View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Tracker'

September 4th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s5/509.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">TRACKER</A></FONT>
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The team comes to the aid of a village under Wraith threat, but Ronon and McKay must rescue one of their own when Dr. Keller is kidnapped.

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September 21st, 2008, 01:23 PM
For only focusing on three of our stars the story line was very good. It moved fast, their was action (keller was kidnaped in the woods).All three stayed in tuned to their character. Mckay was on his best behavior with Keller. He desperately tried to be help full in the woods with Ronon (not an essay thing for him to do) While Mckay was trying to be as normal as possible some of the light hardiness was gone. (it works best with McKay and Sheppard any way).

I did not see the name of the actor being tracked but I know i have seen him some where before. So if any body know where i could have seen him before let me know. Now back to the review. I liked the role the tracker played cunning, sharp, with a loving nature to him. If the show was to have another season i would like for him to come back. I really like how the character was brought to life by the actor and the writhers.

The traps where good. I love the line between Ronon and McKay when they where down on the back with a spiked tree trunk swing above them . Ronon say hes good and Mckay says hes a killer.
The art department did a nice job with the dead wraith standing up. It looked really good. Their was one shot by the camera that was bad on it. It was a fleeting one I really need to see if again so i can look closer at it.

There is just not a lot about any of the shows that are really bad this yr. Keller has matured and not so innocent like. McKay if facing a love challenge which he is trying to be less self centered. Ronon is reopening his softer side to Keller. It just really sad that the writers will not be able to let the characters grow and maturer

I hope this has not come out like a babbling on.

September 22nd, 2008, 05:05 PM
After delving into massive implications in the previous episode, I suppose it makes sense that the writers would want to step back into something a bit less ambitious. This is a story that has been told a thousand times before, so for some, familiarity will breed contempt. So will the upfront presence of Dr. Keller, as there are plenty of Dr. Beckett fans still unconvinced that the character is necessary.

Keller shows more grit in this episode than she had in the entire fourth season, and it’s good to see the character getting some actual development. Granted, it’s about as much development as anyone gets in the Stargate franchise, but it’s progress, nonetheless. She doesn’t back down or cower; she demands to know her captor’s intentions. It’s a step in the right direction, because it’s very clear that she’ll need a strong stomach and a lot of patience in the days ahead. (Though, would it kill the writers to make Keller more than the convenient hostage victim?)

The combo of Ronon and McKay was amusing, if a little predictable. Ronon was a Runner, so he knows how to live off the environment, how to track, and how to think like his hunters and prey. McKay, for all his bluster, is out of his element, and he’s too jealous of Ronon’s rugged manliness to admit it to himself, let alone Ronon. In the end, the day is saved by a combination of both men’s strengths, but McKay does come out looking a bit short in certain areas.

The episode was designed, however, to highlight the growing tension between Ronon and Rodney in terms of Dr. Keller and their “intentions” for her. The potential love triangle was predictable enough; I called it back at the end of the fourth season (despite many derogative comments to the contrary). Perhaps for that reason, this episode seemed to go a long way to deliver old news.

On the other hand, the writers could be playing to the expectations of the audience. “The Shrine” demonstrated Ronon’s loyalty, even mild affection, for Rodney. And I think it’s reasonable to assume that if Ronon had designs on Dr. Keller, it would be a lot more obvious. Rodney already declared his love for Dr. Keller in “The Shrine”, and she seemed to reciprocate through action. Putting two and two and two together with the final scene of the episode, it’s possible (even likely) that Ronon is pretending to have “intentions” towards Dr. Keller for the sole purpose of forcing Rodney to take action.

If explored in the predictable manner, I expect the “love triangle” to be a bit of a disappointment. But the idea of Ronon playing “love therapist” for Rodney McKay, for some indescribable reason, sounds like the perfect character turn. If nothing else, it goes completely against expectation! I suppose, in this final season, I’m hoping for surprises from every turn.

