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S05.E01: E Pluribus Unum

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In the aftermath of a deadly attack on the White House, Elizabeth tries to keep a major nuclear disarmament deal from falling apart while a manhunt for the attackers brings D.C. to a halt. For advice, Elizabeth turns to former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell.

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Edited by thewhiteowl · Reason: Removed date because formatting

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So, what show will Hillary cameo in NEXT this season????

Will it be "Blue Bloods"???  or maybe "FBI"????????? or perhaps "Mom"??????

 

Bill:   "I'm OK with any of 'em just as long as it isn't "How To Get Away With Murder"??  How many times can I say I'm sorry???"

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Once the attack happened, I felt it was rather cliched that June died so soon after arguing with Stevie. I think Stevie will stay with Russell for now since he’s lost his main staff person.

I thought the former Secretary of State cameos were good. I was worried it would be gimmicky, but it wasn’t. It was a natural reason to have them all together. Maybe natural is the wrong term, but it was the kind of event that would bring them together. I recently saw Secretary Clinton cameo on another show, and this appearance was much more natural.

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1 minute ago, Twilight Man said:

Bill:   "I'm OK with any of 'em just as long as it isn't "How To Get Away With Murder"??  How many times can I say I'm sorry???"

Thanks for the laugh. This cracked me up!

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I thought the scene with the past Secretaries of State was very emotional, the Secretaries were going from a script, but I thought it was actually what they would really say & wonder if they had in-put into the script?...  Also, I was glad Stevie's sister showed up at the hospital Finally!  I kept wondering why Stevie's siblings did not show up at the hospital...

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When a plot is so contrived, I imagine it is difficult to write a script that doesn't sound awkward in places, but they really did pull it off, thanks to, IMO, Linda Lavin and Željko Ivanek.

The scene with the three Secretaries of State was almost cringey with 3 non-actors reciting lines, but at least they were delivering a message that they each believed (I assume) so it pretty much worked.

I wonder if such a plot-packed episode would've faired better on a platform like Netflix or on AMC, where they allow episodes to run an extra 15 minutes when needed.

So did the woman who went to get the pens survive? She appeared to, but then Stevie was up and moving around before she collapsed and almost died.

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15 minutes ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I thought the scene with the past Secretaries of State was very emotional

It turned me into a sobbing wreak seeing those powerful, reasonable people saying sensible things. I wish we had more of that in real life. Hillary is kind of a natural. I wouldn't mind seeing her pop up here and there.

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34 minutes ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I thought the scene with the past Secretaries of State was very emotional, the Secretaries were going from a script, but I thought it was actually what they would really say & wonder if they had in-put into the script?...  Also, I was glad Stevie's sister showed up at the hospital Finally!  I kept wondering why Stevie's siblings did not show up at the hospital...

Judging from the short interviews that were floating around, I would say they had some input.

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

So did the woman who went to get the pens survive? She appeared to, but then Stevie was up and moving around before she collapsed and almost died.

She did - I think they showed her near the end?

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I haven't read any of the media for this show so I spent the majority of the episode freaking out that they were going to kill POTUS (I LOVE LOVE LOVE POTUS). I was going to Hubs "I'm logging onto the forum to see if they kill POTUS" and he was like "Calm down, just watch your favourite show."

Sooooo relieved they didn't kill him or Russell! I was so sure the actors wanted out and went out with a bang. 

I totally squealed when I saw the past 3 secretaries of state! And I'm not even American! That was such a cool cameo.

I wish they kept June for the season. She was awesome and I really liked the contrast between her and Stevie. That would have been a good person for Stevie to bounce off.

What a season premiere! I really should google to see if they will write off Conrad to avoid a scare next time! 

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Someone pleased remind me of Stevie's great accomplishments during her internship at the White House? Did she included her little tea corner? Because I don't think Russel liked it very much....

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I'm always lost by the point of timeline divergence on presidential shows, but if we're running concurrent to present-day, I was under the impression that Obama hadn't been in office in this universe, and in any case that the term of Elizabeth's predecessor would have covered most of the period that Hillary actually held the post.

