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S01.E01: Pilot

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53 minutes ago, Haleth said:

It was also a bit disconcerting to see Keifer as a character so out of his element.  

He did do nerdy early in his career (he was great in Promised Land with Meg Ryan, who didn't play a nice girl for once).

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The series would indeed be the most fun if Kiefer Sutherland was the Big Bad. 

I hope the character doesn't get macho. I doubt KS wants to go there as an actor after 10+ years of 24.

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Me too! As you know from 24, Kiefer has a lot of tattoos that don't always go with his character. Why an actor would do that to himself is something you will have to ask him. You could always cast him in a Prison Break or Blindspot type show.

Hollywood seems to have figured out how to cover them up. Chris Evans has a bunch of tattoos, but Captain America does not. Alex O'Loughlin is festooned with them and Hawaii 5-0 frequently shows his character shirtless without most of them. 

I'm surprised that the Secret Service didn't pick up a suit for the new president when they were in his house. And did they remember to pay the babysitter (since the older brother wasn't babysitting the daughter and she is too young to be alone)? I suspect lots of complaining from the son about how he can't do what he wants to do anymore. And has the president ever had a wife who currently had a job? 

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Prediction: The Iranians will restrict their oil exports, and Kirkman will use this as an opportunity to aggressively promote a green energy agenda that could never be passed with the now blown-up Congress. 

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Two more random observations: I thought it was very astute of Kirkman to ask for a moment of silence when he first meets all the generals. It was a respectful thing to do and let everyone catch their breath.

Also, Kiefer is a very convincing vomiter. 

Edited by marinw · Reason: Spelling
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8 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

 

Is there more than one nuclear football?  Didn't the previous President have one with him?

 

I'd assume there is a process in place for quickly resetting the codes if a nuclear football is lost or presumed lost. 

3 hours ago, marinw said:

Agreed. That would have given the Secret Service the time to go to Kirkman's house and fetch him his own (hopefully not tweed) suit.

The secret service usually has something of an attitude of 'we're here to protect you, not fetch your suitcase or dry cleaning' under normal circumstances (given some of their protectees, they have to be hard line about that) and they just lost probably 2/3 or their DC agents, but they could still probably spare a few seconds to grab a suit from the closet while they're collecting the new first daughter.

I don't know if the general is heading towards coup, but he's rattled and in a position where he's the hammer and everything else looks like a nail. And I'm not sure if he's the most competent general they used to have on hand- maybe someone who got promoted slightly higher than abilities suggest, and is now trying himself to bluff his way through a crisis. 

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26 minutes ago, kili said:

And has the president ever had a wife who currently had a job? 

No. The idea is that being First Lady is a job. They get an office in the East Wing, a small staff and the First Lady has a public relations and hosting job that takes up most of her time. the closest I'd say we've ever come is Hillary running for Senate in 2000 while she was still First Lady.

As for Kirkman's wife, that's over now. In a situation like this where security would be even tighter than normal, she'd have to stop working right away since securing a workplace might be too much for the Secret Service right now with everything else going on. I get the feeling that'll be a point of drama coming up.

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Wow, I didn't think about the job thing. I mean what happens if the Secret Service discovers that there's something in a co-worker's background that now means there's an issue with them being around the new first lady. Does the co-worker now lose their job over something that previously wasn't a problem? Does every single client now have to be background checked before the firm can do business with them?

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10 hours ago, friendperidot said:

Since I moved to DC right after Watergate occurred and worked at the Federal Triangle, lived on Capitol Hill during the trials, I thought the General was an Alexander Haig type - btw, I worked briefly with his son, whom I remember as a pleasant, nice young man. 

And I worked with his daughter in the early 90s, who was also very nice. : )

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14 minutes ago, anna0852 said:

Very true about the General not being the experienced guy. They did say all the Joint Chiefs were dead.

This is a Four Star General. He is very experienced. He might not have been a part of the Joint Chiefs but you don't put a Four Star General in the Situation Room who is not experienced. He will have had command at a multitude of levels, gone through a number of specialized colleges for Officers and specifically four Generals. There are only 39 Four Stars in the US military. These are the best of the best. There is no such thing as being inexperienced at that level.

