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Halting Hex

S02.E07: The Madness of King Tanz 2018.08.06

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(Hope this is the correct form; I thought the episode topic would have already been started by now.)

Hey, guys, when I said that having Jillian be the VP made as much sense as anything else going on…I was joking.  Honest!  Next thing I know, she's in the Oval Office and Darius is screaming "you want the chair?" at her.  The how in the what in the who?

Hate to say it, but in a realistic scenario, the country would be far deeper into chaos than is being portrayed here.  You have a completely unelected (and arguably illegitimate) President, you just had an assassination (and other anti-democratic acts of terror) and now you want to use the 25th Amendment again?  Not to mention the Asteroid (which should obviously be called Damocles) hanging over everyone's heads.  There should be constant riots and breakdowns in the economy/government because of that.

Also, it would be nice if Nero could decide if Liam is "Gal1leo" or "Mr. Cole".  If you're going to use a code name, stick to it!

Finally, I haven't seen S1 yet, so I have no idea what Zoey's ultimate fate is.  (No spoilers, please.)  But with her dad in jail, you'd think Grace might spare a second's thought for her (dead?) daughter.  I mean, Harris regularly goes on rants about Bennett killing his son, but I don't think I've heard Zoey's name once this season, so far.

Enjoyed the Harris-Fiona fight very much.  That's what you get for sexing it up with Evil Bartender, Mr. Secretary!

If next week's premise is to do an episode without Darius in it, I'm going to be mildly pissed.  Too much of the story runs through him, IMO.  But we'll see.

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What the hell, Darius? 

Also, there's 81 days left. Perhaps nuking NYC is something they need to give up on.

Have we ever heard where it's supposed to hit? I'm guessing the U.S. somewhere. Me, I'd be heading for Tierra del Fuego. 

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I liked how Jillian took one look at Alycia and knew that Liam was sleeping with her. No wonder you are committing treason.

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Great episode title.

I wonder if the scatter plot is reflective of the writers' stress level in trying to create something relevant to the chaos of our times.

I enjoyed the OTTness of it all.

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Shouldn't the other nations of the world be a bit worried that Darius is playing nuclear chicken with ReSyst?  I mean, even if they're only threatening to trigger the nuke aimed at NYC, that's not a great precedent to set.  

Also, while I appreciate this show not wanting to turn into Rachel Maddow redux, those are the Russians' nukes that ReSyst has hijacked.  You might think they'd have something to say about that.  But JMO.

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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

 

Also, while I appreciate this show not wanting to turn into Rachel Maddow redux, those are the Russians' nukes that ReSyst has hijacked.  You might think they'd have something to say about that.  But JMO.

I hadn't thought about that, but it's an excellent point. I can't see Putin or their Putin knockoff (have we heard who's running it in this show?) just letting their nuke get co--opted. Moscow could be target #2 or something.

I'd love to see a "man in the street" interview where, after being asked about the U.S. with Darius as president, the interviewee replies "who gives a fuck? The meteor's going to hit and I need to be ready!" I also wonder if there aren't people trying to take over Carlsbad Caverns and other caves to try to ride it out there.

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Nobody has mentioned this yet so did anyone else notice Raul what's his name who showed up at the end contacting Alycia looked a lot like Darius in old make up, or was that just me?

I actually don't really get what ReSyst's aim is?  If they blow a city up - no one is going to look to them as saviors even if the scientists they basically kidnapped DO save the world from the asteroid(if the asteroid doesn't actually hit, then for a lot of people it won't really have been "real" whereas blowing up millions of people would have been very real. Not to mention the fall out affecting all manner of life not just wherever the bomb was dropped but for thousands of miles around it and even around the world ). Most people will hate them, they will always have to rule based on fear.

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So I'm trying to figure out what's going on with Tanz, here's some ideas.

a) Tanz is doing some sort of elaborate madman theory bluff.

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

I half expected him to suddenly say something like, "Don't worry Grace/Jillian, this is all just part of my perfectly rational plan!" towards the end there.

b) The writers finally decided Tanz should not be good at something...and went a little overboard.

c) Some attempt to comment on the current state of American leadership.

d) Modeling Tanz on Elon Musk took a wrong turn somewhere between the last Tesla earnings report and the "pedophile tweet".

And on a related note of geniuses doing dumb stuff, doesn't Liam dislike the orbiting nuke? Why did he inform Resyst of Darius' real target? Does he think Tanz might miss and just piss them off?

And back to Darius, why did he give out such accurate info about the test firing, that Liam could figure it out?

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45 minutes ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

So I'm trying to figure out what's going on with Tanz, here's some ideas.

a) Tanz is doing some sort of elaborate madman theory bluff.

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

I half expected him to suddenly say something like, "Don't worry Grace/Jillian, this is all just part of my perfectly rational plan!" towards the end there.

b) The writers finally decided Tanz should not be good at something...and went a little overboard.

c) Some attempt to comment on the current state of American leadership.

d) Modeling Tanz on Elon Musk took a wrong turn somewhere between the last Tesla earnings report and the "pedophile tweet".

And on a related note of geniuses doing dumb stuff, doesn't Liam dislike the orbiting nuke? Why did he inform Resyst of Darius' real target? Does he think Tanz might miss and just piss them off?

And back to Darius, why did he give out such accurate info about the test firing, that Liam could figure it out?

Yes re: Liam.  I was thinking the same thing - why in the heck would Liam tell them about the plan to take the Nukes out?  He claims he WANTS the nukes gone yet he informs them that they are going to be destroyed?  If he'd been smart, he'd have kept his mouth shut, let the nuke get destroyed and then they, at least the other scientists, could all join a concerted, not hostage-like effort to solve this problem.  Darius appeared willing to consider combining the rail gun and the solar sail.  IMO as long as ReSyst has those nuclear weapons pointed at the world, anything else they claim they want to do is a moot point - anyone who doesn't want to work with them is perfectly reasonable for refusing.  

