Designated Survivor s2 ep 16

*SPOILERS*

Saddled with the imminent threat of a “dirty bomb” on top of everything else, PJB’s itching for a fight. Forgetting he’s a world leader now and not CTU’s answer to Rambo, he storms in to accuse Chairman Kim of masterminding the whole thing before putting the entire EHC delegation, Chairman and all, in an indefinite time out. So far, so not exactly diplomatic. Meantime, because he’s not just a hothead but a hothead with a crush, he brings Dr Audrey from 24 back yet AGAIN because, as well as super-advanced billion-dollar defence systems, her company has also built a super-advanced privacy- busting search engine. My goodness. Is there anything Dr Audrey can’t do? Um, work for the FBI, apparently: she has constitutional scruples about using her super-smashing tech to help out law enforcement. (But no such issue with using it for the pursuit of her own profit, presumably, or she wouldn’t have built the thing in the first place.)

Happily for law enforcement, however, Dr Audrey’s conscience is no match for the lethal combination of PJB’s puppy-dog eyes and her very own room in the presidential bunker come the apocalypse. While the good doctor searches for the bomber underground, then, Agent Q combs the overground with new partner Paul who has sidled quietly into the recurring cast without any fanfare. Seems like it might be a case of one in, one out: Reed Diamond returns this week and I’m very pleased to see him but my happiness doesn’t last, and neither does he. His entirely legitimate investigation into FLOTUS family corruption (and a load of bad stuff we’ve never really had a decent answer for) having been rebranded by the show as the demented witch hunt that killed her, poor Reed Diamond now has to suffer the indignity of apologising to both Q and PJB for doing his job. Apparently that isn’t enough penance though, as minutes later he’s summarily blown up. It’s meant to be a heroic death, I know, but however you want to categorise it, it’s a sad, disappointing ending for a decent, steady, sane character and there are precious few of them in this show as it is.

Talk of steadiness and sanity, meanwhile, brings us to Emily and PJB, who seem to have abandoned theirs entirely. After Emily’s brainfart last week about the legal implications of workplace relationships, she doubles down on the out-of-character ignorance this week by demanding of the increasingly flabbergasted Kendra “Does it really matter where the evidence came from?” Uh…. Since Emily’s so contemptuous of the idea that yes, yes it most certainly does, I really hope Ms Chief of Staff ends up in front of some sort of congressional committee very soon and learns to appreciate a “procedural nicety” or two for herself.

The potential harm caused by Emily is dwarfed, however, by the actual harm caused by her boss. After a whirlwind thirty seconds where everyone suddenly decides that EHC didn’t kill Reed Diamond and – completely out-of-left-field – Kunami did, POTUS summons the unfortunate Kunami ambassador to yell at him, give him no time to investigate or refute anything, and then yell at him some more, before ordering immediate retaliation. Never mind “waiting 18 months,” PJB refuses to wait 18 minutes and he’s not going to listen to anyone who tells him otherwise. So a unilateral act of war (which will no doubt turn out to be a mistake – I mean, Kunami didn’t do it, did they?) means PJB finally gets the fight he wants. I guess we’ll find out the cost soon enough.

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Designated Survivor s2 ep 15

*SPOILERS*

We’re back into fictional country territory this week as PJB and the rest of the boys (literally – they only leave Emily and Kendra behind) head off to a very special summit at Camp David to try and broker a peace deal between “East Hanchu” and “West Hanchu” which could not be more obviously North Korea and South Korea if they held up signs. Which makes me wonder what the point is of pretending to invent fake countries if you then go on to do everything you can to make sure your audience knows you’re actually talking about real ones – I mean, FFS, the ruthless supreme leader of pariah state “East(?) Hanchu” who has a penchant for murdering relatives and winding the world up with missile launches is actually called “KIM,” so it’s not as if the writers are being subtle about it. How come Russia doesn’t get the fake fig-leaf treatment on this show but the Koreas do?

Anyway. Negotiations at the summit are complicated by the fact that the Kirkman crew are on the one hand pretending to act as honest brokers, while on tthe other hand helping organise the defection of Kim Jr and the jailbreak, more or less, of his girlfriend. Luckily, Dr/ Highly Eligible Widow Audrey from 24 is ready and willing to help PJB sort things and pocket a big fat contract for her company, with the promise of tax breaks and yet more government contracts to come from a very grateful (and equally eligible) Widower POTUS. If anyone’s concerned that the President’s unilaterally promising special perks and patronage to a private company, they keep it to themselves.