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Good start to the season. Henry needs to man up and get comfortable with the fact that his wife's career is in a very particular and powerful position that he can't weasel around.  I enjoyed the scene with the former Secretaries of State and thought is was nicely executed.  It wasn't until after the credits rolled that I realized sore thumb Kat Sandoval was missing from the episode. She really is inconsequential to the show. 

RIP June. 

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Oh Stevie! Bringing .your usual clueless sass...loved the Linda Lavin character (and it was clear she was a redshirt because she was a "temporary" replacement for Russell's regular gatekeeper who was on her first vacation in forever.) Lavin is always an outstanding guest star (she had a 2 or 3 episode arc in the last season of The Good Wife.)

While Stevie's main purpose seems to be "annoyance," it rang true for a lot of kids her age (not all of them! Not just millenials!) that she'd be full enough of herself to talk about what she brings while at the same time insulting the career of someone who clearly had clearly been around and knew things. A slightly older/smarter Stevie would have refrained from the "women your age" remark and said: "what else can you tell me about what I should be looking for?" 

I wish the writers had let them have a real conversation like that...rather than now have Stevie deal with the guilt of having been condescending and dismissive. As in, let the Lavin character give her some good advice before getting blowed up real good. She was almost channeling Nadine, and Stevie should have paid attention. (I'd give a lot for a couple of cameos from Bebe Neuwirth this season.)

Also, since now both Elizabeth and Stevie have been the victim of a rocket attack, I expect Elizabeth may have some good insights for her eldest daughter. But I really hope that Stevie doesn't join her mother's staff. Way too sticky!

And time's about up for Blake to be making his decision on where he wants to go next. I hope they deal with that one soon.

Also not pointed out, but I was aware of it, the 3 Secretaries who came to see Elizabeth were an immigrant, a person of color and a woman. Out of many, one indeed!

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4 hours ago, Mellowyellow said:

I totally squealed when I saw the past 3 secretaries of state! And I'm not even American! That was such a cool cameo.

 

Thank you for saying this, Mellowyellow! It was nice to be reminded that at least some of our politicians have been thoughtful and intelligent.

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13 hours ago, Twilight Man said:

So, what show will Hillary cameo in NEXT this season????

Will it be "Blue Bloods"???  or maybe "FBI"????????? or perhaps "Mom"??????

If I answered, I'd be banned for sure!

Nice to see "Madam Secretary's Amazing Spouse" back for a fifth season.   If she gets elected, they can change the name of the show to "First Husband."

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4 hours ago, Efzee said:

Someone pleased remind me of Stevie's great accomplishments during her internship at the White House? Did she included her little tea corner? Because I don't think Russel liked it very much....

I always love a bewildered Russel! He was like " no, I want my coffee, take that thing away"

2 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Oh Stevie! Bringing .your usual clueless sass...loved the Linda Lavin character (and it was clear she was a redshirt because she was a "temporary" replacement for Russell's regular gatekeeper who was on her first vacation in forever.) Lavin is always an outstanding guest star (she had a 2 or 3 episode arc in the last season of The Good Wife.)

While Stevie's main purpose seems to be "annoyance," it rang true for a lot of kids her age (not all of them! Not just millenials!) that she'd be full enough of herself to talk about what she brings while at the same time insulting the career of someone who clearly had clearly been around and knew things. A slightly older/smarter Stevie would have refrained from the "women your age" remark and said: "what else can you tell me about what I should be looking for?" 

I wish the writers had let them have a real conversation like that...rather than now have Stevie deal with the guilt of having been condescending and dismissive. As in, let the Lavin character give her some good advice before getting blowed up real good. She was almost channeling Nadine, and Stevie should have paid attention. (I'd give a lot for a couple of cameos from Bebe Neuwirth this season.)

 

I wanted to shake Stevie when she was talking to June. First of all, government (especially in DC of all places) is nothing but a hotbed of gossip. You want (need) to get in good with "women their ages" because honestly? They're the one's who make things happen behind the scenes, and know what's going on. You cannot tell me that someone of Stevie's stature would have no idea that hiring her would be a boon for that particular office. Your mother is the S.O.S for crying out loud! You're an aide for Russell Jackson! Of course they'd hire you, regardless of the job, if only for the connections.