Darius is up to something though(as I said I think there was something fishy re: Raul who may not be Raul showing up when and how he did contacting Alycia)

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Something happened when Tanz saw his reflection in the Oval Office window.  He kept returning to it.  I think he had an idea for how he could proceed strictly by himself.  Not sure how that is possible if he has no access to any of his toys.

Did he remove the flag button because it's a tracking device or just as a gesture of deserting his post?

Liam did what he did just as a plot move that the writers couldn't do better.

Raul looked like Patrick Stewart.

Edited by Brooks
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3 hours ago, Brooks said:

Something happened when Tanz saw his reflection in the Oval Office window.  He kept returning to it.  I think he had an idea for how he could proceed strictly by himself.  Not sure how that is possible if he has no access to any of his toys.

Did he remove the flag button because it's a tracking device or just as a gesture of deserting his post?

Liam did what he did just as a plot move that the writers couldn't do better.

Raul looked like Patrick Stewart.

Maybe its a chance to show Tanz being a genius(as someone pointed out in another thread, aside from the drone a lot of what we get to see him doing is delegating), if he has some plan to do on his own without what we'd consider his usual toys, then ReSyst's cries of fraud are less convincing.

Poor Liam was whacked with the plot stupid stick hard this episode.

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Can anyone tell me if anything important happened in the last 2 minutes or maybe what actually did happen ?? Stupid CBS station cut in right at the last 2 minutes with a severe thunderstorm warning ! And that's all it was, too, nothing came of it but a strong rain, yet they felt the need to hijack the ending of the show just long enough to cut off the end. When they returned, the show was playing the closing credits.

 

I can't believe stations still do this crap. They really don't give 2 shits about the viewers. Is it any wonder network tv is dying ?

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5 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

why did [Darius] give out such accurate info about the test firing, that Liam could figure it out?

Well, Liam is a suuuuper genius, after all.  He's the one who found the asteroid in the first place, when entire governments couldn't.

25 minutes ago, willco said:

Can anyone tell me if anything important happened in the last 2 minutes or maybe what actually did happen ??

1.  Liam comes back and wakes a sleeping Alycia.  She's glad to see him, he doesn't know what's up with Darius, she says maybe she had some influence.  Her laptop beeps and it's the mysterious Raul Aguirre.  To me, he looks like Judd Hirsch in a bald wig.  (Is Superior Donuts still going?)

2.  David, the cult guy, is having a bonfire in the park.  (And using a headset to talk, even though I don't see any speakers visible.)  He spots Jillian in the crowd, brings her forward, asks what she learned today.  She says she learned that "this" is the only place she feels safe.  (And this is who you offered the Presidency to, Darius?  You Froot Loop!)

3.  Alycia updates Nero about Liam's safe return and Raul's call.  She mentions that she told Darius they would disarm the nukes.  Nero:  That was bullshit, of course.  Alycia: Duh!

4.  Grace and Harris want to see Darius, but he's locked himself inside the Oval Office.  They pull rank to get in, but no Darius.  Just his suit jacket and his flag pin.  Harris says he must be in the tunnels again, the Secret Service orders a sweep.  Grace stares sadly.  One of our Presidents is missing!

And that's it.  Ads for God Lets Children Die Horribly, But Bugs This Atheist on SM not counted.

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1 hour ago, willco said:

Can anyone tell me if anything important happened in the last 2 minutes or maybe what actually did happen ?? Stupid CBS station cut in right at the last 2 minutes with a severe thunderstorm warning ! And that's all it was, too, nothing came of it but a strong rain, yet they felt the need to hijack the ending of the show just long enough to cut off the end. When they returned, the show was playing the closing credits.

Not sure where your viewing cut out, but the last couple of scenes were Liam returning to Resyst, the missing materials expert Raul Aguirre making contact with Resyst (Darius in disguise? Imdb doesn't have an acting credit for Raul Aguirre, for what it's worth), Alycia checking in with Nero to say that she secured Liam's release by promising to disarm the nukes but in fact has no intention of doing any such thing, and finally Grace and Harris going to confront Darius only to find him missing, much to the bewilderment of his security detail.

The strain on Darius was certainly showing in this episode - it's been building for quite some time now, so not surprising that he blew, he's had the weight of the world quite literally on his shoulders while simultaneously having his hands tied to prevent him actually getting on with dealing with it. I hope he does have a plan and will get to actually show us his famed genius for once, he's been bogged down by bureaucracy for far too long for a character initially pitched as a genius with the freedom to act where the government must spin its wheels. On which note, I'm also starting to side-eye all the stress laid on Liam as a unique genius essential to the salvation of the world - I mean, when the show started, he was a bright grad student who managed to create a programme capable of detecting the incoming asteroid and glommed onto the right person to get himself included in the project going forward, largely on the basis that he was one of the few who actually knew what was going on, I'm not sure that qualifies him to be considered a world-leading scientist essential to all world-saving initiatives, not now the secret is out and there is a whole world full of scientists to recruit from. But I guess, Alycia did admit that at least part of her desire to get Liam back was personal. And the rest of Resyst probably considered it a matter of principle.

If everyone resigned their jobs in this episode, what excuse do they have for remaining involved in the plot going forward? Or do resignations not actually count in these times of crisis? Maybe they have to work out their notice and that's why they still have clearance - or maybe no one bothered to submit the paperwork, rendering them null and void. Harris and Grace, I guess, were senior enough to remain important, but I'm not sure where Jillian is going to fit into the plot if she is no longer working for Darius, who managed to burn all his bridges good and proper before doing his moonlight flit.

