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    Rite of Passage

    Josi, alas I still can't green you, but great analysis.

    Generally

    Again, its one of those episodes that I was very meh about when I first watched (despite the fact that I liked them bringing back Cassie) but really enjoy on rewatching.

    SG1's relationship with Cassie: I'm not sure I completely agree with the assessment that Daniel and Teal'c aren't as close to Cassie as Sam and Jack, although I concede the episode shows more scenes with Jack and Sam with Cassie than either Daniel or Teal'c. I think we just didn't see the scenes where the others interact with Cassie. Daniel is certainly lined up with Sam and Jack on the "what to do" front and won't countenance sacrificing Cassie for Nirrti. And I think the moment with Janet hints that they have something of a friendship beyond the walls of the SGC and by extension, that it's likely Daniel will also have something of a relationship with Cassie. Teal'c, I think, is the most objective in his stance, but I do tend to put this down to the different cultural take he has a Jaffa - not because he cares for Cassie any less than the others.

    Sam and Jack

    Again, I don't see RoP as shippy. But I think they gravitate to each other (like magnets!) over the situation with Cassie and are personally in synch with their focus on saving her. I would agree that Jack is concerned for Sam as well as for Cassie himself; that he does send her back from Hanka so she can be with Cassie. And I would agree that there are nice hints about how Sam sees Jack - that she recognises his intelligence and his ability to see through the crap to the heart of the matter, recognises his humour is a defence mechanism.

    It is a great set-up for the final resolution with Nirrti in Metamorphosis because their decision here will definitely come back to bite them.
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      Religion spoilered for those ignoring..

      Spoiler:

      Rachel, I think you make some good points. I myself am deeply religious (my husband is studying to be a pastor) - however, while I believe that God can and does intervene supernaturally, the God of my faith not only created the world we live in but works through it as well which means basically that science is not at odds with my beliefs. Which means that had I been on K'Tau, I would have been high-tailing it out of there on the first Stargate to Earth LOL ("What, you screwed up our sun? I'm going to thump you on the head and then go pack my bags!).

      Personally I find this episode irritating as yet again sci-fi writers don't know how to deal with religion. I have yet to come across an episode in any series that I've watched where there's no conflict in faith/religion. Usually it's either a) a deeply devout person who finds faith is made out to be something mysterious and inexplicable (or based in some flighty feeling as opposed to sound reason - I personally can argue my religious beliefs within logic and reason without any need for mysterious pixie dust) or b) they're wackos in the sense that either they're extremists or they do things like the K'Tau which is basically sit around in ignorance. Why can't someone be committed to truth so that if their faith is proven false they are intelligent enough to move forward? Just because you discover your gods are aliens doesn't mean there is no God. Yes it's life altering and will leave one with soul-searching to be done, but one can either shut down or decide to seek out truth. *sigh* That's my rant on that anyway.

      Maybe that's why this episode bothers me. Yet again religion and science are shown at odds with each other - it's just so... cliche. And we know how Jack feels about those
      Last edited by Nynaeve506; May 14, 2010, 04:45 AM. Reason: I got distracted in the middle of a sentence...

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        Spoilered for Red Sky ending and faith/religion discussion

        Spoiler:
        Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
        Garwin and the people of Cimmeria didn't act like that when they learned about Thor. Although I will say they also seemed to be a much more sensible and self-directed people.
        I think you answered your question yourself. We've never seen any Cimmerian people apart from Gairwyn and Kendra, who wasn't even a native Cimmerian, much less their culture, so I wouldn't want to make guesses about them without any solid basis. But yeah, from what little we've seen they seemed to be very sensible and down-to-Earth.

        And while to an extent I agree with the Asgard that there is something in us as human beings that needs to believe in something greater than ourselves, I still think they are encouraging an unnatural dependence; else why would they have provided a false image of a false god to relay cryptic messages to them. It's one thing to do like Kendra and interpret the thunder as a message from the gods according to your beliefs, but to actually plant those messages. What was the purpose, other than to perpetuate the deception?
        It's been a while since I watched the first seasons in their entirety, so I may be remembering things incorrectly, but wasn't one of the purposes of the Protected Planet Treaty to allow human civilizations to evolve and develop naturally? And natural human evolution includes some sort of religion. As I said I'm not sure why the Asgard set themselves up as gods..but on the other hand, who else were they going to choose? Which one of the hundreds, or thousands even, of Earth religions? And what proof do we have that people from those worlds weren't brought originally from Scandinavia where their ancestors worshipped Nordic gods? The way I see it, the Asgard left those images explicitly not to interfere with human cultures. People could see their "gods" just how they imagined them to be, and one day, when they "grew up" sufficiently, they'd learn the truth.

