Patriot: Season Two (All Episodes)
June 23, 2019 1:18 PM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Trauma-ridden folk singer/intelligence officer John Tavner struggles to balance his mission to prevent the nuclearization of Iran with repeated head injuries (and the occasional missing digit), troublesome "help" from his family and friends, and ongoing opposition/pursuit by two different French detectives, three Wisconsin evidence room officers who call themselves the Misfit Toys, three French cops with micropenises, and Iranian intelligence. Debra Winger joins season two as John's mom.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
I'm finally getting to this now and I'll likely pop back in several times with additional thoughts. But for now, let me just say that the show's continued focus on the damage that John's world causes is fascinating. Collateral damage, innocent people hurt, good people traumatized... This is a show where the good guy takes a belt to the head and is dizzy and useless for hours afterward, because that is what would happen and as absurd as this show is, it's brutally realistic in its refusal to play down or ignore all of the damage.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:22 PM on June 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

The John-Is-Fucked-Up POV Shots are my favorite visual device on TV.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:25 PM on June 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Expanding on my thoughts from earlier: this show is about trauma and damage and repercussions.

John's parents feel that damage in service of a larger, noble goal is acceptable, even it means sacrificing your own family. But they have come to this opinion from offices and meetings. When Tom actually sees how it looks to beat a man unconscious, that's it's not a matter of a quick knock on the head and a glentle lights out, but a brutal brain injury brought on by seventeen--count 'em, seventeen--blows... this is jarring for him, as is seeing his son's obvious deterioration. Bernice, on the other hand, isn't on as clear a path to realization. On the one hand, she's enough of a mom to demand hopital care for the missing fingers. On the other, she counts on simple power and ostensible superiority to get them past Agathe. (Her speech obliquely threatening her was chilling, even if uneffective.)

Leslie is an interesting case, because he is a sad person, overwhelmed by his own personal damage, who can be jarred into empathy in those moments where he realizes that other people are hurting.

Edward has only the shallowest understanding of what other people go through and his minute-to-minute response varies in quality based on which movie he is currently envisioning himself in.

Dennis starts off the same way, but is driven in his quest to be a real friend to take real risks and really sacrifice. The thing with the fingers was heartbreakingly generous.

Alice loves John enough to instantly register the hurt and pain he is carrying around, but isn't equipped to manage it on her own, and tries different tactics at different times, ranging from accomplice to informant, to like ed, reaching to movies for reference. "Run, movie horse, run!"

But maybe the saddest one is the emotional companion dog, Charlie, who sees in John someone so obviously wounded that he clings to his side.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:34 PM on June 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

There was a FanFare post about the first episode of season 2, and I kept meaning to make a full season post but never got around to it. So thanks! I haven't seen it since November, though, and have forgotten a lot of the details.

I love this show so much. It's hilarious and heartbreaking and unpredictable and uncomfortable all at the same time. And then there are the technically impressive bits, like the trip to the bodega.

We got some decent closure in the last episode, so I'd be ok if that was the finale, although I hope there's more. My understanding is there's no official plan for season 3, but there's a higher up at Amazon who's a huge fan.

Fun fact: I renamed my wifi The Vantasner Danger Meridian.
posted by Sibrax at 4:36 PM on June 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I never caught the first season, so I'm watching the pilot right now.

This is delightful so far. It might have been the 'folk music' angle that might have put me off, but it hasn't started grating yet.

So, thanks for posting a second season thread DOT!
posted by porpoise at 7:21 PM on June 25, 2019

Episode 4 has me on the fence. The women continue to be less than even two-dimensional characters, but fine, we're talking about the patriarchy as it's displayed in global and corporate politics so I can suck that up. On the upside, they're increasing the realism of the damage John is taking. And Tom is finally confronted by the reality of what he makes his son do. Which is something I've wanted since the beginning, and it was very satisfying to watch. Terry O'Quinn is so good among a pretty great cast. And I do love spy stuff.

On the other hand, the gag about all the cartoonishly sexist guys having micropenises is all sorts of wrong. Body shaming, for one - as if small penis size is a deformity or a joke, and guarantees the owner is a shitty person.

Secondly it makes the reality of sexism cartoonish too. I've made comments about sexist guys having small dicks in the past. But lately I've been trying to focus on naming bad behaviour rather than attacking people's appearance. I'm not perfect, but this episode has renewed my commitment to it. They went to the trouble of either casting or making prosthetics for the sake of a pretty tired and irrelevant joke on sexism. As if sexism is something rare and weird, instead of commonplace. Something you can dismiss and easily defeat.

Making a minority of guys the target of a joke for something most guys are complicit in seems unfair to me. And it makes me question my tolerance for the cardboard women in the story. I dunno if I can keep watching.
posted by harriet vane at 11:34 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

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