ETA but while the episode pitched it very much as 'Darius has gone mad under the pressure' he didn't to me seem any more insane than he's ever been - he's always been prone to making big, bold gambits that leave the more risk-averse people around him gasping in shock, that's who he's always been. What happened in this episode was that he took that same approach but with slightly higher stakes than previously, and the people around him finally lost faith (or lost their nerve, as Darius might see it). It remains to be seen who was right and who was wrong about it all!

Edited by Llywela
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10 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I liked how Jillian took one look at Alycia and knew that Liam was sleeping with her. No wonder you are committing treason.

Yeah, even she could see how stupid it was.

28 minutes ago, Llywela said:

ETA but while the episode pitched it very much as 'Darius has gone mad under the pressure' he didn't to me seem any more insane than he's ever been - he's always been prone to making big, bold gambits that leave the more risk-averse people around him gasping in shock, that's who he's always been. What happened in this episode was that he took that same approach but with slightly higher stakes than previously, and the people around him finally lost faith (or lost their nerve, as Darius might see it). It remains to be seen who was right and who was wrong about it all!

Pretty much, Darius has been under a lot of pressure, literally everyone pushed him up the ranks of presidency.

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Are you kidding me show??? I can't with Grace and yet another romantic entanglement. This chick is trying to help save the world, help save the country or desperately stay out of jail at just about every other second, but somehow seems to have time to mack on and make moon eyes with literally every man on this show above 40 not named Bennett as far as I can tell.

Also, legitimately perplexed about Liam's absolute faith that Resyst had nothing to do with the president's assassination. He says it as if it's above the possibility of what the group is capable of and as if they aren't threatening to drop nukes all over the place including over a city of 10 million and as if that's not literally the only reason they have this team of scientists working for them, him included.  And he says it as if he knows the absolute truth about their true plan and any member of Resyst, Alycia included since all he knows about her are the lies she tells him.

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9 hours ago, tessathereaper said:

Nobody has mentioned this yet so did anyone else notice Raul what's his name who showed up at the end contacting Alycia looked a lot like Darius in old make up, or was that just me?

I actually don't really get what ReSyst's aim is?  If they blow a city up - no one is going to look to them as saviors even if the scientists they basically kidnapped DO save the world from the asteroid(if the asteroid doesn't actually hit, then for a lot of people it won't really have been "real" whereas blowing up millions of people would have been very real. Not to mention the fall out affecting all manner of life not just wherever the bomb was dropped but for thousands of miles around it and even around the world ). Most people will hate them, they will always have to rule based on fear.

Also think Raul is actually Darius in disguise....maybe he figures this is the only way to get inside Resyst and dismantle them. Or......

Sigh.....any way we can speed up the asteroid???  Really getting tired of the bad writing. Liam looks like a total idiot-wouldn’t trust him to fix my PlayStation....

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28 minutes ago, bioprof said:

Also think Raul is actually Darius in disguise....maybe he figures this is the only way to get inside Resyst and dismantle them. Or......

 

Prediction: the real Raul also shows up...leading to:

Real Raul: He's just Darius in disguise Alycia, shoot him!

Fake Raul[Darius]: That's just what Darius would say. I'm the real Raul, Alycia, shoot him.

Alycia: I don't know what to do.

Liam: Shoot them both, it's the only way to be sure. Wait, what am I saying?

Fake Raul[Darius]: Dammit Liam! I resign as your substitute father figure...still President though...somehow.

Jillian: I'd asked what's happening, but my new cult taught me not to care.

:-)

Edited by Latverian Diplomat · Reason: A bit of rewording...
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Yes, I know there's a crisis or two or dozen going on, but, just me personally, I would trust the President du jour if he would take a moment to maybe SHAVE HIS MUG before a nationwide television address.

I admire the lot of you for keeping up with the plot machinations.  I watched this episode last night and already I have lost track of what went on, for the most part.  It's to the point where the most interesting part is the street preacher out there in the park.  What's his angle?

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2 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Prediction: the real Raul also shows up...leading to:

Real Raul: He's just Darius in disguise Alycia, shoot him!

Fake Raul[Darius]: That's just what Darius would say. I'm the real Raul, Alycia, shoot him.

Alycia: I don't know what to do.

Liam: Shoot them both, it's the only way to be sure. Wait, what am I saying?

Fake Raul[Darius]: Dammit Liam! I resign as your substitute father figure...still President though...somehow.

Jillian: I'd asked what's happening, but my new cult taught me not to care.

ROFL!  Perfect!

On a (slightly) more serious note, how would Darius know that ReSyst are looking for Raul, anyway?  I don't remember anyone telling him…although British SuperCollider Lady might have, I'm not sure.

But Darius's source inside ReSyst is Liam, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't said Raul's name to Darius.  And if Raul himself has somehow (improbably) been in touch with Darius, then Darius wouldn't need to impersonate him, right?

Embarrassing for the show if the "Darius IS Raul" plot twist gets spoiled because they didn't list an actor as "Raul" on IMDb.  I mean, the concept of putting "George Spelvin" in the playbill for fictional roles (think Sleuth, for example) is over 100 years old.  Be creative, creators!

ETA:  Just in case there's somebody who doesn't know what that ^ is about, here you go: Star Trek (3x14), "Whom Gods Destroy".  The "Two Kirks" sequence starts at 44.00.

Edited by Halting Hex
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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

But Darius's source inside ReSyst is Liam, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't said Raul's name to Darius.  And if Raul himself has somehow (improbably) been in touch with Darius, then Darius wouldn't need to impersonate him, right?