        To me it seems to be quite a reasonable approach. And one that worked, given what you yourself said about Cimmerian people. I'm sorry but I honestly don't see the Asgard "encouraging an unnatural dependence" or "perpetuating deception".

        I'm willing to agree to disagree or to take this discussion to PM, so as not to hijack the thread for OT discussion.

        I'm not a fan of tragedy so I'm glad of the happy ending. And who would have benefited from a tragic ending? The Asgard weren't going to change. I hesitate to say we learned our lesson here because we continued to fiddle with the stargates and DHDs (for example Avenger 2.0), but hopefully we showed a greater caution after this regardless of outcome.
        Obviously no one would benefit - such is the nature of tragedy. But IMO it would make for an excellent character development for SG-1 team, particularly Sam, and would have fit with the dark tone of the episode.

        Faith vs Science

        I'm actually a bit surprised that the discussion evolved in this direction because I just don't see the problem. Most of my RL friends with "scientific minds" - biologists, chemists, one astronomer - are deeply religious and their faith doesn't interfere with their scientific view of the world. Personally, I just don't get the idea that faith and science are mutually exclusive. As long as someone is competent in their field I don't care what they (don't) believe in. *shrug*

        I admit that before this discussion I didn't consider that this open ending may be seen as a "reward" for blind faith. It's a very interesting idea, but I'm not convinced that even if it was the case (and I'm not conviced of it either) it would make any lasting damage. Just look at our Christian history: how many historical events over the course of the centuries were taken as a reward or punishment from God? And yet we became a fairly advanced and tolerant society.

        As I said before, for me depiction of K'Tau people points to how different their culture is from ours and I never, ever took it as a jab at people of faith. Such interpretation never crossed my mind. Bu then, we learn something new every day. Thanks to everyone for a great discussion!


        Rite of Passage

        I don't remember much about this ep. I always found it to be pretty "meh", one of the weakest episodes of the season. It's a shame, as it's one of the few Janet episodes.

        I don't like Cass in this one. Firstly, I prefer the original actress and secondly I have issues with how American Cassie acts. Seriously, she's from another planet! And even on our dear Earth not all teenagers behave like this. As for how close SG-1 is with her, I agree with Rachel that Daniel and Teal'c are probably pretty to her as well, but not quite as close as Jack (who I kinda see as acting like her surrogate dad to some degree) and obviously Sam.

        I also don't see RoP as shippy, but both Sam and Jack have some nice moments and I adore the "horses" scene and Cassie and Sam's conversation about Jack. Highlight of the ep for me.

        On a different note, is season 6 seriously considered not shippy?
        There's a good chance this opinion is shared by Ashizuri
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          Originally posted by Rachel500 View Post
          Faith vs Science

          In spoilers for those who wish to avoid this debate...

          Spoiler:


          Historically, there is evidence that says organised religion with a political interest in maintaining the status quo isn't conducive to scientific discovery which would undermine its authority. However, while I'm personally not particularly religious, I have to say that faith in and of itself is not a barrier to scientific development. People can believe deeply in God and still be scientifically curious and signed up to scientific discovery.

          I would agree in the case of K'Tau, I'm not certain that they would have believed the truth about their Gods even if the Asgard had agreed to at least show up and support SG1 verbally to the K'Tau especially post the rocket incident. In many ways, I think the conflict wasn't so much faith and science for the K'Tau as it was where to place their faith.

          It's that philosophical question of: if you fall into a pit, do you (a) believe that God means for your faith to be tested, stay in the pit and believe He/She will eventually save you by sending help your way, or (b) do you believe God means for your faith to be tested, work to climb out of the pit and believe He/She will give you the strength and endurance to make it out? (And obviously, (c) do you believe that God has nothing to do with it and make a decision based only on facts - can you climb out, is the pit near to civilisation, are there snakes in the pit, etc).

          In this sense, I agree that the ending which seems to underscore to the K'Tau that doing nothing but praying and hoping their God would intervene doesn't serve their development well - especially given we know the truth about their Gods. After all, the lesson learned here, will not serve them well given another natural disaster (flood, fire, huge meteor heading for the planet, etc) where again the Asgard can't interfere under the rules of their treaty with the Goa'uld.

          Regardless of anything else, I think this is why Jack, who is so the type to take action, finds the K'Tau's decision to effectively take the 1st option in not leaving the planet after the incident with the rocket, (ie they choose to stay in the pit), frustrating. Add to that that he knows the God they are praying to won't help them and hence the anger when it all goes to pot on the planet.

          And to make this vaguely on topic, I think this is actually a trait Jack and Sam (and the others in SG1) share: that they really won't sit back and watch some disaster unfold if they can help it, and if they have to sit back they won't like it, that their world view is very much - let's climb out of the pit (although whether they believe in God is a discussion for another day). They're very in synch in that way.

