Credit where credit is due. The episode rocked.
It's a damn shame Sheppard didn't want to get in the bath with McKay though... ;-)
Credit where credit is due. The episode rocked.
It's a damn shame Sheppard didn't want to get in the bath with McKay though... ;-)
They say the geek never gets the girl...what about the girl getting the geek?
Rodney/Teyla...it could happen
spoilers for "200"
Shep 'Home' sig made by Luciana! (I made the rest.)
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
Haha, Satedan revenge thing.
This was an intense episode! Both Jason and Mark hit it out of the park as far as I'm concerned in expressing the utter pain and desperation when dealing with the addiction to the gift of life. Meanwhile, I found myself pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Teyla's ongoing story arc, and Woolsey continues to prove me right on how absolutely awesome he is.
No, I'm not saying "I told you so" to all those posters I defended Woolsey against when he was announced to be the leader. Nuh uh. No way. No "I told you so" here.
As some others have said, this, along with the past 2 episodes this year, has been very evenly spread out, in terms of screentime for the characters. I love that, as, even if 1 character is the one in danger and being put through the ringer, the other characters should still get screentime, as they'd be reacting to that, and that's exactly what we got here. Ronon's ordeal was horrible to watch (but in a good way), while we also get to see the concern on the other team members' faces. I'm glad they're doing this. I'm also glad that they've laid off on the "green-blue" color filter that seemed to have permeated every episode last year. It started off cool, but got old as a lot of the vibrant colors of Atlantis got blurred out. This change really caught my attention in the initial conference room scene in this episode, as I was amazed by the beautiful contrast of the orange conference doors and the green walls of Atlantis opposite them across the gateroom. Nicely done, TPTB.
But enough aesthetics, let's talk character. As I said before, Jason blew me away. His acting was just so nuanced and detailed in this episode; he got to explore so many facets of Ronon in such a short time. Again, I loved that. At the beginning, he was carefree and gently ribbed Teyla about Kanaan. After his capture, he showed anger towards Tyre, but nothing out of the ordinary for an agitated Ronon. He even joked a bit. However, when he noticed that his fellow Satedan was shaking and looking like he hasn't slept in weeks, he grew concerned, and I saw genuine caring in his face as he tried to convince Tyre to let him go so they can find him some help. Of course, that all changed when the Wraith entered the picture. Again, there is nuance. Ronon's face showed fear as the Wraith arrived; it was subtle, but it was there. The brooding hulk that is Ronon just got a lot more human as he faced the creatures that has terrorized the entire galaxy without any means to defend himself. Why shouldn't he be afraid?
And then the first feeding. I gotta say, SciFi screwed up here, as an intense moment was ruined by an ad for one of their stupid original movies. Still, I winced for him; I mean, really, even though he's gone through hardship, Wraith feeding is one thing he has never experienced. Still, he didn't scream or shout, but just grunted in pain, and that's just...soooo Ronon. Then, as his life is given back to him, he still managed to be defiant towards the Wraith, but it's clear that he's shaken, that he's disturbed and hurt. Once more, this is new ground for Ronon. Pushing someone out of their comfort zone is always good, and this is exactly that. The faltering of Ronon's hard exterior was just painful to watch as he tries to comprehend the level of horror he is about to experience, over and over again. Then, he is fed on again, and even though there was an initial few seconds where Ronon held back a scream of pain, he couldn't hold on. He roared in pain as the Wraith took the years from him.
Ronon was breaking.
Then came one of the most moving, disturbing, and awesomenest scenes in the episode. Ronon, close to tears, is trying to be convinced by Tyre to accept it and move on. But it's more than that. It's more than the physical pain he's gone through, it's the emotional pain. Yeah, that's right, Ronon's emotional pain. His voice was barely a whisper (aaaaand I'm tearing up), his voice contorted in anger mixed with sadness, and it's all because of one thing: he was betrayed. Oh, but this wasn't just some random betrayal. He was betrayed by someone he risked his life for, someone who, along with himself, was the last of his race, one of the only ones capable of continuing the traditions and ethics of the Satedan race: honor, strength, and all that other good stuff that Tyre abandoned when he captured and sold Ronon out. It's all in Ronon's words:
"You were not the man I risked my life for; you are a traitor to the memory of our people."
