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  1. kwnyc

    S05. E09. Winter Garden

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

    S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    Considering how little there is in the way of modern medicine available, it must be frustrating for Claire to watch people die of illnesses she could wipe out with a shot. However, willow bark = early form of aspirin, so she could at least bring the fever down and let Lord John Grey's immune system fight it out with the measles. Keeping him hydrated, on bed rest and warm were the best she could do otherwise, but it was enough (this time).
  3. kwnyc

    S05. E09. Winter Garden

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

    S04.E04: Common Ground

    They are far enough apart for it not to be TOO weird. Let's see: Bree's great uncle (Dougal) is the many-times-over grandfather to Roger. And while Bree has half-18th century DNA, Roger's all 20th century. :-) (Yes, I think about these things.)
  5. kwnyc

    S05. E08. The Courage to Continue

    I love that the word guy (Matt) insulted his Haitian counterpart with Strunk & White (which I've kept near my desk since I was in college.) But while the personal subplot usually mirrors the international plot, the Arlington/Bess reveal felt forced in to me. (And do I believe that no one in the immediate family has EVER visited Bess's parents' grave? No.) But Blake! Got a job! And impressed the President! Nice bit of physical acting by Erich Bergen as he left her office: he stood up straighter and had not so much a swagger to his walk, but a confidence we haven't seen. I hope his damn parents leave him alone now. I have no doubt that in the show's world (as opposed to the real world) all of her team are going to stick to Bess like glue now that it's apparent she's going to make a bid for President. And talk about wish fulfillment...Haiti has been one of the most troubled nations in our hemisphere for all the reasons that Elizabeth ended up using to oust the military dictator: corruption, a few families controlling the majority of the wealth and power, and no support for leaders who would change it. The incoming president will have no easy job back at home, and I wonder if the chickens will come home to roost in some way because of the machinations to get the president back? Bess told him that the cost was cheap at the price, but she's not the one who has to live with it day to day. It truly was "realpolitik" as Henry pointed out (and I don't begrudge him that, because some people aren't familiar with the concept) and how the sausage gets made.
  6. kwnyc

    S05E06: Eyjafjallajökull

    Well, CBS could use another hit sitcom! ;-)
  7. kwnyc

    S05E07: Baby Steps

    I realized just now that since Conrad was a Viet Nam vet, he might have fought in Laos. And it would have been particularly powerful to see him back there...but for show purposes, I guess it was better to have the character who was more invested now (the VP) to go. And I do like Jayne Atkinson in the role. She's another of the really strong NY stage actors who enhances the supporting cast. (We never did hear what happened to poor Delgado, Conrad's former Veep, who had serious health issues and had to drop off the ticket).
  8. kwnyc

    S04.E03: The False Bride

    But she DOES! That's our Claire! ;-) One of the things I am loving this season is how Jamie and Claire are both mature enough to talk about what they need in their relationship, and to ask each other the hard questions: are you doing this for me? What do you really want to do? It's an adult relationship, and they are clearly in it for the long haul (as if Claire traveling back 200 years didn't prove that...) And Geez, clearly feminism has not reached the Highlands in 1970! Roger, your great-great-great-great uncle treats women better than you do! And hey, Roger slept with other women BECAUSE he didn't love them! He has to wait to have sex with Brianna until they are engaged...I'm judging Roger by 21st century standards, but for 1970, he's already beginning to fall a bit behind. And when Brianna was setting HER boundaries she was very like Claire, and I assume as a woman at MIT in 1970, she's probably one of the only women in her class *\(like Claire in med school.) She's definitely Claire's daughter. Jocasta is absolutely true to her high-born roots, to the disgusted sound she makes at the thought of Jamie as a printer. And while she blames Claire for him walking away from the estate, she really seems to think that Jamie could get used to "our ways" (slavery). I think it's interesting that Claire tells Jamie she'd prefer not to go back to Boston, both because she's been there AND because revolution is fomenting there. Certainly they'd need a printer of seditious materials! But Jamie clearly loves the mountains; and 200 years later, all the Scots who found them are still evident in the festivals and their descendents.
  9. kwnyc

