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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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sgareview - vengeance, s3e19
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
It's not that I didn't like it, really, but I'm honestly not in my good mood place.



As horror, it totally worked--I kept flinching uncomfortably and checking the walls for chittering bugs. I really, really dislike bugs.

But I'm in a grumpy mood, so instead of what I liked--John looking disturbingly luminous (Like someone beat him with a pretty stick, seriously, is he *glowing*?), Rodney carrying a P-90 in a very sexy way, the horror movie references, and those tiny narrow corridors that seriously, awesome. Awesome.

Hated this week: Michael and Ronon.

Okay, this is just me, possibly, on my exhaustion with Michael's--whatever. His suffering angst in the loss of family and life and he can no longer go out into Pegasus and commit mass and serial murder with his hive on a daily basis, weep for his pain. I'm serious--am I supposed to care that much? I do not get Atlantean feelings of responsibility for his situation--I honestly cannot get Teyla making odd 'brilliant scientist' noises and comparing to Rodney, because again--mass murderer. I mean, I have my issues with Rodney, but last I checked, he, you know, didn't wander around the galaxy killing babies and old people and enjoying their pain for a midnight snack. Call me crazy. I just. Don't. Care. I don't care if they tie Michael up in a room somewhere and torture him for about a hundred years. And every freaking self-pity speech, for some reason, never seems to remidn anyone that if he was not there, he'd be somewhere else, still killing people, not making Iratus bug hybrids, maybe, but still killing people.

And Ronon is officially getting on my nerves in a huge way, not unlike the unofficial as far back as Common Ground with his renditions of Man On the Edge. There's only so many times he can have a dramatic temper tantrum before I want to send him to his room. It's almost a timer--you can count the seconds between Ronon Gets a Look and then his Rage of Doom, and I probably would have taken his bitching more seriously if he didn't bitch in exactly the same way about every situation. His 'just kill them all!' would have meant something here if he didn't say it about, oh, Genii, and former bad evil commanders and everyone who makes up the point of the plot and possibly the cook when she doesn't make the spagetti right. If his only function in existence is to be the Voice of Blind Rage, then seriously. I'm very, very bored with him. It also makes me wonder more and more waht on earth he did on Sateda in his unit if his first and automatic reaction to half of everythign is kill it. *shrugs* You know, I think I have less issues with Ronon in this episode as I have issues with his primary purpose is to growl and they haven't yet managed to give him anything else to do. Sateda was amazing adn character illuminating, except--his primary functoin was to walk around, kill things, and growl. Huh.

Hmm. I think part of my annoyance with both is a strong thread of 'it's other people's fault' wandering through every plot point. Michael's descent into Dr. Doom is All the Atlantean's Fault--it's not because he's a Wraith that eats people and will never stop! If they'd left him alone, he'd be building hospitals for orphans right now, and made something of his life, and he and his hive would possibly have brought universal peace and cured cancer!

Hmm. Okay, my entire problem is an untenably bad storyline--not necessarily the retrovirus, though that still kind of--confuses me. It's more that--hmm. There's this feeling that the writers are trying--in a really clumsy way--to go both ways. The Wraith are Unimaginably Evil! And Eat People! And Destroy Worlds! They are Shiva! And Must Be Stopped! And then there's a line of, they must now be humanized! So we, the viewers, can understand their side of the story. The story of eating people. Their representative is the whiniest Wraith in the history of civilization, Michael. Who, like Ladon of the Genii, is also a closet genius and high level geneticist--because you know, everyone in the Pegasus galaxy is finely trained in the hard sciences and can learn how to do genetics in their spare time. But that's a rant for another day, but I'm just saying--there is a seriously high proportion of geneticists wandering around Pegasus. Of course, granted, Michael also could also easily have gotten access to Carson's research--I mean, this is Pegasus, everything gets out eventually.

So on one side, we have Teyla, the Voice of Poor Wraith Pain, and the other Ronon, the Voice of Kill Everything That Makes Me Grumpy.

...I should go back to my happy alien flashbacks place, shouldn't I?


I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's been progressively annoyed with Ronon this season. The "kill them all" thing got old quite a few episodes ago, especially post the whole catharsis of Sateda. Can we all just send Ronon to anger management classes and have done with it?


It worked last year really well. When he had been running like, a few months before. Now it's just--like, his one shining characteristic or something. And it's *annoying*. Gah.

Mm. Teyla, the Voice of Poor Wraith Pain? Only because of Michael and the retrovirus, IMO. I don't think she'd have much objection to attacks on the Wraith leading to heavy casualties or even genocide, as a local of the Pegasus galaxy.

