View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: Irresistible
July 28th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s3/303.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">IRRESISTIBLE</A></FONT>
<FONT SIZE="1">EPISODE NUMBER - 303</FONT>
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Sheppard's team meets an obnoxious man who is adored by all thanks to a secret that he carries -- and who has an unexpected affect on them.
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July 29th, 2006, 09:24 PM
“Irresistible” can be positioned in the tradition of a long line of comedic Stargate episodes. The obvious comparisons with “Hathor”, “Urgo” and “The Tower” were made when the pre-season titbits were thrown around. These weren’t heartening comparisons and it was with much trepidation that I approach this episode. Comedy is an elusive genre for the most part… a kind of hit and miss… and in this instance it seems to hit all the right notes, well, at least with me, it does. Of course the premise behind it is laughable, that attraction can simply be reduced to pure biology -- brain functions, increased hormone activity. To me it's the biggest joke of all when it is clear, that the human “animal” is a sophisticated but accountable moral creature.
The husband tells me that he likes this episode. Why? Because it’s whacky. Because he relishes the fact that the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. With this pearl of wisdom, he reminds me what got us into Stargate in the first place.
However, this episode has its dark side. The episode also vaguely reminded me of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. When I was a child, the Pied Piper was one of the best things since Mother Goose. A tune from his instrument could send thousands of rats to their deaths with single-minded efficiency. And wow, didn’t he get his own back when they refused to pay him.
But now as a thirty-something year old parent with a child, the Pied Piper seems rather more disquieting. To cast a spell of musical hoodoo on other people’s children and then kidnap them wholesale is an unnerving thought. Our villain of the piece, Lucius, also seems to also evoke that kind of underlying unease with his calculated clichés of good will. While beauty may be skin deep is a good adage to live by, here is man who has turned it into a highly manipulated art form. An inoffensive looking Mr Hyde who is hiding under the cloak of a Dr Jekyll. In the course of this story, Sheppard mentions Stepford Wives and thinking through this episode, it is obvious that the comparison is not just a passing remark. Once the spell is cast, a mechanical fawning of the character begins. The same cheery clichés are regurgitated, “He is a kind and wise man”; “You need more time to get to know Lucius.” Under this spell, everyone degenerates into a child-like state of awe, governed by a eager disposition to please. Weir’s use of the phrase “he is a good man” in reference to Sheppard is yet another joke because her judgment is impaired and she is talking to a man who has so obviously altered her ability to make any sound character judgments. However, the humorous side of this manipulation has a malevolent edge: Lucius is fostering a culture of dependence. This happy, “backwater hamlet” is really a dystopia in disguise.
Richard Kind gives a fascinating performance as an understated villain. He constructs a Lucius that works well as an opposite to Sheppard. The attractiveness of both men are under scrutiny here. In Sheppard’s case, well, that angle has been played to the hilt on many occasions so it’s a supposed given. But for Lucius, it is less certain why this is so especially for those of us who are continually bombarded by conventional images of beauty . There is an oddness about his ability to command the attention of his people especially the women and this is where the mischief begins. It is doubtful that this character would have worked if a more conventionally handsome actor had been cast in this role.
Sheppard, on the other hand, is immune to the hormonal influences. We see this situation from his eyes and are gradually repelled by the unscrupulous nature of his opponent. Whether the original intent that craved for attention was malicious, it is clear that having this kind of power eventually corrupts absolutely. To combat his opponent, Sheppard’s natural charisma or good looks is not enough to save the day, only his natural resourcefulness and will to act can get him through. Sheppard fans will relish the return of the man they loved as a military commander.
In the final analysis, the humour of this episode masks some gravely dark implications. While it is fun to see the regulars acting out of character, it is also a stark reminder that the human being is a complex creature often acting both on intention and on impulse.