Back at Camp, meanwhile, it’s time for another instalment of “I Love Lucy Lyor” with Seth taking over Desi duties from Emily this week and learning to appreciate the man behind the rude personality and baffling takeover of the season. I don’t care for Lyor myself but given the sheer amount of screentime devoted to getting to know him this year, somebody on the writing staff really, really does.

“Emily Loves Seth” is cancelled once again, however, it being a revelation to Emily that the WH Chief of Staff dating a subordinate might raise some manageable but entirely obvious legal issues (at this point in my notes, I’ve written “ARE YOU NEW?”) and a revelation to Seth that Emily’s not that into him. Please let this be the end of “Sethmily”: we’ve all suffered enough.

As has poor Chuck, as Emily (not having her best week) bludgeons him into not entirely legally finding out that the man who helped save the Chu deal is also the man who almost scuppered it in the first place, so PJB’s even angrier with Cornelius Moss than he was before. Ho-hum. No Kirkman Family Values and no Damien this week, so this episode was a thousand times better than the last one, but I still struggled to care about any of it.

Designated Survivor s2 ep 12

*SPOILERS*

Designated Survivor has always been a tremendously silly show and normally I love that about it, but this week’s spy shenanigans may have pushed me too far. Materialising like the ghost of boyfriends past in Agent Q’s bedroom, the agent formerly known as Mr MI6 finally resurfaces, having been on the run (since Q shot him) from his Russian handlers because they know he’s been burned and his British employers because they know he’s a traitor. His options somewhat limited, therefore, he offers himself to the Americans who indirectly blame him for the death of their First Lady, and very directly blame him for bruising Q’s heart.

Happily, Q gets to bruise his face in retaliation, before dragging him off to be interrogated by her and Aaron. This is admittedly somewhat surprising but, as we’ve learned over the course of the season, Aaron’s duties as National Security Adviser are much more varied and plot-dependent than common sense and real life would necessarily suggest. Anyway, turns out Damian has some information on how to track down the hacker who’s hobbled NASA and Roscomos and is preventing them from saving a crew of astronauts stuck on the malfunctioning International Space Station from a highly unpleasant death. Space being infinite, the stakes literally could not be higher then, and so, instead of being huckled to a CIA black site and waterboarded forever, Damian is popped back into the field to save the spacemen and spend some quality alone time with Q before he goes to jail.

I can just about understand the rationale for this when we’re dealing with the skittish secret source who’ll only talk to his old buddy, but any attempt at plausibility goes running headfirst off a cliff when Q takes Damian, and only Damian, along to a very public, very open flower show to see some guy who doesn’t know him from Adam, Chuck, Reed Diamond or any number of people still legitimately in law enforcement and available to help Q out.

‘Twas ever thus on procedural drama, I suppose. Plausible or not, it’s all over soon enough: the systems are fixed, the astronauts are saved, and Damian is duly dropped off at a nearby penitentiary to think about what he’s done. I hope we don’t see him again – now I’ve decided to get on board the good ship Qaron, I don’t need him trying to muscle his way on board – but the writers seem weirdly fascinated with the man, so he’ll probably be in every episode from now till the season finale. Sigh.

Meantime, unexpected consequences of the whole business include President Jack Bauer reuniting with (and being very impressed with) Audrey from 24, who is now some sort of science genius; Lyor behaving like an eight-year-old; and Cornelius Moss reading his boss the Riot Act and ending the Icarus investigation, both of which seem like extremely positive developments for the show if not for Cornelius, who is immediately and angrily kicked to the kerb by PJB. He must not have watched the first half of the season.

It’s not a bad episode, but there’s a little too much that’s a little too daft for it to succeed entirely. The Damian stuff is one example, but the thing that bugs me most is just how much time the President of the United States devotes in the middle of an urgent, critical and potentially devastating interstellar crisis to the sorrows and tribulations of one Little P. Lessons obviously haven’t been learned from season one’s ill-advised focus on Kirkman family storylines – here we are again, taking time out from the politics and the spy adventures, otherwise known as the stuff we actually tune in to this show for, to meet with Penny’s Principal. Come on, now.

Designated Survivor s2 ep 10

*SPOILERS*

It’s Christmas time at 1600 Penn, and there’s a choir of small children being alternately ignored, disappointed and ever-so-slightly terrorised by Lyor into learning “Only You” by Yazoo. I didn’t think the year would end with Lyor and I agreeing on anything, but we both apparently love that song so, aw shucks, peace and goodwill to all, right?

