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S01.E19: The Road to Damascus

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Arthur joins Miles on a road trip upstate after the God Account checks into a closed-down summer camp. Also, Cara makes a career-altering decision, Pria reveals unexpected news to Rakesh, and the hunt for answers to the God Account come to a head at the grand reveal of Simon Hayes’ mystery project.

 

Original airdate Sunday, March 31, 2019.

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Haven't finished the episode yet -

I don't mind conflict for Miles and Cara, but I feel like they could have set up this conflict with the God Account better. She's one of our 'good guys' and she's looking terrible right now.

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I was a little worried about Miles and Cara after last episode but I think going forward they are going just fine. I'm glad that Cara changed the story she was going to write and deciding that the people that they help is ultimately the most important thing. I think she had her come to Jesus moment. I love that even though they weren't in a good place Miles main concern was saving Cara's job. And don't even get me started on the kiss and Miles admitting he may love Cara. I'm pretty sure things won't be perfect for them but i'm looking forward to the journey.

Can't wait to see what role Henry Chase plays in the god account.

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I love how the weave the faith of the father with the road to faith of the son. I love this show and the ending felt a bit edgy but overall, this show owns me. After the finale, it will be a long summer 'till it's back.

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I'm trying to decide which is more impossible:  A God Account, or a true climate algorithm that can predict small scale events accurately.  

I knew Simon wasn't the progenitor of the GA when he was blind to Rakesh's connections.  The GA created those connections!

Cara's selfishness was ugly to behold in the "talk" at Miles' apartment.  She wasn't prepared to give up any options.  None.  And she expected Miles to just go along.  What arrogance!   

Rakesh would be rightly furious with her.  Jaya, too.  Her motivations were snake-like and he got horribly burned.  The rapprochement was far too easy and not dealt with.

Miles did not do as FreeVerse insisted.  We saw zero pressure applied after the meeting.  Let's see what the new arrangement will be.  

I love that Rakesh just waltzed in with his own laptop and nobody did a thing to stop him.  At an enormous tech announcement.  He would have been herded to a media area and he would have been outed with facial recognition in about 1.0003 nanoseconds.  Give or take.  They all would have been detained and likely arrested after the files were co-opted.

The one really good sequence, imo, was the faith discussion.  That was the promise of the show being honored in a major way.  So, I'll keep some and hope for more.

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The question I have is, did Cara know that Rakesh had signed an NDA and was breaking it when he told everyone about Simon moving his team to NYC? Cause if not, he deserves to get fired. He probably deserves to get fired anyway, because he really only did take the job to check up on Simon and was breaking an NDA. I know we are supposed to root for him because he's a main character, but from Simon's perspective it seems pretty cut and dry.

I still don't think Cara was being selfish by considering writing the article her boss wanted her to write. If wanting to keep your job makes you selfish, then I think most people will fall into that category. But I am glad they found a way to resolve the situation so that Miles and Cara are in an okay place again. I wasn't exactly doubting they would do that, it was just a question of how.

However, everyone involved was being stupid by considering announcing/writing that Simon was behind the God account without any proof and without even asking him about it. Does Catapult not have fact checkers? Also stupid, Simon not having any kind of offline back up of his algorithm and Miles driving all the way to upstate New York without even Googling the name of the camp. The road trip with his dad gave us some really nice scenes, but I couldn't stop thinking why they didn't check up on the camp before.  

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Aw, I liked the Miles/Arthur subplot; I don't think we've had one in a little while.

It really sucks that Rakesh got fired - and because of Cara. Out of everything, I think I'd like to see him reinstated, or get something better. (Maybe with Henry Chase?) They did show that Rakesh was sad about losing his job, but I felt it was a way bigger deal than the show did, apparently.

I was glad to see Cara's mom again - I was wondering if they'd continue with that relationship, or let it get forgotten. Also glad that Cara didn't do the piece about Simon Hayes -- but it was always silly to me that our trio were so sure that it was him behind the GA when they really didn't have solid proof. I just wonder what this means for Cara's job going forward.

Miles/Cara: Although she didn't publish the article about Hayes, she still came off badly. I think they should have given her a better reasons for going back on her deal with Miles. Plus, I think she needs to do more to redeem herself.

Argh! No too soon for the L word, Miles! Too soon, show. Especially since he's still recovering from Cara's betrayal. I mean, I'm still rooting for them, but pacing!

As for the main plot: Pria was always kinda shady, but is she the true villain, here? I'm not going to pretend that I understood the tech mumbo-jumbo (assuming it even made sense in the first place), but wouldn't Hayes have a backup of some sort of his project? Either way, I don't know how our trio can help Hayes after they just burned all their bridges.

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29 minutes ago, Trini said:

I was glad to see Cara's mom again - I was wondering if they'd continue with that relationship, or let it get forgotten

Whenever I see Cara's mom (Rachel Bay Jones) appears I start singing Dear Evan Hansen songs. I saw her in DEH awhile back. 

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2 hours ago, KaveDweller said:

Also stupid, Simon not having any kind of offline back up of his algorithm

This is the main thing that doesn't work for me. Stealing it, I get. But even if they intercepted the transfer, stole the code, and ruined his announcement, how would he not have a backup? That seems unlikely. I'm sure they'll somehow recover it, given the friend suggestion at the end, but that feels like a big hole to me.

