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Everything posted by vain68

  1. Gentlemen (Zeus and 4th), let us return to our cogent discussion once again. Zeus, lets address your concerns at this time and I see a very critical point you mentioned which buttresses your own claims quite nicely. That point, in a nutshell is that character introspection alone can not carry an episode. If we accept this, then indeed your argument is tight and compact. However, we must again consider the organizational perspective of things. It can be argued that up to the point of MNOTC, we have inchoate support for the psychological functioning of the main character (Frank). Keeping in mind that, to a degree, each episode followed (even if in a nonlinear fashion) from the previous ones, we see then that such an episode could survive on its own, and survive quite well. I think a hallmark of that episode is that it established, for the first time, that there was going to be a fundamental linkage of the series at perhaps the most important level--the psychological, the personal, the corporeal. In considering organization and coherence, let me offer a quick example from my own work that may allow us to understand the concept a bit better. Consider an infant. The particular behavioral repertoire the infant uses to signal distress may be vastly different from the fully developed adult, but both distress signalling has at its core the 'signal for help.' Discrete behaviors, plots, subplots may change, but organization (purposiveness) does not. This is how I see MNOTC. We do not have the usual hunting and apprehending of evil, but at the very core (organization) we do indeed address the same internal workings in Pilot as we do in MNOTC. Let me also add that I do not believe the early episodes suffered from incoherent plots And Zeus I would most def. agree that Pilot was exceptionally done. Exceptionally. I would certainly rank Pilot easily in the top 5 episodes of all time. Where it is situated in that mix I can not say at the moment however. Excellent post Zeus excellent.
  2. Zeus, welcome aboard my friend, welcome aboard. Let me further elaborate on why this tripartite grouping does indeed, at least as far as SI and SII go, represent the most fully developed aspects of the series. Let me add of course, that this is indeed my opinion, but I believe I can argue strongly for this. When we evaluate what are high points, we must empiricize or 'empirically define' what is it that makes them high points. If, as has been suggested on various threads throughout this board, we consider high points those episodes that are the most horrifying, the most ghastly--no matter how coherent the plot--then of course we might arrive at a different conclusion. However, it is my contention that high points in a series such as MM must be assessed from the perspective of inner workings, of sublimal underlying messages, and most importantly in terms of overall coherence and organization in linking the other epidsodes of the show. Of course, should we use definition number #1, then episodes like Pilot might be viewed as a high point. However, using what I believe is a more integrated view of high points, let us evaluate first MNOC. MNOC was the first and perhaps the only look into the intergenerational portrait of Frank's psychological development. Here we come to see his early life, which set in train his ultimate personality development. Of course, we can not argue that his personality or his 'gift' was what lead him to his field of choice in the first place. In speaking of his field, I will eschew the term "profiler" and use instead the term "explorer of evil." While in SI he is indeed a consultant profiler (and this may have been Carter's vision a la the Academy group) we see in SII (as I have alluded to before) that Frank's journey is much more than simply profiling and apprehending. We are lead to believe that Frank's mother committed suicide, spurred in large part by her depression. Such loss no doubt influences Frank's journey in understanding evil--but more subtley constructs such as 'hope,' 'alone,' and/or 'despair.' Note that many of these same words are used in the intro particularly in SI. There is no doubt then, that Frank's experiences in early life are what at the least honed his gift, and as such, such an episode provides coherence to why he acted as a consultant in the first place. It was not only a bridge to SI, but a bridge to the future of SII where we examine evil, loss, grief more holistically. Thus, as a 'double bridge' it provides linkages and coherence. In addition, aspects of faith are brought forth against the backdrop of Christmas, furthering a more holistic examination of loss, grief, pain, abandonment. As such, a level of organization to the series is provided where heretofore has only be obliquely hinted at. Luminary: Rather than considering cinematic elements or realism per se, consider again the deeper issues. From Pilot on, we are tuned in, almost subconciously to the struggle between Frank's need to be alone with his gift and his attachment to his wife and family. If we accept that genius or excellence can not be interfered with by anyone or anything to function optimally, and the related notion that attachment is a fundamental need of all humans, we see the organizing framework of the 'struggle' throughout the whole series. This struggle exists as background noise throughout all of SI and SII. It organizes both of them. Let us consider some relevant notions: Consider a relevant quote from the movie Heat; here we see that to be the best bank robber one must As soon as the head man (DeNiro) does form an attachment, things go down hill for him in regards to his uncanny ability to maintain his excellence in bank-robbing (there are other factors, but let us ignore those for the moment). In addition, not only does Frank struggle, but so does Catherine and her pouring over astrology to understand her situation, to understand Frank, and to understand herself, represents this. Again, from an organizational perspective, this episode is not matched by others that may be more griping, may be more enthralling. Before continuing to the final episode I have mentioned (A Room with No View) let me pause for a moment, and await reaction and redaction. I hope I have made the "organizational" aspect of this clear. If I have not, I will resume the undertaking. Let me adjourn for the moment..........