          Very well said. (In fact, much better than I said it.) I completely agree.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Nynaeve506 View Post
            Religion spoilered for those ignoring..

            Spoiler:

            Rachel, I think you make some good points. I myself am deeply religious (my husband is studying to be a pastor) - however, while I believe that God can and does intervene supernaturally, the God of my faith not only created the world we live in but works through it as well which means basically that science is not at odds with my beliefs. Which means that had I been on K'Tau, I would have been high-tailing it out of there on the first Stargate to Earth LOL ("What, you screwed up our sun? I'm going to thump you on the head and then go pack my bags!).

            Personally I find this episode irritating as yet again sci-fi writers don't know how to deal with religion. I have yet to come across an episode in any series that I've watched where there's no conflict in faith/religion. Usually it's either a) a deeply devout person who finds faith is made out to be something mysterious and inexplicable (or based in some flighty feeling as opposed to sound reason - I personally can argue my religious beliefs within logic and reason without any need for mysterious pixie dust) or b) they're wackos in the sense that either they're extremists or they do things like the K'Tau which is basically sit around in ignorance. Why can't someone be committed to truth so that if their faith is proven false they are intelligent enough to move forward? Just because you discover your gods are aliens doesn't mean there is no God. Yes it's life altering and will leave one with soul-searching to be done, but one can either shut down or decide to seek out truth. *sigh* That's my rant on that anyway.

            Maybe that's why this episode bothers me. Yet again religion and science are shown at odds with each other - it's just so... cliche. And we know how Jack feels about those
            Spoiler:


            I agree with you completely on the religion/science issue. I think science demonstrates the greatness of God and his trust in us and the intelligence he gave us. I also hope that my own faith is based on reason and evidence.

            I also agree that TV writers (not just sci-fi) don't know what to do about people of faith, which often leads to inacurate and insulting stereo types.


            Originally posted by Petra View Post
            Spoilered for Red Sky ending and faith/religion discussion

            Spoiler:


            I think you answered your question yourself. We've never seen any Cimmerian people apart from Gairwyn and Kendra, who wasn't even a native Cimmerian, much less their culture, so I wouldn't want to make guesses about them without any solid basis. But yeah, from what little we've seen they seemed to be very sensible and down-to-Earth.



            It's been a while since I watched the first seasons in their entirety, so I may be remembering things incorrectly, but wasn't one of the purposes of the Protected Planet Treaty to allow human civilizations to evolve and develop naturally? And natural human evolution includes some sort of religion. As I said I'm not sure why the Asgard set themselves up as gods..but on the other hand, who else were they going to choose? Which one of the hundreds, or thousands even, of Earth religions? And what proof do we have that people from those worlds weren't brought originally from Scandinavia where their ancestors worshipped Nordic gods? The way I see it, the Asgard left those images explicitly not to interfere with human cultures. People could see their "gods" just how they imagined them to be, and one day, when they "grew up" sufficiently, they'd learn the truth.

            To me it seems to be quite a reasonable approach. And one that worked, given what you yourself said about Cimmerian people. I'm sorry but I honestly don't see the Asgard "encouraging an unnatural dependence" or "perpetuating deception".

            I'm willing to agree to disagree or to take this discussion to PM, so as not to hijack the thread for OT discussion.



            Obviously no one would benefit - such is the nature of tragedy. But IMO it would make for an excellent character development for SG-1 team, particularly Sam, and would have fit with the dark tone of the episode.

            Faith vs Science

            I'm actually a bit surprised that the discussion evolved in this direction because I just don't see the problem. Most of my RL friends with "scientific minds" - biologists, chemists, one astronomer - are deeply religious and their faith doesn't interfere with their scientific view of the world. Personally, I just don't get the idea that faith and science are mutually exclusive. As long as someone is competent in their field I don't care what they (don't) believe in. *shrug*

            I admit that before this discussion I didn't consider that this open ending may be seen as a "reward" for blind faith. It's a very interesting idea, but I'm not convinced that even if it was the case (and I'm not conviced of it either) it would make any lasting damage. Just look at our Christian history: how many historical events over the course of the centuries were taken as a reward or punishment from God? And yet we became a fairly advanced and tolerant society.

            As I said before, for me depiction of K'Tau people points to how different their culture is from ours and I never, ever took it as a jab at people of faith. Such interpretation never crossed my mind. Bu then, we learn something new every day. Thanks to everyone for a great discussion!
            Spoiler:


            I think we agree more than disagree, but in terms of the natural development of the K'Tau people I can accept that we view that differently.


            I was hesitant to bring it up because it's not exactly on topic and I know religion can be a touchy subject, but it was such a big issue for me in this episode (Red Sky). Thanks for the thoughtful, intelligent and respectful discussion everyone.

