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From Variety:

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The BBC drama “Bodyguard” bowed out on a high Sunday with 11 million viewers at its peak on BBC One, for a whopping 47.9% audience share. The six-part series, which Netflix is about to launch globally, is Britain’s most popular drama since “Downton Abbey.”

Starring Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and Keeley Hawes (“The Durrells”), “Bodyguard” went out the gate strongly in the U.K., where it was the biggest launch for a scripted series in more than a decade.

...

Netflix will drop all six episodes globally outside the U.K., including in the U.S., on Oct. 24.

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I saw the painfully tense opening scene on YouTube and got hooked immediately. I couldn't resist reading some recaps because I figured it might be a long time before the show is available in the US, but have so far managed to avoid learning anything about the finale. I'm so excited it's coming to Netflix so soon!

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Huh. Just watched the first 3 episodes, taking a comment break.

So at first I thought that Julia Montague was being played by the same actress as the lead in Dr. Foster, but it turns out it's not only a different actress, Keeley Hawes, but I realized I recognized her from The Durrells of Corfu. So I had seen her before.

Other than that, and thinking for a few moments early on that David's wife looked like Emma Watson, I really like it so far. 

I just have no idea where they're going with it, since clearly the romance isn't going to work in any facile manner.

Edited by hokeypokeyFOIA
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Wow, that train sequence was intense. I figured they weren't going to blow up the lead character, but it was still riveting. I'm especially glad there wasn't a fake-out where it seems safe and then there's an explosion that kills people anyway. Nice casting where the bomb expert and the sniper were both women, along with the lead... I don't know her position. The woman who was ordering them out of the toilet. I also like that Julia Montague isn't just a one-sided character (at least, it seems she has some humanity, her ex-aide's opinion notwithstanding). Richard Madden is really selling the undercurrent of being ready to explode, himself. Can't wait to learn more about David Budd. On a shallow note, I'm exceptionally glad they let him use his natural accent.

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I watched the first two episodes last night. Really excellent action sequences, Not sure I'm sold yet on the rest of the plot line, and having such a bottled up protagonist makes it a bit hard to relate to him.

I wonder if American audiences will be able to get into the political intrigue aspect of this show since it seems to me that it requires a bit deeper knowledge of British politics and government bureaucracy than most of us possess. I think I may rewatch the first two episodes to make sure I have a solid grasp of who all the actors are. Watching this late at night I think may have made me miss a few things.

One aspect that interested me was the number of women cast in key roles (a majority I think so far), unlike most American series. I wonder if it is accurate.

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15 hours ago, hokeypokeyFOIA said:

Other than that, and thinking for a few moments early on that David's wife looked like Emma Watson, I really like it so far. 

This bothered me the whole time as well. I actually like the acting choices of the woman who plays his wife. I am not generally a fan of Emma Watson's acting.

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Putting down a speculative marker here, before I see the other two episodes: Julia Montague is not dead but let it be believed that she is to protect herself and catch those conspiring against her.

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Sophie Rundle, who plays Vicky, is all over British telly in the past few years. Catching up on shows I missed this summer, I saw her die three times in mysteries and survive several other shows.

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I liked Keeley Hawes performance on Line of Duty, so was excited to see her in a lead actress here. She was amazing on that show.

Can't be as easy as David just shooting her, so we'll see where it goes.

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Wondering why, if the car had an armor-plated body, it didn't have bullet-proof glass?

They jumped to intimacy pretty quickly, but I guess, life and death and all that. All kinds of deceptions going on!

Seems only a matter of time before David's connection to the shooter is discovered. Another question: The guy was in the military; wouldn't fingerprints, at least, be on file?

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The show was a terrific, suspenseful thriller, putting Homeland to shame in that department. But I was disappointed that in the end the government chicanery was relatively minor league while the true villains were the familiar crooked cops, organized crime, and Islamic jihadists. I had hoped that Julia survived the bomb and was just lying low, waiting to pick up the pieces after all those trying to stop her were exposed.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all the women who held positions of power, Mercurio still played the "bitches will get you every time" card that came up a little too often in Line of Duty.

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I'm not clear who the tall, thin man is who keeps showing up and sniping at David. From their first meeting (when he was talking to Julia and David was there), he was a prick and has been every time since. Granted, later encounters were after the two attacks on her, but it seems out of place. He's had so little to do. He just shows up, snipes at David, and pushes his way through. I thought he was another politician; did he have a personal connection?  (ETA: Realized he's her ex-husband.)

