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View Full Version : Shanks' thoughts on "Bad Guys" FINALLY



Ripple in Space
May 18th, 2007, 08:54 PM
FINALLY! While many of us were bashed for bashing the over-the-top comedic-to-serious acting in "Bad Guys," I feel so vindicated hearing the performer (of the performance) in question agreeing with us.

As I said months back from watching the episode's premiere, the direction/production was horrible. Any 10yr. Stargate fan can tell you that Shanks is a very good actor (especially by television standards). He's pulled off drama & comedy, nerdy & cool seamlessly, to the point of making some of the 8-fig salaried A-listers look bad. Yet in this episode his performance seemed amateurish. Going for extreme OTT drama to comedy, without transitions, it just screamed of community theater.

As a longtime fan, I was pretty sure Michael didn't just forget how to act, so I blamed the direction. Just a poor episode overall. Now putting MS aside, Vala was... Vala. She was fine, and her performance was on par with the other eps. (though a little more silly). All of the guest stars were ridiculously over the top. The guard was like a character from one of those low budget semi-independent brit-coms. And they were all just bottom-of-the-barrel.

Lack of Carter is rarely a good thing. Teal'c didn't have much to say. And Mitchell, I can't imagine many fans or hatters saying that this was a strong Mitchell ep.

I just think this whole ep felt like amateur hour. A 10-year drama going for OTT Comedy? Some say they tried to return to Sg-1's S1-6 roots of exploration, but you can't even compare this eps to the worst of the Jack/Daniel eps.

I'm so glad MS saw the same thing...

PG15
May 18th, 2007, 08:59 PM
He said that the 22 minutes that were cut was why it felt so jarring.

So I guess they could've worked on the editing a bit.

Ripple in Space
May 18th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Well yeah, cutting that much, and pasting together the important bits was production/direction error. The director drew out the scenes too long, and the production slapped them together poorly.

Btw, I just read his blog, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't read the message boards. He seems to speak the same lingo. I love how he talks about some eps as "filler episodes" and people on here freak out if someone labels an episode that.

Personally I think filler episodes only came into the equation in S8, and they were just budding at that point. By S9 & 10, many eps seem like they were just written to get an episode out there.

While "filler" has become the label (on here) for any ep that doesn't further the overall arc, I disagree. In the early seasons, plenty of the exploration episodes barely had direct Goa'uld contact, and they weren't filler, they were what the show was about, EXPLORATION. I loved those eps, and they built the show into a 10 yr franchise. That being said, recent eps like "Uninvited" are pure filler.

MasySyma
May 18th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Not all no-Ori arcs are filler, just as not every early episode dealt with the Goa'uld.

However, sometimes the writers lose the definition of "stand-alone episode" and replace it with "something that fills up time."

Ex. Window of Opportunity--Great episode, and mostly well received

Ex. Bad Guys--not so well received--took up space

PG15
May 18th, 2007, 09:19 PM
Umm...we call episodes "filler" because that's basically the official showbiz term for it. :p

Platschu
May 18th, 2007, 11:57 PM
They should release the extended version (42+22 mintues long) episode on DVD. I think this can be the best advertisment for fans to buy it. ;)

flynn1959
May 19th, 2007, 12:48 AM
They should release the extended version (42+22 mintues long) episode on DVD. I think this can be the best advertisment for fans to buy it. ;)

Yes they should, I would pay good money for that one!:)

Platschu
May 19th, 2007, 01:18 AM
This will not happen, because they won't cost money to the music, effects for the new scenes. :( But the extended episodes would be so cool. The "Threads" was great and I think everybody like the new scenes, the longer episode. JM mentioned so many scenes were cut out from "Ripple Effect" too. :(

g.o.d
May 19th, 2007, 01:34 AM
This epi sux.That's all I want to say:)

Stef
May 19th, 2007, 03:15 AM
This epi sux.That's all I want to say:)

Um....good post.....

I would actually be very interested in seeing those extra 22 minutes...especially the scene that MS says makes Daniel's outburst make more sense.

I may be in the minority, but I actually really enjoyed this episode. I'm not sure if the actor's justification is a good judgement though. I've read articles from actors who have hated a good movie simply because they didn't like their scenes or how they acted. I say it's all a matter of opinion...and his shouldn't be worth more than anyone else's.

