Great episode. The makeup for Sheppard was great, the bug eyes were creepy.
Joe Mallozzi's Blog:
The events of the last episode pay off in this one. Carry-over! I love it! As the retrovirus Ellia transferred to Sheppard courses through his system, John becomes a superman – of sorts. He’s fast, agile, strong – and suddenly possessed of a positively savage attitude. One of the episode’s most interesting moments sees Sheppard sparring with Teyla. Things get a little out of hand and, the next thing you know, he’s kissing her. She lets him down – painfully. Now, the question arises: Did the retrovirus make him act instinctually and wholly out of character or did it strip him of his inhibitions and lead him to act on some deep-seeded yearning? In other words: Sheyla or not?
Personally, I always thought there was great potential there and even the suggestion of romantic feelings. Although never pursued, it was always a possibility – until the Rachel Luttrell, the actress who played Teyla, became pregnant. At that point, we were faced with several creative avenues, one of which involved making John the father. And, while it certainly would have made for some fine drama, the prospect of a secret affair would, it was argued, undermine both characters. But more on that topic when we hit season 4.
Anyway, the John/Teyla kiss was actually Rachel’s first onscreen kiss. And it just happened to come on a day when her parents were visiting the set. Talk about pressure!
Love the egg hunt in the cave scenes but these type of sequences always bring to mind the gain/loss calculator. The first team to visit the cave risks their lives to save Sheppard. Two marines die in the process. At episode’s end, we all breathe a sigh of relief and things are back to normal. Except for our two marines. Granted, we never really knew them but, presumably, other people did. Say, their loved ones?
Sure, members of the expedition died all the time over the course of the series run, but there’s a difference between dying in the heat of battle and dying in an attempt to save someone else – in this case, a single individual. I’m not arguing against the decision to risk their lives for Sheppard (We don’t leave our people behind, after all), only pointing out the apparent egocentricity of our top tier team members. To be fair, A LOT of shows (and movies) are guilty of this. Thoughts?
Touch of a 'The Broca Divide' moment here with Sheppard turning agressive, and then making a pass at Teyla as his human side is taken over by the bug virus.
Loved the skin crawling inducing bug sound effects as they tried to get the bug eggs, especially when Beckett poured the salt water on them.
The change in Sheppard's appearance was well done. Those eyes were creepy, and it was really funny seeing him scampering up the walls in Atlantis!
At some point...(not long after I was in Exeter for preliminary househunting) I got round to checking this ep.
1. Thing is, we'd been fairly well spoiled on this one.
2. Weir and Caldwell get a rematch.
3. A lot of lines just came back to me though.
4. Definately like Ronon in this one.
Brought back good memories.
In the Stargate world, anything can happen to any character. Some good ("Upgrades"), some bad, ("Rite of Passage"), some in between... In this episode, Sheppard is the latest in a long line of people to have something done to them (which is get exposed to the retrovirus from the previous episode) but this isn't the first time he's done it; doesn't matter, he does undergo a situation of his own and that situation physically transforms him as evident by the episode title at hand.
The way the episode begins does explain why the last episode ended abruptly and also explains what's happening to Sheppard though it doesn't excuse the fact that the last episode ended abruptly (what is seen here can be constituted as a band-aid fix); still, it starts off the episode and it even manages to make the idea that they had justifiable. The initial stages of what Sheppard goes through is entertaining, we see him be strong, run fast, do martial acts with incredible skill and act all tough; it's similar to "Upgrades" in that he's super powerful and he's aware of it, it's almost like he has superpowers and can do whatever he wants, he even manages to best Ronan and Teyla, two people who are unbestable. The initial moments are some of the most enjoyable moments of the episode but it gets darker when the episode progresses.
As he transforms into this Wraith-like being, he gets stronger and darker; his mind being taken over by the bug side of his DNA. The makeup behind his progression is some amazing stuff, it's realistically looks like he's transforming into a Wraith as we speak and the way he utilizes his speech patterns and acts gruff, it fits his character at hand and reflects his situation. There is no doubt in my mind that you will feel for Sheppard as he goes through this transformation, understanding the situation and doing the best to prevent it; you'll also feel for him as he tries to use up the best of the time that he has, even vocalizing his despair for the situation that he's in. He's that good. Though the situation may be dark, he manages to do some awesome stuff that plays into a action-sequence that is just flat out exciting; he kicks ass, he climbs up the walls and tries to escape while the Atlantis crew hunts them down in the city with the classic shots we've come to know and love. They really managed to establish both the strength of Sheppard and the paranoia of the Atlantis crew, it's unsettling to know that Sheppard is anywhere and could subdue these guys in a second and it lends itself well to the feeling of these scenes; I mean I wouldn't want to encounter Wraith-Sheppard would I?