Regardless, I still liked the episode. Loved the Miles/Arthur scenes, especially the faith discussion. I'm glad Miles acknowledged that who's behind it isn't as important as the good he's doing. I still don't see Henry Chase being behind the God Account, especially this early in the show (unless it's something where he created it but is no longer in control, as has been discussed here), so it will be interesting to see what happens next episode.

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Oh, that scene in the Park between Cara and Mum: Now we know where Cara's got her sweater and coat game from! And Cara looked stunning in that green gown.

Fashion aside: I agree that some of the tech stuff was a bit much. Not just that Hayes would not have a back-up but also that Northern Lights the God Account would not simply freeze Rakesh's notebook. Clearly something that needs to compute the amount of data required for a predictive algorithm requires massive storage. Of course all my knowledge about such things comes from 'Person of Interest'.

I rolled my eyes at Rakesh stubborn assurance that he knows Hayes is behind the God Account. You had exactly zero proof, man! I'm glad Hayes is (for the time being) a good guy since I really enjoyed how Goldberg is playing him. But I guess this means Pria is shady.

I can live with how the conflict between Cara and Miles has been resolved although I'm not sure that's the end of it. We'll have to wait and see.

The faith discussion was the highlight of the episode. Reading comments here I noticed that most folks grumble about how the show handles its tech premise but we almost all agree that it's doing a great job when it comes to faith. You'd think that would be trickier - hats off to the writers 😀

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Ha ha, I KNEW Simon Hayes would know nothing about the God account!  Clearly his program is a derivative of the source "Juliet" program but applied in a different, more limited manner than the God account.  What he said in his stand-up presentation about his program not only being able to predict the future but create it echoes what I said last week about the God account, only I Don't think his program is as advanced as the GA.  They're setting it up to make it look like "everything will be revealed" about the God account next week, but I still don't think that's going to answer every question or tie everything up about it, or what would they have left for this show to ponder in the next season?  The mystery has to continue to some degree for the show to keep its energy.  Which is why I still think they're going to leave some unanswered questions that even Henry Chase himself can't answer, even if he is behind the God Account.  It's likely to be doing things that even he can't explain, which might be an avenue for faith to continue to co-exist with science regarding what it's doing.  Unless even though Henry was the author of the Juliet program, someone ELSE might be behind the GA, which leaves them open to continue chasing that person.

Am I the only person that sees a possible implied parallel between the Juliet program and the hypothetical Q Source document of the New Testament?  Yeah, it's probably just me. 😉

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14 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

Am I the only person that sees a possible implied parallel between the Juliet program and the hypothetical Q Source document of the New Testament?  Yeah, it's probably just me. 😉

*off to check English and German Wikipedia for relevant entries*😵 Wow, thanks for the headache! So is this suggested parallel structural or content-related?

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1 minute ago, MissLucas said:

*off to check English and German Wikipedia for relevant entries*😵 Wow, thanks for the headache! So is this suggested parallel structural or content-related?

Well, just as there's a source document of Jesus' quotations that has been hypothesized to explain the re-iteration of certain quotes attributed to Jesus in 2 of the 4 New Testament gospels, the Juliet program has been hypothesized as the source code for the God Account and now likely Simon Hayes' much more mundane program.

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Ah, gotcha - thanks. I thought the Juliet program was the God Account but your idea opens up more narrative options (needed for season 2).

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I had problem with Cara and Rakash tonight. I really thought Cara would point out tell him that if she didn't write the article someone else would and ask him if he'd rather it be from her who knows him and what its all about and all the people they've helped or someone they don't know. If it was really about her losing her job which no she shouldn't have to do that. But if it comes out then Miles would lose too. They've both worked really hard to get where they are in their careers. His podcast is finally taking off. I don't really think she acknowledged that. Yes, it does suck but when what your writing or doing could torpedo your friend and boyfriend or girlfriend's job. That's something you have to talk about with that person. If you decide to go and ahead and do it without telling him or her, yes they have a right to be ticked off.  If the situation was reversed Cara would have been ticked off and rightly so. 

Rakash insisting that it was Simon Hayes when there was no proof. There was no proof. They had no reason to think it was him. But he kept insisting it was. He kept going on it. Miles started to have doubts but he blew them off. I had a hard time feeling sorry for him since he was going around and doing stuff with Hayes and his computers that would get him fired. The part that annoyed me about Hayes was him getting mad at Rakash telling his friends about the group moving to NYC to work on the project. Ah, Hayes, everyone on the project is moving to NYC and NDA or not they still had to tell their friends and family they were moving and why. 

I loved Arthur and Miles road trip and their talk about faith. I still love how far they've come since the first episode. I still love Cara's clothes.

Edited by andromeda331
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On 3/28/2019 at 8:20 PM, Trini said:

Do we know that Miles has two bedrooms, though? I think we've only seen two rooms of his apartment. I assumed he was on the couch when Ali stayed there.

Me too, and that he gave his bedroom to the single father and his son a few episodes ago & slept on the couch. I actually don't even think we've seen ONE bedroom - he records and has guests in the living room. (It's a nice place. Looks pretty newly renovated.)

