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thewhiteowl

S05. E09. Winter Garden

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I spent the whole episode wondering what the connection was to the opening sequence.  Finally, they went back to it.

I felt for Blake. He looked so triumphant at the meeting, only to be deflated back at the office. And, yeah, that is life in the big leagues sometimes. 

Why was Henry responsible to file a report on the Secretary's actions?  He's an ethics advisor, not a house cop. Yes, it did bring to the fore the doctor's wrongdoing, but it just seemed off-putting to bring it about that way. And another thing.  That guy was the WH physician.  Why did Bess go to him instead of a private physician for her adult child?

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I found it satisfying to see the actual troll farm and then the warning message before the motherboards (?) were blown up.

And of course, planting daffodil bulbs.

They used a magical virus to make the monitors explode.

21 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

I spent the whole episode wondering what the connection was to the opening sequence.  Finally, they went back to it.

I felt for Blake. He looked so triumphant at the meeting, only to be deflated back at the office. And, yeah, that is life in the big leagues sometimes. 

Why was Henry responsible to file a report on the Secretary's actions?  He's an ethics advisor, not a house cop. Yes, it did bring to the fore the doctor's wrongdoing, but it just seemed off-putting to bring it about that way. And another thing.  That guy was the WH physician.  Why did Bess go to him instead of a private physician for her adult child?

I mean Henry and Bess would've had to have reported it - since the Secretary of Defense could've been kidnapped - or said any number of classified things while under the influence of the sleeping pill. It was a potential breach. He was probably obligated to report it as a member of the executive branch.

Bess probably went to him because she was at the WH for a meeting, they bumped into each other, he probably asked how everyone was doing, she mentioned the cough, and he just gave her a z-pack or whatever he gave Allison.

It's a ripped from the headlines story - it's what former physician to the president Ronny Jackson did

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6 hours ago, bros402 said:

I mean Henry and Bess would've had to have reported it - since the Secretary of Defense could've been kidnapped - or said any number of classified things while under the influence of the sleeping pill. It was a potential breach. He was probably obligated to report it as a member of the executive branch.

It did have to be reported because it wasn't clear why the SecDef was acting that way. Could have been sun-downing in early stages of dementia where it's worse at night or sick or what it turned out to be, medication. My issue was Elizabeth asking Henry to be the one to report it. She's a cabinet member, the highest ranking?, and a fellow cabinet member appeared at her house late at night rambling and incoherent. She should have been the one to take it right to the white-house, perhaps even that night. This is the Secretary of Defense. What if world emergency happened that night? 

This was just another way to insert Henry into things, and really at the expense of Elizabeth's characterization once again. 

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Agree on Henry.  Let him go teach theology somewhere.

Surprised the teacher did not mention the toxicity of daffodil bulbs, especially after one student thought it was an onion.  The kids were old enough to know not to eat random objects, but if the kid who pretended to bite into a bulb had eaten some and gotten sick, the teacher could get into trouble.

ETA: The doctor got fired because his patient took too much medicine and they had to blame someone.  If a kid got sick and the teacher was blamed, it would have been a similar situation.

Edited by Driad
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Towards the end--after Blake's dissembling of the kitchen--I enjoyed Bess simply handing off her (wrong) tea to the new girl and saying, "Green tea for you, no honey." Message conveyed?

 

35 minutes ago, Driad said:

Surprised the teacher did not mention the toxicity of daffodil bulbs, especially after one student thought it was an onion.  The kids were old enough to know not to eat random objects, but if the kid who pretended to bite into a bulb had eaten some and gotten sick, the teacher could get into trouble.

Wow. No kidding! I did not know this: https://www.poison.org/articles/2015-mar/daffodils
Or maybe the kid was biting it to show his machismo (or the Serbian vernacular equivalent) and his geekness at knowing it was poison?
I don't know. After the "Baby Steps" episode, I'm afraid the bloom is off the rose in the writing room for this show.

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She should have been the one to take it right to the white-house, perhaps even that night. 

I thought she was delegating: that is, if SHE made the report it would have been forms and interviews and workflows she really doesn't have time for. After all, she is SoS, and Henry's an ethics guy. He's got lots of time on his hands. Also, he was there, too...so make HIM do the housework. ;-)

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I'm starting to think that this show is jumping the shark.  So much annoying in this episode that I can't even begin.  I hate the new admin (why do we really need a brand new sorta geeky annoying person on the team?  Couldn't they do with sort of "normal" or is that asking too much?).   Henry - bah.  As much as I like Tim Daly, he has really become much too much in this show.   And you just know there is going to be some kind of political fallout from the Defense Sec about this.   Hasn't he already been portrayed as not being on Team Liz?  

