i know that the doctor was always very fond of sarah

Continuing Travels of Cophine, Chapt. 1

This follows the chapters I wrote for A Galaxy of Women, and you should totally read that entire work (here: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11836590), but this can stand by itself, as well. There are no other Ledas introduced by name here, either. This is more about what they’re doing when they’re not curing them.  This link for this work is here: http://archiveofourown.org/works/12116799


Cosima still wasn’t used to summer in late November. Their hotel room window was open, with a nice breeze fluttering the curtains, and she’d been wearing short sleeves for more than a month. Even in San Francisco it was cool and rainy this time of year, but here in Argentina it was hot.

The heat was more comfortable to think about than the image that greeted her on her screen, though. For months since leaving Toronto, she’d gotten daily updates on her cell cultures back in the lab under The Rabbit Hole. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a computer tracked temperature, light levels, and humidity levels of the enclosure, and emailed her four photographs of the cultures, from four different angles, at the same time every day. Once a day, Hell-Wizard would check on them in person, and if anything seemed amiss he emailed her, too.

And until yesterday, things had been just peachy on that end. She had stem cells that were on their way to becoming various mouse organs. Not anymore. Ninety percent of the cultures were dead, and the others were heading in that direction. Something had gone terribly wrong, and she didn’t even know what.

“I need a joint,” she said to the empty room. Nothing answered her. “Or a drink.”

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Person of Interest breaks TV's rules in a standout episode

The CBS techno-thriller has a heart. You just have to go looking for it sometimes.

- by Todd VanDerWerff, Vox

Shaw (Sarah Shahi) isn’t doing so hot. CBS

Every Sunday, we pick a new episode of the week. It could be good. It could be bad. It will always be interesting. You can read the archives here. The episode of the week for May 15 through May 21, 2016, is “6,741” the fourth episode of the fifth season of CBS’s Person of Interest.

TV writers have a term called “schmuck bait.” At its heart, it has a kind of contempt for the TV viewer, but it’s also probably necessary for any successful TV show.

Basically speaking, schmuck bait is any time a series teases a situation that would vastly change the series’ status quo. (Here, I should state that there is a trope of the same name delineated over at TV Tropes, but it has nothing to do with this definition.) A character’s life is threatened, or they say they’ll take a job in another town, or a couple threatens divorce. But by the end of the episode, all is well, because you know the series can’t change the game too much. It’s a TV show!

The reason for the term is that only a schmuck would fall for the setup. You’d have to be pretty naïve to think that, say, Sam Malone would leave Cheers forever, or that any one of the main ER doctors might fall prey to some medical malady themselves. And yet these situations set up solid drama for a show, which is why they keep coming back.

Thus, as viewers become savvier, TV becomes more and more of a balancing act — schmuck bait rises up here and there, and the show has to find ways to subvert it, to let the audience know it’s two steps ahead of them. Such an episode is Person of Interest’s “6,741.”

Nearly everything in this episode could be called schmuck bait

This picture doesn’t really have much to do with this article, but I like it. CBS

I could fairly easily spend several thousand words explaining the surprisingly complicated back story of Person of Interest. In the interest of brevity, I’ll say that the show is a sci-fi gem about a world secretly ruled by dueling artificial superintelligences known as The Machine (which is on the side of the show’s heroes) and Samaritan (which is on the side of their enemies).

Both Machine and Samaritan represent the global surveillance state run even more amok than usual, as they use the gigantic global network to track individuals, fight crime, and rain down all manner of death and destruction. In the show’s fourth season, former CIA agent and current Machine operative Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi) was captured by Samaritan forces. Unable to save her, the others on the side of the Machine eventually assumed she was dead.

She wasn’t! (Remember, this is an article about schmuck bait.) Yet the show took its sweet time in bringing her back. Fully four episodes passed from when she last appeared in significant fashion (in fourth season’s 21st episode) to “6,741.” That gave her lengthy absence — which turned out to last nine months — the kind of emotional and psychological weight that gave it a real feeling of permanence, rather than a quick plot twist meant to goose the drama.

In one sense, then, everything that happens in “6,741” is schmuck bait. Shaw escapes captivity way too easily. She finds her old friends way too easily. Indeed, everything comes a little too easily when you stop and think about it.

And when she starts killing said friends, you realize there’s another shoe hanging out there somewhere, waiting to drop. It might, indeed, occur to you that this is a dream episode (which it sort of is, as everything is happening inside Shaw’s head as Samaritan probes her thoughts to ascertain her friends’ weaknesses and how Shaw might be used against them).

Of all the types of cheap storytelling devices you could employ, “It was all a dream” is one of the cheapest. And yet not only does “6,741” get away with that, but it gets away with all other manner of twists that should seem cheap, right down to seemingly killing off two regular characters. (It might be the show’s final season, but the bloodbath probably wouldn’t happen in episode four.)

So how does Person of Interest get away with all of this stuff that could feel cheap? It has two tricks up its sleeve. The first is Shaw herself, and the second is that it roots everything in an epic love story for the ages.

This show has one of TV’s best love stories

Root (Amy Acker) cares for Shaw. CBS

The very first time Person of Interest fans met Shaw was in a second season episode told from her point-of-view, as a brutally effective CIA operative on the trail of some of the show’s other characters. The character (and Shahi’s performance) proved so popular that she was added to the cast on a regular basis in season three.

And yet the series has always contained a trace of the idea that Shaw is at once part of the central band of heroes and just a little bit apart from it. Person of Interest has always been fond of breaking apart its usual formulas to pursue episodes that take more experimental bents, and yet a great many of these have involved Shaw herself, including the aforementioned introductory hour and a thrilling season four episode, told from the point-of-view of The Machine, that detailed its desperate attempts to keep her from dying.

