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S04.E12: Sound and Fury

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After President Dalton hears about a sonic attack at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, he thinks Russia is to blame and uncharacteristically threatens them with military force, leaving his cabinet concerned about his mental status.

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Dear Show:  National Hardware Supply called.  They want their anvils back.

Actually, that was a pretty taut episode.  Even though the sound cut off on me at times during the discussion in the cabinet meeting, it was played with enough restraint to show that everyone in the room was fully aware of the consequences of their actions.  One thing kind of got me, though.  The Acting SecDef bemoaned the fact that he had to carry out the order, possibly starting a nuclear war with Russia.  Someone else piped up and said (to the effect of) "you would rather have a Constitutional Crisis?"  Uh, yeah.  Only one of those alternatives has the potential of ending life as we know it in the US, and probably the rest of the world as well.

I can't express my gratitude enough at the sight of  Henry "I'm a Marine pilot/professor/Presidential Advisor/Superspy/World Rescuer" McCord getting schooled by a plumber.

I was afraid we were going to have to endure Jason going all Kevin Pearson on us, but, of course, in the end it all worked out. This moment brought to you by Hallmark.

How about the possibility of the Cabinet's actual decision being leaked down the road? If Senator Asshat ever finds out...

I imagine those two Russian operatives have been transferred by now to someplace cold and dreary.  "Hey, isn't your name Dmitri?"

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12 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

Dear Show:  National Hardware Supply called.  They want their anvils back.

Actually, that was a pretty taut episode.  Even though the sound cut off on me at times during the discussion in the cabinet meeting, it was played with enough restraint to show that everyone in the room was fully aware of the consequences of their actions.  One thing kind of got me, though.  The Acting SecDef bemoaned the fact that he had to carry out the order, possibly starting a nuclear war with Russia.  Someone else piped up and said (to the effect of) "you would rather have a Constitutional Crisis?"  Uh, yeah.  Only one of those alternatives has the potential of ending life as we know it in the US, and probably the rest of the world as well.

I can't express my gratitude enough at the sight of  Henry "I'm a Marine pilot/professor/Presidential Advisor/Superspy/World Rescuer" McCord getting schooled by a plumber.

I was afraid we were going to have to endure Jason going all Kevin Pearson on us, but, of course, in the end it all worked out. This moment brought to you by Hallmark.

How about the possibility of the Cabinet's actual decision being leaked down the road? If Senator Asshat ever finds out...

I imagine those two Russian operatives have been transferred by now to someplace cold and dreary.  "Hey, isn't your name Dmitri?"

In his speech he talked about how he applauded the brave cabinet members for being willing to invoke the 25th amendment

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53 minutes ago, bros402 said:

In his speech he talked about how he applauded the brave cabinet members for being willing to invoke the 25th amendment

I think he was referring to Section 3 though, which allows for voluntary relinquishment of the office.  Bess said that the letter of removal under Section 4 would not be delivered to Congress if he agreed to voluntary removal, so I imagine that no public acknowledgement of the vote to remove him would be made.

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4 hours ago, thewhiteowl said:

That was a nice "How to" episode.  

Heh. Indeed.

 

4 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Dear Show:  National Hardware Supply called.  They want their anvils back.

Hee. Too late for that too.

 

3 hours ago, missbonnie said:

Please tell me that one of my favorite shows didn't just go all reality tv on me? 

Just a little bit.

 

4 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

I can't express my gratitude enough at the sight of  Henry "I'm a Marine pilot/professor/Presidential Advisor/Superspy/World Rescuer" McCord getting schooled by a plumber.

So. About that. Am I missing some deeper philosophical meaning? Plus, plumber + political drama brings to mind Watergate and Joe The Plumber — two very disparate things. Or maybe sometimes a plumber is just a plumber? Living here in episode-referenced, frigid Lake County Illinois, I did leap up and turn on the faucet in the kitchen to a trickle as soon as the McCord's pipes burst. Anyway, for your dissecting pleasure, here's the captioning capture of the dialogue with Earl the plumber:

Quote

EARL THE PLUMBER: When it gets this cold, you got to run the water through as a preventative measure.
Why? 'Cause if you let it just sit there, it freezes, expands.
The pipes burst.
Did you run the water through? Let me answer that for you, because I wouldn't be here if you ran the water through.

