

I find myself asking, why the heck I'm spending an hour on this when all I really want to know is the end result at this point.

  Santiago Cabrera. That's pretty much the reason most of us have stuck around this long ;)

Is it weird that I kind of miss Annoying Reporter Girl? Her storylines always had such great snark potential.

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On 7/10/2018 at 8:32 AM, Llywela said:

Because Bennett WAS actually sworn in under the 25th ammendment. The fact that Mackenzie wasn’t really dead puts things in a legal grey area. It’s a real constitutional crisis! We talked to some lawyers about this. It’s legit

 A better explanation would be helpful. (Thinking of The West Wing and Bartlet signing a paper to hand over power and another to take it back, which didn't happen here.) 

Bennett's (false) argument is that Mackenzie faked her death... I must have missed his explanation as to why she would have done that or why it would make him the rightful president. She's still alive! It seems like... bigamy or something. Sure, he took the oath, but she's still alive, she never signed anything giving him power, she hasn't been formally removed from office, so how is his oath legit? Even if she had gone insane, it would still take an act of Congress right? Impeachment and removal? Not to mention a full inquiry into her disappearance, given her claims of poisoning.

Since the writers consulted lawyers, I wish they'd write the actual explanation into the show rather than just drama for drama's sake and "We're going to the Supreme Court!" Maybe that's to come when the decision is handed down (low expectation of it). Without it, it feels ridiculous.

 

2 hours ago, Rachel RSL said:

Santiago Cabrera. That's pretty much the reason most of us have stuck around this long ;)

This. (And IAD.) But I may just go re-watch The Musketeers.

Mainly, it doesn't feel like anyone really has a story. There are all these conflicts and arguments and crises, but it all feels superficial despite the world being on the verge of destruction. I get that it's a summer show just meant to be entertaining, and sometimes it is. I seem to remember last season getting better as it went. This one has me yelling at the TV again in frustration just 3 eps in.

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4 hours ago, Rachel RSL said:

  Santiago Cabrera. That's pretty much the reason most of us have stuck around this long ;)

For me, it's Ian Anthony Dale, though Santiago certainly doesn't hurt. But I should just wait to see them in something better is what I told myself when watching this week. 

Forgot to say before. Jonathan Silverman playing the lawyer on here? So out of place and I say that as a fan of Jonathan's since Gimme a Break. But he even looked like he was itching to slip in a joke somewhere in his lines. If they aren't going to write him with some levity or quirk, use him properly, then Jennifer, I don't know why you brought your husband to work. 

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1 hour ago, justmehere said:

 A better explanation would be helpful. (Thinking of The West Wing and Bartlet signing a paper to hand over power and another to take it back, which didn't happen here.) 

Bennett's (false) argument is that Mackenzie faked her death... I must have missed his explanation as to why she would have done that or why it would make him the rightful president. She's still alive! It seems like... bigamy or something. Sure, he took the oath, but she's still alive, she never signed anything giving him power, she hasn't been formally removed from office, so how is his oath legit? Even if she had gone insane, it would still take an act of Congress right? Impeachment and removal? Not to mention a full inquiry into her disappearance, given her claims of poisoning.

Since the writers consulted lawyers, I wish they'd write the actual explanation into the show rather than just drama for drama's sake and "We're going to the Supreme Court!" Maybe that's to come when the decision is handed down (low expectation of it). Without it, it feels ridiculous.

They did have it in the show, didn't they? There was a conference room scene in which Jonny Silverman's lawyer character explained it all to the regulars and pointed out that they don't actually have any evidence to prove their allegations against Bennett. The 25th Amendment was definitely mentioned in that scene.

I am mainly watching for Santiago Cabrera, I admit. But there's enough in the show to keep me watching - an actor I like isn't usually enough to hold me if there isn't anything else to hang onto. I'm intrigued enough to want to know where the writers will go with this - even if I do wish they were doing a better job of it.

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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

There was a conference room scene in which Jonny Silverman's lawyer character explained it all to the regulars and pointed out that they don't actually have any evidence to prove their allegations against Bennett. The 25th Amendment was definitely mentioned in that scene.