And I get that Michael is the Face of Human-Wraith--but he's not only a wraith, he's now completely *insane*. She was mintues before looking at a huge pile of bodies of innocent people he killed for their DNA, so I just do not get her defense of Michael at that point.

"Teyla, the Voice of Poor Wraith Pain." I love that comment. When I heard her giving the speech about the Michael, all I can think is: if Teyla ran across Michael when he was just a brilliant wraith scientist, she would have killed him without a second thought.

God, I know. And he just left a pile of bodies in the next room. Teyla looks nuts.

If they'd left him alone, he'd be building hospitals for orphans right now, and made something of his life,
Michael also could also easily have gotten access to Carson's research--I mean, this is Pegasus, everything gets out eventually.

Admittedly, I watched the episode in terrible conditions and missed half the dialogue, but I thought that was the problem, the thing the writers were going for, in their own inept way: Michael may have gone on eating people like any other Wraith if the Atlanteans had left him alone anyway, yes; but he wouldn't have thought of (or known how to -- not too clear on that point; see: couldn't hear all the lines) crossbreeding monsters if the Atlanteans hadn't led by example, first.

Though I realize this is very close to the scenario I went for, so I probably heard what I was predisposed to hear. I like it best when there is dynamic interaction and mutual influence between opposing forces; that's a more realistic portrayal of a complex social system. We've seen how the Wraith changed the expedition, now let's see how the expedition changed the Wraith.

It's just...the writers, they're not so good at this; or they don't want to try so hard, because they don't have to.

the thing the writers were going for, in their own inept way: Michael may have gone on eating people like any other Wraith if the Atlanteans had left him alone anyway, yes; but he wouldn't have thought of (or known how to -- not too clear on that point; see: couldn't hear all the lines) crossbreeding monsters if the Atlanteans hadn't led by example, first.

Well--technically, Michael's people were playing with genetics in regards to the Athosians quite a while back, with Teyla having a hybrid Wraith DNA in her, so it's not a *new* thing that they're experimenting with human and wraith combinations. Just Michael's completely and utterly *nuts*. He probably wouldn't have become a mad scientist in this sense, but we can either assume he either had teh training already to do genetics, in which case teh Teyla example above shows they're already in the mindset of playing with the genome and God knows what he'd be doing if he was on a Wraith ship, or he never did and just scrounged around with what he had at hand and again, went *nuts*.

We've seen how the Wraith changed the expedition, now let's see how the expedition changed the Wraith.

Okay, that I would like to see. If the writers were willing for it to make sense.

Michael's descent into Dr. Doom is All the Atlantean's Fault--it's not because he's a Wraith that eats people and will never stop! If they'd left him alone, he'd be building hospitals for orphans right now, and made something of his life, and he and his hive would possibly have brought universal peace and cured cancer!

Bahahahahaha! *Yes*. You know, I'm usually very easy—putty in the writers' hands, for the most part—but I've had a hell of a time trying to feel sorry for Michael, for the reasons you've discussed here. It's just...not happening.

I just want Michael to die. Die die die. Go away. At least the Genii and Kolya were *interesting*. Michael just whines. And whines. And then whines more.

Ronon's attitude can be annoying, but here I felt it actually fit the situation - also, I get distracted by the fact he's managing to do more than communicate with looks and grunts whenever he speaks.

It's like common sense gets thrown out of the window with Michael, any other wraith would be killed without question, but Michael gets umming and ahhing and runs away before they do anything about him. That's been present right from his introduction; he was the first trial of the experiment, they should have kept him locked up properly, but instead they let him interact with the population and it all went kablooey.

It wasn't so much his stance that annoyed me--I mostly agree with him--it's that it's his only stance on *everything*. So instead of him being a voice against the retrovirus and against the ethically weird situation they were in, he was Ronon wanting to kill things again. He's not coming from a place of balancing ethics, etc--he just comes across as kill it, period. It's just--a single pov on everything, so it doesn't give any particular meaning that he says it in this situation.

God I hate Michael. I hate him *so much*.

When I saw that Michael was showing up again, I just turned the sound off and watched the pretty :o)

I enjoy Ronon's growling, because it so often leads to John telling him to behave. And for some reason, I find that endlessly amusing.

everyone in the Pegasus galaxy is finely trained in the hard sciences and can learn how to do genetics in their spare time.

I don't know about the Genii but, I wonder if some of Rodney's dna was in that Wraith-to-Human cocktail Carson created?

Yeah, I know it doesn't work that way. I still like the idea.

Michael is pretty. Was I supposed to notice anything else?

Ok, seriously: I do feel a little bad for Michael. Not because they experimented on him, but because they screwed it up and he has to live with the consequences.

I try not to hold the mass murder thing against him personally, because the Wraith don't have an alternative if they want to live. At least, as far as we know.