            I love this thread.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Petra View Post
              (*snipped*)
              On a different note, is season 6 seriously considered not shippy?
              Not for me. I think there are several shippy episodes in Season 6. Apparently some others feel it's either the least shippy or not shippy at all.

              Comment


                Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                Well, not strictly on topic so spoilered...

                Spoiler:
                It did become something of a device that anything scientific Sam instantly got stuck in regardless of whethetr that was her area of expertise. Sam's doctorate is in Astrophysics. She possibly has engineering, maths, maybe even computer science/programming credentials and I can buy all that. But there were a number of episodes where the subject matter was definitely not her field but she seemed to get stuck in there anyway (I am thinking of episodes like Legacy, Frozen, Nightwalkers, Evolution part 1, where a lot of the action was of a more biological nature and, oh I'm not saying she would not be the logical choice to, for instance, help Janet in Frozen but there's a world of difference between medicine and physics). Then there's also her suddenly discovered lock picking skills, her almost instant mastery of both Ancient and Asgard technology... all of which is at odds with the amount of time you'd assume she had to study said technology given that she works on a field team and spends much of her time off world. When you think back to Season 3's Learning Curve and how she struggled to understand the naquaddah generator, one has to wonder if she didn't snurch one of those nanites for herself to explain her rapid skills/knowledge development.

                Then again, in any realistic situation, someone with her skill set would almost certainly not have been sent off world week in, week out as that would be a complete waste of their skills. *shrugs*


                Of course, all that said perception is reality and that's my perception; yours may be different and I wouldn't be so pretentious to think one or the other is right.
                I also agree with your comment that SG-1 and SGU are completely different beasts and, frankly, in the context of SG-1 having the resident scientist involved in the solving, or solving the "problem of the week" if it is of a scientific nature, makes sense. Otherwise we'd be bringing in new characters every other week for just one episode and that doesn't work so good.
                In relation to Red Sky the problem was scientific and was right up Sam's street. Yes, I think she came up with the possible cause of the sun's problem rather too quickly and there was no real speculation about possible other scenarios (of which I could think of a few) and a real close examination of the science and things don't really add up.... but heck, it's 45 minutes of drama and how else are you supposed to tell the story without making a few leaps of faith (er, pardon the pun). And, er, not to be too flippant but it's called scient fiction for a reason. (In other words, Super Sam or otherwise, it's not something that spoils my enjoyment of her character.)]
                Spoiler:

                I agree as the main scientist on the show Sam was going to work with anything science-related in the story, but then that's not much different to me than Daniel knowing/translating just about everything archeology/culture-wise even though his specialty is in Egyptology, or Jack suddenly becoming a pilot. It's a conceit of the show so it confuses me when I see Sam get labled as Super Sam while the same doesn't seem to happen to the other characters, they're all 'Super' in some way. And not to be too argumentative, but even in Legacy wasn't Sam just watching Janet work with the bugs and then Warner walked her through the blood draw stuff, and in Evolution, from what I remember, she worked/talked about the suit the soldier was wearing while Jacob talked about it's physiology.


                You're right that we all have our own perceptions and I would never presume to say that your's or others' are wrong, I just don't see it in this case.


                Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
                I'm not a fan of tragedy so I'm glad of the happy ending. And who would have benefited from a tragic ending? The Asgard weren't going to change. I hesitate to say we learned our lesson here because we continued to fiddle with the stargates and DHDs (for example Avenger 2.0), but hopefully we showed a greater caution after this regardless of outcome.
                To me, I think a tragic ending would have better driven home the dangers of both the way the SGC approaches gate travel (pushing to get the lock) and the way the Asgard 'played god' to the people of K'Tau. It would have underlined the seriousness of what they were doing and cost when things go wrong.

                Great discussion re faith v science everyone. I wish I could contribute something but you guys covered it so well, it was a pleasure reading it.

                re Rite of Passage, while it's not a favorite of mine I do enjoy it because it's pretty much the only Janet episode of the series. I'll try to rewatch it this weekend to I can comment more, but my favorite scenes that I can remember are the opening with Sam, Janet, and Cassie, Jack's spiel about magnets and Sam's reaction, and Janet's emotions re Cassie and pulling the gun on Nirrti.

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                  Originally posted by EvenstarSRV View Post
                  Spoiler:

                  I agree as the main scientist on the show Sam was going to work with anything science-related in the story, but then that's not much different to me than Daniel knowing/translating just about everything archeology/culture-wise even though his specialty is in Egyptology, or Jack suddenly becoming a pilot. It's a conceit of the show so it confuses me when I see Sam get labled as Super Sam while the same doesn't seem to happen to the other characters, they're all 'Super' in some way. And not to be too argumentative, but even in Legacy wasn't Sam just watching Janet work with the bugs and then Warner walked her through the blood draw stuff, and in Evolution, from what I remember, she worked/talked about the suit the soldier was wearing while Jacob talked about it's physiology.