  3. 4th, Do not for a moment consider yourself taken to the woodshed. You will come to see a general underlying sarcasm to my commentary which only can be understood in the context of my overall personality. Consider my ramblings a sort of mock humor if you will. At any rate, epigenetic principles can certainly be applied to the demise of Catherine. Any one could have validity and any one certainly could be argued to have merit within a givin context. You bring up some excellent points regarding why only one aspect of a much larger undertaking was 'partitioned off.' For example, as you astutely note, what about Jordan--her gift--, Lucy Butler, et al.? I think a central questoin is whether Catherine indeed did temper Frank's abilities---his gift. Although she is most definitely an impingement against the purity of his gift, we do not yet see her outright invalidating the gift or otherwise rendering his powers impotent. However, as you also allude to, perhaps this time was coming. One can only surmise. Further, let us consider for a moment the central tenent--or premise--of the show. I would make the argument that if we accept that the central premise was prophecy and secular beliefs in the end of the world, I would say this was most fully developed in SII; while we have the quotations in SI and we have serial type killings predicated on related ideas, and we have the "MillenniuM" group, I don't think the emergence of prophecy and secularism was as developed as it was in SII. That said, perhaps the filling of only one hole can be subsumed under the notion of 'destruction of hope.' Interestingly, for those that watched the bonus materials on SI (I believe)--specifically the making of the intro--we are confronted with the idea that the lady collapsing (underneath the entrace to the culvert) represented "A Loss of Hope" the final collapse of human spirit and will. We are also confronted with Carter's statements that the yellow house 'admist the chaos and evil' was a source of hope. The yellow in the house was gone at the end of SI, but perhaps Catherine's death--her taking--symbolized the loss of hope, the loss of spirit, the will to live which would have been a fitting ending to SII. Other characters, particularly Lucy Butler (who by the way I find amazingly complex) were nonetheless not as intrically tied to the notion of hope that Catherine was. Relatedly, but no less relevant, oftentimes in genius we find sickness, and it was Catherine perhaps that represented Frank's hope for "normality." Let us consider: Finally, we are confronted with Jordan's obvious gift. And here, 4th is where I agree most vividly with your assertions. Jordan represented a landmine that was not tapped. And certainly, a case can be made that if indeed the producers saw some type of end at the conclusion of SII, they would have made an effort to tie up her character much more coherently. This said, let me fade away into the nocturnal abyss that is night's darkness........ Vv
  4. Let me be the first to echo Ethsnafu's assertion that the group was not intent on killing Catherine to capture Frank 'as their own.' I highly doubt this. Such an assertion lacks requisite circumspect---however, do not let me detract from the brilliant ramblings scattered throughout this board. If anything, story writers for some type of MillenniuM movie have some serious fodder. Notwithstanding, we can see that Catherine's demise was one of the story plot 'holes' in an otherwise brilliant series (I have yet to view SIII, but am extremely eager to do so). What was genius in having them split apart ended in disarray with her death. However, lest us not forget that the producers did not know towards the end whether a SIII was going to be a reality (at least as far as I have read) and so her death may have been a way to have some 'closure' to a series that might not be renewed. In returning to the foci of this thread however, we must pause for a moment and take a very serious look at the episodes which may be, in their own right, the fulcrum of the brilliance of the series: #1: Midnight of the Century #2: Luminary #3: A Room with No View. Let us examine these episodes further, and before I add my thoughts, I will await relevant commentary on these episodes in the context of the psychological development of the characters as well as the bridge between 'capturing' evil (SI) and understanding what evil is (SII). Vv
  5. The tension and split between Catherine and Frank is what griped us all. We all hoped in our deep recesses that they would reconcile...and that drove the brilliance of such episodes as MNOC and Luminary. Indeed, it may well have been better to utilize SII as that "struggle" and perhaps have a reunion in SIII. Has anyone considered that Lara's injection into SII and 'overshadowing' of Catherine a direct result of her relationship with you know who?
