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S03.E12: The Detour

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When Elizabeth and her staff fly to Africa to offer development aid to the continent, they are caught by surprise when the Chinese arrive there first, ready to outmaneuver the U.S. with competing offers of aid. Also, when turbulence on their plane ride to Africa leaves Daisy unnerved, she and Susan Thompson go on a welcome tour of Africa, admiring the beauty of the continent. And, the FBI asks Henry to help investigate a Christian cult member who may have helped build the bomb used in the Illinois coffee shop attack.

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I was glad to see Francis Jue as Chen again; he's sort of the Chinese version of Russell Jackson.

The SOS's speech to the African school girls seemed like it would've been unintelligible to kids unfamiliar with American slang.

Does the director never fly coach, or did he figure the viewers all fly first class, or maybe we were supposed to figure that the SOS's team never flew coach and so didn't know that travelers in the middle and aisle seats always stand in the aisle to allow the window seat passenger to get in or out of his/her seat? Regardless, the comedic elements of the scene were lost on me while I pondered these explanations.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Does anyone know where the scenes in the Togo slave fort were actually filmed?  I don't know whether the women would have had time to make the side trip there with all the business they had to work on, but it was a moving moment.  

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11 hours ago, buckboard said:

Does anyone know where the scenes in the Togo slave fort were actually filmed?  I don't know whether the women would have had time to make the side trip there with all the business they had to work on, but it was a moving moment.  

Actually, I found the fort looked too new.  Stones cut sharply, without any sign of what should be hundreds of years of wear and tear.

Gus & Hera on TAR6 were far more moving, in my humble opinion.  

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17 hours ago, buckboard said:

Does anyone know where the scenes in the Togo slave fort were actually filmed?  I don't know whether the women would have had time to make the side trip there with all the business they had to work on, but it was a moving moment.  

Chroma key TV technology. IMO. Recall from Season 1 when Elizabeth went to India and her speech at the factory before the earthquake. The plant in the background was green screen technology.

Edited by VinceW

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This was a bit of a heavy-handed episode, I thought.  But I did love the Chinese ambassador, he's always terrific, and that actor has great chemistry with Tea Leoni, their scenes together just pop.

 

Badass Nadine taking on the Pentagon and being badass and in their face about it was awesome.  Nadine is such an interesting character, and Bebe Neuwirth does such a fantastic job with her.

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I thought that was kind of fun, too, but what military officer would risk his career over a pissing match with someone so close to the President?  Unless he's looking to curry favor with Dalton's opponents, and betting on the new guy, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

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My guess is the unnamed other airplane that they were holding the part for "just in case" that airplane needed it was actually Air Force One, which by definition outranks the SoS's plane,  no matter if it has the greater immediate need.  So...really...allocating that part to the SoS's airplane and potentially risking the President's airplane was the bigger risk.  That's just how badass Nadine really was!

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At the risk of being THAT person (and possibly over-sharing) this is my job! There is no way would it have gotten all the way up to that Colonel. We have a whole section devoted to monitoring aircraft when they leave home station. When one breaks, we are tasked with doing any and everything to get it back in the air. And with it being the SOS aircraft? Forget about it. Aviano would given up that part with a quickness.

All that being said, their visit to the Togo slave fort was really moving.

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43 minutes ago, nekilarose said:

At the risk of being THAT person (and possibly over-sharing) this is my job! There is no way would it have gotten all the way up to that Colonel. We have a whole section devoted to monitoring aircraft when they leave home station. When one breaks, we are tasked with doing any and everything to get it back in the air. And with it being the SOS aircraft? Forget about it. Aviano would given up that part with a quickness.

All that being said, their visit to the Togo slave fort was really moving.

Thanks for that info, nekilarose.   That's seemed reasonable to a civilian, but it's good to hear from someone who actually knows.

Do you also know about whether employees of the State Department having equivalent military ranks?

 

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36 minutes ago, thewhiteowl said:

Government Service workers have numbers ie:  GS10 which has a corresponding  military rank. 

Interesting. I thought that was just for paygrade purposes.

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36 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

Interesting. I thought that was just for paygrade purposes.

Yeah, I had a federal government job once and a GS paygrade, but I never thought I had a corresponding military rank.

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It is mostly for pay grade and the GS employee does not actually hold the rank.  However in a pissing contest like the one she was in, Nadine used it as correctly as fiction allows.

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Of course Nadine is a Major General.

If this were an Aaron Sorkin show, someone would have made a crack about Gilbert and Sullivan when she said that.  ;)

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On 1/16/2017 at 11:16 PM, HurricaneVal said:

My guess is the unnamed other airplane that they were holding the part for "just in case" that airplane needed it was actually Air Force One, which by definition outranks the SoS's plane,  no matter if it has the greater immediate need.  So...really...allocating that part to the SoS's airplane and potentially risking the President's airplane was the bigger risk.  That's just how badass Nadine really was!