I am two episodes behind because I didn't adjust my recordings to take basketball into account. I gotta catch up this week!

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Dollars to doughnuts the Simon friend suggestion is all about the troika of he, Neela (Pria), and Henry getting back together to work for the benefit of mankind (climate whatever).

I. too, had an issue with the lack of a back-up file.  Yet, Simon couldn't trust much.  Any such back-up pretty much had to be under control of his servers.  I can buy that Henry would have been on to it in any event.

I will say it was also nice when we saw how each of our intrepid trio lamented the loss of the GA.  They had lost the forest for the trees and the threat of removal brought them back to first principles.  It was also excellent to see how wrong they could be.  Rakesh's insistence that the GA was a digital concoction was a colossal leap of the type often made in previous eps.  Before, they always paid off.  This one sure didn't.  

Cara and Miles are dead wrong about custodial care of the GA.  Unless and until the others get friend suggestions, Miles is THE prophet.  Full stop.  Everyone else can certainly be significant and excellent apostles.  But, it's all Miles in terms of direct comms with "God."

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So not only was Simon not the person behind The Good Account, the gang accidentally helped Prya destroy a program that could save countless lives. Yeah, not a great day for them. But on the plus side, TGA is still in action and still has their back, Miles and Cara are on the road to reconciliation, and as TGA works in mysterious ways, this could all be a part of a bigger plan. My current theory is that TGAs big play is to get Henry/Prya/Simon all back together and get them to work together for the common good. Or one of its big plays anyway, because that doesent really explain why it would chose Miles as its prophet.

The only way that Simon wouldn't have backup files for his backup files is if he was just THAT paranoid about his secret project being found out and stolen or destroyed (which, to be fair, was a legit concern as it turns out) and only had one copy to show before he sent it out into the world. And it was certainly a good thing that Miles and Cara never announced that Simon was in charge of TGA, because they had zero proof beyond Rakash suspecting that this was his secret project. He could have sued the crap out of them for libel or sued Rakash for breach of contract, especially if he signed a NDA, like with most big tech projects. 

I dont think that Miles and Cara's problems are all just totally solved, but they are at least in a good place again, and he is even falling in love with her! Hee, Rakash awkwardly standing there while they made out reminded them that the guards were gone was peak "oh crap, my friends are now dating and the dynamic is different now" vibes. 

Really, all three of them needed to have a talk about this a long time ago, to see that they were all on the same page as to how much information to reveal about TGA and how that would affect their jobs and careers. Using real names is always iffy, especially when a mystery is involved, and they should have thought of those risks. 

Loved the talk between Cara and her mom, its great to see that relationship is continuing. And now we can see that Cara inherited her amazing sweater game from her mom!

The plot between Miles and Arthur was all wonderful, its so great to see how far they've come since the show started. Their road trip of faith was really well done, and I liked how they both connected it with the main plot, and allowed it to show one of the main thesis of the show, that if people of different beliefs just talk to each other, there is a real chance that they can make a connection, despite their differences. While the tech stuff on this show has always been rather dicey, it almost always lands when it comes to the connections between people and the way that faith in all its forms can help create those connections. I also like that Miles admitted that he really didnt want to know who or what was behind TGA, he just wanted to keep helping people. 

Talking about faith, in a religious context or without, can be a tough line to walk, and the writers are really nailing it!

Edited by tennisgurl
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I don't believe Simon would be stupid enough not to have a back-up of the program.  He already knew that Henry Chase was lurking about trying to foil him.  It would be too risky for him not to have one.  I do believe he would lie about it, though, to throw people off.  It's probably on a different server somewhere in a safe place that no one knows about but him.  Or maybe not.  Maybe someone did hack it, we don't know yet.

I think Miles saying he didn't really want to know who was behind the God account anymore was perhaps a precursor to his future.  It's almost like he's gotten to a point of being unconcerned with whatever it is and is not keen on seeing proof.  Which is actually the first step toward being open to faith in a round about way.  When I watch the episode again tonight I will pay special attention to his father's comments about faith.  (I sometimes watch the show twice because Mr. Yeah No is sometimes working when it's on, so I watch it again with him.)  I am sure the "road" they were traveling on at the camp, and the title of the episode is tied into this sudden change in Miles.  While not a "conversion experience" like Paul had, it's a step toward being open to faith.

2 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Dollars to doughnuts the Simon friend suggestion is all about the troika of he, Neela (Pria), and Henry getting back together to work for the benefit of mankind (climate whatever).

 You' might be right.  At the very least I think they will all work together and not against each other.  So there will be no villain among them.  But we have yet to see how Henry Chase is potentially going to change things and fit into all of this.

On another note, in one of the intros or fade-outs, on the "God Friended Me" logo there was the symbol of Interstate 95 in the upper right hand corner, presumably because of Miles' and Arthur's road trip upstate.  However, I-95 does not go upstate but East toward New England.  To go upstate one would take I-87 (the New York State Thruway).

It was nice to see Jaya again.  I just love the way she rolls her R's when she says "Rrrrakesh".  And he looked really handsome in that Tux!  I loved the little imitation he did - I personally think he would do a great Bogie in a white suit, LOL.  Yeah, I have a little crush on him.  😊

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Rolling the R is actually how you say Rakesh correctly. I’m glad someone says his name correctly on this show!

