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S02.E04: Equilibrium

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Tensions rise between America and Mexico when a Mexican citizen is shot during a border dispute. Kirkman and his team must act fast to contain the situation and form a new trade agreement.

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Well that was..an episode.

I did respect Tom for not exploiting the Driver’s widow. But then he let another guy technically get away with manslaughter? And what did the electric car factories have to do with anything? 

Edited by marinw
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At the end, the FBI director told Hannah something about FLOTUS's mother and said "I don't have to tell you what that means." It was 10:58 PM, so you have to tell me what that means.

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5 hours ago, marinw said:

And what did the electric car factories have to do with anything? 

The electric car company had created one new car factory in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Over the next few years the electric car company was going to get rid of all of it's workers in both factories and only use robots. The President asked the electric car owner not to replace the workers with robots so that he could pass the trade agreement.

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I don't think Alex's mother being evil is going to make a difference. Alex and Tom are so boring that they'll probably win her over with a hugging ceremony and a cheesy sanctimonious speech about the great American people in a couple of episodes.

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4 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

The President asked the electric car owner not to replace the workers with robots so that he could pass the trade agreement.

And I was looking forward to the robot upriseing. This show could use one!

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4 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

Over the next few years the electric car company was going to get rid of all of it's workers in both factories and only use robots. The President asked the electric car owner not to replace the workers with robots so that he could pass the trade agreement.

I haven't seen the episode, but I gotta harp on the logistics of this.

First, while technology has certainly gotten more advanced, I don't think we close to a point where technology can replace every factory worker. We can debate if it will eventually happen, but for now, we're not close.

Secondly- and more importantly- if a company believes that robots are cheaper than actual workers, they're not going to change course because of a trade agreement. Labour is every company's most expensive segment, and companies always look to cut down on that. Robots invariably help towards that end. So I can't see a company ever changing course from that, no matter how good the President is at tugging at heartstrings.

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28 minutes ago, Danielg342 said:

Secondly- and more importantly- if a company believes that robots are cheaper than actual workers, they're not going to change course because of a trade agreement. Labour is every company's most expensive segment, and companies always look to cut down on that. Robots invariably help towards that end. So I can't see a company ever changing course from that, no matter how good the President is at tugging at heartstrings.

Exactly. Tom keeps playing the 'Because your President asked you to' as the hammer to end dissent. At least last week Pharma dude said 'Yeah, no' to that but Tom often gets away with it a bit too often. 

I did like that Tom had no idea what to do with the staffer investigating the broken vase incident. He was ready to tear her a new one and then was disarmed by her weirdness. And no, her weirdness and Lyor's weirdness is not a compelling match.

Where is Tom's secretary Wyatt? I liked young Wyatt roaming in and out of the Oval Office and Tom's inevitably yelling 'Wyatt !' at least once an episode. Miss him and his professional sweaters.

I almost felt sorry for Hannah when First Lady tore her a new one, but she's been a bit too smug in obstructing the local cop's case and then getting self-righteous with FBI guy about 'undermining' her. Last season she was dead on right because she was in the middle of a huge terrorist conspiracy and while she's following up threads from that she's being a little too cocky lone wolf and is singing bridges. 

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3 hours ago, TobinAlbers said:

Exactly. Tom keeps playing the 'Because your President asked you to' as the hammer to end dissent. At least last week Pharma dude said 'Yeah, no' to that but Tom often gets away with it a bit too often. 

They even established that Kirkman has low approval ratings. He should fail at this far more often.

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5 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

Secondly- and more importantly- if a company believes that robots are cheaper than actual workers, they're not going to change course because of a trade agreement. Labour is every company's most expensive segment, and companies always look to cut down on that. Robots invariably help towards that end. So I can't see a company ever changing course from that, no matter how good the President is at tugging at heartstrings.

I think that was the point of the episode. No company is going to reduce their profits just to make sure people have jobs. Kirkman was lucky the electric car guy completely owned his company so that shareholders couldn't tank the idea. I am sure the government will do something to help him recoup his loses.