  6. I think Season I was fantastic. But, certainly in terms of an examination of deeper, more profound issues....I ask this question: which season made you think more, made you ponder more, made you question who you are and the reasons things are. In retrospect the break between Catherine and Frank was depicted rather nicely, it was real; as I have stated before, a 21-grams like depiction of what life is really like. I think somewhere, deep down, in Midnight of the Century most assuredly, I always found myself hoping for a reunion in their marital relationship; this was also drawn out in Luminary. Where M & W may have erred, and erred egregiously, was in having her killed off, in the fashion of a virus. S II's woeful episodes (from a series perspective; and we all know the 2) do not detract what may have been a more profound, deeper season; a chaotic transformation of SI. Vv.
  7. Gentlemen, It is interesting that the dynamic between Peter and Lara has become a centerpiece of the discussion. It has jostled my memory and I can distinctly remember certain lines in Anamnesis which hit at dynamical references, particularly the conversation between Lara and Catherine in which Lara says (this is truncated) "certain things have (had) been set in motion..." This comment by Lara is one of the few direct references to "chaotic like organization" within the events in MillenniuM. I will comment more on this shortly, but I wanted to note this should any of you be reviewing Season II episodes at this time. Vv
  8. 4th, the inclusion of your words was done in a complementary fashion...Eth, thank you very much for your comments on my posts, but as 4th said, your contributions are excellent. Indeed, as you can see, I simply explained your idea of a third faction in more deeper shades--it was you, after all, that gave me the impetus to go there. Vv
  9. Once again, eloquent contributions to a topic which could easily be adapted for a MM movie. Let me once again try to provide a backdrop from which to tie seemingly diverse considerations into a unified matrix in the context of dynamical systems explanations which themselves are undergirded by complex mathematics. At the heart of it all is predictability in chaos and the need for disorganization for subsequent reorganization and final more complex and efficient organization. Let us first consider Fourth Horseman's most recent contribution: Here we are confronted with the use of the words "kaleidoscope," "myriad," and "dynamic." These terms are very relevant to dynamical concepts, and although I am applying dynamical theory here to a relational dynamic, rather than weather patterning, or the complexity of stock-market ebbs, flows, and perturbations, such an application is certainly not without precedent as dynamical theory is gaining momentum in both neuroscience and affective neuroscience as a means of explaining the development of not only the brain's regulatory capacities, but also the subsequent "psychological" regulatory capacities of the person, which themselves are rooted in particularly the development and hard-wiring of the right brain. As noted by Schore (2002) "cells that fire together, survive together, and wire together." 4th's use of kaleidoscope carries a fractal image connotation, the tacit implication of which is changing interpersonal patterns, chaotic rhymicities, and emergent patterns. Fractals themselves are a product of dynamical interactions. "Myriad" resonates with the same flavor and "dynamic" needs no explanation. Before addressing the topic at hand in the context of dynamical contexts, I offer a brief digression outlining some of the basic principles of dynamical systems so that the reader may become more acquainted without the complex mathematics behind this framework. ----->Dynamical systems theory offers a set of basic assumptions regarding how behavioral patterns emerge, change, remain stable, and are organized across development (Coleman and Watson, 2000). However, as Smith and Thelen (1993) point out, the basic tenants of dynamical systems theory are abstract and are not linked to a particular content domain making them accessible for application to a broad range of behaviors and levels of analysis. Dynamical systems models have been used in such diverse disciplines as psychology, economics, meteorology, and mathematics. Because of their tenants (discussed below), dynamical systems models readily lend themselves to a greater understanding of the human organism’s relational behavior. The dynamical systems perspective assumes the whole system (in our case the human organism) is defined as a ‘self-organized structure whose dynamics are capable of generating enormous behavioral complexity’ (Kelso, Ding, and Schoner, 1993). The state of the system is dependent on the nature of the organism as observed within its total environment due to the complex interconnections among systemic components. Because it is impossible to separate