                  You're right that we all have our own perceptions and I would never presume to say that your's or others' are wrong, I just don't see it in this case.


                  I don't really see SuperSam myself either (well ok I "see" it I just don't think it's an issue - so what of she's Miss Fixit!) and yes, you are absolutely right that it is a conciet and no different from Daniel being the humanist/linguist and Jack being the pilot etc. All the characters are pigeonholed to an extent, which is the main problem with any long runninG series with a fairly small ensemble cast. To me, it does not detract from the enjoyment of the series in any way. I guess I am quite realistic about what I expect from 45 odd minutes!



                  I'm not touching the religion/science/false gods discussion with a barge pole!



                  Originally posted by hedwig View Post
                  Not for me. I think there are several shippy episodes in Season 6. Apparently some others feel it's either the least shippy or not shippy at all.
                  I also think Season 6 is plenty shippy enough. Sure, it's no Season 4 but it's got some great moments and it is, at least, a Season 3.



                  Josi, fantastic review and some great observations:



                  Originally posted by josiane View Post
                  I'm putting this next observation here because I think it does actually give an insight into Sam and Jack too. The scene where Sam brings the chess set in and Cassie floats the knight ends with this line from Sam: "You know if you take a close look, they really are horses." It fits right in with what she says in Redemption where she tells Jack he has a way of seeing things at their simplest, and despite the fact it doesn't come out entirely as she intends it to, it is a compliment. Sam is well aware of her own tendency to over-analyse and I think genuinely admires the way Jack can see right to the heart of a matter and understand it. She agrees with Cassie that Jack does "always pretend he's not as smart as he really is", but is taking it one step further, and showing that she even believes his dumbness is a kind of smart too. I do love though that this scene is followed straight away by the magnets scene (which I adore!) - it seems to both underline and contradict the previous scene by showing up this very paradox of Jack both seeing straight to the heart of the matter but also being a bit dumb. And from a shippy point of view I love to contrast Sam's reaction to Jack in that scene with the reaction from Daniel, Janet and Teal'c on the other side of the table. Sam watches Jack very closely, after an initial surprised lift of the eyebrows, and I find her expression a little bit difficult to pin down - I think there's an affection there, and a slight bemusement, and perhaps a bit of admiration in line with what I just said before about admiring his 'simple' view. Whereas the other three just look like Jack's gone off on one!
                  I particularly love this. It's not something I have considered much before so thank you for making me consider this.

                  And I also think you might be onto something with the observations on SG-1's individual relationships with Cassie. An interesting thing to ponder because it does imply that there's at least some down time spent together, if not as a team then Jack with Cassie/Janet or Sam with Cassie/Janet and possibly all of them. That seems to contradict what is implied in Ascension that they hardly ever socialise - and there's actually a few other moments in other episodes that contradict a lack of socialisation (i.e. their trip to O'Malley's in Upgrades which comes across and not the first time they have visited there together to me.) All of which... well, not sure what conclusion I draw really!

                  On the whole, Rite Of Passage is a meh episode for me too, but Josi has given me a new appreciation here with the talk of forshadowing. Nirrti wasn't my favourite baddie, if I am honest! I also have an issue with how American Cassie is (bear in mind she's been on earth less than 5 years at this point). I'm not saying she wouldn't have adjusted but I do think they normalised her a little too much considering the scale of what she lost. Although I loved the sulky teen thing and Janet's very motherly attitude. Actually that cake scene at the start cracks me up so much because I see Janet as the mother and Sam as the aunt like figure who only praises and spoils but never discliplines.
                  I do see the Janet/Daniel thing here but, frankly, that, Lifeboat, and Daniel's reaction to Janet's death, are the only times I see it. Certainly not enough to make it mean much.

                  That's all I have to say on it really, except rats GW for not letting me green Josi.
                  Last edited by Cagranosalis; May 14, 2010, 02:52 PM.
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                    Great review Josi. Really thorough. I don't think I would have been able to see so much.

                    I haven't much to add to all the great things everyone else has said.

                    I have to admit that I prefered Kaite Stuart to Colleen Rennison as Cassie. While I expect a difference in attitude between a young child and a teenager, I just felt that Rennison's portrayal was too angry and harsh. I don't think she did a poor job, I just would have liked to see Stuart again (I understand she wasn't available).

                    I do like how Janet's strength as a parent of a difficult and very atypical teenager is highlighted.

                    Did anyone else think Sam was awfully harsh with Dominque during that scene on the porch the way she grabbed him and said, "You kissed her?!"? She seemed really angry, which was a real contrast to the way she was teasing Cassie at the end. (I always figured Jack would want to intimidate any boys interested in Cassie and Daniel would want to get to know them. I figured Sam would be more in Daniel's camp, but perhaps not.) Maybe she was just scared and didn't yet have her emotions under control. Or maybe there is a deeper fear being manifest here, that personal emotions are dangerous.

