8 replies on “4400 Discussion – “Rebirth””

  1. bombadil says:

    Contrived…
    Up until now I have been really enjoying ‘4400’. But this episode they screwed up. The writing was contrived. Mayuya didn’t kill anyone. He just didn’t throw himself in front of the machine guns and machetes of the Hutus. There is a huge difference. If he had stood up to the militia all of those people would still be dead, and so would he.
    Tom’s reaction seemed very fake, forced, and contrived. I kept waiting for someone to say ‘What the hell is everyone going crazy about? This guy didn’t kill anyone. He was afraid for his life and didn’t try to be a hero.’

    Now if Joss Whedon had written this Mayuya would have been a real mass-murderer, leading to some true conflicts of interest and moral ambiguities. But the cowardly writers chickened out and instead wrote a script with the subtlety of Gilligan’s Island.

    Stupid stupid writing. This episode really let me down. Now I know at any time I can expect characters to behave illogically and ruin the story.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Contrived…

      Up until now I have been really enjoying ‘4400’. But this episode they screwed up. The writing was contrived. Mayuya didn’t kill anyone. He just didn’t throw himself in front of the machine guns and machetes of the Hutus. There is a huge difference. If he had stood up to the militia all of those people would still be dead, and so would he.
      Tom’s reaction seemed very fake, forced, and contrived. I kept waiting for someone to say ‘What the hell is everyone going crazy about? This guy didn’t kill anyone. He was afraid for his life and didn’t try to be a hero.’

      Now if Joss Whedon had written this Mayuya would have been a real mass-murderer, leading to some true conflicts of interest and moral ambiguities. But the cowardly writers chickened out and instead wrote a script with the subtlety of Gilligan’s Island.

      Stupid stupid writing. This episode really let me down. Now I know at any time I can expect characters to behave illogically and ruin the story.

      I agree, the other episodes have been VERY good. I espically like the one “without” the 4400, it was a great setup.

      I kept feeling like Tom’s reaction was contrived precisely because of what will happen in future episodes. I think his hard line stance was actually out of character, but the writers are trying to set him up for the fall with his son. But the thing is, next week its about his son, and it isn’t going to really matter what he though of this guy. He’ll just rationalize it to not be his son’s fault, which is really easy, because he was actually being controlled IMHO buy the future.

      Is anyone beginning to suspect that Collier’s special gift was his money, and that the future sent him back specifically to set up the 4400 center. But once the center was set up, he was the wrong man to run it, so they had him killed.

      Oh and speaking of the center, I really like Sean’s handler. Its a brilliantly written character that isn’t all good or evil and keeps you guessing.

      • nkuzmik says:

        Re: Contrived…

        Up until now I have been really enjoying ‘4400’. But this episode they screwed up. The writing was contrived. Mayuya didn’t kill anyone. He just didn’t throw himself in front of the machine guns and machetes of the Hutus. There is a huge difference. If he had stood up to the militia all of those people would still be dead, and so would he.
        Tom’s reaction seemed very fake, forced, and contrived. I kept waiting for someone to say ‘What the hell is everyone going crazy about? This guy didn’t kill anyone. He was afraid for his life and didn’t try to be a hero.’

        Now if Joss Whedon had written this Mayuya would have been a real mass-murderer, leading to some true conflicts of interest and moral ambiguities. But the cowardly writers chickened out and instead wrote a script with the subtlety of Gilligan’s Island.

        Stupid stupid writing. This episode really let me down. Now I know at any time I can expect characters to behave illogically and ruin the story.

        I agree, the other episodes have been VERY good. I espically like the one “without” the 4400, it was a great setup.

        I kept feeling like Tom’s reaction was contrived precisely because of what will happen in future episodes. I think his hard line stance was actually out of character, but the writers are trying to set him up for the fall with his son. But the thing is, next week its about his son, and it isn’t going to really matter what he though of this guy. He’ll just rationalize it to not be his son’s fault, which is really easy, because he was actually being controlled IMHO buy the future.

        Is anyone beginning to suspect that Collier’s special gift was his money, and that the future sent him back specifically to set up the 4400 center. But once the center was set up, he was the wrong man to run it, so they had him killed.

        Oh and speaking of the center, I really like Sean’s handler. Its a brilliantly written character that isn’t all good or evil and keeps you guessing.

        Take a close look at his handler, that’s a very good word for him. Does anything about him seem familier, the tempo and cadence of his speech or his some of his body language…

        • J_W_W says:

          Re: Contrived…

          Up until now I have been really enjoying ‘4400’. But this episode they screwed up. The writing was contrived. Mayuya didn’t kill anyone. He just didn’t throw himself in front of the machine guns and machetes of the Hutus. There is a huge difference. If he had stood up to the militia all of those people would still be dead, and so would he.
          Tom’s reaction seemed very fake, forced, and contrived. I kept waiting for someone to say ‘What the hell is everyone going crazy about? This guy didn’t kill anyone. He was afraid for his life and didn’t try to be a hero.’

          Now if Joss Whedon had written this Mayuya would have been a real mass-murderer, leading to some true conflicts of interest and moral ambiguities. But the cowardly writers chickened out and instead wrote a script with the subtlety of Gilligan’s Island.

          Stupid stupid writing. This episode really let me down. Now I know at any time I can expect characters to behave illogically and ruin the story.

          I agree, the other episodes have been VERY good. I espically like the one “without” the 4400, it was a great setup.