MCCORDS: We ran the water in the morning.
We were only gone for the day.

EARL THE PLUMBER: Yeah, well, that's all it takes in weather like this.

ELIZABETH: Well, I was about to draw a bath when it happened 

EARL THE PLUMBER: The point here isn't to be right.
The point here is to learn from your mistakes.

MCCORDS: Well, thank you, Earl.

EARL THE PLUMBER: This is a terrific opportunity for growth.

EARL THE PLUMBER: See, it's easy to forget about the foundations.
You live in the bright, shiny spaces where everything works, but you let yourselves forget about structural integrity.
The sanctity of the pipes.
Everything inside the walls that makes it all work.
Houses are built from the ground up.
Remember that.

MCCORDS:
- Okay.
- I consider myself a relatively progressive, enlightened man
- You want to punch Earl.
- So much.
- I know.
- I get it

Maybe the moral of the story is that POTUSs should have their "pipes" run through (scanned) so they won't burst unexpectedly?

Edited by shapeshifter

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I thought it was a good episode.  I'm glad Dimitri/Stevie is over so that the show can get back to what it's supposed to be and yet it was different from the usual "crisis de jour".  I would have liked to have seen it play out over several episodes (and maybe it will) - because I think the dynamic between Russell, Elizabeth and the VP (acting as President) would be interesting. 

 

Thank you Earl the Plumber for the public service announcement reminding me I needed to let my faucet drip last night. 

Edited by mwell345
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Earl is in a unique position because he has probably made bank on the five or six service calls already that day for the same problem, and he can afford to charge the platinum rate and soliloquize, because (to borrow from Chevy Chase), "I'm the plumber and you're not."

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You can tell it was REALLY COLD here in NYC where they were filming. And yes, the plumbers are working 24/7 these days with frozen pipes.

The Cabinet meeting was fascinating. Have we ever met the Attorney General before? Does Conrad even call Cabinet meetings? I'd like to see the other working parts of his admin. And good to see the NSA advisor back.

I admired the SecDef for downright refusing the order. The Assistant was a bit whiny, wasn't he? He didn't want to be Bork OR Cox!

As for the baby books: I am an oldest, and mine is a thing of beauty. My next sister's got about 3/4 complete. The third sister got a start...and the fourth sister doesn't have one.

I wonder if Keith Carradine got a kick out of getting to fling lines like I AM THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD! around. And wasn't that the most considerate brain tumor in the world? Almost guaranteed not to be malignant, and a dose of steroids sets the Prez right.

And yes, it will be interesting to see if the VEEP finds herself overwhelmed by her temporary stay as Prez. (Of course Bess did it already, so in the world of the show, the US has already had an acting woman president.)

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18 minutes ago, kwnyc said:

As for the baby books: I am an oldest, and mine is a thing of beauty. My next sister's got about 3/4 complete. The third sister got a start...and the fourth sister doesn't have one.

I'm Number Three.  No baby book, and breast-feeding was terminated after Number Two, so...

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1 hour ago, kwnyc said:

wonder if Keith Carradine got a kick out of getting to fling lines like I AM THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD! around

I wondered if he was doing a variation of method acting to prevent laughing—like thinking of how terrible it would be if a POTUS really did have a brain tumor that only effected the part of the brain that controls executive function. But then I started snickering about the pun of "executive function." 

 

1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

I'm Number Three.  No baby book, and breast-feeding was terminated after Number Two, so...

My 3 girls were nearly 5 years apart each, so plenty of breastfeeding (and my old bones are now as porous as coral on a beach) but still, each baby book and picture album was sparser than the previous. No first steps or first words in the last one. But they don't mind. But, yeah, if the last baby book had been entirely empty, I can imagine some pouting at Jason's age.

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I didn't really like it.  The whole episode felt like it was trying too hard, but never quite connecting posts - like, I thought the plumber's speech was supposed to be connected to the greater plot, but it didn't quite get there.