July 30th, 2006, 07:34 AM
Irresistable is without a doubt one of those episodes you will love or love to hate. Regardless, it was definately a welcome relief from the season's previous two intense plots and struggling arc. And if theres one thing that Stargate excells at, its a comical to the point of obsurd plot. I might also call this a 'stand alone' but episode summaries show we will be seeing Lucius Luvin again (aptly named and played by the wonderful Richard Kind) and I have to say, I'm rather looking forward to it.
In the great tradition of 'Harry Mud' style villians (Star Trek: The Original Series), Lucius Luvin is a selfish and vain fool who doesn't mind putting others health and sometimes even their lives at risk if it means getting what he wants. And what does he want? What every selfish male does; a slew of beautiful wives in his bed, every whim catered to and a life of luxury. Unfortunately Lucius isn't the brightest bulb in the box but what he lacks in brains, he makes up for in deceitful determination. When the Atlantis team arrive to check out his village, Lucius sets his greedy sights on a life style upgrade and a few more wives to boot.
Unsurprisingly Sheppard and his team are rather preturbed by the man's eager to the point of scary interest and the various villagers loved up behaviour but are mildly intrigued by his medical claims. But before long anyone who comes in prolonged contact with the 'delicious fat guy' develope a childish crush, fawning like the villagers. Weir and Teyla practice much finger in hair twirling and generally Atlantis population turn into a bunch of giddy loved up kids willing to do anything Lucius asks.
This episode is much in the vain of the classic SG1 episodes such as 'Window of Opporutnity', often obsurd and peppered with priceless moments from fan 'in jokes', such as Luscius asking Sheppard 'how he gets his hair like that?', to the just right alterations in character's personality, such as a happy giddy Mckay (yes you read that right, McKay, happy, giddy and grinning like a four year old), schoolgirl crush afflicted Weir (you could tell Torri Higginson was loving every moment) and puppy dog Beckett (hilarious and adorable).
The whole main cast get their moment and seem to be throughly enjoying themselves, any hint of seriousness going out the window to be replaced by all manner of hugging, giggling and silliness...pretty much what usually happens when the cameras stop rolling then! Richard Kind is perfectly cast and this is very much his episode but its Joe Flanigan and Paul McGillion who get to steal the show in the end.
I also found the village set like walking into a 1970's druggy daydream, with the villagers bright clothing and blissed out expressions another priceless moment, if I was old enough to remember the 70's I'd be having flashbacks!
My only complaint is the 'gate harvesting' minor subplot was rather confusing. This is the problem with crossover, apparently they're refering back to the SG1 episode 'The Pegasus Project'. Fortunately its minor enough not to worry too much and with a little technobabble from McKay you generally get the picture. I'm also guessing this is why the episodes 'Seteda' and 'Irresistable' were switched in the airing schedules.
Irresistable is this season's 'Duet', packed full of cringe inducing hilariousness and plenty of magic moments! 8/10
July 31st, 2006, 05:40 PM
Before I discuss this particular episode, I have to repeat my usual disclaimer. Yes, I know how television works, and that not every episode has to be some deep exploration of the series’ mythology. Yes, I know that it’s not a crime to have a whimsical episode. And yes, I am capable of sitting back and enjoying a show for what it is.
However, that doesn’t mean that the series shouldn’t have standards. And much like last season’s “The Tower”, this episode fails to meet the standards set by the first season. In fact, this episode would have been a fairly embarrassing addition to any early “SG-1” season, which had their share of poorly conceived “humorous” episodes. It really has nothing to do with anything, and unlike some of the more worthy humorous episodes, there is no insight into a given character to justify the time and effort.
Lucius was a one-note character, and it quickly became boring to watch the inevitable play out. It might have worked better if it fell into the Whedon-esque style: starting with the funny and sliding right into the disturbing. As Lucius set everyone against Sheppard, I was waiting for things to turn ugly. Instead, they never went as far as they could (or should) have. There was never a sense that Sheppard was in real danger; it was just a matter of how hard it would be for him to set things right.