 

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_(United_States)

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For the Army the Chief of Staff and the Vice Chief of Staff are four-star generals; for the Marine Corps, the Commandant and the Assistant Commandant are both four-star generals; and for the Air Force, the Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff are four-star generals. In addition, for the National Guard, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau[4] is a four-star general under active duty in the Army or Air Force

Four-star grades go hand-in-hand with the positions of office to which they are linked; the active rank of four-star general can only be held for so long- though upon retirement, if satisfactory service requirements are met, the general or admiral is normally allowed to hold that rank in retirement, rather than reverting to a lower position, as was formerly usually the case.[8] Their active rank expires with the expiration of their term of office, which is usually set by statute.[8] Generals are nominated for appointment by the President from any eligible officers holding the rank of brigadier general or above who meet the requirements for the position, with the advice of the Secretary of Defense, service secretary (Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, or Secretary of the Air Force), and if applicable the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[8] For some positions, statute allows the President to waive those requirements for a nominee deemed to serve national interests.[9] The nominee must be confirmed by the United States Senate before the appointee can take office and assume the rank.[8] Four-star ranks may also be given by act of Congress but this is extremely rare. The standard tour for most four-star positions is three years, bundled as a two-year term plus a one-year extension, with the following exceptions:

Service chiefs serve for four years in one four-year term.

Service vice chiefs serve for a nominal four years, but are commonly reassigned after one or two years.

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps serves for two years.

The Chief of the National Guard Bureau serves a nominal four years.

Extensions of the standard tour length can be approved, within statutory limits, by their respective service secretaries, the Secretary of Defense, the President, and/or Congress but these are rare, as they block other officers from being promoted. Some statutory limits can be waived in times of national emergency or war.

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I'll give the show a couple more weeks to see if it grows on me.  

However, I must admit my face dropped when Maggie Q showed up.  I just don't get the hype about her.  She's got this dead-looking face  and I just don't see her as being that good of an actress, even for television. 

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For those who were wondering where they took Kirkman, it was the underground bunker beneath the White House. Here's the link all about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Emergency_Operations_Center

They weren't in the Situation Room which is in the basement of the White House.

I hope they clarify who was killed other than the cabinet members above Kirkman and the Senate and House leadership. Like how many members of the House and Senate skipped the SOTU? Did the entire SCOTUS attend or did some stay away like Scalia did for every one of Obama's SOTU addresses.

They need to show how a new government is formed other than making Kirkman POTUS so viewers can understand the process otherwise they'll lose a great opportunity to showcase an otherwise unknown part of how our governmental structure works.

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2 hours ago, greekmom said:

Maggie Q’s character was calling someone named Scott which is a senator (as per IMBD).

And since the part exists, presumably he can't be dead.  (Or, will he appear over and over again in flash-back scenes?)  So, if he escaped firey death, perhaps he is part of the conspiracy.

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10 hours ago, topanga said:

I don't think the demotion was official yet, though everyone seemed to know about it. 

That bugged me. Maybe Kal's speechwriter character would have known, but everyone else in the general vicinity just randomly being in the loop was stupid. I get gossip but that particular fact would not have been bandied about. Would the HR department at anyone's job let it be known in advance that someone was being demoted? It was almost as ridiculous as Tom's fucking sweatshirt and jeans and that his wife accompanied him to a critical business assignment like they thought it was a sleepover for 13 year olds.

During the home scene when the son explained his plans for the night, I really wanted Tom or Jessica to reply that the friend could come over to their house to lay down tracks or whatever lie it was. If it was important to them that Leo watch his sister, then enforce that. Jeez.

According to the Internet, cabinet secretaries do not have Secret Service protection, but who knows how far from the truth the show will be straying. Pretty far already.

I'm not familiar with Maggie Q but the actress made no real impression on me, good or bad.