It's all there (and a transcript of the line has nothing, NOTHING on the actual effect of seeing Jason Momoa deliver it in the way he did in this episode. Absolute brilliance); not only did Ronon now see his past risks as worthless, but also useless, because the man he tried to save has effectively died. Also, he was a traitor to the memory of his people; once again reminding us that they were some of the only ones left, and this one's gone off the deep end.
My God I'm good with reviewing.
From there, Ronon gets tortured over and over. He is defiant, using the names of 2 of his dead comrades that never gave into the Wraith...only to find that the truth (or maybe the Wraith was lying, who knows) was much much worse than he had hoped. Then, he is fed on again, only this time he screams from the beginning, showing that his restraint is no more.
I'll skip the montage, as I want to talk about it later when I go through Tyre's development. For now, I'll just say it was awesome. Really, really awesome.
At the end, Ronon receives his last gift of life, and his expression is blank. No more defiance, no more anger...just acceptance and enjoyment at his life's return. So Ronon's broken now. It was disturbing seeing him accepting the Wraith's terms so easily...but that was all it was. I think this part would've been more effective had there been an 1-on-1 scene between Shep and Ronon as the former tries to convince the latter to see the truth, and having the latter totally reject the former. As is, there was no real indication that Ronon was with the Wraith as opposed to be pretending to be with the Wraith. A shame.
But it all returned in full force as Ronon attempts to recover at episode's end. Again, I can only tense up as Ronon's pain and suffering radiated off the screen. I haven't seen any real withdrawl symptoms like this in real life, so I can't vouch for the authenticity, but it sure as hell felt real to me. The thrashing, the no-blinking, the screaming, the shouting, and the indescribable expression of pain on his face all through this...it was tough to watch, but man, was it awesome because of that. There was also that brief moment where he was struck by the news of Tyre's death, but the Wraith programming still kicks in. Still, the fact that he hesitated meant that our Ronon was still in there, shocked and saddened at that moment. As he was going through all this pain, we saw his friends looking at him...and they didn't need to. I mean, why would a friend watch another suffer like this?
Because it's what true friends do. By watching Ronon's pain, they themselves share in it a miniscule bit...and it's something. Remember Bra'tac's words in Orpheus:
"Do not look away. Be strong for him. What better way for Teal'c to die that to be looking upon the face of his son?"
Ok, obviously that entire quote doesn't all apply here, but it's the first part, the being there, the being strong for him that mattered. Despite the uglyness of the scene before them, they stay there by his side, no matter what; because they're a team.
And I loved the continuity nod of Rodney talking to Ronon about his childhood proficiency in piano playing that was first revealed in Redemption. Wonderful stuff.
Phew...so that's Ronon. Then there's Tyre, whose journey was similarly as disturbing and impressive.
The way he started out was plenty disturbing already: eyes sunken, speech slightly impeded, and of course, he was shaking. Then, he jumped to another level when he said those few words: "I've saved us."
Soooo many meanings in those words, and excellently uttered. He saved them? How is that? One interpretation could be that, by turning Ronon, both of them may survive forever, feeding off the gift of life; or, that by sticking with the Wraith, they won't be culled like the rest. Whatever the meaning, it was creepy, and added a whole new meaning of warped to Tyre; he no longer understands that living the way he was wasn't really living at all; it was stealing; stealing life from the Wraiths' victims.
Then, in that awesome scene where Ronon realizes just how far-gone Tyre is, you can see the absolute denial in him as he shakes his head and utters plainly "no" to Ronon's statement that he sold him out so he can get back into the Wraiths' favor. But, at the end, as the Wraith returns, you can see Tyre straining to hold onto his convictions, but failing; Ronon's words have seemingly moved him, made him realize the man he has become. The Wraith's betrayal of him just reinforces that, especially as it comes after him shouting at the Wraith. He was beginning to see reason.
