Okay, I was misled about the BFF-ness of David and Jack. Jack actually hates David, and David is blandly het. I am okay with the former, though hatesex isn't my thing so I do not foresee myself being involved in the the segment of fandom that will dominate this fandom. I like Michelle, but when she's telling David about the ice cream truck, how "it's like it wasn't real to him until that moment" and "the human will can take ashes and turn it into ice cream," he's leaning in to kiss her, and I was like, "wtf?" Mostly I was pissed that she was telling this very moving story and he wasn't even listening. I'm generally not sold on their chemistry -- I can see why they would like each other, but I don't get the impression that they've had the chance to develop anything besides that initial attraction (or to get to know each other any beyond that initial attraction), so the fact that I'm supposed to be shipping them feels weird. Your canon het is pasted on, show.
As soon as someone said "Reverend Samuels" I almost stopped the video to look up the Biblical Samuel (ditto Shiloh). And David is Jessie's son! *dances* (And of course their last name is Benjamin :) )
I am uncomfortable with the fact that the Good Boy is blonde and the Bad Boy has that evil/tortured pale-skin-and-dark-hair thing going on (the tortured look seemed to increase as the episode went along, which made sense given what was happening to his life).
The beginning scenes with King Silas, I was like, "Why is everyone white? Why do they not look Jewish?" It quickly occurred to me that, duh, this may be a modern version of The Book of Samuel, but this does not have to be a solely Jewish story, and wtf do I mean "look Jewish"? But it's still problematic that people of color are so invisible in this universe. I liked from the very beginning that Reverend Samuels is black. The first pan after/during Silas' speech is of a black family, which I really liked. But do we see many people of color in the army or at the banquet or at the king's meetings? Thomasina is ... I dunno what her function is ... like nanny to the entire family (Silas: "you never sleep either" / Thomasina: "the family needs 24-hour care"). Silas' mistress is a woman of color, and she is clearly a positive figure, but she is a supporting character. Edit: Meant to mention: There's also the head military guy or whatever he is exactly, whom I think is Asian. /edit
The CrossGen guy is the Queen's brother. When I first saw them really close to each other at the party, I assumed they were having an affair -- and that that's the information she was trying to protect getting her cell phone back.
I liked that Silas was resistant to continuing the war (as the newscaster told us, he's a veteran of the war himself and so will do what he can to prevent a war -- of course right after that news bit the next scene was "Northern Border, Two Years Later, The War with Gath Continues" -- which, on reflection, "Northern Border" ... I wonder if they're gonna do anything with Israel/Judah parallels *makes note to read up on that Biblical history*) and his brother-in-law convinces him by basically blackmailing him with threat of greater death and destruction to his people. Yes if he really is such a man of God (especially in the Old Testament style) he should stick to his ethics, but I have a lot of sympathy for the lesser-of-two-evils greater-good stance. (I'm not a fan of one-dimensional characters like the brother-in-law who simply serve as plot devices, but hopefully)
When the guy (who I did not know at the time was Reverend Samuels) wiped that smudge off David's forehead, I immediately thought, "It's like he's anointing him" (it helps that I observed Ash Wednesday a few weeks ago) -- and then we got the dramatic sunlight.
Looking back at my notes to do this writeup, Reverend Samuels tells David "if you can fix it, you deserve it." He's speaking about the watch, but on reflection, it feels true of the city.
One reporter asks, "Is your dad proud of you?" I was like, "Don't you do your research? I know this kid's a nobody, but surely you would have your interns do a quick background check to find out basics about his family and such."
[I also quibbled at him being so awkward in ending his first press briefing with a totally off-topic plug for Michelle's health care reform bill ... I mean, I can understand that he's all awkwardly in like with her and stuff, but it just felt out-of-character-ly awkward for him, especially since we had established that he could use his position to actually make people in the city really talk about the war.]
When we see David at the piano I thought, "Of course" -- "I heard there was a secret chord, that David played and it pleased the Lord"
Near the beginning we get "God's not popular right now." / "He doesn't care. He likes God."
But the people DO want to hear the butterfly story (even though after its first telling I think it's kind of lame).
Silas says "sorry, puppy" to his daughter at this briefing meeting? Way to make me kind of hate you, Silas. That's just so unprofessional.
I liked that Silas says that Jack's proclivity for boys is "as God made [him]" ("but you cannot be what God made you. Not if you mean to take my place.")
Rev. Samuels: "They are all your children, Silas."
Rev. Samuels: "I bring a message: since you have cast aside the word of the Lord, He has cast you aside as king. He grants you no more fame. He protects your family no longer. [...] He will find another."
One blogger comments, "in the original tale, God actually abandoned Saul not due to an act of violence but due to an act of mercy." Edit: Kita and I actually discussed this some here. /edit
I was telling L. in gchat yesterday that I'm actually not having my usual UR DOIN IT WRONG reaction to the changes but am instead thinking, "It's interesting to see what the changes they make say about the story they're telling."
I was totally onboard with David being uncomfortable with hero status, but I was not expecting the reveal that he was actually surrendering in that photo. I liked the symmetry that after his brother (Eli!) died he surrendered. Yes, I usually eyeroll at the dramatic gesture because that's the kinda thing that makes good soundbytes but actual issues are so much more complicated and nuanced ... but I like the idea that it is because he is willing to surrender rather than try to seize/keep power for himself that he is chosen by God (well, one of the reasons).
Edit: I also like the "Be brave now" -- that we always have the option, the opportunity, to be better than we have been, to make better choices than we have made in the past.
Oh, and I neglected to mention, in that end scene, the Queen says to Silas, "It's embarrassing -- I'm still a bit in awe of you after all these years. All you've accomplished. Are still accomplishing." I felt like she's still in love with him -- in contrast to the suggestions we get ("you gave up the whore you loved") that Silas married her because it was politic.