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Thread: Condemned (205)

  1. #61

    Heart Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by Easter Lily
    It is probably not so surprising that a episode invoking the Faustian myth could possibly have something of a western feel to it... In a way, both deal with corruption, anti-heroes and the awful price of immediate gain.
    So is Condemned... Unforgiven without the horses?... but have Stargate or puddlejumper will travel? Too much of a leap perhaps...

    So in the Pegasus galaxy, Faust is an oily magistrate of an advanced civilization and Mephistopheles, a wine sipping, delicacy chomping Wraith. Caught in between this bargain is our third villian... a convict and a desperado, better versed, in human psychology than Dr Heightmeyer. Stranger bedfellows we have yet to see. It would appear that Faust is the most recent in a long line of Faustian magistrates who for "the good of the Alesian people" have made it a practice to condemn criminals to a fate worse than death and that is to sell their souls (or their life force as is the case)... to the demons of the galaxy. But the demons are very hungry and there isn't much to go around so they turn up at almost the right moment to put more pressure. So who is the greater villian: the criminal condemned to die for killing 11, our resident Dr Faustus or the life-sucking Wraiths.
    In between sippings and chompings, our heroes tumble into the picture... and do they tumble... As usual, they tumble and blows the deal skyhigh. Down in the dumps... our heroes are engaged in struggle for survival... which is the stuff of more strange alliances. After more wheeling and dealing and the usual Rodney specials... the team, I gather, returns home.
    An occupational hazard of exploration (one with which we're accustomed to) one which begs the question: Are they heroes or villians also? Or were they merely hastening the inevitable? There are no easy answers.

    The moral of the story: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't. But who is the devil?

    Dang... I wanted those sandwiches... too

    That's a bit of a stretch. Anyway, I doubt the writer(s) of this episode had anything Faustian or even particularly literary on their minds when writing this one, because it really came across like a plot scrabbled up at the last minute, twisted and punched against all logic into script form and shot without any thoughtful rumination on whether it really held together in a believable way. If there's a moral to the story, it's that you ought to spend some time mulling over your plot ideas before thrusting them on the rest of the world.

  2. #62

    Heart Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowMaat
    I thought the exposition of McKay's character was kinda funny, but it was also extremely odd.

    Am I wrong, or did the leader guy come in and immediately single out McKay for fixing the ship? How would HE know that McKay's a scientist? And how would he know all that stuff about his personality? And that he was lying about not being able to fix the ship? McKay's "I can't do this" seemed a lot more believeable that Shep's "Yeah, whatever" attitude relating the destruction of Atlantis. The mad scientist seemed to do a bit of it, too. So was it all just a way to waste time, or is there something more that we're going to learn later when the release of the prisoners comes back to bite them in the ass?

    Yep, just as I've said, Torrell's little speeches were weird as hell. I was wondering that too, how Torrell knew Rodney was the brainy one. If Torrell's supposed to be the new villain --and I sincerely hope not-- he needs some work. But I'm guessing the pink-haired wraith is the new baddie? I really think the whole thing was just a case of not letting this plot idea simmer long enough. I understand the writers are on a tight schedule, but this one definitely could have been more effective with a little more thought.

    The McKay/Sheppard interaction saved the ep for me. They're wonderful individually but scenes between them really light up the screen. They've still got the best chemistry on the show (friendshippy or otherwise). I get a kick out of the way Sheppard can pull Rodney more or less into line with just an admonishing, "Rodney..."
    They're lots of fun. I think they could save just about the lamest plot, which this one essentially was.

  3. #63
    Staff Sergeant kashi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I liked that episode, however I don't know why the people on the island didn't just block off/bury the stargate to prevent the wraith darts coming through. I suppose that wouldn't really work in the long run, but it might divert the wraith's attention away from the island and towards the mainland.

  4. #64
    First Lieutenant macktheknife's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    From what the little werido not a criminal scientist guy said, I thought they would end with all the other criminals waiting for the Leader criminal to come through the gate and shooting him with their guns.

    I wonder what happened to that poor girl marin. She walked like she was wearing a really tight corset or something.