Continue to love this show. I’m glad Cara came through in the end and it was her mom that helped her figure it out. Miles’s scenes with his dad continues to be one of my favorite parts of this show. 

Did Priya really know about what simon was planning on revealing and deleting everything to show Henry she was sorry? His algorithm could have saved millions of lives so I hope she’s not that selfish. 

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Last week--I'm not sure why--when I watched this show, I found myself thinking, "Oh no, not another dead child". And then this week, we get Juliet. I wonder what the dead child body count is on this show? 

Loved how Rakesh was fired. So simple. In a layoff from a high tech company, I'd gone to HR for a debriefing and then was escorted to my desk to get my things and escorted out the door. I was not nearly as technical or high-profile as Rakesh. No way anyone ever said, "Drop off your badge and leave the building". And I wasn't fired. So many absurdities in the attempt to be expedient. Or maybe the writers are just lazy. Or dumb.

"Upstate" New York is what, around 97% of the state? Interesting how Miles and Arthur were headed in the same direction. 

Reading some of these posts, I see that many are wrapped up in the subplot. I guess I just don't have the curiosity writers of these shows think I should have. When a show has a basic plot but has to run some mystery through it, the mystery eventually bores me. I can't keep up with all the twists and I quickly grow bored with it. I don't care about who murdered the protagonist's mother/father/sister/brother/spouse, who burned Michael (Burn Notice), who the protagonist's father is (or where he is), who "God" is, etc. Just go on with the main plot. For me, these shows are unnecessarily (and uninterestingly) complex.

I couldn't care less about the origins of the God Account. Some things we just don't know. In Miles' shoes, I'd just go with the flow. Whatever is sending messages is making good things happen and if this being can know (or manipulate) what's to happen next, he/she/it would probably be someone/something I can't flush out anyway. I get it that Miles is supposedly an atheist and he wants to prove that no god is behind this account. To that I say, Miles, it's sooo much easier being an agnostic. You shrug your shoulders and move on.

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While I still enjoy the show, I continue to be a bit disappointed at how the basic lack of competence for so many of the people involved that the show just glosses over. You can have drama without everyone being a moron, ya know? The premise of the show in general is dramatic enough. "Write an article saying Simon Hayes is behind the god account without any proof or else!" "Make a special podcast where you accuse Simon Hayes of being behind the god account without any proof!" "I guess I'll hack into my boss' system after being fired to steal the god account even though I don't actually know that he has the god account, oops, at the same time, I helped someone else delete his life's work. Whoopsies!"

Edited by Brian Cronin
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3 hours ago, mojito said:

"Upstate" New York is what, around 97% of the state? Interesting how Miles and Arthur were headed in the same direction. 

Even more interesting that Arthur had, years before, found the diner with the best apple pie in the world on his way from NYC to Chicago. He must have been taking the really scenic route to get there via upstate.

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6 hours ago, Yeah No said:

On another note, in one of the intros or fade-outs, on the "God Friended Me" logo there was the symbol of Interstate 95 in the upper right hand corner, presumably because of Miles' and Arthur's road trip upstate.  However, I-95 does not go upstate but East toward New England.  To go upstate one would take I-87 (the New York State Thruway).

 I didn't bother mentioning it, but yeah, as a fellow New Yorker, I noticed.

1 hour ago, Babalu said:

Even more interesting that Arthur had, years before, found the diner with the best apple pie in the world on his way from NYC to Chicago. He must have been taking the really scenic route to get there via upstate.

Also this!

I know that TV writers aren't going to research everything (would be nice, though!) but a map is pretty simple to look at, right?

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Thank you all for already covering all the stupidly sharp objects cutting the suspensions of disbelief that were holding our Bridge Too Far
(no backups, ridiculous assumptions without evidence, [not]hiding in plain sight, [no]firing protocol, and the usual warp speed travel to Somewhereville upstate NY and back).

Nevertheless, Arthur's homily pie rings true.

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8 hours ago, twoods said:

Rolling the R is actually how you say Rakesh correctly. I’m glad someone says his name correctly on this show!

Yep, actually I have noticed some immigrant Indians rolling most of their r's, not just in a name.  In this episode Rakesh himself started rolling some r's a little bit when he was running around all stressed out.  The actor, Suraj Sharma was born and raised in India.  It reminded me of me in that my New York accent comes back in situations like that.

8 hours ago, twoods said:

Did Priya really know about what simon was planning on revealing and deleting everything to show Henry she was sorry? His algorithm could have saved millions of lives so I hope she’s not that selfish. 

Yeah, I'm a little mystified about her role in this.  She seemed almost convinced by Rakesh and Miles that Simon was going to unveil the God Account.  Like she didn't really know what he was working on.  But she knew enough to know he was going to unveil a groundbreaking new program to the world.  Huh??  Or maybe she just went along with them to let the two of them think that.  I am beginning to wonder if she isn't aligned with Henry Chase somehow and is lying about not knowing where he is.  She said she spent 2 months looking for him in France.  Maybe she spent 2 months WITH him in France.  I kind of want to doubt everything she says so I tend to wonder whether it's just the opposite.  Although I think they're going to make Henry this tortured genius, not a villain.  I'm also wondering if Priya only seems like a villain right now but really isn't.  We'll just have to find out I guess.