          I kept feeling like Tom’s reaction was contrived precisely because of what will happen in future episodes. I think his hard line stance was actually out of character, but the writers are trying to set him up for the fall with his son. But the thing is, next week its about his son, and it isn’t going to really matter what he though of this guy. He’ll just rationalize it to not be his son’s fault, which is really easy, because he was actually being controlled IMHO buy the future.

          Is anyone beginning to suspect that Collier’s special gift was his money, and that the future sent him back specifically to set up the 4400 center. But once the center was set up, he was the wrong man to run it, so they had him killed.

          Oh and speaking of the center, I really like Sean’s handler. Its a brilliantly written character that isn’t all good or evil and keeps you guessing.

          Take a close look at his handler, that’s a very good word for him. Does anything about him seem familier, the tempo and cadence of his speech or his some of his body language…

          Whoa….

          Now that you mention it. Wow, thats mindblowing. You are basically suggestion that Collier’s power was in fact, regeneration. That would be a very cool twist for the series, and also fit the “new” character’s personality very well. They haven’t mentioned his body missing ever since the episode where they were having his funeral have they?

          • rfs says:

            Re: Contrived…

            Whoa….

            Now that you mention it. Wow, thats mindblowing. You are basically suggestion that Collier’s power was in fact, regeneration. That would be a very cool twist for the series, and also fit the “new” character’s personality very well. They haven’t mentioned his body missing ever since the episode where they were having his funeral have they?

            Now *that* is an interesting idea. Though when he first arrived, didn’t he already have a backstory as their lobbyist in Washington? I’m not sure if I remember any earlier references to him, though.

            Food for thought, though, that’s really cool.

            • valen1260 says:

              Re: Contrived…

              You are basically suggestion that Collier’s power was in fact, regeneration. That would be a very cool twist for the series, and also fit the "new" character’s personality very well. They haven’t mentioned his body missing ever since the episode where they were having his funeral have they?

              Now *that* is an interesting idea. Though when he first arrived, didn’t he already have a backstory as their lobbyist in Washington? I’m not sure if I remember any earlier references to him, though.

              The backstory does seem to suggest that Collier and the new guy aren’t the same, but I have suspected that Collier’s power has him alive somewhere. However, remember that the baby showed Collier his speech without incident, effectively lying to him to counter Maia’s claims and put him in a false sense of security. Then, presumably under the control of the Futurians, Kyle assassinates him. This would seem to suggest that, yes, Collier’s purpose was to build the centers, thrust the 4400 onto the stage ("Fix the world, or we’ll do it for you."), and possibly even put the well-meaning Shawn in a position of power, and that his death was part of the plan.

              Though it’s easy to criticize the lack of subtlety in "Rebirth", the previous few episodes have really set some nice ground work for the series, including these easily-overlooked pieces.

              While I’m rambling, and since there was no post for "Life Interrupted", I just want to comment on how that episode took me where I didn’t think I was going. I thought, "Oh, no. Buffy/Sinclair/Riker is stuck in her/his own head again. We know this, now we have to watch him figure it out." Instead, though it wasn’t a wholly original idea either, he has an accomplice and they spend eight years together in a matter of seconds. I thought it was a nice "gift" from the 4400 for Tom, and a nice episode to break up the drama of assassinations, plagues, and war criminals.

        • TechnoGirl says:

          Re: Contrived…

          Take a close look at his handler, that’s a very good word for him. Does anything about him seem familier, the tempo and cadence of his speech or his some of his body language…

          I agree and those were my thoughts within he first 15 minutes of seeing this guy.

          And on another note… people it is totally LAME to quote an entire 30 line message (witrh embedded quotes tself) for a 2 line response – no one person I’m talking about but wouldn;t it be nice to nip some lameness in the bud before it explodes into a cacophany of ineptitude? )

    • rfs says:

      Re: Contrived…

      Up until now I have been really enjoying ‘4400’. But this episode they screwed up. The writing was contrived. Mayuya didn’t kill anyone. He just didn’t throw himself in front of the machine guns and machetes of the Hutus. There is a huge difference. If he had stood up to the militia all of those people would still be dead, and so would he.
      Tom’s reaction seemed very fake, forced, and contrived. I kept waiting for someone to say ‘What the hell is everyone going crazy about? This guy didn’t kill anyone. He was afraid for his life and didn’t try to be a hero.’

      Now if Joss Whedon had written this Mayuya would have been a real mass-murderer, leading to some true conflicts of interest and moral ambiguities. But the cowardly writers chickened out and instead wrote a script with the subtlety of Gilligan’s Island.

      Stupid stupid writing. This episode really let me down. Now I know at any time I can expect characters to behave illogically and ruin the story.

      I don’t completely agree. I think Mayuya’s actions could be interpreted by many as just as complicit in genocide – and I think that a war crimes / “truth & reconciliation” tribunal would likely find him complicit. Certainly there was no ambiguity in the response of the Tutsis who discovered who he was.

      However, I do agree that Tom’s reaction seemed overdone. Maybe if he had been set up as someone with really strict ethical/moral guidelines who couldn’t tolerate any deviation, I might believe it. But as it is, he tends to play it fast-and-loose.

      In any case, I don’t think the script was totally devoid of subtlety. I’m not sure there’s a huge difference between “yes, I’m a mass murderer, and now I’m going to try to atone for it by healing birth defects, which will eventually kill me” and “yes, I stood by and let people die, but I didn’t kill them, and now I feel so guilty about that that I’m going to try to atone for it…” which is where it seemed to leave off, to me.

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