S01.E17: The Ninth Seat 2017.04.19

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As President Kirkman struggles to put together a new Supreme Court, Wells goes undercover and discovers more than she could have imagined. Meanwhile Abe Leonard returns from the Middle East with an explosive story.

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That actress who played Julie looks familiar 

Abe has a flip phone. Don’t know if its poverty or paranoia.

I enjoyed the hell out of that whole Doomsday North Dakota Secret Society bit.

Kiefer yelling at people never fails to make me happy. I also liked how Tom was kneeling at a coffee table like a kid doing his homework when he has a huge desk in the OO.

Edited by marinw.
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I am truly disappointed by the helicopter passenger reveal.  I thought it might possibly be Jack Bowman, but I was really hoping for Kimble Hookstraten!

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Julie is played by Linda Purl.  

The problem with the show is there are too many stories going on at one time.  Deal with a couple things, solve those and move on. 

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OK, so someone please remind me who NL is?

And i too am more interested with what's going on out in ND than the machinations in the oval.

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I liked the judge recusing herself from the appointment and explaining her health condition and of course, being greeted with compassion but the unlikely President.

The blue manifesto book read right out of the current US political climate.

Don't know who got out of the helicopter.

Enjoyed the President kneeling on the carpet and doing his work on the coffee table.

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The guy who got out of the copter was Nestor Lozano, aka Catalan, who was supposedly killed on MacLeish's orders when Kirkman was in surgery. 

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5 minutes ago, Frozendiva said:

I liked the judge recusing herself from the appointment and explaining her health condition and of course, being greeted with compassion but the unlikely President.

The blue manifesto book read right out of the current US political climate.

Don't know who got out of the helicopter.

Enjoyed the President kneeling on the carpet and doing his work on the coffee table.

That was a cute scene! 

1 minute ago, scarynikki12 said:

The guy who got out of the copter was Nestor Lozano, aka Catalan, who was supposedly killed on MacLeish's orders when Kirkman was in surgery. 

It sorta looked like Bowman. Heck, I wish it had been Bowman! Yeah I thought Lozano was killed. But I guess we didn't see the body.

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The dementia reveal story and acting was a beautiful, Emmy-worthy bit, albeit probably too brief and tangential to be considered.

And I'm glad that Abe, the washed up Pulitzer winner, finally has a story worthy of Rob Morrow's talent. 

The sleuthing agents plot was pretty anvilicious at times (the blue book/manual of cult operations, and then: duh! What else would those perfectly placed fires in the night be there for?) but I've been waiting since the beginning of the series for Malk Yoba to utter a line like he did when the cult guy told him he was lost, and Atwood replied that no, he was not lost.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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I don't know whose world Abe Leonard expects to rock with his earth-shaking story. There is no evidence that the U.S. exists outside of D.C. and North Dakota (besides a conniving junior senator from Montana). Who is the "he" who supposedly paid the terrorist group to claim responsibility for blowing up the Capitol? I can't wait to hear how they explain Lozano's survival when he was confirned dead ("neutralized").

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Thank god someone here knew who Lozano is. I'd totally forgotten.

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7 hours ago, KLovestoShop said:

Julie is played by Linda Purl.  

Got it. Thanks.

6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

The dementia reveal story and acting was a beautiful, Emmy-worthy bit, albeit probably too brief and tangential to be considered.

It was sorta out of left field, but yes, nice acting there by Linda and Kiefer.

Jack Bowman is such a cartoon, but an entertaining one.

Edited by marinw.
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I thought the President's reaction to hearing that Julia had dementia was excellent - the way he exhaled that breath, as if the wind had been knocked out of him (which indeed it had), and the way the tears swelled up in his eyes. Really well done - very believable, not over the top, but truly showed how stunned he was and how much sorrow he felt for her.

I thought it was Bowman getting out of the helicopter as well! Although before they showed him, my family and I were half-kiddingly hoping it would be the First Lady!! Ha!

