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#21 G-man

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:52 PM

Doesn't matter.

The thing about clandestine agencies is that they are still answerable to their sponsor.  When their escapades become exposed, especially to those nations who were targeted by their activities, hard feelings build and diplomatic relations suddenly become strained -- again, look at the recent kerfuffle surrounding the expose the NSA's actions, and that was just about eavesdropping on private conversations as opposed to dropping a nuke on a major city.

/s/

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#22 Niko

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:38 PM

Did no one else have a problem with how Skye was written in this episode?  I found her entitled attitude and childish whining about being left out of the loop (when she's still wearing a monitoring device as a reminder that she is NOT a particularly trustworthy person) so offputting that it pretty much killed what little affection I'd developed for the character so far.  

If she'd overheard something that indicated there was a problem, yeah, sure, go digging.  Even if she overheard it while doing something ELSE stupid that was in her nature, like trying to access that document, sure.  But the way it was treated here, with her deciding things were "suspicious" just because she wanted to know more and no one would tell her just made her look petulant, and the fact that the show rewarded her for that by having her be right and facing no consequences was just another nail.

(On the other hand, I'm finally on-board with the rest of the cast, so I'm probably in this for the long haul, no matter how much I dislike Skye.  :p)
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#23 DWF

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 05:32 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 14 November 2013 - 11:57 AM, said:

Presumably the Powers Boothe character on the World Security Council, which ordered the nuclear strike, is the American representative...

I thought it was a mutual decision and it appears that issue will be discussed is detail in the Captain America movie.
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#24 Christopher

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:01 PM

View PostG-man, on 14 November 2013 - 02:26 PM, said:

Andromeda Strain was set in the middle of nowhere with the nuke as a self-destruct in the event of catastrophic failure.  So the intent and design would've had the same equivalent effect of an A-Bomb test in the desert.

Not what I'm talking about. Wasn't there a part where they nuked the infected town to keep the infection from spreading? Granted, everyone there was already dead -- but everyone in NYC would've been dead soon if the Chitauri hadn't been stopped.

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Fail Safe was ... well ... stupid.  But, still, you had the POTUS make the decision, not some shadowy council of some extra-national organization that apparently has no loyalty to anyone or anything outside their own ambitions.

But that's just what I'm saying -- everyone's assuming that the Council's motives were evil because they targeted US soil, and they're forgetting that there have been other stories where US soil has been targeted for the exact same reason and it's been accepted. As mentioned above, the Council does appear to have a US representative.

View PostNiko, on 14 November 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

Did no one else have a problem with how Skye was written in this episode?  I found her entitled attitude and childish whining about being left out of the loop (when she's still wearing a monitoring device as a reminder that she is NOT a particularly trustworthy person) so offputting that it pretty much killed what little affection I'd developed for the character so far.  

I have no problem with it because I believe she's absolutely right. The public has a right to know what our government is doing in the name of our defense. Power tends to corrupt, so the powerful need checks and balances on their exercise of power. They need to be answerable, not free to do whatever they want in the name of "security."
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#25 Niko

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:37 PM

View PostChristopher, on 14 November 2013 - 06:01 PM, said:

View PostNiko, on 14 November 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

Did no one else have a problem with how Skye was written in this episode?  I found her entitled attitude and childish whining about being left out of the loop (when she's still wearing a monitoring device as a reminder that she is NOT a particularly trustworthy person) so offputting that it pretty much killed what little affection I'd developed for the character so far.  

I have no problem with it because I believe she's absolutely right. The public has a right to know what our government is doing in the name of our defense. Power tends to corrupt, so the powerful need checks and balances on their exercise of power. They need to be answerable, not free to do whatever they want in the name of "security."

So, you don't see any purpose for the concept of security clearances in any government agency?  You think soldiers going on dangerous missions should go home and tell their spouses and friends where they're headed before every mission and just hope it doesn't get out on the internet somewhere before they actually get there?  That's the sort of breach I saw happening in this episode... not some high-minded freedom-of-information statement, but a friend pushing for information that could have put her friends at risk just because it bugged her not to know, and then yammering about it in a public corridor with people walking by all around with no concern for who might overhear, despite her apparent distrust of everyone in that facility.
- Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.    (Matthew 25:40)

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#26 Christopher

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:50 PM

I'm just saying that I can understand Skye's feelings, and think it's good to have a gadfly. That doesn't mean you have to do everything they want you to do, but it's valuable to have someone asking questions to keep you honest.
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#27 RJDiogenes

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 08:31 PM

She behaved reasonably for someone in her position. The world of security levels is alien to her. Being left out of the loop and having part of the team sent into danger without visible support was alarming to her; this was escalated when she saw the buildup of troops, indicating to her that something may have gone wrong. She acted not because she was bugged at not knowing, but because she felt her friends were in deadly peril.