We don't know who all makes up Resyst, but we know it's much more than Alycia and those they've told and shown us. Darius could very well have another source. Heck, the professor could be the one in contact, he hears and sees most of what Liam does but he's actually skeptical of Resyst and Alycia's truthfulness, and he remembers how he got there unlike Liam lately even if he's otherwise proven himself to be an awful person.

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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

ROFL!  Perfect!

On a (slightly) more serious note, how would Darius know that ReSyst are looking for Raul, anyway?  I don't remember anyone telling him…although British SuperCollider Lady might have, I'm not sure.

But Darius's source inside ReSyst is Liam, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't said Raul's name to Darius.  And if Raul himself has somehow (improbably) been in touch with Darius, then Darius wouldn't need to impersonate him, right?

Embarrassing for the show if the "Darius IS Raul" plot twist gets spoiled because they didn't list an actor as "Raul" on IMDb.  I mean, the concept of putting "George Spelvin" in the playbill for fictional roles (think Sleuth, for example) is over 100 years old.  Be creative, creators!

ETA:  Just in case there's somebody who doesn't know what that ^ is about, here you go: Star Trek (3x14), "Whom Gods Destroy".  The "Two Kirks" sequence starts at 44.00.

 

LOL Hey I didn't need him not being listed in IMDB to guess, if that is Santiago Cabrera, it was the eyes that gave it away. ;)  But seriously you are right, why not just list a fake actor on IMDB?

As for how Darius knew they were looking for him, maybe it was an educated guess.  Raul is the one guy who did not show up to ReSyst's little Scientists Hostage Camp, and he's apparently considered THE big expert in his field.  So he guessed they'd be happy to hear from Mr Aguirre and being an old dude who has been off the grid for years anyway aside from publishing scientific papers now and again I suppose - he could say "he really didn't know about any of this" until he got back from a solo spiritual retreat in the back country of....whatever for the last six months with no technology or contact with the outside world as he was considering his next big scientific advancement. *or good suggestion from JasmineFlower, maybe it's Croft because Liam just seems to be thinking with...well something other than his brain lately.

I did think it was a bit much Grace and the detective almost getting it on - seriously these people switch partners like other people change socks.  But then again I've wondered a bit about her since she came out of the bunker and one of the first things she did was whine about how Darius wasn't paying enough attention to her - it's not like he hadn't been unexpectedly made vice president of the United States and was expected to come up with an idea to save the world all at the same time.   What exactly did she expect? You'd think SHE'D have been pretty busy herself.  

But in general some of the way people react to things is a bit weird - why would they just dismiss the idea that ReSyst could be behind the assassination?  Sure they said they looked into it and I'm sure they did and they may well not be involved - but they were dismissive of the idea from the start?  And I mean why are they uninterested in general in taking ReSyst out?  This is a terrorist organization with a gun to the world's head and it's not like most of these people are actually doing anything with regards to stopping the asteroid, so they SHOULD be trying to stop ReSyst but it doesn't seem like anyone is working on that. 

And the thing is Grace knows about Darius' disease, at the very least you'd think she'd be concerned this may be symptomatic of that and not necessarily something he can control, rather than immediately moving to anger and you are a big old MEANIE!!- it wasn't that long ago she was thinking she was in love with him.  Seriously they all jumped ship on him in  the blink of an eye, considering he's only in that position because other people pushed him into that position.  At the very least considering what the country has been through so far, you'd think they'd have tried to make concerted effort to have a joint intervention or something before individually throwing down the "I'm resigning!!!" cards if for no other reason than to not have yet another constitutional crisis.  I mean I get it, Darius can be a big ass!@#! but really none of them are showing themselves to be any better.  

Edited by tessathereaper
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1 hour ago, alvajon said:

Sorry, but I can’t remember who/what purpose Raul Aguirre was/is/has.  Can someone enlighten?

Raul Aguirre is Mr. Solar Sail.  Now that ReSyst only has half the material they need to make Liam's project (which won the Hostage Scientists Competition) work, they need a Plan B.  Liam's first thought was a joint effort where they combine Darius's rail gun and Liam's solar sail, each doing half the work.  But it's rapidly becoming apparent that Darius would rather stand Liam in front of the rail gun and execute him for treason than actually cooperate.  So ReSyst's next hope is that Raul will turn up and help them do more with less. 

If not, it's back to Nero's old stand-by:  threaten to drop the nukes and blackmail the governments of the world into doing what they say.  If Nero wasn't apparently a woman, I'd say she must have serious penis issues…

40 minutes ago, tessathereaper said:

As for how Darius knew they were looking for him, maybe it was an educated guess.  Raul is the one guy who did not show up to ReSyst's little Scientists Hostage Camp, and he's apparently considered THE big expert in his field. 

Except that who told Darius that Raul didn't show?  Did Liam say "wow, it's so cool! Everyone is here, even that bastard Croft.  Well, except for Raul Aguirre, he must be off in an aerie or something"?  I mean, I guess he could have, I just don't remember Liam (or anyone) giving Darius that info.  But JMO.

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3 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

On a (slightly) more serious note, how would Darius know that ReSyst are looking for Raul, anyway?  I don't remember anyone telling him…although British SuperCollider Lady might have, I'm not sure.

The list of scientists demanded by Resyst was made public right back at the start of the season - Darius as vice-president at the time would have been fully aware of who did and did not show up to be held hostage by the terrorists organisation holding the whole world to ransom. Resyst have been continually reaching out to find Raul Aguirre ever since, so it isn't a stretch to suppose the government is monitoring them and picking up at least some of those communications. I'd guess that's how he knows. Or, heck, maybe Raul Aguirre has always been Darius - a secret avatar identity invented years ago for whatever reason - and that's how he knows Aguirre hasn't turned up!