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2 hours ago, deaja said:

I didn't really like it.  The whole episode felt like it was trying too hard, but never quite connecting posts - like, I thought the plumber's speech was supposed to be connected to the greater plot, but it didn't quite get there.

It was preachy. So was Earl who sounded much like Henry does when speaking to almost everyone.

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On 1/15/2018 at 6:44 AM, mwell345 said:

I thought it was a good episode.  I'm glad Dimitri/Stevie is over so that the show can get back to what it's supposed to be and yet it was different from the usual "crisis de jour".  I would have liked to have seen it play out over several episodes (and maybe it will) - because I think the dynamic between Russell, Elizabeth and the VP (acting as President) would be interesting.....

I very clever twist put forth by the writers on the issue of the 25th amendment as it applies to the President unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office which then empowers the Vice President and his cabinet to declare a President “incapacitated".

The 25th Amendment, Section 4, Option:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

However, the extent the writers went to get Dalton acting so out of character was overdone. IMO. After the Cabinet coup meeting, the writers went to the Dalton "brain tumor' card in order to make his recovery easier after the hiatus.

Edited by VinceW

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9 hours ago, deaja said:

thought the plumber's speech was supposed to be connected to the greater plot, but it didn't quite get there.

If Dalton had a blood clot or some other cranial blockage, it would have made a better parallel with the frozen pipes bursting, but I guess a medical consultant advised that he'd have to show some obvious impairment (speech, gait, etc.) if that was the case.

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17 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

If Dalton had a blood clot or some other cranial blockage, it would have made a better parallel with the frozen pipes bursting, but I guess a medical consultant advised that he'd have to show some obvious impairment (speech, gait, etc.) if that was the case.

As far as I know, an arterial blood clot causes immediate symptoms and a blood clot in the veins in the brain is actually a stroke. So, from my understanding, neither would have worked if they wanted time to elapse before a diagnosis and Conrad back as soon as possible afterwards.  

Edited by CheshireCat
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4 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

As far as I know, an arterial blood clot causes immediate symptoms and a blood clot in the veins in the brain is actually a stroke. So, from my understanding, neither would have worked if they wanted time to elapse before a diagnosis and Conrad back as soon as possible afterwards.  

With over a month before the next new episode, I think they built in recovery time for him. (Not that shows always follow schedules like that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.)

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2 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

As far as I know, an arterial blood clot causes immediate symptoms and a blood clot in the veins in the brain is actually a stroke. So, from my understanding, neither would have worked if they wanted time to elapse before a diagnosis and Conrad back as soon as possible afterwards.  

Yes. A small animal hibernating in the chimney that would have caused smoke to fill the room when they were trying to have a fire in the fireplace might have made a better parallel for the brain tumor causing Dalton to have metaphorical smoke coming out of his ears in a crisis.

But I agree with @deaja that they could have made a stroke plot work:

3 minutes ago, deaja said:

With over a month before the next new episode, I think they built in recovery time for him. (Not that shows always follow schedules like that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.)

He could've had a jaunty cane after the hiatus, but, yeah, they probably couldn't even predict with any certainty that there would be a hiatus at this juncture in the schedule. Remember the writers' strike?

And what if the Hawaii missile crisis had gone seriously south (so to speak—or north)? That would put a real wrinkle in our television show schedules—which, BTW, I look forward to seeing a variation of on this show. Just please don't let it be Dmitri accidentally pushing the wrong button while trying to send smoke signals to Stevie.

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15 minutes ago, deaja said:

With over a month before the next new episode, I think they built in recovery time for him. (Not that shows always follow schedules like that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.)

Since he's the President, I think it's probably likely that he would have gotten help within the 20 minutes that a stroke needs to be diagnosed in to not cause lasting damage and I guess, he could have recovered from that within a month but a 20-minute-window wouldn't have worked with the rest of it.

 

8 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

And what if the Hawaii missile crisis had gone seriously south (so to speak—or north)?

My guess would be that they would have pulled the episode from the schedule and aired it at a later date (if continuity allowed) like they usually do when episodes hit too close to home when it comes to bombings and shootings.

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7 hours ago, thewhiteowl said:

It was preachy. So was Earl who sounded much like Henry does when speaking to almost everyone.