                    While I'm tempted to call the scene with Jack explaining the magnets my favorite, I recently noticed a moment that really moved me. After Nirrti cures Cassie and Jack is escorting her to the Gate, he pauses at the door and looks back to see Janet hugging Cassie and Sam sitting on the bed reaching out to her. I love that look. He sees three women he loves (all in different ways of course) and I can see it in his eyes. Also, that look on Jack's face says to me that he thinks it was worth it; one child he could save.

                    Juxtapose that with what we know from Metamorphesis. Jack's statement about what difference could it make in the grand scheme of things to have one more Gao'uld running around has even greater impact knowing that it would make a very big difference to Jack personally to have this particular Gao'uld running around, as she nearly kills Sam. Of course I'm certain even if Jack had known he would have made the same deal to save Cassie. He may have even honored the deal and let her go, but he certainly would have made more of an effort to find her and take her down.
                    Last edited by hlndncr; May 15, 2010, 06:40 AM.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Cagranosalis View Post
                      On the whole, Rite Of Passage is a meh episode for me too, but Josi has given me a new appreciation here with the talk of forshadowing. Nirrti wasn't my favourite baddie, if I am honest! I also have an issue with how American Cassie is (bear in mind she's been on earth less than 5 years at this point). I'm not saying she wouldn't have adjusted but I do think they normalised her a little too much considering the scale of what she lost. Although I loved the sulky teen thing and Janet's very motherly attitude. Actually that cake scene at the start cracks me up so much because I see Janet as the mother and Sam as the aunt like figure who only praises and spoils but never discliplines.
                      Hmm, I've never had an issue with how 'American' Cassie is, really - kids/young teenagers adapt pretty quickly, especially when they're at school, and it has been a few years.

                      Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
                      Did anyone else think Sam was awfully harsh with Dominque during that scene on the porch the way she grabbed him and said, "You kissed her?!"? She seemed really angry, which was a real contrast to the way she was teasing Cassie at the end. (I always figured Jack would want to intimidate any boys interested in Cassie and Daniel would want to get to know them. I figured Sam would be more in Daniel's camp, but perhaps not.) Maybe she was just scared and didn't yet have her emotions under control. Or maybe there is a deeper fear being manifest here, that personal emotions are dangerous.
                      I wouldn't go so far as that but I did note myself when watching that Sam's reaction is rather Jack-like. I think it is just being worried for Cassie and protective and reacting in the heat of the moment though.

                      While I'm tempted to call the scene with Jack explaining the magnets my favorite, I recently noticed a moment that really moved me. After Nirrti cures Cassie and Jack is escorting her to the Gate, he pauses at the door and looks back to see Janet hugging Cassie and Sam sitting on the bed reaching out to her. I love that look. He sees three women he loves (all in different ways of course) and I can see it in his eyes. Also, that look on Jack's face says to me that he thinks it was worth it; one child he could save.
                      Yes indeed, I absolutely love that moment, really beautiful
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                        Please be kind - first time I've done this - Don't think I've written enough....

                        http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/g...den-banner.jpg

                        Banner by Jumble

                        Beast of Burden


                        Synopsis

                        The episode starts with an Unas on the screen taking a bite from a power bar, and then getting captured and taken to another planet. It then snaps back to the SGC Briefing Room and we’re watching a video, set up by Daniel to observe the Unas,not just any Unas but Chak’ka, previously met in “The First Ones”. Daniel explains the situation to SG1 & General Hammond and they agree to go back to the planet where Chak’ka has been taken.

                        On arrival on the planet Jack decides that Daniel and himself will visit the village and find out what’s going on. Sam takes Jack’s pack off of him.

                        Jack and Daniel try and broker a deal with Burrock (the Chief Trader) but it doesn’t work. Jack agrees (after a lengthy discussion and I think against his better judgement) to get Chak’ka out, but without killing any humans. They're attempt to break out Chak’ka and the fellow Unas but they get captured. Sam & Teal’c attempt to get back to the gate but it’s now heavily fortified and they can’t contact the SGC. Burrock tortures Jack. Teal’c decides he’s had enough and runs off to rescue them. Teal’c creates a diversion while Sam breaks them all out of jail. They head for the gate and in the firefight Burrock is killed by Chak’ka, although Daniel asks him not to.

                        Analysis

                        It’s a story about morality. The Unas used to be the masters but now are the slaves and they are treated very badly. Something both Daniel & Jack dislike but what can they do. Jack really justs wants to get Chak’ka out and walking away, whatever they do nothing is going to change what’s happening. Daniel wants the whole system to stop and all end happily ever after. Therein lies the moral turmoil that SG1 have found themselves in. At the end, Jack is not happy about the way it’s been left but I feel Daniel is pleased that the Unas have been given a chance of freedom. Jack the soldier knows it’s not going to end well and Daniel is the freedom fighter who likes to think that all will be well in the end, bless.

