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  1. #61
    Colonel Agent_Dark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by Erised
    Hey did I understand this right... electric shock disables Goa'uld for awhole? That's new. Or is it? lol.
    No, O'Neill did the same thing to Skaara in The Serpant's Lair with a Zat gun. Shep probably read about it in a mission report

  2. #62
    Major General Willow'sCat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    So I was supposed to take this episode seriously? Sorry it was pantomime from start to finish. *look behind you!* Cue over dramatic music!

    The only saving grace was to see Weir finally be told the truth and I now love Kavanaugh. O.K I kind of don't hate him.

    Not one of the better episodes IMO shame as I had been looking forward to it, but at least next weeks should (I hope) make up for it.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    A good episode. It would have been a great episode if they dropped the B plot and gave the A plot more room to breathe and ratchet up the tension a couple of notches. The B plot was great but would have worked better in a more introspective episode.

    I hope they bring Cadman back as a recurring regular next season. She's a great foil for McKay and would be a great addition to the Atlantis team.

    So far this season has been lots of good episodes but nothing that really stands out and grabs you like 'The Storm', 'The Eye' and 'The Defiant One' did this time last season, still plenty of time to improve on that.

  4. #64
    Chief Master Sergeant Cynicat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent_Dark
    Speaking of Firefly, the very start of Teyla's song reminded me of music from that...
    Wordy McWord. Greg Edmondson featured acoustic guitar very heavily in all of Firefly's incidental music, and the opening strains of the ceremony song were reminiscent of that. It was definately the first thing that popped into my mind lol.

    I quite enjoyed this episode, though it did suffer from the same pacing problems that have dogged recent episodes - it seems SGA is straining a little at the 42min format. The plot was simplistic, but I think that was one of it's strengths. It was a fun puzzle/whodunnit episode, which featured logical solutions to the problems faced - yay! I must say, I do get tired of seeing magical (usually conveniently-discovered-ancient-tech) solutions pulled out of the air around minute 37 of an episode - it really strips all the tension out when you know that's what's going to happen, and thankfully this episode was different.

    On to the random stream-of-consciousness:

    - LOTR reference - very nice It's those kinds of popculture references that are one of the things I love about SG.

    - Hermiod's "Dude, shut the ***** up." - priceless

    - Gotta agree with Starfox - ease up on the makeup for Cadman, people! What is she? Miss USMC 2006?

    - Some more great character moments: Zalenka's sulking, Shep & McKay's co-snarking at him, Carson continuing to be his lovely caring self, Ronon following Shep around like a shadow, McKay's "They're heeeeere...", and this exchange:
    Weir (re: Kavanagh): "I'm having some difficulty with him though - he's not exactly the most co-operative of people..."
    McKay: (offscreen) "Ooh, well, there's a shocker."
    LMAO *hugs McKay's snarky self* I just adore that they don't actually cut to him, or even interrupt the camera move - McKay's snarking is just a part of the SGA-verse

    - Great use of secondary characters, and excellent continuity regarding them. I don't think McKay actually hates Caldwell, I think she just makes him distinctly uncomfortable - he's got control issues, and she took that control away from him in "Duet", forced him outside his comfort zone. He still hasn't dealt with that. She vertainly doesn't hate him, he frustrates her, but she doesn't really seem to harbour any ill will towards him - notice she always refers to him as "Rodney", not "Dr McKay". I think that level of familiarity from her bothers him, "gets under his skin", as he mentions early in the episode.

    - The downlighting on Teyla and the stained glass in the background gave the ceremony a very cathedral-y feel, nicely done.

    - The sudden switch to handheld during the "to torture, or not to torture?" scene was an interesting choice, and would have worked nicely as a way to emphasise the tension in the scene if it hadn't been so sudden and unprecedented (in SGA). As it was, it felt out of place, and a little try-hard - SGA is still very much stuck in the Dramatic Zoom school of cinematography when it comes to tension *stabs the cliche with a spork*
    McKay: "ZPM overload in 24 minutes." <-- A nod to 24's similar (though far more effective) use of handheld camerawork? Heheh

    - During the ceremony scene, Beckett has blank grey panels zipped over the coloured panels on his jacket. YAY! I always figured that's what those zippers did now the question is, why?