I would have paid cash money if Jason could have been there to hear it.

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14 hours ago, deaja said:

 like, I thought the plumber's speech was supposed to be connected to the greater plot, but it didn't quite get there.

The plumber's speech was a metaphor for how the American government is built (from the ground up) and how the institutions are supposed to work. And that we (as humans) tend to take things for granted if they work (all this talk about living in bright shiny places where everything works) but forget that they only work when everyone is playing their part (Bess and Henry didn't run the water through) and that they are vulnerable (the pipes burst when neglected).

Edited by CheshireCat
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"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."  John W. Gardner 

Just thought I'd throw that in there.

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On ‎15‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 6:35 PM, kwnyc said:

The Cabinet meeting was fascinating. Have we ever met the Attorney General before?

I'm pretty sure that this one was actually the same one they used towards the end of S3. (He's already the fourth one, so I'm glad they stuck with him).

 

On ‎15‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 6:35 PM, kwnyc said:

Does Conrad even call Cabinet meetings? I'd like to see the other working parts of his admin.

Me too. And I think he does call cabinet meetings, we just don't see them (probably due to all the actors they would need). But a mentioning would be nice every now and then. We got a State of the Union address last season, so that's something.

 

On ‎15‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 6:35 PM, kwnyc said:

And good to see the NSA advisor back.

I admired the SecDef for downright refusing the order.

I hope we get him back!

 

On ‎15‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 6:44 AM, mwell345 said:

  I would have liked to have seen it play out over several episodes (and maybe it will) - because I think the dynamic between Russell, Elizabeth and the VP (acting as President) would be interesting. 

Does an Acting President really do all that much? Isn't she simply supposed to uphold Conrad's policies and be there in case of a crisis? And even then, she would have to act in line with this administration, so I would assume she would have to listen to Conrad's closest advisors rather than do what she wants. This isn't her presidency, she's only the substitute, so she'd probably be seens as stabbing the President in the back if she veered off his path. Consequently, I don't think there'd be much happening in terms of policy. The Cabinet probably knows what Conrad wants and Bess especially does (since Conrad's foreign policy was her suggestion). So, I don't think it would be as interesting as it initially sounds.

I did wonder about the VP's smile. It seemed satisfactory and as if she expected that this would give her the push that she needed to become the next Presidential candidate. Maybe it's just the way the actress smiles and not supposed to mean anything but for that alone, I don't want her to become President. Conrad has/had a tumor for crying out loud. This is not a time for political ambitions.

 

This whole Section 4/Section 3 thing was a bit confusing. But if I understood correctly, the cabinet cannot invoke Section 3, so I don't think Conrad was referring to Section 3 in his speech. I'm further assuming that they maybe came clean about the vote and that it was used to pressure him into triggering Section 3? Worded differently, of course, but since he was having health issues, and wasn't himself, maybe his press team was able to give that a positive spin?

 

I rolled my eyes at Henry's team being tasked with investigating the incident in Bulgaria. I'm sure they had a department which investigated such things before they created Henry's team and I liked it much better when Bess and Henry were forced to talk about different things/Henry's work and the kids at home. It made home really home.

Other than that I can't think of anything that I didn't like. I think the Jason baby stuff provided much needed lightness and I liked that it bothered him even if he didn't want to admit that to his sisters. If it makes him feel any better, I'm an only child and there isn't much in my baby book. But I liked that Bess and Henry filled the stuff in. I don't think they necessarily would have had to but it mattered to Jason, and it was nice to have them do it. 

Bess' and Henry's reaction when they were handed the plumber's bill cracked me up. I saw it coming from a mile away, still, it was great.

I also loved all the scenes between Bess and Henry and while there wasn't a lot of affection, I liked that we got so many of them and the way they played out.

And we got to see Lydia again! Yay. And I think I've said so before but I love how they've developed the personal relationships and how they're portraying it now. And while I wanted to see more of it in earlier seasons, I think it made sense how they handled it then, too. Bess and Conrad probably needed to find a rhythm/needed to find a rhythm again and while they weren't showing it, it seemed that the writers were still always mindful of the existence of the personal relationship. Although, I think that Bess did more than break protocol when she told Lydia about what went down in the situation room. But I'm not going to complain, I loved that scene between them.

