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shapeshifter

S02.E09: The Manchurian Candidate

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Air date August 20, 2018

QUOTE

 Darius, Grace and Harris uncover the darkest secret yet, and Liam reconnects with Jillian.

Uncle Walternate is the unhappiest among a lot of unhappy characters.

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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RIP Jillian. Please don't stop her.

I thought they could have done more with the outside scenes where Liam and Jillian were talking. The world is supposed to be ending in a few days and everybody was walking around like normal, talking on their cellphones. I want to see some street corner prophets wearing sandwich boards taking about the end of the world and repenting. Where is the lawlessness of the previous episodes where they needed tanks in the street?

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5 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

RIP Jillian. Please don't stop her.

I thought they could have done more with the outside scenes where Liam and Jillian were talking. The world is supposed to be ending in a few days and everybody was walking around like normal, talking on their cellphones. I want to see some street corner prophets wearing sandwich boards taking about the end of the world and repenting. Where is the lawlessness of the previous episodes where they needed tanks in the street?

Apparently the people were only upset about the presidential dispute, they calmed down after that was settled. Because, you know, the question of the legitimate president of the US is much more worrisome than the potential destruction of the earth. :/    You better hurry up Samson, they have another plan. 

Drink Jillian, drink. 

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Salvation Deleted Scenes:

Liam: "Jillian, I just got out of a very toxic relationship with a sexy hacker terrorist, I just want to go back to the normal, caring relationship that we had together."

Jillian: "Sorry Liam, but while you were gone I joined a suicide cult."

Liam: "I am so turned on right now."

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Salvation Deleted Scenes:

Harris: To investigate Q17 we need an outsider who is a crack investigator who doesn't just play by the rules.

Grace: You don't mean...but that guy hates us.

Harris: The personnel computer says he's the only one...budget cuts, I guess. Also, something something bitcoin something. Don't worry, I'll talk to him.

Grace: No, let me do it. He saved my life once, and now finds me irresistible.

Harris: Wait, that's a thing?

Grace: Sure, I've been meeting men that way since college.

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Salvation Deleted Scenes:

JILLIAN:  How amazing is he? Bass…

LIAM (clenched jaw, hands in pockets, weakly): Yeah…

JILLIAN: And he's allowed me to accept you, and everything that's happened

(incredibly awkward kiss)

LIAM: Holy fuck, I really miss Alycia.  Talk about trading down…

 

GRACE (as they enter the party):  Think all 17 founding members [of Q-17] are here?

DARIUS:  As a rule, I'd figure "yes".

-------------------------------

GRACE (when they later discover that only 12 of the 17 showed up):  Gee, Genius, I hope your rail-gun isn't off by 29 fucking percent, too! It sounds as though you're going to drop that asteroid right on Zoe's head in Africa!

DARIUS (confused):  Who's Zoe?

GRACE: My daughter!

HARRIS (confused):  You have a daughter? I had a son, once…

ALONZO (bitter):  I had a sister, until some bitch shot her…

GRACE: Okay, I forgot her, too, until Uncle Nick reminded me.  But that's not the point!  I love her.  At least, I think so…

 

DARIUS (to Rep. Thompson): I know you have a low opinion of my character.

THOMPSON:  Well, maybe if you'd learn how to shave already.  Or at least commit to the beard.  But the stubble just looks lazy.

 

NORA (COPE lady):  Hello, again. You look like you have a question.

LIAM: Yeah, I was here the other day.

NORA:  Yes, I remember you.  That's why I said "again", dipshit.

 

JOHN NOBLE: (does horrible "Irish-Australian" accent for Uncle Nick)

DAVID BOREANAZ (popping over from the SEAL Team set): Wow, you do Irish, too? It's been so long since I did that on Buffy. "Well, it happens that OI'm hungry, Daniel, and seein' as ye're somewhat in me debt…" I never understood why they didn't do more Irish flashbacks for Angel…

NOBLE (shocked):  Do I really sound like that?

BOREANAZ:  Well, it takes practice, but you'll learn.  Do you need a mustache? I think I've still got it around, somewhere.

Edited by Halting Hex
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Salvation Deleted Scenes:

Setting: Underground Volcano Island Lair of Q17, banquet hall

Nicholas Tanz: Now that we are all here, we can begin. I must say that while Q17 isn't the most secure secret name, it sure helps with taking attendance. Anyway, I am pleased to report that plans to make my beloved nephew the President are proceeding as planned...

Anonymous Evil Billionaire #1: I thought you hated that guy? 'Cause he stole some meteor juice or something.

Nicolas Tanz: Ancient history my friend! Who even remembers what happened in Season 1? Besides, I'm a forgiving sort of person.

Anonymous Evil Billionaire #2: That's not what you said when you had the caterers executed a few minutes ago.

Nicholas Tanz: That's different. I mean, 'Pigs in a blanket?' We are billionaires for God's sake. One must have standards. Moving on...the annual Softball game against the Illuminati is next Saturday at the Bermuda Triangle Rec Center...bats and balls will be provided but remember to bring your own mitt, especially you lefties, OK?... 

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Salvation Deleted Scenes:

Darius:  Now that we have all of the retinal scan data loaded in the computer, we can apply them to the bank account files and see which one opens them up.  Let's see, now, start the program, and see who's who... Wait.  Grace???