Tom became quite firm and "presidential" when speaking to the Ambassador. I assume a good part of the show will be his personal learning curve/growth arc, but I thought he did well. Didn't let the General or anyone else browbeat him into doing something he didn't think was wise.

Edited by lordonia
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12 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

And since the part exists, presumably he can't be dead.  (Or, will he appear over and over again in flash-back scenes?)  So, if he escaped fiery death, perhaps he is part of the conspiracy.

my thought too  that is he part of plan to blow up

Edited by hummingbird
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1 hour ago, kili said:

Hollywood seems to have figured out how to cover them up. Chris Evans has a bunch of tattoos, but Captain America does not. Alex O'Loughlin is festooned with them and Hawaii 5-0 frequently shows his character shirtless without most of them. 

I'm surprised that the Secret Service didn't pick up a suit for the new president when they were in his house. And did they remember to pay the babysitter (since the older brother wasn't babysitting the daughter and she is too young to be alone)? I suspect lots of complaining from the son about how he can't do what he wants to do anymore. And has the president ever had a wife who currently had a job? 

lots of heavy duty make up available to cover up tats, as they add them to actors

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3 hours ago, TaraS1 said:

One of the plot points that interested me was Kirkman's demotion.  If he was officially demoted, should he have even been the DS and in the line of succession?  If I remember correctly, someone brings it up in the preview for next week, so I'm curious to see how that plays out.

  As I understood it, the aide told Kirkham that he was going to be replaced AFTER the State of the Union speech.  He was still a cabinet member and in line of succession at the time of the speech.

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I hope this new President stops moping around and starts making decisions.  

For goodness sake, the show covered only about 2-3 hours in real time, lol.  Give the guy a break!  Imagine how utterly unreal the whole situation would feel.  And the decisions that he makes initially can't necessarily be rolled back later.

We should at least give him until, I dunno, breakfast the next day...

Presumably he'll go into non-mopy mode when he discovers First Son is now dealing, though I suspect that Mom is the disciplinarian with the kids in that family.

Agree with everyone that seeing the Capitol blow up was...very disturbing.

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53 minutes ago, Ohwell said:

However, I must admit my face dropped when Maggie Q showed up.  I just don't get the hype about her.  She's got this dead-looking face  and I just don't see her as being that good of an actress, even for television. 

To be honest, I don't think she's that strong of an actress and I'm a big fan of hers lol.  She's just one of those actors I enjoy watching.

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10 minutes ago, Yokosmom said:

For goodness sake, the show covered only about 2-3 hours in real time, lol.  Give the guy a break!  Imagine how utterly unreal the whole situation would feel.  And the decisions that he makes initially can't necessarily be rolled back later.

We should at least give him until, I dunno, breakfast the next day...

Presumably he'll go into non-mopy mode when he discovers First Son is now dealing, though I suspect that Mom is the disciplinarian with the kids in that family.

Agree with everyone that seeing the Capitol blow up was...very disturbing.

I thought the scene where he is bought to the WH and sworn in was well done with the camera work, got that unreal feeling across, to me at least

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So soon we forget. Keifer's low-key personality in this role is similar to his rising-to-the-occasion character in the TV series "Touch." His co-star, David Mazouz, went from playing a silent, autistic savant to a very vocal young Bruce Wayne in "Gotham."

References to any number of movies and TV series about a presidency in crisis are unavoidable. Kirkman's response to those reluctant to take his ascension to the presidency seriously remind of "West Wing" when the Speaker of the House (John Goodman) took over during First Child Zoe's kidnapping. CoS Leo was anxious to present an image to the American public that someone was in charge, to which the imperious Goodman thundered, "Someone IS in charge!" Like it or not, he was (and Kirkman is) the President.

So, besides all else, Pres. Kirkman has his own seditious Gen. James Matoon Scott (Burt Lancaster, "Seven Days in May") to contend with. And the First Family's son sells drugs. Hmm, where have we seen that development in a TV series lately? How many plot threads can be woven into one, hopefully coherent, tapestry? Stay tuned.

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Way too fast pasted.  They glossed over too many things to allow for more cliches.  No one seemed to be in shock or even sad.  The government, except a small minority of maybe 2-5% is gone!  Freak out people! Freak out!  It's a human reaction.

