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07-02-2013, 05:32 PM
Advanced Stagnostic
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bergisch Gladbach
Country: Germany
Posts: 13,080
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Finished season 1, and feel I have to share some thoughts, other than it being amazing.

The relationship of Francis and Claire is fascinating, and the actors portay it perfectly. Both are so similar. They want themselves to be these cold, logical, calculating individuals who do not give in to emotional or social conventions if it takes away any options for them to get ahead. The perfect example being Francis sleeping with Zoey, and it being communicated openly right away with his wife, and tolerated, as he sees it fit to help his cause. And she trusts his opinion on that to more than tolerate it, at least as a front. Then again, we are getting these subtle hints that - while committed to their very own rules - Claire's feelings about this course of action do not follow pure logic. We're getting a remarkably similar development with Francis as Zoey briefly attempts to redefine the constraints of their relationship. He's rational enough to understand the logic in everything, but the mere understanding of how things happen does not spare him of subtle emotions sidetracking him in his work, which he instantly again rationalizes to be more than that by interlacing it into his ploys.

Looking ahead, however, I estimate that we'll see how the two of them will face quite different paths in their professions they so strive to drive ahead, even at the expense of the other's. Francis is on his way to becoming VP. Claire is on her way to a trial that could see her name burnt in her line of business forever. They are operating similarly with a heavy focus on pragmatism, and as time passes, we're seeing that the difference isn't in their work, but in their line of work. While Francis' moves pave his way through the imperfections, weaknesses and corruptedness of about every person he shakes hands with in politics, Claire has shaken hands with a hopelessly romantic idealist in Gillian, who isn't (yet) willing to lend herself to the idea that it takes Claire's politics/pragmatism to make something tangible out of the mere ideals. Which could very well be her downfall - but I'd venture a guess that we have already been given a hint to how that might just be prevented:

(Not actually spoiling, just speculation on my behalf...) As both she and Francis in their rare moments of self-acknowledged moments of emotional reflection admitted that they regret the decision to never have had kids, she ends up seeing the doctor, for what I understood to be plans for an artificial pregnancy of her's. It does match what both want, emotionally, but like a few things in their life, they'd probably not allow it themselves to have it, if it wasn't for some significant upside to their careers. It should go a long way for her to be able to go to Court against Gillian, only to be able to reveal her pregnancy when all seems lost, making the notion that she - likely after being portayed as the evil aged businesswoman who had never had kids - had actually slurred those remarks at Gillian for being pregnant incredibly unrealistic, all of a sudden. Both will have a child, which will be a personal fulfillment they may or may not acknowledge, and it will have saved her face in trial (or before it comes to that), thus saving her husband. Actually, I could also see it never quite coming to her having the kid and the risks materializing and her losing the baby - which would still have the effect on the jury to join the fate-struck Claire.

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