View PostCardie, on 13 November 2013 - 11:37 PM, said:

Even with eroding ratings, this show has too much synergistic value for ABC not to get a second season, methinks.  
Hopefully.  Of course, with that comes the danger that they will "re-tool" it to make it more palatable to the masses.
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#28 BklnScott

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 08:44 PM

They're not wrong or evil to nuke New York in context - tactically, it's the right decision.  I don't think the movie asks you to question that, per se, but because it's a movie about hope (or "sentiment" as Loki and Powers Booth both sneer at key moments), there ends up being a better option.  The Council people don't do anything wrong except lose faith in Fury's ridiculous plan, which they rightly didn't like in the first place and actually cancelled.  Fury defied them to resurrect it.  Their actions are entirely logical.  Did I read that they reshot those scenes - lit darker - because they originally had them sitting in normally lit rooms, and it didn't play sinister enough?  Because they weren't actually doing anything sinister.  

That said, who's to say they're not?  Can we trust SHIELD?  That's the key question the show seems to be exploring this season leading up to the next movie.  Who are they accountable to, if anyone?  Cap 2 is teed-up to explore that.  

These are pretty timely questions, obviously - the questions Skye is asking about the utility and morality of espionage as a concept are the same ones everyone who follows the news has been asking themselves - but the show seems a little hamstrung in its ability to provide satisfying answers - and build some mythology around those answers - because the climactic revelations are obviously scheduled for the movie.  (I did like the Fitz/Ward stuff quite a bit.  They have chemistry - hallelujah!  Fitz is a breakout character if they choose to run with him.)

I'm starting to feel like it's not a show I need to really watch every week - at least until it finds its POV.  What actually is Coulson?  Why did Fury set him up with so much autonomy and apparently unlimited budget?  What's the angle?  Who is SHIELD's opposite number in this world?  I expect we'll know all of this by the time the second season rolls around - and it will be a stronger season because of it.

Edited by BklnScott, 14 November 2013 - 09:49 PM.

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#29 NeuralClone

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:20 PM

I'm rapidly losing interest in this show. It has a lot to like about it but the bland case of the week format has already outlived its welcome. It doesn't help that Arrow just keeps blowing this show away on pretty much every level and with a fraction of the budget. Better action sequences, more comic bookish goodness, and far more consistent writing. I'll continue watching for the rest of the season with the hope that something interesting may actually happen. Overall it's just feeling tired and sluggish. That's something I'd expect more from a show in its final seasons. Not something before the halfway point of the first season. Even Supernatural is feeling more energetic and fresh in its 9th season.
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#30 DWF

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:40 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 14 November 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

They're not wrong or evil to nuke New York in context - tactically, it's the right decision.  I don't think the movie asks you to question that, per se, but because it's a movie about hope (or "sentiment" as Loki and Powers Booth both sneer at key moments), there ends up being a better option.  The Council people don't do anything wrong except lose faith in Fury's ridiculous plan, which they rightly didn't like in the first place - it is a ridiculous plan - and actually cancelled.  Fury defied them to resurrect it.  Their actions are entirely logical.  Did I read that they reshot those scenes - lit darker - because they originally had them sitting in normally lit rooms, and it didn't play sinister enough?  Because they weren't actually doing anything sinister.  

Without a tactial understanding of what was going on in New York the decision to destroy the city was pretty evil, mainly because there's accountability. And of course there's no public aknowledgement of that SHIELD fired a missile at New York or even the existance of the helicarrier to begin with. And that kind of fear will be addressed in the Captain America movie from what I saw.
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#31 BklnScott

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:19 PM

They don't have nukes illicitly.  They must be empowered to use them under certain circumstances... It's hard to argue these didn't qualify...  

Don't we assume that SHIELD operates under some sort of charter - like NATO, like the UN?  Their hq in the cap 2 trailer seemed pretty public, and iconic - like their version of the Secretariat Building and the Pentagon rolled into one.

Edited by BklnScott, 14 November 2013 - 10:19 PM.

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#32 DWF

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:22 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 14 November 2013 - 10:19 PM, said:

They don't have nukes illicitly.  They must be empowered to use them under certain circumstances... It's hard to argue these didn't qualify...  

Don't we assume that SHIELD operates under some sort of charter - like NATO, like the UN?  Their hq in the cap 2 trailer seemed pretty public, and iconic - like their version of the Secretariat Building and the Pentagon rolled into one.


