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Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

Lamont posted:

I want an entire episode of the characters playing each other

I couldn't disagree more. I think the last thing this show needs is more fan service.

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Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

Did anybody else feel like the dialogue was pretty rough in the last episode? The exposition has been pretty clunky for a while, maybe forever, but either it's getting worse or I'm more ready for the finale than I thought I was.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

docbeard posted:

e. Also, now that I think of it, it felt like it walked back John's epiphany from late last season about how forming connections with people is actually good and cool a little. Which is kind of disappointing.

I wonder if they'd originally planned to do more with the psychiatrist girlfriend that got interrupted by having a short final season where they didn't have time for it, if the actress got busy, or if they never had a plan to start with and just decided it was dumb. That plotline really did go nowhere.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

I don't think Samaritan thinks humanity will go extinct because of a theoretical problem though. My impression is that its simulations are telling it that we're extremely likely to blow it on our own. I mean everything Samaritan says could be a lie, but I think we're supposed to believe that it's sincere about what it says. Harold will doom the world before he'll kill one innocent, but Samaritan thinks it's insane not to do whatever it takes to achieve what it sees as the greater good.

Dr Kool-AIDS fucked around with this message at 01:33 on Jun 17, 2016

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

It's far more common for shows to end badly than to stick the landing, but this was easily one of my favorite episodes of the entire run. Even as someone who feels like it was definitely time for the show to end, the conclusion of the show's arc was really satisfying. I'm usually someone who finds things to criticize even about my favorite shows, which this really wasn't anymore, but I think the end was good enough that I really don't have any complaints for once. Just on a sentimental level, John sacrificing himself for Finch, who had more to live for with his unresolved relationship with Grace, was definitely the appropriate choice.

CAPTAIN CAPSLOCK posted:

gently caress you though Finch, you should have died along with John. You don't deserve your happy ending. Show just glossing over all the damage you did with your ice9 virus.

If Finch deserved punishment for anything, it was for not preventing the rise of Samaritan in the first place by taking out a crucial policymaker. It is kind of ironic that he ultimately won by engaging in some lesser evil activity that would lead to direct harm for many people around the world, in the name of the greater good, given that Samaritan claimed to be doing exactly that same thing. Still, the fact is that the Machine is obviously a safer bet for humanity given its capacity for caring. Samaritan was put in charge without any moral guidance, so it could just as easily have decided to snuff out humanity someday as save it (though I still think we're meant to believe it was sincere about its desire to preserve humanity in the present).

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

I know the short season/cancellation is unpopular with a lot of the show's fans, but I think the short season and even the schedule fuckery (once it actually started airing) really added to the sense of urgency. A full season might have been able to bring back a couple more characters from previous seasons, but it would have had a lot more filler that would have slowed everything down too. This was the last network show I was watching, so maybe I'm biased, but the idea that any show actually needs 22 episodes to tell a story seems ridiculous to me. Obviously if you love the characters and the world of the show and enjoyed the number of the week episodes, you may have wanted more just to have more, but I think 13 was a blessing in disguise.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

Generic American posted:

You know, alongside the praise that everyone else has already said... I'm really glad that they managed to wedge Amy Acker in there proper with Harold's hallucination and as a visual proxy for The Machine's presence. Getting cut from the show right before the big finale (even if she still had the narration) would've felt a little off for how big a part she played on the team these past few seasons. That was a nice touch. :unsmith:

I kinda think Finch should have been a little more alarmed that his Machine decided to take on the persona of someone who worshiped it as a god, but it was a nice move from a sentimental perspective on the showrunners' part. Did anyone else think it was pretty weird when the Machine started flirting with Shaw though?

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

raditts posted:

Isn't the goal of any worshiper to be with their god when they die?

There's a difference between being with your god and becoming your god. And if you're Finch, who's constantly worried about the Machine going power mad, the Machine taking on the persona of someone who thought it was God seems like it would be troubling.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

NoDamage posted:

You're not the only one. I thought this entire season was a huge disappointment compared to previous seasons (especially S1-S3). The dialogue in the finale felt forced and awkward. The plot kept jumping all over the place. This show has been previously masterful at building suspenseful plots but ever since the Samaritan storyline took center stage, things have gone downhill.

I think the dialogue was pretty awkward all season, and overly expository. Maybe it always was though, and the long break just contributed to me not being used to it anymore. This may not be a popular sentiment, but I didn't really think the Root and Shaw romance arc was very good either. They were never actually a couple before Shaw got captured, but Root in particular kept going on about being willing to die for Shaw and her life not having meaning without her, and Shaw pretty much did the tv sociopath equivalent eventually. The post-mortem love letter about how it was cool that Shaw's a sociopath because it keeps her on track was pretty dumb too.

Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

xeria posted:

...So? You don't have to have the "will you be my girlfriend?" talk before you can give that much of a poo poo about each other.

There's a difference between giving a poo poo and 'you're the most important thing that's ever happened in my life even though you're a sociopath who only showed interest in me one time after I stalked you like a crazy person and you said no over and over again.'


berzerkmonkey posted:

If I remember correctly, when the Samaritan storyline started up, the show runners stated that it was Act 2 of a three-act story. Season 5 was an effort to wrap up the first four seasons, as well as shoehorn in what would have been content from an additional four seasons. Having a half-season didn't help in that either, as they pretty much had to explain everything to the viewers, as they didn't have time to slowly drip feed us details.

I think something that would have helped this season was just dumping the Blackwell character altogether. It would have allowed more time to focus on the rest of the story and maybe not felt like a wasted sidetrack every time he was on screen. Apparently, the intent was to have him act as a mirror to the "Team Machine" analog (salvation vs. descent; responsibility vs. blindly following, etc.,) and I think he could have worked if there were an extra season or two, but in the current season, he was something that distracted from the resolution of the story.

I agree with you on Root and Shaw, especially the simulated make out session - that was not at all enjoyable to watch, especially since neither of them really had any chemistry together. If Shaw had ever displayed any affection to Root at all during the show's run, it might have been a different matter, but she was always so standoffish that you never really got any sense that she would (or could) reciprocate Root's affection.

I get how they might have felt constrained by a short season after having so many episodes before, but after watching how much plot prestige dramas can put in 13 or fewer episode seasons, I don't know that I buy that it's really that confining. Wasting time on stuff like the Blackwell plot obviously didn't help, and presumably the network pressuring them to at least make a token effort to stick to the procedural backbone as long as possible didn't either.

Their romance really felt like a really big example of telling rather than showing. The show told us it was a big deal, but what it showed us wasn't much. Maybe that got accelerated too because of Sarah Shahi's pregnancy, and would have otherwise felt more organic, but as it was it felt artificial as hell. Shaw being a sociopath would have probably been a pretty big limiting factor in any case though.

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Dr Kool-AIDS
Mar 26, 2004

xeria posted:

There's a difference between "I plotted out for 13 episodes of material and now have to film it accordingly" and "I plotted out for 22+ (or 44+, depending on the producer interview) episodes of material and now have to shove it into 13". You can agree or disagree that they handled that condensed narrative well, especially with CBS still insisting they keep the Numbers procedural format, but comparing it to what, say, an HBO show does with its relatively short seasons is missing the point by a pretty wide margin.

I'm actually glad they shortened it because I think the format was getting pretty stale and the shorter season added urgency. My contention is more that the narrative probably worked about as well as it was ever going to work, so to the extent that there were issues, I think it's more due to continued network pressure to keep procedural elements and some of the writing always being a little clunky and not quite living up to the heights of the show's big ideas than it is to an untimely cancellation. I still think the actual ending was about as satisfying as it could have been.

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