And then that montage. What can I say...I loved it soooooo much. I mean, this was pure-whump. Not just physical, but mental and emotional as well, and that's something I cherish in my shows. TPTB did a wonderful job cutting this sequence, as the camera was always moving, closer and farther away as Tyre and Ronon writhed in absolute pain. Shep's cold-hearted, but pragmatic "no sedative" (another indication of his darkness and his willingness to give up ethics to save a friend) starts off the sequence, and right away we have the magnificent choral music accompanying the two Satedans as they are tortured in the worst ways. I mean...my God, this goes down in Stargate history as one of the best montages as far as I'm concerned. Disturbing on so many levels.
Now Tyre, having gone through all of that, seems to have suffered through a karmic redemption. All that pain for the bad stuff he's done. And yet, he still wants to help. And as if it wasn't clear that this was actually a team episode, this part, in the Shep-Woolsey scene following that:
"Pure and simple, this is about a desperate guy who's willing to do anything to help his buddy"
"How can you be so certain of that, Colonel?"
"Because I've been there."
...Just hammers it home. This is EXACTLY the effects events like this should have on our characters! Just because Tyre is a character in Ronon's story doesn't mean there shouldn't be some influence of him on other characters. I was impressed that the writers went there, very impressed indeed. I love how they're solidifying Sheppard's story like this. We know he's "the guy", but in this season they seem to be consciously reinforcing that, and I love it.
What follows is one of the more tragic redemptions of a Stargate character. Others may scream "predicable", but Tyre's eagerness to help did seem strange; and then he held a knife at Teyla's throat. Yeah. Of course, the moment he led Shep and the Wraith down another passageway I knew he was the good guy now, and the ensuing hand-cutting and sword fighting was just freaking badass! I loved it, though I do have to agree with some that a lot of the action took place in settings of way too little light. I could barely see what was happening.
I can't wait to see the entire sword fight on the DVD. That was intense.
And of course, with all this analysis in this review, it would overflow. Let's me just say...
To be Continued...
The same thing goes for the name of Teyla's father and baby. We only assume that her father was Tegon (sp?)
You can't base accusations of plot holes on assumptions...
And now, the conclusion.
And then...well, I didn't think they'd do it, but they did it. When Tyre offered to stay behind I thought we'd get an ambiguous ending, but nope. Still, I think it was the right choice. His character arc, though only lasting 2 episodes, was a prime example of redemption, and ending it by ways of saving our heroes, including Ronon, and maybe-crippling that Wraith's hive was just heart-breaking, yet you can't help but cheer for the guy as he flips the switch, and looks at the Wraith defiantly while he takes his last breath.
Tyre was redeemed, and I'm going to miss him.
There were other plotlines in the episode, of course; chiefly Teyla's and Woolsey's.
I had prophecied that Teyla's newborn would give her new layers, and IMHO I was right. I'm always up for seeing characters needing to choose their path in life (cue Avatar: The Last Airbender reference), and it was natural that Teyla would have one of those moments; it's also something pretty new to her character, as many have said in the past; she's always been decisive. But this was something much more important than past decisions, for this was very personal. Yes, she was waffling, but I can't really blame her. While she was contemplating the safety of Torren and his need for a mother, one of her best friends was missing, and you can see how she was slowly being torn apart by it. Shep saw this too, and issued her an ultimatum (very awkward scene, that one; loved Shep's "making up an excuse" face and McKay and Keller's quick exit. Yay McKeller! ), which tied perfectly back to last season. Again, character arcs on Stargate. I love it!
The highlight of her story this episode was in the scene with Kanaan. Like some others, I was luke-warm on the character, seeing him as kinda bland in his previous appearances. Well, it's amazing how a simple smile could change that. The human-fied Kanaan was warm, inviting, caring, and obviously wants what's best for Teyla; to make her happy. As someone said, their relationship was built on a life of friendship, trust, and devotion. It's not the "OMG THEY SO HAWT TOGETHER!!" type of romance, which I hate, but a more idealistic version of love that I think we all want. Kanaan's words to Teyla, that which finally helped make up her mind, was just sweet, and they came from someone who understood her perfectly. I especially loved his last line, "just promise me that you'll be careful out there"; it's fairly typical...for someone who cared about her very, very much. If was as if, all of his previous words were to objectively make up her mind, but this one was him personally hoping her to stay well; just the way he said, it was a very "husband" thing to say.