    - Nice Persian rug the Athosians had there....

    - Ronon pacing behind Caldwell during his final interrogation - very nice, very caged-animal like Very Ronon.

    - Shep holding the gun on Caldwell as Ronon goes medieval on his arse - watch him very closely just before the cut... either Shep is enjoying what's happening to Caldwell, or Flanigan is just about to crack up. Personally, I think it's the latter - his "serious face" is a little too serious, and the smirk is out of character for Shep given the situation IMHO. See what you think:
    Mr Serious.
    Going...
    Going...
    Gone.

    - Nice fall by Pileggi's stuntie (hilarious baldcap/wig, if you care to freezeframe). He does hit the ground with his head facing Shep's feet, but starts a nice little spin to face the right way, heheh.

    - Beckett & Cadman - awwwww! *hugs them*

    - Zalenka's "makeover" - LMFAO

    Oh, and Shep's "Ask them if they can give us a little more than 'There's a bomb in Atlantis'..." comment inspired this:


    Wow...that was lengthy, wasn't it? I think it's the heat here, it's melting my brain. Hell, it's melted all the blue-tac on the posters on my walls, they've all fallen down

  5. #65
    Major xfkirsten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent_Dark
    Speaking of Firefly, the very start of Teyla's song reminded me of music from that...
    Ah!! I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one that thought that! As soon as the first strains of music played, I immediately thought, "Waitaminit... this isn't Firefly!"
    "Sometimes we reach what's realest by making believe..."
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  6. #66
    Captain berenikee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Great episode
    Together with Duet and Aurora one of the best of the second season.
    Dogs are my favorite people.
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  7. #67
    First Lieutenant
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    does anyone have any ideas about who kavenagh is sending messages to?

    i think it could be another nation on earth we havent had enough of the reactions of the other nations

  8. #68
    Lieutenant General prion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Hey, Cadman can have whatever hair she likes as long as Shep is in charge. ^_^ Military rules on Atlantis are pretty easy-going and different!

    Well, obviously Shep doesn't push for perfection. They're in an outpost so they're given some liberties, but whoa, ease up on the makeup! I barely recognized her!

    Yeah, I didn't suspect Caldwell either! I honestly didn't know who to suspect. I STILL didn't get it until a few seconds after they beamed him in. Geez... I must be getting slow in my old age.

    I loved his indignation, and Weir and Shep standing there, but mostly, Dex pacing behind him just waiting to beat the snot out of the guy. And he got too. You could see that Shep had done some research on Gou'ald as he brought along a taser so he woudn't have to shoot his superior officer full of holes. I hope Caldwell will recognize this in his report once he's been de-gou'alded.

    I imagine Ronon was threatening Kavanagh or asking him a few more times before he started in on him. When Kav realized Ronon was gonna beat him up, he fainted. Or passed out. Whichever.

    Ah, that was priceless. Shep runs in, thinking Dex has probably killed Kavanaugh (since everybody hates the guy) and he's mortified to see the scientist in the floor and poor Dex, looking deprived, says "he fainted". My god, Kavanagh will never be able to live that down. A beating, sure, maybe get some sympathy, but fainting Dex probably just stared and him and said "I need some information" and then the scientist just went splat.

    Loved the song Teyla song; it was best overlaid on all the scenes that didn't contain Teyla. Soudns odd, but the lip synching was off, and it seemed too music video-y at that point.

    Zelenka with his new 'do'. Priceless. The man will never have kids after this experience!

    Nice to see Agent Barrett is alive and well.

    Glad to see hte SG1 segments were kept to a bare minimum. Now, I think an SG1 episode should have the SGA characters visit, just briefly. Tit for tat and all that.

