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May 2019



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atlantis desperately earnest

SGA: Allies

Okay, I offer for your pleasure a completely schizophrenic response. *g*

Wow, this episode seriously is giving me a mental disconnect, unlike last week's festival of pure shining gold. Here the character interactions were terrific, the ending has me going NOES!! at a truly hysterical fever pitch, I love them all, and yet I'm appalled at how simultaneously stupid and awful the Atlanteans had to be in order to set this up.

So first the rant. Now okay, sure, if they don't work with the Wraith -- the Wraith are going to reveal the location of Atlantis and besiege it again. But that's the situation they were expecting to be in all along. They know the worst-case out of that situation -- evacuate and self-destruct. (PS: if they have not SERIOUSLY improved the self-destruct in the last year so the reverse-engineering concern from the earlier siege is now gone, they are idiots and should all be SHOT.) I'm not saying that's not a really bad scenario -- but there's a limit to how bad it is. Working actively with the Wraith, trading information to them, giving them access and putting their data into the Atlantis systems -- there is NO LIMIT to the worst-case scenario. As, hello, we now see.

I just don't understand -- the second the Wraith gave them the beaming technology and it appeared to be working, why did they not beam a nuke aboard their hive ship and eliminate the threat of revelation? And then when the two Wraith hive ships were fighting -- after Sheppard and Caldwell even had the discussion about how maybe they would blow each other up! -- why did the Daedalus go help them? Why? Didn't they just blow their cover to the second hive ship? Why not let them blow each other up? aaagh.

Just, there seemed to be this weird and insane dichotomy -- on the one hand, the Wraith are all so horrible that it is okay to use biological warfare on them, turn them into humans, and let the other half feed upon them. (And, I'm sorry, that scene where they turned the Wraith and actually LET HER EAT HIM? What. The. Hell. They went straight past morally ambiguous to morally WRONG and did not pass Go, did not collect $200.) On the other hand, they are our allies, so we are going to keep faith as long as they appear to be keeping their end of the bargain!

And god, a world of NO. The only justification for doing something like this to them is if they are varelse, to steal Orson Scott Card's terminology -- if they are so alien that they cannot be negotiated with. As in fact I am completely willing to accept; I think "I want to eat you" is not a bargaining position you can find common ground with, and it justifies for me doing pretty much anything necessary to defeat them. BUT, if that is the case, you CANNOT treat them like real allies or friends, even temporarily. And, it wasn't like the Atlanteans were blithely oblivious (thankfully) -- they were totally suspicious the whole time, and especially after the hive ship schematics were handed over; but apparently they just kept on going. Rodney hacking the ship seemed to be entirely on his own volition (go Rodney); and aside from that they don't seem to have anything planned except to be wary and *react* to the sudden-but-inevitable-betrayal. GAH.

With that said, now my deeply thoughtful analysis on the rest:

"You want everything!" "I *like* everything!" ... "You know, let's talk about it for a really long time, that'll help for sure!" : OMG ♥

Rodney in grey shirt == hot. John running down hall in black t-shirt and jacket and thigh holster == also hot. Atlantis from above == also also hot.

Nice heels, Wraith Barbie. wtf?

Rodney and Hermiod! Hermiod is seriously like Rodney's karmic payback. I bet Zelenka has hidden cameras set up recording all of what is going on. Also, Rodney said "Eh!"

Rodney *sending console guy rolling across the floor*. <3

John stealing Zelenka's coffee! Wraith sexuality! Both of them worried about Rodney! And then OMFG Ronon and Rodney on hive ship! Ronon, with the, "YOU DON'T TOUCH HIM!" protectiveness *melty*

Also: John and Rodney, hands on hips! Plus yes, THANK YOU, for giving us back late-S1 Rodney, who is freaked out and nevertheless doing the scary but necessary thing. Even if that explanation was kind of huh, lame.

And ARM PAT. WOW, *arm pat*. *happpyyyy*

And then John so concerned about giving Ronon and Rodney enough time! Although, seriously -- I'm sorry, the second the hive ship turned on them, hello, it is PROBABLY a good time to assume that the beaming technology they deliberately gave you is NOT going to work and start planning on some contingency methods.

John Skywalker, heee. More nice pretty visuals.

In conclusion:




The End.

Okay, not really the end, a few more thoughts on rewatching it. I'm not sure how I feel about Rodney whining to the Wraith -- I feel like I wanted some more real terror there, although I suppose I can read it that way; but there was a little too much comic about it for what is just an utterly, utterly horrifying scenario. I liked the later part after they wake up a lot better. The new Wraith cocoons look kind of crappy, though; the thin gossamer webbing much cooler than these ropy things.

And, okay, so basically the only reason our heroes are not dead is because Wraith Barbie is making Evil Overlord mistake #26, right? Right, okay, understood. Since the hive ships seemed to only jump after they got John -- yeah, I am making the wild assumption that no, he did not get blown to bits -- I guess she wants John to suffer along with Rodney and Ronon. And, hm, I guess I am fine with this.