behavior from the environment in which it occurs as environmental subsystems make significant contributions to the make-up of the whole system, discrete distinctions between ‘biological’ and ‘environmental’ elements are not tenable (Smith & Thelen, 1993). As Coleman and Watson (2000) note the system’s stability and vulnerability to mutation are products of the dynamic interactions transpiring among the constituent elements. In addition, dynamical systems theory postulates that behavioral development emerges from multilevel interactions, and as noted by Bidell and Fischer (1997), partitioning of variability into mutually exclusive preempts attention from the real source of developmental variation, which is the activity of the person in their environment. In dynamical systems conceptualizations, development is conceptualized as incorporating both hierarchical and heterarchical organizational properties, which incorporate the multidimensional nature of the contexts in which developmental or behavioral processes are embedded. Bidell and Fisher (1997) note that sequential processes are incorporated with bi and multidirectionality in developmental pathways that emerge based on the interparticipation of multiple subsystems. As a direct consequence, local unpredictability characterizes the dynamic system, precluding the precise projection of the specifics of individual developmental paths or behavioral sequences, yet the prediction of global outcomes is congruent with dynamical systems orientations (Smith & Thelen, 1993). The dynamic model of behavioral development essential espouses that diverse components are organized for functional purposes in a fluid arrangement that is determined by the maturational status of the organism, prior experiences (learning), and the current context (environment) with causal equivalence assigned to all systemic components (Coleman and Watson, 2000). According to dynamic systems theory, new behavioral statues emerge when systemic components are pushed beyond certain critical values (setpoints) or when relations among the components change (Fogel and Thelen, 1987). Any systemic component that operates as a primary agent of change is referred to as a ‘control parameter.’<---- Having discussed dynamical conceptualizations, albeit briefly, let us return to its amenability to MM, and in particular, the discussion of a 'third faction' and the seeming peculiarity or non-linearity in the transition from SI to SII. As I have noted previously, the transition from SI to SII is not 'fragmented' as seen from the perspective of dynamical properties. I refer to the curious reader to that contribution for an explication. At present, there are two things that I want to continue to address here. The first, being a third faction. One of the alluring aspects of Ethsnafu's conceptualization of a third faction is the fact that it could be construed as "emergent function" underneath the conceptualizations of DST. In explicating evil, we are presented with two attempts to understand. One grounded in scientific explanations, the other based in spirituality, or religious dynamics. It may be that an integration of both conceptualizations may yield 'the greatest harvest' in terms of understanding. Leaving out SIII for the moment, in SI we have a presentation of the problem (evil) and in SII we have the deeper forays into the abyss of understanding the roots, the history of all evil. In both seasons, we see the dynamical concept of equifinality in evil. That is, the same outcome (death) is reached through diverse pathways be it killing as a result of psychopathology or killing as a result of allegiance to biblical prophecies or religious dogma. Death links the two; it links the Owls and the Roosters. It is final, irreversible. Thus, a link between the two groups provides fertile, rich soil for a third to emerge, more complex and functional than the other two. It can be argued that the well-adapted person "psychologically" has the ability to integrate and consider diverse aspects of phenomenon. Additionally, healthy dynamic systems are flexible, showing the ability to change in the face of exogenous perturbation. They are not rigid or 'unable to change' in the face of stress. In considering the group, and the triadic interactions of Peter, Frank, and Lara, we must keep this in mind--that healthy systems are flexible, not rigid. In considering the triadic relational matrix of Frank, Peter, and Lara noted above, we are thrown into a microcosm of the dynamical nature of evil. We are thrown into a 21-Grams like presentation of the chaos of human relational affairs. This against the backdrop of the attempt to understand the phenomenology of evil, which itself may be best explained in dynamical conceptualizations. Schore (1997a) again notes that there are "stressful chaotic dynamics that are inherent in all human relationships." Consider commentary from the director of 21 Grams: I am sure we are all