I really don't like the Abe Leonard story line. He's putting two and two together and getting five - not knowing the real situation, of course he's now leaping to the wrong conclusions and will probably end up thwarting Hannah's progress (such as it is). I don't mind seeing Rob Morrow on the small screen but I don't like his character right now.

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2 hours ago, Biggie B said:

Although before they showed him, my family and I were half-kiddingly hoping it would be the First Lady!! Ha!

I never considered the First Lady!  That would have been awesome!  But I still would have liked it to be Hookstraten.  As it is, all they did was introduce another mysterious character with unknown qualities.  (Yes, I know we've had glimpses of Catalan in the past, and we have been informed that he is eeevil, but I doubt he's had 60 seconds total screen-time during the entire series so far.)

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16 hours ago, marinw said:

Abe has a flip phone. Don’t know if its poverty or paranoia.

Definitely paranoia. I loved that detail, it told us a lot about Abe.

14 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I am truly disappointed by the helicopter passenger reveal.  I thought it might possibly be Jack Bowman, but I was really hoping for Kimble Hookstraten!

 

3 hours ago, Biggie B said:

I thought it was Bowman getting out of the helicopter as well! Although before they showed him, my family and I were half-kiddingly hoping it would be the First Lady!! Ha!

I thought of all 3 of them! I was expecting a huge reveal, so either Hookstraten or the FLOTUS would have worked, and then I also considered Bowman, whose strategic rise is a little too convenient. So the actual reveal was underwhelming.

Much like the episode itself. It was better than last week, because I found the Supreme Court issue a lot more interesting (and the solution was smart and fun), but still. Underwhelming. I thought the Abe scenes were all out of place, but I also thought, "Hey I'd watch that show! About a paranoid Rob Morrow chasing shadows!" And the Hannah/Jason Atwood scenes were fun but so jarring as cutaways to "boring" politics scenes.

This show is trying to be too many things at once. It's not just the number of storylines, it's the difference in tone. If you cut one episode in half (i.e. Politics vs Conspiracy with a side of Curmudgeonly Rob Morrow) you'd get 2 perfectly consistent 20-minute episodes of 2 very different shows. Hannah/Atwood and even Rob Morrow are working on an X-Files-lite show (down to Deep Throat, this week), and Kiefer is on The West Wing Lite. This can't go on. There is zero coherence at this point. Even the Al-Sakar storyline is old news to us viewers, but half of the characters don't know (I think). Something's gotta give.

I vote to keep the Conspiracy and Rob Morrow trying to crack it (at least that'd be entertaining to watch). The Politics side is lagging, save for Kiefer's acting. Aaron has been defanged, as has Hookstraten (kind of), Emily is competent but drama-free and Seth is hilarious but doesn't do much. I, like many here, want to like this show, but the writing is making it hard for me.

Edited by Princess Lucky.
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4 minutes ago, Princess Lucky said:

The Politics side is lagging, save for Kiefer's acting.

Am I a horrible person for wishing for POTUS to be kidnapped? Beacuse, you know, drama and acting. And Tom can talk the kidnappers into realesing him.

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Count me as another who thought it was the first lady in the chopper.  That would not have bothered me at all since I don't like her character.  On the other hand I had a brief thought that it could be Mike and I would have definitely had a problem with him being in on the conspiracy (although frankly I haven't entirely ruled that out yet either).  But I like him, I view him as this show's Aaron Pierce, and I hope he remains one of the good guys here. 

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A nice filler.

Loved Linda Purl and her character (of course, it's the doomed one, sigh) and she looked very good. I was Wait, she's supposed to be older than Kirkman? It's so nice to see an actress in her sixties who doesn't look like a walking Botox commercial.

It was good to see Kirkman finally bang his fist on the table but why did he have to waste it with an inspiration speech afterwards? Just kick their ass and put the fear of Jack Bauer The President into them, FFS!

They seem to have a villain with Bowman.  But maybe by the end of the season he'll be drinking the Kirman Power of Love Kool-Aid.