Grace:  It isn't like it sounds, Darius.  I can explain.

 

I'm sure glad the administration's priorities are straight.  Let's go after Q17 and put them all on trial, which will take a year or so to gather up evidence and sit juries.  The asteroid, now on Dday-80?  Not a problem.  By the way, what's to prevent Re-ReSyst from hijacking another nuclear weapon?

10 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

The world is supposed to be ending in a few days and everybody was walking around like normal, talking on their cellphones.

I like to watch the backgrounds of scenes like that.  If you watch carefully, you'll see the actor extras swerve around the camera crew, and one bails off to the right to get out of the scene.  What were Liam and Jillian talking about?  I missed that.  Oh, well, not important.  The whole bunch of them are going to permanently roofie themselves shortly anyway.

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3 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

'Pigs in a blanket?' We are billionaires for God's sake.

Indeed.  I saw Darius getting a drink from the bar here and was reminded of his conversation with Harris about "billionaire Scotch" versus "hundred-millionaire Scotch" back in "Another Trip Around the Sun".  I doubt they're serving even ten-millionaire Scotch there, to be honest.  No wonder 5 of the 17 didn't show. 

In all truth, I'm surprised Uncle Nick got the attendance he did; what kind of a carrot is "party at Tanz, right in the middle of the lab", anyhow?  Darius is the effing President of the United States…if I'm going to a shindig he's throwing, I want it to be at the White House, nothing less.  What, the Prime Minister of Whereveristan gets the White House and my billionaire ass has go all the way out to the suburbs for a fundraiser at Tanz?  Screw that.

Frankly, I think the only way that Uncle Nick even got the 12/17 turnout he did was by threatening a lot of people's families:

Quote

NICHOLAS:  I hope you'll go to my nephew's fundraiser tonight, Robert.  Wouldn't want anything to happen to that lovely daughter of yours, hint, hint.  Where is she these days, again, Prague?

ROBERT:  I think you've got it mixed up, old chap.  I believe Emily's the one with the daughter in Prague.  I only have sons.

NICHOLAS:  Oh, well, the point still holds.  Get your ass to Darius's party or etc, etc.  Wouldn't want anything to happen to your sons, am I right?

ROBERT:  Depends which one you're talking about, to be honest.  A couple of them are real dicks, I have to admit.

Speaking of "lack of incentive", if Harris pulled that "ooooh, Alonzo, you punched me! That's assault!  Now I own you" garbage on me, I don't really think he'd be getting my best investigative efforts on Q-17, you know?  I think he'd be looking at a lot of "gosh, Mr. Secretary, I really tried, but they are a secret CIA, after all" reports from me.  Maybe I'd start "tracking down leads" in Belize and promising to give him an "update" next month.

And speaking of Alonzo, nice of him to be recycling Mr. Trick's old wardrobe from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the party.  (As Mayor Wilkins said about a similar red number, "That's an exciting suit".)  Does Alonzo actually own that red tuxedo? Or does the DoD have a Bureau of Pimpin' that we don't know about?

As far as pardoning Hugh goes, why don't we make it an even-handed "bringing people together" sort of deal, and pardon one of Bennett's people as well. Like, say, Fiona?  Because in case you haven't noticed, the "Hot Girl" quota has REALLY fallen off of a cliff with Taylor Cole and Melia Kreiling (Alycia) both gone from the series.  Hell, I'm this close to starting a "bring back Claire's ghost" campaign.

Nice to find out that Zoe survived S1, though.  I honestly didn't know, since I've yet to finish that season. (I know, I'm slacking.)  And nine episodes of traumatic events (such as her dad being hauled off to jail) and it takes Uncle Nick for Grace to even think about Zoe?  I guess she won't be winning any "World's Greatest Mom" awards, any time soon.

Perhaps the reason we're in no rush to pardon Hugh, though, is that with Jonathan Silverman playing Roland the White House lawyer, the producers are afraid that if they accidentally put Silverman and Mark Moses (Hugh) in the same scene, it will activate the CBS Un-Creativity Show Regenerator (currently bringing Murphy Brown back to life, along with a new version of Magnum P.I. to go along with the rebooted MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0) and spontaneously resurrect The Single Guy, the '90s NBC "sitcom" where Silverman was the titular Single Guy and Moses played one of his married pals.  As anyone who endured sitting through that show in its prime position ("hammocked" between Friends and Seinfeld with no way to skip it in that pre-DVR era, bar leaving the room for 30 minutes) can attest, TSG was the very opposite of "Must See TV".  I can understand the producers not wanting to risk that

So, sorry, Hugh.  I'll miss you. Maybe Darius will fire Roland soon and it will be safe to pardon you then?  You never know.

Edited by Halting Hex
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11 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

 

In all truth, I'm surprised Uncle Nick got the attendance he did; what kind of a carrot is "party at Tanz, right in the middle of the lab", anyhow?  Darius is the effing President of the United States…if I'm going to a shindig he's throwing, I want it to be at the White House, nothing less. 

 

 

Darius: Well Uncle Nick, the White House is temporarily off limits; there is hardly a piece of furniture there where Grace and I haven't "done it" as the kids say.

Uncle Nick: Do the kids still say that?

Darius: They do. Well, Liam and Jillian do. Anyway, the cleaning people are still playing catch up. They haven't been this busy since the Kennedy administration.