2 hours ago, tessathereaper said:

I did think it was a bit much Grace and the detective almost getting it on - seriously these people switch partners like other people change socks.  But then again I've wondered a bit about her since she came out of the bunker and one of the first things she did was whine about how Darius wasn't paying enough attention to her - it's not like he hadn't been unexpectedly made vice president of the United States and was expected to come up with an idea to save the world all at the same time.   What exactly did she expect? You'd think SHE'D have been pretty busy herself. 

 

Hehe, I was going to argue that Grace is the only one doing any serious partner-hopping (it's been, what, 3-4 months in the show's timeline, and she's onto her third man in that time!) but then I remembered how quickly Harris moved on from Grace to Fiona, and Liam swapping Jillian for Alycia (Stockholm Syndrome, anyone?), so I'll just agree with you instead!

Quote

But in general some of the way people react to things is a bit weird - why would they just dismiss the idea that ReSyst could be behind the assassination?  Sure they said they looked into it and I'm sure they did and they may well not be involved - but they were dismissive of the idea from the start?  And I mean why are they uninterested in general in taking ReSyst out?  This is a terrorist organization with a gun to the world's head and it's not like most of these people are actually doing anything with regards to stopping the asteroid, so they SHOULD be trying to stop ReSyst but it doesn't seem like anyone is working on that.

Aye, indeed.

Quote

And the thing is Grace knows about Darius' disease, at the very least you'd think she'd be concerned this may be symptomatic of that and not necessarily something he can control, rather than immediately moving to anger and you are a big old MEANIE!!- it wasn't that long ago she was thinking she was in love with him.  Seriously they all jumped ship on him in  the blink of an eye, considering he's only in that position because other people pushed him into that position.  At the very least considering what the country has been through so far, you'd think they'd have tried to make concerted effort to have a joint intervention or something before individually throwing down the "I'm resigning!!!" cards if for no other reason than to not have yet another constitutional crisis.  I mean I get it, Darius can be a big ass!@#! but really none of them are showing themselves to be any better.  

Yep - I mean, mood swings and unpredictable behaviour are among the symptoms of Huntingdon's disease, which can be exacerbated by stress, so you'd think Grace as one of the very few who actually knows about it would have done some research to know what to look out for (or Jillian, as his assistant, who also knows) - heck, Darius is in just about the worst position possible for someone with Huntingdon's.

I'm going to be generous and say that the stress is getting to them all, with less than three months before the asteroid hits (they should be panicking so much more about that, at this stage).

Darius already has serious trust issues - how much worse is that going to be now that every one of his allies has turned their backs on him, just when the pressure he's under is at its greatest?

1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

Raul Aguirre is Mr. Solar Sail.  Now that ReSyst only has half the material they need to make Liam's project (which won the Hostage Scientists Competition) work, they need a Plan B.  Liam's first thought was a joint effort where they combine Darius's rail gun and Liam's solar sail, each doing half the work.  But it's rapidly becoming apparent that Darius would rather stand Liam in front of the rail gun and execute him for treason than actually cooperate.  So ReSyst's next hope is that Raul will turn up and help them do more with less. 

If not, it's back to Nero's old stand-by:  threaten to drop the nukes and blackmail the governments of the world into doing what they say.  If Nero wasn't apparently a woman, I'd say she must have serious penis issues…

We don't know that Nero is a woman, really - that could be an avatar to protect his or her true identity. I still suspect Darius's good old Uncle Nick, but time will tell.

And in fairness, Darius was willing to cooperate with Resyst to bring the rail gun and solar sail together; it was Resyst who refused point blank and demanded to be given possession of the rail gun instead because they won't work with Darius.

I'll say one thing for this show - it isn't afraid of major twists and turns! Never possible to predict quite where they'll go next.

Oh, one more point: what happened to Grace's mother? We know she exists, we met her last season. In this episode when Grace was stressing out trying to get hold of her father, it was glaringly apparent that this was a situation where she should be calling her mother to ask where he is, long before she got to the point of worrying about his disappearance.

Edited by Llywela
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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

Raul Aguirre is Mr. Solar Sail.  Now that ReSyst only has half the material they need to make Liam's project (which won the Hostage Scientists Competition) work, they need a Plan B.  Liam's first thought was a joint effort where they combine Darius's rail gun and Liam's solar sail, each doing half the work.  But it's rapidly becoming apparent that Darius would rather stand Liam in front of the rail gun and execute him for treason than actually cooperate.  So ReSyst's next hope is that Raul will turn up and help them do more with less. 

If not, it's back to Nero's old stand-by:  threaten to drop the nukes and blackmail the governments of the world into doing what they say.  If Nero wasn't apparently a woman, I'd say she must have serious penis issues…

Except that who told Darius that Raul didn't show?  Did Liam say "wow, it's so cool! Everyone is here, even that bastard Croft.  Well, except for Raul Aguirre, he must be off in an aerie or something"?  I mean, I guess he could have, I just don't remember Liam (or anyone) giving Darius that info.  But JMO.