Isn't Rob Morrow supposed to be a good actor? He was fractionally better in his scene with Hookstraten and Aaron, otherwise he speaks and I see William Shatner.

Unsurprisingly, my favorite scenes involved Aaron and Kimble. But didn't she say last week that she didn't particularly want to be Vice-President? I like that Emily is more of a hardball player but yes, I'd like Aaron to be less obliging. Nice scene with Reed Diamond's character for a moment I had the feeling that FBI and Politicians were actually living in the same universe [sarcasm]. I also like Seth and Emily as a team. I don't feel like the writers know where they're going, so I'd rather see more of those characters I enjoy.

I love Maggie Q and Malik Yoba but Mulder and Scully they aren't. And what a disappointment in the end. It's episode 17. Someone everybody knows and remembers should have been in that helicopter. Fail, show. Major fail.

This show doesn't dare. That's its other problem. The political intrigue can't be captivating if it stays at the level of My Little Poney, Friendship is Magic. It can't be a thriller if every reveal falls flat after much hyping. It's a pity.

Edited by Happy Harpy.
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17 minutes ago, marinw said:

Am I a horrible person for wishing for POTUS to be kidnapped? Beacuse, you know, drama and acting. And Tom can talk the kidnappers into realesing him.

Well it's kind of horrible but this is fiction so it's ok.  Maybe Air Force One could be hijacked.  Kiefer could overpower the hijackers and then fly the plane himself (he did pilot a helicopter in 24, didn't he?).   I don't think he could talk kidnappers into releasing him but he could bore them to death using last week's endless gun control dialog. 

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5 minutes ago, snarkylady said:

(he did pilot a helicopter in 24, didn't he?).   I don't think he could talk kidnappers into releasing him but he could bore them to death using last week's endless gun control dialog. 

Jack never met a helicopter he couldn't fly. He once took over a passenger plane from the baggage compartment (long story). And I do see Tom escapeing useing words and brains rather than brawn.

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15 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I am truly disappointed by the helicopter passenger reveal.  I thought it might possibly be Jack Bowman, but I was really hoping for Kimble Hookstraten!

Me too, I was shocked that it was Catalan, I thought it would be Kimble or Alex :P

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14 hours ago, snapdragon12 said:

t sorta looked like Bowman. Heck, I wish it had been Bowman! Yeah I thought Lozano was killed. But I guess we didn't see the body.

I'm glad someone posted about this as I thought it was Bowman as well. Must need new glasses lol. Thx

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No Alex in this episode? I guess she was off somewhere putting together the next steps in her EVIL plan...heh heh.

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Too bad the helicopter couldn't have been the clown car.  First Lozano, then Bowman, then the First Lady, followed by Hookstraten, the eight new justices, Emily, Aaron, Olivia Pope... Atwood and Hannah lying there in the frozen Montana winter, muttering "Oh shit. Oh shit."  And I wish Hannah would not be so adamant about not sending any backup. 

1 hour ago, snarkylady said:

Kiefer could overpower the hijackers and then fly the plane himself

And land it on the 118 Freeway just outside Los Angeles.  Again.

Abe needs to be a whole lot more paranoid.  Opening an unknown internet link on your office computer?  Boom.  Yeah, it worked out, but that's only because it was in the script.  Opening an envelope on your windshield?  Does the word anthrax mean anything to you?  Was it explained how he knew to get an audience with the warlord in the Middle East? 

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Although I found the Supreme Court storyline way more interesting than the gun control battle of last week, it still took up too much time.

I couldn't care less about Rob Morrow and his intrepid reporter storyline.  Ate up way too much of the show.

Let's see... an Asian woman and a black man in some weird cult town in North Dakota, and they're walking around pretending to be lost.  They would have been instantly identified and followed by everyone.