Edited by Latverian Diplomat · Reason: fix a typo
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I like Alonzo.  He found an excuse to provide us with some centerfold eye candy.

Alonzo and Harris may be vying for a new bromance.

Kudus to whoever listed all the outstanding plot lines and forewarned they would return.

Darius Elon Musk Tanz appears to be a convenient ploy for whatever high-tech gadgets are needed for this series.  Kind of like on the old Mission Impossible, or 007's bag of toys.

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1 minute ago, Brooks said:

 

Darius Elon Musk Tanz appears to be a convenient ploy for whatever high-tech gadgets are needed for this series.  Kind of like on the old Mission Impossible, 

Complete with disguises! :-)

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Once upon a time there was an asteroid, then there was a presidential coup, then there was a suicide cult, then there was a secret society of billionaires...every time I think this show can't get more ridiculous lmao!

I had to laugh at the end when Darius was talking to Grace and basically saying how everything is good now....except for that pesky thing in the sky that's going to destroy the Earth. Sometimes I wonder if anybody even remembers there's an asteroid hurtling towards the planet.  (Although I think Grace does, that's why she's banging as many hot guys as possible. You go, girl!) They treat it like an afterthought, to be dealt with after all the high priority problems are taken care of. Like, I don't know, maybe change your priorities?

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22 minutes ago, Rachel RSL said:

Sometimes I wonder if anybody even remembers there's an asteroid hurtling towards the planet. 

And if Liam really did spend "two months" at ReSyst (with the 24-style pacing, it felt more like a week or so) then we've gone from Asteroid Day -86 at the start of the season to less than a month remaining, now.  Time to get a move on, guys.  Honestly.

25 minutes ago, Rachel RSL said:

(Although I think Grace does, that's why she's banging as many hot guys as possible. You go, girl!)

I hope Darius doesn't have the Secret Service following her around; it will make it that much more difficult for Alonzo to "fill her in" about Q-17. ;)

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^^^^Yes,  Rachel RSL it really does seem as if Grace is thinking "I gonna die, so every offer is good. I will not die with regrets for missed opportunities.!" 

Q-17 bankrolled Monroe Bennett and Claire what's-her-name's plan to conquer the world by selectively offing Russia and China. Now that Re/Syst is gone, the way is clear. Which is I guess why Uncle Nick was right to install his nephew as President. Trust Darius to make more effort to take out his old girlfriend than to save the world. 

Strictly speaking, Russia and China should resume hostilities to the US government, now that Re/Syst isn't threatening NYC to make the US government to prioritize saving humanity as a whole. 

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6 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

And if Liam really did spend "two months" at ReSyst (with the 24-style pacing, it felt more like a week or so) then we've gone from Asteroid Day -86 at the start of the season to less than a month remaining, now.  Time to get a move on, guys.  Honestly.

Right?!  I thought maybe I misheard when they mentioned Liam being with ReSyst for 2 months.  They really need to put up a little thing at the start of every episode that tells us how many days until impact because I thought Liam was only gone for a week or two. (Granted, I usually have no concept of time when it comes to tv or movies. Hell, I thought Bill Murray was only trapped in Groundhog Day for about a month, not 30 - 40 years.) 

Edited by Rachel RSL
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If Liam was at ReSyst for two months, then Darius was losing his mind for two months.  Not sure I buy that.

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7 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Salvation Deleted Scenes:

Harris: To investigate Q17 we need an outsider who is a crack investigator who doesn't just play by the rules.

Grace: But my father is in prison.

Harris: Damn, your right!...     I've got nothing.

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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

And if Liam really did spend "two months" at ReSyst (with the 24-style pacing, it felt more like a week or so) then we've gone from Asteroid Day -86 at the start of the season to less than a month remaining, now.  Time to get a move on, guys.  Honestly.

The start of the season was Asteroid Day -126. McKenzie was still president then. Darius became president somewhere around AD-90, and I think it's only been a week or two since then, in-show, at most - the last two episodes all took place within a timespan of about 48 hours. So there's still something like two or three months to go before the asteroid hits, and the reason everyone is so calm about that just at the moment is because they have solutions they are confident are going to work, and are only waiting for the right window of opportunity to deploy those solutions, with seemingly no obstacles to have to overcome in the meantime...other than the political stuff with Q17. Which is why they are all focused on that right now. I mean, what else are Harris and Grace, etc, supposed to be focused on? They aren't scientists, dealing with the asteroid is outside their areas of responsibility. Stabilising the political situation by investigating and removing a powerful cabal which has proven to be a massive threat, both to democracy and to anti-asteroid efforts, is exactly what they should be focusing on right now. Anti-asteroid efforts are Liam and Darius's responsibility, and in this episode we saw Liam working on the fine calculations and updating Darius, so work in that area remains ongoing, but there isn't much story to be told about the number-crunching part of the science problem - if the show went into too much more detail on that score, we'd all be bored stiff.

Is it just me or is John Noble using a completely different accent for Nicholas this season than he did last year? He is very good at being totally creepy though - dear old Uncle Nick is just about the only person in the world who can get under Darius's skin like that. I appreciated watching the two actors face off against one another - Darius is so cocky and confident most of the time, but with Uncle Nick he just shrinks, that man scares him like no one else in the world.

14 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

RIP Jillian. Please don't stop her.