Wrong. It may be winter outside, but it’s literally burning up in Shenandoah National Park as a seemingly unstoppable wildfire rips through the headlines and rages through the area. Twenty-six days of fighting it not having achieved all that much, PJB decides to let it snow let it snow let it snow burn itself out, which is fine in theory except that Henry from Ringer, now a radical clergyman of some sort, and a bunch of his “parishioners” are threatening to immolate themselves en masse unless PJB puts their views about medical treatment over the life of a sick baby who can’t exactly choose for herself.

In fairness, Seth and the show do their very best to explain that it’s not that simple but, since we’re not talking about people peaceably explaining their beliefs and trying to do the best they can in a difficult situation – which I would have had a lot more sympathy for – but rather blackmail and the threat of mass suicide, on this particular occasion it really is. As Lyor points out – FFS, that’s twice I agree with the man, what is happening? – “If they’re trying to barbecue themselves, it’s a cult.” And it’s a cult that’s not only endangering themselves but the Fire Service and the National Security Advisor too, since this week’s game of “Spin the Wheel of Jobs for Aaron to do” has landed on, I don’t know, Fire Marshal? National Disaster Advisor? Or maybe just Dude Who’ll Do Anything to Avoid the Office Secret Santa.

Anyway, as usual, Aaron has to try and fail to talk Pastor Henry from Ringer round before PJB can swoop in and do all sorts of slightly mad stuff – Religious Advisor (?) Emily’s sent in to wax Biblical at the baby’s mum, and a Doctor shunned by the entire medical and regulatory community is re-instated (and essentially given a halo) so he can try and save the child without upsetting anybody, while PJB debates theology with Pastor Henry. A solution is found, of course, and somewhat strangely, PJB and the show pretend it’s one that doesn’t compromise anybody’s beliefs, when it absolutely does, but since this is Designated Survivor not Salem, they’re not going to let a bunch of people burn to death on a random mountain at Christmas, so baby’s safe, mum’s safe and Henry from Ringer’s safe too. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good…

Er, not quite. Aaron is pulling double duty this week: back safely at his desk (no thanks to Henry from Ringer), he points out that he knows all about Agent Q’s not-so-secret affair with Mr MI6 and, since Mr MI6 has now been outed by both Chuck and Det Blakey as a Bad Man, he decides, entirely appropriately, to remove her from the investigation. Obviously, this decision lasts all of about twelve seconds, though, and Q is back on the case, having put the increasingly agitated Chuck gently but firmly back in his place. Before this week, I had wondered whether Q actually knows how Chuck feels about her – there’s something about the way she plays this scene that makes it absolutely clear that she does, and it’s never going to happen. Sorry, Chuck.

And sorry, Q, who ends another run of the show crying over a lost loved one – last season, it was poor Jason Atwood, this half-season it’s Mr MI6. Except that this is network tv, so if there’s no body…. yup, Mr MI6 isn’t dead. And neither is this weird conspiracy-within-a-conspiracy storyline, which brings me to the Reed Diamond investigation and the high hopes I had after PJB’s epiphany last week that Designated Survivor was finally going to commit to the idea that the FBI should absolutely investigate when there’s clear evidence of serious crimes potentially committed by the First Family. (I mean, it’s not like that idea has any real-world significance at the moment or anything, right?) Shows what I know: this week, FLOTUS is back on her ridiculous high horse, grandstanding at her deposition till Reed Diamond just… capitulates? Really? Because we’re now pretending FMILOTUS hasn’t actually admitted to felony corruption, and the man who bribed her didn’t set up a secret offshore bank account in her daughter’s name, and hasn’t been murdered since? We’re now pretending it really was all about Reed Diamond running for election?

For the last time this year, let me just ask: are you kidding me with this?

“I’ve beaten it” says a smiling FLOTUS, and I assume we’re supposed to smile too, but anybody who is doesn’t get to enjoy it for very long: FLOTUS goes the way of Rayna Jaymes and countless other tv characters before her – with the only original thing about the scene being that they used a (very pretty) cover version of “Only You” instead of “Hallellujah” at the end of it – and I find myself neither sad at her passing nor glad to see her go. Could they not just have sent her to jail? I disliked the character from the moment we met her, but if this ending means a Beverly-style beatification, the rest of the season is going to try my patience even more than this half has. I loved season one but, with the wretched mishandling of the FLOTUS/FMILOTUS story, the bizarre way Aaron has been treated, and the influx of new characters we didn’t need at the expense of old ones we did, part one of season two has been a real, infuriating disappointment. We’ll see what part two brings, but I have a horrible feeling it may well be more of the same.