The show really failed at the helicopter reveal when it appears that a good majority of viewers (judging from comments here) had no idea who that was.  I thought it looked like Senator Bowman.  Then when Hannah said "it's Lozano" my first thought was "who?????" and then when I remembered he was the White House shooter my next thought was "wait, Bowman is Lozano?"   Not a great set up from the show.

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2 hours ago, Happy Harpy said:

Isn't Rob Morrow supposed to be a good actor? He was fractionally better in his scene with Hookstraten and Aaron, otherwise he speaks and I see William Shatner.

I think it's the weird voice he's giving this character - constantly in a raspy, I just ate gravel type of tone.  It's almost comic book villain voice territory.  So, in that way, a bit Shatneresque.  I find it distracting, and I normally like Rob Morrow.  (I'm sort of hoping for a White House Correspondents Dinner type of scene just so we can see him cleaned up a bit.)

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Bowman

mark_deklin_a_p.jpg

Catalan

CrWzvBqXYAA2W7C.jpg

Did you not know that they are bros, just kidding. :))

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2 hours ago, Happy Harpy said:

Isn't Rob Morrow supposed to be a good actor? He was fractionally better in his scene with Hookstraten and Aaron, otherwise he speaks and I see William Shatner.

Is it too much to hope he's hamming it up on purpose? I mean, he is a good actor normally. Maybe he's the only one fully aware that this show is a mess? Or, since he's only a recurring guest star, he's not emotionally invested so he's just having fun being over the top?

39 minutes ago, blackwing said:

 Then when Hannah said "it's Lozano" my first thought was "who?????"

That was my problem! I didn't actually remember the name "Lozano" (in retrospect, I realize Abe mentioned it in that random Iraq sequence, when he was holding up a picture of "Lozano"). When Hannah said that, I was like "who?" but then I recognized the actor. And then it took me five minutes to remember what name I knew him by, which was "Catalan". The show established him as "Catalan" for several episodes, and they only told us his "real" name a handful of times (maybe even after he died? Or right before he died?). If she had said "Catalan," I think I would have remembered him faster.

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Sigh.  I think this episode was lost to me before it began.  There is no need for a 9th judge...they would already have one.  What this show seems to forget is that there are 4 Designated Survivors (a cabinet member, a member from each house of Congress, and a Supreme Court Justice), so the whole SCOTUS plotline was just too ripped from the headlines for me.  Although, yes, Bowman...we get that you want a "fair and balanced" SCOTUS.  I think that may have been ABC throwing a bit of shade there.

I didn't buy the North Dakota story line either.  I mean, when the first guy said they were going up to the mountain, I was out.  Hello people, this is North Dakota!  Also, wouldn't a chopper that frequently landed in the middle of nowhere be picked up by the FAA?   And LN hadn't been in the show enough for anyone to really have any kind of attachment to him, so the big reveal was definitely lacking.

At this point, this might be my last episode of this show...

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48 minutes ago, Princess Lucky said:

Is it too much to hope he's hamming it up on purpose? I mean, he is a good actor normally. Maybe he's the only one fully aware that this show is a mess? Or, since he's only a recurring guest star, he's not emotionally invested so he's just having fun being over the top?

I was hoping for this the first time he appeared. He toned it down with Kimble/Aaron. I'd be more than happy if I could change my mind and admire the Crouching Ham Hidden Ace he pulled in universe.

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Random question: Hannah told Reed Diamond that they shouldn't move in and seize the bombs, right? (which both he and I thought was a mistake)

And then, when she and Atwood tried to go back to the silo (I think) they were stopped by those "True Believers" on that bridge. Does that mean those armed crazies are now in possession of the bombs? And, if the FBI wants to get them, there'll be a bloodbath? And can I watch it?

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10 minutes ago, Princess Lucky said:

Random question: Hannah told Reed Diamond that they shouldn't move in and seize the bombs, right? (which both he and I thought was a mistake)

And then, when she and Atwood tried to go back to the silo (I think) they were stopped by those "True Believers" on that bridge. Does that mean those armed crazies are now in possession of the bombs? And, if the FBI wants to get them, there'll be a bloodbath? And can I watch it?