I thought they could have done more with the outside scenes where Liam and Jillian were talking. The world is supposed to be ending in a few days and everybody was walking around like normal, talking on their cellphones. I want to see some street corner prophets wearing sandwich boards taking about the end of the world and repenting. Where is the lawlessness of the previous episodes where they needed tanks in the street?

I agree about this - it would add a healthy dose of realism to see more doom and gloom on the streets. Bass What's-His-Name and Cope can't be the only cult or religion cashing in on the crisis!

Or is the average man on the street completely confident that the world will be saved? After everything that's happened, I wouldn't be!

I do still like Jillian, though. I'm disappointed by the turn her story has taken, after enjoying watching her rising to the challenge of being Darius's assistant earlier in the season, but I find it only too believable that someone in her situation would be struggling emotionally big time, after everything she's been through, with no real support system, and might latch onto something or someone that made her feel better somehow, The suicide aspect of the cult surprised me, though - I really thought Jillian had been targeted because of her access to the White House and that the cult would link in with Q17 or something, but apparently they just want people to kill themselves for whatever cash they choose to 'unburden' themselves of?

I like Alonzo, too. Plus, he's very pretty, which doesn't hurt. Someone up-thread commented, though, on the lack of female characters all of a sudden, and they are quite right. Where did all the women go? The show started out so brightly on that front, but one by one the women have fallen by the wayside, leaving mostly men to carry the story, so I'm beginning to side-eye the writers about that! More women needed, stat.

Edited by Llywela
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13 minutes ago, Llywela said:

The start of the season was Asteroid Day -126.

Eek!  Did I short them by forty days?  My bad.

14 minutes ago, Llywela said:

what else are Harris and Grace, etc, supposed to be focused on? They aren't scientists, dealing with the asteroid is outside their areas of responsibility.

In the pilot, dealing with the asteroid was specifically Harris's brief.  In fact, he'd been working on the issue before Liam even figured it out and brought it to Darius's attention. He may not be a scientist, but DoD needs somebody to ride herd on those efforts and co-ordinate the government's work.  I grant you that he was "only" Assistant Secretary of Defense then and with his promotion to full SecDef he might have handed that job off to whomever has his old post (he does still seem to be in the same office, though), but I can hardly fault him for wanting to keep an eye on that situation.  Still seems a bit more "defense" (remember, NASA is under DoD) than chasing rogue billionaires would be.

Yes, yes, President Wonder Boy makes everyone else redundant, but even so.

20 minutes ago, Llywela said:

Where did all the women go? The show started out so brightly on that front, but one by one the women have fallen by the wayside, leaving mostly men to carry the story

They've referenced Amanda Neel's eventual fate this season, so I won't be too surprised when we get there in my S1 viewing.  But it's another woman down.  They started a very good balance of characters:  Harris and Grace, him with a son and her with a daughter.  Liam and Jillian.  Two male scientists (Darius and Croft), two female outsiders (Amanda and Claire).  And, later, Bennett and McKenzie.

Now?  We have Darius and Liam and Harris and Alonzo and Nate and Roland and Thompson and Bass and Uncle Nick.  (And Hugh, if we can get him out of prison.) And just Grace and Jillian for females, unless we're counting Director Davis, but that seems like stretching things, IMO.  And now, we might lose Jillian.

Which…Jillian.   But even so.  Sigh.

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5 hours ago, Rachel RSL said:

They really need to put up a little thing at the start of every episode that tells us what how many days until impact because I thought Liam was only gone for a week or two. 

I've always thought a 24-style digital clock counting down in the corner of the screen would have added a lot to the show—not to mention to serve as a reminder of the show's original premise—both for the viewers and maybe the writers and show runners.

 

 

4 hours ago, Llywela said:

Is it just me or is John Noble using a completely different accent for Nicholas this season than he did last year?

The last few episodes John Noble seems to be trying to mimic Santiago Cabrera's accent, but it keeps slipping into a Cockney. Last season it was more of a Scottish Australian blend.

 

 

4 hours ago, Llywela said:

I do still like Jillian, though. I'm disappointed by the turn her story has taken . . .
I like Alonzo, too. Plus, he's very pretty, which doesn't hurt.

It seems to me like once TPTB realized Jacqueline Byers and Ashley Thomas had on-camera charisma that they decided to saddle them with unattractive personalities and storylines in order to not distract from the 4 main characters. At this point, they might as well kill them off so the actors might get lead roles in other shows.

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

The last few episodes John Noble seems to be trying to mimic Santiago Cabrera's accent, but it keeps slipping into a Cockney. Last season it was more of a Scottish Australian blend.

Is that what it's meant to be? Because he came nowhere near, to my ear! Sounded almost pure Australian with a hint of South African, whereas last year I thought he was aiming for a generic 'European' accent. Well, if none of us can tell what accent he's supposed to be attempting, that's a huge fail!

At least they have referenced, at last, the fact that Darius is actually English and only holds American citizenship by the quirk of fate that saw him born in Philadelphia by accident.