The blanks in David's gun are certainly intriguing. Who would have had access or known where he hid the gun? I hope he's not having blackouts and doing things he doesn't remember.

Didn't like that the police let Rob go so easily. His interview wasn't believable at all. Plus, I thought he was the one who told Julia that her speech still needed fact-checking, while he told Mahmood that it was fine.

Everyone seems to be in on something -- quite the conspiracy going on, even with Julia's supposed allies.

Completely absorbed in this. I know I'll have to go back and watch again for details.

Edited by justmehere · Reason: Answered my own question
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On 10/25/2018 at 12:40 AM, justmehere said:

that train sequence was intense. I figured they weren't going to blow up the lead character, but it was still riveting. I'm especially glad there wasn't a fake-out where it seems safe and then there's an explosion that kills people anyway.

I appreciated the lack of a fake out too.  I kept thinking they'd shoot the female bomber

It was also a good way to introduce Budd, that he could be cool under a crisis and that his first reaction isn't to do something that will escalate tension

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I too don't know why the glass didn't stop the bullets unless it's not feasible to have glass that would protect you from the bullets being used by the shooter.

Speaking of, not only would I expect them to have fingerprints since he was in the military, these days I wonder if they have DNA as well

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It's a little distressing how many senior security officials jump to conclusions on likely suspects.  They haven't even analyzed the bomb yet.

Also, how much time has passed since the failed assassination in Episode 2? I would have thought the shooter's ties to Budd would have been found out by now

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I think they were armor piercing bullets that could get thru glass, but not the heavy plating of the car body?  I'm pretty sure the vehicles POTUS rides in, nothing can permeate other than a bomb. 

This would have been much more satisfying if they had left out the scene where the friend said the Home Secretary should get to experience a little of the terror. 

I knew it was going to be him when it was revealed it was single shooter. If they'd left that scene out, and let him explain it before he killed himself, it would have been much better (imo). 

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16 hours ago, Cardie said:

Sophie Rundle, who plays Vicky, is all over British telly in the past few years. Catching up on shows I missed this summer, I saw her die three times in mysteries and survive several other shows.

That's kind of perversely funny I must say.

She plays Ava in Peaky Blinders as well.

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My theory on the car’s glass was that a president or PM might have the sort that nothing short of a bomb would get through, but that would be hugely expensive for all the senior ministers, so they make do with the armor plating.

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This last episode had as much tension as the first. I half expected the bomb to go off, and then things would come to light after David's death to resolve everything. Am very glad that wasn't the case. Loved Richard Madden throughout.

I really liked Vicki preventing the police from shooting David by literally standing by him. It was effective, and it made the reconciliation at the end feel earned. 

I agree that they kind of underplayed the government conspiracy in the end. Craddock (?) as the insider surprised me, but I was disappointed that her betrayal seemed to be only for money. She was simply greedy enough that someone else's life didn't matter. Why? We saw nothing to support that, nor any other motivation on her part. (The men were all greedy too, wanting to keep their positions no matter the cost. I'm not defending them at all, given their own misdeeds, but I can see their motivation.) Maybe Craddock didn't expect things to go so far, except, she continued even after the first attempt on Julia's life. I didn't care one bit about her sudden remorse. I did like that her lawyer didn't seem to be sympathetic to her.

Also, after showing so many women in power, having the story resort to a tearful confession, however restrained, bothered me when we only heard about the government men's arrests. Their initial acts were barely noted after all the worry over the scandal that the tablet's information would cause, and they initiated and coordinated the conspiracy. There was more detail about the organized crime guy than about them.

The jihadist woman was another surprise and also a little difficult to believe. As ruthless as she ended up being -- she was OK with having others die, was OK contributing to other deaths, but was too afraid to die herself? It felt like a little bit of a cheat. I can't help thinking that any last-minute fear of a true believer (in the opening bomb sequence) would look different than someone being coerced. Her fear then wasn't an act, she said. But I guess showing the attitude difference would have given too much away.  

Anyway, the quibbles are fairly small despite saying more about them than what I liked. The story (overall) and the performances were great. I loved the series and am happy I didn't have to wait a week between episodes. I'll definitely re-watch.

