We meet Mackenzie Allen in France on the sort of go-away mission vice presidents get interrupted from when something important happens to the boss. She's off seeking to provide asylum to a Nigerian woman who is essentially a political prisoner and scapegoat who will be killed in a barbaric fashion.
It was the last thing on her plate as vice president. It was handled deftly as her first official international act as president.
The situation at the White House seemed a little more relaxed than it would be in the wake of a leader's death and a peaceful transfer of power to a person who was so politically different than him.
I'm glad they explained how he would choose //her//, specifically, to be his veep, but quite opposed to Donald Sutherland saying the vice president taking the office of the president in the event of the president's death a "coup d'etat," that was, in fact, exactly what was supposed to happen.
Burgess chose her as his veep, but the //nation// elected her at its vice president. If they were that uncomfortable with her, they'd have elected his opponent.
I think the family is going to end up being too prominent, but that's the director's vision for the show. I just hope the whole show isn't going to be about the world's cutest daughter spilling juice on her at every turn.
No, they weren't able to do a lot of character development, but I did notice something -- I don't remember her ever expressing remorse in the wake of his death. I'm getting that she was shut out, that she was being asked by everyone to resign, that even the president's secretary expressed distaste for her, and that she had to be strong, but as an American -- and one for whom //none// of this is abstract -- a few private tears would not have been out of place.
They had a lot to do in this pilot, and I think they did it well. She was poised and appropriate in dealing with everyone she had to deal with, and even before Congress, she was remarkably composed when her TelePrompTer cut out and she did a very good job with that speech.
The misogyny expressed by some of the characters in this show will get very, very ugly. And a whole lot of it isn't going to be entirely believeable.
But //Geena's// believable.
I felt awful for her husband. He needed to shut that protocol person down right away. I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed to find her shot through the head in the Rose Garden. She was mincing, rude, emasculating and deeply insensitive.
Mac's brushing him for Teddy's chief of staff -- who doesn't approve of her -- was also not especially sensitive.
And yes, that image of Mac at the window in the opening credits was ripped right from "The West Wing" -- the color scheme, the fading in, everything.
I have never in my life been in a situation where I had to admonish my little sister to "have a sense of history." That was just ... that was a very nice scene. And I did like how her daughter, who disagrees with her on policy matters (I guess we'll find out which ones later), did ultimately attend her speech to show her support of her mom. That was nice.
For right now, for what we know, this is a president who puts people ahead of policy, but values stability, is aware of the value of a strong position (bringing the Nigerian ambassador into the Sit Room had exactly the right effect).
We'll see how she works with Congress, the media, talk radio, conservatives, liberals, her family, her fans (oh, G-d, her fans are going to be so over the top) and everything else. But this is a compelling character played well by a capable actress, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the show goes.
We're off to a good start, here. :)