And, you know, I've wondered a few times this season why Darius had been shoved into this political role, when the whole initial thrust of the character was that he was a free agent not bound by the rules restraining Harris's team - but now I think that is exactly the point. Last season Darius was quite static, as a character: the maverick genius marching to the beat of his own drum. This season he is still a maverick - episode 8 being case in point - but we have also seen him taken out of his comfort zone and forced to learn how to work within the system, shouldering responsibility on a level he has never dreamed of before, and here we see him stepping up once again, recognising the forces manipulating him and choosing to step aside from his maverick persona in order to subvert them, choosing to play within the rules, for once in his life, by appointing a vice president who will keep him honest instead of the guy who flattered his ego but was in the pocket of his uncle. Character development. If they'd left him where he was, he'd never have changed or grown.

I'm disappointed that the new VP is another dude, but his working relationship with Darius looks potentially promising - I'm interested to see how he reacts, once he inevitably gets dragged into the crazy and begins to learn about the deep dark canker at the heart of government. Unless, of course, he just gets assassinated immediately by Q17! But surely it would be stupid of them to go there again now they know that Darius and his team are onto them.

Also, on a more shallow note, I was happy to see that Darius had his swagger back for most of this episode, he's been so weighed down by all that unaccustomed responsibility all season. Getting Resyst off everyone's back really revitalised him for a while there - until Uncle Nick killed the mood again!

4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I've always thought a 24-style digital clock counting down in the corner of the screen would have added a lot to the show—not to mention to serve as a reminder of the show's original premise—both for the viewers and maybe the writers and show runners.

Yes, I think so too! Just tell us at the start of each episode how many days are left, Show. But I suppose it is too late to start that now.

4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

It seems to me like once TPTB realized Jacqueline Byers and Ashley Thomas had on-camera charisma that they decided to saddle them with unattractive personalities and storylines in order to not distract from the 4 main characters. At this point, they might as well kill them off so the actors might get lead roles in other shows.

I dunno, I don't find Alonzo's personality all that unattractive, really. He's a bit like a dog-with-a-bone, sure, but that's a good quality in a detective and has served him well this season, he's done a better job of investigating that deep dark canker at the heart of government than Harris has managed in a season and a half!

Speaking of Harris, he got to actually remember his son in this episode, and even showed a glimmer of emotion over it. Plus he and Alonzo had a fun dynamic going on for a while there, as mission allies.

8 hours ago, Halting Hex said:

In the pilot, dealing with the asteroid was specifically Harris's brief.  In fact, he'd been working on the issue before Liam even figured it out and brought it to Darius's attention. He may not be a scientist, but DoD needs somebody to ride herd on those efforts and co-ordinate the government's work.  I grant you that he was "only" Assistant Secretary of Defense then and with his promotion to full SecDef he might have handed that job off to whomever has his old post (he does still seem to be in the same office, though), but I can hardly fault him for wanting to keep an eye on that situation.  Still seems a bit more "defense" (remember, NASA is under DoD) than chasing rogue billionaires would be.

Yeah, but everyone has come a long way since the pilot, including the anti-asteroid effort. Right now, that's on track. The rail gun has been built and tested and is just waiting to deploy when the time is right. The solar sail is ready to launch and just waiting for a launch window. Work in that area is more coordinated now than it has been since the beginning of the show - for the very first time, there are no obstacles standing in the way of any of the chosen solutions to the asteroid problem. Q17 is the one fly in the ointment right now (at least until Resyst re-group, which I'm still expecting - we still don't know who Nero is, after all), and they are a major threat, having already proved themselves more than willing to take advantage of the crisis to further their own agenda. If they chose for some reason to turn their efforts against the rail gun or solar sail projects in order to get what they want, they could doom the entire world, so I can't fault Harris for considering them the greater threat at this time and focusing his efforts on them while the scientists get on with the final number-crunching. I think a bunch of rogue billionnaires responsible for assassinating presidents falls squarely within the remit of the defence secretary - they have already done a hell of a lot of damage and are capable of far worse if left unchecked, so they must be stopped. I would consider them as much a terrorist organisation as Resyst, in fact, just a more shadowy one.

Of course, everything will probably swing around again next week with whatever the next twist in the tail might be!

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I have a concern with the solar sail.  Small holes will fill out.  What about a major tear or hole?  And can the goop keep repairing the sail or does it have a limited number of times?

Probably Zoe and Harris' son have teamed up and are running ReSyst or a fourth faction.

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38 minutes ago, Brooks said:

I have a concern with the solar sail.  Small holes will fill out.  What about a major tear or hole?  And can the goop keep repairing the sail or does it have a limited number of times?

They don't need it to hold indefinitely, do they? They just need it to hold long enough. Possibly, once all the calculations are complete, there will be a lot of crossed fingers and prayers! Either that, or you have accurately predicted the next asteroid-related crisis, so maybe stick a pin in the thought for later.

I like your idea about Zoe and Dylan - I remember being really dubious last season about whether Dylan really was dead or had escaped and gone into hiding. I mean, the stupid kid knew that a strike was imminent, Harris went in and warned him. What kind of idiot would stay and be bombed when they could, for instance, warn all their friends to get the hell out of dodge, and thus save a few lives while simultaneously sticking it to the authorities attempting to wipe them out? Isn't that meant to be Resyst's entire schtick? Harris was all proud of the kid for standing up for his beliefs, but how is standing around waiting to be bombed anything to be proud of? Surely taking the warning and making an escape is the more subversive action and therefore what any good Resyst agent would do? Plus, of course, we never saw a body. So I really thought Dylan would be relevant again this season and have been faintly surprised so far that his death seemed to have stuck.