Yes, you might have an impeccable work ethic, but honestly even if you didn't, your name alone gets you in the door. Yes, it might sting, but that is how the world works, get used to it and use it to your advantage. Those of us that work in places like that know the deal, and if you take the time to actually speak to us (instead of just assuming that we're out of touch, or from a bygone era) it would make things a lot more smoother for you.

My God, now I hate Stevie for making me sound old.

*Walks off to go find my cane and yell at those kids to get off my lawn.*

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5 hours ago, Emma9 said:

I'm always lost by the point of timeline divergence on presidential shows, but if we're running concurrent to present-day, I was under the impression that Obama hadn't been in office in this universe, and in any case that the term of Elizabeth's predecessor would have covered most of the period that Hillary actually held the post.

This is fiction, not a documentary.  Jeb Bartlett in West Wing didn't "follow" Clinton or Reagan's presidencies.  The current "Madame Secretary" administration is not a continuum of any real life administrations.  The past Secretaries of State were acting.  It is irrelevant when Obama's presidency took place in relation to this make believe TV show.

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6 hours ago, Efzee said:

Someone pleased remind me of Stevie's great accomplishments during her internship at the White House? Did she included her little tea corner? Because I don't think Russel liked it very much....

Well, Stevie saved Russell's life, so there's that.

 

57 minutes ago, nekilarose said:

I wanted to shake Stevie when she was talking to June. First of all, government (especially in DC of all places) is nothing but a hotbed of gossip. You want (need) to get in good with "women their ages" because honestly? They're the one's who make things happen behind the scenes, and know what's going on.

Well, it's moot now.

Do women of a certain age play death scenes so well because they've had the opportunity to see real people die? Linda Lavin's last look as June was different that Frances Sternhagen's as Willie Ray on The Closer, but both were devastatingly realistic.

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Well...that...was a bit heavy handed.  I liked it, but there is no denying it was heavy handed. 

Wow.  Russell didn't burst into flame or get all sparkly in the Martha's Vineyard sun?  There goes that theory....

I literally forgot Stevie's given name is Stephanie, and when the nurse came in to give "Stephanie's" status, I was all "who?"

Professor Arm Candy has got to get with the program.  I get it, it isn't fair to be required subsume your opinions and censor yourself because of your spouse's job, but life ain't fair.  Suck it up, buttercup.  Political wives have been doing that for a long, long, long time now. 

I did like how realistic the tension in their marriage was over this issue.  First it was Professor Arm Candy's annoyance with Bess over her weakening on the rebuke to India because of the potential nuclear deal with Pakistan, then it was Bess's annoyance with Professor Arm Candy's because it was his remarks in his televised panel discussion which caused the disarmament talks to break down.

Oh, how I loved Linda Lavin in her role as Russell's substitute secretary.  She was utterly fantastic, especially in her last encounter with Stevie where it appeared they'd reached a bit of a detente, which might have tipped into a mentor/mentee relationship, then Stevie had to open her mouth again, and just the subtle shifting expression on Linda Lavin's face showed you the exact moment Stevie fucked up, and exactly how June was going to eat her lunch once Stevie shut up.  Then the moment broke...  I was all ready for Linda Lavin's June to become the Mrs. Landingham character of this show, then they went and Mrs. Landinghammed her right on out.  Grrrr.....

Edited by HurricaneVal
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7 hours ago, Emma9 said:

I'm always lost by the point of timeline divergence on presidential shows, but if we're running concurrent to present-day, I was under the impression that Obama hadn't been in office in this universe, and in any case that the term of Elizabeth's predecessor would have covered most of the period that Hillary actually held the post.

The show started in 2014 and Conrad was re-elected in 2016. That's why I always assumed that if Obama existed in this universe (and since Clinton does, I'm assuming he does, too), Conrad would have won in 2012 instead of Obama and Bess' predecessor Marsh became Sec of State instead of John Kerry. That would not change Clinton's tenure as Sec of State.

17 hours ago, TigerLynx said:

Why shouldn't professor arm candy have to publicly get on the same page as Liz?  Women have been doing it for centuries.

How are they going to let Bess run for President if he doesn't? There is no way that I believe that she could win if he doesn't. The campaign ads underminding her judgement and calling her decisions into question write themselves: Even her husband disagrees with her. If her husband doesn't trust that she makes the right decisions, how can the nation trust her to?

