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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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sgareview - progeny, s3e5
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
VVC was so freaking amazing I still have no idea how to articulate. But wow. Met some of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege to come across. Christ. There was also that thing with the guy and Ozzie and four of us standing outside realizing we were living a very strange sitcom for a second, but I need like, alcohol before I can ever recount that without falling into hysterical laughter.

Okay, limited ep thoughts. Very limited, because I am so burned out from flying and stnading around and sitting that I am useless. I've been talking with justabi about it, so this is some blended conclusions as well.



After last week and John showing a huge jump in emotional growth by admitting that he does, indeed, possess feelings, I thought I could not love him more. Then he blows himself up. In. His. Head.

Okay, in general.

1.) I'm fine with them blowing up the ship. I know I probably should be qualmed, but my nation is John Sheppard and his nation is Atlantis. I can and could give practical reasons why their actions, to me, were perfectly fine, but honestly, who really cares? Either people are okay with it or not. Blah blah ethical cakes. So not in that place.

2.) They don't feel Ancienty. To keep in mind, John's got the record for bagging Ancients. If anyone would know, he wouldd. This also lets my baseless theory that John gets it up for Ancients only--or at least, senses them on a different level--be really close to canonical. Not *Ancienty*. It reminds me, actually, of astolat's A Beautiful Lifetime Event, where Hyp could only be held by John at the beginning, due to matching brain wave patterns. To me, this made perfect sense when I read it and pretty much gets at least a possibility of confirmation here. John might not even be aware of why they felt off, but he was aware, and that's intersting.

3.) I guess I was supposed to sympathize with the replicator-thing-people's aggressive-omgpain? But during the explanation, I just got annoyed with them. OMG my deep aggressive evil nature, please help me not have it, I want you to reprogram me. Hey, welcome to being alive, buddy. Do what the rest of us do. Write emo porn and hit punching bags or play football or write long ass aggressive fic. Shortcuts never end well. If they've lived that long and still not managed something as simple as *learning to control themselves*, I'm sorry, no. If the rest of the universe has to live with unpleasant bitchiness in themselves, I don't see why they get a free pass. If they want to be counted as *self-aware*, as beings with free will, then their asses need to actually *do it*. This is why Teer's people annoyed me so much. The battles you fight in yourself are what *make* you. Opting out is cheating.

4.) Ronon. I have--hmm. Okay, never mind, Ronon is just there for me most of the time, though I always enjoyed watching him trailing after John as they revel in their vaguely not-very-straight mutual mancrush. But Allies, and since, Ronon's been acting as Rodney's bodyguard as well as Sheppard's, and it occurred to me that I could finally *place him*. He's their weapon. Teyla's their diplomat and Pegasus expert, Rodney's the scientist, John's the leader, and Ronon's their weapon, their defense. And I will always and forever wonder exactly what kind of orders John gave Ronon after he announced that Ronon was to go to the ship with Rodney in Allies. Because I'll be honest--I bet it came with a bit about yes, you are big and strong adn fast and could probably kill me, but Ronon my friend? I am a fucking *fantastic* shot and can control the city with my mind. Also, without Rodney, we will all die horribly. And then they had sex. Really nice sex, too.

Yes yes yes, I totally ship John/Ronon on the side. Leave me alone. I ship John/air.

Okay, now the part that made me all--huh.

John's got this mind that continually fascinates me. In Home, his fantasy was *interesting* in what he chose. He chose friends, a great home, *a party*, creating perfection so to speak. In Progeny, he does the exact freaking opposite. He chose a worse case scenario that killed him, and I keep going back over the scenes and thinking, huh.

In some ways, this satisfied my team-love need even more than Sateda. In John's head, they are totally a perfect well-oiled machine of closeness. Ronon protects Rodney from the food--heh, that will never, ever stop being funny as hell--and then after taking them off guard, attacks the bad replicatorish things. With a serious kind of porny violent beauty there. Rodney, who's been a soldier for a while, though I think he isn't aware of the memo, protects Elizabeth. John does love his friends. And it just--he really does think that they are amazing.

Seriously, I want to live in John's fantasy life sometimes. Good stuff.

Next thing, John and Teyla have weapons. They escape! Like it was scripted! Yes, laugh now, but you know what I mean. Then hiveships come! And the self-destruct doesn't work! Woe! But John will totally stay behind to save the day, because if there is one defining characteristic of John Sheppard, is that he will never value himself as much as he values his people. And the person to object to this is Rodney. RODNEY. Which goes to show that John's totally and completely over any lingering weirdness from Trinity (which frankly, I'm pretty sure he was over a hell of a long time ago, but this made me happy) and Rodney wants to stay behind. John thinks of all the people on Atlantis, Rodney would try and take his place on the suicide run. The only one that would make the offer. And of course, Rodney would know that John's a beautiful suicidal freak, but he'd offer and he'd mean it. And that is so totally true of Rodney that it hurts. And then Rodney utters the coin-flipping thing, and honestly, okay, that was like my *moment*.