I have decided that my favourite thing this season is Darius's repeated attempts to resign from high office, only to be thwarted at every turn. Tries to resign from being vice president - the actual president gets assassinated, throwing him into the hot seat. Tries to resign from being actual president - discovers that a hugely influential shadow cabal is manipulating events behind the scenes and the only way to even hope to subvert their plans and bring them down is to stay in post, since resigning would pave the way for another of their puppets to slither into office. He looked so happy when he walked back into Tanz, he just wants to go back to doing his own thing, but these darned politics keep getting in the way! I think that's why he initially fell for the smarmy candidate's sales pitch - the guy was saying everything he wanted to hear and he was so determined to go through with his resignation that he didn't question the obvious ego-stroking for a second. The guy he actually chose in the end, though (I didn't catch the name - did anyone?) is I think a healthy dose of what Darius really needs to keep him honest.

Very amused that Harris really was completely out of the running for VP, mind, after being named as the leading candidate earlier in the season. I'm glad they went in the end with someone who was actually elected to some form of office, though!

Uncle Nick seems to really believe he can control Darius, while Darius is determined not to allow himself to be manipulated. Putting Darius into the presidency had to be a last minute change of plan for Q17, though - their initial plan revolved around Monroe Bennett and they couldn't have predicted McKenzie appointing Darius as her VP, surely, so they must have had to rethink all their plans on the fly once Bennett failed, and the new plan must surely have been purely opportunistic and based in large part on Nick's belief that he can control or manipulate Darius into doing what he wants. That means they aren't as in control as they like to think they are, which gives our guys a chance.

So many call-backs to season one in this episode - Zoe and Dylan name-checked, reference to a Goliath 1 rocket, Uncle Nick putting in an appearance, the return of TESS, Liam and Darius together at Tanz. It was all very old school!

Where was Darius's security detail while he was at Grace's house? You'd think as president he'd have more guards following him around than as vice president, not less! Maybe they were left standing out on the doorstep all night...

Edited by Llywela
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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

The guy he actually chose in the end, though (I didn't catch the name - did anyone?)

Your new VP (and President, if Darius "Who Needs Elections?" Tanz gets his way) is Congressman Trey Thompson, a former astronaut.  The rejected candidate was Senator Gitlow (Goodlough? whatever), who went to buttonhole Roland when Tanz chose Thompson, apparently unaware that he was Roland's second-choice, too.

5 hours ago, Llywela said:

Q17 is the one fly in the ointment right now (at least until Resyst re-group, which I'm still expecting - we still don't know who Nero is, after all), and they are a major threat, having already proved themselves more than willing to take advantage of the crisis to further their own agenda. If they chose for some reason to turn their efforts against the rail gun or solar sail projects in order to get what they want, they could doom the entire world, so I can't fault Harris for considering them the greater threat at this time and focusing his efforts on them while the scientists get on with the final number-crunching. I think a bunch of rogue billionnaires responsible for assassinating presidents falls squarely within the remit of the defence secretary - they have already done a hell of a lot of damage and are capable of far worse if left unchecked, so they must be stopped. I would consider them as much a terrorist organisation as Resyst, in fact, just a more shadowy one.

Q17 has been at this since 1987, there's no real indication they've got anything planned for the next sixty or so days.  Their major objective appears to be making Darius the President and, well, mission accomplished there.  Until Uncle Nick tries to manipulate President Darius into launching a nuclear first strike against Earth's population of puppies or whatever, I'm going to be more concerned about the GIANT ROCK ABOUT TO DESTROY THE PLANET than chasing some shadowy financial transactions.  

I mean sure, stick Alonzo with the busywork so he doesn't go sniffing around Grace, given that Grace is now apparently The Only Woman in D.C. and Harris/Darius don't need the competition, but let's stay focused on the job at hand.  We've got a planet-killer heading towards us, our current "solution" is a thrown-together hybrid that's yet to be tested (does the nanotech repair spray work in the vacuum of space?  How accurate will the rail-gun be at the distance required?) and pretty much every other idea they've had has literally blown up on the ground.  A little less worrying about wearing the super-contacts to figure out whom Uncle Nick had dinner with back in the latter days of the Reagan administration and a little more focus on the BIG-ASS ROCK would seem a better use of time and resources, I'm just saying.

(Say I'm a rich sociopath with delusions of grandeur and I want to join Q-17.  Do I have to wait for someone to die so I can take their spot? Or will they change the name to R-18 to accommodate me? Or S-19 for the next woman, or T-20 for the next one?  Seems as though it would be a bitch to constantly have to be changing the stationery and the signage that way.

Or is "Q-17" merely a historical artifact of a name by this point, and the actual membership could be any size now?  I mean, a lot has happened since those long-ago days when MacGyver and Magnum P.I. were on the air, after all.  Seems a bit presumptuous to presuppose they know exactly how many antagonists they're chasing based on nothing more than a name and a 31-year-old photograph, IMO.)

Meanwhile, I'm wondering exactly who is working on the project that actually has any solar-sail experience, now.  The ReSyst workforce will all likely be branded as terrorists and banned from the effort.  Liam probably can't get past the Pentagon doors, much less in the elevator down to the secret bunker.  What's going to happen with any problems that might come up, now? 

