Salvation, Crimes and Punishment Has Shades of Gray Getting Darker

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

It was a little surreal watching CBS’s Salvation, Crimes and Punishment.  The US President’s primetime announcement about his Supreme Court nominee ended up being a perfect segway into Salvation 2×3.  The importance of who’s on the Supreme Court couldn’t be dramatized more sensationally!

You wouldn’t think a story about a giant asteroid about to pummel the earth in 126 days would be a political thriller, yet, here we are. In fact, Sampson is starting to feel a bit like a mulligan. Sure, there’s a whole part of Salvation that’s about trying to solve the dilemma of knocking that hunk of rock off its path of mass destruction. Yet, it seems more like the thought of it is bigger than what the actual event might be. If we ever get to the end of this asteroid countdown it very well may look similar to the opening of the Disney/Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur.

Of course, that kind of ending seems anti-climatic, and it leaves the question of why have the spaceship Salvation? The answer may be that this was never about the asteroid. The show is really about the state of the world. It looks at who we are – and who we’d like to be. As for the Salvation, remember that tech entrepreneur turned Vice-POTUS Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera) said he originally did it because he wanted to colonize Mars. …We’ll just have to see where Salvation goes!

Salvation 2 x 3:  Who Set Up the SCOTUS Bombing?

We don’t really know.  It looks like it could have been former V.P. Monroe Bennet (Sasha Roiz). He certainly was ready to swoop onto social media with a total lie about President MacKenzie (Tovah Feldshuh) and Defense Secretary Harris Edwards (Ian Anthony Dale) being responsible.

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

We know he’s lying because right we heard Harris telling former Pentagon Press Secretary – now Presidental Advisor – Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan) that the swing vote was a MacKenzie appointee leaning in their favor.  Bennet told the American people the exact opposite – but he told it first, so many are inclined to believe him.

However, we can’t know this for sure.  It could have been RESIST that forced this poor woman to become a suicide bomber in order to save her family.

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment: Grace & The Rule of Law

Salvation continues to make the political storyline personal via the situation Grace is in. She’s a bit like Alice in Wonderland – trying to figure out how things should work in a world where the rules of law she’s believed in no longer seem to apply

In the season 1 finale, Grace killed Presidental advisor Claire Rayburn (Erica Luttrell) to save the life of Harris- but there’s no proof of that now. The choice to dispose of Claire’s body has destroyed the evidence.

We don’t know who made the decision to call Grace’s CIA Dad Hugh (Mark Moses) to get rid of the body. Since this happened in the middle of trying to take back the government and ward off an attack by Russia, one can see why a police investigation would be inconvenient. Still, we do know that when Grace later wanted to tell President MacKenzie what happened, Harris talked her out of it. Now, Clarie Rayburn has turned into the piece that could make or break MacKenzie’s legitimacy. Talk about bad karma!

The Only Crime is the Coverup – and it’s Driving Grace Crazy

It’s only Grace who is in angst about the coverup. It’s why she’s seeing Claire’s ghost everywhere. After a visit from Detective Alonzo Carter (Ashley Thomas), who thinks Harris has something to do with Claire’s disappearance, she freaks out calls Harris.

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

Grace:  I can’t stop thinking about what I did. I can’t…I can’t lie under oath. I can’t.”

Harris: That’s exactly what you have to do. The truth will set Bennet free and put the rest of us in prison. Darius and MacKenzie could lose the government.

Here’s the thing. Grace did kill Claire in Harris’s defense – in the middle of taking back the government from a coup. Maybe if they hadn’t tried to hide the body, or at least had told MacKenzie what happened, it would be on the record, in real time, and thus more believable. As it’s been said many a time, the coverup is always worse than the crime.


Also, this whole cover-up is a reminder of how hypocritical Harris is about Darius. Harris is always on Darius about not following the rules. Yet, Harris doesn’t think the rule of law applies to him either. For him, rules and morals, get shoved aside in the name of doing what’s right for the country. It’s a point of view that he had in common with Claire. Remember, she actually believed she was being a patriot.

Both Claire and Harris seem to think the end justifies the means – and so does Darius. In terms of ethics, neither the government nor the private sector can say they have clean hands. What it really comes do is intent.

Next: Right vs Wrong, and Will Grace and Darius every get it right?

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

Salvation Reminds Us That Looks Can Be Deceiving

Despite himself and his message around the American flag, Former V.P. Monroe Bennet is not motivated by patriotic feelings. Like RESIST, it’s his own self-interest that drives him. The way that both use the media to spread lies and manipulate the masses is another of those similarities of what’s happening in today’s politics. This reflecting of our current time also makes more sense out of what we saw in Salvation 2 x 2.

In that episode, Bennett’s statements contained no facts and defied logic in terms of what people had seen in. Why would MacKenize fake her death in order to just come back? Salvation, Crimes and Punishment has Bennett continuing the lies – and having people believe him.  I mean, why would MacKenize’s government try to kill the judge they appointed? Yet, because people are terrified and angry, many are willing to believe what Bennett says. They want someone to blame.