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*sigh* Apparently whenever a woman is emotionally distraught, no matter the reason, what she really wants is sex. That misguided trope needs to be retired pronto. In other news: Wow. That's one hell of a phone camera. LOL. That sniper pic should have been blurry AF.

Edited by numbnut
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On 10/25/2018 at 7:19 AM, Rickster said:

Really excellent action sequences, Not sure I'm sold yet on the rest of the plot line, and having such a bottled up protagonist makes it a bit hard to relate to him.

ITA. I was wondering if this was sci-fi because the protagonist behaves like an android.

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I don’t understand what Robb Stark’s end game is. Surely he has to know that a connection between him and the roof shooter/comrade in arms from the Middle East will show up at some point. He should have told the truth from the get-go. At least he fared better in the explosion than he did at the Red Wedding.

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On 10/26/2018 at 5:08 PM, justmehere said:

Anyway, the quibbles are fairly small despite saying more about them than what I liked. The story (overall) and the performances were great. I loved the series and am happy I didn't have to wait a week between episodes. I'll definitely re-watch.

Just saw this series. Episodes 1-4 had me totally enthralled. But I think the story fell apart at the end. I did think of him telling the jihadist woman about his kids but I thought there was no way for her to get that information to her sect. 

On 10/26/2018 at 5:08 PM, justmehere said:

I was disappointed that her betrayal seemed to be only for money. She was simply greedy enough that someone else's life didn't matter. Why? We saw nothing to support that, nor any other motivation on her part. (The men were all greedy too, wanting to keep their positions no matter the cost. I'm not defending them at all, given their own misdeeds, but I can see their motivation.) Maybe Craddock didn't expect things to go so far, except, she continued even after the first attempt on Julia's life. I didn't care one bit about her sudden remorse.

Definitely felt like a cheat. She was the one character who had been largely kept off to the side and I think they decided on her at the end and wrote a rather unconvincing story.  However I enjoyed that this series largely attempt not to go for the obvious solution and it was definitely very good. 

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19 hours ago, numbnut said:

ITA. I was wondering if this was sci-fi because the protagonist behaves like an android.

I though he had one moment just before he confronted the person in the bathroom where you could see him freaking out.  

Spoiler

The train sequence was intense and I enjoyed that in the end she simply played into what he clearly wanted... her to be a weak woman who had been forced into it.  But if I had Richard Madden's big blue eyes pleading with me I might go with it as well. 

Edited by Athena · Reason: added spoiler tag
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17 hours ago, numbnut said:

I was wondering if this was sci-fi because the protagonist behaves like an android.

I thought it was fascinating to watch the emotions leak out in scenes where he wasn't on the job (the first scene on the train, and whenever he was with his wife) as compared to how robotic he was while he was working. Really stellar job by Richard Madden since it can't be an easy to play such a buttoned up character.

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6 hours ago, Auntie Anxiety said:

I don’t understand what Robb Stark’s end game is. Surely he has to know that a connection between him and the roof shooter/comrade in arms from the Middle East will show up at some point. He should have told the truth from the get-go. At least he fared better in the explosion than he did at the Red Wedding.

Not sure either and not sure I care, those blue eyes get me every time. And I just love seeing him in something. I loved Medici.

I don't understand what the Julie's end game is. 

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20 hours ago, BooBear said:

Definitely felt like a cheat.

I agree that the ending was something of a cheat and it was rather unsatisfying for me. I was thinking back on all of the scenes with Nadia and I feel that on top of al her other character traits, beliefs, accomplishments, etc. - that I'm supposed to believe she is an academy award worthy actress as well. I mean that was just too much for me to buy.

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5 hours ago, Stella said:

I was thinking back on all of the scenes with Nadia and I feel that on top of al her other character traits, beliefs, accomplishments, etc. - that I'm supposed to believe she is an academy award worthy actress as well. I mean that was just too much for me to buy.

I don't think the character had to be a great actress. She just had to sit back and allow everyone's preconceptions about Muslim women all being under the thumb of a husband or other man to cloud their judgement. They fell into a trap of their own making and she let them.

In fact there was a lot of underestimating women all through the show: underestimating Julia's ambition, Vicky's determination to protect David, Craddock's greed.

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On 2018-10-24 at 7:04 PM, hokeypokeyFOIA said:

Huh. Just watched the first 3 episodes, taking a comment break.