Sidenote: How many Hispanics were they going to shove in that tiny little apartment, I am hope they were all there for a family gathering.  Strange they were mostly men (one woman?, doing 100% of the cooking?) which might explain why there were hardly any kids.

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Terrible episode.  I was only interested in the FBI investigation. That had some movement. The vase subplot seemed like it was supposed to be funny, but it just..... wasn't.

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The Aaron family guilt thing was annoying to me, especially his cousin.

I liked that the electric car guy wasn't completely dazzled by "the President is telling me to do this" and had a little push-back on Kirkman's suggestion.  Good, strong businessman IMO.

I did not like when Kirkman told the trucking company exec that he was essentially responsible for the truck driver's murder.  Didn't the driver decide to go through the border on his own?  Yes, it was a horrible outcome but I thought that was thuggish for Kirkman to blame the exec.  Maybe I'm missing something.

The First Lady drives me nuts.  I so dislike her.  The mother of the First Lady story could turn out to be interesting.

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Kirkman could replace Seth with a robot....

[Interior: White House Press Briefing Room]

Robot: No more questions. Thank you Ladies & Gentlemen.

[moves back from the podium and shuts down]

Press Corps: [yelling questions over each other then fall silent and leave]

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13 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Alex's mother is eeeeeevil.

Eva only did it for his husband's transplant, the true eeeeevil is Alex and her bangs. lol

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8 hours ago, TobinAlbers said:

I did like that Tom had no idea what to do with the staffer investigating the broken vase incident. He was ready to tear her a new one and then was disarmed by her weirdness. 

Having seen Tom's daughter run down the halls would make her a likely culprit, but Maya Dunning had no real evidence that Penny actually did that. If you are going to accuse the President's daughter of that to his face, bring some video. Besides, who leaves a centuries old vase valued over a million dollars unprotected in the middle of a main passageway? That was an accident waiting to happen.   

16 hours ago, Driad said:

At the end, the FBI director told Hannah something about FLOTUS's mother and said "I don't have to tell you what that means." It was 10:58 PM, so you have to tell me what that means.

Right. What exactly is the connection? The bribe was 30 years ago. 

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2 hours ago, DrScottie said:

Having seen Tom's daughter run down the halls would make her a likely culprit, but Maya Dunning had no real evidence that Penny actually did that. If you are going to accuse the President's daughter of that to his face, bring some video. Besides, who leaves a centuries old vase valued over a million dollars unprotected in the middle of a main passageway? That was an accident waiting to happen.   

Right. What exactly is the connection? The bribe was 30 years ago. 

The bribe led to something that led to the bombing of the capitol? That's the only way I can think that this would all be relevant or anyone would care.

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17 hours ago, Chas411 said:

 Alex and Tom are so boring that they'll probably win her over with a hugging ceremony and a cheesy sanctimonious speech about the great American people in a couple of episodes.

 

14 hours ago, marinw said:

And I was looking forward to the robot upriseing. This show could use one!

Bwah! These comments are better than anything this episode had to offer. Such a snoozer. 

Edited by Duke2801
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Loved this episode. I got irritated when Alex was reprimanding Hannah. Served her right. And I'll admit I was laughing my ass off at the whole vase thing, even tho it was cheesy. 

I feel like overall this show is flying through issues just a little too fast, they need to spend more time on each crisis. 

Also whatever they are making (forcing) happen between Seth and Emily is weird. I get they probably wanted a break so everyone didn't get sick of it but putting her with Seth is just so weird. Aaron and her had an undeniable chemistry I'm sure they'll come back to it. 

Lastly, I understand penny cant contribute much to the show but where did Leo go?? The show does have some younger fans who would love to see a younger cast member occasionally helping his dad out, he's 18 now so why not? Not to mention he's pretty attractive (to the younger crowd at least)

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11 hours ago, deaja said:

Terrible episode.  I was only interested in the FBI investigation. That had some movement. The vase subplot seemed like it was supposed to be funny, but it just..... wasn't.