Another thing that I liked was Bess' diplomacy. She seemed to know exactly what to say so that she wouldn't get fired, too. At the same time, I doubt that any other cabinet members would have gotten away with telling him that he wasn't well. And I'm always a fan of Bess and Russell working together on such a personal level. They're not much of adversaries these days and I think that's a good thing, still, this episode felt different.

The cabinet coming together at the VP's house was a great scene. I almost expected Conrad to barge in, firing them all.

Always nice to see the National Security Advisor. And I liked how they didn't forget that she was Chair of the Joint Chiefs and that she expertly discussed measures with Sec of Def at the meeting in Russell's house.

Everyone wearing their coats in the State Department scene made me wonder if they had a heating problem on set. And did Tea Leoni enjoy throwing scarves at the coatrack in that episode or did someone enjoy writing Bess throwing scarves at it?

I'm not quite sure if I like Kat's habit of explaining to us what was at stake. Maybe they were doing it before, too, in different ways, but if they did, I never noticed it, so they did it in a much better way. It just seems so unnecessary and starts to become annoying.

Even though Bess got chewed out by the Russian foreign minister, I thought the call was fun. In a different kind of way.

And a shout-out for all of the call-backs to Bess' time in the CIA!

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Section 3 is when the president voluntarily steps aside temporarily.  Section 4 is when the VP and the cabinet say the president is unable to discharge the duties of his office.  If the president objects, then Congress votes on it.  In this case, they would have voted to remove Dalton; his brain tumor would have been discovered and treated and then he could say "All better!  Give me my job back."  The most serious Constitutional crisis would be in a situation where either Section 3 or 4 is invoked, and then at some point the presidents says he is now able to do the job, and the cabinet and/or Congress did not agree.

I think it is under Section 3 that presidents have turned over authority for a short time (hours or so) when under anesthesia, such as when having a colonoscopy or when Reagan had his colon surgery. 

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6 hours ago, Calvada said:

Section 3 is when the president voluntarily steps aside temporarily.  Section 4 is when the VP and the cabinet say the president is unable to discharge the duties of his office.  If the president objects, then Congress votes on it.  In this case, they would have voted to remove Dalton; his brain tumor would have been discovered and treated and then he could say "All better!  Give me my job back."  The most serious Constitutional crisis would be in a situation where either Section 3 or 4 is invoked, and then at some point the presidents says he is now able to do the job, and the cabinet and/or Congress did not agree.

I think it is under Section 3 that presidents have turned over authority for a short time (hours or so) when under anesthesia, such as when having a colonoscopy or when Reagan had his colon surgery. 

I think they explained that very well on the show. What they didn't explain is what story they fed he media. In the Situation room, Bess, Lydia and Russell urge him to invoke Section 3. But they already voted on Section 4 and Conrad admits that they voted in his speech. He doesn't say that they voted on Section 4 specifically but from what I understand, that's the only section the Cabinet can vote on, so it would be obvious.

I guess, they might have said to the media before Conrad's speech that even though the Cabinet voted on Section 4, Conrad invoked Section 3 before it could be made official. Which is true even if they probably made it look like it was Conrad's idea and he had realized himself that he wasn't well.

 

That said, I think they went a bit far in the cabinet meeting when they compared it to a coup and to a Banana Republic. A coup is designed to overthrow an entire government. Getting Conrad to step aside wouldn't have overthrown anything as they all would have remained in place and no outside forth was overthrowing them. They were voting on it. And a Banana Republic doesn't have a democracy as sturdy as the American one and in a Banana Republic loyalties would likely have to lie with the President and not a document like the Constitution if there even is such a document. I don't really think the comparisons held up. I understand why they used them but I think they didn't have true merit.

I do understand why the AG would argue that they're not there yet. I think few of the Cabinet know Conrad as well as Bess and Russell do so they'd have to trust their judgement. And I think that to everyone who wasn't present for Sec of Def's firing and who doesn't know Conrad as well as Bess and Russell he could have looked like a President who was simply tightening the rains and changing his strategy. Maybe it would have helped if Lydia had been here, too and said a few words? Of course, in the end, she wasn't needed. But I think that the AG's argument against invoking section 4 was the strongest.