Yes, he was sworn in under the 25th amendment with Mackenzie's apparent death, but she's not dead. They don't have evidence of Bennett's wrongdoing, but my point was that it seems her presence alone would invalidate his position. They haven't explained why he has any claim, given that she's not dead and her claim to the office precedes his. If there was more of an explanation, I've blanked on it.

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59 minutes ago, justmehere said:

Yes, he was sworn in under the 25th amendment with Mackenzie's apparent death, but she's not dead. They don't have evidence of Bennett's wrongdoing, but my point was that it seems her presence alone would invalidate his position. They haven't explained why he has any claim, given that she's not dead and her claim to the office precedes his. If there was more of an explanation, I've blanked on it.

My understanding - obvs flawed, since my knowledge of American presidential law is virtually nil - but what I got from what they were saying was that it becomes a grey area, because Bennett's claim is that he was legitimately sworn in believing the sitting president to be dead, and therefore his presidency is legitimate while hers is fraudulent, because it came to an end at the moment of her supposed death, and that she must have faked her own death which is a shady thing to do - and Bennett has got his hooks into the media now, with this claim, he is leading the narrative, shaping it in his own image (using the very politically current method of accusing the other party of the things he himself is guilty of), whereas McKenzie and her people are a step behind, reacting to his machinations as they happen because they don't know they are going to happen. They just keep getting blindsided and can't yet predict which way he will jump. Like with the bombing at the supreme court - while McKenzie and her people were still figuring out what had happened and how best to respond, Bennett had his pre-taped press release all ready to go already, within minutes of it happening, and the nation is in such chaos that no one is asking how he managed to get his response out so quickly (the answer obviously being because he orchestrated the whole thing). So because both parties are claiming legitimacy, it had to go to the supreme court to iron out the legalities involved - the state of confusion being what it is, both need the legitimacy a ruling in their favour would afford, and without that, this state of chaos will continue because the people are already in turmoil and don't know who to trust, in this governmental game of 'he said, she said'.

That was my takeaway from the episode anyway.

I still want to know where all the kidnapped scientists and their guards are sleeping. Because, I'm on board with the idea that Darius built himself a luxury apartment at the heart of his industrial complex, and I'm on board with the idea that he included a number of guest apartments (i.e. Liam's) within the Treehouse, because doing so makes sense. I just can't quite believe there's enough living accommodation there for all thirty scientists plus however many armed guards Resyst managed to rustle up to control them. Resyst, for me, is the hardest part of the plot to swallow - I can get on board with all the political in-fighting, because that seems only too plausible, but the whole concept of Resyst seems very shaky so far, for an underground hacker group to have such immense resources. I definitely feel there's another shoe to drop there, and I really hope that when it does, it lends some much-needed weight to this sub-plot.

I prefer thinking about the characters anyway. I think Harris is being least well-served this season so far, in terms of personal story arc - I mean, we are three episodes in now, and his primary character note of the season seems to be jealousy over Darius both winning Grace's heart and landing the VP job, with the jealousy mostly manifesting as pettiness - and don't get me wrong, I kind of enjoy the petty bickering between the two guys, since Darius is clearly very aware of Harris's jealousy and isn't above rubbing his nose in it - but it seems like there should be so much more story to tell for Harris, which isn't coming through. I need there to be some hint of deeper emotions beneath the stoic surface - I'm hoping it will still come. His ongoing affair with the shady bar lady is hopefully leading us somewhere more positive (and by positive, I mean in terms of meaningful story for Harris, since she is clearly shady and his involvement with her therefore can't be leading anywhere good - he really shouldn't have had that phone conversation with Grace in the same room as shady bar lady, even if she was asleep).

Darius is doing better in terms of individual story, since although he also tends to project a strong facade (in his case, optimistic maverick rather than stoic stalwart), where with Harris the mask is pretty much all we're getting to see, with Darius the anxiety and exhaustion simmering just beneath the surface are much more clearly visible, which lends the kind of depth to the character that Harris would benefit from. It is very clear to me as a viewer that Darius is completely overwhelmed this year by the weight of responsibility and expectation being laid upon him, but is trying very hard to live up to that responsibility and expectation and to keep his doubts and worries hidden. It is also clear that Darius is in love with Grace and has a lot of regrets about where their relationship has ended up, but doesn't feel able to commit to anything with her right now, because he is already on overload. He seems to be hiding symptoms of his Huntingdon's, which is a time bomb just waiting to explode. And he's got a nice dynamic going on with Jillian, as his new assistant - where he frequently butted heads with Liam, who he sees very much as a younger version of himself, he seems to understand what makes Jillian tick and is able to encourage and motivate her to achieve her best performance, which says good things about him as a manager and casts further doubt on Alycia's claims against him. So all in all, he has a lot more character story going on than Harris, so I'd like to see a bit more development for Harris going forward.