At this point, I'm kind of looking forward to the season finale.  I usually watch the show in "real time" - I'm starting to think it's not worth staying up so late to watch it.  

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10 hours ago, Pop Tart said:

It did have to be reported because it wasn't clear why the SecDef was acting that way. Could have been sun-downing in early stages of dementia where it's worse at night or sick or what it turned out to be, medication. My issue was Elizabeth asking Henry to be the one to report it. She's a cabinet member, the highest ranking?, and a fellow cabinet member appeared at her house late at night rambling and incoherent. She should have been the one to take it right to the white-house, perhaps even that night. This is the Secretary of Defense. What if world emergency happened that night? 

This was just another way to insert Henry into things, and really at the expense of Elizabeth's characterization once again. 

That's an interesting point actually - are these people not allowed to get drunk, in case a world emergency happens that night? He was impaired by a substance. Is there really any difference?

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OK I am still watching this show.  But as a teacher, the opening scenes where both teachers ask the students something of value only to be replied with "Can I go to the bathroom?"  --- I needed that after a tough day --- lol kids are the same all over the world, as that was me at least 25 times today.

Will watch as it looks like it all comes back around.... sigh.

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3 hours ago, secnarf said:

That's an interesting point actually - are these people not allowed to get drunk, in case a world emergency happens that night? He was impaired by a substance. Is there really any difference?

His behavior was a bit beyond impaired, IMO, but then I'm not familiar with Ambien side effects beyond a certain famous TV star getting fired from her show after racist Tweeting while on Ambien (another ripped-from-the-headlines aspect of the episode's plot).

Anyway, the next day he admitted that he had taken more than he had been prescribed. I wonder if they will revisit that in some way WRT the doctor getting the axe.

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17 hours ago, Pop Tart said:

It did have to be reported because it wasn't clear why the SecDef was acting that way. Could have been sun-downing in early stages of dementia where it's worse at night or sick or what it turned out to be, medication. My issue was Elizabeth asking Henry to be the one to report it. She's a cabinet member, the highest ranking?, and a fellow cabinet member appeared at her house late at night rambling and incoherent. She should have been the one to take it right to the white-house, perhaps even that night. This is the Secretary of Defense. What if world emergency happened that night? 

This was just another way to insert Henry into things, and really at the expense of Elizabeth's characterization once again. 

Yeah, she probably should have called Conrad right away. Then if they wanted Henry to do something, he could spend the next day filling out a pile of paperwork :P

3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

His behavior was a bit beyond impaired, IMO, but then I'm not familiar with Ambien side effects beyond a certain famous TV star getting fired from her show after racist Tweeting while on Ambien (another ripped-from-the-headlines aspect of the episode's plot).

Anyway, the next day he admitted that he had taken more than he had been prescribed. I wonder if they will revisit that in some way WRT the doctor getting the axe.

Google Ambien Walrus for a fun take on the side effects Ambien can cause :P

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This plot had many unanswered questions for me. How did that guy get to the McCord’s house? I assume he walked so he must live in the neighborhood. Why didn’t his Secret Service guys prevent him from wandering the neighborhood at night when he was clearly impaired? Why didn’t his wife call the doctor when he acted so oddly?

Poor Blake. I know exactly how he felt rearranging the kitchen. It was his attempt to control what he could when events around him were so chaotic.

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3 hours ago, Athena5217 said:

This plot had many unanswered questions for me. How did that guy get to the McCord’s house? I assume he walked so he must live in the neighborhood. Why didn’t his Secret Service guys prevent him from wandering the neighborhood at night when he was clearly impaired? Why didn’t his wife call the doctor when he acted so oddly?

Poor Blake. I know exactly how he felt rearranging the kitchen. It was his attempt to control what he could when events around him were so chaotic.

Security let him in

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4 hours ago, Athena5217 said:

Poor Blake. I know exactly how he felt rearranging the kitchen. It was his attempt to control what he could when events around him were so chaotic.

Thanks for pointing this out. Somehow I missed his motive! I thought he was just having trouble letting go.

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Poor Blake. I know exactly how he felt rearranging the kitchen. It was his attempt to control what he could when events around him were so chaotic.

I'm on Team Blake for this one...arranging the boxes of tea by COLOR???