Anyone might have?  It might be public knowledge even. What makes you think they don't know what scientists showed up - the scientists, if they were foreign, had to enter the United States, thus leaving a record of their entrance into the country.  If they were American, I'm pretty sure they would have had someone watching the Tanz compound to see who showed us at the front gate(or whatever the equivalent entrance to the campus).  So I'm feel fairly certain they know who all the scientists who showed up are.  (or the idea that Llewela mentioned, maybe Raul Aguirre has always been an avatar for Darius - I had thought of that but then thought Well that's maybe a little too far out, but now that someone else has mentioned it, I don't feel like it's so far out of the realm of possibility LOL)

As for cooperating with Liam - Darius seemed willing at first, not happy, but willing then Alycia put the kibosh on that by being completely unreasonable(and yes IMO as long as those nukes are used as a threat, it's being unreasonable).  As long as those Nukes are in play I can't blame anyone for not being willing to cooperate with ReSyst and Liam is part of ReSyst, if he'd really wanted that cooperation he wouldn't have told ReSyst about the probability that the railgun test was really an opportunity to destroy the nukes, the nukes Liam claims to not like.  I mean Liam is literally a terrorist right now, he very willingly and happily joined ReSyst, who are holding the world hostage with their nuclear warheads by threatening to use them every time they don't get what they want - that is pretty much the definition of "terrorist".  He may not be personally doing the threatening but he's an official member of the organization, he's helping them.  I don't think he's a bad guy, obviously they've shown the complex issues involved but none the less, it is what it is.  He's a member of a terrorist organization and he's has now actively and willingly helped them to continue to have the ability to threaten the world with nuclear weapons.

It actually was not unreasonable to throw him in jail when he showed up at the White House, however irrational Darius may have been acting - THAT particular action was not irrational or unreasonable.  If anything it's unrealistic Liam wasn't arrested when he showed up at the gates.  Darius at that point has more reasonable reason to distrust Liam than Liam did to distrust Darius and decide it would be a good idea to join a terrorist organization because of it.  Darius was rude and dismissive of Liam when he left ReSyst the first time - Liam on the other hand, because of that, joined a group that has used violence, almost caused a war and uses threats of nuclear destruction to get their way.  And on a personal level, they stole basically Darius' life. 

Edited by tessathereaper
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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

The list of scientists demanded by Resyst was made public right back at the start of the season

That's true; I forgot they sent a list of requests.  As for knowing about Raul's not showing up, I suppose they could have Tanz under constant supervision.

(Although given that Darius can sneak out of the White House undetected, it doesn't seem impossible that Raul could have, for all Darius knows, gotten to Tanz without being spotted.  Doesn't Tanz have an underground garage, after all? Just drive in.  Or heck, Raul could have been in cyber-communication without Darius knowing it, and so the opportunity for imposture would have been lost, right there.)

1 hour ago, Llywela said:

I mean, mood swings and unpredictable behaviour are among the symptoms of Huntingdon's disease

Darius has Huntingdon's?  Has that been mentioned this season? If it has, I've missed it.  Seems as though Grace should have had a serious talk about his taking political office, then.

Good news, though:  my torrent download of the pilot finally finished, so now I can catch up on S1 and all these details I missed!  Okay, so I cheated and went ahead and watched ep 2 while I was waiting, but still.  Excited now. 

Are we getting 13 episodes this summer, too?

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10 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

Darius has Huntingdon's?  Has that been mentioned this season? If it has, I've missed it.  Seems as though Grace should have had a serious talk about his taking political office, then.

Sorry, I forgot you haven't seen season one yet, so that was slightly spoilery for a season one episode. If you want an explanation, since the cat is out of the bag, I'll put it under a spoiler tag so you can choose whether to read or not:

Spoiler

We find out in the final episode of season one that Darius has a genetic disease and he tells Grace that it is Huntingdon's, that he's been working with genetic scientists to find a cure but no joy as of yet. He is not yet symptomatic, supposedly - but there have been a couple of tiny moments that could be interpreted as possible symptoms.

Edited by Llywela

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13 hours ago, Llywela said:

ETA but while the episode pitched it very much as 'Darius has gone mad under the pressure' he didn't to me seem any more insane than he's ever been - he's always been prone to making big, bold gambits that leave the more risk-averse people around him gasping in shock, that's who he's always been. What happened in this episode was that he took that same approach but with slightly higher stakes than previously, and the people around him finally lost faith (or lost their nerve, as Darius might see it). It remains to be seen who was right and who was wrong about it all!

 

Nicely said, Llywela - as you say the stakes were much higher, nothing that he said has sounded that unexpected...

I think they should leave the political running of thing now to Harris & Grace ... as it seems they are doing.

And the science stuff to Darius and Liam - it way more "fun" like that anyway.

 

You could really see how Darius was exhausted, shaken the whole episode, and high-strung. I think right now was the time somebody (!) to take care of him more, offer him his support system... not just all turn his backs on him… :(

I really "liked" the scene between Jillian & Darius - that was a nice little showdown, she was not afraid, but she cared.

The argument was waay much more personal, then with the others ... it showed that Jillian right now is the only one actually in his inner circle (next to Liam…:) ), so that made the scene possible and most heartfelt.

The way he threw down that chair, wow.

But it was meant as release of all that tension and anger, how things are going. I think the whole scene was supposed to be healing for him.

And the way Jillian words - "It breaks my heart too (about Liam)" and then "They said, never meet you heroes and they should add: never work for them" most certainly  stuck with him...

He realized (to his own surprise) he indeed probably is Liams (and Jillians) hero (!) and that he should get back to acting like it. That he is indeed still independent …. which I think makes him stronger …. to leave this behind and go do his own thing

!!!

Edited by bara007
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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

Sorry, I forgot you haven't seen season one yet, so that was slightly spoilery for a season one episode. If you want an explanation, since the cat is out of the bag, I'll put it under a spoiler tag so you can choose whether to read or not:

Well, I can guess which one (the download site where I got the episodes had the official CBS descriptions on them; they're pithy, but even so), but I'll get to it soon enough, so no worries.  (I just watched the pilot; interesting where the show has gone from there to here.)

I just think they should have at least acknowledged that this season; it's reasonable to assume they've at least gotten *some* new viewers. (I was already watching before mention of the series came up on an episode of Big Brother After Dark [inadvertent cross-promotion], but some viewers might not have heard of it until then.) There's a reason CBS runs ads for it, after all.