Damn, I thought “Who broke the Ming Vahz?” was the only interesting part of the whole show!

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On October 18, 2017 at 10:41 PM, Driad said:

At the end, the FBI director told Hannah something about FLOTUS's mother and said "I don't have to tell you what that means." It was 10:58 PM, so you have to tell me what that means.

Hah! Yes!…

8 hours ago, KaveDweller said:

The bribe led to something that led to the bombing of the capitol? That's the only way I can think that this would all be relevant or anyone would care.

…Ah-ha! Via the dead guy, right?

 

Lyor didn't hear the vase crash? 
The insurance adjuster wants to date him??
Not related, but Lyor rhymes with Eeyore.

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Not related, but Lyor rhymes with Eeyore.

The way I pronounce it, it rhymes with "asshole". ;-)

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Alright. I'm out. Last season was cheesy as hell but was at least entertaining in spots and was trying to tell a singular story. This case of the week stuff sucks and the ongoing Wells stuff boresme to tears as well. 

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On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:41 PM, Driad said:

At the end, the FBI director told Hannah something about FLOTUS's mother and said "I don't have to tell you what that means." It was 10:58 PM, so you have to tell me what that means.

I think he was basically saying every time Hannah goes on missions, she gets someone hurt, blows something up or finds someone dead and never has any real explanation so everyone is getting suspicious and he'll be watching her to make sure she's not up to anything weird.

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On 10/18/2017 at 11:41 PM, Driad said:

At the end, the FBI director told Hannah something about FLOTUS's mother and said "I don't have to tell you what that means." It was 10:58 PM, so you have to tell me what that means.

The dead guy who bribed FLOTUS's mother recently put in a new 3 billion dollar bid for the same Icarus company so the FBI director wants to do a thorough investigation.

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Man, this is pretty bad that the only takeaway I got from this episode was that the actress playing the widow was pretty good and really gorgeous.  A quick look at IMDB says that she is Sofia Lama and has mainly only done shows in Mexico, so if nothing else, maybe this can be a foot in the door for more American work.

Other then that, so there is some trade issues that have caused an actual blockade at the Mexican/American border, that has everyone pissed and yelling, the White House scrambling, but it all works out after Kirkman convinces his billionaire car tech buddy to hold off on making his factories automated, and hire workers from both American and Mexico, so everyone is happy.  That somehow works, along with strong-arming both the Mexico and American reps.  As much as I enjoy seeing Kiefer Sutherland be all badass, I'm questioning Kirkman being able to pull this off all the time.

Turns out Alex's mother did do what Lloyd accused her of, and will not be questioned.  Also, I'm suppose to hate Reed Diamond's character for doing what he did? Whatever, Hannah!

Nadia returns and makes Aaron feel like shit for "forgetting where he came from", which makes him go to family dinner or something.  At least Adan Canto is selling it.

But hey, at least they find out who broke the vase and now Lyor's got himself an equally quirky girlfriend out of it!

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With the off-screen rebuilding of the Capitol and the demise of the Big Bad, it almost seems like a different show in which Kirkland being the "designated survivor" is no longer of any consequence.

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Yes, why do writers decide that the destruction of the Capitol (or an asteroid about to hit Earth in the case of Salvation) is not interesting enough, so they load up the episodes with political intrigue and romance?

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Didn't Nadia graduate college about 30 seconds ago?  She’s already gotten a job with TWO minority women senators, and the  second one sends her to the White House for a crucial meeting??  The original premise of this show was intriguing, but now it seems like they are trying, unsuccessfully, to enter Shondaland. 

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On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:05 PM, AnimeMania said:

The electric car company had created one new car factory in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Over the next few years the electric car company was going to get rid of all of it's workers in both factories and only use robots. The President asked the electric car owner not to replace the workers with robots so that he could pass the trade agreement

Of course no one bothered to consult the robot-making corporations! Now THEY'RE gonna be pissed, too! 