Although, I like his point about how him and BB never seem to share a scene together. Very strange.

-Stef

Natasha
May 19th, 2007, 05:12 AM
I actually kinda liked this ep. Agreed it isnt one of the best but I thought it was fun.
Daniel's scene with the 2 women did seem a little out of character for him but I understand why he yelled at them. They were getting on my nerves as well.
It would be interesting to see what that missing scene was though. Hope they do have deleted scenes on the DVDs. Bet they wont though:( .

Ripple in Space
May 19th, 2007, 08:15 AM
I'm not sure if the actor's justification is a good judgement though. I've read articles from actors who have hated a good movie simply because they didn't like their scenes or how they acted. I say it's all a matter of opinion...and his shouldn't be worth more than anyone else's.

Actor's justification alone might not mean much, but his criticism of the [*******ized version of the] episode is the same criticism us fans have been making since "Bad Guy"'s original release months back. Since Daniel has never been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and we've yet to find planets where every inhabitant is an over-the-top buffoon, this episode doesn't make much sense.

ShardsofGlass
May 19th, 2007, 08:29 AM
I couldn't disagree more with MS. I loved this ep. I thought all the actors were great. The direction seemed fine to me. It's rare that a SG ep has this much energy and wit. I'm a Mitchell fan, and I loved him in this. In fact, I loved all the characters. Daniel totally cracked me up. Teal'c was menacing in a nice way, which was funny. Vala was smart and not childish or goofy like she is in so many other eps. Mitchell was a strong leader, and I enjoyed his dry wit.

I have no complaints. I honestly am glad Michael wasn't in charge of editing this ep because I am quite happy with what we got.

Callista
May 19th, 2007, 10:36 AM
I'm with you, ShardsofGlass. I really liked it too. While I thought the security guard guy wasn't the best, I enjoyed everyone else in this episode. Sure it was kind of silly, but I don't mind silly every once in a while. It entertained me and, frankly, that's why I'm watching TV. There's enough horrible stuff going on in reality, I enjoy a bit of an escape from time to time.

Not really much of a spoiler, but just in case:
And, to me, Daniel never came across as really mean or scary when he was yelling. He just seemed extremely frustrated. Maybe he had a headache after getting tazered.....that would make me a bit perturbed as well :P. The hostages certainly didn't believe he was a "bad guy".

I even liked Joshua Molina, and I couldn't stand his character on "the West Wing".

While it would be nice to see those 22 minutes, I think the episode worked fine without them. MS's comment made me think back to some interview he or Christopher Judge gave (I think it's on one of the old commentaries or special features) where they said the two of them watch the episodes together and sit there telling eachother how much they s*&%^d in any given scene. I'm sure they look at things from an entirely different perspective from the regular viewers.

Starxgate
May 19th, 2007, 10:37 AM
So theres 22 minutes worth of Deleted Scenes for this Episode ? I wonder how much we will see on the Season 10 DVD since there will be Deleted Scenes on the DVD

Cap116
May 19th, 2007, 10:55 AM
22 Minutes of Deleted Scenes for that episode? Wow, that is awesome! I can only imagine the crazy stuff that went on that was taken out. Looking forward to that!

SGFerrit
May 19th, 2007, 11:48 AM
22 minutes of footage?

I wish they would add all of this stuff into the DVDs

Mitchell82
May 19th, 2007, 07:04 PM
I actually kinda liked this ep. Agreed it isnt one of the best but I thought it was fun.
Daniel's scene with the 2 women did seem a little out of character for him but I understand why he yelled at them. They were getting on my nerves as well.
It would be interesting to see what that missing scene was though. Hope they do have deleted scenes on the DVDs. Bet they wont though:( .

Actually season 10 will have deleted scenes so mabey it will have some of these. I too liked this ep though I agree it was a bit choppy.

the fifth man
May 19th, 2007, 07:36 PM
I really enjoyed this episode overall. I didn't have many problems with how it flowed at all. Seeing some of the deleted content would be nice though.

Mitchell82
May 19th, 2007, 08:45 PM
I really enjoyed this episode overall. I didn't have many problems with how it flowed at all. Seeing some of the deleted content would be nice though.

Neither did I really but it isw noticable at some points that stuff is missing. Though I agree it was a great episode overall.

Stef
May 20th, 2007, 04:17 PM
[mod snip - please refrain from saying nasty things about the actors on the show. Ta.]