I mean, it does free up Liam to save Jillian from the cult, but then again…Jillian.  Just saying.

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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

Q17 has been at this since 1987, there's no real indication they've got anything planned for the next sixty or so days.  Their major objective appears to be making Darius the President and, well, mission accomplished there.  Until Uncle Nick tries to manipulate President Darius into launching a nuclear first strike against Earth's population of puppies or whatever, I'm going to be more concerned about the GIANT ROCK ABOUT TO DESTROY THE PLANET than chasing some shadowy financial transactions.  

I mean sure, stick Alonzo with the busywork so he doesn't go sniffing around Grace, given that Grace is now apparently The Only Woman in D.C. and Harris/Darius don't need the competition, but let's stay focused on the job at hand.  We've got a planet-killer heading towards us, our current "solution" is a thrown-together hybrid that's yet to be tested (does the nanotech repair spray work in the vacuum of space?  How accurate will the rail-gun be at the distance required?) and pretty much every other idea they've had has literally blown up on the ground.  A little less worrying about wearing the super-contacts to figure out whom Uncle Nick had dinner with back in the latter days of the Reagan administration and a little more focus on the BIG-ASS ROCK would seem a better use of time and resources, I'm just saying.

 

Meanwhile, I'm wondering exactly who is working on the project that actually has any solar-sail experience, now.  The ReSyst workforce will all likely be branded as terrorists and banned from the effort.  Liam probably can't get past the Pentagon doors, much less in the elevator down to the secret bunker.  What's going to happen with any problems that might come up, now? 

 

The Resyst scientists were all hostages - we saw at least one of them still working with Liam on the solar sail in this episode, so it seems safe to say that they aren't branded as terrorists but are recognised as individuals who were handed over to terrorists by the state and did what they had to do to survive, continuing efforts to save the world even while being held hostage. Heck, even Liam who actually chose to join Resyst, is still on the project, blithely dismissing the experience as having been brainwashed. Their expertise is what matters right now, evidently, stopping the asteroid being prioritised above any doubts over the loyalty of people who were held hostage for two months and may have residual Stockholm syndrome.

I guess I just don't know what more it is you think Harris should be doing right now to further the anti-asteroid efforts, beyond what he is doing, which is working to eliminate any and all hostile forces that might derail said efforts. He can't help with the number-crunching but he can try to keep the scientists safe!

 I'm pretty sure that making Darius president wasn't and isn't Q17's primary objective because all their initial plans centred around getting Bennett into office as their puppet. Darius seems to have been a fall-back plan thrown together in haste when Bennett failed, taking advantage of McKenzie's decision to install Darius as VP (which I can't see how they could have predicted or caused, because it came so out of left field). But they clearly want a puppet in office for a reason, which means there is still something they want, which must be something over and above simply having the ability to pull strings behind the scene. They want to make use of presidential power for something. Bennett was the first throw of the dice and he failed. Then they turned to Darius, I guess because Nick believed he could control his nephew - or maybe because he knew Darius well enough to know that he would try to get out of it, which is why getting another puppet installed as his VP became the next objective.

I dunno. I daresay we'll see!

One thing this episode glossed over, which I'm a little disappointed about, is the resolution of all those resignations from episode 7 - in particular, I wanted to see Darius apologise to Jillian for losing his temper in front of her, which drove her deeper into the arms of the cult. The slight time jump after episode 8 meant all that had to be skipped over - but with Liam now having run to Darius and Grace for help in dealing with Jillian's suicide cult (like a kid turning to his parents when in trouble!), maybe it's still to come.

Actually, I think maybe that was my favourite thing in this episode - at least the thing that amused me most: Liam running to the president of the United States for help because he's worried about his girlfriend. Damn but I think a hell of a lot of people would kill to get that kind of access to the Prez!

And again, where was Darius's security detail while he was at Grace's house? Liam just waltzed right on in.

ETA thanks for the names! I will try to remember them...

Edited by Llywela
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1 hour ago, Halting Hex said:

Your new VP (and President, if Darius "Who Needs Elections?" Tanz gets his way) is Congressman Trey Thompson, a former astronaut

A "a former astronaut"? On a show with a ship to mars? Hmmm.

 

17 minutes ago, Llywela said:

I wanted to see Darius apologise to Jillian for losing his temper in front of her, which drove her deeper into the arms of the cult

—while most of the audience want him to first do it again if the COPE Koolaid fails.

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13 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

A "a former astronaut"? On a show with a ship to mars? Hmmm.

Oh heck, I hadn't spotted that. Does this mean everything is going to fail and they will end up launching the dratted ark after all? Will season three be a bunch of claustrophobic people watching from space as their planet is destroyed, then realising they forgot to pack the terraforming kit to make Mars habitable?

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32 minutes ago, Llywela said:

Will season three be a bunch of claustrophobic people watching from space as their planet is destroyed, then realising they forgot to pack the terraforming kit to make Mars habitable?

You just know this is going to happen, don't you?  Fortunately, Darius will be able to build a new kit out of chicken wire and chewing gum and…wait, are we sure MacGyver is on Friday nights, for real?

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If Darius is still President he sort of has to join the mission, Huntingdon's or no Huntingdon's, right?

Harris can take the place of someone who has been killed off by then.

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Harris was already on the approved list for the Ark, as of S1; he was one of Darius's 'personal selects' screened by Jillian. Newbie Alonzo isn't, though.