    Sorry to see Charon go. I liked her character.

    Loved McKay's leeriness around Cadman and how Sheppard kept ribbing him about it.

    Liked the development we see in Weir, giving orders to stuff she would never have done before. She was very hesitant to let anybody torture Kavanagh, even though she disliked him, but as the time ticked down ("24 minutes till we blow up" or words to those effect by Rodney) she agreed. And because they were down to 10 minutes with Caldwell, and because she knew that Caldwell was military but more importantly, inhabited by a Gou'ald, she just gave the nod but left the room. So she crossed the line with her own personal ethics, which I would interesting but good for development.

    One thing for sure, Kavanagh ain't NEVER coming back to Atlantis!

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    great episode! very well done

    I have to point out Ronon was exceptional on this one. he's the only new regular that didnt turn out to be complete disaster imo (and the one I least expected).

    mckay-sheppard interaction.. always fun
    hermiod telling kavanagh to stfu.. priceless
    beckett!!
    great music
    did anyone else catch Weir's bomb [email protected]

    only thing I didnt like was the earth scenes
    and maybe they went a little cheap on the pc screens, usually they look much better

  10. #70
    Colonel NowIWillDestroyAbydos's Avatar
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    Chevron Re: Critical Mass

    Good episode

    Barrett and Lee in the episode. Cadwell as a Goa'uld, that was weird.

    And Kavanagh's first appearance this season.

  11. #71
    Second Lieutenant Yeade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Yay! I've watched! Not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said though. Hmm...

    Re: The B-plot

    As nice as it was to learn a bit more about Athosian culture, I have to admit the B-plot had me stumped. Not that SGA hasn't had two plotlines running side-by-side before--e.g. "Runner," "Duet," "Trinity"--but these were obviously related--Ronon and Ford on the run, socialization, and trust, respectively. What happened here?

    I didn't twig to a connection until Kavanagh accused Weir of not having the strength to command Atlantis and, in the very next scene, Charin reminded Teyla she had to be strong for her people.

    Ah-ha! Elizabeth and Teyla! The two (somewhat ineffectual) female leaders!

    Both struggle leading their people--Weir probably isn't sure what she's doing half the time, and the arrival of the Atlanteans and her casting her lot in with them has left Teyla in limbo with the Athosians--and both cross a line in "Critical Mass"--Weir in ordering Kavanagh's torture, and Teyla in losing her last, close tie to her people. And both these events are the culmination of everything that's happened thus far, leaving Weir and Teyla adrift and in doubt.

    I feel so smart!

    Re: Weir and Kavanagh

    It's interesting that most people here seem to agree Weir made the hard but expedient decision in okaying Kavanagh's torture whereas many of the LJ reactions I've read seem to say she should never have gone that far.

    Personally, I think there was little else she could've done--it was either torture Kavanagh (the only likely suspect at that point) and hopefully get the access code or do nothing else and let the city explode with whoever was unlucky enough to still be around. That said, she did cross a line. I know some are disappointed (yeah, I'm talking to you, Ouroboros ) that issues were somewhat dodged because Kavanagh fainted before any actual torture could be done, but the process has to be gradual and, in this case, it was the mental act of agreeing to such a course in the first place that was key.

    And later Weir did implicitly tell Sheppard and Ronon to go ahead and use whatever means necessary to get the access code from Caldwell. Because Caldwell had a nasty snake parasite at the time, this decision was more akin to letting Beckett and the Hoffans experiment on Steve, but Caldwell is still at least mostly human, and she didn't hesitate.

    So, like I said, a gradual process.

    And, you know, as much as I sometimes dislike Weir's tendency to be led by her heart or high morals, perhaps somebody on the expedition has to take that stand. Sheppard certainly isn't going to, no matter how much he may wish otherwise. And McKay can be very single-minded in pursuit of scientific goals or, heh, not dying.