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On 10/19/2017 at 9:04 PM, Addie1917 said:

Loved this episode. I got irritated when Alex was reprimanding Hannah. Served her right. And I'll admit I was laughing my ass off at the whole vase thing, even tho it was cheesy. 

I feel like overall this show is flying through issues just a little too fast, they need to spend more time on each crisis. 

Also whatever they are making (forcing) happen between Seth and Emily is weird. I get they probably wanted a break so everyone didn't get sick of it but putting her with Seth is just so weird. Aaron and her had an undeniable chemistry I'm sure they'll come back to it. 

Lastly, I understand penny cant contribute much to the show but where did Leo go?? The show does have some younger fans who would love to see a younger cast member occasionally helping his dad out, he's 18 now so why not? Not to mention he's pretty attractive (to the younger crowd at least)

I think it's a problem that they do a major issue a week . They should try to stretch out these issues over multiple episodes.

I found it annoying how the Mexicans were stereotyped as living in a cramped apartment.

I am amused by the broken vase plot.

It's boring how Kirkman demands that everyone agree to his solution because he said so.

They need more characters from Congress to battle with Kirkman.

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7 hours ago, oakville said:

I found it annoying how the Mexicans were stereotyped as living in a cramped apartment.

I don't think they all lived there, I think they were there for a regular family gathering. That's the vibe I got. A lot of big families do that kind of thing. A weekly Friday night barbecue, or Sunday dinner, something like that.

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"The bullet came from a an American gun!"
"So?  That just means the Mexicans shooting at him missed, and he was illegally on American soil.  Next question?"

Seth has gotten terrible at his job so they can make space in the plot for Lyor.

On 10/19/2017 at 4:45 AM, TobinAlbers said:

And no, her weirdness and Lyor's weirdness is not a compelling match.

The idea that an officer at the OMB is open to a bribe is horribly offensive to the office, especially since the MOTFLOTUS is being reprimanded (and investigated for crimes) for doing just that.  Ewwww.

(The pages for the OMB have been removed from WhiteHouse.gov but looking at the Obama Archive, she would be in the Office of Federal Financial Management Asset Management.)

On 10/19/2017 at 9:32 AM, AnimeMania said:

I am sure the government will do something to help him recoup his loses.

Kirkman promised him tax breaks.

Edited by jhlipton
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17 hours ago, auntiemel said:

I don't think they all lived there, I think they were there for a regular family gathering. That's the vibe I got. A lot of big families do that kind of thing. A weekly Friday night barbecue, or Sunday dinner, something like that.

Ok that makes more sense, but I still found it silly that Aaron shows up at a family dinner for the first time in months.

The writers need to watch the West Wing if they want to see how Latino issues were covered.

The show also fails to bring in anyone from  Congress. It's basically Kirkman & the staff watching cable news to react to issues.

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1 hour ago, oakville said:

The writers need to watch the West Wing if they want to see how Latino issues were covered.

The writers need to watch the West Wing.

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1 hour ago, oakville said:

The show also fails to bring in anyone from  Congress. It's basically Kirkman & the staff watching cable news to react to issues.

Yeah, I think the balance is suffering quite a bit from Hookstraten being absent. I actually always thought it would be more interesting to nix the family aspect and have the show be split into three roughly equal POVs - Kirkman, Wells, and Hookstraten.

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3 hours ago, auntiemel said:

Yeah, I think the balance is suffering quite a bit from Hookstraten being absent. I actually always thought it would be more interesting to nix the family aspect and have the show be split into three roughly equal POVs - Kirkman, Wells, and Hookstraten.

Agreed. There is so many potential plotlines with a new Congress. Supposedly, there were many independents elected to the new Congress. It would be interesting to watch Kirkman negotiate legislation with 3 groups.

Why is there no new Vice President?