I think those missiles were powered by the tesserct not normal nukes so there's legal binding for them, those were the milliles the Stark discovered when he hacked their database. The base in the Cap trailer is where they make helicarriers, I don't know if their main base of the Hub is, but Project Pegasus is gone now that's for sure.

Edited by DWF, 14 November 2013 - 10:25 PM.

The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

"Don't mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend." - Keith R.A. DeCandido

#33 NeuralClone

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:52 PM

There wasn't anything in The Avengers that suggested that the nuke launched at Manhattan wasn't a regular nuclear weapon. S.H.I.E.L.D. had plans to develop more advanced weaponry and probably had already started work on it but there wasn't really any reason for them to use something more advanced here except as a last resort.

S.H.I.E.L.D. has always struck me as a NATO or UN-like organization that operates under and follows international law.

Edited by NeuralClone, 14 November 2013 - 10:57 PM.

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#34 BklnScott

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

In the ultimate comics, that building (the Triskelion) is SHIELD HQ.  It got name checked in this episode by Simmons.

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#35 enTranced

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:12 AM

This was properly the most Firefly-ish feeling episode so far. With all the characters saying how much better it is on Seren....errrrr...the plane then in the dark underbelly of SHIELD. Loki told everyone that they are liars and killers in the service of liars and killers and nobody believed him. I guess he really is burdened with glorious purpose. :D

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#36 G-man

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:08 PM

^^^ Well, considering that Skye, Fitz, and Simmons were looped in on the details of any mission they were participating in, as opposed to being frozen out due to security clearances ... yeah, I could see them feeling that way.  Then also, Coulson has proven that he doesn't consider any member of the team disposable.

SHIELD, not so much.  Especially when it appears that locking them out was a test by SHIELD to see what Coulson's team would do.

I suspect this was why no one really came down hard on Sky and Gemma for their actions, because that is what SHIELD had hoped they would do.  The only problem with this scenario is that if the players had played "by the rules" that SHIELD dictacted, SHIELD would've been out an accomplished field agent and techie all because they were too busy playing games with themselves that they neglected to plan and facilitate an extraction for them.  Which, of course, does not speak well of SHIELD.

/s/

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Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#37 G-man

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:14 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 14 November 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

They're not wrong or evil to nuke New York in context - tactically, it's the right decision.  I don't think the movie asks you to question that, per se, but because it's a movie about hope (or "sentiment" as Loki and Powers Booth both sneer at key moments), there ends up being a better option.  The Council people don't do anything wrong except lose faith in Fury's ridiculous plan, which they rightly didn't like in the first place and actually cancelled.  Fury defied them to resurrect it.  Their actions are entirely logical.  Did I read that they reshot those scenes - lit darker - because they originally had them sitting in normally lit rooms, and it didn't play sinister enough?  Because they weren't actually doing anything sinister.  


I'd've been happier if during the video conference the phrase "and the POTUS agrees" had been inserted, thus lending some credence to the idea that SHIELD was operating with the knowledge and consent of the US Government.

That's the last I'm going to say on this matter.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#38 enTranced

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:33 PM

I think you are giving Cinematic Universe SHIELD more benefit then they might be due! I mean I don't feel they are evil incarnate but they are certainly "ends justify the means" types. I think they would have been just fine sacrificing a agent and tech for their goals.

It's just the true believers like Black Widow and Pre-Death Coulson who had problems hearing Loki's warnings. Sure. he was trying to take over the world but the man had a point. DS9's Garek would be proud of the way he hid a truth in the middle of his machinations.

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#39 BklnScott

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:13 PM

Black Widow a true believer?  She herself is a liar and killer and she knows it.  That's the other part of Loki's line - "you're all liars and killers in the service of liars and killers." I think she believes in Fury - not SHIELD.  And Fury himself?  What does he believe in?  Defying his bosses to put together the Avengers - a team so powerful it could take SHIELD out - doesn't suggest his faith in the organization is at an all time high..

Edited by BklnScott, 15 November 2013 - 03:14 PM.

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#40 DWF

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:39 PM

View PostenTranced, on 15 November 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

I think you are giving Cinematic Universe SHIELD more benefit then they might be due! I mean I don't feel they are evil incarnate but they are certainly "ends justify the means" types. I think they would have been just fine sacrificing a agent and tech for their goals.

With SHIELD it's not a matter of the organization being evil but they might be corrupt, there is a graphic novel of Nick Fury fighting the corruption in SHIELD. As for them being willing to sacifice Fritz and Ward, that's not an uncommon action for them to take it puts them on the level as shows like Mission:Impossible and even MacGyver.
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

"Don't mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend." - Keith R.A. DeCandido



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