    Atlantis set out as a predominately civilian mission, but the war with the Wraith necessitates an increased military presence. Weir is a large part of what keeps Atlantis under civilian control, and that control has got to be tenuous. That she's under pressure from the military and is quite a bit out of her depth in leading a city-state during a war probably accounts for a lot of her actions--from her ofttimes petty power struggles with Caldwell to her inflexibility in certain situations to how hard she argued on Sheppard's behalf in "The Intruder."

    Looking forward to Weir sliding more down that "ends justify the means" slope and the ramifications of this.

    (Is it too much to hope for continuity here? This episode bringing back so many recurring characters and the Lord of the Flies planet gives me hope.)

    Re: Cadman

    At first, I found her makeup and bearing a little off--long hair down, no uniform, and generally not looking or acting like a Marine--then I started thinking she was perhaps off-duty.

    The first time Sheppard and McKay ran into her, I got the distinct impression it was during the Atlantis nightshift. Plus she was doing diagnostics or something, which doesn't seem like something a Marine would do. The same goes for the later dial-in to Earth. That also seemed to be during the evening, so maybe Cadman was called in off-duty for consultation? And then worked, along with the rest of the control room staffers, nonstop for about a day? As in, didn't bother to stop and change into uniform? Only took bathroom breaks and got food brought up?

    Re: Zelenka

    SQUEE!

    Also cute is that Zelenka wasn't the only one to suffer the artistic efforts of the kids. The other three(?) scientists that walked by in that scene with him had stuff braided into their hair and stick-grass jewelry, too.

    ...

    Oh! One more thing. Anyone know anything about the watch Weir was toying with in the tag scene?
    Last edited by Yeade; September 1st, 2007 at 01:00 PM.
    The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be, to do, or to suffer. I signify all three.

  12. #72
    Major obsessed1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Sheppards 'bomb in atlantis' line is an in joke from the cast me thnks.
    ever seen the coverage of the behind the scenes of atlantis where joe flanigan is doing the 'theres a bomb on the bus' (Relating to his suposed failure to get the part in speed) He didtti exactly like that - the keanu voice and all.
    Nice when you spot things like that!

  13. #73
    Major GatetheWay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Really, Joe auditioned for Speed? You learn something new everyday.

    Anyway, did anyone catch the lyrics to Teyla's song?
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  14. #74
    Second Lieutenant
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by GatetheWay
    Really, Joe auditioned for Speed? You learn something new everyday.
    I think I heard he was runner-up or something.

  15. #75
    Major Athenaktt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeade
    Oh! One more thing. Anyone know anything about the watch Weir was toying with in the tag scene?
    I don't think anything has been said abou the watch on Weir's desk. It's been there since the first season. And it still boggles my mind where or why she has it. I guess the only explanation we have for it are drawn from fanfic or our imaginations.

  16. #76
    Second Lieutenant Yeade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Has the watch really been there since the first season? Whoa! Looks like I don't spend nearly enough time analyzing the decor of Weir's office--I've only ever noticed the clay jar-thing Sheppard gave her in "Before I Sleep" and the dish with the four(?) female figures sitting in a circle, hands linked(?).
    Last edited by Yeade; September 1st, 2007 at 12:59 PM.
    The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be, to do, or to suffer. I signify all three.

  17. #77
    Major Athenaktt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeade
    Has the watch really been there since the first season? Whoa! Looks like I don't spend nearly enough time analyzing the decor of Weir's office---I've only ever noticed the clay jar-thing Sheppard gave her in "Before I Sleep" and the dish with the four(?) female figures sitting in a circle, hands linked(?).
    Yup, it's been in there since the very beginning.

    So far the only things I remember that are still on her desk from the beginning are the pocket watch and the picture of Sedge. And every since she got the Jar for Sheppard, that's been there too.

    As for the other things e.g., statues, they are constantly getting moved around the her office.