This reminds me a lot of the difference between the almost literary humor of the early seasons of “X-Files” and the terrible “comedic” material in the later seasons. One type of episode was incredibly funny, but remarkably insightful; the other often sought cheap laughs at the expense of established character histories. This episode actually fell right in between the two extremes. It said nothing about the characters, added nothing to the season as a whole (that I could readily perceive), yet presented a cliché of a plot so thin as to require nothing to change.
Instead of exploring how this addictive personality might lead to the unearthing of underlying tensions or reveal aspects of characters that might play into future plot threads, this was staged and written like a standard sitcom. And since I hate most sitcoms, it’s no surprise that this episode left me cold. Any episode originally titled “Delicious Fat Guy” is an episode that should be reconsidered almost immediately. What’s worse is that Lucius is supposed to be a recurring guest character. My worries about this season, based on this episode, have risen exponentially.
August 3rd, 2006, 05:35 AM
I loved the thought of this episode, the basic premise - Everyone on Atlantis falls heads over heels for Guest Character and its up to Sheppard to save the day - sounds brilliant. It sounds like a wonderful stand alone comedy episode. What it turned out to be is the most offensive and disgusting episode of Stargate ever made.
The argument that Lucius is taking the drug himself is invalid, it doesn‘t matter that he takes it himself, its others that feel the effect. It is their brain function that is impaired, not his own.
Lucius is drugging people into compliance, including his six wives. One of whom even states that he had propositioned her twice and she had turned him down before he took the drug. This man willingly used a drug to chemically alter her state of mind so that she would have sex with him. There is a word for that: rape.
This is funny how?
I could accept such a story line if the writers, producers and directors had treated it with respect but they didn’t. In fact the way they treated the topic was disgusting.
Drug use has always been treated with respect and gravitas in the Stargate universe up until this point. It was used to enslave the people of bounty hunter Aris Boch, it warped Ford almost beyond recognition. Yet here, when used to rape women it’s meant to be funny.
Well forgive me but I don’t find drug rape particularly amusing. I don’t know whether this is sexism, insensitivity, ignorance or sheer bad taste on behalf of the TPTB but it shocked me.
Further more at not one point does any character comment on how morally wrong this is or of the horrible crimes Lucius has committed, he is treated more as a mischief maker more than anything else.
There were some moments that were good if you can stomach what‘s going on for a moment. It was nice to see another side to Dr. Beckett, Paul McGillion does well here although he needs to watch his accent, it was almost painful in parts. I’m Scottish, before you ask.
There were also one or two good one liners, David Hewlett’s expression at the “Fly Luscius, Fly!” scene wonderful. The delivery from McGillion and Torri Higginson on “Burn it.” “All of it.” “Now.” was flawless.
Richard Kind didn’t make much of an impression either way.
Overall this episode should never have been allowed to be made. The story was insensitive, in poor taste and quite frankly the contempt with which these issues were treated was disgusting. Sometimes its good to sit back and just let yourself go with the humour. This isn’t one of those times. Even if the surface happenings are funny, forced drug abuse and rape are not, nor should they be used as a vehicle for comedy. I’m truly disappointed in TPTB.
August 3rd, 2006, 10:01 AM
Before the episode aired, several actors and writers said that Irresistible was going to be a comedic episode along the lines of last year’s Duet. So, for the sake of this review I will compare Irresistible with Duet so now and then, not just review the episode itself. And at first glance, it doesn’t look good.
Duet was a fantastic episode, it was one of my top favorites ever. It had a strong storyline and David Hewlett excelled as McKay/Cadman. This year’s Irresistible started of with a less strong storyline and unlike with Duet, I didn’t laugh once.
The episode start with the introduction of a completely new concept: an intergalactic bridge using spacegates. This of course makes that Atlantis will be pretty much around the corner for Earth (and the other way around), completely taking away the feeling of standing alone from season one. I can’t say I have any problems with that, Atlantis having a ZPM and Daedalus making trips there and back didn’t hurt the show whatsoever. I think (and hope) the same will go for this ‘bridge’. And McKay hesitantly admitting that the whole thing was Carter’s idea and not his, was nice to see.