Don't think they will go after Islam, or anyone international for that matter.  It's not PC.  It will undoubtedly be an inside job by an extremist.  

And how the hell did Maggie Q get a call out on a cell phone immediately after the bombing?  I've been in too many emergency situations (Oklahoma) - the cell phone grid gets overrun with calls from everyone.  You never get through on your first call.  NEVER.  And no one would have ever gotten from one part of DC to the other by car.  There would be emergency vehicles blocking them, and everyone and their dog would be evacuating DC.  

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12 hours ago, Nidratime said:

It would never be a Deputy Assistant Secretary of anything. Never.

It's always a full cabinet member: Mr. or Madame Secretary of some cabinet department and the reason they usually don't pick Defense or State to sit out the speech is that they don't expect this type of thing to happen. So, it's usually someone not #1 or #2 among the secretaries. Remember, the first people to take over the job of President is Vice-President, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. All elected. THEN, they go to the cabinet, who are unelected. First up is Secretary of State. (Currently that is John Kerry and used to be Hillary Clinton. ;-)

As for the actual attack in the show, I noticed that the Secret Service agent stopped Kirkman from using his cell phone, which makes me think that cell phones were utilized in this attack to kill everyone in the House (where they meet) during the State of the Union ... somehow.

They've apparently never picked the SecDef to sit out the SotU, but they picked Robert Gates, the SecDef in 2009, to sit out the Inauguration, according to the Wikipedia list, on the linked page, of some of those chosen, in recent years, as the Designated Survivor(s) to assure the Presidential Line of Succession in the event the members of the US government are killed at an event involving the simultaneous presence of POTUS, VPOTUS, the members of the House & Senate, & the Cabinet Secretaries.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_survivor

In at least some years since the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, multiple government officials have been chosen as Designated Survivors. I think early on in the aftermath, they chose at least 1 person from each major US political party to also assure the continuation of those parties. Hillary Clinton has never officially been a Designated Survivor, as long as she's served in the government, but she was in London on State business during at least 1 event involving a Designated Survivor being named, just in case.

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4 hours ago, marinw said:

Maybe that warmonger Genreal is the Mastermind. He engineered all this so that he could seize power. Mwahahaha! Too Obvious?

Dude, his wife is totally behind all of it.  

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I hope they clarify who was killed other than the cabinet members above Kirkman and the Senate and House leadership. Like how many members of the House and Senate skipped the SOTU? Did the entire SCOTUS attend or did some stay away like Scalia did for every one of Obama's SOTU addresses.

I'm sure a few members of Congress were away for various reasons (this being a TV show, those reasons could be sinister) but at any typical SOTU the vast majority would have been there to maximize the possibility of showing up on camera.  If the show lasts long enough to get there that will be one heck of an election day since virtually every Senate seat would be up (appointees only serve until the next election, not the remainder of the term).  Kirkman can't have any official cabinet secretaries nor a VP until the Senate is able to confirm them so that could be a while.  That should mean he gets a platoon of SS agents guarding him.

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3 hours ago, kili said:

I'm suspicious of Scott. He's totally involved and not answering his phone because he has more "planned".

I'm not a member of a terrorist group, but if I was and the US Congress was just blown up, I'd probably be moving my family to safer ground. That piece of wisdom from Maggie Q made no sense at all to me. Al Qaeda would totally be throwing a party if Congress blew up while ducking for cover even if they weren't involved. You would think there would be a lot of chatter from those groups too - trying to figure out what just happened. In fact, the phone circuits in most of the US should probably be overloaded from people trying to phone everybody they know. 

The bathroom chat was a little too much. Who talks that much to some random guy in the next loo? That was straight out of sitcom 101. 

Loved Kiefer, Kal Penn and Maggie Q. Lots of big names in this. The general needs to stop chewing up all the scenery. The bomb scene looked like a set.

I'm sure mobile phone infrastructure has improved astronomically since 9/11, but yeah, the network would still be overloaded or blocked after an attack of that size.