I don't think McKenzie was, either, so being president won't guarantee Darius a place - and I don't think he'd want it to, he was the one who ruled himself out in the first place based on criteria designed to keep the human race alive. I'm not personally convinced by the '160 is all it takes to save the species' argument put in his mouth by the writers, but it is what it is. I guess the colonising 160 will just have to learn to live on whatever artificially produced sustenance they can manufacture, in the absence of room in the Ark for much in the way of plant or animal life! 

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On 8/21/2018 at 4:56 PM, Llywela said:

Is it just me or is John Noble using a completely different accent for Nicholas this season than he did last year?

Thank you!  I thought it was just me not paying enough attention last season, but I was like "wait...since when did Uncle Nick have an Australian accent?  And does it keep slipping?"  It was weird.

Also weird?  The cult was giving me NXIVM vibes (before the suicide stuff), then who shows up but Sarah Edmondson (she played the dark haired woman who told Liam about the suicide stuff).  Interesting she should play a cult member here - her history with NXIVM is chilling.

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16 hours ago, Llywela said:

Will season three be a bunch of claustrophobic people watching from space as their planet is destroyed, then realising they forgot to pack the terraforming kit to make Mars habitable?

There's a thought.  Load up all these clowns on the Ark, and then use it to batter the asteroid out of Earth orbit.  "There's been a change in plans, folks..."

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18 hours ago, Llywela said:

And again, where was Darius's security detail while he was at Grace's house? Liam just waltzed right on in.

They were surrounding the house, from the outside. You could hear them communicating with each other on the radio while Darius was in the kitchen cooking eggs for Grace.

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18 hours ago, Brooks said:

He never left low earth orbit so he doesn't really have much useful experience...

But no doubt he has useful advanced degrees, military training, and was voted Most Likely to Go to Mars in his high school yearbook.

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

But no doubt he has useful advanced degrees, military training, and was voted Most Likely to Go to Mars in his high school yearbook.

^^This.  The main thing is his experience in space.  Missions change.  IIRC, some of the crew of the very first Space Shuttle missions were former Apollo astronauts (less than 10 years between Apollo 17 and Columbia's first flight).

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16 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

The [Secret Service was] surrounding [Grace's] house, from the outside. You could hear them communicating with each other on the radio while Darius was in the kitchen cooking eggs for Grace.

And they were visible through the window.  A little tough to see with the sunlight glinting off the glass, but they were there.

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On 8/22/2018 at 5:57 AM, Llywela said:

Oh heck, I hadn't spotted that. Does this mean everything is going to fail and they will end up launching the dratted ark after all? Will season three be a bunch of claustrophobic people watching from space as their planet is destroyed, then realising they forgot to pack the terraforming kit to make Mars habitable?

"Folks. it appears that the only fertilizer we have available is...a Gutenberg bible...who planned this thing?"

On 8/22/2018 at 7:37 AM, Llywela said:

and I don't think he'd want it to, he was the one who ruled himself out in the first place based on criteria designed to keep the human race alive. I'm not personally convinced by the '160 is all it takes to save the species' argument put in his mouth by the writers, 

FWIW, I've read that as few as 32 people, not closely related, would be enough to avoid inbreeding. So, if that's true, 160 should be plenty. And of course, they can supplement that with some combination of frozen sperm, eggs, or embryos, depending on whether there is enough cargo space not taken up by useless items like the aforementioned Gutenberg bible.

I never understood that anyway. It would be better to leave stuff like that in vaults on Earth where future Martian Colony archeologists can find it when they come back to Earth. The asteroid isn't going to melt the whole surface of the earth or anything.

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3 minutes ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

I never understood that anyway. It would be better to leave stuff like that in vaults on Earth where future Martian Colony archeologists can find it when they come back to Earth. The asteroid isn't going to melt the whole surface of the earth or anything.

I've never really understood the need to go to Mars, anyhow.  (Except that I like the idea of a  Martian colony.)  Just orbit the earth for long enough for the corpses to decompose and the dirt that the impact kicked up into the atmosphere to settle, then come back down and try again.  If the Earth has been knocked off its axis and the poles are now at new locations, so what?

I mean, better some infrastructure in place than none, right?

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2 minutes ago, Halting Hex said:

I've never really understood the need to go to Mars, anyhow.  (Except that I like the idea of a  Martian colony.)  Just orbit the earth for long enough for the corpses to decompose and the dirt that the impact kicked up into the atmosphere to settle, then come back down and try again.  If the Earth has been knocked off its axis and the poles are now at new locations, so what?

I mean, better some infrastructure in place than none, right?

Good point, it's not a Seveneves situation where the Earth will be uninhabitable for thousands of years (and even they didn't try to go to Mars).

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2 hours ago, Latverian Diplomat said:

Good point, it's not a Seveneves situation where the Earth will be uninhabitable for thousands of years (and even they didn't try to go to Mars).

—unless a bunch of nukes do go off, after all.

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On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 12:06 AM, Dowel Jones said:

Which, of course, one has already, in the formerly fertile Midwest of the United States.

No one seems to remember they nuked "the breadbasket of America". Shouldn't there be a lot of concern about the effects of fall out to the food system? No boycotts of other countries refusing to take import from America due to fears of nuclear contamination?

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