And not just because they're so completely out of ideas.

(Fall schedule to include Magnum P.I. reboot and Murphy Brown revival to go along with MacGyver and Hawaii 5-0! Yay?)

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6 hours ago, Llywela said:

p - I mean, mood swings and unpredictable behaviour are among the symptoms of Huntingdon's disease, which can be exacerbated by stress, so you'd think Grace as one of the very few who actually knows about it would have done some research to know what to look out for (or Jillian, as his assistant, who also knows) - heck, Darius is in just about the worst position possible for someone with Huntingdon's

I had forgotten about Darius's genetic unfitness for the Mars spaceship. Isn't there some rule about having to include in the episode's opening sequence of flashbacks any past plot points that we will need to recall for the current episode?

 

It didn't occur to me that Darius was Raul until I read it here (21" TV about 12' away), but now that y'all mention it, Darius sneaking out of the Oval Office just before VIP scientist Raul surprisingly shows up at ReSyst HQ (and we are reminded by Darius that ReSyst is in Washington) is straight out of I Love Lucy, heh.

And/or Man From U.N.C.L.E.Star Trek, etc.:

12 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Prediction: the real Raul also shows up...leading to:

Real Raul: He's just Darius in disguise Alycia, shoot him!

Fake Raul[Darius]: That's just what Darius would say. I'm the real Raul, Alycia, shoot him.

Alycia: I don't know what to do.

Liam: Shoot them both, it's the only way to be sure. Wait, what am I saying?

Fake Raul[Darius]: Dammit Liam! I resign as your substitute father figure...still President though...somehow.

Jillian: I'd asked what's happening, but my new cult taught me not to care.

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It's possible they didn't flesh out what would happen during Season 2 until the show was renewed.  Which could mean that the revelation about Darius having Huntingtons, and why it was relevant to Season 1, may not have been worked into Season 2.  Especially since it has not been a part of any of the beginning of the episode recaps.  About 3 episodes ago someone mentioned they saw Darius' hands shaking a little.  I watched that episode after I read that and didn't notice anything.  Haven't noticed any shaking since then (although I haven't generally been looking for it).  So the opportunities they have had to build on his having Huntingtons, if it is important to Season 2, seem to have been bypassed.

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35 minutes ago, Brooks said:

It's possible they didn't flesh out what would happen during Season 2 until the show was renewed.  Which could mean that the revelation about Darius having Huntingtons, and why it was relevant to Season 1, may not have been worked into Season 2.  Especially since it has not been a part of any of the beginning of the episode recaps.  About 3 episodes ago someone mentioned they saw Darius' hands shaking a little.  I watched that episode after I read that and didn't notice anything.  Haven't noticed any shaking since then (although I haven't generally been looking for it).  So the opportunities they have had to build on his having Huntingtons, if it is important to Season 2, seem to have been bypassed.

I had forgotten about the hands shaking line. Now that you mention it, the Huntingdon's Disease seems more likely to be a major plot point that will make its way into a beginning-of-episode recap. Stay tuned!

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2 hours ago, Brooks said:

It's possible they didn't flesh out what would happen during Season 2 until the show was renewed.  Which could mean that the revelation about Darius having Huntingtons, and why it was relevant to Season 1, may not have been worked into Season 2.  Especially since it has not been a part of any of the beginning of the episode recaps.  About 3 episodes ago someone mentioned they saw Darius' hands shaking a little.  I watched that episode after I read that and didn't notice anything.  Haven't noticed any shaking since then (although I haven't generally been looking for it).  So the opportunities they have had to build on his having Huntingtons, if it is important to Season 2, seem to have been bypassed.

It's crystal clear to me they didn't map out Season 2 prior to the renewal in any detailed fashion. Last year we got a "save the planet from an impending asteroid" sci-fi leaning show with hints of political drama but the focus was on saving the planet. This year, outside of starting in the Ark, it's been mostly a political thriller while they try to remember each episode that that asteroid is still coming and maybe they should address that.  There've been a few episodes where the asteroid coming was all but forgotten and the days til it hits have only recently become a thing again. Heck, beginning of this season they spent way more time on Claire's disappearance/death and her brother than they did on the asteroid. They seem to be working to bring it into the 50/50 balance between politics and asteroid ending it all, but there is no way they planned this out with a concise road map at the start of the series, what we've gotten is too disjointed for that to have happened. There have just been too many somewhat major plot points that haven't been mentioned from the first season. A couple of things, they make sense on why they were dropped, they were taking up time unnecessarily, but several other things, they should've come into play again this season and they haven't yet.

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3 hours ago, Brooks said:

It's possible they didn't flesh out what would happen during Season 2 until the show was renewed.  Which could mean that the revelation about Darius having Huntingtons, and why it was relevant to Season 1, may not have been worked into Season 2.  Especially since it has not been a part of any of the beginning of the episode recaps.  About 3 episodes ago someone mentioned they saw Darius' hands shaking a little.  I watched that episode after I read that and didn't notice anything.  Haven't noticed any shaking since then (although I haven't generally been looking for it).  So the opportunities they have had to build on his having Huntingtons, if it is important to Season 2, seem to have been bypassed.

I do remember his hands shaking in an episode.  It was actually before I'd watched the final episode of last season(I started watching last season but didn't see the last couple episodes until a couple days ago) so I didn't know why but I remember the shaking hands in a scene because I was like "what is that about?"

Also it's possible he really was asymptomatic at the time he spoke with Grace about it and the symptoms only just started showing up, if stress affects it at all - he's certainly been under a lot of stress.

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5 hours ago, tessathereaper said:

I do remember his hands shaking in an episode.  It was actually before I'd watched the final episode of last season

So has there been no mention at all of hands shaking or Darius's HD this season? 