So, yeah, there it is. I am like, the pool with the shallow and deep ends. *g*

Also, merryish and I speculate unspoiled and mostly wishfully about the resolution:

* astolat bets what will happen is
astolat: John will find Rodney and Ronon on the ship
astolat: and Rodney did say he had hacked the ship
merryish right
astolat: I kind of really want a scene
astolat: like that one from sg1 s2
merryish: the little pat! to John's arm!
merryish: as he left!
merryish: you want John to call Rodney SPACE MONKEY
astolat: where they are all on the ship and deliberately are going to blow themselves up
merryish: don't you!
astolat: omg NO
merryish: ADMIT IT!
* shalott shudders at the horrifying image of the fanfic that would result
merryish: heeeeeeeee
merryish: yeah, but you know what?
astolat: but what I want is Rodney in a suicide move
merryish: I wouldn't trade away that scene in SG1.
astolat: no, it is true
merryish: because it still has the power to make me grin hugely every time I see it
merryish: Yes
merryish: I would like that too
merryish: Rodney all self-sacrificy, and at the last minute
merryish: Hermiod or John or whoever manages to beam him to safety
astolat: I more want Rodney being like, wait, what? what are you -- are you nuts? we can't get off the ship!
astolat: and John is all, Rodney, we have to do this.
astolat: and then Rodney is, but, but -- *gulp* okay
astolat: and then they could stand really close together and Rodney would squeeze his eyes shut
astolat: and their hands would be out of frame so I could pretend they were holding hands
astolat: oh, also Rodney would have to be the one to actually turn on the blowing-up thingy
astolat: and then Hermiod would beam them away last-minute
merryish: awwww
merryish: I like it.
merryish: And they reappear in front of Caldwell on the Daedalus, holding hands.
merryish: And Caldwell starts to say something, then notices, and changes it to: "Seriously, what is WITH you people?"
astolat: ahahahaha
astolat: hee, and then John could be trying to discreetly detach
astolat: and Rodney is still all *cling*
merryish: heeeeeee
merryish: deathgrip!
astolat: and John hisses, "Rodney!"
astolat: and Rodney is all still meep!
astolat: and then he's OH, uh
astolat: and lets go, but in a really obvious way
merryish: heeeeeee
astolat: and then looks all big-eyed and like, nobody saw that! right? nobody noticed!
astolat: and John is dead of embarrassed
Tags: ,


I just love the highly intellectual discussion of SGA-meta. Meep indeed! John may be embarassed but The Hair will just go on as if nothing has happened.
*nods* The Hair has its own sekrit alien agenda.
I vote The Hair gets its own spin-off series.
Your schizophrenic response pretty much parallels my schizophrenic response, right down to the WTF on the IDreamofJeannieBarbie shoes on the Wraith Queen. They've been heading right down the road in that handbasket all season and they finally got there. But while there were many WTF moments, there were also some I loved, so ... yeah. Schizo.
"I just don't understand -- the second the Wraith gave them the beaming technology and it appeared to be working, why did they not beam a nuke aboard their hive ship and eliminate the threat of revelation?"

Ooh, ooh, let me channel TPTB and answer this one:

SHEPPARD: Hey, now that Rodney has the secret beaming code, let's just beam a nuke over there and blow up their ship before they can blink; no more threat of revelation and no need to let the nasty Wraith feed on pseudo-humans which is creeping me right the hell out.

WEIR ('cause she or Teyla always get the stupid morality lines and Teyla's too up front about her distrust here): John, you know we can't do something like that, even though they would do that to us and are probably planning something evil against us right now. If we sink to their level, we will become like them, and lose that essential humanity that makes us morally superior to them just because we're the good guys and everything we do is good and moral. Even though we are fighting for our very survival against an enemy who thinks of us as cattle, and even though a couple of weeks ago and a couple of weeks before that I was willing to sanction morally dubious actions because of our need to survive, I am shocked and offended that you would even think of betraying our alliance with the enemy who is suspiciously making everything too easy for us.

There you go; question answered.
Ooooh, nice channelling. I can picture John's eyebrows crinkling in his 'WTF?' expression, and Elizabeth thinning her lips, narrowing her eyes and crossing her arms in that stoic leader-type fashion she has.
I love you, and yes, and YES.
But really, if evil-alien-guys weren't totally stupid, and military-been-doing-this-for-ages-and-we're-still-here + brightest-minds-on-the-galaxy weren't equally or even more stupid, there would be no show.
I like the fuck ups, I just hope when they fix it it actually costs them, and they make it believable, not last second deus ex machina, we survived, whoo!.
I don't know if this is how TPTB are thinking but I know *I* have a problem accepting that the Wraith cannot be negotiated with. I mean I'm not denying it, I just can't wrap my head around the idea of a race that is so complex and sentient being unable to operate outside of purely instinctual behaviour.

I *can* totally buy that they have no interest in negotiating with humanity (who they see as essentially cattle), but I was torn with Michael -- I mean I knew they were going to get fucked over, but I did feel there was a possibility that Michael was negotiating in good faith (even if the Queen was not).