Designated Survivor s2 ep 8

*SPOILERS*

If last season’s theme was An Armageddon Conspiracy , this season’s appears to be An All-Encompassing Cover-up, as another episode of Designated Survivor means another week of people we’re supposed to like for their honesty trying to hide all the things they’ve lied about.

First up, we have Press Secretary Seth who, having been found with a dealer’s quantity of drugs in his car, calls Kendra (on this show “White House Counsel” translates to “Counsel for everyone who’s ever set foot in the White House”) rather than his boss/girlfriend to bail him out of the slammer, and then tries to weasel his way out of the problem on the QT by having Ms Daynes get the charge kicked out at a secret hearing on the grounds of the search being illegal. Which it probably isn’t, as far as I can tell, but it’s not a Law and Order:DC technical point I’m making here, more a “general flavour of the writing on this show” one, because guess what? They’re not even Seth’s drugs, they’re his shiny “about to go to med school” brother’s, so not only are we sidestepping evidence of a FELONY, we’re lying to our lawyer and our boss/girlfriend about it. Because perish the thought ANYONE on this show or their parasitic family members might actually take responsibility for their own criminal behaviour.

Being the busiest lawyer in Washington, meanwhile, Kendra is also on point to sort out the insufferable Lyor’s crimes and misdemeanours: he’s apparently secretly married which, fine, would be his business, except he’s lied about it to the IRS for six years, which makes it very much their business too. The solution, then, is to persuade Mrs Lyor to agree to an annulment, and persuade the IRS to treat the marriage rather than Lyor’s tax returns as a sham, because, again: NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING.

Oddly, however, it turns out that Lyor is married to the Good Witch’s cousin, and even more oddly, that she still wants to be married to him, even though they’ve never lived together and he plays online computer games in his White House office instead of doing his actual job. Anyway, whatever, Mrs Lyor’s reasons, this means Kendra’s plan is slightly scuppered and I have to confess I’m not entirely sure how this storyline ended, but I don’t care because it’s stupid and my point is already made. Unless Lyor just decided to pay all his back taxes, in which case, well… good.

There is one secret I do have sympathy with this week, though, and that’s PJB “going dark” because he thinks he’s still in 24 to visit troops in Afghanistan. As well as being a handy excuse for some cheesy “Hell, yeah, hi-fives to the troops!” type scenes, PJB is apparently there to conduct an Apprentice-type interview for the role of America’s Next Top Warlord, with the added incentive being that if he picks the right one, he can avoid a massive terror attack on US soil. If he picks the wrong one, though…. bad times.

Leaving aside the likelihood of the President meeting warlords in bunkers to make this sort of decision purely on instinct because the intelligence services can’t make up their minds who to pick (despite the fact it’s blatantly obvious who the Bad Warlord, as opposed to the Good one, is), PJB has Aaron the National Security Advisor with him to look handsome in shades and a very nice jacket – tasks which Aaron accomplishes with aplomb, I should say – and Agent Q of the FBI to assist because she used to be in the CIA? I think? Did she? Oh God, I don’t know.

Anyway, never mind Q taking on Search for a Warlord liaison duties, there’s a bomb attack on a market several miles away to contend with. This would be terrible in its own right – and merits significantly more concern for the presumably Afghan casualties than the show bothers to give – but everyone is extra concerned because “Kevin Dean” is missing, and no doubt this would ordinarily be very worrying for me too, except that I’m not 100% sure who “Kevin Dean” is.

He must be a very special guy, though, because Q insists on going to look for him, and Aaron insists she take Mike with her, even though, this is really NOT part of the Secret Service role. Still, it means Q and Mike get to make up – he’s in a mood with Q this week for no reason other than “time to give Mike something to do” – and Q gets to wear a headscarf as a “disguise” which might work better were she not teaming it up with US army regulation clothes and a bullet-proof vest, but hey ho. Q finds “Kevin Dean”, who may or may not be the intelligence guy she introduced to PJB when he arrived at the base, but I don’t suppose we’ll ever see him again, so no matter. Good luck with your future endeavours, “Kevin Dean”, all the best.