Edited by CheshireCat
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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

Well, Stevie saved Russell's life, so there's that.

Technically, Stevie wasn't an intern back then yet... ;)

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1 hour ago, buckboard said:

The past Secretaries of State were acting. 

But they were also playing themselves, so I think it's fair to assume that the administrations they served in existed in this universe as well.

Edited by CheshireCat
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2 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

The show started in 2014 and Conrad was re-elected in 2016. That's why I always assumed that if Obama existed in this universe (and since Clinton does, I'm assuming he does, too), Conrad would have won in 2012 instead of Obama and Bess' predecessor Marsh became Sec of State instead of John Kerry. That would not change Clinton's tenure as Sec of State.

How are they going to let Bess run for President if he doesn't? There is no way that I believe that she could win if he doesn't. The campaign ads underminding her judgement and calling her decisions into question write themselves: Even her husband disagrees with her. If her husband doesn't trust that she makes the right decisions, how can the nation trust her to?

Heck, Jason went viral when he supported a candidate other than Conrad. Where's Jason, anyway? Have they sent him off to boarding school? Noodle: still the least annoying kid.

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18 minutes ago, kwnyc said:

Heck, Jason went viral when he supported a candidate other than Conrad. Where's Jason, anyway? Have they sent him off to boarding school? Noodle: still the least annoying kid.

He probably wasn't available for filming. I seem to remember something about the kids attending school still and the show working around their schedules. While they filmed in summer, he might have been otherwise engaged regardless.

 

8 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Also, since now both Elizabeth and Stevie have been the victim of a rocket attack, I expect Elizabeth may have some good insights for her eldest daughter.

I really hope they go there. I don't think that Stevie can come out of this unscathed and it would be the perfect opportunity for some awesome Bess and Stevie scenes!

 

8 hours ago, kwnyc said:

But I really hope that Stevie doesn't join her mother's staff. Way too sticky!

I really hope they don't go there ;-) I think it's already iffy with Stevie working in the WH and for the Chief-of-Staff at that. So, Bess is a big no-go for me. And it's even more of a no-go if Bess really wants to run.

 

8 hours ago, kwnyc said:

And time's about up for Blake to be making his decision on where he wants to go next. I hope they deal with that one soon.

Spoiler

Spoilers say they will.

 

8 hours ago, funnygirl said:

 It wasn't until after the credits rolled that I realized sore thumb Kat Sandoval was missing from the episode. She really is inconsequential to the show. 

I don't think she is inconsequential. She just isn't needed in every episode. When the show started, Sebastian Arcelus - as Bess' policy advisor, Kat's job - wasn't a series regular. I didn't mind that they made him one but not every story needs a policy advisor.

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The scene from Hillary sounded weird. Colin and Albright were easy to listen to, like they were talking to the lead character and us about something they knew a lot about, but she sounded like she was lecturing.

I was surprised Powell appeared with Hill, Bill had tried to blame him for the horrible debacle in Somalia because the General didn't insist "hard enough" that US forces needed their own armored forces outside UN command.

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21 minutes ago, Happywatcher said:

I was surprised Powell appeared with Hill, Bill had tried to blame him for the horrible debacle in Somalia because the General didn't insist "hard enough" that US forces needed their own armored forces outside UN command.

I guess Powell knows that Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton. ;-)

I would also imagine that Clinton consulted Powell during her tenure since that is apparently nothing out of the ordinary.

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This show tries to straddle a line between real world stuff and fictional tv stuff. It doesn't always straddle well. Please keep in mind that real world political opinions are not welcome here. Thanks!

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5 hours ago, nekilarose said:

Yes, you might have an impeccable work ethic, but honestly even if you didn't, your name alone gets you in the door. Yes, it might sting, but that is how the world works, get used to it and use it to your advantage. Those of us that work in places like that know the deal, and if you take the time to actually speak to us (instead of just assuming that we're out of touch, or from a bygone era) it would make things a lot more smoother for you.

Stevie is super annoying about refusing to recognize her advantage. There was an episode last season where she insisted she didn't get her job at the white house because of her mom. When, of course it was. She may have kept her job because she's smart and a hard worker, but it's not like she mailed in a resume and had it picked out of a pile. When I was in college they told us that almost all jobs go to someone with a connection to the people hiring. Stevie should be thankful she has one. 