Why doesn't Kirkman talk to any cabinet members?

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I just got finished with this episode today, it's funny because yesterday I was talking to my nephew and his wife- I think he watches more tv & movies than I do & that's saying something ! Anyway, I hope they forget that I recommended this show or at least they stop after the first season, because  man so far this one has really stunk. I get that Kiefer is getting a little older and maybe he wants to do more than chase bad guys and yell at people, but geez, do something ! Giving someone a stern talking to once an episode isn't cutting it for me. I don't know who decided to take this show from an action packed conspiracy show to a dull political procedural, but I don't like it ! I'll give it till the mid-season break, but I'm worried. This show was one of my most anticipated ones when I first heard about it and I'd hate to give it up.

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3 hours ago, oakville said:

It would be interesting to watch Kirkman negotiate legislation with 3 groups.

Possibly 4 or 5.  Greens from the Pacific states, Libertarians (until the storms come) from the Southern States, Bernie's Boys from the NorthEast...

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File this in the "I probably gave it more thought than the writers" folder, and I was a bit distracted during the episode...am I right - they discovered that Lyor (rhymes with Eeyore) broke the vase using the video recorded because Suzy Staffer had a daughter/niece/hairdresser's kid was so interested in the White House that she set up a 24/7 live-stream in the West Wing so the kid could see what goes on.  Is it just me, or does that violate like 42 different security protocols?  Live-streaming from the West Wing, where you can see who is coming and going, who is meeting with whom, maybe with audio so you can hear conversations as people walk by?  The Russians doen't need to worry about setting up a listening device, they just need to log into her server and watch what is happening.

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10 hours ago, Moose135 said:

am I right - they discovered that Lyor (rhymes with Eeyore) broke the vase using the video recorded because Suzy Staffer had a daughter/niece/hairdresser's kid was so interested in the White House that she set up a 24/7 live-stream in the West Wing so the kid could see what goes on. 

You are correct.

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On 10/19/2017 at 7:08 AM, Danielg342 said:

while technology has certainly gotten more advanced, I don't think we close to a point where technology can replace every factory worker. We can debate if it will eventually happen, but for now, we're not close.

I think he said it would happen in three years, not now.

I really dislike the actress that plays the first lady.  She's just so smug all the time.  I laughed out loud when her mom admitted to the bribe.  That took the smug smile off her face pretty quick!  Lastly, I'm pretty sure the actress is Irish?  (Apologies but I do not remember her name.)  If the actress isn't at least going to work on having a passable "American" accent, just let her be Irish and be done with it.

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30 minutes ago, mostlylurking said:

Lastly, I'm pretty sure the actress is Irish?  (Apologies but I do not remember her name.)  If the actress isn't at least going to work on having a passable "American" accent, just let her be Irish and be done with it.

FLOTUS is played by Natascha McElhone, she was born in suburban London, England.

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Hmm, not sure where I got that she was Irish.  Maybe her mother was Irish?  In any case, just let her use her natural accent because whatever she's currently doing is just making her more insufferable.

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On 22/10/2017 at 3:43 PM, oakville said:

The show also fails to bring in anyone from  Congress. It's basically Kirkman & the staff watching cable news to react to issues.

I suspect Kiefer's ego. It's no coincidence that S2 essentially has no one who's there to spar with him or could go toe-to-toe in a battle of wits on-screen with him, while S1 was full of them- Virgina Madsen, Geoff Pierson, Richard Waugh, Michel Gaston, Mark Delkin, Ashley Zuker, Mariana Klaveno, Malik Yoba, etc.

Not to say that the current batch of actors and actresses are bad- it's just that this current batch are either unwilling or unable to "steal" the scene from Kiefer Sutherland, making sure he's the only one you really "remember". It doesn't help that the writing has dispensed with any thought of depth or nuance, creating situations where all Kirkman has to do is chew out some guy or give some speech and "everything is right again".

It's The War on Straw, in serial form.

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