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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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sgareview - common ground, s3e7
dangerous sheppard
seperis
Um, yeah. This is squee. This is the pure, uncut stuff.



1.) Harpoon? Made of awesome. Disturbingly practical, too, and fairly low-tech, comparatively speaking. I loved that so much.

2.) I have no idea how to even do this. My numbers? May not be sufficient.

The John Hour was amazing, beginning to end. Did not fail in pace, did not fail in characterization, did not fail, more importantly, in showing how far Atlantis has come from idealism to practicality. John's compliment on the harpoon? Very John. Kolya's extraorindary soldier thing? Damn *straight*. When Kolya offered the trade, I knew they wouldn't take it, but I didn't completely expect the way Elizabeth thought about it. Of course the team would, left to their own devices, shoved Landon right through the wormhole with a bow and pre-cuffed. But Elizabeth, even in these grey times? Huh. Did not expect the writers to go there.

I loved the fact that Carson made it clear that he thought the trade was likely. Not saying don't do it. But saying, do it soon.

I loved Ronon very close to flat out blind rage. That was so hot.

I love John's absolute faith he's getting out of there. The contrast to last year's Epiphany is a marked change in how John sees himself and his team. I love that. I love him believing every second that they're coming for him. They're just delayed. Just--so much love. Just wanted to crawl in that cell and promise him anything he wanted for that. He believes. Fed on three times and believes.

The first time, I honestly could not breathe. I bet John couldnt' either. Kolya won no points with looking regretful. I'm sorry, but he still ordered it. Interesting note--this is the first time since Gaul we've seen a survival after this much feeding. John got, what, a total of four hits and was still *alive*? I wonder if it's the Ancient in him or the Iratus? Inquiring minds wnat to know.

Of course he's going to say don't trade. Of *course* he is. John says stupid shit. And it was the right stupid shit, dammit, which is why I locked my teeth over yeling at Weir "SELL THE BASTARD. I DON'T LIKE HIM. LET LANDON DIE." In capslock, even. I loved John and teh Wraith chatting, both before and after John found out his prisonmate was a Wraith. Mostly because his attitude didn't change that much. John's default setting really *is* finding help wherever its available and using it to the best of his abiliites. And it says a lot about him that he was fed on three times and lounging in his cell at the ripe age of freaking *eighty* and still managed to talk the Wraith into doing what he wanted. It takes some serious cajones to negotiate with a Wraith when you're hitting your geriatric and believe you can pull it off.

So after every feeding, back to the cell, where Wraith *watched* him, that was--interesing. Mostly because I really doubt the Wraith, outside their worshippers, interact all that much with their food source. A Wraith kept semi-starved for years, brought down to the level of human, talking to a human. This is our first decent exposure to a Wraith since Michael, and Michael whine and pouted too much for me to really give a shit. This one though--the description of Wraith hunger, his conversation with Sheppard--trusting him. That was--I dont' even have words.

Okay, back to a few numbers.

3.) Rodney getting very--excitable--when he saw John tied to the chair? Fantastic. Talking *over* Elizabeth? Also fantastic. Just barreling through, screw the small talk. Rodney in the conference room--we can't send Landon through! Then thinks, and says, hopefully--can we? Later, Rodney doing his soldier speech--I've said it before, I'll say it again. He's a soldier. They send Marines, uberwarriors Ronon and Teyla, and *Rodney* (and Carson, yes, but he had a handgun, not a P-90). We've established the team does everything together now. And I love that. I just love that.

4.) I like Landon without the mustache.

5.) Okay, going back to John.

John's absolute faith in his team continued as the Wraith leaned into the window, looking at his *strongest foodsource ever* slowly dying but still utterly determined to get out. He does have a lot to go back for. I love John's ability to pretty much get anyone to do anything. The way they came out of hte cells parallel--a glance--"Ready?" "Ready." "Let's do this.". John--who is like eighty at this point and enjoying early geriatric years, and limping, and only two hours from being lifesucked--beats the ever living shit out of two bouncy Genii soliders. My God. Took them *down* like the dogs they were, got their weapons, threw a knife oh dear God I'm not getting over that in the near future. Just--turned his head, pulled hte knife, threw it. Right into the heart of the third Genii. Which gives John a better kill ratio than the Wraith. It makes me happy. I mean by happy, orgasmic. Then he reluctantly gets a gun, turns with a second one, and hands over the keys so the Wraith can be free.

Their trek out was fun--John and the Wraith worked well together, almost disturbingly well. That they have a shitty sense of direction was funny. That they *bickered* was just--too much. Bonding with Wraith. That's an all new place to be, John.

Okay, skipping to.