I would have liked to hear a couple more in favor of invoking section 4. All we got were the ones who were against it and then we skipped ahead an hour and they voted. I guess, we all new how it would end, still, I would have liked to see a bit more of the process especially since we probably knew how it would end, so it wasn't like they were giving away a big cliffhanger had they shown some arguments in favor as well. Other than Bess' which was probably the strongest one anyway.

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...I just remembered an episode of West Wing, where President Bartlet had to step aside and invoked Section 3, when his daughter was kidnapped. (The reasoning being that he could not be threatened with blackmail.) And for some reason (was this when the VP slot was empty?) the Speaker of the House, who was a Republican (played by John Goodman, I think), stepped in. 

Later on in the series, I think there was a callback to "all the living ex-presidents" and Goodman was included.

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1 hour ago, kwnyc said:

...I just remembered an episode of West Wing, where President Bartlet had to step aside and invoked Section 3, when his daughter was kidnapped. (The reasoning being that he could not be threatened with blackmail.) And for some reason (was this when the VP slot was empty?) the Speaker of the House, who was a Republican (played by John Goodman, I think), stepped in. 

Later on in the series, I think there was a callback to "all the living ex-presidents" and Goodman was included.

Yes. Assuming TWW had it right, the acting president has full authority, so the cabinet would not be able to directly stop her from doing anything that was outside Conrad's interests.

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4 minutes ago, deaja said:

Yes. Assuming TWW had it right, the acting president has full authority, so the cabinet would not be able to directly stop her from doing anything that was outside Conrad's interests.

They wouldn't be able to stop her (and I wasn't trying to imply that they would) but I think acting in the President's interest is important for any acting president. It conveys a unity and I think if they want to get something done, they need to be seen as a united front. Otherwise, lobbyists and lawmakers will pitch them against each other and can use it against them when it comes to making legislation. And I would assume that in the end, the VP would be the one who would lose. While Conrad can't fire her, he could very well push her into resigning. Additionally, if she were to go against the administration's interests, she would probably risk any chance that she still has at running for President. The administration controls the narrative and they could probably throw her under the bus pretty easily if they wanted to.

That said, I'm not sure that I consider her the character who would veer off the path. Yes, she was portrayed as ambitious, still, she seems to be smart and not the back-stabbing kind. Or maybe I just don't want her to be because I do like her and I don't think the show needs a back-stabbing kind of VP. I think they've got the annoying Senator and he's plenty enough. And if she were to implement her own agenda, there really isn't much that the show could do other than let it come back to bite her, is there? After all, if she were to implement her own agenda, she'd become the adversary/even more of an adversary than in the previous episode and so far, they've always taken out the adversary. I'd rather that she bring in her own ideas and views but generally listen to Conrad's advisors, so that it'll be his policies with her input.

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Remembered something else that I liked about the episode: for once, Bess was finally allowed to be busier than Henry again. Yes, Henry was working from home but Bess got to be the one who was out late and it actually appeared that she was carrying tremendous responsibility (which she is) and infinitely more so than Henry (which she also is) and she got to be comforted by Henry. Massive S1 vibes with this one and I loved it!

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On 1/17/2018 at 2:33 AM, CheshireCat said:

Does an Acting President really do all that much? Isn't she simply supposed to uphold Conrad's policies and be there in case of a crisis? And even then, she would have to act in line with this administration, so I would assume she would have to listen to Conrad's closest advisors rather than do what she wants. This isn't her presidency, she's only the substitute, so she'd probably be seens as stabbing the President in the back if she veered off his path. Consequently, I don't think there'd be much happening in terms of policy. The Cabinet probably knows what Conrad wants and Bess especially does (since Conrad's foreign policy was her suggestion). So, I don't think it would be as interesting as it initially sounds.

I did wonder about the VP's smile. It seemed satisfactory and as if she expected that this would give her the push that she needed to become the next Presidential candidate. Maybe it's just the way the actress smiles and not supposed to mean anything but for that alone, I don't want her to become President. Conrad has/had a tumor for crying out loud. This is not a time for political ambitions.