    The fact that I know that scares me. :s

  18. #78
    Colonel ToasterOnFire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by dosed150
    does anyone have any ideas about who kavenagh is sending messages to?
    Good question. Perhaps it's something that will come up later? While I don't think Kav was working for the Trust (oh, but what a shocker if we find out later that he really was another plant!) I do think he has ulterior motives and looks out for himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeade
    Both struggle leading their people---Weir probably isn't sure what she's doing half the time, and the arrival of the Atlanteans and her casting her lot in with them has left Teyla in limbo with the Athosians---and both cross a line in "Critical Mass"---Weir in ordering Kavanagh's torture, and Teyla in losing her last, close tie to her people. And both these events are the culmination of everything that's happened thus far, leaving Weir and Teyla adrift and in doubt.
    Excellent possibility! The link is quite subtle though. I wonder if Joe would have a better idea about the plot/subplot link or if he would wave that off to Binder...

    Personally, I think there was little else she could've done---it was either torture Kavanagh (the only likely suspect at that point) and hopefully get the access code or do nothing else and let the city explode with whoever was unlucky enough to still be around. That said, she did cross a line. I know some are disappointed (yeah, I'm talking to you, Ouroboros ) that issues were somewhat dodged because Kavanagh fainted before any actual torture could be done, but the process has to be gradual and, in this case, it was the mental act of agreeing to such a course in the first place that was key.
    I still wish the issue wasn't dodged. Granted, Elizabeth must still deal with the internal conflict over choosing to have a man tortured but there's an unfortunate trend on Atlantis where internal conflicts are often forgotten in later episodes (Elizabeth's sadness over Simon in Intruder, others losing trust in Rodney in Trinity, Shep's withdrawl and attempted sacrifice in Conversion). If Kav had been tortured then there would have been something more tangible to grab onto (dealing with his death, wounds, and/or outrage, questioning from the SGC, UN, etc) and a bigger likelihood that the ramifications of Elizabeth's decision would be brought up again.
    Still, I will reserve judgement until I've seen the rest of the episodes this season. It's perfectly possible that her decision
    Spoiler:
    directly starts the spiral toward her "darker" character or that the decision will be used against her when she apparently is forced to return to the SGC in season three. (Caldwell can't argue against her here though, as he did push for the torture, but someone else could certainly use it against her). There's lots of things the writers can do with this - let's see where they go.

  19. #79
    Captain Merlin7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    So so ep for me. Could have been a GREAT EP but the B/Teyla story line took up WAY too much time and I had zero interest in it. It took away time from the main SL which should have had more going on and more intensity and more of a build up and more follow through. I loved what there was of it. Loved pretty much all the bits. Wanted Shep to have more to do as head of military he was pretty much just lounging around it seemed. Mind you, I admired the view, but he should have been doing more in this situation. The interrogations went on too long too. I'm just tired of every ep rushing the A story line. It loses my interest that way.

    Rachel has a lovely voice but the music playing for her ruined the effect. They didn't have musicians there. Acapella would have been way more effective and SHORTER! Again..the B SL took away from what could have been a GREAT *A* Story line.

  20. #80
    Second Lieutenant Yeade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Critical Mass

    Quote Originally Posted by ToasterOnFire
    [Re: The B-plot] Excellent possibility! The link is quite subtle though.
    If by "subtle," you mean it barely exists.

    Thank you.
    Granted, Elizabeth must still deal with the internal conflict over choosing to have a man tortured but there's an unfortunate trend on Atlantis where internal conflicts are often forgotten in later episodes (Elizabeth's sadness over Simon in Intruder, others losing trust in Rodney in Trinity, Shep's withdrawl and attempted sacrifice in Conversion).
    Well, I don't know if the internal conflicts are forgotten so much as... submerged?

    SGA has (occasionally ) impressed me by bringing back old issues to bite our heroes in the ass, so to speak. I mean, who watching "Thirty-Eight Minutes" the first time seriously thought the Iratus bug would become such a huge plot point? And the Genii are like cockroaches! The expedition's one screw-up in "Underground" led to "The Storm"/"The Eye," "The Brotherhood," and a sort of lukewarm war. I'm still waiting for the creators of the nanovirus from "Hot Zone" to come into play.