They're a good couple. I hope to see or hear more about them.
And that paves the way for Teyla's decision later on to join in the rescue mission, but that's not the end. You can just sense the higher-than-usual level of apprehension in her the moment Tyre "betrayed" them. Similarily, Teyla was uncharacteristically reflective and silent in her prison cell, and I loved that. The fear that must've enveloped her, to know that she may have made a huge mistake (Rodney didn't help XD)...it was palpable. But she survived, and Ronon made it through thanks, in part, to her efforts, and at the end, her arc goes full circle, and she rejoins the team. Great stuff.
Finally, we have Woolsey, who is awesome. I loved the humorous moments he got, which clearly exploited Robert Picardo's comedic talents. The none-too-subtle cough at Shep's omission in the conference room was in perfectly-keeping with the bureaucrat, and though I didn't think of it until I read it here, I'll take the explanation that the doors won't open because Sheppard made it so. I loved that scene.
Then came his scene with Teyla. It really is the character quirks and eccentricities that make a character relatable and likable because, well, we're all a little weird in that way. We all have strange rituals and priorities sometimes. Seeing him being so warm to Teyla was strange at first, and I was wondering if it were an act (Shep's news that Woolsey had been pressuring him to get a replacement for Teyla just reinforced that), but I guess it turned out that he was just that warm that day. Heh. I also loved his "intensely-emotional" moment when he talked about his Yorkie. Poor Woolsey; I took that as being a comedic moment, as he's being overdramatic when Teyla's problem is far more important (a child vs. a Yorkie?). Even if it weren't supposed to be funny, it still added another layer to his character, that he had emotional ties after all, and again, I loved that.
And of course, the baby scene. Loved his attempt at comforting Torren, which fails immediately, and his inability to find the cafeteria afterwards.
There was also a tiny moment in the last conference scene that I loved. As Woolsey goes up to the doors, he hesitates, and looks utterly bewildered when they open for him (but really, it was for McKay and Keller, I think). So subtle, and yet so brilliant.
And yes, Sheppard's "ugh, coffee" face was hilarious.
Fast forwarding to the end, and we have the final joke that his relaxing-clothes are a suit and a tie. I laughed my ass off at that, as it's just...sooooo Woosley. From there, we go to yet another wonderful montage that wraps everything up very nicely: Woolsey enjoys a wine, some nice music, and a nice view as he congratulates himself on thinking that maybe, just maybe, his words to Teyla helped her make up her mind; Teyla and Kanaan share a loving moment with Torren as they ponder their futures together; McKay has a brilliant idea in the bath, brilliantly paying off the humorous character moment earlier between him and Sheppard (that was a great scene too; the slash thing was a nice shoutout to the slashers out there, and I loved that Shep referenced someone having a crush on Teyla; who wouldn't?! ); and finally, a highly-emotional moment (i.e. I teared up again) as Shep gives Ronon Tyre's sword and leaves without saying a word, all the time looking bleak. It was a wonderful place to end the episode; in those few seconds we got so much character work done. Shep was feeling the loss as well, as he can relate to Tyre; but Ronon...my God, just the absolute sadness in his expression as he looks at the sword and holds it to his chest; he looked close to tears...it was heartbreaking. He has lost a good friend from Sateda who lost his way, but ultimately redeemed and sacrificed himself for them all. It was a heavy loss, to be sure.
This was a great episode, but it's not without faults. There are 2 things that I thought detracted from the episode: the beginning was a little slow, and Rodney didn't reference his own withdraw symptoms from The Hive. But you know what? Looking over this review...I don't think I care. Loved the episode.