Well, technically, I think the crazies were always in possession of the bombs.  But, yes, they have them.   If there is a bloodbath, I hope that Hannah and Atwood get some backup first.

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I watch more of this show than my husband. I have to DVR it since I am in bed by ten (hey, I am up at 4:45am). We watched it this morning and his reaction to the WH scenes was to say that was nothing but a soap opera. I agree. I find the WH/political stuff overwhelmingly BORING. The show last week on gun control was too bad to even talk about. The best part of the show was been Hannah and her buddy roaming the wild west. That is a far better story line than the WH stuff. It almost feels like there are two sets of writers and their ideas don't mesh.

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2 hours ago, Princess Lucky said:

Is it too much to hope he's hamming it up on purpose? I mean, he is a good actor normally. Maybe he's the only one fully aware that this show is a mess? Or, since he's only a recurring guest star, he's not emotionally invested so he's just having fun being over the top?

That was my problem! I didn't actually remember the name "Lozano" (in retrospect, I realize Abe mentioned it in that random Iraq sequence, when he was holding up a picture of "Lozano"). When Hannah said that, I was like "who?" but then I recognized the actor. And then it took me five minutes to remember what name I knew him by, which was "Catalan". The show established him as "Catalan" for several episodes, and they only told us his "real" name a handful of times (maybe even after he died? Or right before he died?). If she had said "Catalan," I think I would have remembered him faster.

I had the same issue - frankly, I am shocked I even recognized the guy as Catalan, but then when Hannah said it's Lozano, I was confused and it took me a while to realize it was the same person. It wouldn't have been difficult to have her say "Catalan" instead of or in addition to Lozano. Even earlier in the episode, when Abe was talking about Lozano, I didn't know who he was. I still don't really, for that matter. I just know "Catalan" is somehow involved in stuff and knew MacLeish.

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Lozano aka Catalan killed Al-Sakar, and he failed to kill Kirk, VP Mcleish ordered to kill him, we all thought he is dead but he is ALIVE. 

Abe asked about him in Iraq and that Iraqi said Catalan paid Al-Sakar to be the fake bomber. Now who is this guy contacting Abe? Is that Catalan too?

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So this means that either Lozano either had a decoy at the invasion or the SEALs were in on it. 

I liked this episode....this show is winning me over.  Love Aaron, Seth and Kimble.  Emily is fine and POTUS is awesome.  No Alex and kids, so YAY! I was kinda hoping she would be the one in the chopper as someone said above.  She bugs.  And I find RM's Abe to be compelling. 

The head of the FBI has been bugging me for weeks and tonight I realized I know him from Bones....one of Booth's FBI friends.  Glad he got a promotion. ha

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I, too, thought it was Bowman in the helicopter until I did a double take.  This show has a habit of showing you a character once or twice for a few moments and then not again until several months later - and they expect you to remember who it is and be shocked!  The pacing is off.  I actually managed to remember who Catalan was but only because McLeish tried to have him killed and I thought at the time that since we didn't see a body, he might not be legitimately dead.

I'm still more interested in seeing who's "behind the conspiracy" than any of the other plots.  The political machinations are more boring and I found myself really not paying much attention to this episode because of that.  We've been getting a lot of the political stuff in the last couple of episodes (IMO) and since I have the attention span of a gnat, I'm struggling.  Really not liking Aaron with Hookstraten, even though I like the characters individually.

Actually thought the scenes with Hannah and Jason seemed a little awkward this week.  Not sure if it was the dialogue or what.  They're usually who I'm most interested in.

Keifer did great looking sad about Alzheimer's.  He looked like he was genuinely going to cry.

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Grade:

b-sound.jpg

OK, so I know the "Ninth Judge" was the A-story...but so little actually happened that I will say nothing except that wow Kiefer Sutherland and Linda Purl had such great chemistry! Purl looked amazing, Kiefer acted great (as always) and I thought they were going to kiss when they were holding hands. Maybe they should have.