Anyway, what does it matter what I think. *g* I love love love love loved the ep. And my unspoiled 2c on the resolution is that Ronon will use his many sharp hair-accessories to cut himself and Rodney free and they will hack the ship, meanwhile John who has stowed away will also do something clever and deadly, but both parties will end up thinking they've blowed up the other.

But I like the handholding ending with the *meep*.
I'm so glad you posted this. I watched the ep this morning and was so creeped out by the morality involved, but everyone was all squee squee and I thought I was just being Overly Critical. And yeah, with the cognative dissonance because there really was lots to squee about.
the second the Wraith gave them the beaming technology and it appeared to be working, why did they not beam a nuke aboard their hive ship and eliminate the threat of revelation?

Totally going from memory and having only watched it once, but didn't they have a discussion about the fact that in the time it would take them to actually beam something onto the hive ship, the Wraith would be able to notify the rest of the hive ships about Atlantis's continued existence? Or did I miss something there?
That conversation did happen early on, but it was at the point where they had just gotten the jamming code and weren't sure whether the beaming would work or not -- the idea was that if they had to try a bunch of times to actually get the bomb sent over, by the time they got it the Wraith would have transmitted.
I think "I want to eat you" is not a bargaining position you can find common ground with, and it justifies for me doing pretty much anything necessary to defeat them.

On one level, I have to disagree with that.

If a cow walked up to me and said, "dude, you guys have to stop eating us." I'd be inclined to listen. And to think that maybe I shouldn't be eating something that can talk to me.

Of course, cows aren't the only thing on my menu, I do have other choices.

Otoh, I'm not sure what to think about the whole "let's turn some of the Wraith into humans and let the other Wraith snack on them" thing.

When does a Wraith stop being a Wraith? Is it purely biology -- ie, take away their need to feed on humans and they're no longer the bad guys? Or is there a mental component that isn't reached by the change in DNA -- this creature has been raised to treat humans as free range food and if it hasn't been brain-washed will still think of them that way?

Basically, they really screwed up with Michael. They should have done that experiment somewhere other than Atlantis, far away from (almost) everyone who has any personal experience with the Wraith. (John has a weird flexibility about his dealings with the 'bad guys', a few other military types might also.) They lost the chance to find out whether being a Wraith is something that can actually be reversed.
Is it purely biology -- ie, take away their need to feed on humans and they're no longer the bad guys? Or is there a mental component that isn't reached by the change in DNA -- this creature has been raised to treat humans as free range food and if it hasn't been brain-washed will still think of them that way?

Don't we already have the answer to that, though, with Elia, from "Instinct?" She kind of leaves the rank biological determinism they've been operating under - and which is a big part of the reason the Michael experiment failed, I think - in the dust. If you teach them that they're not supposed to eat humans, it looks like they're capable of internalizing that, and what you really need to do is take away their need to eat people.

Of course, I've been wondering for a while now why - if we're going to be mucking about with retrovirii and the like - the resident Mad Scientist has not come up with something that would simply be a matter of keeping the human-like digestive system they use as children turned on so they can eat like everybody else, rather than going through the trouble of completely re-writing their DNA and turning them into humans. Besides seeming a bit less morally skeevy, it also seems like it'd be easier.
I'm not sure what Elia proves. She did seem genuinely distressed that she's feeding off humans, and she was certainly anxious to try Beckett's voodoo.

But, why wasn't she feeding off the local non-sentient livestock, if she was that upset about it? Maybe she tried and it didn't work, but to my recollection they didn't say.

Good point on fiddling with their digestive system.

Maybe Beckett was so far along with his retrovirus by the time he learned about the Wraith's pre-adolescent digestion that he figured he should stick with what he had. Or, because he's spent so long comparing human DNA to others that he's hard-coded to think of human as the baseline.

Or maybe it's just a plain old fear of (and prejudice against) insects.
Didn't they mention with Steve or Bob - I can't remember which - back in S1 that Sheppard had tried to get him to feed on animals? Although I can't remember if they made it clear whether SteveBob couldn't feed on livestock or if he was simply stubborn enough to let himself starve to death rather than do the equivalent of eating rats. Hmm. I need to go dig around in transcripts.
I would pay good money to hear Joe Flanigan say, "Curse your sudden yet inevitable betrayal." (Re: icon. Am amused, but lack other SGA-type icons.)
Heee! I would too!
In conclusion:




The End.

HEE! That sums it up perfectly. Also, I think Rodney would be chanting "There's no place like home. There's no place like home" while he's got his death grip on John's hand.
Please write that fic. Please.
Agreed all around... but this is just one more episode that had me yelling at my monitor.... I mean, I sorta feel like a traitor to the show but short of whacking myself in the head hard enough to induce a semi-lobotomic daze, I find myself yelling at TPTB at how totally lame some/most of their story lines are and then I snap out of it and realize, Oh yeah, these are just the visuals (of beeYOOteeful John & Rodney) and it's all okay because I know that I can go read exemplary fiction written by whup ass LJ writers the way it OUGHT to have been done in the first place!!!!


[whiney voice] Now....how long is it til the new season???