Back to the episode itself. First off, let me say it’s a joy to see Richard Kind back in the Stargate universe. He’s a great actor for comedic roles and I always love watching him. Like usually, he plays his role as Lucius Luvin very well, being extremely annoying and sexually forward but his performance is never blunt and always full of subtleties.
The story itself just doesn’t really appeal to me. Of course, the concept of an addictive personality is an interesting one, but is it enough to base an entire episode around? Of course, the response others have to Lucius is a nice thing to watch. All the actors, with the exception of Joe Flanigan, get to act somewhat out of character and you can see they love it. The best performances were giving by the shows two strongest actors, Torri Higginson and David Hewlett. McKay childish joy when speaking with Lucius is fantastic and Dr. Weir plays it with more subtlety, fiddling with Lucius’ scarf and things like that. The rest of the cast also plays their roles nicely, seeing Beckett pretty much fall in love with Lucius is quite interesting to watch and we get to see Ronon laugh, which doesn’t happen very often. But once again, Teyla isn’t making a real contribution. I said it in my Misbegotten review and I’ll say it again, I really hope the writers can think of things for her to do or we might lose her as a main character.
In the end, it looks like the storyline is more of a way to give Richard Kind a nice role and give the cast a chance to act a bit out of character. I have no problem with those things in themselves, but at least wrap it up in an interesting story, like with Duet. Because if I compare the two, I must have watched Duet at least five times by now and I liked it every time. Irresistible already got boring the second time around, I can’t even imagine watching it five times.
Well, there’s not much more I can say about this episode. I liked the fact that the actors got to play with their roles, I really like Richard Kind being on Stargate again, but that’s pretty much all I liked. So, another average episode for season three of Stargate Atlantis, I give it 6 of those lovely little tonics out of a possible 10.
November 2nd, 2006, 02:30 PM
Irresistible is feels like an attempt to emulate the stand-alone funny stories typical of SG1’s early seasons but it is unoriginal with no surprises serving only to embarrass most of the main characters and leaving only the hero of the story, Sheppard, to emerge with any dignity. Further, the direction never seems truly settled on whether to interpret the script as a comedy or a serious story, and ends up missing on both accounts.
The premise of Irresistible is not particularly original; it sounds a lot like SG1’s Hathor (stranger seduces team before defeat by those unaffected). However, clichés and recycling stories doesn’t have to be a bad thing if they are retold in an original way. Unfortunately, there is very little originality and the plot provides no surprises for the audience. From Sheppard’s cold to Beckett actually being cured allowing a rescue plan to be implemented; all fail as any kind of unexpected twist or plot complication to a reasonably intelligent audience. The plot is child-like in its simplicity.
Allowing a character who doesn’t routinely save the day to be the hero might have made this more interesting but unoriginally, Sheppard is chosen. It’s unlikely that Sheppard won’t get another opportunity to be a hero at some point in the season and this story could have been a perfect vehicle for another character to shine. Unfortunately, all the other characters fall under Lucius’s spell and all lose their dignity as they fawn over Lucius or act out-of-character. Only Beckett, the fall guy, gets any redemption by curing everyone and only Sheppard emerges with his dignity completely intact.
It is good to see Sheppard acting as a mature military leader who makes informed decisions, refuses to risk his team on a suicide mission, and generally maintains his composure and ability to think when outnumbered and under pressure. It’s a great outing for Sheppard. Unfortunately the other characters don’t fare as well although to be fair, the story requires the characters to make poor judgements and act out-of-character for a reason.