John Keegan
Reprinted with permission
Original source: c. Critical Myth, 2008
All rights reserved
Link: http://www.criticalmyth.com

September 26th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Tracker is once again evidence of the dissappointing route Atlantis is taking. It was an uninspiring episode where the writers seem to have lost the ability to infuse any fresh ideas into the show or develop the existing characters. So once again instead of giving us more depth and insight into the characters that have been around for four years and to whom we know very little, the ptb have decided to throw their newest character front and centre. She is being used for too many stories that either involve relationships or having her find her gumption. To me in order for her to be put in such an important position and made CMO of such an important base, she should have been made from much sterner stuff from the get go, and we should never have had to go through all these episodes to find out what she's made of.

So because of their lack of inspiration they have decided to go down the good old fashioned route of romance or in this case the possible feelings of both Ronon and Rodney for Keller. The Runner who was the most interersting character in the episode was used as a foil to bring out the latent feelings that the guys supposedy hold for Keller.

This alone was disappointing as it would have been much more interesting to develop the relationship between Ronon and the Runner instead of having Ronon running to the rescue of his damsel in distress. The Ronon/Rodney interaction seemed to go back to earlier seasons where Ronon seemed to lack all patience with Rodney and Rodney reverted to his panicky screaming self. So instead of going forward with their character development we seemed to have gone backwards. The PTB are so intent on developing Keller that they seem to have lost focus on the rest of the cast.

It doesn't instill much confidence in the writers when they constantly refer back to the same safe kind of story telling. They seem to have lost their ability to show instead of just telling us. We have a confession from Rodney that he is suddenly in love with Keller but unfortunaltey we havn't seen much evidence of this, and the lack of consistancy from episode to episode is becoming disconcerting. The same could be said for the character development. This didnt seem like the Ronon who had shown so much concern for Rodney in the Shrine. He seemed barely able to tolerate him. After being on the same team for so long it would have been nice to have seen them work together better, or is it just Sheppard who keeps the team together and the lack of his presence seemed to highlight Rodney and Ronon's differences.

The splitting up of the team seemed to add a lack of cohesion to this episode and so far this season team episodes have been sorely missed. Their chemistry and the team feel could carry even a mediocre episode, but the lack of the team dynamic can have a detrimental effect on an episode.

The writers intent was clearly to show Keller in a better light and even though they achieved this it seems too little and too late for me. I have lost interest in this character and too much of anything is not good, and her character is being used too much with too many similar storylines which now feel like they are being repetitive. There are many other avenues that still need to be explored and the majority of the main cast are still woefully underdeveloped, and since this is the last season of SGA it seems rather sad that the ptb are unable to come up with anything more uninspiring as to who gets the gal.

Tracker had great potential if it had focused more on the Runner, and it would have been a good way of delving back into Ronon's past and what he suffered whilst being on the run. The Wraith seem to get less scary and easier to kill with each season. Again a few really scary Wraiths who couldnt be defeated with sticks could have upped this episode a notch or so. We had some great fight scenes with Kiryk and he was the highlight of the episode for me. I prefer one of the SGA characters to take that role though and the lack of Sheppard and Teyla let this episode down for me, as I just can't seem to take the same interest in Keller that I have for others. Some nice moments between Rodney and Ronon but too much regression in their development for me to enjoy their interaction.

I hope this is not a trend for the remainder of the season and the tpb do try and made some effort in developing the remainder of the cast, and they are not totally blindsided with showing us what a wonderful character Keller has turned into..

September 30th, 2008, 07:30 PM
“Tracker” wasn’t a groundbreaking story that will go down in Stargate series history as a classic episode but it did offer enough of an interesting take on the old standard that made it enjoyable to watch.

The story of a pretty kidnapped girl who needs to be rescued by the handsome guy or in this case guys, who just happen to both be interested in her is not exactly a new story premise. However, in typical Stargate fashion, the writers did manage to retell this old standard with enough scifi technology, character interaction, shoot um up scenes, and Atlantis mythologies that they succeeded in making it work.

The pairing of Ronon and McKay was an interesting choice in that it has not been done that often – and when done usually just a scene or two, not an entire episode. So often in SGA McKay is the one whose abilities are relied upon to come with a solution to the problem and it was interesting to see the tables turned. It changed the dynamics of their relationship enough to allow the viewer to get a different perspective on each of their characters.