And if she doesn't want to have people think she's getting jobs because of her mother, she needs to pick a different field.

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4 minutes ago, KaveDweller said:

Stevie is super annoying about refusing to recognize her advantage. There was an episode last season where she insisted she didn't get her job at the white house because of her mom. When, of course it was. She may have kept her job because she's smart and a hard worker, but it's not like she mailed in a resume and had it picked out of a pile. When I was in college they told us that almost all jobs go to someone with a connection to the people hiring. Stevie should be thankful she has one. 

And if she doesn't want to have people think she's getting jobs because of her mother, she needs to pick a different field.

Russell gave her an intern position because she saved his life. He said as much, that he doesn't normally hire interns but she saved his life and all. And he also didn't seem to know what to do with her when she first started out. I think her first task was programming his fitness thing.

Of course, one could argue that Stevie saved Russell's life because she was there to get the recommendation for Harvard which she wouldn't have been able to ask Russell for if Bess weren't secretary of state.

But considering Russell and how they have established his character, I really think that he gave her the internship because he felt he owed her.

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1 hour ago, CheshireCat said:

Russell gave her an intern position because she saved his life. He said as much, that he doesn't normally hire interns but she saved his life and all. And he also didn't seem to know what to do with her when she first started out. I think her first task was programming his fitness thing.

Of course, one could argue that Stevie saved Russell's life because she was there to get the recommendation for Harvard which she wouldn't have been able to ask Russell for if Bess weren't secretary of state.

But considering Russell and how they have established his character, I really think that he gave her the internship because he felt he owed her.

Yes, that is exactly my point. She saved his life because she knew him and had an opportunity to be in the white house asking him for the recommendation.  That opportunity came from her mother being secretary of state.  He may not have given her a position if that hadn't happened, but Bess was definitely a factor.

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10 hours ago, KaveDweller said:

Yes, that is exactly my point. She saved his life because she knew him and had an opportunity to be in the white house asking him for the recommendation.  That opportunity came from her mother being secretary of state.  He may not have given her a position if that hadn't happened, but Bess was definitely a factor.

I'm guessing since June said as much to Stevie in the season opener with what turned out to be her last breath, that Stevie will have an Arc of Realization this season. 

Spoiler

The show tends to mirror real life, so it seems likely that the effects of privilege would get a plot on the show.

There's an interesting parallel and contrast between Stevie being able to save Russell but not June. I will be surprised if that doesn't get acknowledged with a tearful line or two—with perhaps Stevie realizing that she's not so special and/or realizing that being in the right place at the right time could just as easily have been a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time—especially since I thought the doctor saying something about her not being the same as before?

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23 hours ago, AnyTimeFromNow said:

Thank you for saying this, Mellowyellow! It was nice to be reminded that at least some of our politicians have been thoughtful and intelligent.

The SoS cameo was really well executed. We don’t know the historical timeline, btw, so we can take the time frame at face value. The language of the conversation really did seem natural for all three and all three during their respective SOS tenures were seen as being highly effective in that position. But it also laid the groundwork for Elizabeth’s speech at the end, which is really relevant globally in RL right now. It is a message that needed to be heard. 

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I forgot to add this to my post above.  I really liked how the organization responsible for the attack on the White House during the talks was not at all related to either India or Pakistan, but a wholly unrelated white nationalist (or "Americanist" as I heard on last week's FBI episode) whackaloon organization.   In all the aftermath, I can't remember if they were targeting that meeting specifically, because it didn't promote their interests, or if the timing was accidental, as in "Hey, we've got this cool RPG, let's go to DC and shoot it at the White House!  Who wants in?"  "I call SHOTGUN!!!"  "OK, Billy Bob is bringing the beer.  None of that micro crap, now, make sure it is the good stuff, like Bud.  Let's roll..."

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I wonder if they are in any way connected to the group that shot up Dr. Arm Candy; remember, they had discovered a way to steal arms from the military. 

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On 10/8/2018 at 3:31 PM, HurricaneVal said:

I was all ready for Linda Lavin's June to become the Mrs. Landingham character of this show, then they went and Mrs. Landinghammed her right on out.  Grrrr.....