                        Teal’c & Sam spend most of the episode either hidden away or trying to compose a plan.

                        As to shippiness – well I like to think I have the rosiest shippy eyes – but try as I might, I couldn’t see anything. Yes, Sam takes his pack off of him, but shippy? Yes she’s concerned about him, but wouldn’t she be anyway?

                        I didn't really like this episode at first but now I've watched it a few times and the commentary, it grew on me.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Fluffy17 View Post
                          Please be kind - first time I've done this - Don't think I've written enough....
                          Nice job Fluffy17. Not an ease one.

                          I have to admit that Unas stories are my least favorite and this isn't even the best of a bad lot IMO.

                          Favorite Lines:
                          Burrok: "It is our custom to welcome visitors with a drink. Will you join me?"
                          Jack: "It is our custom to drink. Of course!"

                          Favorite Scene: Briefing room with Jack's "I don't care"/"I care" bit.

                          Generally
                          The Unas episodes are heavily Daniel-centric, but I think of this as a team episode without the team. It reminds me of the cliche (because I know how much Jack loves them) "There is no "I" in team. But there is no "WE" either, and it certainly shows here.

                          Although Daniel and Jack are physically together (as in the same location) for most of the episode, they are at odds both philosophically and logistically (as in how to procede). This is really nothing new, but you can defintely see the cracks and fissures in their relationship widening and there is an underlying feeling of hostility between the two, and precious little of the good-natured bantering we used to see.

                          Teal'c eventually chooses to take off on his own ("I will not continue to do nothing."). And Sam is left trying to figure out how to follow her orders and still keep some measure of control over the situation.

                          With this kind of fracturing it's a wonder they all made it out alive.

                          I think the scene when the team is planning to extract Chaka is emblematic of the dynamic of this episode and underlines the deterioration in relations between the members of SG-1 that I see as S5 progresses. Notice how the team is positioned. Teal'c and Sam in front on their knees facing forward, Jack and Daniel are standing behind, also facing forward. They don't acknowledge Jack and Daniel as they come up to the ridge; they don't ever look at one another while they speak (Sam does turn her head slightly). Although they are together physically and even united (for the moment) on what to do going forward, I feel no connection between them. It feels like they are practically strangers.

                          Compare that with for example The Fifth Man when they are up on the ridge planning how to rescue Tyler. They check on Daniel, bunch together; they are looking out toward the Jaffa below, but their bodies are angled toward one another and there's a sense of cohesion in their words and actions.

                          As to shippiness – well I like to think I have the rosiest shippy eyes – but try as I might, I couldn’t see anything. Yes, Sam takes his pack off of him, but shippy? Yes she’s concerned about him, but wouldn’t she be anyway?
                          I also like to think I have some very thick, rosey shippy glasses; so I agree with you that there's really nothing to see here. The backpack thing seemed very business like (subordinate assisting CO) to me.

                          Sam/Jack Implications
                          The lack of ship screams loudly to me in this episode. Not only are Sam and Jack not in many scenes together, but when they are there is absolutely no eye contact between them. Even when they glance at one another, which for Sam is infrequently and for Jack it is almost never, they don't look one another in the eye. Even when they are next to one another they are not framed together for the most part (and this is Martin Wood FCOL).

                          In the briefing room scene at the beginning Sam is leaning on the table next to Hammond and Jack is standing behind her. She glances at Jack three times and Jack doesn't once look at her.

                          When they are coming out of the gate, Sam glances at Jack briefly while they are talking and Jack never looks at her.

                          The first time they are on the ridge, Jack does glance at Sam to give her orders, but he is still mostly looking down. Their eyes don't really meet (and they're wearing sunglasses anyway).

                          The second time on the ridge I've already described, none of the team look at each other.

                          Even during the rescue when Sam is standing in front of Jack's cell their eyes never meet. He does glance at her as she hands him a weapon when they are leaving the barn.

                          During the ambush at the Gate and the discussion afterwards Sam does look at Jack once to tell him they need to leave. He never looks at her.

                          OK, so why am I belaboring this point? Because so much Sam and Jack's relationship is built on the looks they share. The fact that they don't look at one another for an entire episode is indicatory of the vast about face in their relationship since S4. (Even when Sam tried to make a Jack-like quip as she rescued him [J: Where's Teal'c? S: Trying to be popular.] she swallowed the line and it fell flat.)

                          So overall, I'm really not a fan of this episode. But I do see an unpleasant foreshadowing of the break up of the team that is soon to come.
                          Last edited by hlndncr; May 17, 2010, 05:12 PM.