It always provides fascinating character insight to watch McKay function in a life and death situation without his usual lifeline of computers and techno babble. The writers have given McKay significant growth over the last few seasons but one thing that has been consistent is that is a dire situation, without his computer, tech – he tends to become unfocused and has the tendency to overreact. Examples of this can be found in episodes such as “Quarantine.” In “Doppelganger” we saw McKay’s worst nightmare when he was trapped in a rowboat, in the middle of ocean with no tech, no computer and only his own physical prowess as his primary means of survival – he does not do well in those situations. When it comes to his scientific abilities and using technology to solve problems McKay exudes self-confidence, when it comes to relying on his own physical resources – he regresses. Still McKay wasn’t without his contributions, first utilizing the Wraith device to pinpoint a location of Keller and her abductor and then fixing the transportation device. And when he did discover the Wraith device and then fixed the transportation device, with technology in hand, for that time it was a more confident McKay.

As much as McKay was out of his element, Ronon was definitely comfortable and in his element. Ronon’s insight and understanding of the other runner’s psyche - being able to anticipate his moves and of course his ability to track - all put him in the unique position of being, for lack of a better description, the leader. Utilizing the runner storyline worked on a couple of different levels. It allowed the viewer, who was familiar with the runner storyline, to instantly make a connection and have an understanding of the Kiryk character. This gave him more depth and interest rather than just portraying him as a rogue kidnapper. It also provided continuity that not only tied the story to SGA history but also brought in an emotional component for Ronon. However this was an aspect that the writers did not take full advantage of as it would have given the story some added depth. What is truly sad is that the ending might have been a set-up on the part of the writers to leave a door open for the return of the character but alas with SGA being cancelled we will likely not have the opportunity to find out.

Keller showed some good character development since her shaky beginnings in the last season. While noticeably, and understandably, scared at first she was quickly able to size up the situation, make a connection with her captor and show some backbone and fight both physically and emotionally for herself and the little girl. Her compassion for the little girl and the plight of the runner was well written and nicely acted by Jewel Staite.

Sci Fi and romantic triangles are not usually a combination that works well but in this episode at least it was - rather surprisingly – okay. The tension between the three was not overplayed and the subtle references to the romantic triangle were kept well in the background so as not to overtake the main storyline. The only time it was in the forefront was the ending scene between Ronon and McKay which, even though it felt a bit forced, was nicely played out within the context of the characters. It will be interesting to see if the writers can keep up this fine balance in upcoming episodes.

A down side of the episode might be the fact that this was yet another episode that focused only on a couple of characters and not the entire team. As much as budget and shooting schedules may make this a necessity it does take away from the team feeling that stargate has been based on. Even still, this episode did a better job than many other “non-team” episodes as the plot was interesting and the story moved along at a good steady pace.

“Tracker” was a good episode that even with the noticeable absence of the team the story had enough cohesiveness and interesting plot lines to make it enjoyable to watch.

October 16th, 2008, 03:11 PM
The foundation for Tracker is classic Stargate; off-world the team runs into trouble, gets out of trouble and goes home again. Tracker has one small variation to this; the team isn’t the team but the CMO accompanied by two of the team. As with any splitting up, the episode lives or falls by how much the individual viewer enjoys the dynamics shown instead. The combination here is unusual and complicated by a romantic element that Stargate rarely tackles head-on – particularly among its regular characters – but it is held together by a great overall story.

With the classic Stargate format, the story has a solid foundation and it is well written by Carl Binder. It is wonderfully constructed from the goodwill mission, to Keller’s disappearance, the slow reveal of the Runner, the reason for his taking Keller, the rescue and escape from the Wraith. Maybe it isn’t the most original plot or the most dramatic but it is filled to the brim with character interaction.

Kyric is an outstanding character. There are obvious similarities to Ronon – the physical toughness, the fighting skills, the outer shell, the inner vulnerability. Runners are definitely a ‘type’. Yet Kyric quickly becomes his own character. Much of that is down to his relationship with Celise which reveals Kyric’s sense of honour, his guilt and self-recrimination but much of it too is down the outstanding performance Mike Dopud delivers as Kyric. He reveals layer after layer until Kyric’s final sacrifice of drawing the Wraith away and allowing Celise and the Atlantis team to be safe.