6.) The Kiss of Life

I got it in Smallville, I get it here. After the Wraith sucked John's life away, he sucks down two Genii soldiers (I am clapping at this point) and gives it right back, which was just--disturbingly hot. I'm pretty sure I lost a year off my life doing a short compare/contrast, Chaya versus Wraith, in the ways John manages to have not-sex with alien beings that could, if you squint or if you, you know, not even squint, just pay attention, seem to get a kick out of getting pretty intimate with the untouchable one. It's for worshippers, and for brothers, says the Wraith, and considering the hives we've seen are all male and one female queen--um. Yes. You call it that, Wraith. I'll be over here, thinking John is freaking alien-bait.

After the sharing of essence--seriously, it's Chaya all over again, just less Ancient--John lets his Wraith go. On a planet with darts overhead, waiting for him to wake up, waiting to look into his face, waiting to see what he does, what he is, why he did this. Leaving only after the Wraith has found his feet again. All bets are off, they say, but I'm not sure that's as true as either one of them want to believe.

Even More Random

nymphaea1 says here that it was the Everyone Loves John episode, and God knows, it is. Kolya, with his ruthlessnesss and his reluctant respect for the soldier that John is, beneath the dorkiness and superficial charm, what John is to the bottom of his feet, what maybe even John forgets. Kolya never forgets the attack on Atlantis, never forgets that John took five of his men's lives personally and a few dozen more shutting down the gate, never forgets the shot John took over Weir's shoulder. And I don't think he forgot John in that hole in the ground with the gun to his face, and the way John pulled back. Not for Kolya. But because he's a soldier, and Kolya was no longer a threat.

I think he forgot that John knows how to sacrifice, though. *thoughtful* And so does Atlantis. They're learning.

But yes, everyone loves John. Evne freaking Wraith, half-mad from loneliness and isolation and starvation, who sucks the life from his body but still can't quite get around this guy, his only food source, who's dying in his cell and still wants to make a deal. A guy he follows through Genii halls, listens to his silent orders, collapses with outside beneath the stars, finally free but not really free of Sheppard. John Sheppard, he calls him, and that means something on a show where names never seem as casual as they should be. We talk about Rodney calling Sheppard John, about Ronon and Teyla both going by their first name--but the Wraith don't use the names for their cattle. Except for John. And when the Genii come, he leans over, taking all but a drop of John's life--for the power it gives him to kill those Genii, but--okay. Yes. But. Also? John couldn't take them now. The part of me that's watching this Wraith with John, the way they talk, they chat--he reaches out and protects John the way John protected him. Took him out of the fight, took the Genii and their lives with a smile, and goes back to Sheppard, who stares up at him with no surprise, not really, and gives it all back. With a touch that's not death, slow and strange and amazing, special, saved for the most devout of worshippers--and doesn't that make all kinds of scary sense--and Brothers.

Brother and *named* John, who keeps his promises.

Now I wnat to know more about Wraith culture. I want to know more about the Wraith's earlier comment about how much alike they are. And I want John to wake up and still feel that, the shocked pain of first contact and last contact, when his life was drained away to the final seconds--and that perfect moment when the Wraith gave it all back, and how he did it, and why.

There's a very good chance they'll be more later. There's so much here I dont' feel I've even scraped the *surface*.

Also, loved cjandre's question in chat:

cjandre: hey - did you notice again, the berating of himself in thrid person when he thinks he's made a mistake?
cjandre: "great john, you screwed up again.... " yada yada
cjandre: but really - what does that say about his up bringing?
cjandre: who's voice is he hearing in his head when he does that?

Three guesses. If you don't get it on the first? What show are you watching?


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Seriously, I only wish you wrote more reviews because you always catch stuff that I overlook the first time, or see differently after I've read your indepth notes. I think there must be more people reading than you think. ;)

Thanks! I only really write reviews for eps I see in real time is the problem. Grad students, as a people, are a) lame and b) impoverished, so we really only go out once a week, that night usually being Friday. My cheap Walmart VCR has at this point moved across the country multiple times and refuses to record properly more often than it works, so I end up watching at least 1/3 of the eps on rerun. Fortunately, Sci-Fi loves nothign so much as a marathon, so I usually see them in short order.

A human or more humanoid adversary would give us a chance of seeing more of this John in the future. Alas, I don't think the Replicators present much of a chance of that, anymore than do the Wraith. You need that emotional and personal connection between adversaries that you can only get with characters like Kolya. It doesn't work the same with more remotely alien characters like the Wraith or automatons like the Replicators.

I think it could work with the Wraith if we'd get more like the guy in this episode. One of the things I like about charismatic, competent adversaries is that our guys have to raise their game level to compete. Making the Wraith such buffoons turned the war against them into kind of a silly exercise. I'm none too excited about the replicators as enemies, but they've surprised me before with episodes I thought were going to be lame, so we'll see.

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