Whether the writers intended this or not, it's a moot point. At some point, John told Rodney about how he decided to come to Atlantis. This is *John's head*. So he'd call this up as part of it, and they had this conversation. I love John more than coffee--yes, *coffee*--but my fictional boyfriend does not chat. This is not something he'd drop out on a dime. And I have no idea why that second hit me so hard, but it felt--intimate. I mean, above and beyond the slash that I cannot get away from, this was a, what, three seconds of an exchange that just made me shiver. John thinks that Rodney knows him. And I love this.

Yeah, I'm done with the drooling. I'm happy. I liked the ep for what it was, which was actiony and fun, and also for the things that were implied. For the undercurrents, it's a very good follow-up to John's confession in Sateda.



Happy.

ETA: I'll be updating the DVD Commentary Challenge tomorrow. Sorry about the delay on that. I should have thought to warn I would be gone, but--well. VIVIDCON. I've been in a constant state of fannish supersaturation, glowing in weird ways and trying not to make an idiot of myself talking to mindblowing people. I've caught up on the posts, so I'll update the community as soon as I can function enough to remember how to code properly. Thanks for your patience. I am in awe of the responses received so far, and I really want to thank everyone participating, because this was way beyond what my best-case scenario, which was possibly me doing like, twenty or so of them so there would be one for as many people as I could manage in a month. So very awesome.


John and Rodney. Slash or nonslashy, either way you look at it, they're BFF. I... love that deep in my fangirl heart.

Yes! I'm a slasher, but I also adore gen Rodney and John friendship, so on that level as well it just *worked*. It was wonderful, and so brief, and says so much about their relationship, almost an afterthought. *Casual* that they are that close.

I really enjoyed this episode (which I just got done watching about 10 minutes ago because I was off island and had it saved on my DVR) and agree with just about everything you said. I always enjoy and usually agree with your commentaries (squee and anti-squee Ronon were great, heh).

I really loved what went on in John's head and it's a very interesting contrast from the first mind psych-out he went through. I was wondering how much the Replicators influenced the pattern of each team member's scenario and how much of it was controlled by the team member's own minds. But yeah, the John and Rodney when John's getting ready to do the self-destruct? Perfect.

One comment I did want to make was that while I had no problem with them blowing up the city-ship of the Replicators, I do have a problem with them leaving whats-him-name (good Replicator) out in space alone. He helped them at great risk to himself and it seems like they owe him for it. It seems plausible that McKay could have figured out a way to block the influencing signal of the other Replicators and then strip out the aggression (or at least the 'strangle Elizabeth Weir' impulse). Or heck I don't know, pull him along in a tractor beam and dump him on an isolated planet somewhere. Just not leave him floating in space forever (or at least until the next Replicator episode).

Hmm. Okay, I'll go with that. And I agree.

But it seems part of Atlantis' theme has been more than just sacrifice. It's survival above all things. It's interesting that in *that*, they're fairly consistent. They're moving away from a straight line of ethics, but they're learning to make very iffy decisions very fast--and I'm wondering if the writers are deliberate with that. That wasting a second leads to disaster, so save the moral worries for *after* and just get what needs to be done done *now*.

But yes, that was fairly cold. They've become very cold in that, and I'm still thinking about that in them. It's intersting. Hmm.

To keep in mind, John's got the record for bagging Ancients. If anyone would know, he wouldd.
*giggles* Oh, very true.

John's dream indeed was full of small things -- first Rodney would sit down and snap that it's nothing he can do, then be the first one to follow behind him, he'd provide for an element of surprise (!! *G*), John would visit Rodney in his lab and then the coin... *loves*

his beautiful wet dream

I would like to state for the record that the moment I felt John's vision was off was the moment he took down the Replicator guard with identical skills as Teyla and Ronon.

I thought: John didn't get hit dorktastically? He always gets hit! He's gone ninja now?

Also, this'll end up in my review, but I've seen *no one* has comment on this and it is simply the best John Sheppard I've seen from the Flan. After Ronon pulled the ZPM Repli-tech down, John spends the beginning of Elizabeth's impassioned plea poking at the downed Replicator. Fifteen seconds of comedy gold. Thank you, Mr. Flanigan.

Re: his beautiful wet dream

I would like to state for the record that the moment I felt John's vision was off was the moment he took down the Replicator guard with identical skills as Teyla and Ronon OMG, yes!
Yes to everything. He bends down and thoroughly checks him out.
The important details just keep being brought out to attention.

Rodney + John = Wuv, twoo wuv.

And I also loved that in John's mind Ronon took care of Rodney too, right before the "Warrior Eye Fuck Commune."

And then Rodney utters the coin-flipping thing, and honestly, okay, that was like my *moment*.

God, it was beautiful...*dreamy eyes*

I've been in a constant state of fannish supersaturation, glowing in weird ways and trying not to make an idiot of myself talking to mindblowing people.

There were so many moments where I just sat back, shut up, and tried not to disturb the sooper smart people.

It was soooo awesome meeting you!!