Unfortunately, there does seem some confusion over whether the drug seems to invoke such a deep sense of love for Lucius that it impairs their judgement in regards to doing something he wants them to do or whether it causes them to actually become lovesick teenagers who treat everything except for Lucius’s well-being and happiness lightly. If the former than the characters should never have acted ‘out’; their judgement calls would be impaired but they would simply act like themselves otherwise. They might have been in love with Lucius but they would have portrayed this within character. For example, Teyla and Ronan would have seriously acknowledged the danger they faced on the Wraith planet even as they assured Lucius they got his wanted herb; they certainly wouldn’t have been giddy with laughter.
This might have been the kinder route to go with the affected characters and certainly there are times that seems to be the direction given (Beckett and Rodney in particular seem to comply with this interpretation) but as some do fall out-of-character, the latter one is also confusingly used and certainly these segments seem to challenge the actors as they do seem stiff and awkward in these scenes. Some do manage subtle reactions that shine; Weir’s ecstatically lovesick expression when Lucius mentions marriage, and Beckett’s withdrawal in the jumper with Sheppard are both very nicely acted.
Outside of the main plot, the characters are all nicely in-character, and the opening teaser actually provides the team with the best scene of the episode. It’s light; it’s funny (with Rodney’s revelation that the ‘clever idea’ for a Stargate bridge between Atlantis and Earth is actually Samantha Carter’s definitely worth a chuckle); it’s heart-warming. It’s a shame the rest of the episode doesn’t match up and one of the reasons for this is because the story never seems to truly settle on whether to be a comedy or not.
It seems to have the ingredients for a funny episode; great comedic guest actor, the regulars acting like lovesick fools around a grotesque figure, Sheppard having to be the hero despite his cold. Various parts of the direction seem to support the idea they were going for a comedy: the OTT laughing in the face of danger, the pathetic snivelling in withdrawal; Weir’s adoration. The ending which treats Lucius very lightly despite his actions suggests the situation is meant to be taken by the audience the same way.
Unfortunately, this is where it comes unstuck as a comedy as the underlying situation is not funny, not remotely. Effectively, the audience is being invited to laugh at the idea of an obnoxious man drugging everybody around him to get anything he wants including sex. Given that this is effectively drug rape, why would anyone think this is funny? It kind of begs the question why the producers even considered this a good story concept.
The story itself seems to beg to be taken seriously with the direction at times also highlighting this more grim undertone especially in Sheppard’s confrontation with the team after they return from the Wraith planet where the atmosphere turns truly menacing and equally, in Lucius’s conversation with a captured Sheppard, where Lucius definitely comes across as vile and amoral showing no remorse.
It’s a pity that the story was not allowed to embrace its darker side because here is the originality it so desperately needed. Showing a well-known lovable comedic actor as a truly grotesque villain; allowing the characters to actually be affected by their loss of judgement and hurt in some way; truly making them victims which would have evoked sympathy rather than just cringing embarrassment for them; all of this might have made Irresistible live up to its name in a way the actual final product does not.
August 11th, 2012, 03:18 AM
Episode titles like that make me want to yell out at the TV screen. So it's 3:00 AM in the morning, you're wide awake and you can't get you sleep; what do you do? You turn on Showtime and you catch something, something that looks like a movie that an SNL castmember did, so you press the info button on your remote and it turns out that this is not a movie per say, but an episode of "Stargate: Atlantis"; you wonder at whether or not this is a sci-fi or a comedy show but you watch anyway because nothing else is on and you don't want to waste precious seconds that could be used trying to get to sleep.
That analogy describes this episode; no one can deny that the Stargate formula allows for dynamic episodes, including comedy-based episodes and some of those episodes have been Stargate classics. However, with a dynamic formula comes a curse and ultimately this is that curse. There is an interesting idea behind it, guy ("Lovin'") with a secret, herbs and spices who manages to be liked by everyone; people are incited but don't know why, SGA crew doesn't know what's going on, guy goes to Atlantis, everybody is under his control. It gives a certain depth to the episode that would of otherwise been nonexistent, an aura of mystery that moves the episode. Who/what is this guy? How do people come to like him? Is what he's saying true? It's just something that makes his character appreciable and gives his personality a contrast that really shows itself as the episode goes on; plus the idea of a guy like him being under control, the unintentional villain, it's something that could prove itself clever. There are hints of this interesting idea throughout the episode that under the hands of a capable writer could grow to be something more but that's all they are, hints and the idea is just that, an idea.