As for Liam, I'm not really sure what's going on with him at the moment. He's too isolated from the main cast, mired down by the Resyst sub-plot, which hasn't really found its feet. And too much of his storyline feels like something we've seen before - kissing another woman despite being involved with Jillian, swayed by another scientist bad-mouthing Darius instead of trusting the mentor who has proved himself time and again, etc. There just isn't anything new there. I'd like him to escape from the Tanz complex and rejoin the main cast now - and I'd also like him to decide who to trust and stick with it!

Edited by Llywela
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4 hours ago, Llywela said:

…Bennett has got his hooks into the media now, with this claim, he is leading the narrative, shaping it in his own image (using the very politically current method of accusing the other party of the things he himself is guilty of), whereas McKenzie and her people are a step behind, reacting to his machinations as they happen because they don't know they are going to happen.…

A great summary [and analysis!], @Llywela. The writers seem to need an editor who is willing to leave most of these instances of the writers' cathartic dramatizations of the current US tweet storms on the cutting room floor (no matter how skillfully integrated into the narrative) and just use a few political elements to structure the story. Or, even better (IMO), they could inject some humor and buffoonery into these bits that seem ripped from the headlines, so they could be comic relief parodies—but maybe the writers aren't skilled in humor crafting? Or maybe CBS has a No Overt Silliness clause for its drama writers.

Edited by shapeshifter
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1 minute ago, shapeshifter said:

but maybe the writers aren't skilled in humor crafting? 

I think that's the crux of it. It's a very earnest production, really - there is very little humour to be found here, which is a shame. I didn't know most of these actors coming in, but I know from previous roles that Cabrera at least has excellent comic timing, when he is allowed to use it. It is possible to craft a Serious Drama and still weave a bit of humour into proceedings!

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I want to like this show. I like the actors and they are doing their best with what they have to work with, but man, the whole story is just so convoluted.

The thing that's bothering me the most now is that Claire's body has turned up. I'm sorry but I'm sure if the CIA (or whatever they are) guys are tasked with getting rid of a body, they aren't going to just dump it in the Potomac.

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2 minutes ago, AngelKitty said:

The thing that's bothering me the most now is that Claire's body has turned up. I'm sorry but I'm sure if the CIA (or whatever they are) guys are tasked with getting rid of a body, they aren't going to just dump it in the Potomac.

I suspect there is going to be another shoe to drop there, as well.

On the whole, I do like the show. I mean, there are people up-thread saying 'this is rubbish, why am I watching?' which for me would be the point at which I...well, stopped watching. For me, though, I do enjoy the show, enough to be willing to engage with it on its own terms and enough to remain interested in where it goes from here. But it is very much less than the sum of its parts, that is definitely true. I mean, the cast are great. The concept is strong. There's a lot of potential there. But something about the ingredients just don't gel as well as they could, and it is a shame. I enjoy the show, but it could be so much better than it is.

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12 minutes ago, AngelKitty said:

I want to like this show. I like the actors and they are doing their best with what they have to work with, but man, the whole story is just so convoluted.

The thing that's bothering me the most now is that Claire's body has turned up. I'm sorry but I'm sure if the CIA (or whatever they are) guys are tasked with getting rid of a body, they aren't going to just dump it in the Potomac.

—which is why I expect a reveal (AKA @LLYWELA's "other shoe to drop") of a traitor to Grace's ex-Spy Daddy having foiled the body destruction. Or else the henchpeople just never saw Breaking Bad's acid method.

So, yes, way too "convoluted." Maybe the writers are just following the axiom to "write what you know," and they were all humanities majors and are avoiding the science as much as possible.

Maybe Netflix or cable can do a show with a similar premise but also hire tech consultants and someone with a bit of dramedy background. 