I wouldn't say that. But I imagine that it can be a bit frustrating to film something and then find out that a lot of your stuff, or a lot of the context for your performance, has been cut out. I think that was his biggest gripe....that he didn't think his acting and the episode made sense without those missing 22 minutes....because he said he enjoyed filming it.

I happen to disagree, but the episode isn't quite as personal to me. I don't know what TPTB cut out, so I only see it for what it is now rather than what it was before they took the scissors to it.

-Stef

Mister Oragahn
May 24th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Well yeah, cutting that much, and pasting together the important bits was production/direction error. The director drew out the scenes too long, and the production slapped them together poorly.

Btw, I just read his blog, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't read the message boards. He seems to speak the same lingo. I love how he talks about some eps as "filler episodes" and people on here freak out if someone labels an episode that.

Personally I think filler episodes only came into the equation in S8, and they were just budding at that point. By S9 & 10, many eps seem like they were just written to get an episode out there.

While "filler" has become the label (on here) for any ep that doesn't further the overall arc, I disagree. In the early seasons, plenty of the exploration episodes barely had direct Goa'uld contact, and they weren't filler, they were what the show was about, EXPLORATION. I loved those eps, and they built the show into a 10 yr franchise. That being said, recent eps like "Uninvited" are pure filler.

I agree, many people mistake stand alone episodes for fillers, while a stand alone episode is just one that moves freely out of the main arc(s).
Sometimes, stand alone episodes can create mini arcs.

Even if not all stand alone episodes were great, none of them felt like TPTB had to do a filer because they had a list of 22 eps to complete or something like that.

In fact, I believe that the filler trend started full throttle at season 6, with episodes such as nightwalkers, shadow play, the other guys, sight unseen.
Those were starting to smell like forced, yet they had enough sepcial effets and seriousness in them to remain relatively acceptable.

Later on, it just became a series of real fillers, boring, largely skippable, with no particular special effects or action worth the notice, or just too much forced slapstick humour - the same unnecessary humour largely boosted from the day they actually filmed Wormhole X-treme. While this episode was relatively funny then, I couldn't realize the damage it would do later on, as it actually established the most absurd rule of Stargate: the one funnay episode per season.

The last seasons would have really been way better without 1/4 of the episodes each one contained.

What's the point asking for asking as list of more than twenty episodes, if you're just going to run into a cycle of quality that would, from time to time, be as "good" as it was for the vast bulk of plots of Airwolf and Knight Rider?

Hello?

ChillinTheMost
May 24th, 2007, 11:54 AM
I loved this episode and I didn't get the impression that Michael thought it was a bad ep or that the acting was bad, just that the fact that he knew a lot was cut from it made it choppy to him and maybe that he thought that made it seem like his character acted a bit irrationally. [I read that article a few days ago, so maybe someone will quote passages that contradict this, but that is the impression I got.]

However, I didn't think it was choppy and I don't think his character was irrational. He was was pretending to be a terrorist and the "hostages" were acting like they didn't believe they were hostages. He was trying to act tough to make them "behave." The fact that he wasn't "terrifying" wasn't poor acting on Michael's part, it was forced acting on Daniel's part - which means Michael played the part he was supposed to play well.

I also thought the other actors were great. Ben and Claudia played well off of each other and... well, they all did. Good stuff. The only bad thing was Sam/Amanda not being there. She missed all the fun.

This was one of my favorites episodes because it was so fun. I don't care about the arc [it's fine, but I really don't want every episode to be about it].

I'd love to see the extra 22 minutes, not because I thought the episode was lacking, but because I loved it and 22 more minutes could only be MORE fun!

Stef
May 27th, 2007, 01:27 AM
ITA ChillinTheMost. I especially agree about those last few points, I like arc episodes, but sometimes I need a break. I'm really hoping we get to see some of the cut scenes, it will just make a good episode better :)

-Stef

Mitchell82
May 28th, 2007, 10:14 AM
I loved this episode and I didn't get the impression that Michael thought it was a bad ep or that the acting was bad, just that the fact that he knew a lot was cut from it made it choppy to him and maybe that he thought that made it seem like his character acted a bit irrationally. [I read that article a few days ago, so maybe someone will quote passages that contradict this, but that is the impression I got.]

