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Sure, Michael! Don't know if I'll find you on the MADAM SECRETARY page though considering how you feel about it. ;-) I don't watch THE WALKING DEAD. But, I watch a lot of other ones. However, I'm running a little behind these days. Another thing about renewals that people don't seem to understand - every network & cable channel has a different bar or criteria for making their decision. Networks are not stand-alone entities. They are usually part of major
entertainment corporations, which are just now figuring out how to do more than simply cross-promote. They are literally leveraging all their resources to sell their products in different ways all over the entertainment spectrum, so everyone will see better returns across the board. The most obvious examples are Disney/Marvel/ABC and Warner Bros/DC Comics/CW.

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I don't think THE MENTALIST ratings fell because of CBS. They fell when the show tried to do it's umpteenth fake out of a Red John finale & didn't reward viewers with a decisive conclusion the following season. IIRC, it was when TM was still in its cushy Thursday time slot around the 4th year. A lot of fans just got tired of all the red herrings & bailed. People left long before TM was moved to Sunday. IMO, CBS was not only patient. They have been overly generous to give it 2.5 more seasons. I expected it to be cxld two years ago. As for NCIS & TBBT, I'm not talking quality of writing or episode structure. From a pure ratings standpoint, both of those shows did not take off to their top positions until after their *4TH* season! Hmmm...maybe that's a clue. For CBS, the 4th year seems to be critical as to whether or not they'll hold something for a few more years. I DO know that a show being CBS-produced & owned is definitely a factor vs. those that are not. And, those already getting revenue from reruns, and that are popular overseas, have an edge over those that aren't.

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Because it is in the top 15-rated shows of the week on a regular basis, and CBS prefers to build an audience over time. That's how monster hits like BIG BANG THEORY & NCIS with large followings are created, and they know it. Same with SCORPION. I don't know what information you look at, & arrive at a different conclusion. It is a money decision. Ratings = money. Entertainment corporations are not charities. Profit is always the bottom line.

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Great episode. Couple of thoughts...
1) If this doesn't get Hunter to drop Bobbie for good, I don't know what will. Move on, man.
2) Isabelle Hartley was probably a Gonzales convert, too. Bummer.
3) BIG cracks already in RealSHIELDland. There are too many cooks in the kitchen with access to big guns when things don't go the way someone wants. HYDRA may have been evil. But, at least they were a model of efficiency.

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I'm interested in the Inhuman storyline, too. But, IMO, they are no better than "real" SHIELD in that they don't trust anyone but their own kind. Both of them foster an attitude of "us vs. them" and refuse to give others the chance to make up their own mind. It's really easy for Gordon to put himself in the position of savior, criticizing Coulson & Team for dealing with Skye's abilities from a position of prevention, when he's had the benefit of over 4 decades of knowledge and they have ZERO - and they are being deliberately kept in the dark by the Inhumans. It's a manipulation - they circle the wagons & criticize all those left on the outside for not knowing what's in the middle.

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The best way to show viewers how easy it is to slip into the mindset of "purists" like Hitler, Mengele, etc. is to show favorite characters walking that line. Nothing wrong with making the audience think about different points of view and how people justify their positions. That said, isn't Melinda May AWESOME? No matter how twisted or weird the situation, she believes in her people. I LOVE her! But, viewers should also remember that Coulson & May have the big advantage of knowing Fury isn't dead, & that Cap & Black Widow are on his side. Knowing Fury gave Coulson his stamp of approval makes any group trying to claim that role a fraud from the audience's perspective.

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I can't get past, "Whose the daddy?" - to Lily that is. Why is no one talking about that? Maleficent = Mistress of All Evil. Lilith = the First Evil (biblical reference). Maybe she doesn't have a father, & Maleficent was able to produce enough evilness to take human form. I'd like to think Lily does have a father though. Who might it be? Hades? They've already touched on Greek & Roman mythology with Poseidon. Aurora's father, King Stefan? I hope it isn't Rumple...

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I think the key is that every character has the *potential* to either make good choices or bad choices, as the apprentice said. It's the 50/50 thing. Regina thinks that her happy ending will only come about if the author writes it so. But, IMO, she's in her happy ending right now - having her son, Emma's friendship & loyalty, and even the trust of the Charmings. She just doesn't realize it because, sadly, she's fixated on a man making everything perfect (typical mistake). Regina earned all that goodwill on her own - regardless of how she was written - because she chose wisely. Maybe that's where all this "Author" stuff is going - that no one determines our fates but us. We hold the ultimate responsibility and it can't be pawned off to someone else. Snow & Charming chose poorly when they wanted a guarantee that their child would develop & grow to have the future only they envisioned. Rookie parenting mistake, thinking they can control their child's development to the exclusion of everything else - including the child! There are NO guarantees in parenting. But, they didn't know that being young & inexperienced at the time. What was not cool was keeping quiet about it for such a long time. The time to tell Emma was way back when they told her about sending her to Storybrooke in a tree, because that's when her journey really began.

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Totally AGREE! Especially when Lucious accused Cookie of being a snitch when he was arrested. Jamal just stared at her instead of recognizing how ridiculous the accusation was. Cookie spent 17 years in prison, NOT snitching once. If anyone doesn't deserve to be called a rat or a snitch, it's Cookie. And, we ALL know that Lucious would throw anyone under the nearest bus, h*ll he'd frame them or shoot them in the head, to save his own sorry *ss. It's pretty clear that the episode was structured to show that Jamal was basically selling his soul to the devil/Lucious to be the Chosen One. Everyone who supported & loved Jamal regardless of his sexuality *before* he came out was in Lucious' crosshairs at the end of the finale - Cookie, Andre & Rhonda, Hakeem, & Anika. And, poor Vernon was dead. Jamal was starved for his dad's "love & affection" for his entire life that when he finally gets it, he doesn't even see that it's a manipulation and he's allied himself with the wrong person.

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I was talking about the CHARACTERS being in denial; not you personally. Cookie says that being bipolar is a "white person's" disease because she is trying to deflect that her son has a real problem. And, Lucious' comment to Andre about him marrying a "white woman" & not being worthy of the keys to the kingdom is Lucious also in denial about the fact that he'll never hand the keys to his kingdom over to anyone, no matter what he says. He refuses to see that he is a control freak manipulating anyone & everyone. Both characters are using overtly "racist" comments to shield their true fears & natures, consciously & unconsciously, just like people do in real life.