aware, that human relationships are particularly prone to chaotic dynamics...yet it is the chaotic dynamics that make them real. The ability of these chaotic dynamics to arouse strong affect is the binding glue that makes relationships rewarding (notwithstanding the problem of dysfunction for the moment). Interestingly, psychopaths have an inability to 'feel' certain aspects of attachment-emotional affect, and thus commit extreme acts of evil perhaps to remove themselves from a hypometabolic affectiveless state. I propose that the chaotic dynamics present between Frank, Peter, and Lara are a natural outcome of normative human interaction. However, we can see through the haze, that Frank represents the most stable, the most flexible system of them all. He is able to negotiate in the face of stress, consider divergent viewpoints, and maintain goal-directed behavior (understanding evil) "It's my blessing, it's my curse." In contrast both Lara and Peter remain rigid (to some degree) in the face of perturbation, environmental stress, and divergent viewpoints. This leads to de-evolution of their ability to self-regulate. In the case of Lara, we see a complete chaotic-disorganized breakdown--which intriguingly the static 'white-noise' represents very poignantly. It may well be that this is the affective experience of schizophrenics or other mentally-disordered persons. Regarding the flexibility of Frank---recall in MNOTC that we see Frank attending mass with Catherine and Jordan and also recall that in Luminary, we see Catherine also remaining flexible by considering "astrology" to understand her relational situation with Frank. Strict Catholicism (e.g., Opus Dei) would frown upon this, but we are all well aware of the dangers inherent in 'fundamentalist' and/or 'rigid' adherence to any religion. Flexibility equals efficient functionality. So, we see in MM a congruence of theory. That is, not only is the overarching concept driven by dynamical postulates--the understanding of evil--but also, on a smaller scale, the relational affairs between both central and peripheral members of the group and their family members fits well within this framework. Consider a kaleidoscope once again. Larger patterns within smaller patterns which iterate (repeat) over time. A third group would be a predictable outcome of the interaction of two dynamic sects within a system that interacts in the context of not only dyadic but triadic and quartic and so on relational matrices. Revisiting once again Ethsnafu's conceptualization of a third faction the "Foxes" and their transitional relevance "[they are] out during the times mythical creatures roam the woods and is easiest seen during dusk and dawn, the 'Between Times" (p.1). The Foxes would indeed represent emergent function. In drawing to a close, I hope I have been able to show, even through excessive circumlocution and discursiveness, that there is both stability and change in MM's presentation. There is coherence over time and within subplots and major undertakings. There is congruence and order in chaos.
  10. I would be remiss if I did not add a small piece to this stellar thread. Before I do so, I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate what has already been mentioned above and that is we have some fantastic minds here. Eth--your posts resonate with creativity and touch that fine line between believable and science fiction. In many ways, this 'transition matrix' if you will, is what made Season II so excellent in my mind save for a few misplaced episodes (even if they were great works in their own right). There is one thing, however, which I saw in the transition from S I to S II that has not been mentioned and I may have alluded to it in another thread, but perhaps I did not. In Season I, we primarily have a consulting group whose job was to assist (as does the Academy group) in apprehending the worst of the worst, the most twisted, the most demonic, evil folk. Season II's dip into religion, mythology, and ethos had a slightly different meaning for me. First, whereas S I seemed to focus on the apprehension of evil, season II seemed to take a deeper look at understanding the roots of this evil. Is it 'inborn' or is it 'man-made.' While I don't have the particular episode references as many of you do, I recall a number of poignant points in various episodes where this was hinted at. Season I seemed to take a more "evil is made" approach, whereas season II took the ideology that evil will always exist and is more 'a part of the human condition.' Interestingly, in Beware of the Dogs, the idea of chaotic dynamical systems was hinted at. This framework, itself a child of hard mathematics, and now gaining momentum in sciences such as psychology and neuropsychology, has a number of postulates which have at their core the ideas of 'self-organization' and 'emergent function.' Phase shifts between stable dynamic systems are triggered by environmental