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16 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

which is why I expect a reveal (AKA @LLYWELA's "other shoe to drop") of a traitor to Grace's ex-Spy Daddy having foiled the body destruction. Or else the henchpeople just never saw Breaking Bad's acid method.

Heh heh. Really. And off topic, that episode of Breaking Bad was the last one I watched. Not because of the grossness but because I decided I just did not want to watch a good guy becoming bad.

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On 7/10/2018 at 11:32 AM, Llywela said:

The writers have answered this question on TwitterBecause Bennett WAS actually sworn in under the 25th ammendment. The fact that Mackenzie wasn’t really dead puts things in a legal grey area. It’s a real constitutional crisis! We talked to some lawyers about this. It’s legit

Make of that what you will, but that's where they are coming from.

Ha! I find that to be hilarious. Whoever they talked to I have no doubt they are lawyers, but no one remotely specializing, teaching, or well versed in constitutional law, which makes a huge difference. They went with random lawyer the show could put them in touch with who took the required Constitutional Law I course that everyone takes in law school which absolutely does not spend a ton of time on the 25th amendment. I've taken several more than just the required course and this is a completely ridiculous storyline to me and I have never specialized in this area even remotely. They are acting as if there is no history of the 25th being invoked or potentially invoked due to the president being incapacitated and unable to perform their duties.

For better context for those not clear on what they are doing - the writing of this is as if during Reagan's assassination attempt in the 80s when he was temporarily incapacitated, George H. W. Bush had been sworn in under the 25th and then saw fit to tell Reagan when he survived the attempt, "NO, I'm the President!" and then taken to the airwaves to declare himself the actual president and that pesky no-good Reagan doesn't have a proper claim anymore to the position he was elected to because he was in the hospital undergoing surgery for a few hours and how dare he act like he can be President after that. Nothing about this is remotely believable and not at all how it wold go. The 25th is not an election and does not provide absolute right to the office, there are rules within the Amendment and procedures that are followed for the actual elected President to resume their duties and the VP to be discharged back to their position, most of which involves Congress. They are missing a good deal in procedural steps that would prevent all of this from happening and acting as if the VP has some superior right to the office than the person who was elected just because he was sworn in in the midst of an emergency. The writers acting as if the act of him being sworn in is somehow the be all and end all is truly laughable.

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I have no doubt all that is true, @JasmineFlower, and you obviously know what you are talking about, but this show isn't really set in our universe anyway, so personally, I'm prepared to allow them dramatic leeway in a fictional situation where the VP manufactured the crisis that would see him sworn in in the first place, by poisoning the sitting president. That he is now pressing his claim, and taking advantage of an ongoing national and international crisis to do so, seems plausible enough for this particular ruthless and unscrupulous character, as presented so far. I mean, in your scenario, Bush hadn't hired the hitman to take out Reagan in the first place, had he? If he had, not only would we be living in a very different world right now, but he might well have take further extremes when the hit failed! And, I mean, you only have to look at the history of the last two years to realise that a lot of what we consider absolute legal and political norms are only absolute insofar as the people at the top choose to adhere to them. If the person sitting in a position of power chooses to disregard the rulebook, and has a powerful enough support base to back them up, suddenly all bets are off. That's the angle the show seems to be playing, imo, and I've no doubt they are taking a lot of their cues from what they see going on in the real world on a daily basis, normalisation of abnormal behaviour in positions of power, achieved by, among other things, manipulation of mass media. The storyline isn't about the law, it's about a massive conspiracy at the heart of government!

Also, McKenzie wasn't simply incapacitated. She was believed to be stone cold dead, for quite some time - not just hours, but days.

So, I don't think the show is saying 'this is absolutely what that particular amendment means', more, they are saying, 'this is the loophole Bennett is manipulating to create confusion he can use to his own benefit'. In the Salvation universe, the average man on the street isn't going to be familiar with all the intricacies of the law; all he knows is that there are two people claiming the presidency, each making serious accusations against the other, there is an asteroid coming, the whole mechanism of state and society seems to be breaking down on all sides, and he has no idea who to trust or believe. Which is why Bennett is currently winning, because he is creating additional chaos and then using it to make himself look good. Textbook wannabe dictator. It's also why, I guess, Darius proved such a popular appointment, based on an off-the-cuff speech in a crisis situation - the people are panicking and need something reassuring to latch onto. IMO, anyway.