So at first I thought that Julia Montague was being played by the same actress as the lead in Dr. Foster, but it turns out it's not only a different actress, Keeley Hawes, but I realized I recognized her from The Durrells of Corfu. So I had seen her before.

Other than that, and thinking for a few moments early on that David's wife looked like Emma Watson, I really like it so far. 

I just have no idea where they're going with it, since clearly the romance isn't going to work in any facile manner.

You mean Suranne Jones? I could see her being good at this one. Physically Keeley Hawes is better fit though, she brought something wonderfully Thatcheresque to the character. Plus the odds on someone with Jones' rough around the edges Manchester accent becoming a Conservative Home Secretary are probably pretty low.

Although I would have liked a bit more common ground for David and Julia. The whole fancy lady likes a bit of rough aspect of their relationship is annoyingly cliche. The romance was actually one of the weakest points of the show especially in this episode. The chemistry is mostly there but the story is thin to the breaking point. There just doesn't seem to be anything there except sex and the show seems to want us to think it some great love story. I also feel like Julia using her sexuality to manipulate David doesn't quite ring true. She's wound so tight and seems to pride herself in being direct. I think she would find it demeaning and something lesser women would do.

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Forget nerves of steel, Budd has nerves of friggin' Titanium. That ambush was horrific.

I'm hoping by the end of this episode Budd was onto Julia and now he's working her instead of the  other away around.

Nice to see Gina McKee. I'm surprised she wasn't cast as the home secretary. Maybe the producers didn't want someone with higher recognition than Madden since he's supposed to be the star of the series.

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It almost seems like it would be too facile to see Julia as some kind of sociopathic manipulative villain because of her politics and the way she's not-so-nice to people.

More likely Julia actually believes she's doing the right thing, and she sincerely has feelings for David. Sometimes well-intentioned people can still hold dangerous views and be unpleasant.

David's police superiors seemed nice at first, but his police boss was not-so-subtly threatening his family's safety to get him to do their bidding. They want to bring Julia down, but they're not exactly good people either.

Am I just slow or are we supposed to not know who the bomber is? It's not Tahir (the poor new aide that the old aide obviously set up to get chewed out by Julia), right? Or was it him? David checked the case and apparently didn't see anything wrong. Unless... it was a bomb that was hidden really well. Or David saw something but deliberately ignored it because he wanted Julia to get blown up.

I'm confused.

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What the fuck, she's dead? It's only the 4th episode!

Unless... she's pulling a Tom Sawyer.

Are we supposed to be suspicious of David? If he wanted her dead, he could have let the sniper shoot her - that wouldn't have raised as many eyebrows as blowing her up with a bunch of other people at a big speech.

Unless... he has some kind of split personality, so he only wants her dead part of the time, but that would be so hokey.

Is it going to turn out everyone from the Prime Minister down to the staff is in on it, because they're all hiding stuff that they're afraid would come out if RIPA '18 passes? This is already feeling far more convoluted than it needs to be.

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I don't know that Craddock's greed was underestimated since I don't think the issue was ever raised until the final episode.

I also wonder if Nadia's terrorist cell and Luke Aiken's criminal organization would be willing to trust one another to work together on killing the Home Secretary

Also, killing the Home Secretary seems like a crazy thing for Luke Aiken.  If the authorities ever figured it out, they'd come down like a ton of bricks on him, his organization and probably other crime organizations.  In the 1930s, Dutch Schultz wanted to kill Thomas Dewey, then a District Attorney.  The Mob decided that would put too much heat on them so they killed Dutch Schultz instread.

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6 hours ago, Bec said:

Am I just slow or are we supposed to not know who the bomber is? It's not Tahir (the poor new aide that the old aide obviously set up to get chewed out by Julia), right? Or was it him? David checked the case and apparently didn't see anything wrong. Unless... it was a bomb that was hidden really well. Or David saw something but deliberately ignored it because he wanted Julia to get blown up.

It's deliberately told to the audience as a way to confuse us and David. The police suspect Tahir because he had the suitcase but David didn't see anything which leaves us and him confused.

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6 minutes ago, Constantinople said:

I also wonder if Nadia's terrorist cell and Luke Aiken's criminal organization would be willing to trust one another to work together on killing the Home Secretary

It's not so much a trust thing as the enemy of my enemy is my "friend". Both organisations gained from the Home Secretary's death and the terrorists got someone to do their work. Not to mention the guns and resources Aiken's group probably gave them as well.