I kept waiting for that to be the payoff!

I also love Chen. I'm over Daisy. More Jay.

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I find myself intrigued by the second episode after the hiatus. This is the third reason in a row that I find that it's not a bad episode but not a particularly captivating episode either. I wonder if that is because the episodes prior hiatus were so intense (especially in S2 and 3) and the episode after hiatus wrapped up some of that story from before hiatus, so I guess, the second episode feels kind of empty in comparison. I usually find the episode better and can appreciate all the elements that I like and that it's a good episode when I watch it randomly and not following the intense episodes from before, still, they never seem to quite match up to the other episodes for me.

That said, it was nice to see the Assistant Secretary again and not as an adversary. I liked her interaction with Daisy. And given the history this administration has with planes, I'd be weary, too, if I were Daisy ;-)

The discussion they had before Bess and Blake took off was fun.

I know I'm mean but I kind of wanted Bess to crack a leg of the chair that she was rocking back during the meeting at the beginning. I don't know if they do these things on purpose but I feel they show how comfortable she has become with her job and job title. It doesn't seem to intimidate her anymore as it did at the beginning. (Which I guess also came with the realization from the S2 finale that she really like the job and that she would have liked to get a shot at the VP).

That scene with Henry and the kids at the table was fabulous. So realistic. Liked the conversation he had with himself, too, and his phone ringing.

 

On ‎16‎.‎01‎.‎2017 at 11:16 PM, HurricaneVal said:

My guess is the unnamed other airplane that they were holding the part for "just in case" that airplane needed it was actually Air Force One, which by definition outranks the SoS's plane,  no matter if it has the greater immediate need.  So...really...allocating that part to the SoS's airplane and potentially risking the President's airplane was the bigger risk.  That's just how badass Nadine really was!

Except that I have my doubt that Bess' plane would be using the same part that Conrad's is using.

If I had to guess, I'd say that Bess could be using a 737 (not designed for trans-atlantic flight but capable in theory but still in production, so no reason to be so old) or a 757 (designed for trans-atlantic flights even though originally it was supposed to follow the 727 (no designed for trans-atlantic) and then became more similar in design to the 767 but out of production since 2004, so it could be very old) and I have my doubts that either would use the same engine parts that a 747 would be using as I would think they would have vastly different engine designs. For one thing, I would imagine Conrad's plane is newer and the 747 is also a four-engine plane, Bess' only a twin-engine.

Usually, there's little that I question or that immediately slams me into the face as a question mark when it comes to the show but this whole plane business seemed a bit odd.

But yeah, Nadine killed it again!

Out of curiosity, would Bess have an equal to a military rank, too or does the title of Secretary and the line of presidential succession take care of the chain of command?

 

On ‎15‎.‎01‎.‎2017 at 10:52 PM, shapeshifter said:

Does the director never fly coach, or did he figure the viewers all fly first class, or maybe we were supposed to figure that the SOS's team never flew coach and so didn't know that travelers in the middle and aisle seats always stand in the aisle to allow the window seat passenger to get in or out of his/her seat? Regardless, the comedic elements of the scene were lost on me while I pondered these explanations.

Blake actually tells Matt to stay in his seat. He starts with the usual I need to get back and then stops himself and says never mind. Although I didn't see the comedic element either.

I'm sure Bess' detail was thrilled when she decided to fly commercial. How does it work with the weapons they carry? Can they just take them because they're Diplomatic Security? And I kind of felt sorry for Matt. He was so squeezed into the seat. Airline seats aren't comfortable when you're tiny like me but that it must be so much worse for him.

Edited by CheshireCat
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The whole plane plot seemed real forced.  What SOS would be in a plane not designed to trans-atlantic flight, which that's a good percentage of the SOS' job?  And not being able to get a needed part (and a poorly maintained plane)?  Really?

But plot contrivance aside, liked the way Bess tried to do right by Togo, and stick it a bit to the Chinese, even though it looked like a loss to the US (and a bit of a stick it to Congress which failed to provided the requested funding and cost those projects and PR).

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5 hours ago, Hanahope said:

The whole plane plot seemed real forced.  What SOS would be in a plane not designed to trans-atlantic flight, which that's a good percentage of the SOS' job?  And not being able to get a needed part (and a poorly maintained plane)?  Really?

The Sec of State uses the 757. It actually was not designed for transatlantic travel originally (which I believe is what they were referring to) when it was designed in the very early 80s but had been intended as a short and mid-range plane replacing the 727. It has also been out of production for 14 years now. So, a replacement part would probably not be easy to come by. However, I've also read that pilots love the 757 as it is the most flexible plane (it can land on a variety of runways) and it's very reliable and easy to handle/navigate. (I'm a bit of a plane nerd ;-))

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