    On the emotional side of things, the SGA characters strike me as the type to, well, go through about a dozen unhelpful and unproductive avoidance tactics before confronting any kind of personal issues.

    Sheppard? His method of dealing with trauma is to shove everything into some dark corner, forget about it, and not unkindly but firmly discourage everyone else from ever mentioning it again. Didn't hear much from him about clinically dying in "Thirty-Eight Minutes" (or, for that matter, his suicide attempt in "The Siege") so didn't expect to hear much from him about his experiences in "Conversion."

    Weir? Drowns herself in her work. Trying and trying not to make the same mistakes again. That's how I read her tag scene in "The Intruder." She's had at least however-many-days-it-takes-the-Deddy-to-make-the-trip-from-Earth-(I forgot, lol) to deal with Simon's rejection, and when she arrives back in Atlantis, she dismisses Teyla's concern and immediately starts working, all the more devoted to the expedition and her professional life because she doesn't have much left personally.

    McKay? Well, he generally reacts to pressure badly--by reverting to being a bit of a jerk--unless it's pressure and the lives of the people he cares about are on the line. In which case, he generally steps up to the plate admirably, if with a lot of complaining and predictions of doom. After "Trinity" though, I got the impression he was subdued, quicker to admit his faults, and more desperate to do anything he can to keep his team safe. (Especially Sheppard, and that makes me hurt for McKay because, Christ, that's next to impossible.) He goes on the egg hunt in "Conversion" though he has no real place there, his first thought is to go in the "Aurora" pods himself (that's also the episode where we have the only verbal exchange between Sheppard and McKay about the hot topic of trust), and there were the recent close calls in "The Hive" and "Epiphany."
    Spoiler:
    Namely McKay taking the big, BIG dose of the enzyme to overpower his guards, fix the DHD, return to Atlantis, and rescue his overdue team. Then there's his controlled panic to fix it when Sheppard gets sucked in the time dilation portal, admitting it was his fault, saying he can't fly the jumper in a straight line, and crediting an idea to Zelenka.

    ...and I could go on and on about everybody, but I think I've written enough.

    SO, look, there's CHARACTER CONTINUITY!

    Well, if you're the type to connect the A and B plots of this episode by relating Weir and Teyla's experiences and shortcomings as female leaders of their respective peoples.
    If Kav had been tortured then there would have been something more tangible to grab onto [snip] and a bigger likelihood that the ramifications of Elizabeth's decision would be brought up again.
    Agreed. As it is, I don't think Kavanagh's going to forgive Weir for taking this final step--even if he goaded her to it and, BTW, how stupid is that?--and since he's probably heading back to Earth, it'll be interesting to see if he'll drum up trouble for her. I have no doubt many on Earth wouldn't be able to grasp the life-and-death urgency of the situation. I, too, will reserve judgment until I see the rest of the season.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin7
    Shep to have more to do as head of military he was pretty much just lounging around it seemed.
    If it's any consolation, there's more than enough wiggle room to write Sheppard a very active role off-screen. Sheppard presumably organized the military in searching the city immediately after receiving the message from SGC (there are two short scenes of the actual search) and later helped with the interrogations, as I understand a number of people from both the Deddy and Atlantis were questioned (though only Weir's interviews with Kavanagh and Novak were shown). He was probably in charge of the evacuation as well. I chalk it up to limited time, too many plotlines and characters, and TPTB just not being all that great at getting the details in sometimes.
    Mind you, I admired the view...
    Aaaahhh, yeeesss. I've read reviews in which people compared his casual lounge on the corner of Weir's desk to a slinky singer sprawling atop a piano, lol. It'd be disturbing if there weren't a nugget of truth there.

    Right. Moving over to the thunk thread.


    edit: tags
    Last edited by Yeade; September 1st, 2007 at 12:59 PM.
    The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be, to do, or to suffer. I signify all three.

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