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3 minutes ago, cambridgeguy said:

I'm sure a few members of Congress were away for various reasons (this being a TV show, those reasons could be sinister) but at any typical SOTU the vast majority would have been there to maximize the possibility of showing up on camera.  If the show lasts long enough to get there that will be one heck of an election day since virtually every Senate seat would be up (appointees only serve until the next election, not the remainder of the term).  Kirkman can't have any official cabinet secretaries nor a VP until the Senate is able to confirm them so that could be a while.  That should mean he gets a platoon of SS agents guarding him.

He should already have one and yet he is happily wandering the West Wing, including the outside, by himself.

It is not hard to get the small things right so that the show does not feel right and it is annoying.

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It would have been more interesting to me if they had shown more realistic scenarios such as the SS following him to the toilet or not allowing him to go outside on the balcony and have a private conversation with his wife. The main thrust of this episode* was Tom being buffeted and for us to see/judge how he's able to process and cope with the unthinkable, so let's see the fullest extent of it.

 

* And I assume the series.

Edited by lordonia
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1 hour ago, hummingbird said:

lots of heavy duty make up available to cover up tats, as they add them to actors

If makeup doesn't cover the tats, I think these days they can also digitally remove/cover them in editing.

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So, I didn't know if I was going to watch this show, but I decided to stick to my plan of watching the shows on my list, and this was one of them. For a pilot, it was decent. I'm not expecting anything truly spectacular here, but we'll see how it goes. 

Of course there's a bunch of cliches, and a bunch of stupid moments, like Tom using one of the public White House washrooms without supervision. Although I am going to chalk up a lot of the stupidity to the crisis at hand making everyone panic. 

I'm totally predicting that this Scott character isn't dead and is involved in the entire plot somehow. He won't be a major player, but I think he'll still be involved enough. 

General Gibbs (now I can't unsee his Pirates character) is too obviously evil to be involved. I'm going to go with Emily Rhodes' Rival/Love Interest (Aaron?). It'll obviously be someone on the inside, so it's probably him.

I'm not into politics, so a lot of this is going to be lost on me. But hey, they make this show not just for the politics, but for the drama, so I guess I'll be learning as I go. 

I don't really know why they need angsty drug dealer teenager drama into this show. Unless it's going to connect somehow to the domestic terrorism plot, I'm not interested. Although, I will say that this teen annoys me a lot less than 85% of teenagers in these types of shows. At least at the moment. That'll probably change. He seems to love his family and isn't all "I hate everyone and everything and I'm going to make my family's life hell" at the moment. The little girl is cute, I guess, but I don't see what she'll add to the show either. I guess just humanity, family man moments with Tom. Maybe a potential for kidnapping at the end of the season.

This is a show I see getting renewed for a second season, and I have a feeling it won't be for the stellar writing. So, for now, I'm sticking around, but I don't see myself watching the entire season.

But hey, this is ten times better than Quantico, so there's that. 

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While cabinet and equivalent don't get full time Secret Service protection (there are rules for overseas work trips where they do) it's reasonable to assume that families do get a one day or weekend workshop at Quantico where both general DC safety and procedures in the event of a crisis are  covered. New first son probably was taught that when a guy or gal in a suit comes looking for him, it's far more serious than a flunked biology class. 

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I've always known Kiefer is smaller than he is made to appear on TV.  In the scene with Kal Penn in the bathroom, Kiefer looked tiny and Kal looked big enough to HulkSmash! him.  Of course, that would have made for a decidedly different show.

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I hope that Aaron (deputy chief of staff, now chief of staff? unless Tom fires him) is not a bad guy

because I like him. :) 

And Emily (ex-chief of staff of Tom) and Aaron, they look good together hehe.

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7 hours ago, vibeology said:

You think they would have felt it too. I've got some issues with the explosion itself since the TV cut off and then Kirkman had time to go to the window where he saw an explosion. That means more than one and one after another. You would hear and feel that. 