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

So has there been no mention at all of hands shaking or Darius's HD this season? 

No sorry that was a badly written couple of sentences.  I remember his hands shaking in an episode THIS season(can't remember which one) but it was before I'd watched the last couple of episodes from LAST season.  I had missed them and just hadn't gotten around to watching them until a few days ago.  So when I saw it in the Season 2 episode I didn't know about the Huntington's yet and didn't realize it could have been some sort of hint about that - so for me at the time it was more like a "hmm...that's interesting, wonder what this means" sort of a moment.

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On 8/7/2018 at 12:04 PM, Brooks said:

Something happened when Tanz saw his reflection in the Oval Office window.  He kept returning to it.  I think he had an idea for how he could proceed strictly by himself.  

I hope so. That hadn't even occurred to me. I just assumed it was the usual cheesy clunkiness of this show and, after all his playmates quit on him one by one, Darius was having a moment, dramatically staring at his reflection and thinking "Who am I? What have I become?".

I still loathe every scene with Jillian. That cult is the only place she feels safe? Hasn't she only been there once before, for like 5 minutes? I mean, I know Long John Silver is hot but, come on!

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Thank you Halting Hex and Llywela for the ending details. It occurred to me later that if something really important happened in those few minutes, that they would probably include it next week in the "previously on..." segment, but it just really ticked me off when it happened. It brought back bad memories-- something similar happened some years back when my local ABC station cut in to the final 3 minutes- of the series finale, no less !!- of 666 Park Avenue ( as if anyone but me remembers that flop of a show ( which I really only watched because Terry O'Quinn, AKA John Locke on Lost, was on it). By the time I had easy access to the show via Netflix, I no longer remembered or cared what happened. Which will probably be the same thing with this show, but's it's still annoying !

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On 8/7/2018 at 5:00 PM, tessathereaper said:

Nobody has mentioned this yet so did anyone else notice Raul what's his name who showed up at the end contacting Alycia looked a lot like Darius in old make up, or was that just me?

According to imdb, the actor's name is Pedro Cervantes.

On 8/7/2018 at 6:07 PM, Latverian Diplomat said:

I half expected him to suddenly say something like, "Don't worry Grace/Jillian, this is all just part of my perfectly rational plan!" towards the end there.

I'am still hoping that he has a plan.

On 8/7/2018 at 6:07 PM, Latverian Diplomat said:

b) The writers finally decided Tanz should not be good at something...and went a little overboard.

LOL!

On 8/7/2018 at 11:30 PM, Halting Hex said:

One of our Presidents is missing!

LOL again.

On 8/8/2018 at 10:52 AM, Halting Hex said:

I mean, mood swings and unpredictable behaviour are among the symptoms of Huntingdon's disease

That occurred to me too.

Edited by lora
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3 hours ago, lora said:

According to imdb, the actors name is Pedro Cervantes.

Ooh, thanks, so that blows a hole in the theory - there was no actor credit when I looked, so that must have gone up later.

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40 minutes ago, Llywela said:

Ooh, thanks, so that blows a hole in the theory - there was no actor credit when I looked, so that must have gone up later.

You are welcome.

But he does sound like Santiago Cabrera, and why all the secrecy about his looks in 2x8 sneak peak?

spsc.jpg

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Pedro Cervantes has like 4 credits spread out between 2012 and 2016 and they only added it after people started commenting on how their was no actor listed for the character.  I'm still suspicious esp because I can't find any pictures of this Pedro Cervantes either.  I think it still could be a place holder name.

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But what about the timing?  I don't think Darius had time to don his disguise and find his way to an internet café.

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37 minutes ago, Brooks said:

But what about the timing?  I don't think Darius had time to don his disguise and find his way to an internet café.

TV show timing is often a bit janky. sometimes you have to just roll with it or go completely insane trying to reason through the kinks.

And we don't actually know how long Darius had been sequestered in his office before Harris and Grace went in and found him missing - he could have been gone ages before they noticed, the guards weren't checking because they had no reason to suspect he could sneak out and he'd told them he wasn't to be disturbed. Exactly where he'd have gone to procure the disguise and an internet connection is another matter, but he's close to home so could well have a bolt hole all set up. I mean, he conjured up fake IDs and disguises for himself and Grace at a moment's notice in Russia, so achieving something similar on his own doorstep should be a doddle in comparison!

Okay, I am prepared to believe in the theory still - with this show, just about anything seems to be possible!

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Actually I hadn't thought about Russia, but that does also supports the theory that Darius has some experience when it comes to disguises.  Those were fairly flimsy but they were very short on time and in a foreign country.  Plus we don't know how long Raul Aguirre has been his avatar - if he created/took over this identity years ago, possibly just as a lark, then he may already have had a disguise set up and an apartment to use, to take a photo when a new scientific paper was released or something--where he would have kept his "Aguirre" stuff.  And even if not, he's on his home turf, it wouldn't be that hard for him to get a fake disguise together that would look decent on a webcam and then he could perfect it for the actual physical meeting afterwards.

Edited by tessathereaper
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On 8/9/2018 at 1:01 PM, tessathereaper said:

I can't find any pictures of this Pedro Cervantes

And of course, "Cervantes" is the name of the author of Don Quixote, whose title character could serve as a template for Darius, who's certainly tilted at a few windmills in his time. So the producers might deem that an appropriate alias.

Fun fact:  Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date (April 23, 1616), but not the same day.  Because Spain had adopted the Gregorian calendar that we use today, but England was still on the old Julian calendar, and there was a difference of about a week. (Eventually, this skew grew to over month, which is why the Russians referred to the "October Revolution" as giving birth to the Soviet Union, when it actually happened in November, 1917.)

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