I also wondered about that office or apartment she brought them to that was where she, Henry and Simon were working on their program before their disagreement and split up.  It was sitting there like nothing had changed since then.  How in the world was that possible after a decade?  Something about that made no sense at all.

8 hours ago, mojito said:

"Upstate" New York is what, around 97% of the state? Interesting how Miles and Arthur were headed in the same direction.

Yeah, to a person from Manhattan Westchester is considered "upstate", LOL.  Meanwhile it's the closest county to NYC that's not in NYC.  NYC is at the point at the very bottom of an inverted triangle.  So there really is only one way to go "upstate" from NYC.  It's always amazed me how NY is the only state I've ever heard of that uses the term "upstate" at all, probably because of that little peculiarity in relation to NYC.

8 hours ago, mojito said:

I couldn't care less about the origins of the God Account. Some things we just don't know. In Miles' shoes, I'd just go with the flow. Whatever is sending messages is making good things happen and if this being can know (or manipulate) what's to happen next, he/she/it would probably be someone/something I can't flush out anyway. I get it that Miles is supposedly an atheist and he wants to prove that no god is behind this account. To that I say, Miles, it's sooo much easier being an agnostic. You shrug your shoulders and move on.

Yes, being agnostic he has nothing to prove so he can just enjoy the journey and not be so focused on the goal.  But like Arthur said, somehow when you know what you want to do things somehow work out.  Like if you focus on the journey and helping people you'll realize the answer through doing that, not through looking for the answer directly.  I think that was the lesson of Arthur's talk with Miles in this episode.  Which is very true but it's also a way for the show to handle having a season 2.  At some point they had to re-think Miles' focus given that the show was being renewed.  So making it about focusing on the journey and not so much on finding who's behind the God account is a good idea if they're going to wrap up who's behind it anyway.  If it's Henry Chase there goes needing to find the person behind it, but even if he is and there's still some mystery involved it would also make sense for Miles to just stop caring about out who's behind it.  Besides if he looks at it as an agnostic there's still the hope that through his good works he will find God, even if he didn't find him in the God account.

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Totally agree with and/or relate to this^ whole post, @Yeah No, except maybe regarding Miles: 

5 hours ago, Yeah No said:

. . . At some point they had to re-think Miles' focus given that the show was being renewed.  So making it about focusing on the journey and not so much on finding who's behind the God account . . .  Besides if he looks at it as an agnostic there's still the hope that through his good works he will find God, even if he didn't find him in the God account.

—I think making Miles an agnostic would probably be best at the end of the series rather than early in a second season so it doesn't look like a bait-and-switch to the segment of viewers who are along for Miles' atheistic perspective—which has barely been explored.

Or maybe if they decide in advance when they are doing the last season (instead of just riding the ratings waves), Miles becomes a believer in God and Arthur reveals he has become an agnostic or atheist. If they go there, maybe Miles converts to Judaism or becomes a Buddhist.

But I'm just basically throwing spaghetti at the ceiling here, to see if anything sticks.

Edited by shapeshifter
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It nice that on at least one Berlanti show a journalist and the story she's writing can be part of the main plot for more than one episode.
[sideeyes Flash and Supergirl]

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I am glad for the genuine mystery around Pria.  The show can legitimately go any number of ways.  

It can be true that Simon was about to monetize Juliet and was the good guy years before when the troika blew up.  More typically, Simon would have been the cause for the bad break-up and continued on in an egotistical fashion.  It is highly unusual that a female begging for trust and understanding as Neela/Pria did proves out to be villainous.  Now we learn Henry is of African or Islander origin?  It would go against TV trope tradition for the white dude to be a righteous hero against minorities.  

Another likely, imo, twist is that Rakesh's major boo boo in proclaiming Simon "Mr. GA" was doing precisely what God needed him to do.  Without that fearful belief (faith????), the gang would not have disrupted the roll out.  Point being that in screwing up, we may actually be doing the right thing!  This is next-level faith stuff.  🙂

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3 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

It is highly unusual that a female begging for trust and understanding as Neela/Pria did proves out to be villainous.

Maybe it is unusual for a fictional woman seeking help to be a villain (not counting the Evil Queen disguised as an apple peddler in the Disney version of Snow White), but I think it's a common trope for a woman seeking revenge or justice to enlist allies, unwitting or otherwise.

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I never took Miles' interest in knowing who's behind the God account as a search for spiritual meaning and I don't think the character sees it that way. So far we haven't seen him questioning his atheism and quite frankly I'm not sure I want to see him change his outlook on life. But it would also be unrealistic for him to just accept those friends suggestions without questioning their origin. Humans are curious and there's also the fact that there's something unnerving about the whole thing. If you discount divine intervention then the God account runs on data collected by massive surveillance. That's definitely motivation enough to do some digging. Yes, so far the God account has been benign - but the potential for something more sinister is there. So I get why Miles &  Co are trying to find the truth - even if they're not too clever about it.

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1 hour ago, MissLucas said:

Yes, so far the God account has been benign - but the potential for something more sinister is there. So I get why Miles &  Co are trying to find the truth - even if they're not too clever about it.