With all that sorted, however, PJB still has to pick his pet Warlord, and there’s a randomly hilarious moment where he tries to do it by way of, er, company law. Dramatically waving a sheaf of papers about while shouting “Which these articles of incorporation prove!” is not Kiefer’s best look, and sure enough, he immediately switches to his “We will HUNT YOU DOWN!” comfort zone, and everyone moves very quickly on. The Bad Warlord is, of course, rumbled, and shouted at – he’s not escaping responsibility for anything – and PJB flies home, with fire in his belly and warmth in his heart, having rousted an enemy, made a friend, and persuaded a very nice Army chef to go home and see his estranged daughter because, although it’s going to be difficult and painful, sometimes you just have to face up to things. Unless you work for the Kirkman administration, in which case, meh, no need to bother.

Designated Survivor s2 ep 7

*SPOILERS*

With media and celebrity culture largely and quite rightly focused on men’s misconduct at the moment, Designated Survivor bucks the trend this week with something of a “women behaving badly” theme underlying all the main storylines.

Having made up an entire country last week, the show contents itself with fictionalising the leader of a real one this time around – albeit the veil they’ve used isn’t so much thin as invisible – who gets in a fight with PJB about an opposition leader, democracy and US air bases. This results in a complete disaster of a NATO meeting, and PJB being the worst negotiator ever, until he throws away all pretence at diplomacy, goes the full “I will FIND you” Jack Bauer on Mr Turan’s ass, and solves the problem, once again, by yelling at him. I’m not sure “channel your Inner Bauer” is the lesson we’re necessarily supposed to take from it, right enough, but the other potential lesson is worse, given that it turns out Leo’s first girlfriend is actually a foreign agent setting him up for… Oh, God, I don’t actually care. Suffice to say, Leo’s first girlfriend being an enemy operative is somewhat disappointing. Not because I give two tours of the Oval Office about the wretched Leo or his love life, but did the show really have to make the nice teenage girl in the inter-racial relationship a villainess taking advantage of the most privileged Caucasian boy in the world?

Not that Caucasian women are painted any more favourably this week. Despite a brief flirtation with the idea of Cornelius Moss as a suspect and his refusal to answer any questions at all – because every political drama needs a recovering alcoholic best pal – it’s obvious from the second we see her again that Charlotte Thorn’s murderer is going to be Peyton Lane, as Ms Thorn’s erstwhile assistant suddenly switches from last week’s plucky, self-possessed and smart mode, to the hoary old stereotype of “scorned lesbian murderess.” FFS. Designated Survivor is better than that. Or it should be.

Agent Q meanwhile succumbs to a different sort of stereotype since she and Mr MI6 celebrate one cliche with another: on solving the case, they jump each other’s bones, which isn’t so much behaving badly as behaving annoyingly, since Reed Diamond would be so good for Q and I don’t understand why I can’t just have this one ship work out for me on this show. Sigh.

Reed Diamond himself, however, has loftier concerns. He’s still busy investigating serial liar FMILOTUS, hampered slightly by the fact that the White House Women’s Guild – Counsel, FLOTUS and FMILOTUS – are quite brazenly conspiring to hide evidence from him. POTUS, meanwhile, is not just entirely on board with this, but actively colluding with them to help keep all their stories straight. So, let’s just be clear on this. The President, the First Family and the White House Counsel are working together to deceive federal investigators and cover up potential federal criminality. Does this not sound a little familiar? Which means the show suggesting it’s not just acceptable but necessary is hypocritical, inconsistent and frankly tone-deaf. Although no doubt what’ll happen in the end is that FMILOTUS (who is clearly up to her neck in it) will turn out to have been the real villain all along and she’ll take the fall for the whole thing. So a deceitful Administration will try to escape the consequences of its dishonesty by shifting all the blame onto a woman who isn’t actually a member of it. Oh, wait. That sounds pretty familiar too.

Designated Survivor s2 ep 6

*SPOILERS*

Let’s just skip past the fact that The West Wing previously invented an awfully similar-sounding country beginning with Ku, and get to this week’s main points, because a) there are a lot of them and b) OMG WTF Emily and Seth?!

