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Kinetikat
March 13th, 2012, 06:53 AM
The scene with AU Todd was one of the most powerful and touching of the episode for me. I could blither on about it for quite a long time, but I'll spare you... this time.

What I want to ask here is: am I alone in seeing correspondences between the lines of his 'bad poetry' and what Rodney and Sheppard are saying?
He's supposed to be 'delirious from starvation', but I don't think so. Todd's done long stretches of solitary confinement before. He didn't go bonkers then, it seems unlikely he would now. I think that he's partly amusing himself at the expense of those around him, and partly playing the 'delirious' card as a passive avoidance thing. He defies them... in his own way. And, let's face it, who doesn't like to really irritate Rodney McKay?

Here's the dialogue:

Rodney: We're just cattle to them.
Todd: Fish in a pond! Busy, busy, lots to do, here and there...
Rodney: This one fancies himself a bit of a poet. Not good.
Todd: Dry as a desert outside, no place to go.
Rodney: He's also delirious from starvation.
Todd: Eat up! Get stronger. Think and hope, think and hope... (he whips round and fixes on Sheppard, who is staring at him) Don't look now! Oh, keep dreaming. (He approaches the glass, eyes fixed on Sheppard) There must be some other reason for your existence.
Sheppard: Did you... get anything from him?
Rodney: Nothing. And believe me, we tried... everything.
(Todd draws himself up with a dismissive sneer)
Todd: Defiance tastes like life itself! (He looks away, agitated, eyes scanning nothing) No river. No water. Dry as a desert! Darkness all around. The harvest moon is rising. (He returns his gaze to Sheppard.) Wraith are never-ending. (He moves towards the glass.) I know the future. (He stops, intent on Sheppard, and raises his ragged-clawed left hand in a parody of beckoning, his voice suddenly wheedling, devious, a slight smile on his face) Come inside! (He turns the hand slowly so that his claws are against the glass) I'll show you ...your destiny... (His voice returns to normal, and the smile drops away. His breath fogs the glass as he spits the name like a challenge) John Sheppard!
(Sheppard is still locked eye to eye with the Wraith)
Rodney: They can get in your head. (Sheppard blinks and breaks the eye contact)

So: Rodney says the Wraith see us as cattle. Todd immediately agrees with him: fish in a pond, busy busy, lots to do with their insignificant lives, moving here and there, unaware that they're doomed to be a meal.

Rodney says that Todd fancies himself as a bit of a poet. Todd indicates that as he is stuck in a desert, locked in a cage, there's not much else to occupy himself with.

Rodney says that Todd is delirious from starvation. Todd responds by mentioning eating, getting stronger, and indicates that food is not the only sustenance for a prisoner: think and hope, think and hope.

Todd next responds angrily to being scrutinised by the horrified Sheppard: Don't look now! He fixes his eyes on Sheppard and looks speculative, as if he is taking the measure of the man, and indicates that he knows Sheppard's life is not all it could be. Oh, keep dreaming! There must be some other reason for your existence.

Sheppard asks Rodney if they've got anything from Todd. Rodney replies, 'Nothing. Believe me, we've tried... everything.' Todd immediately straightens with a sneer, and declares, Defiance tastes like life itself!
Todd then goes on a bit of an independent rant, seemingly lamenting his situation: No river. No water. Dry as a desert! Darkness all around.
Then he returns his attention to Sheppard. The harvest moon is rising. He is threatening Sheppard, and by extension the whole human race - almost time for us to be harvested. He deepens the threat by reminding the two men that Wraith are never-ending. As in, they don't die, they live for many thousands of years, and they may have him as their prisoner now, but one day he'll be free to come after them.
Todd has Sheppard in his sights now, very focused on the game he's playing, a predator well aware of the unsettling effect of his mock-playful body language.
I know the future.
Come inside, I'll show you ...your destiny...
John Sheppard!

In the scene not long after, when Sheppard is driving through the desert, trying to figure out what's going on, Todd's words come back to him: dry as a desert. No place to go. Wraith are never-ending. I know the future. I'll show you your destiny, John Sheppard. More mind games - he could have been dropping hints based on what he could sense about the investigation in Sheppard's mind, prodding him to link up the various clues... Todd's motives, as ever, remain obscure!

I may be over-thinking this, drawing inferences never put there by the writers, but I think the nuanced nature of this scene is what makes it so creepy and so hypnotically fascinating - that and Chris Heyerdahl's commanding grip on the Wraith character. His presence and body language never let you forget for a second that this is a large, highly-intelligent predator that would have everyone in that room for a light snack if it wasn't for the big plastic box. Magnificent work.

Kinetikat
March 17th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Is nobody going to disagree with me? Not even one person out there that thinks Todd really is making up poetry? Wow. :teyla30: Not feelin' the love, people!

On the other hand... I'm glad everybody agrees with me ;P

garhkal
March 18th, 2012, 12:24 PM
I wonder if maybe somehow, he had sensed the wraith from our realm who was on our planet, and his desire to send said subspace signal, and was unhappy cause that wraith kept himself closed off from todd.

Kinetikat
March 21st, 2012, 11:00 PM
Oh yeah... that could account for the apparently random little rant in the middle of the scene, where he looks abstracted, it's as if he's picking something up: No river. No water. Dry as a desert! Darkness all around.
Those could be the perceptions of the crash-landed Wraith, or, as you say, Todd's own unhappiness at being isolated from the Wraith mind-link.
As ever, happy to waffle speculatively for hours on end... ;P