You mean, like if it was hijacked by a greedy evil doer?

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On 4/1/2019 at 2:12 PM, Yeah No said:

I don't believe Simon would be stupid enough not to have a back-up of the program.

When I watch the episode again tonight I will pay special attention to his father's comments about faith.

From Person of Interest, I learned about "air-gapped servers" which can't be hacked (there's no outside communication -- it would be like an unplugged external drive.  If I were Simon, I'd have my Gaia Account (see what I did there?) stored on about 6 or 7 of these.

My favotite of Arthur's commants about faith was when he told Miles that he would be seeing Cara very soon.  Miles asked how he knew, and Arthur answered "Faith".  Yeah, that an a clear window!  LOL

On 4/1/2019 at 3:25 PM, Brian Cronin said:

While I still enjoy the show, I continue to be a bit disappointed at how the basic lack of competence for so many of the people involved that the show just glosses over.

How about that crack security team?  "Yeah, two people kissing here, no reason to look behind them!"  LOL

On 4/1/2019 at 7:03 PM, Babalu said:

Even more interesting that Arthur had, years before, found the diner with the best apple pie in the world on his way from NYC to Chicago. He must have been taking the really scenic route to get there via upstate.

Even I, a Cali boy, noticed that one!

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12 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Another likely, imo, twist is that Rakesh's major boo boo in proclaiming Simon "Mr. GA" was doing precisely what God needed him to do.  Without that fearful belief (faith????), the gang would not have disrupted the roll out.  Point being that in screwing up, we may actually be doing the right thing!  This is next-level faith stuff.  🙂

I've pondered how perhaps the things I think are my major screw-ups in life might actually have yielded a better result than if I had gone in a different direction.  The older I get the more past I have upon which to ponder how my life might have turned out if I had done things differently.

Which makes me also wonder that all the apparent ineptitude of this bunch isn't somehow as you say precisely what God needed them to do as a group.  I think it's interesting that neither Miles nor Cara went through with posting articles/podcasts to announce Simon as the author of the God Account.  That was a worldly screw up for both of them, but in the big picture, obviously based on knowledge they found out later, it was the right thing to do.

6 hours ago, MissLucas said:

I never took Miles' interest in knowing who's behind the God account as a search for spiritual meaning and I don't think the character sees it that way. So far we haven't seen him questioning his atheism and quite frankly I'm not sure I want to see him change his outlook on life. But it would also be unrealistic for him to just accept those friends suggestions without questioning their origin. Humans are curious and there's also the fact that there's something unnerving about the whole thing. If you discount divine intervention then the God account runs on data collected by massive surveillance. That's definitely motivation enough to do some digging. Yes, so far the God account has been benign - but the potential for something more sinister is there. So I get why Miles &  Co are trying to find the truth - even if they're not too clever about it.

I personally think the God Account can be operating in the spirit of God without God actually intervening, which brings up the question as to whether God really needs to intervene but has set things up in the natural world so that His Will can be achieved through it.  These are the things I've pondered as a student of the relationship between science and religion.  The God Account can have been set up by a human to do God's work without God actually needing to break into the natural world to do it.  Although of course God's Spirit would be working through that process anyway no matter who created it, just not in the same sense as outright intervention if that makes any sense.  Incidentally, this is one way that even a purely "natural" explanation for the God Account can be viewed by a believer.  No matter who is behind the God account, even if it's just a human, God can be seen working through it anyway.  God through human beings.

And as for Miles, I'm with those that think we're always searching for some kind of meaning to our lives whether we know it or not.  And that is where Miles is at these days.  He wouldn't have been so eager to help others if he wasn't based on finding a meaning to his life.  One day he may realize what he's been searching for is God or maybe not, maybe the good works will suffice.  But he's not there yet anyway.

Edited by Yeah No
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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

You mean, like if it was hijacked by a greedy evil doer?

Actually I was more thinking along the lines of it becoming self-aware à la Samaritan - not that the show would ever get that twisty but Miles and the others can't know that. Sometimes I find their chilled attitude towards that possibility the most unrealistic aspect of the show 😉

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21 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I personally think the God Account can be operating in the spirit of God without God actually intervening, which brings up the question as to whether God really needs to intervene but has set things up in the natural world so that His Will can be achieved through it. 

One of the more interesting ways to reconcile science and faith, and one that side-steps the Problem of Pain [*], is the "God the Watchmaker" concept.  In this theory, God built the universe and gave it rules to keep it running, but is otherwise hands-off, except maybe to give it a winding every now and then.

[*]The Problem of Pain is: If God is all-seeing, all-powerful and all-good, why do innocents suffer?  There are many proposed reasons, but to an outsider looking in, none really answer the question.

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In a real world setting, Simon Hayes would have backups and backups of backups.  And if he was truly worried about his former friends stealing his work, he'd have the code written in various pieces that only he knew how to string together to make it work. 

But, as I've said before, the creators do not do their homework on the technology end.  It feels like they just have Rakesh spit out technology words with little regard to the words' meanings. 

And from reading these boards, it sounds like they are getting the church part and the legalese part and the journalism part and the mapping part wrong too.  (sigh)

In conclusion, I love this little show.  For everything they get wrong, what they get right is a a charming heart warming story told through some charming and talented actors that make me buy it, almost every week.   And while I would prefer them to go the Highway to Heaven (that dates me) route and just go around helping people. 