Mileage varies, of course, with regard to how much adherence to real world law and science we look for in our escapist TV shows anyway! To me, it's all just TV politics, TV science, TV law, and I simply shrug it off as such. This isn't a documentary. It's a sci fi conspiracy thriller.  I don't expect every detail to be exactly as it would be in the real world. I'm more concerned with whether the plot holds together as a whole and how well the characters are served. And this scenario makes enough crazy sense to me that I'm prepared to suspend disbelief and buckle up for the ride. But yeah, like I said, obviously everyone's mileage varies wrt the breaking point of their suspension of disbelief.

Edited by Llywela
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15 minutes ago, Llywela said:

I have no doubt all that is true, @JasmineFlower, and you obviously know what you are talking about, but this show isn't really set in our universe anyway, so personally, I'm prepared to allow them dramatic leeway in a fictional situation where the VP manufactured the crisis that would see him sworn in in the first place, by poisoning the sitting president.

Right. And while that makes sense in theory, this show is feeling the need to reference the real US Constitution, the real 25th Amendment, and write part of the storyline to justify it in a realistic court setting and to use the Rule of Law as part of their storyline. So, while I'm perfectly aware that this show is far from the most realistic, the writers are acting like this particular aspect of the show is a realistic scenario that is set in our universe, including trying to justify what they are writing through that Tweet. So very many aspects of the show are very clearly not realistic, although CBS is classifying this as a suspense drama, not a fantasy or sci-fi show,  but it's easy to write things off as artistic license, but the show is also going out of it's way to keep certain parts in reality and this is one of them. They could have not used the United States in it's current form as their country. They could have used an alternate Constitution to shape things as they saw fit for the show. They did none of this or a good many others to distance themselves from the current makeup of the US. So, yes, this is ridiculous to me and the writers trying to make it seem legitimate is going to remain laughable.

You can choose to ignore it and come up with your what ifs if you choose. I'm not trying to get people to do otherwise. Whatever you do to make this enjoyable for you to watch, I get it. But my problem is that Tweet, that's a joke. Yes, even in our current state of affairs, it's a complete joke. It's not even just a regular law, but a Constitutional Amendment. So I'm just trying to inject a little actual reality here since the writers of the show saw fit to tweet that nonsense out in explanation of the storyline. It's complete BS on their part to claim this is legit. Since that was posted here, I'm reacting to the tweet and nothing else. I wouldn't have seen that if not posted here, but it's bad form on their part. Had they not claimed it in that manner, that's something I'd let go honestly as you'll notice I didn't mention a thing about it in my original post as it was just one more thing I rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all and dismissed. But they are kidding themselves with their "It's legit" tweet.

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2 hours ago, JasmineFlower said:

For better context for those not clear on what they are doing - the writing of this is as if during Reagan's assassination attempt in the 80s when he was temporarily incapacitated, George H. W. Bush had been sworn in under the 25th and then saw fit to tell Reagan when he survived the attempt, "NO, I'm the President!" and then taken to the airwaves to declare himself the actual president and that pesky no-good Reagan doesn't have a proper claim anymore to the position he was elected to because he was in the hospital undergoing surgery for a few hours and how dare he act like he can be President after that. 

Would it have made any difference if Reagan had orchestrated a faked assassination attempt ostensibly by someone who appeared to be acting at the behest of the Veep?

Edited by shapeshifter

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On 11.7.2018 at 2:05 PM, Llywela said:

Was it just me, or did we see Darius's hand shaking quite badly in one scene? I'm sure we've seen him surreptitiously wiggling and massaging his fingers previously, so maybe we're seeing the onset of Huntingdon's symptoms.

I think we also saw him juggling meds in the first episode - I mean beyond the potassium iodide he also gave to Liam. Something is up since he also wasn't on the Arc passenger list due to some wonky DNA. 

I have to give it to the writers - in most apocalyptic scenarios civil war comes after the big catastrophe and not before.  Probably because that sequence makes more sense and requires less plot shenanigans? 

Oh well, as others have stated Cabrera and Dale are reason enough to stick with the crazy for the time being.