    Also, shooting down a PJ with those dodgy nerblewerfer wannabes is just plain wrong.
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  5. #65

    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Is it just me or was that the 4400 Center where Weir was negociating? I'm assuming 4400 is filmed somewhat near Stargate because of the actor crossovers.
    I noticed that too, and I'm almost positive it was the same building used for the 4400 Center. We know Stargate is filmed in Vancouver, and I seem to recall reading that The 4400 is filmed there, too, so that would definitely explain it! I wonder what that building is in real life...

  6. #66
    Lieutenant General ShadowMaat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Do you think we'll see more of that prison scientist guy, or is he another who'll be brought back to Atlantis only to disappear forever?

    I wonder if he's some kind of idiot savant or if he used to be much more cohesive until an accident/deliberate attempt to scramble his brain. His head is always covered. Good way to hide a botched trepanning/lobotomy. Although if they DO show him again, it'll probably be something easy and un-messy like a form of autism or other mental impairment. Still, could be interesting. If they bother.

  7. #67
    Chief Master Sergeant Infernorhythm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Shawn the Wraith is the new baddie!!!
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  8. #68
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    Chevron Re: Condemned (205)

    Well, not to be a wet bucket, but I was disappointed with the this episdoe. I expected more much more action and a little more tension between the team. I think the writers are having Dex integrate too well, way too soon, but I did enjoy his few seconds of ignoring Shep's orders.

    I liked Dr. Weir off world. She showed herself to be a worthy adversary and great diplomat; she won't back down from anything.

    Rodney was his usual likeable self.....Teyla, well there wasn't much to her role, was there?

    The best part of the whole 42 minutes, was meeting a "cultured" Wraith. I was amazed to see a Wraith who enjoyed a fine wine and gourmet food. Nice change from "life force sucking". Hope he returns.

    So far this season, Duet still ranks head and shoulders above the rest. But that's just my poor opinion.
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  9. #69
    Captain uknesvuinng's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I guess structural integrity is a minor concern for a ship that spends much of it's time travelling via stargate. Either that, or the explosive was supposed to be that non-radioactive fissible material.

    I too was concerned about them not cloaking when flying to the island, but I guess since they saw no anti-air fire attacking the security ship, they assumed they were going to be safe.

    I wondered why not just gate with the prisoners to a neutral world, then go their seperate ways afterwards, but I guess they didn't trust them even that much. While wise to send the prisioners to another planet, I wondered why they didn't gate to a neutral planet themselves and then to Atlantis. Being seen gating to a world whose only stargate should be destroyed is a pretty big clue that something's up. Perhaps three or four intermediate planets would be a better plan, that way they give the illusion of being on the move, as well as protect the existence of Atlantis.

    My issues out of the way now, this was a very entertaining episode. For me, SG-1 and Atlantis sort of compliment each other now. SG-1 provides some decent philisophical ideas with this somewhat different "just what is a god?" theme of the Ori, while Atlantis has the various aspects of us vs. advanced enemy. This episode, while not groundbreaking storytelling, adds layers to elements already in the show. Weir was the strong negotiator, Shep the military leader who's just a little out of place in this intergalactic universe that until last year he didn't know existed, McKay was McKay. Ronan's "is that an order?" scene spoke volumes about his character, both as an individual and as military. He's definately confident and self-sufficient, but he's fiercely loyal and a soldier in any situation. The Wraith renewed some creepiness with this episode, but I would have liked to have heard that Wraith with a name. He'd make a great individual baddy for us for focus on an worry about (he could be the Wraith's Apophis), but without a name or something really identifiable, he won't really be all that memorable past this episode. Wraith cruisers are quite ominous when approaching stranded SG teams.

    Though no one theme is individually special in and of itself, this episode brought the various elements together pretty well.
    Cogito ergo dubito.

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  10. #70
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I may have liked this episode if I could have gotten past the incredulous leap I had to take in believing that Shep would be taken by already proven hostile criminals without a fight. How would Shep know that the criminals wouldn't shoot them right then? What reasons would he have to trust the criminals with his teams' life? I just kept saying, "Stupid. Stupid." But, of course, if they weren't captured then the story would have ended.