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On 4/1/2019 at 5:25 PM, Brian Cronin said:

While I still enjoy the show, I continue to be a bit disappointed at how the basic lack of competence for so many of the people involved that the show just glosses over. You can have drama without everyone being a moron, ya know? The premise of the show in general is dramatic enough. "Write an article saying Simon Hayes is behind the god account without any proof or else!" "Make a special podcast where you accuse Simon Hayes of being behind the god account without any proof!" "I guess I'll hack into my boss' system after being fired to steal the god account even though I don't actually know that he has the god account, oops, at the same time, I helped someone else delete his life's work. Whoopsies!"

I agree. The entire Henry Chase-Simon-Pria subplot is so over the top and actually takes away from the show.   I’d be happy if they would focus on the weekly God account stories, Cara’s reporting them, Rajesh helping to research them, Arthur and Miles relationship and their different faiths, their families etc.  

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3 hours ago, mythoughtis said:

I agree. The entire Henry Chase-Simon-Pria subplot is so over the top and actually takes away from the show.   I’d be happy if they would focus on the weekly God account stories, Cara’s reporting them, Rajesh helping to research them, Arthur and Miles relationship and their different faiths, their families etc.  

This reminds me of my wishes for The Mentalist. I hated the Red John plot, and just wanted it to be a show about a crime solving mentalist widower. There have been other serialized shows that I wished could have just stuck to the COW format. I wonder how much the serialization of episodic shows is due to pressure from networks to create brand loyalty for the show -- not that serialization is the only way to do that. Maybe I'm too old for TV. I grew up with Bewitched, Bonanza, and OG Star Trek, in which each episode was like a discreet short story with a conflict and a resolution. I don't need Perry Mason levels of story containment, but how about letting go of the big arc for 3/4 of the episodes? You know, just put it on the back burner that is literally just one of four? In contrast to The Mentalist, think Monk did this. I can't really remember Touched by an Angel, but I'm pretty sure it was just episodic. I never really watched Highway to Heaven, but wasn't it just episodic too with a general end goal?

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On 4/4/2019 at 12:53 AM, jhlipton said:

One of the more interesting ways to reconcile science and faith, and one that side-steps the Problem of Pain [*], is the "God the Watchmaker" concept.  In this theory, God built the universe and gave it rules to keep it running, but is otherwise hands-off, except maybe to give it a winding every now and then.

[*]The Problem of Pain is: If God is all-seeing, all-powerful and all-good, why do innocents suffer?  There are many proposed reasons, but to an outsider looking in, none really answer the question.

God The Watchmaker is part of deistic philosophy, which I think had its origins in Aristotle with the unmoved or prime mover.  That has its good points but suffers from positing a God that has no real presence or influence in creation, and no real relationship with human beings either.  This concept is diametrically opposed to the concept of pantheism, which is the belief that creation and God are one and the same.  Pantheism is God as wholly immanent in creation vs. deism's completely transcendent God.  Traditional theism's bridge between these two opposing concepts is to believe in a God that is wholly transcendent but can choose to become immanent through acts of divine intervention.  This presupposes that God is not present in creation but does visit from time to time and sends messengers.  But this also has its issues.  The attraction of pantheism and Eastern religions is that God is already present in the natural world and doesn't have to intervene.  Relationship with this God is immediate and always within reach.  But pantheism has its issues in my opinion too.  This is why I have always been a panentheist in a way similar to St. Thomas Aquinas.  Panentheism is a compromise between deism and pantheism.  God is both transcendent and immanent at the same time in one way or another. 

How this metaphysics has influenced my faith is something that would take pages to explain, but suffice it to say that it keeps the best of both worlds.  God can be present in creation and influence it from within but also can be transcendent from it as well.  In that way God really doesn't need to use miracles to see that His* will comes true.  He just needs to set up the natural world in such a way that it naturally seeks his will without having to break into it to make that happen.  Of course that process in a limited creation will be imperfect, hence why we don't immediately get there, and we still need God's help.  Not being God ourselves, we are still at an epistemic distance from him even though his presence is always within us and within all of creation.  The process becomes one of us learning to recognize God within us and creation.

And that's how I see the God account as being analogous to the way I believe God works in creation.  The God account has been set up like "the watchmaker" to naturally encourage things to move towards God's will without necessitating his intervention.  In this way God draws things towards him as final cause from within the natural world, but doesn't have to break into the natural order to do it.  He uses the natural order.  The goal and end point is the same, it's just the way of getting there or the journey that's different.

Regarding the problem of pain, don't get me started on that, I'll be here for another hour!!

* Forgive the male pronoun to describe God.

Edited by Yeah No
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Just excellent, @Yeah No!

For me, I long ago adopted the philosophy, said to be from ancient Chinese, "Know not to know."

There are things we simply will never know and can never know.  My authority?  The Bible.  And common sense.  We do not understand pi, and we're something like 31 TRILLION digits deep as of last month.  

In total earnestness, I accept the warnings that we not attempt to turn what is faith, into fact within the physical realm of the earthly dimension we dwell.  This never-ending pursuit is among the worst of man's conceit.  The Tree of Knowledge was intentionally the one thing we were to never "examine," right?