In a time when the country, and the world, are in peril, Bennett is only concerned with gaining power for himself – regardless of whom gets hurt. Grace and Darius are right to say he’s trying to provoke MacKenzie to martial law. It would make them look as though they were skirting the rule of law. Yet, and the group RESIST are projecting themselves as heroes of humanity – but because we viewers see behind the scenes, we know they’re the bad guys.

Would it be so easy to tell if we didn’t? Perhaps with Monroe, but RESIST has done some powerful things to appear like the good guys. This show is really pointing out the importance of knowing all the facts.

A Good Actor and Bad Actor Can Seem the Same: It’s the Motive that Makes Them Different

At least Darius has never pretended to be a “by the book” kind of guy. That’s one of the main differences between him and Harris. Darius has no pretenses. However, it’s Harris that told Grace, “Sometimes you have to do a bad thing for a good reason.”

Darius would agree with him. What they might at times differ on is what constitutes a “good reason.”Darius – like most corporate enterprises these days – is a globalist. He looks at what is good for the world as a whole, not just his particular country. It’s why he could never sign off on a plan to pulverize half the globe in order to try saving North America. He looked for a solution that could save everyone, and if not, save the best of the world – regardless of country.

Darius vs RESIST

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment

However, RESIST also has globalist ideas.  They too want to save the world. The difference is they also want to control it. Darius has no interest in that. His American idealism is all about freedom (and capitalism.)

As such, we find Darius trying similar tactics as the entity RESIST did. He sends a little drone to his protege Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe) with a virus to infect the supercomputer TESS.  RESIST had gotten a virus into TESS that let them take control of the gravity tractor. This ultimately led to them getting TESS from Darius and using it to take control of the US and Russian nuclear missiles.

When Wrong and Right Aren’t Clear: Alycia and Liam

Liam got caught in the act of trying to sabotage Tess by fellow scientist Alycia Vrettou (Melia Kreiling). This is after they shared they’d a late night kiss in celebration of solving the energy problem to make Liam’s idea work. Liam tells her about the state of the world outside – which Darius had relayed to him. Nevertheless, she convinces him that since they’re the best shot at saving the world it would be insane to sabotage TESS.

Whether or not you agree with their methods, Resist just gave us the resources to stop that asteroid. You disarm those nukes, you dismantle the best weapon we have: forced international cooperation.

This talk convinces Liam to not destroy Tess. Later, Alycia goes to Darius’s old office to talk to RESIST – so yes, she’s working with them. At the same time, her argument isn’t wrong. If RESIST is actually trying to save the world. Once a solution is found, what’s to keep RESIST from holding the world hostage if everyone doesn’t give it what it wants?

There’s also the fact that Dr. Croft (Dennis Boutsikaris) – Liam’s old professor – warned Liam that Alycia is untrustworthy and would try to “slitter her way” into Liam’s heart.  When Liam tells her he has a girlfriend, she replies that she has a girlfriend – and a boyfriend – but so what.  That whole scene begs the question of how Croft knows Alycia. Before RESIST could she have worked for the Russians? Did she betray them – and Croft – in order to join RESIST?

Alycia’s Starting to Question Resist

What sends Alycia to check in is her concerned about the things going on in the outside world – which she’s learned, Liam. The voice from the RESIST avatar says it just proves their point about needing to take control. She goes along with it, but you can tell from her face she’s not entirely convinced.

Salvation, Crimes and Punishment
[As a side note, even though the RESIST avatar always uses plural pronouns, it seems unlikely that a group is responsible for the responses. My vote is still Nicholas Tanz (John Noble).]

Look Out, Jillian, It’s a Trap – and an X-File!

As I said last week, I’m suspicious of Jillian’s new friend Nate (Madison Smith) from high school – the one she didn’t even recognize. Sooner or later, he’s probably going to be trouble. He may already be. Isn’t it suspicious that after she seeks Nate’s help getting the body of “Joe” (who actually wasn’t Joe) it got claimed from the morgue just hours before?

Luckily, the person didn’t take the autopsy report! The discovery that Joe had a chip in his neck is so X-Files! Darius said it was some kind of tracker, but what if it also controlled his behavior in some way? I’m looking forward to learning what the heck that thing is!

The Wrapup: Darius and Grace

Some of the punishment Grace is feeling has to do with her isolation. She wanted to feel like she and Harris were in this thing together. When she realized that he has some woman over with him while they were having this conversation, she hung up – and started drinking. This is never a good sign – and Darius knows it.

Darius is suspicious that Grace and Harris are hiding something. Being that at the end of the episode Claire’s body is fished out of the Potomac River, it stands to reason that he’s eventually gonna find out what. That’s gonna be a heck of a fight when he does.

Darius will want to know why Grace didn’t come to him – but I’m sure he’ll forgive her. As for Harris…you know this woman he’s in lust with is gonna be trouble. Oh well! All’s fair in love and war and on CBS’s Salvation there’s there’s a lot of both in the air!

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