Keller’s growing relationship with Kyric over the course of the episode allows Kyric’s layers to be gradually revealed; as she gets to know him better and understands Kyric’s motivations so does the audience. The situation also allows a clear comparison to be drawn between last season’s Missing and Tracker. Here Keller is kidnapped and threatened but while clearly scared, she handles herself well and has more confidence; a good performance by Jewel Staite. She tries to escape, she kills a Wraith when it threatens Celise and even manages some defensive moves in the final fight. She’s come along way from a frightened cowering wreck. She’s grown and that’s nice to see, even if unearth-shattering from a characterisation perspective.

If Keller and Kyric provided one situation, the pairing of Ronon and McKay provided the other (a lovely balance of Runner and scientific sidekick in each plot). It is always good to see Ronon portrayed as intelligent as no Runner is stupid. His tracking abilities are wonderfully shown as is his ability to understand the strategies employed by the other Runner. More so, Ronon quietly assumes the leadership role – unsurprising given his previous history as a team commander on Sateda and given the terrain. His leadership style is very much ‘I lead, you follow; don’t slow me down.’ But like Kyric, Ronon’s vulnerabilities are also highlighted; his protectiveness of the people he cares for (although given he seemed to have worked out Keller was with the Runner willingly the full on attack may have been overkill) and it was also nice to see his own guilt from his Runner days shown in the exchange with Kyric. While it might have been nice to have seen more between the two Runners, the constraints of time within the story didn’t really allow the time for it.

It was good to see McKay like a fish out of water and not the one to save the day. While some is played for comic relief (loved the ‘watch your step, sir’ bit), McKay actually handles himself competently despite his own knowledge that the situation does not play to his strengths; he runs from the Wraith, he shoots one while hopping on one foot, and he shoots another one in the battle with Wraith (although the fumbling with the clip maybe shaded him clumsy unnecessarily). The scout story is nice background and played out in always being prepared by downloading the planetary info. He’s more comfortable when he fixes the teleportation device (which is an incredible invention – really interesting and loved the curling tendrils as it reattached) and it’s a nice beat that Keller keeps it for him.

McKay’s growing attachment to Keller and the potential triangle with Ronon is the sub-plot. From the outset, it’s clear that McKay’s only going to spend time with her, that’s he practising medical terms to impress her, that he’s slightly resentful of having his alone time disturbed by Ronon. Throughout, he’s concerned about her and also throughout, McKay is sensitive to how Ronon and Keller interact. The audience sees every beat between the two through McKay’s subtle jealousy and fear the two are connecting romantically.

I’m not keen on the idea of a love triangle; two team-mates who care for each other, even if they’re not buddy-buddy, competing for the affection of a woman seems tawdry. However, the end scene with McKay approaching Ronon and asking what’s going on is actually a fairly mature approach to the situation. Maybe if I was Keller I would be affronted by the handshake (and equally flattered at the same time) but I do think it’s probably realistic; I know if I thought my friend was interested in the same person, I would talk to them first. I think Jason Momoa and David Hewlett do a superb job throughout the episode, and this end scene is a good example: it’s beautifully underplayed to a large degree. I also have to give credit to the relatively slow build up of the arc with through The Seed, The Shrine and now coming to fruition in Tracker. The producers get kudos for improving their arc-building skills although it will be interesting to see if it holds for the remainder of the season.

Overall, I enjoyed Tracker. It was a good story with some funny moments mixed in with heart-tugging. Indeed, a good job all round and while I may still have some concerns over the whole love triangle notion, credit for the subtlety here.

October 12th, 2012, 09:02 PM

It has been said that the characters of Atlantis makes the show, and nothing has ever been more illusive than McKay, Ronan and Dr. Keller; this episode puts them all in an episode which is evidently designed to showcase the various aspects of their personalities and as a plus, serve as a pseudo sequel to "Runner". Surely with all three characters in one episode, they're bound to grow right. Well...