This brings me to the conceit of the leads on the show.  They are all heck bent on disproving divinity within TGA.  The beauty of the most recent ep is they realized it's a foolish and counterproductive pursuit.  What matters is the love and truth that results.  In faith. 

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3 minutes ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Just excellent, @Yeah No!

For me, I long ago adopted the philosophy, said to be from ancient Chinese, "Know not to know."

There are things we simply will never know and can never know.  My authority?  The Bible.  And common sense.  We do not understand pi, and we're something like 31 TRILLION digits deep as of last month.  

In total earnestness, I accept the warnings that we not attempt to turn what is faith, into fact within the physical realm of the earthly dimension we dwell.  This never-ending pursuit is among the worst of man's conceit.  The Tree of Knowledge was intentionally the one thing we were to never "examine," right?

This brings me to the conceit of the leads on the show.  They are all heck bent on disproving divinity within TGA.  The beauty of the most recent ep is they realized it's a foolish and counterproductive pursuit.  What matters is the love and truth that results.  In faith. 

Thank you, back at you.  You made me think of one of my favorite hymns:

We limit not the truth of God
to our poor reach of mind,
to notions of our day and sect,
crude, partial and confined:
no, let a new and better hope
within our hearts be stirred:
the Lord has yet more light and truth
to break forth from his word.

I hear you loud and clear about the conceit.  Some scientists still think that science can and will some day explain everything.  To me the conceit is to think that we could ever know that much, especially at this point in our human knowledge and capability.  They conveniently explain away anything they can't explain so they can convince themselves that they can in fact know everything there is to know.  If they somehow can't explain it, it doesn't exist.  What a perfect myopic tautology.  Meanwhile there is an entire dimension to reality that science can't even begin to measure much less understand.  And it never will because by its very nature it doesn't have the ability to do so.  But don't tell that to some scientists these days.  They'll continue to engage in reductionism to the point that words like love and faith are utterly meaningless to them and part of a fantasy world.

I actually think the characters on this show have more going for them if they are at the point of realizing they'll never be able to disprove divinity in the God account and what is more important is the love it brings and spreads.  Being able to accept that they might not be able to explain it (or everything) is the first step towards true wisdom, and yes, faith.

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11 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

There have been other serialized shows that I wished could have just stuck to the COW format. I wonder how much the serialization of episodic shows is due to pressure from networks to create brand loyalty for the show -- not that serialization is the only way to do that. 

I think there's a thesis lurking behind those lines 😉 Lots of procedurals on my watch-list suffer from the serialization bug *cough*NCIS*cough* On the other hand the old classic format where a character undergoes harrowing drama in one episode juts to be fine and dandy in the next one left me slightly ragey at times *cough*ST:TNG*cough* (I know it makes syndication easier).

Despite my many qualms I think this show is trying its best to keep both narrative devices in balance. It can't simply skip the God Account side of things since that would leave the audience frustrated. The question is how much longer can they keep the mystery going? And once it's resolved can they make the jump? Comparisons with Person of Interest are apt because of the premise of an all-knowing entity that sends out distress-alerts to individuals in a position to help others - but maybe the shows will share something else in the future. A shift in genre so to speak. POI made the daring jump from procedural to high-concept maybe God Friended Me will make the opposite jump?

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SWAT is doing good at having continuing story-lines (Chris dating the poly couple, Deacon's money problems) without becoming serialized.  Same, too, with 9-1-1.  Neither show lends itself to the Big Bad and the Bigger Bad that drives most serials these days.

17 hours ago, Yeah No said:

They conveniently explain away anything they can't explain so they can convince themselves that they can in fact know everything there is to know.  If they somehow can't explain it, it doesn't exist. 

I would say that my "religion" is empiricism.  If it can't be tested, how do I knowit's true, especially if there are competing hypotheses.  Why believe in one "flavor" of God but not another when both have equal proof?  Occam's Razor says to distrust them both.

Faith works for you, and I'm glad.  It works wonders for my wife as well, so I don't disparage faith in others (as long as they don't bother others!).

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2 hours ago, jhlipton said:

I would say that my "religion" is empiricism.  If it can't be tested, how do I knowit's true, especially if there are competing hypotheses.  Why believe in one "flavor" of God but not another when both have equal proof?  Occam's Razor says to distrust them both.

I suck at debating theology; but I wanted to add my two cents: With the supernatural, there will always have to be some degree of faith (or un-testability(?)) because if (God) was something that could be measured, would it really be (God)? At the same time, I'd say that religion and (God) can be tested, and have been already. Also as mentioned above, there are even some things and concepts in the natural world that cannot be tested. And I disagree that the various "flavors of God" have equal proof.

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I may have posted something like this before, but I've been considering that someone else took Henry's algorithm to create the God account and none of them will know who it is.  But even if Henry is behind it, he may be no more responsible for what it does than God is for what WE do (because of free will). It's not like he or anyone is sitting there sending out friend requests. The program is directing itself.  I have a feeling that there's a synergy between what Miles, et. al. DO with the God account and the direction the God account takes in response.  So it's like an interactive program that keeps perfecting itself based on their input.

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