    S05E07: Baby Steps

    I realized that one of the things that bugs me about Henry being the ethics advisor is that he is superseding Elizabeth in some ways: the reason Conrad picked her, and the reason she is now being acknowledged as a POTUS candidate is because she has a moral compass and strong ethics. Having her husband come in to validate the Right Thing to Do is once again undercutting Bess's character and agency. And it's quite clear that people in power are drawn to her because she offers them the choice to act their best: Conrad relies on her and the VP came across as a true leader because Bess TOLD her to take responsibility and stand up. If it comes down to Bess/Hurst in the campaign, they could do some really good compare & contrast. And yes, there was a HUGE blind spot of white/rich people privilege in not addressing the use of foreign women as baby incubators for Americans (and well-off Europeans). Usually one of Bess's staff at least plays devil's advocate with: what about the people who are getting the short end of the stick? But not this time. That said, I rather liked the conversation in the Japanese garden in which Bess comes up with a strategy. Henry and Bess talking like both husband and wife and best friends is definitely the best use of Henry. And Blake rises to the occasion yet again with the Japanese billionaire. (And it was a nice moment when he saw the bench). I'm very curious to see where Blake's next role takes him. He's VERY good at protocol, and understands how it makes diplomacy work. I wouldn't mind seeing him return to that area. Please let this be the end of Dmitri/Stevie! They've made it QUITE clear they are never to contact each other again. Let's just call this "closure." PLEASE?
  10. kwnyc

    S05E06: Eyjafjallajökull

    I know the answer to this one! My wife works as an animal handler at JFK, and animals traveling from some countries DO have to have a visa! (Along with a bunch of clearances.) Also, the Dutch player could also get a job as a college chess coach in the US. (My alma mater, UMBC, which is in the Balt/Wash corridor, has won the national chess championship at least 8 times, and has a full-time coach and gives scholarships.)
  11. kwnyc

    S04.E02: Do No Harm

    True. When Claire fell through the stones, she knew that Culloden was going to happen in just a few years. That gave the first two seasons a contained narrative arc (that was beautifully done). After the Highlander clans were essentially destroyed, the author of an exceptionally popular series had to come up with some more narratives that were informed by the times. (That isn't book talk...that's discussion of the story arcs of the first 4 seasons!)
  12. Stephanie J. Block, who is Jay's ex-wife, and Sebastian Arcelus's real-life wife, is one of THREE actors playing the title role in the new Cher show!
  13. kwnyc

    S05E06: Eyjafjallajökull

    I assume they were told to stay at the airport in case they got notice of a quick departure. But you can't tell me that at Shannon there's not a VIP lounge! (I fly into Dublin, which is huge, and there's always something open whenever a plane lands.) Also, Shannon's on the other side of the country from Dublin, which is where the Consulate/Ambassador's office is, so they couldn't go there and come back easily. (And that's probably why they chose Shannon for the airport to get diverted to...) However...it was a really good episode, chess motif overload notwithstanding. Jay must have a pretty high opinion of himself to think that he can give a good chess game to the 8th ranked player in the world! Middle schools in Texas must be GOOD! However, the rapport that developed between the trapped diplomats seemed real, and I liked the subtext and then discussion of fate/chance. And any chance to hear cast members sing is aces with me! And hey, Noodle is growing up. For once, Bess was right when she told Henry to STAY OUT OF IT. Though, Gunnar? Really? Do better, Noodle! You're smarter than Stevie.
  14. kwnyc

    Outlander Quotes: "Je Suis Prest"

    I love how they somehow manage to keep in touch...despite the vagaries of 18th century mail. Auntie J. knew about Jamie's time in Paris, and of course Jamie knew about Auntie's several marriages. (I'm assuming Auntie J. knew about Jamie's OTHER marriage, but had the good breeding not to bring it up!)
  15. kwnyc

    S04.E02: Do No Harm

    The point was to make it next to impossible so people wouldn't get ideas about freeing/paying their slaves, whose labor was the backbone of the economy, and whose trade had impact on many economies. (For the musical theater buffs among us, remember "Molasses to Run to Slaves" from 1776, where one of the major plot points was the South refusing to sign if slavery were abolished.) And when the Constitution is written...just a couple of decades from the time of this episode, the compromises include making slaves count as 3/5 of a human being: they didn't vote, but they counted in terms of the numbers used to compose the House of Representatives, which gave the Southern states, which had fewer people than many of the Northern states, an edge in the House. And for more musical theater history, in "Hamilton" from Cabinet Battle #1: "A civics lesson from a slaver, hey neighbor Your debts are paid 'cause you don’t pay for labor We plant seeds in the South. We create.Yeah, keep ranting We know who’s really doing the planting"* *Hamilton sang this in the show, but his household also owned a couple of slaves. Jocasta said a lot of the things that the genteel white folks hgave said for hundreds of years (and some are still saying): that the slaves were treated well, they were like family, etc. Slavery was still legal in England (and the colonies were still part of England.) But England started to abolish the slave trade in 1807, and it was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833. the US abolished the IMPORTATION of slaves in 1808, but by that time, there were many thousands of slaves in the country.) After all that, if I were Claire and Jamie, I'd have headed back to Scotland, or at least headed North to hang out with the Quakers. After all, Ben Franklin had a print shop!