However, I didn't think it was choppy and I don't think his character was irrational. He was was pretending to be a terrorist and the "hostages" were acting like they didn't believe they were hostages. He was trying to act tough to make them "behave." The fact that he wasn't "terrifying" wasn't poor acting on Michael's part, it was forced acting on Daniel's part - which means Michael played the part he was supposed to play well.

I also thought the other actors were great. Ben and Claudia played well off of each other and... well, they all did. Good stuff. The only bad thing was Sam/Amanda not being there. She missed all the fun.

This was one of my favorites episodes because it was so fun. I don't care about the arc [it's fine, but I really don't want every episode to be about it].

I'd love to see the extra 22 minutes, not because I thought the episode was lacking, but because I loved it and 22 more minutes could only be MORE fun!
Agreed. i too loved the ep and didnt get the feeling that MS hated it. He was upset that so much got cut but thats the problem when you have time restraints. I also agree about the other actors. I too would love to see what got cut along with comentaires explaining why it was cut.

P-90_177
May 28th, 2007, 10:24 AM
FINALLY! While many of us were bashed for bashing the over-the-top comedic-to-serious acting in "Bad Guys," I feel so vindicated hearing the performer (of the performance) in question agreeing with us.

As I said months back from watching the episode's premiere, the direction/production was horrible. Any 10yr. Stargate fan can tell you that Shanks is a very good actor (especially by television standards). He's pulled off drama & comedy, nerdy & cool seamlessly, to the point of making some of the 8-fig salaried A-listers look bad. Yet in this episode his performance seemed amateurish. Going for extreme OTT drama to comedy, without transitions, it just screamed of community theater.

As a longtime fan, I was pretty sure Michael didn't just forget how to act, so I blamed the direction. Just a poor episode overall. Now putting MS aside, Vala was... Vala. She was fine, and her performance was on par with the other eps. (though a little more silly). All of the guest stars were ridiculously over the top. The guard was like a character from one of those low budget semi-independent brit-coms. And they were all just bottom-of-the-barrel.

Lack of Carter is rarely a good thing. Teal'c didn't have much to say. And Mitchell, I can't imagine many fans or hatters saying that this was a strong Mitchell ep.

I just think this whole ep felt like amateur hour. A 10-year drama going for OTT Comedy? Some say they tried to return to Sg-1's S1-6 roots of exploration, but you can't even compare this eps to the worst of the Jack/Daniel eps.

I'm so glad MS saw the same thing...

i still soooo love bad guys. it's one of the best eps of season 10 in my eyes.

Stef
May 28th, 2007, 02:45 PM
i still soooo love bad guys. it's one of the best eps of season 10 in my eyes.
ITA :)

-Stef

the fifth man
May 28th, 2007, 06:15 PM
This was one of my favorites episodes because it was so fun. I don't care about the arc [it's fine, but I really don't want every episode to be about it].

I'd love to see the extra 22 minutes, not because I thought the episode was lacking, but because I loved it and 22 more minutes could only be MORE fun!

Definitely one of my favorites eps of Season 10 too.:)

As for the extra 22 minutes, I hope we at least get to see some of that cut footage. It would just help to enhance an already great episode IMO as well.

Mitchell82
May 28th, 2007, 08:38 PM
Definitely one of my favorites eps of Season 10 too.:)

As for the extra 22 minutes, I hope we at least get to see some of that cut footage. It would just help to enhance an already great episode IMO as well.

What I'd love is an option on the menu for that ep "Play televised cut" or "Play extended cut". But I'll settle for some deleted footage.

Pharaoh Atem
May 29th, 2007, 07:07 PM
i actaully liked his yelling at the people i laughed so hard.

partly cloudy skies
May 30th, 2007, 04:11 AM
I thought the episode seemed a little choppy, but not enough to take away the enjoyment. I can understand MS's frustration with the progress of his character though.
He comes from a theater background, where every bit of dialog needs to be developed properly. If he's planned for his character to become angrier and angrier in small increments of A-> B -> C -> E -> F, and then the editing chops it to A-> B-> F, it's going to look weird to him on screen.

We mignt not notice, but he definitely would, and it probably bugs him. And I would think the same sort of situation would bug any actor that had chosen to play their character with small, incremental changes throughout an episode only to have the middle of the progression chopped out.

