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Two Problems with Normandy
sanctuary. helen/nikola. {emily_reich}
palmaceae wrote in dear_damian

I came away from Normandy cold. Now, to be fair it could be attributed to the fact that I was under stress and not feeling so great at the moment, but I also think that while it was nice for once to see a story that actually did move, it moved too fast sometimes. I found myself yearning for a lingering shot here or there for emotional impact. The episode will probably get better upon my second viewing and it was definitely better than the last couple of episodes. But the two biggest problems for me are ones that will not change upon obsessive rewatches: John's removal and Nikola's isolation.

1) Helen is captured, they drag her into the room where John and James are being held. They shoot John and drag him out. John's had his scene with James, Helen's had two seconds on screen with John, and leaving the three of them together locked in the room would have been fantastic. Not having John and Helen interact was a huge missing piece for me. Especially with Helen both angry and worried about John at the same time, as demonstrated by her gasp when he was shot. I would have loved to see them working together, not John showing up at the last second to save the day. This is not the first time I've been pissed off by John's sudden removal from screen only for him to return at the last second to save the day - it happened as well in Pax Romana and it was a pretty poor move on... oh what a surprise, Damian Kindler's (who also wrote Normandy) part. Unless these disappearances are due to Heyerdahl having time issues and not being able to be part of the filming, I find them problematic, a lame fix it for the story and a waste of Heyerdahl's talent.

2) Nikola's isolation. Nikola spends the entire episode isolated from the rest of The Five both geographically and plot-wise. If they had cut all of Nikola's scenes, it wouldn't have made much of a difference in terms of plot - he spent the whole time pacing the room basically. Again, Nikola's isolation may be due to time restrictions on the part of Jonathon Young. Even if that is true, there's no reason why Nikola couldn't have been a more integral part of the plot. Why wasn't he allowed to meet with Eisenhower at the very least? Why didn't they have Eisenhower on the show talking to Nikola, which would have been cool? Fire elemental, blah blah I understand why they needed to use an abnormal - the show *is* about abnormals - but what about Nikola being kidnapped by the Nazis in order to build a machine to contain this fire elemental? He could have spent that time pacing yet another room alone with just one character if necessary. Also, *if* I remember correctly, didn't real!Tesla make claims that he could invent something to control the weather? Four of the Five reuniting once again to rescue one of their own in addition to saving the world (so to speak) and disabling the fire elemental would have been more emotionally compelling than just the world saving and fire elemental.

It's always like this though - give the show a relatively good idea and they will never quite manage to take it to the emotional and plotty heights they can go.

Side note: who totally thinks that the French Resistance lady is going to turn out to be Nigel's wife later? IDK, maybe?

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the impact of the John-James scenes, which I loved. OMG INTENSE. Like, wow, do all of their encounters end up with one of them grabbing the other by the shoulders and looking at each other with smoldering angry eyes?

It really did drag in everything from the Big Book of WWII Clichés for Screenwriters oh god, yes, when Robin Dunne showed up I was like, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY PLEASE NO ANCESTOR OF A CHARACTER JUST HAPPENS TO SHOW UP. Did he die? I lost track of his character because I just did not care.

do all of their encounters end up with one of them grabbing the other by the shoulders and looking at each other with smoldering angry eyes?

No. Some of them end, or have ended, with the two of them having smoldering angry sex. We just haven't seen it onscreen yet.

I rolled my eyes at ancestor!Zimmerman, but I'm trying to console myself that it sort of explains why Helen was there when Will's mother was killed; she'd been keeping track of the family since 1944.

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I'm voting for Will to be Watson's descendant! Because I feel like the way they were emphasizing his observation skills in the first season were soooo hinting towards him being almost abnormal, and even though they dropped that, I still kind of wish Will would have a storyline where he finds out he's Watson's supersekrit great grandson (not son, that would be too creepy) and that's why Helen's been watching him and it's a total angstfest when Will gets angry about Helen keeping secrets (yet again) snd not taking him in when he was younger thus condemning him to the foster system. This also eliminates the problem of Helen/Will lol.

That sounds a tad cheesy when I write it out.

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why do i totally have this idea he was in foster care? i can't remember, did they ever say anything that would have led me to that conclusion? but having a father doesn't guarantee that you won't end up in foster care if they're a deadbeat, etc.

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