Same

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Just got around to watching this episode now - I know we are not supposed to talk about politics, but I missed a good chunk of the scene with the 3 previous Secretaries of State because I was laughing so hard at watching Hillary Clinton have to talk about "what makes America great". She couldn't even keep a straight face herself while saying that line!

I didn't think either of the three of them were stellar actors, though - they all sounded as if they were reading from a script.

Henry continues to annoy me with his self-righteousness, and needs to gain some common sense.

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Although I agree with everything they said, I did not like the cameo with the former Secretaries of State at all.  It felt very contrived & preachy.  It also broke the flow because I was very aware of their "realness" while watching a fictional tv show.  I'm glad it worked for many of you but it didn't work for me.

Also, I really missed Kat/Sara Ramirez.  I hope she returns ... no reference to her in this episode?  Anyone know the status of this?

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2 hours ago, ThisIsMe said:

Also, I really missed Kat/Sara Ramirez.  I hope she returns ... no reference to her in this episode?  Anyone know the status of this?

Don't worry. She wasn't in every episode last season either and as I mentioned in a previous post, Jay wasn't a regular until S2. Kat, as policy advisor, probably was around somewhere, but, I guess, they simply didn't need to show us her interaction with Bess to advance the story :-)

Edited by CheshireCat
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2 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Don't worry. She wasn't in every episode last season either and as I mentioned in a previous post, Jay wasn't a regular until S2. Kat, as policy advisor, probably was around somewhere, but, I guess, they simply didn't need to show us her interaction with Bess to advance the story :-)

Whew!  That's right -- now I remember that she was not in every episode last season.  She has so much natural charisma.  I really enjoy watching her.

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On 10/8/2018 at 2:50 PM, buckboard said:

This is fiction, not a documentary.

Of course. But it's generally assumed in political shows that historical events (and presidential successions) happened as they did in the real timeline up to some point, and I'm curious to find out what that point is for worldbuilding. When, and under whom, Hillary's character served would help with that.

 

On 10/8/2018 at 4:19 PM, CheshireCat said:

The show started in 2014 and Conrad was re-elected in 2016. That's why I always assumed that if Obama existed in this universe (and since Clinton does, I'm assuming he does, too), Conrad would have won in 2012 instead of Obama and Bess' predecessor Marsh became Sec of State instead of John Kerry. That would not change Clinton's tenure as Sec of State.

That makes sense, though I'd be more inclined to think they'd fictionalize an alternate president who appointed her than handle the ramifications of Conrad being the reason Obama didn't get a second term. (It would also give away Conrad's original political party, which I believe they've intentionally been coy about.)

Unless who he took office from has been stated explicitly, which I don't recall that it has.

Edited by Emma9

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On 10/9/2018 at 8:55 AM, theschnauzers said:

But it also laid the groundwork for Elizabeth’s speech at the end, which is really relevant globally in RL right now. It is a message that needed to be heard. 

It also served, as far as I could see, to be a definitive statement of Elizabeth's Presidential campaign platform. 

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17 minutes ago, Emma9 said:
On October 8, 2018 at 1:50 PM, buckboard said:

This is fiction, not a documentary.

Of course. But it's generally assumed in political shows that historical events (and presidential successions) happened as they did in the real timeline up to some point, and I'm curious to find out what that point is for worldbuilding. When, and under whom, Hillary's character served would help with that.

I just take it as kind of a cubist or Bizarro view of alternate political universes. The blending of fact and fiction doesn't bother me. I do wonder if it bothers most people or not.

I was taken out of the scene by the awkward transitions from one former SOS to the next and then back to Bess/Téa with the monologues not really having any segues or cohesiveness.

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4 hours ago, Emma9 said:

That makes sense, though I'd be more inclined to think they'd fictionalize an alternate president who appointed her than handle the ramifications of Conrad being the reason Obama didn't get a second term. (It would also give away Conrad's original political party, which I believe they've intentionally been coy about.)

Yes, they have. They said it in an interview. If I remember correctly, it just happened at the beginning and then they decided to roll with it. It's probably one reason why Conrad ran as an Independent. Otherwise, they probably would not have been able to get away with not giving him a party.