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It did have to be reported because it wasn't clear why the SecDef was acting that way. Could have been sun-downing in early stages of dementia where it's worse at night or sick or what it turned out to be, medication.

I honestly thought it was going to be some form of sundowning and we'd find out that the doctor was trying to cover for him with the medication story.  The whole thing was just really weird.   

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On ‎10‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 9:25 AM, Pop Tart said:

It did have to be reported because it wasn't clear why the SecDef was acting that way. Could have been sun-downing in early stages of dementia where it's worse at night or sick or what it turned out to be, medication.

I wondered if he was sleep-walking.

 

On ‎10‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 9:25 AM, Pop Tart said:

My issue was Elizabeth asking Henry to be the one to report it. She's a cabinet member, the highest ranking?,

Yes.

 

Quote

and a fellow cabinet member appeared at her house late at night rambling and incoherent. She should have been the one to take it right to the white-house, perhaps even that night. This is the Secretary of Defense. What if world emergency happened that night? 

Uh, good point! Even if he hadn't taken too much, is it smart to prescribe a sleeping med to the SecDef?

 

On ‎10‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 9:54 AM, Driad said:

ETA: The doctor got fired because his patient took too much medicine and they had to blame someone.  If a kid got sick and the teacher was blamed, it would have been a similar situation. 

He might not have. Different country, different rules, maybe.

 

On ‎10‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 11:15 AM, kwnyc said:

I thought she was delegating: that is, if SHE made the report it would have been forms and interviews and workflows she really doesn't have time for. After all, she is SoS, and Henry's an ethics guy. He's got lots of time on his hands. Also, he was there, too...so make HIM do the housework. ;-)

That's how I understood it, too. She didn't want to have to deal with that on top of everything else, too, so Henry had to do it.

 

On ‎11‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 2:50 AM, bros402 said:

Yeah, she probably should have called Conrad right away. Then if they wanted Henry to do something, he could spend the next day filling out a pile of paperwork :P

I wonder if that would have worked. It's possible that the incident reporter has to do the rest as well.

 

Quote

Google Ambien Walrus for a fun take on the side effects Ambien can cause :P

It doesn't sound like something that should be prescribed to the SefDef in general. Or any of the secretaries or high-ranking members of any government.

 

On ‎11‎.‎12‎.‎2018 at 11:46 PM, Athena5217 said:

This plot had many unanswered questions for me. How did that guy get to the McCord’s house?

His wife said that his car was right outside (I'm not sure he should have driven in his condition and I'm surprised he didn't hit anyone or anything) and Bess mentioned to Henry that she's surprised he managed to get by his security detail. Who knows what kind of a house he has. Bess managed to slip her detail at least once in S1. But if SecDef got out, someone could probably get in so his detail might want to look at how he got out. (I'm surprised they weren't in trouble or maybe they were and we didn't see that. I wish they would have addressed that).

 

I thought this was another great episode and reminiscent of old episodes - a lot of the episode's story was inspired by actual news but applied to a different problem and country and tailored to the show's needs. Like they did so often in earlier seasons.

I always appreciate Bess and Henry scenes, so I liked that they started the episode like this. Bess didn't really put up much of fight though... I guess, the briefing books she was reading weren't that interesting after all ;-) I did expect some reference to "if Bess gets elected" as they'll surely have even less time then.

I loved how it seemed that something serious was going on at first when Gordon showed up and how it transitioned into something that wasn't. (At least not from a the-safety-of-the-country-is-at-stake point of view). Gording's pick-pocketing was hilarious. I'm still chuckling thinking about it. Great acting, too, all around. And I guess, Gordon really did show up in his PJs. I wondered at first if he was or if his jacket simply looked like a bathrobe but, apparently, it was one.

I felt for Bess and Henry, having to report it. It must suck having to do it but I understand why Henry didn't back down. It's a national security issue. Gordon should have known that, too. Of course, he says it's a one-time thing and of course, he won't be taking more than the prescribed dosis again. But what if it happens with another med down the road? Like I said, this doesn't sound like a med that should have been prescribed to someone like him in the first place. In any case, I don't think he should have asked Henry not to report it. If it did happen again and it got out that Henry and Bess knew... I can only imagine what that would mean for them. Nothing fun.

Returning those things to Henry must have been pretty awkward for Gordon.

Uh - one question: how did his wife know where he was?

I'm surprised we're seeing so little of Kat. Yes, Jay wasn't in every episode but he was still a regular. Kat seems more recurring. I guess, it has to do with the budget/contract/salary Sara Ramirez negotiated. But at least, they're not forgetting her. I appreciate that they keep mentioning her.