The North Dakota plot though...how very, very very surreal that all was. I'll forgive "Hannah Being Hannah" and deciding backup is not necessary and overruling Agent Forestall (Reed Diamond) simply because the plot called for her to do it and the little bit of side eye I have to give at the allusion to Athens and the Roman Empire (I'm not sure Roman democracy fell so suddenly and I'm not sure either the Republic or Athens even was a democracy as we'd know it, but those are separate debates) because it just felt so cool. The tone, the atmosphere, the staging...it all added up to a wonderfully bizarre experience. If it had better writing, it really could have risen above the cliches and been truly memorable.

Though I will say Malik Yoba really brought it tonight.

Oh and Abe Leonard? Delightfully weird. I didn't think he was too over the top, although even if he was, it befits the character. There's nothing at all normal about Abe Leonard.

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5 hours ago, Princess Lucky said:

Random question: Hannah told Reed Diamond that they shouldn't move in and seize the bombs, right? (which both he and I thought was a mistake)

And then, when she and Atwood tried to go back to the silo (I think) they were stopped by those "True Believers" on that bridge. Does that mean those armed crazies are now in possession of the bombs? And, if the FBI wants to get them, there'll be a bloodbath? And can I watch it?

Me too.  At this point, I'm having Ruby Ridge / Waco flashbacks.  Not fun.

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I don't drink, but I think we have a new game: take a swig every time POTUS takes off his glasses for effect.

And count me in the "Alex should have been in the helicopter" group. *evil grin*

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Forstell: "We've got to secure all of those bombs in the missile silo right away!"

Hannah: "Not until I say so! We don't want to tip our hand!"

Well, let's hope no one notices the busted security door before you and Atwood get done sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of insular rural America, then.

1 hour ago, forumfish said:

And count me in the "Alex should have been in the helicopter" group. *evil grin*

Better yet, Wyatt. 

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12 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Well, technically, I think the crazies were always in possession of the bombs.  But, yes, they have them.   If there is a bloodbath, I hope that Hannah and Atwood get some backup first.

Haha, true, they did have the bombs, but they sure weren't guarding them very well. I don't think they even bothered to close the door to the silo, let alone lock it. Anybody could walk in and steal the bombs (which is what the FBI should have done). Now it might be a smidge harder.

Namely:

7 hours ago, jhlipton said:

Me too.  At this point, I'm having Ruby Ridge / Waco flashbacks.  Not fun.

Waco was my first thought.

4 hours ago, Cthulhudrew said:

Forstell: "We've got to secure all of those bombs in the missile silo right away!"

Hannah: "Not until I say so! We don't want to tip our hand!"

Well, let's hope no one notices the busted security door before you and Atwood get done sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of insular rural America, then.

Right? I agreed with Forstell, there are times to be strategic and let something play out (like, say, when you already have incriminating evidence but you don't arrest someone because you want their boss etc) but this time that was a mistake. You don't let unknown terrorists hold on to a huge number of bombs "just to see what they do". Hannah literally has no idea who these people are, or what they might be planning (which, to be fair, was kinda her point), she can't trust that a bunch of armed crazies won't suddenly arrive and block her access to the silo.

That said, all those scenes with Hannah and Atwood undercover were pretty fun. Malik Yoba is just so good.

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6 hours ago, Cthulhudrew said:

Well, let's hope no one notices the busted security door before you and Atwood get done sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of insular rural America, then.

I didn't watch last week. I had decided to just write this show off. But I am sucked in as to the traitor so I watched this week. It hasn't improved.

Like an Asian-looking woman and an African-American man traveling together aren't going to be noticed and talked about in small town ND. They more than stick out like a sore thumb. The members of the "group" (whoever they are) would never allow them to drive around without following them. Gives new meaning to "undercover". Unfortunately, Hannah looks even more suspicious in the ball cap. Yeah, I know. Not PC.