Callista
May 30th, 2007, 10:07 AM
We might not notice, but he definitely would, and it probably bugs him. And I would think the same sort of situation would bug any actor that had chosen to play their character with small, incremental changes throughout an episode only to have the middle of the progression chopped out.

You're right. That would be extremely annoying. Especially if you look at your work as an art rather than just a job.

partly cloudy skies
May 30th, 2007, 09:25 PM
You're definitely right about looking at it as art. I have a few friends that are into community plays and were in High school plays, and I'd watch them and enjoy the show. After though, they'd inevitably bring up something like, "I totally flubbed my monologue and winged it! It must have looked horrid!" or something to that effect. As a viewer, I never noticed because I'm not familliar with the dialog. But as the actor, my friend would know where she screwed up and it would probably stick out like a sore thumb to her.

I'd expect MS would feel sort of the same.

Either way, I'm glad that he's kept a blog for a bit. It's fun to see honest opinions about the work.

DeeKayP
May 31st, 2007, 08:14 AM
I thought the episode seemed a little choppy, but not enough to take away the enjoyment. I can understand MS's frustration with the progress of his character though.
He comes from a theater background, where every bit of dialog needs to be developed properly. If he's planned for his character to become angrier and angrier in small increments of A-> B -> C -> E -> F, and then the editing chops it to A-> B-> F, it's going to look weird to him on screen.

We mignt not notice, but he definitely would, and it probably bugs him. And I would think the same sort of situation would bug any actor that had chosen to play their character with small, incremental changes throughout an episode only to have the middle of the progression chopped out.


This reminds me of how Daniel's arc was shown in "Heroes" in Season Seven. In the commentary, they talk about how they moved one scene of Daniel's (where he's talking to Wells in the infirmary) and it's done such that it was out of order relative to Daniel's arc. They said that Michael had lamented that he wished he had known that they were going to move the scene because he would have played it differently. The commentors said they thought it was fine how it ended up, but one can see a distinct change in Daniel's grieving process (if you know to look for it with the knowledge that the scene was moved). He's put together more in the infirmary scene and then all of the sudden, he's back to crying in a dark corner in his next scene.

And as you say, Michael does come from a theatre background where everything is done in progression. I understand that he still writes his own type of directional notes on his scripts, even after 10 years of playing the character, because he wants to show the character's progression through the story, especially since they film scenes out of order. If you have a scene C and then scene D and play to them that way, and then put D before C in the final product, that can throw off the progression the actor has taken such great care in creating.

I think that one of the producers, maybe it was Cooper, said that you can make an actor look very good or very bad just in the editing alone. Michael said that he thought his performance was "appalling" in "Bad Guys" because his progression, as you've illustrated, was chopped up. If he had known that the scenes were being cut, I honestly believe he would have played that "etiquette" scene differently. And, we really don't know what other scenes were cut that he knows about and felt were important in Daniel's progression. There might have been more things going on with the negotiator or the negotiator's team that contributed to Daniel's growing concern that they were royally "hooped".

RainbowMist
May 31st, 2007, 08:36 AM
However, I didn't think it was choppy and I don't think his character was irrational. He was was pretending to be a terrorist and the "hostages" were acting like they didn't believe they were hostages. He was trying to act tough to make them "behave." The fact that he wasn't "terrifying" wasn't poor acting on Michael's part, it was forced acting on Daniel's part - which means Michael played the part he was supposed to play well.


That's what I thought to, Daniel's not used to having to be a terrorist so he completly over-reacted, I thought the outburst was the most amusing thing I've seen in awhile, I couldn't breathe. Michael's delivery was so bizzare (and awesome)

Callista
May 31st, 2007, 08:37 AM
It must be really hard for the actors who care about their work to have little to no control over the final editing. I'm starting to understand why so many of them might never want to watch the shows they're in. I can only imagine putting that much work and effort into something and then sitting there thinking "No! That's not how it's supposed to be at all!"

Of course, I'm sure an awful lot of writers feel the same way (or worse!).

SylvreWolfe
May 31st, 2007, 02:46 PM
A couple things about some stuff that has been said.
Ben Browder told us at the last Farscape con that Shanks still, to this day, takes his copy of the script home and writes all sorts of notes all over it. He said he discovered this because he accidentally grabbed Shanks' script one day.