I get that they wanted to quickly establish that he's the "bad" kid in the family, so having him sneak out and party on a night he knew his parents wouldn't be around made perfect sense but the idea that no on at that party knew what was happening is impossible to me. Kids in that club would have been on their phones, they would have seen what was happening and they would have cared enough for word to get around.

 While I agree social media is leap years ahead of 2001, it's also very self-centered in general. When 9/11 occured, my daughter was a freshman at NYU in a dorm 1 mile from ground zero. I'm 30 miles north of Chicago and only knew it happened because keeping up on current events is part of my job, so I caught CNN moments before walking out the door to work. My daughter was not answering her cell phone for the better part of an hour, and when she finally got out of the shower and called me back was still not quite sure what was happening. So, brother not knowing what happened because he was getting busy with a customer does not surprise me.

About the "firing" of Kiefer's character: Wasn't it more of a lateral move, speech writer's comments aside? I've been fired a couple of times, and maybe it's just because I'm not one of 1%, but there was no job waiting for me in Canada.

Political knowledge geeks: Now that Kirkman (sp?) has been sworn in, if a higher ranking senator shows up alive, is it too late to fire Kirkman (again!)?

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This has to be an inside job involving the FBI for anyone to be able to plant enough bombs to level the Capitol building during the SotU considering how thoroughly and minutely the building would have been searched and scoured right up to the event.

Somehow, I can't imagine that the FBI, et al, especially in D.C., would be relying on public cell towers, knowing as pointed out that they would be jammed or otherwise inaccessible in a crisis. They may have alternate towers or reserved bandwidth.

It's likely that the writers may well be aware of protocols that would be followed in such an emergency, but are fudging on the details, both for the sake of dramatic license as well as in the interest of national security.

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10 minutes ago, Bobbin said:

This has to be an inside job involving the FBI for anyone to be able to plant enough bombs to level the Capitol building during the SotU considering how thoroughly and minutely the building would have been searched and scoured right up to the event.

Somehow, I can't imagine that the FBI, et al, especially in D.C., would be relying on public cell towers, knowing as pointed out that they would be jammed or otherwise inaccessible in a crisis. They may have alternate towers or reserved bandwidth.

It's likely that the writers may well be aware of protocols that would be followed in such an emergency, but are fudging on the details, both for the sake of dramatic license as well as in the interest of national security.

It didn't look "leveled" to me. Was that a bit of hyperbole, or did I not see the final damage?

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Add me to the people who believe that in this type of circumstance the White House would be the last place they would take the Designated Survivor.  If the Capitol building could be successfully loaded with explosives and destroyed, how on earth could there be any assurance that the WH was safe?  He would be whisked off to a "secure, non-disclosed location," as Cheney was on 9/11, at least until it could be guaranteed that no further attacks were possible and the WH was secure.  Besides that, it echoed the beginning of that one Tom Clancy novel, although in that situation the VP took over, if I recall correctly. 

I liked the cast except for the wife; did not care for her at all.  Yay for Kal Penn!  Glad to see him again.  

Not much of a Kiefer Sutherland fan, but I think I'll stick with this.  

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30 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Political knowledge geeks: Now that Kirkman (sp?) has been sworn in, if a higher ranking senator shows up alive, is it too late to fire Kirkman (again!)?

Only if the President Pro Tempore of the Senate is alive which is unlikely based on what we know so far.

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15 hours ago, Maximum Taco said:

Typically the Designated Survivor is the Cabinet Member with the least reason to attend the event. The President had taken all of Kirkman's initiatives out of his State of the Union address and was about to fire him. He wasn't going to be mentioned in the address, and he had no agenda to push. He literally has zero reason to be at the State of the Union.

Not true.  The DS rotates among cabinet officials.  Arguably, though, no one has more reason to attend than any other.  Everyone from the cabinet members to congress to Supreme Court just sit there and clap, unless they're Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).  I also don't recall POTUS ever mentioning cabinet officials by name in a State of the Union address. 

In episode news, I really, really, really wanted to like this show. But it simply didn't ring true.  People were too calm. There were too many people in the White House rather than in a secure bunker somewhere. And Keifer Sutherland kept taking his glasses off and on.  Madame Secretary does that, too.  It's annoying.  