perturbations, and these, while having some level of predictability are themselves more or less random. Within the 'chaos' however (over many iterations/amplifications of the perturbation throughout the interactive parts of a system) there becomes order or self-organization to more complex, highly integrated systems. Interestingly, this approach violates the second law of thermodynamics (as this was mentioned earlier, I think it is a good convergent point) and so becomes a non-linear framework for understanding phenomenon. In a sense, much as the dawn and dusk are 'transition times,' chaotic, dynamical systems has at its core the notion that chaotic interactions and phase transitions between stable dynamic attractor states produce more complex order as a result of self-organization. Regardless of the idea of a 'third faction' which I intuitively find appealing, chaotical dynamical theory could easily be a 'theoretical backdrop' against which to view not only the MilleniuM group’s chaotic internal nature, but also the phenomenon which it investigated. Considering that dynamical approaches are non linear, and are based on principles that stretch natural laws such as thermodynamics, it is easy to see that the 'zone of indifference' between religion and secular views was indeed what the show portrayed very well. And while many, including CC himself, said that the transition from SI to SII was unintuitive or "non-linear", we see that it was not really so at all if viewed from this lens. Indeed, as mentioned above, hints at this convergence zone were presented in the later half of SI especially. Whether or not any of the producers or shows writers are familiar with chaotic dynamical theory, or the intense and complex mathematics and evidence behind it, I am not certain. Vain
  11. In that regard, has there ever been a network TV show that, after being cancelled, was brought back years later? I think in and of itself, the idea of bringing MillenniuM back would be tight as hell. Holler at ur dawg.
  12. This may shed some light on issues raised earlier.
  13. Yeah, what's up with that---I don't want to wait that long.
  14. Revelations looks like it won't make it past six episdoes.......Wasn't renewed by NBC.........
  15. Also note the page rank status when using the Google toolbar. Not bad at all. The fact of the matter is, with all the ideas here, Fox could write some bad a-- episodes. Is there anyway Catherine could be brought back legitimately...or is she gone forever?
  16. We could go deep on this one over at that forum if all would like. I have much more in my head.
  17. Amen to this post.....one of the greatest I have read.
  18. Welcome aboard! In retrospect, if one consider all the elements, Season II could very well be considered a linear progression from Season I. That is, in Season I we are presented with evil, with murder, with the subplot of family. Season II considers the sources of this evil, the nuances of attachment, and presents them both within the framework of Season I (e.g., death, loss, violence).
  19. All, I have seen the spots for this show on MSNBC, but since I have been absurdly busy with graduate work, I haven't had time to tune in, or even search the boards for a general review of the show itself. I hear it is only 6 episodes? Can someone give me a rundown? I'd appreciate it -Vain Also, I am contemplating buying the Miracles box set; has anyone purchased this and what is the general take. Of course, I am eagerly awaiting the third season of MM.
  20. I just meant that you should read my thoughts in that section (Heart of Darkness) of the board...I talk there about my thoughts on Catherine and her role in the series...I hope this helps, or did you mean that you read what I wrote there and are asking for an elaboration on that? Vv
  21. Take a look at the Rainer Maria Rilke thread in Heart of Darkness...particularly the later pages as they stand now...Catherine is there to allow Franks struggle be portrayed.
  22. Yeah, I bought season I of Profiler and trust me, not even close to MM whatsoever. I watched the Pilot episode and have failed to watch any others. Everything that has already been said is very true.....without question.
  23. Yes but it must involve Lance and Brittany and gasp! Meghan?
  24. Not sure what signature I was but it is done; Do you think that if a movie was made, they could bring back Catherine......a recapitulation of sorts........season I or II....or would that be incoherent? One workaround could be to have her appear in some sort of 'otherworld' form, as if guiding Frank, remaining with him etc. Make sense?
  25. Yeah, I agree they were well written, but overall they didn't coalesce with the show.....nonetheless, the humor in the first one was great.....Somehow, Satan got behind me could have come later.......u know, maybe a year after the show ended or something.........a recap of sorts..........
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