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                            There are three types of episodes I generally avoid at all cost:

                            1. Jaffa episodes (with the exception of the one where they do that awesome ninja fighting)
                            2. Unas episodes.
                            3. "Lifeboat"

                            >.< It's the grunting that gets me each time. I have a hard time with this episode. There's really only one type of grunting... :: cough cough ::

                            But yeah, I was hard pressed to find anything shippy in it either. I think was primarily a Daniel episode anyway - and I like that you highlighted the ending how Jack has a much more seasoned, realistic view of how things are going to turn out. In the end, war always created a morally gray area as even those who are the "good guys" inevitably will end up with ill-gotten blood on their hands.

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                              Beasts of Burden

                              Fluffy, nice job especially as I think this is one of the hardest episodes to review.

                              Generally

                              This is really a Jack and Daniel episode with Sam and Teal'c mostly sidelined. Again, the emphasis is on the difference between the two men and their approaches. Daniel goes on something of a journey from trying to peacefully get Chaka out, to believing that a revolution is in order, to resignation that revolution=death even of innocents. Jack, meanwhile, gets cajoled at every step into supporting Daniel and fundamentally has his own beliefs of whose life has the most value challenged.

                              Sam and Jack

                              Really there is very little interaction between them and what interaction between them there is very professional and very much around the mission. Yes, Sam cares when they're captured; yes, Jack trusts that she and Teal'c will rescue them but the emphasis here is that caring and trust are rooted in their professional relationship first as a team, rather than any friendship or more-than-they-should feeling feelings beyond that.

                              As someone has said, it's the lack of framing, lack of looks and interaction in this, that doesn't even provide a moment of shippiness.
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                                Nice job Fluffy. Defintely not an easy one to start off with and you did a sterling job. I probably should apologise for not goving you something easier for your first and I'll promise you the pick of the crop for season6 to make it up to you!


                                Originally posted by Fluffy17 View Post
                                As to shippiness – well I like to think I have the rosiest shippy eyes – but try as I might, I couldn’t see anything. Yes, Sam takes his pack off of him, but shippy? Yes she’s concerned about him, but wouldn’t she be anyway?

                                Yes, I have to completely agree on that. It's not even just hard to find; it's completely non-existent!

                                I am sure someone with more eloquence that I can come along and find ship in the fact that there is none on show - wax lyrical perhaps, about the awkwardness between them all and... oh I see someone has.



                                Originally posted by hlndncr View Post
                                Nice job Fluffy17. Not an ease one.

                                I have to admit that Unas stories are my least favorite and this isn't even the best of a bad lot IMO.
                                I'm no fan of Unas episodes either but this probably my favourite of them all. Or at least my least hated.

                                One interesting aspect of the Unas is how they have evolved over the series. The first time we meet oen he is an evil monster host to a goa'uld and, essentially, the bad guy. Next time they are a primitive-like clan that takes Daniel captive (presumably for supper). Here we see them turned into the victimised minority that fight and win their freedom (Braveheart in a bottle ). And the next time we see them they are a fully forms, civillised and organised free society - Chaka even acting as a negotiator throughout.
                                Quite an interesting development in a very short time.

                                OK, so why am I belaboring this point? Because so much Sam and Jack's relationship is built on the looks they share. The fact that they don't look at one another for an entire episode is indicatory of the vast about face in their relationship since S4. (Even when Sam tried to make a Jack-like quip as she rescued him [J: Where's Teal'c? S: Trying to be popular.] she swallowed the line and it fell flat.)

                                So overall, I'm really not a fan of this episode. But I do see an unpleasant foreshadowing of the break up of the team that is soon to come.
                                Interesting point you belaboured...
                                And belaboured it beautifully; you certainly gave me food for thought. Did something happen between Rite of Passgae and this episode? What makes it even more stand out is the fact that Rite of Passage is such a gentle and carign and team centric feel to it; and the following episode (The Tomb) that team camadarerie seems to be back again. I am starting to wonder if my dislike for this episode is more to do with the "feel" of thee team than the actual Unas aspect.

                                Going back to Fluffy's original comment about the morality of this story. It is a very uncomfortable story underneath. We're talking about slavery and the treatment thereof. I know there's a running theme of slavery in SG-1 (the Jaffa and the goa'uld taking hosts/slaves) but it's usually shown in a slightly sanitised... or glamourised way. Here it's very stark and real and the treatment of the Unas is absolutely appalling and made more so by the fact an innocent child bears witness to this. So much so that we see Daniel actually agreeing with Jack's "way" of doing things at one point here; something that almost never happens.

                                Obviously we find out in later episodes that the Unas made good their escape and went on to happy and oppression free lives somewhere else but, in this episode, there's no real satisfying conclusion.
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