Ben also told a story about how he and the director got together on the Ripple Effect episode and changed a scene so it was different than in the script and didn't tell the writers. They thought it worked, but the writers didn't like not being consulted first. I always thought the director had final say so, I may be wrong. It was the underwear scene with Mitchell on the ship. He said he thought that is why you get that *losing his pants* stuff in Memento Mori, kind of a *don't change our script you actor* slap. It was all in fun so...

partly cloudy skies
June 1st, 2007, 06:51 PM
Now I'm curious about all their different styles of preping for their scenes. We know RDA adlibbed a heck of a lot along with what SylvreWolfe metioned BB said about MS. I wonder what Amanda does to prep. Anyone ask her at one of the Gabit thingies?

I'm now picturing CJ during those first few years flipping though pages and pages of script and only having to highlight the word "Indeed" and "My symbiote...blah blah blah" a few times while Amanda and Michael have to sift through massive blocks of dialog! <3 :tealc:

Avenger
June 3rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
Um....good post.....

I would actually be very interested in seeing those extra 22 minutes...especially the scene that MS says makes Daniel's outburst make more sense.

I may be in the minority, but I actually really enjoyed this episode. I'm not sure if the actor's justification is a good judgement though. I've read articles from actors who have hated a good movie simply because they didn't like their scenes or how they acted. I say it's all a matter of opinion...and his shouldn't be worth more than anyone else's.

Although, I like his point about how him and BB never seem to share a scene together. Very strange.

-Stef

I liked it as well. It was funny to see SG-1, the bonafide good guys, have to play the role of the bad guy.

Natasha
June 5th, 2007, 08:07 AM
This reminds me of how Daniel's arc was shown in "Heroes" in Season Seven. In the commentary, they talk about how they moved one scene of Daniel's (where he's talking to Wells in the infirmary) and it's done such that it was out of order relative to Daniel's arc. They said that Michael had lamented that he wished he had known that they were going to move the scene because he would have played it differently. The commentors said they thought it was fine how it ended up, but one can see a distinct change in Daniel's grieving process (if you know to look for it with the knowledge that the scene was moved). He's put together more in the infirmary scene and then all of the sudden, he's back to crying in a dark corner in his next scene.

And as you say, Michael does come from a theatre background where everything is done in progression. I understand that he still writes his own type of directional notes on his scripts, even after 10 years of playing the character, because he wants to show the character's progression through the story, especially since they film scenes out of order. If you have a scene C and then scene D and play to them that way, and then put D before C in the final product, that can throw off the progression the actor has taken such great care in creating.

I think that one of the producers, maybe it was Cooper, said that you can make an actor look very good or very bad just in the editing alone. Michael said that he thought his performance was "appalling" in "Bad Guys" because his progression, as you've illustrated, was chopped up. If he had known that the scenes were being cut, I honestly believe he would have played that "etiquette" scene differently. And, we really don't know what other scenes were cut that he knows about and felt were important in Daniel's progression. There might have been more things going on with the negotiator or the negotiator's team that contributed to Daniel's growing concern that they were royally "hooped".


I agree. We all know from various interviews and conventions that Michael is his own worst critic. I liked how he played Daniel in Bad Guys. It was slightly out of character for Daniel to yell like that but the idea was is that he was supposed to be acting out of character.

Maybe that scene would make more sense with the missing scene in the episode and I would like to see what exactly that scene was in the deleted scenes for the S10 DVDs. But I still liked it.

I was waiting for someone to tell those 2 women to shut up. Was a little suprised it was Daniel but thats what made it funny for me.:D

Pitry
June 5th, 2007, 11:22 AM
A couple things about some stuff that has been said.
Ben Browder told us at the last Farscape con that Shanks still, to this day, takes his copy of the script home and writes all sorts of notes all over it. He said he discovered this because he accidentally grabbed Shanks' script one day.

Ben also told a story about how he and the director got together on the Ripple Effect episode and changed a scene so it was different than in the script and didn't tell the writers. They thought it worked, but the writers didn't like not being consulted first. I always thought the director had final say so, I may be wrong. It was the underwear scene with Mitchell on the ship. He said he thought that is why you get that *losing his pants* stuff in Memento Mori, kind of a *don't change our script you actor* slap. It was all in fun so...

The Executive Producer has the final say.
In television, the EP is more often than not one (or several) of the writers.