Though I rated S&R 9/10, thinking about it afterwards raised it to 9.5 as well. The Seed was a bit average though. Still, I think this season is off to a great start!
Atlantis is back baby!
*This* is what I love about this show - when it's good.... it's fantastic!
This week, Atlantis had that 'old school' feel about it. All the little details about city life and the real spread of characters and sets used (and getting to see more of Atlantis and it’s daily life- they're still serving a hot breakfast at 10am!? Does every room in Atlantis come with a bath like Rodney’s? Is everyone allowed a veritable wine cellar in their quarters or just the leader?)...it made me like it again. TBH, that's why I loved this show in the first place - all these weird individuals (and you do have to be a certain kind of person to agree to what was potentially a one-way trip) and how they reacted to this entirely unfamiliar city and galaxy.
It's nice to see *all* the characters getting moments. Obviously, this was a little more of a Ronon vehicle (and wow, that detox scene!) but when the writer's get it right, like they did here, the character development and interaction is of a very high standard. Rachel and Jason hit it out of the park with their respective scenes. Jason so far has been *way* underutilised and it was so good so see what he can do. So far, they seem to be handling Teyla's storyline very nicely - they managed to convey that internal conflict without it being over the top or even worse, preachy.
The final montage was probably my favourite scene: between the gorgeous music, and the scenes of the various characters being so *themselves* - this could really be the season that Atlantis both returns to its roots and finds its feet.
Woolsey is.... in my view, a better character for this position than Carter (And I am iin now way a Carter-hater). With Woolsey they have the chance to really explore him and flesh him out - let him fail and see how he grows. He's almost 'the audience' - totally new, totally out of his element. From what I see, he's a brilliant bureaucrat and perhaps, is better suited to evaluating leaders than actually being one and so, having to take that position will really help him to grow as a character and *that's* what great storytelling is all about. Poor kid, the doors wouldn't even open for him!
It's also kinda refreshing to see people have to ask for permission, it seemed as though, for a while, there was no leadership, no 'checks and balances' and that tension between 'why can't I just go if I think it's a good idea' and 'sometimes, those rules aren't going to work here' will hopefully play out really nicely. (It doesn't hurt that I think Robert Picardo is a very talented actor).
I do, however, miss the old semi-circle table. It was interesting. The new one reminds me too much of my day-job. Oh well, the new shots of city life are almost an acceptable trade-off. The pretty-pretty-pretty black/gold of the night scenes made me sigh a little.
Hoping for more wicked-good episodes - this could be a very, very good season.
My review of "Broken Ties" doesn't meet the requirements for the review thread.
Ronon gets captured and turned by a wraith. Unsuprisingly, by the end of the episode he has been rescued and unturned. Yawn.
Teyla makes the unshocking decision to rejoin Shepards team. Yawn.
Ronon's pal eventually did the right thing and sacrificed himself; I didn't see that coming. Yawn.
What would have been way more interesting, and unpredictable, is if Ronon didn't get unturned and had stayed a wraith worshipper for a good number of episodes, thus becoming Atlantis' nemesis.
Keller's voice and persona were as grating as usual. Woolsey had no real reason to be featured in the episode and did not appear to be a leader in any way, shape or form.
This episode was as dull, predictable and boring as the other two offerings from this season. Quite annoying really as it's the only current TV show I watch. Based on what I've seen so far this season I'm expecting SGA to get cancelled.
I'll give it 1/10 for Ronon's sword work.
He'd cut off his feeding hand... how would you feel if someone cut out your stomach?
Jedi_Master_Bra'tac, previously known as wako!
It's too early to tell s5 is bad - S&R was mediocre and TS was awful, but I quite enjoyed BT. From the looks of it, DV is gonna be awesome though.
Mia: Don't you hate that?
Vincent: Hate what?
Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullsh*t in order to be comfortable?
Vincent: I don't know. That's a good question.
Mia: That's when you know you've found somebody really special: you can just shut the f*** up for a minute and comfortably share silence.
- Pulp Fiction
Last edited by marty2006; July 27th, 2008 at 06:58 AM.