For All Mankind E6

This post will analyze the the Episode 6, titled “Home Again”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 5 “Into the Abyss”:

  • Molly goes into the crater to locate water, running dangerously low on oxygen and finds water
  • Jump forward to October 1973 and the US lands a lunar base
Read More

Showrunners Ep5

In today’s episode, we’re talking about Killing Eve episode 3: Don’t I know You.

Recap Episode 2: I’ll Deal with him Later

  • Eve is hired by Carolyn to lead a task force
  • Villanelle kills some more people and is sidelined after a psych exam
  • Eve and her team run into some dead ends, but then she realizes she might have seen Villanelle
  • Villanelle is told that Eve Polastri is looking for her and Villanelle realizes she knows Eve

Intro to Episode 3: Don’t I know you?

  • Villanelle makes another kill at a German sex fetish joint
  • Eve erotically or flatteringly describes Villanelle to a sketch artist
  • Eve and Bill go to Berlin to follow up on Villanelle’s latest kill
  • Villanelle is on the prowl – she watching Eve from afar and steals her suitcase, and hacks into her phone call to her husband
  • Eve gets information from a Chinese diplomat
  • Bill follows Villanelle and is killed spectacularly and horrifically

Randall:

So, does Germany actually have these fetish shops?

Melanie:

I have no idea.  I’m so embarrassed this happened in Germany.  I’m from a small village and I have never heard of these places.

Inciting Incident

Melanie:

There is another murder, very out of the ordinary again. Villanelle killed a Chinese diplomat in Berlin. That’s a causal inciting incident. A new lead for Eve.

Now we’ve moved right in from the Beginning Hook to the Middle Build of the story

If you are familiar with Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, you might know that the transition from Beginning Hook to Middle Build is in most cases happening at the same time as the hero leaves the ordinary world and moves into the extraordinary world.

We see this in this episode – Eve moving into the extraordinary world.

Also, the episode has the purpose to highlight that no one is safe from Villanelle. 

Especially no one close to Eve. It’s like Villanelle was making a statement. And if we continue to track Eve’s journey or the hero’s journey, then Eve will soon find out how dangerous that extraordinary world really is. That’s basically, as mentioned before, what this episode is really about.

Turning Point

Melanie:

The Turning Point is when Eve is told that the nurse in the fetish shop used her name for the last assassination.  It’s a revelation for Eve, and now she knows that the assassin knows who she is. Eve is not a stranger investigating that case anymore, but her prey knows its hunter now and can turn the tables.

Parul:

I think the Turning Point comes later on, where Eve says to Carolyn “Please don’t fire me”.  So she doesn’t seem to be making any decision.

Randall:

I think it’s an internal crisis.

Parul:

What about this – Eve is in charge of a team, and when she is in Germany she doesn’t answer Bill’s call till the second time, and as a result, Bill dies, so she fails.  So I think the Turning Point is when Bill dies and how she progresses – does she stay on the mission or not. When I get stuck on a crisis, it is the most memorable moment and for me, that is when Bill dies.

Melanie:

But the Turning Point is when the tables are turned and that happens when she finds out her name was dropped by Villanelle.

Randall:

I don’t understand what the crisis question would be after Bill dies.

Parul:

I think it’s “What do I do?”

Randall:

I don’t think we’ll going to solve this, and we might both be right.  What do our listeners think? What’s the Turning Point? Let us hear from you!!

The Crisis

Melanie:

Does she continue to pursue Villanelle or not after she knows that Villanelle knows her name?

Parul: 

After failing as a leader when Bill is killed, does Eve continue to pursue Villanelle and be part of the team?

Climax

In both cases, Eve decides to continue to pursue Villanelle

Resolution

Melanie:

So, what happens when Eve makes the decision to go to Berlin.  People die. Her friend and former boss, Bill, dies. This is the second time that Eve has made a decision and afterward, people have died, the first being at the hospital in the first episode.  Death seems to follow Eve, and this can do two things: it can make her more determined or it can destroy her, and this is character building, it shows what kind of person Eve will be. Either way, it’s definitely personal now for sure.