This is because of that outsider quality Shaw has, because of the way that her borderline sociopathy and easy facility with violence (often on display in “6,741”) keep her from entirely blending in even with a rather ruthless band such as this one. Thus, “6,741” avoids feeling cheap (or like schmuck bait) because Shaw is so damned good at what she does that any chance to watch her do her thing feels like its very own special treat. She doesn’t seem to have a softer side, and that’s why fans love her.

Except she does, and it’s in her softer side that “6,741” finally transcends its “it was all a dream!” setup. See, Shaw has been circling another member of the group for what feels like eons now, the genius hacker Root (Amy Acker).

The series has never made a huge deal of their romantic connection (or, really, any romantic connection on the show), but the chemistry between Acker and Shahi is potent enough that when Root is the one to find Shaw early in “6,741,” it feels like the episode will simply turn into the two women casting longing glances at each other, and that approach will work.

And, see, even if this is all a dream, it allows the show to explore just how deep Shaw’s feelings for Root truly run. The climax of the episode, no less, presents a Shaw who has yet to betray her friends completely, because every time it comes time to kill Root, she simply can’t do it. (In the simulation viewers see, Shaw shoots herself instead of killing her lover.)

Accusations of schmuck bait fall away when such hugely dramatic steps are taken (and undone) in the name of character development as significant as this. Shaw isn’t the sociopath she’s been sold as. She has, somewhere, a beating heart, and as the show heads into its final stretch of episodes, it’s now with the hope that Shaw and Root might find each other, no matter the odds, and finally be happy together. (Given this show, that doesn’t seem likely.)

When Person of Interest debuted, the series was written off as slightly cold, as a techno-thriller that lacked anything human to it. As the series went on, it became ever more clear that it had that chilly feeling because so many of its characters were, themselves, machines, made that way by an increasingly impersonal society.

And yet here, in the middle of all that, one of the best love stories on TV. The implication is clear: if we survive the coming AI war, it won’t be because we’ve placated either superintelligence; it will be because we’ve remembered what makes us human in the first place.

- original article here [x]


THIS.

Totally agree! 100%!! Root x Shaw’s relationship is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest love story ever told & performed on-screen in recent memory. The depth of their love and devotion for each other is so heartfelt it just tug at your heart strings. If that’s not enough, Amy Acker & Sarah Shahi’s chemistry is so palpable it lights up the screen every time they share the screen together. Their commitment to portraying truth and honesty in a love story is what breathes life into their on-screen romance.

Thank you POI writers. Thank you Amy & Sarah for truly believing in this relationship and shipping it!

5 Reasons why I don’t think Clara’s dead

1. Steven Moffat didn’t write the episode. That’s odd. That’s really odd. Didn’t even claim a joint credit. Instead it went to a first-time who writer, Sarah Dollard (who did a good job, in fairness). That’s unprecedented. This is arguably the most important episode as regards Clara, a character second only to the Doctor, and Moffat doesn’t write it? The only experience we have with this is when Rory kept not dying.


2. Peter Capaldi let it slip. Capaldi’s nearly sixty, he’s been at the acting game for years, are you telling me he just made a mistake? It all seems very… neat. And whenever a cast member (under Moffat) lets something slip, you generally shouldn’t take it at face value. Rule 1: the Doctor lies.


3. We know she’s in at least one more scene. This is from stills in Doctor Who magazine (see the cover). It could be a flashback, but what flashback would require Clara dressed as a waiter in a pizza parlour? Having said that, it could be one version of Clara scattered through time telling the Doctor to move on, but that would drag it out to an unbearable length. Not that Moffat has ever been fond of letting things go.


4. She contains Time Lord energy. Yes folks, Clara was in the Dalek when they all upgraded to Dalek/Time Lord hybrids. It’s not unreasonable to suggest she took on some of that energy which would enable her to survive (although she will meet her end again by ep12). If we’re going on theories, a slightly less credible one is that Bonnie met her end instead of Clara, but who knows?


5. Her relationship arc isn’t over. Steven Moffat is not subtle. He’ll drop hints, but he wants you to get it in the end, and often ends up labouring the point. The episode acknowledged that her arc with the Doctor wasn’t finished when Clara told him not to say it, that their timing has always been wrong. Merlin was subtle. Moffat’s Who can be sledgehammer-like in comparison.


And bonus! 6. It’s Steven Moffat. He killed Rory multiple times. And think of Sherlock. And as for all of the melodramatic “deaths” of the Doctor - is Clara any different?

Sarah

So I have a headcanon that Cameron has an older sister (Sarah) and so I wrote a fic about her because I couldn’t help myself.

Cameron’s sister makes a surprise visit and winds up meeting Kirsten. Cameron can’t tell if he’s really obvious or if she’s really perceptive. Maybe both.

Cameron had a morning routine: wake up at seven, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast then leave for work. The monotony of the routine helped him get ready for the day. He was a creature of habit who had things the way he liked them and wasn’t overly fond of when the routine was changed. Days when his routine was changed (like days he hit snooze too many times and got a late start) never seemed to go well for him, which he always blamed on not being in the proper headspace due to his interrupted routine.

So when he’s awakened at an ungodly hour because his phone is buzzing, he’s highly irritated because he just knows this is going to throw off his routine. He will admit, though, that his irritation lessened when he looked at his phone to find a text from Kirsten, saying she was going to come over in the morning to discuss their current case (and would be bringing bagels so not to bother trying to make some weird breakfast smoothie).

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Reunion

So, Rose Tyler muses, this must be how the Doctor feels.

                  It’s arguably one of her more arrogant thoughts—comparing herself to a centuries-old alien with the ability to traverse all of time and space, honestly—but she can’t shake the feeling that she’s absolutely right.

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