Friday, December 14, 2018

Alpha Protocol - Closure Alert - Part 6

A shorter, but very impactful recording this time. We've finished up with Taipei and lightly touch on Rome, which we'll start in earnest next time.

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The whole issue with Ronald Sung brings up a point that the "newdarkcloud" from 5 years ago didn't understand as well as I do today, the difference between a plot hole and a character flaw. Way back when we recorded Disclosure Alert, I described Sung's desire to neither wear a bulletproof vest or call in riot police unless he is given concrete proof of the events against him as a plot hole, when that's honestly incorrect and unfair.

Ignoring my limited grasp of international politics back then (and honestly, even now), what's happening isn't a flaw in the story (at least, not that specific point), but rather a quirk of Sung as a character. As someone who seeks independence from China, he has his position to consider, and that means that he can't afford to bow down, nor can he afford to look like a brutal dictator to the people who support him. To him, his cause is more important than his life. At the time, I didn't really understand this, which is why I end coming across as a bit of a fool in retrospect.

Now, that said, even when that particular point is considered, there are problems with the setup. For example, if Omen Deng is so sure Thorton is going to kill Sung, why would he let Thorton into Sung's office to hand deliver the information in the first place? And if he saw that, why would he continue to suspect him of the crime?

Even worse, considering how important the situation between Taiwan and China is to the whole premise behind the story of the Taipei segment, wouldn't it be a good idea to talk about it in a bit more detail, with either Scarlet or the people involved? We called it the most "incomplete" hub of the three main ones, and there's a good reason for that. There's a solid foundation for a story here, but so much of the connective and emotion issue behind it is missing.

And now that we're starting Rome, that's coming into starker relief. Rome is, by far, the most put together of the three. I can't wait to start talking more about it.

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