    I agree that letting criminals go was unwise. Shep should have let Ronan take care of business. Ronan seems like the only person that is willing to take names and ask questions later. I want to see more of Ronan.

    Token ~

  11. #71
    Staff Sergeant joasia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoPenguin
    While watching the scene where Ronon is trying to break his bonds, he says, "Okay, when you've got a guy as tall as Ronon sitting next to you, here's what you do." He then goes on to describe how Ronon could have kicked the pole Sheppard was tied to and enabled him to slide his bonds off it, then free the others. Very, very cool!
    Well, I have learned the theory about that particular trick from a novel. So: read a lot of books before going offplanet! And before exploring Ancienr's ruins (I've seen Cameron's puzzle from Avalon in a novel, too...)

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Really good episode, loved it. McKay-"what am I McGyver?"...Loved that.
    Ronan has really grown on me more, he is funny. (Ronan goes over to McKay with his knife to cut his rope next to his belly) McKay-"watch it" Ronan-"suck it in".... soooo funny. And was it just me or did McKay look extra good this episode. (yes I like McKay, I admit. ) Anyway, the Wraith was very creepy as usual, and I thought I saw pink tints to it's hair, or was that just me? Weir was great in this episode too, you can see how much of a boss lady she is, she definately has the respect of all her people, or most of them anyways. Altogether a really great episode.

  13. #73
    Lieutenant Colonel IWantToBelieve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I was disappointed by this episode, for the reasons mentioned. The Jumper being brought down wasn't realistic (and usually I am the last one to say that because I'm of the kind that you suspend belief and enjoy a show for what it is, but this was so far from the realm of realism that it just spoiled the plot). Second of all, where was the effort to come up with a plan when captures? All Shep did was sit there, McKay got singled out, and his captor was able to give a run-down pyschological summary of his character despite not KNOWING him at all. There was no sense of danger here, despite the plot indicating there SHOULD be. It just felt flat. Weir started off suspcious and threatening, without any reason to, from the get-go. It was just off all through out.

    With that said, there were some good points. The team banter was good, I do like Dex, and find I like him way more than Ford. Shep breaking the stick (aka not breaking it) was funny.

    But, I have to ask, would that wraith cruiser have fired those ballistics at humans running to the gate? The point of that would be - ? And, even assuming they WOULD, how could they POSSIBLY miss to that degree?

    I've been about 40% like with this season so far, 60% disappointed. I've been enjoying SG-1 a lot more this season. I really hope that the stories to come are better written, more engaging, and make better use of the characters.
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  14. #74
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    As others have already mentioned there are some fairly big plot holes in this one. It was pretty funny because my 10 year old nephew is over this morning and he loves this stuff so I put it on for him and I just about laughed myself silly when he starts yelling at the t.v. for Sheppard to cloak the puddlejumper when he's flying over the island to get back to the gate because it's pretty much exactly what I was thinking to myself when I watched it last night. If a 10 year old can figure out that it might be a good idea to cloak your ship when flying over an island full of criminals who have already been proven...inhospitable then I would think a military man would think so also. Granted, they had no idea that the prisoners had any kind of weapons that could reach them in the air but better safe than sorry I would think. Of course if they always did the smart thing then we wouldn't have a 42 minute episode but sometimes the leaps in logic required are a bit much.

    It was, is, and always will be GREEN

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lida
    Well, not to be a wet bucket, but I was disappointed with the this episdoe. I expected more much more action and a little more tension between the team. I think the writers are having Dex integrate too well, way too soon, but I did enjoy his few seconds of ignoring Shep's orders.
    I seem to have liked the episode better than you did, but you have a good point about Dex. It might have been better to have him a bit of a wild card for the first few episodes and slowly integrate into the team. I love his long coat!

    .....Teyla, well there wasn't much to her role, was there?
    Teyla only seems to be there to swing sticks and beat up on folks. We've gone way too long with nothing going on with this character other than a hot bod. I really don't pay attention to what she does or says anymore as she really contributes nothing to the stories. This season's "Ford" it seems.