Ronan's determined, brash personality with McKay's worrisome, arrogant personality would be something that'd love to be explored and while some that is getting explored here, it feel like aren't truly getting explored. Ronan and McKay's scenes feel like they're being done 5 years too late, it's as if we're watching a Season 2 episode where Ronan shows off his tracking skills while McKay plays the person who acts scared, talks about menial planet conditions and shouts out at Ronan during arguments; there are conversations throughout and McKay talking is good for his backstory but it does nothing for their relationship as a whole and that's the problem, their scenes are insubstantial; it may seem fun due to the fact that their personalities clash but ask yourself this, is there something in Ronan showing how much of a better tracker he is or McKay trying to prove his worth to him? Keller does seem a bit more promising if not for the fact that she's being captured against her will. Fear, questions, an unknown perspective... Unfortunately her character proves to be a bit inconsistent with her performance as she can't exactly maintain the balance between being scared and being a doctor; she's supposed to be in a fearful position but I couldn't sense any of that during the scenes where she's supposed to be a doctor, it's as if it were just another day on the job and the moments where she is scared, it seems like she has to act like a damsil in distress to indiciate that this is not a normal position for her and both of those things diluted her story. I don't get why she can't be both, that fear could of done something like give her a newfound perspective but since she has to be one or the other, all that leaves her is another adventure to add to her resume and absolutely no life experience whatsoever.

The odd couple.

The Runner who enters the picture is much like "Ronan", unknown, unfamiliar and edgy. Knowing what happened in the previous episode, this person could have all sorts of depths and he certainly looks the part to but the Runner doesn't seem clever or even compelling; his entire personality feels like the writers decided to watch "Runner" and try to base a character off of what they've seen while conveniently forgetting that they've created that episode in the first place. His mannerisms and speech patters don't insist that there's much of a character behind there; whenever he claims Keller to come with him and he tries to explain his reasoning, he shows himself as a actor reading his lines knowing that he'll only be here for one episode and while he's competent in his actions, he doesn't show himself as compelling or even unique (teleportation doesn't count), thus leaving us with little reason to care about him at all. The writers do try to make you care by throwing various things such as a young child who just happens to be injured, the determination to not leave her behind and a tracking device that can't be disabled but those seem like more of a desperate attempt to add something of substance; compared to Ronan when we first saw him, his mystique, possible complexity and war experience made for part of the reason we cared for him, he didn't have a child or a tracking device that couldn't be disabled but he didn't need to have one because what he had was more than enough. While the scenes with the child may seem sweet, provide some decent drama and give his character a certain depth, those scenes ultimately serve to pull on your emotional strings just for the sole purpose of making you care; which is to say they're empty.

There does prove to be some excitement in the form of the Wraith hunting down this Runner... It provides a sense of rush that keeps the audience engaged, the sheer thought of what the Wraith would do if they catch up and the Wraith themselves manage to act in a similar way to the past; however, they suffer from the common Season 5 problem of not seeming menacing/threating and as a result, serve as either obstacles for our heroes to conquer, reminders of what the Runner can do or even plot points that reinforce such important lessons such as "working together". Seeing Rodney run while shooting down a Wraith is decent, seeing the Wraith take down the Runner was nice and seeing all three of them fight the Wraith was pretty cool, hell even the Runner himself utilized the Wraith in an aim of self-sacrifice but I want to feel a rush which makes me both scared and excited for whoever on screen; I don't want to be bored out of my mind watching what is competently acted action. The rush is what makes action scenes in Stargate you know. They also contradict themselves with the crew making it out seem like the Wraith are relentless when in reality they take their sweet time making their perception of them kind of thin and making his self-sacrifice kind of hollow since it implements the idea that they could of gotten through the gate in time; there is a difference between saying and doing you know. At least additions such as the village made much of the episode worthwhile, for both the Wraith as a threat and for Keller as a doctor; it just added that sort of life that much of this episode lacked and Ronan fighting The Runner was a surprisingly decent moment that reflected the bond through their positions.

The Runner and Keller.

This episode is served with good intentions but those intentions don't really serve up to what the episode ultimately is which is a boring affair what barely does anything for anyone. Rodney and Ronan serve to be something that's miniscule and unsubstantial and Keller serves to be uncertain and wasteful in her ultimate effort. There are some good attempts at drama, sweet scenes and action here and there but it's hard to care when there's nothing to care about; even the Runner in this episode ends up generic and bland with the only character being the stuff that's hastily tacked on. It's above average but there is nothing that'll compel you to watch or even remember this episode.