Hard to say how the show will progress? Will it focus on the mild-mannered HUD secretary becomes POTUS angle or will it shift to an investigation into who blew up the US capitol? 

Edited by RemoteControlFreak
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7 minutes ago, MaryPatShelby said:

Is it really true, that the President can't use the bathroom (for any purpose), without a Secret Service guy standing right there?  Do they at least let him be alone in the stall??

I think the bathroom he was in was in the bunker if I'm not mistaken so there would be no reason for SS to be in there with him.

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I liked it. I hope each season's story is mostly self-contained for the most part like 24 so that it's not a convoluted mess of backtracking and twists and reveals. Or at least have each season seem like it's self-contained to build to a larger conspiracy but they shouldn't draw out who did this and why for 3 seasons. Get it done in one so you can expand the show for national or global crisis.

I think Kiefer is quite happy to not have to be running pell mell in every episode like in 24. His top speed now is urgent jog while in a suit for the most part.

Wonder if the show will go there and off one of the Kirkland family before end season 1? I feel like they could lose the son.

I would chortle if the FBI did coordinate with CTU whose point person was Cole Ortiz, Chloe O'Brien or Arlo Glass.

The guest casting that would be a great twofer would be Xander Berkley. 24's George Mason and Nikita's Percy in one swoop.

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In the morning Kirkman was out of a job.  Now the President is dead and Kirkman is the Preident.   Seems fishy.

I'd love it if it turned out that Kirkman was behind the plot - but I think that's darker and more complicated then this show is going to be. I enjoyed the pilot more then I expected to (not a particular fan of Kiefer Sutherland's), but don't expect a lot of realism here. More the kind of solid drama that sometimes, okay maybe often, descends into corny, hokiness, like Madam President. I like MP best when it's about her staff, the WH staff and the politics. I also like the family dynamic on that show. Not as a big a fan of the action stuff they inserted into season two with her husband suddenly a super-spy and action hero. So if they go too much that route with this show, I'll probably be out. 

I don't think Tom Kirkman is having an affair with his assistant, but I could see jealously rearing its head later in the season when he and she are working closely together and the wife is shunted off to First Lady duties. 

The FBI stuff isn't interesting to me yet - but we'll see.

And I agree with posters upthread, there's no way the kids in that party wouldn't know something was up. Someone mentioned 9/11 and how many, even with cell phones, didn't know it had happened. But 2001 was lightyears ago in terms of social media. The kids at that party would have been getting alerts all over the place from social media. Not necessarily about who the new president was, but certainly about the explosion. Same goes for those who were watching in the bar. Especially since it's a bar in DC. They'd have all been on their phones frantically checking for news and trying to get hold of people. Not all just looking kind of calmly at the tv. I'm a ways older then those kids at the party (and probably most of those in that bar scene) and I immediately go to twitter, fb, instagram, etc. when I suspect something is going on in the world. 

Edited by Pop Tart
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Also, something I meant to add earlier but totally forgot: I'm not a huge fan of Kiefer Sutherland's; never really watched 24 and have only seen a few things from him, so when I first saw him, I honestly thought he was Jack Coleman from Heroes. I was like "Hey, it's Horn Rimmed Glasses....wait, no...not even close." 

So I kind of want to call him President HRG. 

Edited by Lady Calypso
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4 hours ago, numbnut said:

He did do nerdy early in his career (he was great in Promised Land with Meg Ryan, who didn't play a nice girl for once).

He did nerdy just recently in Touch.  I think he does well as mild-mannered until pushed, then he can be tough.  Its great seeing that transformation.

5 hours ago, Constantinople said:

What happens if mild mannered high school chemistry teacher Walter White suddenly becomes President of the United States?

I think this is the most interesting aspect of the show.  We always expect polite and unassuming people to be unable to be tough when the situation calls, especially when dealing with politics.  However, I'm hoping that Kirkman gets to have his polite and unassuming persona as his true self and not have it be a social construct hiding a power-crazed sociopath.  In fact, I'd like to see him struggle with the apparent need to present a more aggressive/less polite persona in order to be taken seriously. 