 

4 hours ago, Emma9 said:

Unless who he took office from has been stated explicitly, which I don't recall that it has.

No, they haven't. I don't think they ever mentioned anything either. I'm sure they have something in mind but I also think that who was President before is up to us (whether we want to believe it's Obama or a fictional President). They do seem to continue to follow our timeline though.

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I think if they *had* to establish it, they would go with a fictional president, maybe someone old who died in office and had an unpopular VP

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16 hours ago, bros402 said:

I think if they *had* to establish it, they would go with a fictional president, maybe someone old who died in office and had an unpopular VP

Bush and Carter were one-term Presidents, so, I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that a fictional President lost re-election :-)

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The SoS scene totally took me out of the show, and I didn't like it at all.  It felt really awkward and ham-fisted.

Yes, Henry, you and your entitled mouth are liabilities to Bess's possible presidential run, so either learn to be tactful or shut the fuck up.

And Stevie, hon:

giphy.gif

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On ‎07‎.‎10‎.‎2018 at 11:46 PM, shapeshifter said:

So did the woman who went to get the pens survive? She appeared to, but then Stevie was up and moving around before she collapsed and almost died.

That's Lucy, the President's secretary and yes, if I'm not completely mistaken, she survived.

 

On ‎08‎.‎10‎.‎2018 at 3:31 PM, HurricaneVal said:

Wow.  Russell didn't burst into flame or get all sparkly in the Martha's Vineyard sun?  There goes that theory....

He probably knows how to stay out of the sun. ;-)

 

They really like intense and timely season openers, don't they? But the episode had a lot of the stuff that I like and it highlighted how the job puts Bess between a rock and a hard place so often and that it really sucks in situations like the one after the attack when Bess had to be at a safe place with the President instead of her daughter.

I feel kind of robbed. I wanted to see when Russell learns that Bess is planning to run. He's been bugging her for so long and I had hoped that she keeps it from him but he figures it out somehow or he keeps bugging her until she has enough and does tell him. Something like that. It could have been fun. But hopefully, we'll get some funny scenes now with Russell reminding Bess of her intentions every now and then.

I was a bit confused about the beginning. Conrad was bar-b-que-ing and Lydia was handing out strong drinks but Conrad also received his daily briefing? Doesn't he get that in the morning? Or does he get it twice?

I loved the exchange between Russell, Bess and Henry at the beginning. Too bad that we didn't get to see Bess attempt at beating Henry at Badminton.

I was surprised to see India's foreign minister from season 1 back! But the prime minister was not the same than the one in S3. I didn't catch her name though, was she supposed to be? And was that guy really the Pakistani prime minister? He looked like a men's magazine model. Not that I'm complaining. ;-)

I loved out loud when Russell said DC traffic. Truer words have probably not been spoken!

I'm not a fan of bringing in new characters only so that they can be killed off but I'm glad that they didn't kill off Russell's usual secretary and I don't mind that this one isn't sticking around. Most of the time, I thought she came across as arrogant and condescending. The next time Stevie tells someone that she got a job offer because she's good at what she does, she might want to look more sure of herself though and not like she's going to pee her pants at any moment.

And who on earth put Stevie in that pink outfit? It looked straight out of the 80s. (And I won't even comment on Bess' vacation garment. What was that? ;-))

Did Henry seriously suggest that Bess not run so he can keep ranting on panels in public? Seriously dude? Feeling entitled much? I just want him to face-plant big time and then realize that he screwed up big time, without the pity party that he had with Dmitri and with a wife who cleans up after him. Is he actually capable of reflection and saying "I messed up, I'm truly sorry"? I wonder if they intended for Henry to be this way or if it just happened. But at least, they're consistent.

I liked having the secretaries on the show but I agree with NUguy514, it did take me out of the show, too. What they said felt too much like something each of them could have said on a panel on TV. Yes, it was fitting but it was also very real; too real for TV, I think.

Great speech from Bess. I would have loved to have a final scene between her and Henry but okay. The speech was a pretty good way to end the episode as well. (I guess, they didn't "blow up" the actual WH office ;-))

Oh, and Bess saying she still has a year, is that a hint in regards to how much more of Madam Secretary we can expect?

Edited by CheshireCat
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