As a tea drinker, I have to agree with Blake: sorting tea boxes by color makes no sense. You sort them by what kind they are. And I loved his enthusiasm but when he got the signature and stamp from the anti-Malaria guy, I got suspicious and wondered if that really was it. It seemed too easy. And, of course, it was. I loved how they used Matt in helping Blake find a solution and how he solved the issue. Did Blake clean up the kitchen though? (Too bad Bess didn't come into the kitchen then. I would have loved to see that reaction.) And did we find out where Blake is located desk-wise?

I really like how they're balancing Blake's slight insecurity with his confidence. They're nailing it! Oh, and a very nice twist on the "elevator ambush".

I thought the issue with Alison would turn out to be something else. Either something that had to do with Bess or something else with Alison. I wonder if the doctor will make trouble for Bess and Henry down the road but would a cough medicine that he more or less offered really have that much impact during a campaign?

One thing that I don't appreciate is how dismissive they make Bess of problems in Europe when they interfer with her policy. They did the same with the refugee crisis in S2. Just because the issues that she's tackling are important doesn't mean that other countries aren't dealing with important issues, too. That said, she should have pointed out to the delegate of Spain that if they withdraw their support, they're basically signaling that they can be pressured into voting a certain way on certain issues. I doubt that Spain would have wanted to be seen as blackmail-able.

I liked the use of Henry in this episode. If he has to be an ethics advisor, this is how I want him to be used. Dealing with real ethical conflicts and very low-key and also providing support to Bess. I wish he would have pointed out that even hate needs a trigger to become violent and that the fake news were that trigger. Other than that, I liked the exchange between Henry and Bess.

I was actually suspicious of the foreign minister's statement that he'll take a look but that maybe the US will stop blaming Russia for every deal that goes sideways (paraphrasing). I wondered if it woud turn out that Russia wasn't behind it although I couldn't figure out who else would have been. It could hardly have been Kosovo or Serbia since that would have derailed the whole episode and Russia did make a lot of sense.

Why is it so often the episode that I want Bess to succeed in that she doesn't (entirely) succeed in?

My favorite scene of the episode was the one with Bess and Russell. Russell's rants never get old and I love how chilled Bess looked and how that has changed from the beginning. Poor Stevie. She looked like she wanted to be anywhere but in that room. I still appreciate that they included that scene.

And that was a very beautiful way to end the episode!

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23 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

I wonder if that would have worked. It's possible that the incident reporter has to do the rest as well.

Maybe, maybe not - but they could have had someone visit Bess in person for follow-up questions. Henry is not a Cabinet member, so his time can be spent doing the paperwork. They could probably have Henry fill one out, someone goes to Bess, asks her to describe the situation while they record it, then transcribe it, and send it to her for approval at a later date.

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1 minute ago, bros402 said:

Maybe, maybe not - but they could have had someone visit Bess in person for follow-up questions. Henry is not a Cabinet member, so his time can be spent doing the paperwork. They could probably have Henry fill one out, someone goes to Bess, asks her to describe the situation while they record it, then transcribe it, and send it to her for approval at a later date.

Assuming that Henry had to list witnesses, they might have asked Bess. I didn't consider it relevant to the story though, so I was okay with how it was handled :-) (That said, I would have liked to know what kind of a report it was exactly but simply because I like to know that kind of stuff)

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23 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Assuming that Henry had to list witnesses, they might have asked Bess. I didn't consider it relevant to the story though, so I was okay with how it was handled :-) (That said, I would have liked to know what kind of a report it was exactly but simply because I like to know that kind of stuff)

I am guessing it is pages upon pages of things, filled out in triplicate

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10 minutes ago, bros402 said:

I am guessing it is pages upon pages of things, filled out in triplicate

That's a given when it comes to government/bureaucracy ;-) But I meant the nature of the report. Is it a general report or is it something specific that has a name and are there other reports for other stuff? In other words, I would have liked them to be a bit more specific.

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23 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

That's a given when it comes to government/bureaucracy ;-) But I meant the nature of the report. Is it a general report or is it something specific that has a name and are there other reports for other stuff? In other words, I would have liked them to be a bit more specific.

That would've been interesting, but I imagine it wouldn't be interesting to most viewers.

 

But I imagine it would be some form filed with the WH, some DOD stuff, and probably a few congressional committees would have to be notified.

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