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hincandenza

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  1. Season 3: Episode Discussion

    Just a FYI, but that was actually Vincent Kartheiser ("Pete Campbell" of Mad Men), not Wil Wheaton as the congressman. Yeah, I think this needs to be the final season, and hopefully (I type this having just watched the 12th and presumably second-to-last episode yesterday) they'll wrap things up with the Eddie death sequence next week. I don't know what well they're still drilling here, the show has no focus or point since a few episodes into season 2, at least that I've been able to detect. I watch it out of habit, and because Freida Pinto is so gosh darn cute. Her character is pointless too, though, as are they all.
  2. S03.E12: Catalina

    I actually liked this season, and am happy (to intuit from the comments here that) this was the final season. It ended on a nice note, and while there are little things resolved, eh, that's life. To me, the bathroom/sickness fight scene a few episodes prior was the real key moment: when they both realized they loved each other, and that's why they fight- the insecurity, the group dynamics, the fear of being rejected first by someone who only lashes out because they fear being rejected first. Realizing that made them stronger, as we saw when they worked out their problems in South Dakota more like actual adults, and I think we are supposed to imagine- especially with their wedding being held without the spectacle of the "wacky sitcom friends group"- these two will finally make it work. To @auntiemel's point about Arya, while I'd have liked more recognition from almost anyone on "Witchita" that Gus was a good person (if awkward), the Arya subplot if nothing else showed him being a good parent instinctively, and that his own reservations about having kids have passed. I think what I liked about this show- when I liked it and wasn't frustrated by it- is how the characters are not only their sitcom-esque archetypes but also tinged with humanity. They joke, but they have feelings and hurt as well, even/especially when the other person is just "playing their part" as per normal TV/sitcom rules.
  3. Season 3: Episode Discussion

    Ha ha, no, I work at $GIANT_TECHNOLOGY_COMPANY in Seattle (I guess that doesn't completely narrow it down) but after I get home, it's nice sometimes to just plop on the couch with my vape pen and some sativa extract, puffing away while TV plays that I don't have to (or care to) think about much.
  4. Season 3: Episode Discussion

    Yeah, I watch because I'm bored, and when I open Hulu mid-week, it's there so I watch it because the workday was long and I wanna smoke weed and not think. But it's so pointless, and it just meanders... I don't care about these characters, the way they act and talk they're just sort of cut-outs for plot purposes- and yet there's no real plot. One nitpick- as if it matters- was Sarah finding those journals of Steve and Lilith's. She watched the same play that's been going on for decades, in which she herself acted as a child, and only now did she- or anyone- connect the words of Steve's song with a literal set of directions to a cave that looked no more than a couple of hundred yards from the compound. Seriously, no one had discovered that exact path the whole time?! Just more sloppy writing from a show that feels like everyone involved checked out halfway through season 2.
  5. Season 3: Episode Discussion

    No, I'm talking about the new character who Sarah has been meeting with, that teaches the "American Religion" class and helped her with the film projector. He seems to be generically interested in her, romantically now, but it's not clear why as he sought her out first (at the booth that Meyerism had set up). I don't see a political/feminist agenda, and I don't remember them ever talking about men sitting with their legs spread [Edit: I I did remember, when Hawk and the other kids were hanging out]? I do agree that Eddie's whole "no wall" thing is poorly thought out. There's a balance between walls, and things like discreet cameras and neighborhood watches.
  6. Season 3: Episode Discussion

    Yeah, i'm on the fence as well; it's still watchable, but the coming disasters were predictable from the first moments. The exact method is up in the air, which is fine- not every show has to be a mystery wrapped in an enigma- but there's something... missing. Maybe it's because the dialogue is increasingly heavy-handed and melodramatic, or that every episode is so tense with staring contests and force confrontations, and there's just not enough to ground us. What the first season did well was immerse us in the lives of the people, the community, the recognizable hodge-podge of religion and new agey spiritualism that we could see the attraction even as a cult religion. The growing tension was earned as fractures gradually but realistically appeared. The last season+ has felt forced, and honestly I'm not loving Aaron Paul's acting choices as this sort of reluctant messiah. The reluctant, always-one-foot-outside religious believer/dutifully husband and family man worked well- I think for me, he was a good focal point for the audience to sympathize with him as both wanting to maintain his family but also losing the faith he had. B he's still playing that kind of vocal fry passivity that doesn't work given his plot journey from heretic to visionary to living incarnation of The Light; Cal is so dynamic and good at speaking, it's hard to believe people Eddie would have attracted that kind of growth just from a single youtube video. It's also weird that they have this huge building now, and are presumably flush with cash, yet whenever they address the faithful it's less than a hundred people; I get budget, but at least do a little work to suggest why we never see many actual Meyerists. One character I'm not sure about yet (I'm 4 episodes in) is the religious studies guy. He seems sinister somehow, like he has an agenda (why not, literally everyone else does as this is apparently the season where everyone is out to tear down Meyerism in some nefarious and subterranean plot), but other than thinking Sarah is ripe to be "cult deprogrammed" I'm not sure what it would be. By the way, it's telling that when I went to the show's wiki to look up that actors name, no one has yet bothered to update the episode descriptions past the first episode of season 3...
  7. U-Turn Ahead: How Would You Fix TAR?