 

I think she will be happy playing along, because she can run that sound bite about  the President relying on her for the next two years. Even just the pic of the two of them together will be huge in terms of her campaign.

22 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

I think they explained that very well on the show. What they didn't explain is what story they fed he media. In the Situation room, Bess, Lydia and Russell urge him to invoke Section 3. But they already voted on Section 4 and Conrad admits that they voted in his speech. He doesn't say that they voted on Section 4 specifically but from what I understand, that's the only section the Cabinet can vote on, so it would be obvious.

I guess, they might have said to the media before Conrad's speech that even though the Cabinet voted on Section 4, Conrad invoked Section 3 before it could be made official. Which is true even if they probably made it look like it was Conrad's idea and he had realized himself that he wasn't well.

 

This is how I took it, too.

 I loved all of it, unabashedly.

PS: Loved that Russell struggled so hard with what he saw as betraying his friend. I also liked that he and the Acting SecDef left the room while they voted. (I mean, they should have, clearly, but that MS SHOWED it.)

Edited by betsyboo · Reason: PS
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I watched the episode again last night... It was just so intense and it still was watching it a second time.

Completely agree about Russell, @betsyboo  The entire Situation Room scene was great, I think. Russell's struggle, Conrad's struggle, Bess' and then Lydia's affection. I also liked that Russell seemed more emotional than Bess. Bess always appears more numb in situations like these, as if she doesn't want to allow herself to feel. She was the same in S2 when she told Henry about Dmitri and then again when she agreed that "Render Safe" should take priority. I can easily imagine that she adopted dealing with things like that while being in the CIA and as heavy as these moments are, I do like them because they give a glimpse into the difficult emotional side of the job.

Something else I noted is that in the Sit Room, Conrad seems to think that Bess voted against invoking Section 4. When Russell tells him that the cabinet voted to invoke, Conrad turns to Bess and asks "Why would they do that?" He excludes Bess. I wonder if they did that on purpose but I think they might have as he never really turns against any of the three in the Sit Room. He doesn't fire Bess or Russell or throw some insult at Lydia. He seems to still know that they are friends after all. I like that because it could have been so easy to go the other route.

Something else that would have been easy would have been to let Conrad accuse his Natl Sec Advisor and Bess of conspiring against him since they're women. When Bess agreed with Hill about how to respond to Russia, I was almost expecting Conrad to say something along the lines of a very suggestive "of course you do". Many shows probably would have done that, I'm really glad they didn't go there!

 

The second time around I was a bit "huh?" when the one secretary asked "Who are we to question is judgement" or something. Isn't that sort of what they're supposed to do? The system is made up of checks and balances and as Bess pointed out, they swore an oath to the Constitution. Also, Russell knows Conrad, Bess knows him even better and she was a CIA analyst. Furthermore is she Secretary of State, so she probably can judge Conrad's response very well. As I said before, I really would have liked to see more of this debate. It's not that I think it should have been there, the episode was packed but didn't feel like it should have been split up, still, I wouldn't have minded had we seen more of the debate.

 

One thing that I would like to know is when Bess and Russell decided to give Conrad the chance to invoke Section 3. Was it after the vote or before and if it was before why didn't they tell the others that they'd do that? It would not only have shown how concerned they are and that they care but it might have made the decision easier for some of them.

 

On second watch, I thought that it might have been interesting, too, had they gone the route of having Conrad run around the WH naked. Maybe not actually naked but the equivalent could have been fun. Of course, it would have been an entirely different episode and much more obvious, still, it would have been fun.

 

What was this whole "jucing vs regular juicing" thing that Russell was saying Harrison talked to him about? He completely lost me there, too ;-)

 

And while I understand Henry's sentiment of wanting to punch Earl, I thougt that it was great that they remembered him. I doubt that they planned to use him this way when they first created the character a couple of seasons ago but I think it's great that they remembered and from the way that he was talked about, it definitely fit his character.

 

On a shallow note, loved Bess' evening gown. Disliked most of her other clothes. They seemed to be going for a very male look in this episode but I thought that most of the clothes just made her look bulky. I prefer when they stick to simply suits.