Just an idea...
Much of the episode's plot consist of the guest star acting like he's on SNL while using snarkisms, overkindness and being a womanizer while Atlantis becomes a nuthouse while Sheppard expectedly becomes the only one unaffected. I suppose the writers expected us to laugh at this guy as he did his comedy routine; womanizing like there was no other and I suppose the writers expected us to enjoy the hoped up Atlantis (fans love that stuff)... I don't know what goes on in the writing room but I do know that none of this stuff was particularly enjoyable; for much of the time the guy was on screen, I was making comments about his womanizer trait, particularly about his secret desires while also providing my own laugh track, hoping that adding that would at least enhance the proceedings (it didn't) and the fact that I was doing my own fun stuff instead of focusing on the stuff that was on screen proves that this isn't enjoyable. His sthick becomes old quickly and they lose focus of what they want to do with him, do they want to make him into a villain or do they want to make him into a guy who does over-the-top goofy stuff while the people clamor over him? Even worse is that the people of Atlantis seems almost pandering in their behavior, while it is fun to see them act this way; it's almost mocking to the audience that's watching it, the audience that rates this 5/5 after seeing it.
The plot seems to focus on convenience more times then it does straight up unexpectedness. Sheppard and McKay just happens to be away for hours and Sheppard manages to be the only one unaffected because he wasn't there at the right time? (cold notwithstanding, one of the few clever things about the episode.) Everything about it just screamed convenient, from the timing to the climatic moments to even the reveal which seems like something the writers cooked up in a jiffy just so they can explain something (and yes, there was a lack of research in this episode.) Convenience is good in certain situations but it's lazy when it's used in a plot as something that moves the plot along. Additionally, the episode is really predictable; I could sense from a mile away that our "guest" was being lead on from the end, I could sense that what he's telling wasn't even true, I even correctly guessed how he might of been able to control these people. No episode of Stargate should be this predictable, it just ruins the experience of getting immersed in the episode and being surprised at what's next. It's no fun to know what happens next and it's something these writers don't seem to fully understand; I doubt there is any excuse they can come up with that can justify this...
This episode does have a tiny number of saving graces though... The guest star isn't 100% annoying, the moments where he tells his stories and converses with some of the people brings some much needed character that fleshes him out. The way he connects with the people, the way he is friendly; it just something that could of made him a character worth investing in had they not made him annoying and the way they added a somewhat dark side to what could be a comedic episode is something that should be truly commended as it shows that Stargate hasn't lost it's serious roots and it's especially commendable when one of those scenes manages to tie back to the character himself. Still, it can't defeat the fact that it's poorly plotted, (the episode seems to jump from one thing to another and at some times, unnecessarily lengthened scenes affect the balance; especially at the end.) largely unfunny (they do attempt to do a few unrelated comedic bits but they just seem like something that's stale.) and even poorly edited. (the music abruptly cuts in and out, scenes abruptly end and there are even scenes where the editor had no idea what he wanted.) Even the Atlantis crew itself is aware as they take the time to joke amongst themselves and converse about personal real life stuff... Being self-aware is one thing but being self-aware that it sucks is another.
So, if you just so happen to be up at 3:00 AM and you need something to put you to sleep, this episode if for you! For the rest of us, this is the worst episode of SGA yet. And yes, I'm aware I said that before about "Duet" but what slightly saved it was the insight we got on Wraith technology, this just has the interstellar bridge that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Both equally suck but at least "Duet" teaches us about something, what does this teach us about? Avoid this at all costs.
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