Edited by MissLucas
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McKenzie and her administration are acting like the Keystone Cops again. Madam President is getting whiplash watching her secretary of defense and Vice President go back and forth on how to handle the Bennett situation so she stops them to remind Grace that she’s her senior advisor, so she should advise. What a stupid scene, all so Grace can choose to side with either her former lover or her new crush, and be reminded to do her job. I did appreciate Darius’ quip “He blew the dog whistle and the whole pound turned up” after watching Bennett’s speech. 

Bennett sounded like he was making a campaign speech saying he was the only one that can save us from the impending Armageddon and that he has a plan that will stop the asteroid. So he’s only going to share that plan if he wins?

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18 hours ago, JasmineFlower said:

Right. And while that makes sense in theory, this show is feeling the need to reference the real US Constitution, the real 25th Amendment, and write part of the storyline to justify it in a realistic court setting and to use the Rule of Law as part of their storyline. So, while I'm perfectly aware that this show is far from the most realistic, the writers are acting like this particular aspect of the show is a realistic scenario that is set in our universe, including trying to justify what they are writing through that Tweet. So very many aspects of the show are very clearly not realistic, although CBS is classifying this as a suspense drama, not a fantasy or sci-fi show,  but it's easy to write things off as artistic license, but the show is also going out of it's way to keep certain parts in reality and this is one of them. They could have not used the United States in it's current form as their country. They could have used an alternate Constitution to shape things as they saw fit for the show. They did none of this or a good many others to distance themselves from the current makeup of the US. So, yes, this is ridiculous to me and the writers trying to make it seem legitimate is going to remain laughable.

You can choose to ignore it and come up with your what ifs if you choose. I'm not trying to get people to do otherwise. Whatever you do to make this enjoyable for you to watch, I get it. But my problem is that Tweet, that's a joke. Yes, even in our current state of affairs, it's a complete joke. It's not even just a regular law, but a Constitutional Amendment. So I'm just trying to inject a little actual reality here since the writers of the show saw fit to tweet that nonsense out in explanation of the storyline. It's complete BS on their part to claim this is legit. Since that was posted here, I'm reacting to the tweet and nothing else. I wouldn't have seen that if not posted here, but it's bad form on their part. Had they not claimed it in that manner, that's something I'd let go honestly as you'll notice I didn't mention a thing about it in my original post as it was just one more thing I rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all and dismissed. But they are kidding themselves with their "It's legit" tweet.

Okay, I don't want to get into a big debate, I don't have the energy for that. But I do want to point out that most TV shows use real life things to inform their dramatic storylines, and then shape them according to narrative requirements. Medical dramas build stories around procedures that exist in real life, but viewers are aware that what they see in the show is a dramatisation and not how it would play out in real life. Police dramas build stories around real life police procedure, but viewers are aware that what they see in the show is a dramatisation and not how it would play out in real life. And political conspiracy thrillers draw on real life laws and policies, but viewers are aware that what they see in the show is a dramatisation and not how it would play out in real life. So I don't think Salvation's nod at the law (and possible misuse thereof) in this episode is any more egregious than what every other show out there also does.

But...I may be wrong, but you seem to be suggesting that the show is claiming that anyone who was ever sworn in temporarily under the 25th amendment could make the same claim for power that Bennett is making. I don't think that's what this storyline (or that tweet) is about. What it was saying to me is that in his particular very extreme emergency scenario, this particular very ruthless and unscrupulous man (who is already at the centre of a major conspiracy and has poisoned a sitting president) is leaning on that particular law in an attempt to gain leverage - and that tweet from the writers simply says to me that their legal advisors confirmed that yes, the letter of the law does give him enough wiggle room to make that play. They are simply saying that he is able, in the circumstances, to manipulate the situation enough to press the case and thus expose the weakness of McKenzie's position, which is clearly all he ever intended. I mean, it is very clear from the episode that he neither expected nor intended to get a ruling in his favour, he just wanted to get his claim into court so he could blow up the courthouse and point the finger at McKenzie. 

But we all have our breaking points, and if this is yours, fair enough. Mine tends to be misrepresentation of history in historical dramas that purport to be accurate. Or book adaptations that claim to be faithful and then aren't. So, mileage varies. I'll shut up on the subject now.

11 hours ago, dangwoodchucks said:

Bennett sounded like he was making a campaign speech saying he was the only one that can save us from the impending Armageddon and that he has a plan that will stop the asteroid. So he’s only going to share that plan if he wins?