    Wait, I'm not sure we do disagree; I don't mind a little taxi luck, but the amount in some of the later seasons was kind of insane. It's basically the opposite of your hypothetical sound stage season: why even do the tasks at all, when one bad taxi driver can turn you from first to last? That's why I suggested, as you did, that they should bike/drive/walk themselves whenever a locale would allow it- which is how it was in the early seasons, actually, leading to great hilarity every time a team showed up not knowing how to drive a manual transmission. When that's simply not possible, they should get a dedicated fluent-English-speaking driver for that leg/city; the drivers would be told to not help/aid them in any navigation or decision making (maybe with a 30-minute+ penalty if a team asks/gets help) but just to follow the laws of the road and to go exactly where the teams tell them. The teams would still be responsible for all navigation and directions, leading to the "random variation" where shouty "Yo bro, why won't you speak English, *god*?!?" teams would be heavily penalized because they can't get directions from locals. Heck, as a viewer some of the funniest schadenfreude is when a team is ahead and literally drives themselves out of the game by misreading a clue or going 80 miles the wrong way. I'm a TAR purist, in other words. I believe the ideal TAR has fairly designed yet diverse tasks (not all strength, or stamina, or puzzles, and with real balance/choice in the detours), requires teams to be good at navigation, reading maps, interacting with locals, figuring out clues more complicated than "Turn around, it's the building right behind you", and otherwise making consistent smart choices. Everything that detracts from a merit-based assessment of the "best team" is to me a flaw in the game, and the utter randomness of grossly incompetent taxi drivers is a sometimes very frustrating example of that.
  8. House of Cards Cast & Crew's Other Projects

    Hadn't been watching this forum much lately (for, uh, reasons- of which one was my utter disappointment with the godawful trainwreck that was season 5), but just finished watching this show on Amazon starring Rachel Brosnahan (Rachel Posner), and it is honestly fantastic. Figured I'd post about it here; in retrospect, the actress was clearly wasted being paired opposite the charmless fencepost that was Doug Stamper. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marvelous_Mrs._Maisel
  9. S03.E09: eps3.8_stage3.torrent

    I know!!! I really like this show, and when I binge re-watched seasons 1 and 2 a few months ago, I found my enjoyment of the show went way up on the second viewing, especially with a chance for small details to be fresh in the mind over the span of a season. My one hesitation was that this show seemed like the kind of thing alt-right, red-pill, conspiracy-guzzling, techno-fascist types would drool over; I worried I was uncritically enjoying a show put out by some Alex Jones superfan. I was happy to see between seasons 2 and 3 that Esmail is decidedly not a Trump fan, and in season 3 has left in every episode this season some little joke or two mocking both that... person... currently occupying the White House, as well as those who thought this show was some dog whistle for 400-lb-shut-ins to start their mighty futurist-cyber-revolution. I haven't sought it out, but I just like the idea of some former fans being all upset in season 3 that "Mr. Robot" went too "SJW" and "leftist" on them, or whatever the hell they mewl about... :) I haven't made up my mind about this season yet- though knowing how I felt after season 1 and 2 when watching live, I'm willing to believe the show will seem better on rewatch- as I question whether this will end up being a treading water season if we don't find out some concrete and indisputable show truths about the sci-fi MacGuffin that is motivating WR, at least. But if nothing else, I've already enjoyed the extraordinary acting/artistry on screen (that extended sequence of Angela hacking the HSMs a few episodes back was incredible to watch), along with those background reminders that a raging "tear down the system!!!111" manifesto usually just leads to good and decent people digging through the trash to survive.
  10. S03.E07: eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk

    The one thing I'd quibble with is it being the same safe house; they presumably have access to many, and the safe house Trenton and Mobley were in had to be relatively near the Phoenix (?) area they were living in. Angela is in NYC, and her trip lasted overnight but you can't drive from NYC to Phoenix overnight. So if Esmail meant for it to be the same house, that's a goof-up.
  11. S03.E07: eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk

    I think the best evidence Mobley and Trenton were a direct WR operation- besides the use of wossname as the sort-of hit man- was that the guy at the end telling them all about sacrifice is WR's right-hand man throughout at least this season. This is the one he's been telling to practice his English and to hold off on running phase 2 while schizo-Elliot goes waffling about at first. Santiago (who is presumably terrified of WR) wouldn't even know of, much less dare to try using, someone like *that*. Trenton and Mobley were her way of throwing off the scent to the FBI; Santiago would just be a pawn playing his part. Same as Wellick. It continues to baffle, the motivations of some of the minions. What is Irving getting out of this? He's mentioned to Angela that he "believes" in WR's cryptic plan, although everything else including the lie about his family life and showing Elliot the cocktail party of the rich and not-famous screams "jaded cynical operative"... like he's Angela in 10-15 years, believing nothing but the money is good and his soul long gone.
  12. S03.E07: eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk

    That's kind of what I mean by Esmail hopefully not wasting season 3 and going full "Lost", but instead resolving some of these questions with a little more certainty. We're led to believe that WR has no boss (leaving aside whatever hierarchy exists in his public role), and is running his own game with the Dark Army as his/her personal cybermilitary and quasi-religious cult. On the other hand, people like Price were doing so as well, and the very first scene of this series was Elliot voicing over about the real power, hidden in the shadows- a theme echoed explicitly by Irving when he pointed to the cocktail party that never ends up on the rooftop in this episode. Are those faceless people the real string pullers, for whom Price and WR ultimately work? Given Price's monologue last season about being the most powerful person in any room, it seems that Price and WR are- or were- playing a game with the entire world. So is WR a rogue element looking to take total control of Earth? Is he working on behalf of, parallel to, or secretly antagonistic to China? Are the Dark Army all deluded patsies as much as Angela and Wellick appear to be? Is WR truly looking to build a time machine/MacGuffin, and reset the world? To be the real revolutionary that Elliot/Mr. Robot only dreamt of? I still don't honestly have any idea. It will be a shame if we end this season with no more clarity about WR and their goals, and what's really going on at Washington Township. Another oh-so-sly reference to Enchantment Under the Sea isn't going to cut it...
  13. S03.E07: eps3.6_fredrick+tanya.chk

    I found this episode rather frustrating. For starters, why even have the "comic" car escape, if you're going to kill the characters a few minutes later? Trenton being unable to simply steer straight enough while in first gear to get them the safe distance to then switch places with Mobley was absurdly implausible; she may not drive, but as Mobley pointed out she's not stupid (and probably has played enough video games that the basic operation of a running car shouldn't be overwhelming, even under stress). Similarly, I find it impossible to fathom that, after what was basically another 9/11, the FBI et al didn't instantly scoop up Darlene, Angela, and Elliott among others, whether Santiago himself is compromised or not. The entire IC of this country will be on this case, and they won't report to Santiago. For that matter, with his wife dead and child being threatened, are we to read that Wellick has now completely lost his faith in his "God", Elliot? Why wouldn't he start chirping like a bird to every other agent in the building, with nothing to lose (and a chance to at least get his kid a safer life)? Outside of ZombAngela, the Alderson siblings now have zero reason not to come fully clean and work with Dom. They know they were played, and Elliott is furious about it (as well as Mr. Robot). I also think there's no chance Krista wouldn't be on the phone to the FBI that day, nor that her counsel (who somehow screamed "complicit" in his brief scene) would not recognize the extraordinary situation. Along with that, why not kill Elliot? He's dangerous enough WR needed him and his plans to piggyback on through at least stage 2 (the multiple building attack was the pivot only once Elliot went rogue), and he's unpredictable since both his Elliot (and now alter) persona are horrified and opposed to WR. So why leave him alone? Why not kill Dom back in season 2, if she is probably the only real threat to exposing Santiago and by extension WR? And won't anyone at the FBI think it a little odd that Wellick is sitting in front of a camera, then the video blips and suddenly he's bawling his eyes out? Like, after two of the three biggest terrorist attacks ever being pulled off by fsociety in the last few months (5/9, ecorp explosions, and now "plans" for a 4th) they aren't going to have hundreds of agents poring over every second of every video and interview, and every thread of connection, 24/7?!? I feel Esmail has really biffed this transition in scope from intimate portrayal of underground hackers to world-changing events, with TV's usual mishandling of common matters of law and society. Like others, I'm still convinced there's some sci-fi element to WR's plan, as even an elaborate slapdown to EvilCorp and Price seemed more about a side element of displaying power, while the real effort was their own country to house whatever is being built at that plant (and a sh**ton of still unresolved thematic anvils about time travel). But honestly, if Esmail lets this season end with nothing but a fizzled revolution to show for it and no more clarity about what WR is up to, I'll be awfully close to going from 60-0 after the first two seasons and calling this show "Nu-Lost".
  14. S01.E05: The Whole World is Watching

    I know, it's really a little jewel of a show, where both the Romanian actors and the voice-over work just dig right into the cheese with complete and wild abandon. The American-Embassy-by-way-of-TV's-"Dallas" is just so... perfect.
  15. S01.E01: The Invisible Hand

    Yeah, it was a weird, quirky, but fun show. Not something I'd follow religiously through 6 seasons (and a movie!) but a delightful little out-of-left-field diversion that isn't like much I've seen any time recently. Glad you enjoyed it! There are dozens of us... dozens!!!