Edited by Ina123.
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Hannah and Atwood are so out of place, it's ridiculous.  How many black and asian people, apart or separate, appear in rural North Dakota?  After failing the test, the group would have been watching them closely.

The problem with this show is it needs to minimize the political "intrigue".  Gun control was boring.  And, all the more stupid, when revealed the anti-gun groups contributed to the episode.  Although, fairly obvious, since the talking points came across like a 2x4 to the face.  The Supreme Court conflict wasn't as bad, but it wasn't compelling TV either.  Until the writers can make the politics interesting, VERY doubtful if past storylines are an indication, then 5-10 minutes tops.  The throwback lines to the gun bill should be about it.

I also thought it was Bowmont on the helicopter and then I said "Lozano, who's that?"  Wow, show really wanted us to get a good look at him too.  How long did he stand there posing?  I should do that whenever I exit a vehicle to ensure people know it's me.  Exit vehicle (plane, car, etc), pause for longer than necessary, and look off into distance.  I figure I would get the same reaction that most people had watching that scene.  Someone will say, "That's PsychoDrone".  And, most everyone else will say, "Who's that?"  Pause over and I walk away.

Edited by PsychoDrone.
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14 hours ago, forumfish said:

take a swig every time POTUS takes off his glasses for effect.

An extra swig when he takes off the glasses to watch a dramatic hapenning on TV or his telepromter. He's farsighted maybe?

As I've noted befor,. Kiefer wears funky glasses IRL and on award shows. Get Tom a pair of those.

Edited by marinw.
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18 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

There is no need for a 9th judge...they would already have one.  What this show seems to forget is that there are 4 Designated Survivors (a cabinet member, a member from each house of Congress, and a Supreme Court Justice),

Thank you - obviously, the folks on the show weren't paying attention.

18 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Also, wouldn't a chopper that frequently landed in the middle of nowhere be picked up by the FAA?  

Not necessarily.  It depends on where they are operating from, where they are going to, and how they fly.  They could very well just fly VFR and not talk to anyone, and they would just show up as another blip on radar, assuming there is any ATC radar in the area that would cover them if they are down low.  Also, there may be a fair amount of helicopter and light aircraft traffic in the region - things like power and pipe line inspections for instance, plus anyone looking for a quick way to travel some of the larger distances out west.  Unless you are going into an airfield with an operating control tower, flying on Instrument Flight Rules, or getting up into higher altitudes (where a helicopter probably can't reach) you don't need to talk to anyone when you are flying.

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Regarding the helicopter, I would assume, however, that a group this well funded and equipped would utilize a more stealthy system for approach control than lighting up several bonfires that can be seen all the way back in town.  Even setting up the cars so that the headlights illuminate the landing zone would be more appropriate. 

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8 hours ago, PsychoDrone said:

I also thought it was Bowmont on the helicopter and then I said "Lozano, who's that?"  Wow, show really wanted us to get a good look at him too.  How long did he stand there posing?  I should do that whenever I exit a vehicle to ensure people know it's me.  Exit vehicle (plane, car, etc), pause for longer than necessary, and look off into distance.  I figure I would get the same reaction that most people had watching that scene.  Someone will say, "That's PsychoDrone".  And, most everyone else will say, "Who's that?"  Pause over and I walk away.

Lol

What would be funny is if the terrorists actually planned it that way as a diversion. "Now make sure when you get out of the helicopter, you hold position for about a minute, minute and a half. That way no one will notice us sneaking Beaumont out of the other side and we can keep his involvement secret.

"And maybe turn in profile once or twice, so they can get a good shot with their close-up lens."

5 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Regarding the helicopter, I would assume, however, that a group this well funded and equipped would utilize a more stealthy system for approach control than lighting up several bonfires that can be seen all the way back in town.

Then again, these guys walk around with a copy of their "Pax Americana" terrorist manifesto in their pockets, so maybe not the most sophisticated group of people, all told.

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