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I'd love it if it turned out that Kirkman was behind the plot - but I think that's darker and more complicated then this show is going to be

I think he lacks the motivation and the time to have done it. Unless he's been snowing people for years, he is a mild manner guy who was blindsided by being fired and also the entire designated survivor thing.  And nobody cooks up a plot like that that fast (between the firing and the event). I could see his aggressive assistant maybe being involved, but I think it would be a narrative cheat if Kirkman himself is.

What I think might be interesting is if Kirkman is the accidental designated survivor. Surely, they have the DS figured out before the day-of the-speech, no? So, conspiracy team has their DS all lined up, but at the last second, he gets switched for Kirkman. Kirkman was somebody not on the conspiracy's radar who should have been at Congress dutifully listening to the speech. But the President (one of the victims and not in the conspiracy) is tired of his Secretary of HUD and is planning on axing him. Suddenly, the dude shows up to talk policies and not being in the speech and the chief of staff gives him the head's up he is going to be fired tomorrow. Now, Mr. President doesn't want to have to look at this about-to-be-axed employee when he's in the middle of giving the speech of the year (who would?), so he quietly arranges to make sure that the guy is going to be required to be somewhere else - the DS.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy's DS have to come up with an excuse for him not to be there (hello, Scott!). I'm sure he'll turn up having had some minor car accident or stomach flu. But he is still outranked by Secretary HUD, so he isn't the President.

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1 hour ago, MaryPatShelby said:

Is it really true, that the President can't use the bathroom (for any purpose), without a Secret Service guy standing right there?  Do they at least let him be alone in the stall??

Usual pattern would probably be for the restroom to be 'swept' and then the agent would exit the toilet/sink area and remain right outside the outer door until business was completed. 

But the secret service also just lost about half their DC field office in the blast, and there are going to be gaps until they can pull people in from the Beltsville training grounds and other offices further afield. 

Too bad that Zeljko Ivanek is probably tied up with 'Madam Secretary' per IMDB because he's such a That Weasel Bureaucrat Guy that he'd be great in any number of roles here. 

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1 hour ago, MaryPatShelby said:

Is it really true, that the President can't use the bathroom (for any purpose), without a Secret Service guy standing right there?  Do they at least let him be alone in the stall??

Mythology has it that there are peep holes for the SS to keep an eye on the President when he is in the bathroom. No idea if it is true or not, I suspect that the peep hole is there but only used in times of crisis or when there are others in the room meeting with the President. LBJ used to hold meetings while he was on the toilet so I am sure that the SS makes sure that they can keep an eye on the President at all times, including the bathroom.

If there was a mass attack on the President, SS would be in the bathroom with him, probably not the stall but in the room.

And I would put good money on the fact that the President has his own toilet in the Situation Room and Command Bunker so that the SS life is a bit easier.

There is no way after that type of attack that there is not an armed guard, make that armed guards, with automatic weapons drawn and next to the President. He is the only surviving member of the Government that they know of. There is no way in hell he is going any where without armed guards standing right next to him. No way in hell.

And he would have been on Air Force One pretty damn fast.

Seriously, Tom Clancy got this as close to right as I can imagine. And I know it is a TV show and you cannot expect it to be right and not sensationalize things but this representation is so out of character that it is distracting for anyone who thinks it through.

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I was really looking forward to this and enjoyed the episode.  I don't want the show to turn into the family drama hour, but can already see issues with the wife and the son.  Overall I enjoyed the characters except for the General, and agree with others that the portrayal was completely unrealistic.  

The real issues I have with the show all relate to glaring errors about governmental structure and constitutional powers and provisions.  However, per the moderator's request, the only comment about real politics and governmental structure that I will mention (as it was in the episode) were the two times Kirkland asked if the others wanted him to declare war.  No.  Only Congress has the power to declare war.  Now, the President is the Commander in Chief, so he certainly has options, but declaring war is not one of them.

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