I did think an organized crime group killing a cabinet minister was a tad over the top. It is still fiction but the series presented the message that traditional organised crime groups and terrorist cells do have common interests in disrupting public safety and governance.

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I don't see why they couldn't immediately identify the gunman who ambushed Julia's car. Wasn't he in the military with Budd? You'd think his fingerprints and dental records would be on file unless he went to a lot of effort to alter his body in some way.

Is guess this is a UO but I do think Julia is using Budd. I think she both overestimates the power of her sexuality and his gullibility. I also think he's being set up as the fall guy in case whatever she's up to gets discovered.

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The line "it could be an inside man... or woman" made me laugh. Cheesy!

I knew Craddock was shady as soon as she coerced David into spying on Julia by implying his family would be kicked out of the safe house if he refused to do it, a whole bunch of episodes ago!

What surprised me was that Anne Sampson wasn't in on the conspiracy as well. But then, even though both Sampson and Craddock wanted him to spy on Julia, Sampson didn't take part in coercing him into it.

I thought everything - bombings, murders and all - was going to be some huge conspiracy involving all the politicians from the Prime Minister on down. But okay, that would have been too predictable. It's a bit disappointing they were just red herrings acting shady because they were trying to get the tablet so they can keep their dirty little secrets. But they wouldn't murder, no! That was some criminal's doing! Some criminal who came out of left field!

I didn't understand why Nadia would admit to everything, conveniently before the end of the show. But I guess it makes sense if she feels her whole plan is complete, she would want to "take credit". Here's why I didn't suspect her of being some kind of mastermind - those aren't the people who gets sent out to blow themselves up! They send the idiots, not the geniuses with mad valuable bomb-building skillz!

It sure wasn't because I didn't think a Muslim woman could be an engineer.

I did think it was suspicious that she can speak English. That was a hint all along that she's well-educated. I did wonder at the time if she only said Longcross supplied the bomb because it looked like David really wanted her to say that. But I thought it would be because she wanted to "help" by saying exactly what he wanted her to say, I didn't think she wanted to kill him this whole time!

So wait a minute - does Nadia know David is still alive? I'm guessing she assumed he died. If she knows he's alive, then she shouldn't feel like her plan is all done and it's time to take credit for her work. Unless she considers toying with him instead of killing him close enough!

In a different story, maybe Nadia could have been a compelling and fascinating character. Here, she's a plot device doing whatever the plot needs her to do. Hey, I was entertained, so can't complain too much, but it feels a bit thin in the end, as if the story didn't completely live up to its potential. It's like the show was so focused on obfuscation, it valued the "big twists" so much, that actually telling a coherent story became unimportant.

I liked the sappy ending with the happy family though. It's silly but it feels nice. I get a bit tired of so many other shows ending on down notes (even though that's often a smarter way to go).

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Putting down a speculative marker here, before I see the other two episodes: Julia Montague is not dead but let it be believed that she is to protect herself and catch those conspiring against her.

That's what I'm suspecting too.

Quote

I was also surprised how little Budd was injured by his suicide attempt

Yeah, that seemed a little handwave-y. I'm glad he survived though because this was going to turn into different kind of show if both he and Julia were killed off already.

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Up until the very last second I was expecting Budd and his whole family to get blown up in the car. A sappy ending indeed but I guess it leaves an opening for a second season.

Over on reddit a number of people want Julia to be alive if there's a new season. I'd be okay if the show left her dead because I never bought the big love story between her and Budd. Instead they could focus more on Anne Sampson because something still seems off about her to me. Her own staff already suspect her although she turned out not to be the leak this time.

This was the best short drama series I've seen in a while. I doubt much would've been added by dragging it out to 10 or more episodes. US producers could take a cue from the Brits, I think.

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So far, so good! When he's off duty, it's obvious that David Budd is struggling. He's like a walking wound. It was ominous when his wife said she couldn't cover for him anymore because he was getting worse, so I look forward to seeing how his character arc develops. 

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I've also just finished the first 3 episodes and while I'm generally liking the show a lot, it's starting to veer into "24" territory. In less than a week of story time we've had a thwarted suicide bombing on a commuter train, a truck bomb/shootout at a primary school, a sniper attack in the middle of London, and now a bombing at a university lecture with heavy casualties. And the conspiracy gets ever deeper and higher. I hope they pull it back a bit into reality. 

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