No I wouldn't...
There is a sense of urgency that establishes itself through both the light sides and the dark sides, a sense of urgency that would come to drive this episode. It's a rush to see the scientists working on stuff, messing with DNA modules and suggesting ideas and Beckett the star thinking of many ideas while also being certain of himself; Beckett knows the limited time they have and Beckett provides that medical tension that helps Sheppard's scenes. There's also the hunt for the eggs which serves a dual purpose, putting the guys in a tough predicament on getting the eggs and revealing where they place their eggs; these guys know they're in a rush against time but they can't help but to be cautious, looking around and trying methods to avoid their wrath and though there are some times where the atmosphere of the cave isn't fully realized, it's creepy enough. So much so that we feel for Sheppard even more when their initial plan fails; the bugs may have been corny in the first episode they appeared in but never before have they been such a deadly threat, plus the limited time is established so well throughout the episode; though Sheppard's transformation to the scenes showing the spans between time, it helps to reinforce that ever so necessary urgency.
This situation brings out the best in Weir who manages to be sensible and compassionate whenever Sheppard is around; she tries to be friendly, she tries to help people out of their moods and it isn't because she's required to do so; no she wants to do so. That compassionate side is what separates Weir from most of the leaders out there and to see that in contrast to Sheppard's aggressive mood is certainly something. That doesn't mean she can't be strict though, she knows when to say no and she knows how to says no, she may care for everyone here but there are certain things which take priorty and she doesn't take any regret in saying no, especially when it comes to Cadwell (who's reason for staying in Atlantis constantly changes), the battle may be contrived but it more then affirms Weir's take nothing stance when it comes to the arguments; what helps is that she isn't against it just because she's against it, she has a reason for being against it and she also manages to include some of her compassion in it; additionally, she isn't a person who hates military types, she manages to have friendly conversation with Cadwell throughout the episode and the moment involving Solitaire has got to be one of the most naturalistic moments of the episode.
Weir cares for everyone.
If I had a couple of complaints, it would be that the solution for Sheppard's solution was a bit too simplistic but it's understandable since they couldn't have an episode like this without ending it early, still... Sheppard's personality switch was a bit jarring; I mean almost instantly he's an immediate jerk and an arrogant one at that, even RDA's personality transformation was subdued, this just seems like he's another person and Cadwell's personality seems a bit generic, mostly hindering the scenes he appears in... Despite this, it's still a pretty good episode overall. It puts Sheppard in a situation which is both dark and entertaining, it has a sense of urgency that keeps you at the edge of your seat and it even puts Weir in a position that more then reflects on the best aspects of her character. I think you won't be disappointed spending time with this episode.
Really starting to think Bam Bam is Joe's stunt double. At least in the sparring sessions. It wouldn't be such a problem if it wasn't so obvious that it wasn't Joe.
Shep sure was creepy in this. I think it was those eyes.
Ronan shows off his hunting skills by taking down bug shep.
Caldwell sure is an ass. But most people would know why.
So yet again we trade 2 lives to save 1. Seems to happen a lot.
My LiveJournal post
Wow, poor Shep... but good going, Carson.
"Thanks to denial, I'm immortal."
"A big 'Hello' to all intelligent life out there, and for everyone else, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys!"
"Excuse me, barmaid? You seem to have brought me the wrong offspring. I ordered an extra large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side. This here, this is a talking fishbone!"
"I'm Jack. It means... what's in the box?"
>-- Czechs Rock! >--
Since Instinct and Conversion are kind of like a two parter I have to say I love Conversion a lot more than I like Instinct. This episode had every thing for me. It continued on the exploration of Wraith physiology that we saw in Instinct. The medical science was not nearly as bad as Instinct. The magic cure to reverse the DNA mutation was a little vague in modern medicine and little far feteched but Stargate has always botched medicine. Their was some great action especially watching how the mutation was affecting Sheppherd's minds especially to parallels to how he losing his reasoning was comparable to Ford. But the overall best part was the emotional impact and seeing how Sheppherd's descent into maddness was affecting everyone else. Atlantis tends to do Character A is dieing too often but this one was one of their better ones
In Young We Trust
I like Conversion alot better too. So many elements that I enjoy. The emo and physical whump, the range of acting from all actors... especially Joe.
I never thought of looking at that way with comparing him to Ford, but it makes sense. And how he was losing a piece of himself as he got worse. Especially the ability for him to ration things out and control his temper.