    The best part of the whole 42 minutes, was meeting a "cultured" Wraith. I was amazed to see a Wraith who enjoyed a fine wine and gourmet food. Nice change from "life force sucking". Hope he returns.
    I'd like to see this Wraith again (recurring perhaps - SGA's Apophis?). We did need to hear a name for him, however, we have not discovered whether the Wraith have names or not. So far Sheppard is the only person who has given out names (Steve and Bob).

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  16. #76
    Lieutenant Colonel Ugly Pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I can't believe we're halfway through to the mid-season break already... And I've hardly said a word about Atlantis yet...

    PIGGY'S USELESS OPINION
    of 'Condemned'

    I was worried that this episode would be like 'Prisoneres', what with the whole "stargate in the penal colony" thing, but it wasn't. As far as stand-alone episodes go, this was a pretty good one. The appropriately terrifying ending put a huge smile on my face (come to think of it, 'Prisoners' had a "scary" ending as well... Not at all the same, though). And of course, there was the usual nice blend of humor in there ("Who am I? MacGyver?") and some action (sweet, sweet violence) at the end.

    Random Observations!
    - So... Some wraith do eat food, though not out of actual need.
    - Ronon continues to kick ass.
    - The short opening still sucks, even more so now that I've seen the full one-minute title sequence. Sigh...
    - Is that the third episode in a row for Major Lorne? I'm starting to like him.
    - I don't normally do "net speak", but: LOL @ Sheppard trying to break that stick in half!
    - Hope those Wraith cruisers didn't see where Sheppard & co. gated off to...
    - Hmm... Beckett didn't appear in this episode at all. Which is strange, since they made him a regular. But hey - some early SG-1 episodes didn't have Hammond appearing in them, so it's hardly unprecedented.

  17. #77
    Lieutenant Colonel Ugly Pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowMaat
    Am I wrong, or did the leader guy come in and immediately single out McKay for fixing the ship? How would HE know that McKay's a scientist? And how would he know all that stuff about his personality? And that he was lying about not being able to fix the ship?
    Hey, we never found out where Hannibal Lecter ran off to... Pegasus it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shipperahoy
    It was pretty funny because my 10 year old nephew is over this morning and he loves this stuff so I put it on for him and I just about laughed myself silly when he starts yelling at the t.v. for Sheppard to cloak the puddlejumper when he's flying over the island to get back to the gate because it's pretty much exactly what I was thinking to myself when I watched it last night.
    Didn't they say the cloak was damaged?

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Pig
    Didn't they say the cloak was damaged?
    Yeah...after they got fired upon. What I (and apparently my 10 year old nephew) thought was that if they had any brains at all they would have already had the cloak on since they knew that they were flying over hostile territory.

    It was, is, and always will be GREEN

  19. #79
    Lieutenant Colonel blingaway's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    I liked this episode quite a bit, but Ronan's ranting about revenge on the convict leader seemed a bit off. He's been practicing stealth and, presumably, a 'kill the hunter and book it before friends arrive' sort of M.O. for years now. The rant just didn't seem like what I'd expect from a disciplined ex-military, survivalist type dude. That said, Boy, I like to watch him fight!! And when Teyla broke that stick in two! Ooo, that had me licking my chops. Yes UP, sweet sweet violence!

    Weir and The Boys! THAT'S how I want Weir to be! Yeah baby!

    That food scarfing, wine chugging wraith was a neat variation on the theme. I especially liked it when he leaned over his host to snarl threats and a string of wraithspit dripped from his mouth. *creeped*

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Condemned (205)

    Quote Originally Posted by smushybird
    That's a bit of a stretch. Anyway, I doubt the writer(s) of this episode had anything Faustian or even particularly literary on their minds when writing this one, because it really came across like a plot scrabbled up at the last minute, twisted and punched against all logic into script form and shot without any thoughtful rumination on whether it really held together in a believable way. If there's a moral to the story, it's that you ought to spend some time mulling over your plot ideas before thrusting them on the rest of the world.

    I don't know, I like reading Easter Lily's detailed plot analysis for each episode--they're always thought-provoking and interesting.

    I also kind of think the writer(s) often DO have something literary or that is an homage or has hidden meaning when they come up with their plots. I know they do when they come up with titles of the episodes, so why wouldn't they when they actually write the things?

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