Dealing with a) first, then, the political crisis of the week has a US navy ship colliding with a sanitation barge and getting stuck just off the coast of “rogue state Kunami” which cannot believe its luck, although it turns out luck may not have had all that much to do with it since the ship was sort-of-spying and the collision was not-exactly-an-accident. Relations between the US and Kunami are already murky, so the usual “send Aaron to try and talk the Ambassador down and, when that doesn’t cut it, bring out the Bauer Glower” two-step doesn’t work. As nobody really wants to try and write a war with a fictional state of indeterminate geographical location, though, a deal is reached whereby the American sailors can be rescued but they have to leave the ship behind. All of this would be fine, but it’s elevated beyond that by some genuinely sweet, moving scenes between PJB and the young sailor who has to take charge of the ship and eventually makes what seems to both POTUS and me to be a noble but tragically unnecessary sacrifice. Poor Captain Griffin. We barely knew ye.

Back on dry land, meanwhile, Agent Q and Mr MI6 have had to press pause on all snogging and all talking about snogging, because not only have they not solved the murder of Charlotte Thorn, but they now need to solve the kidnapping of Charlotte Thorn’s aide. Yes, while they’re busy getting nowhere with Smug Mrs Arms Dealer and her even Smugger Lawyer, the somewhat improbably named and even more improbably self-possessed Peyton Lane is snatched off the street. Happily, however, the kidnappers have reckoned without her counter-kidnapping skills and she’s able to lead Q and co right to her. Hurrah for Peyton Lane! And what do you know? Smug Mrs Arms Dealer doesn’t know anything about the Charlotte Thorn murder after all, but that’s ok, because Cornelius Moss has suddenly re-appeared with a big neon sign over his head saying “Way too invested in this storyline to be up to any good” and lo! Somebody’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Somebody’s not the only one. With the offscreen Reed Diamond steadfastly refusing to talk to the White House about the FMILOTUS investigation because that would be profoundly inappropriate (FFS do these people not know anything?), Kendra goes back to FMILOTUS to get her to sign some sort of “I swear I don’t know anything about anything, I promise, honest, trufax” declaration. No-brainer, right? Nuh-uh. At first, FMILOTUS tries to deflect a bit with the frankly astonishing suggestion that her precious time is somehow being wasted with the investigation of her own admitted felony corruption. (“This notion I have to keep addressing it and re-addressing it” – lady, you’ve done everything but address it, wind your neck in and be grateful you’re not in jail. Yet.) But Kendra isn’t fooled any more than we are; she immediately works out FMILOTUS is not telling the truth. And lo again! Here’s another big neon sign, only this one says “met the Eric dude again, once, six months ago, by ‘chance’ and ‘forgot’ about it? If you believe that, I have a timeshare on Venus to sell you, weather’s lovely this time of year.”

FMILOTUS isn’t the only shifty parent pottering round 1600 Penn this week, however. Since it’s “making up some new things about Emily” week, we learn that her dad walked out on her and her mum decades ago, and he’s not really changed all that much. Daddy Issues being a fundamental element of every US tv drama ever made, I suppose it was naive of me to expect Designated Survivor to ignore them, but there we go. In other Emily news, she has apparently given up both coffee and speaking to Aaron at all – they share a number of scenes together, and even sit next to each other, but somehow seem only to speak to other people, with the writing continuing to freeze Adan Canto’s Aaron out in the most blatant and bizarre way. What on earth is going on?

The weirdness of the whole business is encapsulated in the penultimate scene of the episode when Aaron sticks his head through Emily’s office door and, for a moment, I’m BEYOND excited – finally! They’re going to TALK. He’ll notice she’s upset. He’ll come in. He’ll comfort her. And it will be ON. Oh, YES.

At least, that’s what would have happened last season. And actually, that is what happens. Except not with Aaron. Oh, NO. Aaron manages one syllable (not even a whole word!) – “Em” – and a salute before he takes his head back out of the door and disappears. A salute! Even Johnny-Come-Lately Lyor brings his whole body into the room, and a bottle of that Kombucha stuff as a peace offering. Before clearing out to let Seth come in, notice Emily’s upset, comfort her and… Yup. So, last week when I said Lyor’s got Aaron’s season one getting-to-know-PJB storyline now? Looks like Seth’s got Aaron’s season one getting-to-kiss-Emily one. Albeit without any of the careful build-up, sparky chemistry or clarity as to WHAT THE BLAZES IS HAPPENING. Was that prosaic lip-lock the start or the middle of the Semily relationship? Can Aaron be pushed any further to the side without actually falling off the edge of the show? FFS. What a waste of a good character, and a ship that had heaps of chemistry and plenty of places to go, if only it hadn’t been so inexplicably, deliberately scuttled.