Edited by CheshireCat
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6 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

What was this whole "jucing vs regular juicing" thing that Russell was saying Harrison talked to him about? He completely lost me there, too ;-)

 

I think Bess suggested that maybe Harrison was using again (as an explanation for Conrad's behavior), and Russell called Harrison to feel him out. He was relaying to Bess that Harrison was chock full of info about actual juicing as his new habit du jour and clearly was not using. (my take)

Edited by betsyboo

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17 minutes ago, betsyboo said:

I think Bess suggested that maybe Harrison was using again (as an explanation for Conrad's behavior), and Russell called Harrison to feel him out. He was relaying to Bess that Harrison was chock full of info about actual juicing as his new habit du jour and clearly was not using. (my take)

It's the juicing part that I don't get. Was he talking about actual juice like orange juice?

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22 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

It's the juicing part that I don't get. Was he talking about actual juice like orange juice?

I think it's like Vitamix juicing -- so popular now, especially with the Millennials (which I am not).  My daughter is very health conscious and loves juicing.

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I found it hysterical when Dalton made his "you look fetching" comment to Bess, which is something my elderly uncle might say to me, and they all reacted as if he had made some really crude sexual suggestion.  

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27 minutes ago, Calvada said:

I found it hysterical when Dalton made his "you look fetching" comment to Bess, which is something my elderly uncle might say to me, and they all reacted as if he had made some really crude sexual suggestion.  

Totally! In light of... the current occupant of that office, the "QUEL SCANDALE!" reaction elicited a "oh, you sweet summer child" response from me. Truly still in their salad days. 

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37 minutes ago, Calvada said:

I found it hysterical when Dalton made his "you look fetching" comment to Bess, which is something my elderly uncle might say to me, and they all reacted as if he had made some really crude sexual suggestion.  

I think it was just a very uncharacteristic thing for him to say. And it was also in the way he said. At least, that was my take on it :-)

Edited by CheshireCat
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I (and probably everyone watching) started yelling "brain tumor!" at the TV very early on.

I thought the plumber was extremely rude. How to blame the victim! I am not a plumber, nor do I play one on TV, but I'm not sure about the foundation being the culprit. A small part of our kitchen, and part of the bathroom where we have a washer and dryer are set out from the foundation, and they are the coldest in winter, and the washing machine feed will sometime freeze, it is below zero for several day. The foundation is more insulated.

I totally missed the plumbing metaphor.

BTW, do they own that house, or are they renting?

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On ‎23‎.‎01‎.‎2018 at 4:21 PM, Beezella said:

BTW, do they own that house, or are they renting?

I think that is unknown. If memory serves, they only talk about how expensive the upkeep of the house and the farm is in S1. I don't recall if there was talk about a mortgage at any point. But from the way the house gets talked about (Will's "your fancy Georgetown mansion" comes to mind or Henry's more recent "our room" when Alison is upset that he'd been in her room or telling Alison that they wouldn't move before she was in college during the election, without any apparent concern for a rental contract) and that they take care of the upkeep themselves makes me think that they bought the house. As a foreigner from a country/city where people predominately rent, it would strike me as a little weird considering that Bess' time on the job is limited and they hadn't decided if they wanted to give up the farm yet. (Do we know the status on that, by the way?) On the other hand, I know that Americans are much quicker when it comes to buying a house, so I guess, that wouldn't be unusual.

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But Bess was a professor at Georgetown, right? And so was Henry...so they'd have to have had a place in DC, as well as the farm in the country. Also, they've probably managed their money pretty well over the years. While they were both career government employees, they could have had enough to at least put down a decent deposit on the house. (Or, Bess's parents could have left her and her brother some money.)

ETA that the Secretary of State makes 186K a year, which isn't peanuts, but DC is an expensive town.

Edited by kwnyc · Reason: Additional fact.

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51 minutes ago, kwnyc said:

ETA that the Secretary of State makes 186K a year, which isn't peanuts, but DC is an expensive town.

Is there a politician anywhere, who makes only the amount specified as their official salary?

"Why else would anybody spend $10 million to get a $60,000-a-year job.....unless he planned to steal it back with interest?" -- Richard Pryor, Brewsters Millions

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