Value Change

Randall:

Eve finds out Villanelle knows her name and now Bill is dead and the game is real

Polarity Shift: -/–

Parul:

I see a comparison with Bill getting killed and the Red Wedding scene in Game of Thrones.  The night before, Eve and Bill are bonding and it’s too cute, like the party before the wedding, and the next scene everyone is getting killed in the Red Wedding and Bill is dead.  Whenever it gets calm, we should expect bad things.

Randall:

That’s good storytelling – surprising the readers and viewers.

Does this episode work?

Parul:

Yeah, of course, it’s dark.  I couldn’t believe they would add to the tension.

Melanie:

I just want to mention the scene when Villanelle hooks up with this older woman with similar hair to Eve and tells her “now I’m going to hide and you’re going to find me?”

And Bill tells his son that he’s going to die, a little foreshadowing there.  That was so sad.

Randall: 

  • The middle build belongs to the antagonist, every good guy needs a worthy adversary
  • In Killing Eve, that’s what the viewers get.
  • Villanelle’s killings are unique, so she doesn’t bore herself or the viewers

Now if you look at Villanelle’s assassinations, they get more and more out of the ordinary. Vienna a surgical stab wound. Tuscany she injects poison in the eye. The massacre at the hospital. In Bulgaria, she is almost bored chasing that man in the office. Deadly perfume against the woman. And finally, a sex fetish killing in Berlin. 

Now, we have a personal reason for Eve to chase Villanelle as well as her professional reason.  And we want to see how Eve will get her revenge.

The audience is in it for the long haul now.

Worldview Perspective: 

Parul:

It’s kind of squishy.  Maybe Eve’s self-awareness is going up.

Question of the day

What other movies and TV shows can you think of that have prominent characters die?  Mentors?

Randy – Star Wars (Obi-Wan Kenobi);  Mistborn – Kelsier dies early on the book.

Mel – I love reading comics. So for example in Hellboy – Seed of Destruction Hellboy’s adoptive father dies. Or sir Reginald Hargreeves right in the beginning of the first volume of Umbrella Academy. Gandalf kinda dies in Lord of the Rings, but luckily he comes back as Gandalf the White. Antonius Proximo in “Gladiator”. Dumbledore in Harry Potter.

Parul – Game of Thrones, Red Wedding.

Did we miss any?  Write your favorite unique assassinations in our comment section on storygrid.com where you’ll also find links and additional material in our show notes.

References:

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Story Grid References:

Books, Movies, Television series:

The Story Grid

For more information about the Story Grid, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

Read these articles for more information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

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Fiction Writing about Soldiers and the Military

When I began this blog, i wanted to give something back to the internet universe that perhaps doesn’t yet exist. I was trying to think about what I might be uniquely qualified to write about that might be useful to some few people out there. What I finally decided is my arena is how to write soldiers accurately.

having served in the military for over 30 years and having a MFA in Creative Writing and a Story Grid Editor Certification, I decided that I could help other writers who are creating stories that involve soldiers to make their stories better.

I began with a post about a day in the life of an Infantry Soldier and followed that with a post about rifles used in the current day military, then I got sidetracked. I have noticed an increased interest in those old post, so I decided to continue with this series.

What I would like to know is if anyone has any suggestions or questions about how the military functions? Or what they wear or equipment they use?

Past Posts:

  1. Soldier Daily Routine when not Deployed
  2. U.S. Army Rifles

Why do I think my blog would be useful?

I think there is a lot of misconceptions about Soldiers in the United States and around the world. This is apparent to me every day by the types of questions I get asked, but three specific incidents really hammered this point home to me.

Is That Hummer Bulletproof?

photo from http://www.bretonindustries.com

The first incident happened to me in the late 1990s, I was driving a Hum Ver (hummer) from NC to VA for a training exercise, I was one of a number of vehicles in a convoy, we were all in uniform and we stopped at a rest stop. Sitting in the grass eating a picnic was a young 20 something couple, looked a little hippie, and the girl approached me and asked, “So, this is a hummer.” I replied, “Yes it is.” Then she said, “And it’s bulletproof?” I was standing next to a hummer with a plastic roof.