*waves*

I'm so not used to being around people, I'm still kinda dazed. Therefore, I turned on IM but forgot to actually connect to you. But I did *think* about doing it, if that counts?

I enjoyed meeting you, though I wish we'd somehow been able to fit a month or two into the weekend so there was actually enough time to actually talk for a bit. And I hope you enjoyed your sightseeing touristy type stuff!

Yeah, I agree with you on the Ancienty theory. Although what hit me in this episode is that John didn't run. After he set the self-destruct, he had 4 mins to run to the stargate. Instead he closed his eyes and ready himself to die with his city.

Wasn't that final countdown 4 seconds? It seemed to go by that fast on the counter from the time John pushed the last button to the big white dream sequence-ending flash that they totally ripped off from Six Feet Under...

You had the very best boots ever at Club Vivid. Also, after 'talking' to you for so many years online and now having met you, may I just say -- you were just about the complete opposite of what I expected. Which was kind of cool. *g*

*grins* I love those boots. It made conversation so *easy*. Automatic topic! They now have a place of honor in my closet, to be fondled.

And okay, totally curious. How was I differnet?

I disagree with #3. Why?

a) Their programming isn't identical to human/ancient nature, at least in the SGAverse. They're apparently limited in how much ability they have to change themselves.

b) For all their limitations, they seemed to be handling their violent natures quite well. Until wannabe!bot was blindsided by his emotional 180, he was pretty pacifist. And you'll note that they didn't appear to be roaming the halls looking to kill each other. Even Major Winchester was fairly restrained.

b) For all their limitations, they seemed to be handling their violent natures quite well. Until wannabe!bot was blindsided by his emotional 180, he was pretty pacifist. And you'll note that they didn't appear to be roaming the halls looking to kill each other. Even Major Winchester was fairly restrained.

THAT is who that was. Dammit. I knew I recognized him.

And--yeah. That's my point. Why the heck do they need a programming code upgrade for a cheat then? It's the same basic problem I had with Teer's people trying to shortcut the path or what have you.

omg YES. and, see, the whole thing about the suicide run is that John totally has five seconds or whatever to try to get to the gate, and he doesn't even make the attempt. Just closes his eyes semi-blissfully and goes down with his city. The suicidal is just so...blatant. I love that fucked-up guy!

you'll notice that, in john's vision, rodney is also extremely competent, diving into the jumper control systems and fixing it so they can leave as soon as they're in the jumper. he totally loves his team and thinks they're awesome! it really is great continuity from last week, in that sense.

I loved in John's reality...that one second of that scene was the thing that I latched onto...that Rodney wanted to flip a coin to see who stayed..in his reality, Rodney is a lot braver than people give him credit for.

And how should we have known these really weren't Ancients..none of them tried to hit on John. *smile*

I loved the episode and I do love they are really showing more of the "team" getting into that dynamic even more so than before.

It reminds me, actually, of astolat's A Beautiful Lifetime Event, where Hyp could only be held by John at the beginning, due to matching brain wave patterns. To me, this made perfect sense when I read it and pretty much gets at least a possibility of confirmation here. John might not even be aware of why they felt off, but he was aware, and that's intersting.

Dude, yes. That's one of those things that was already a really neat idea, and that only makes more and more sense as they go along. John senses the Ancients! It's his superpower! ...or course, then we have to wonder whether it's an Ancient Gene thing or just a 'John is awesome' thing. And if it's tied to the gene, what's up with Rodney? And, you know, all the other people with the gene.

But, yes. In my heart of hearts, I believe that John's Ancient-dar was a big part of why he was drawn to Chaya. I mean, when you consider that his general reaction to women throwing themselves at him is much more "bwuh?" than "hey, sexy," it makes sense. ...right? a little?

As far as the different fantasies go - it seems like the mist-creatures in Home were a lot more interested in making them all happy (at least at first, news of a dead zpm doesn't make anyone happy), so that they wouldn't question things. The Asurans, though, aren't at all interested in happy scenarios (from what we can see, at least, and I think we can guess about the rest of them). My bet? The Asurans let them each see the scenario they felt was most plausible. They let John imagine a daring escape, their triumphant return to Atlantis, and then everything ever going completely to shit, and John staying behind to save the day - because that is something that John Sheppard can believe would happen. I mean, the reason he figured it out in Home was by asking for things that he knew weren't possible. In this one, though, everything he gets is completely possible and totally believable.

(which goes right back to how John totally believes that Rodney would try to rescue him, and the coin flip thing - which, oh god yes, I totally hadn't connected with Rising, but you're right, and it's even more "oh, John" when you look at it in that light - but, yeah. That's a given.)

...I'm afraid I've spammed you a bit. Sorry? *scurries off*

I love it that so many people picked up on the significance of the J/R exchange in the hallucination. Because, yeah, to John, Rodney is the only one that would step up to the plate and offer to die for him. And I loved that with a love so big and mighty it dwarfed Ronon.

I was just so happy with how much I loved this episode because I was afraid of disappointment after the greatness of Sateda