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Bennett turns out to be in league with Resyst all along!

11 hours ago, MissLucas said:

I have to give it to the writers - in most apocalyptic scenarios civil war comes after the big catastrophe and not before.  Probably because that sequence makes more sense and requires less plot shenanigans? 

 

I dunno, society tearing itself to shreds ahead of impending apocalypse seems only too realistic to me. Maybe I'm just really cynical, but I find it only too easy to believe.

One thing I would like to know, if I could be bothered asking the writers, is whether they intended all along for Darius to be English, or simply fell in love with Cabrera's accent and decided to run with it. Because he can and has played American convincingly enough, and it seems like things would be much simpler for the writers if Tanz was American - I mean, they had to come up with that convoluted backstory about spending time in the US as a boy and then returning to England to school, just to explain why this English-accented guy's childhood friend and sweetheart were both American. And then they had to throw in a line about him being born prematurely while his parents were on holiday in the US to explain why an English-accented guy could become Vice-President of the US. It all seems like a lot of complication they could do without, so I do wonder if the original plan was for Darius to be American, which would have been the simplest way to write the character, only for that backstory to be changed on the fly when Cabrera was cast.

Edited by Llywela

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On 7/9/2018 at 9:51 PM, AnimeMania said:

I am not sure why so many people want the Vice-President to become President? People vote for who they want to be President and typically don't have any say who is Vice President. As long as the President is of sound mind and body, I don't understand why anyone would feel she should be replaced.

In universe answer: "People are freaked out  about Samson and about Resyst and about almost nuclear war and he is better at social media and has key military backers?"

Meta answer: "Hey people bought the conflict between newly elevated vice President and presumed dead president  [oops, wikipedia tells me I mis-remembered, and it was a conflict over who was the legitimate vice president and therefore presidential successor] in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders, so let's lift pay homage to that?"

BTW, I never read that one, but a friend told me the winner in that case was the Veep, who was noted author surrogate Jack Ryan, won the day through a truly ridiculous legal argument

Spoiler

The former president referred to Ryan as the President in a document, thus the former president had unwittingly acknowledged Ryan's elevation from the very beginning.

On 7/10/2018 at 3:42 AM, mertensia said:

Why doesn't ReSyst want input from Tanz?

 

That guy is always right, and clearly their job is to make things worse, so he can't possibly help with that? :-)

OTOH, did Darius actually give bad advice this time? He said to fight it out in court, and since the Veep had a backup plan that made it impossible for the good guys to actually win, that turned out to be a bad choice?

On 7/11/2018 at 5:37 AM, Llywela said:

I don't think that's what it's about - it seems designed more to deepen Grace's character, show her dealing with the consequences of her actions and trying to navigate an extremely demanding situation while also completely overwhelmed by guilt and trauma.

I understand what you are saying about this, but I have found ghost Claire to be a really annoying (and tired?) device. YMMV, of course.

I personally got much more out of the 30 seconds of Grace saying that she wasn't sure she could lie under oath. I thought Jennifer Finnigan really sold that, as the sincere feeling of someone who never thought they would do something like that. The fact that she then lied doesn't negate that, or weaken it, IMHO, because she decided to, and then followed through.

Edited by Latverian Diplomat · Reason: fixed something I had misremembered
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10 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

I understand what you are saying about this, but I have found ghost Claire to be a really annoying (and tired?) device. YMMV, of course.

 

Oh, it is a tired device and I always find 'visions of the dead' storylines to be weird. I still appreciate the effort to give Grace a storyline that's about her and not about her love life, though. :)

ETA Technically, I don't think Grace did lie under oath, in the end. She was asked 'do you know where Claire Rayburn is?' and was able to answer no quite honestly - she doesn't know where the body was taken!

Edited by Llywela
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11 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

I understand what you are saying about this, but I have found ghost Claire to be a really annoying (and tired?) device. YMMV, of course.

Very annoying, especially given this subplot.

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Seriously, as mentioned previously, the scene between Darious and Harris was indeed strangely "hot".... Something in the way Darius started whispering, and leaned closer in, made me not hear a word he was saying to him - and that I try to listen to every word, otherwise I would get lost!

They should have more scenes together, just the two of them. They have good chemistry.

Maybe in the new episodes :)

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