This was before 9/11, before bulletproof hummers were a real thing. Up until this point in my life, I had never seen a bulletproof hummer, I didn’t even know if they existed. And I had no idea where she got the idea that it would be bulletproof. Though, it was obvious to me from the plastic doors and roof, that this particular hummer was definitely not bulletproof.

It’s interesting that one of the serious problems at the beginning of the Afghan and Iraq wars was the lack of bulletproof hummers (little known/ remembered fact – which is why I want to write this blog).

MPs Are Better Trained Than SEALs and Rangers and Enlisted Wash Officers Clothes

I once read an interview of Lee Childs, author of the Jack Reacher novels. They are great action novels, and everyone loves them and the movies starring Tom Cruise. But when I read the first book and an article, I was blown away about how much the Mr. Childs didn’t know about the US Army.

In his first Jack Reacher Novel, Killing Floor, from 1997, he explains his view of Army Military Police, Jack Reacher’s profession, and why Reacher is such a badass:

“A military policeman deals with military lawbreakers. Those lawbreakers are service guys. Highly trained in weapons, sabotage, unarmed combat. Rangers, Green Berets, marines. Not just killers. Trained killers. Extremely well trained, at huge public expense. So the military policeman is trained even better. Better with weapons. Better unarmed.”

Totally false. I think the Army MPs would be the first to admit this. Green Berets and Rangers are super well trained in hand to hand combat and weapons, MPs are more trained in police procedures but any additional training beside periodic range training is all on their own. As a former Ranger and Green Beret, I was on the range sometimes 30 days a month, and learned how to use more than 20 types of guns. We have our own hand to hand instructors and training area. Tim Kennedy is a green beret, a UFC fighter, and formally won the service-wide combatives (Hand to hand) tournament three years in a row.

I also read an article where Mr. Childs discussed how he came up with his character. He said he wanted to make him an officer which would explain why he didn’t wash his clothes and bought new ones all the time, because as an officer jack Reacher was accustomed to having he enlisted men wash his clothes. I’m not sure if that is true in the British Army, but it is definitely not true in the U.S. Army.

He did get some things right. About a newly separated military man being sort of a loner and wanderer. He also said later that in retrospect, he would have made Jack Reacher a senior enlisted man instead of an officer, as that was more accurate with reference to Reacher’s experience and skills.

Tanks and Uniforms

Sometime in late 2009 or so I was asked to pre-read a play that had a military theme. The playwright had a couple misconceptions that I tried to correct and which he fought me on and finished by saying I didn’t know what I was talking about. One was he wanted to set his play during the Iraq War in 2002, to which I said we didn’t invade Iraq till 2003. So he said, that’s alright, I’ll change the setting to Afghanistan. His plot mainly dealt with tanks, and I told him we didn’t use tanks in the war in Afghanistan. He didn’t believe me. He also had a major scene taking place off base where all his main characters were drinking beer in a bar while wearing their uniforms. I told them that no one does that, once again he insisted I was wrong.

I could go on, as he was wrong on a number of other details too. But that just justifies my reasoning for writing this blog, the misunderstanding of life in the military.

Story Grid Editing

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For All Mankind E5

This post will analyze the the Episode 5, titled “Into the Abyss”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 4 “Prime Crew”:

  • Deke is told to drop the women project after the accident that killed Patty
  • The Vietnam War is over and Ted Kennedy runs for president against Nixon
  • Deke goes against orders and announces to the press that Molly Cobb is going tot he moon
  • Russian shuttle crashes
  • Apollo 15 will search for base location
  • Molly has clashes with her crew during training, but turns it around
  • Karen is a lesbian
  • Molly and crew launch
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For All Mankind E4

This post will analyze the the Episode 4, titled “Nixon’s Women”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 3 “Nixon’s Women”:

  • Nixon orders co-priorities of NASA are establishment of lunar base and a women on the moon, “preferably blond”
  • Deke must train 20 women astronauts, because there were none in the program at that time
  • Tracy Stevens because Nixon’s poster girl
  • Tracy doesn’t believe she belongs
  • Tracy helps fellow trainee in the desert survival phase
  • Patty is killed in a training accident
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For All Mankind E3

This post will analyze the the Episode 3, titled “Nixon’s Women”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 2 “He Built the Saturn V”:

  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin return from the their crash land on the moon
  • Nixon orders NASA to win the “Race for the Base”, to be the first to have a lunar base
  • Ed is asked to testify against NASA, but he refuses
  • Ed resigns from NASA to return to the Navy
  • von Braun is confronted with his atrocities as a nazi and his image is tarnished
  • Deke asks Ed to come back and be part of Apollo 15
  • Nixon announces that they are in negotiations to end the Vietnam war
  • The last scene shows a Russian woman walking on the moon
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For All Mankind E2

This post will analyze the the Episode 2, titled “He Built the Saturn V”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 1 “Red Moon”:

  • Russia is the First Nation to land a man on the moon
  • The United States is demoralized, President Nixon is angry, and NASA is distraught
  • NASA management feels if the Apollo 11 mission is not successful it will spell the end of the United States in the Space Race and the domination of Russia
  • In the background, a family of Mexicans is crossing the border into the United States
  • Astronaut Edward Baldwin vocally criticizes NASA for losing the Space Race to Russia
  • Edward Baldwin is taken off active status to support status
  • Apolla 11 moon shuttle, the Eagle, appears to crash land
  • NASA makes the determination to have the last astronaut, Michael Collins, return to Earth
  • Michael Collins refuses, then the Eagle astronauts are able to finally communicate that they are alive
  • Everyone celebrates as NASA makes a plan to Bring the crash landed astronauts to return to Earth 
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Showrunners Ep4

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The story so far (Episodes 1-2):

  • Foreign diplomat killed in Vienna and girlfriend is last living witness
  • Eve is assigned to provide security for the girlfriend
  • Villanelle assassinates someone else in Tuscany
  • Eve fails to guard the girlfriend as Villanelle assassinates her, the guards, and some nursing staff
  • Eve is hired by Carolyn to lead a task force
  • Villanelle kills some more people and is sidelined after a psych exam
  • Eve and her team run into some dead ends, but then she realizes she might have seen Villanelle
  • Villanelle is told that Eve Polastri is looking for her and realizes she knows Eve from the hospital
Read More

Jack Ryan S2 E2

This post analyzes the Amazon Prime television series Jack Ryan using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

This post will spoil everything about episode 5 from the Jack Ryan television series, so make sure you watch it before reading on.

Check out my analysis for Season 1 if you want more details.

Season 2 Episode 2 Recap

  • Jack goes to the embassy and tells Greer he’s not going back
  • The Venezuelan CPT that betrayed the convoy also goes to the Embassy and is interviewed by Ryan
  • Ryan thinks that Reyes ordered the hit on the convoy
  • Venezuelan soldiers raid a Guerrilla Camp
  • In Tampa Florida, Jeff tries to recruit Bishop to drive a boat for an ‘off the books’ mission
  • Ryan goes to the docks in disguise and is compromised and then rescued by Harriet who claims she was hired as a private detective
  • Venezuelan President tells Jack and Greer that the attack was done by Guerrillas and they have them in custody
  • Reyes knows that Ubarri is thinking about running for president
  • Ryan knows that Bastos attacked the Venezuelan Cpt and killed his family
  • the Venezuelan CPT is found dead in his cell
  • Ryan is attacked in his room, pursues attacker, Greer almost has another heart attack
  • Jack confronts Harriet
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Showrunners Ep3

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Intro

Recap of Episode 1: “Nice Face”

  • Viewers meet the protagonist and antagonist
  • Eve breaks some rules
  • Villanelle kills a lot of people
  • Eve gets fired, but Carolyn wants to meet with her

Summary of Episode 2: “I’ll Deal with him Later”

  • Eve has a drink with Carolyn and gets offered her dream job to hunt Villanelle
  • Villanelle is in trouble with Constantin for her indiscreet killing
  • Villanelle passes a psychological assessment
  • Eve and her team confront Frank who admits he made up the CCTV
  • Villanelle kills a perfumist against the orders of Constantin
  • Constantin tells Villanelle that MI6 is after her
  • Villanelle searches online and realizes that she’s met Eve before
  • Eve works out that she has come face to face with the killer in the hospital.

This week we will discuss the 5 Commandments of episode 2 of Amazon Prime’s Killing Eve.

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