I look at it like, how would I feel if I woke up one day and realized that I've spent the last few months living as a cow, because a bunch of cows caught me and shot me full of "turn into a cow" serum? I'd be weirded out, and more than a little pissed. And I'd be even more pissed if, after turning back into a human, I still had hooves and cow fur. Hair. Whatever that stuff is.

So I don't mind the writers trying to make him sympathetic. Though I can't logically comprehend even Teyla being sympathetic to a Wraith, unless the Wraith is totally reformed.

Well. *thoughtful* The thing is, the Wraith *could* find an alternative. So far, we have Michael, supergeneticist, and then teh guy that worked on Teyla's forefathers to make them stronger and better to eat. It's not that they can't change, it's that they don't see the point of change, or as far as we know, even investigated an alley of change that doesn't include killing off sentient creatures who can and do beg for their lives while they're eaten. I could go the cow analogy, but honestly, I just do not equate humans with cows. If I woke up as a cow, I'd be pissed. if they were having discussions with me? I would stop eating them. *shrug* There's a whole animal rights activist thing that could be argued too, but I just go with the simple idea.

Ok, seriously: I do feel a little bad for Michael. Not because they experimented on him, but because they screwed it up and he has to live with the consequences.

*nods* I can see that. I just cannot get anywhere near sympathy for him.

I get all of of your points (and even though I don't loooove Joe/John, seriously, I'm beginning to think the wraith giving him back his life and making him look younger was true, because Pretty!) but I disagree on a couple of things:
The Michael thing: Yes, he was a Wraith, and Teh evil, but the way the lantean's fucked up was in the whole not-Geneva-approved retrovirus thing, because frankly, normal Wraith are bad enough, if you do what they did to Michael (which is frankly scary, because I'd rather be a meal than a prisoner, taken away from my kind, and then chased by everyone) you in fact are giving him a base to hold grudges, and grudges in the Pegasus galaxy are expressed in new mass-murdering ways (Aka, the new Alien-like super-zombie-wraiths).
And the Ronon thing: I love it. I'm a pacifist, and still he strikes me as one of the saner characters (also the growling is hot). But honestly, I get he's resembling HP a bit, in the whole tantrum thing, but he's staying true to character: When in doubt, kill it. If it's a Wraith, kill it. If you were stupid and didn't kill it, and then you feel guilty because it killed even more people cause you fucked up, suck it up. I simply adored when he said that to John. I've been wanting to hit the atlanteans with the hypocritical stick many episodes ago.
Yeah, he's a bit grouchy, and mistrusting, but hey, runner for seven years. Guy's got issues. At least he's learned to express them, unlike the psycho-alien-robot he has for a team leader. I love Ronon.
anyways, enough defending.

At least he's learned to express them, unlike the psycho-alien-robot he has for a team leader.

*g* Yeah. I totally do not buy the entire ridiculous sociopath line of reasoning on Johh, so we have to agree to disagree.

Hmm, I'm glad I read your review before I watched the ep, because I would have been so disappointed to see Michael turn up again, like a bad, boring penny! TPTB haven't been doing much of interest with the Wraith this season.

I'm going to focus on luminous John and sexy Rodney :-D

He was very, very luminous. And Rodney was very, very armed.

And Ronon is officially getting on my nerves in a huge way...

I don't have a problem with this. To me, it makes sense that if Ronon was on the run for seven years, kill or be killed would be his default. The times that he's frustrated, while I don't think they've always been used to great effect (depending on the writer of the episode), have made sense to me considering his background.

Really, I'm okay with that.

The change of Ronon standing up to John and making him see some sense in this situation was very interesting and I think it's meant to show how much Ronon has changed, not just from being a Runner but that aspect of his past where he did unquestionably follow orders and it lead to the destruction of his life.

There did seem to be deliberate shades of that initial confrontation in regards to the Wraith that John and Elizabeth have in Rising but I'm not sure why. Ronon taking the John role is understandable but John taking the Elizabeth role? Not so much unless I'm missing something inregards to John's character development from this season.

(aside: Also what came to mind with both Ronon and John is John's speech in Trinity to Rodney about the pilots who don't eject. Whether it's just for this confrontation or as an overall theme leading into the finale, I guess we'll find out next week.)

Where I'd likely have a problem is if in the next episode and into the next season, they have him take four steps back to being "Kill!" without conscious thought and defering to John even when John's orders are questionable.

*shrug* I guess I was unclear. I don't disagree with Ronon's assessment. I'm just tired of this particular attitude of kill kill kill being teh sum total of his interactions with anything grey edged. The conversation should have signficance because Ronon makse good points--except it *doesn't* because he's like this *all the time* with all situations. I mean, I agree totally--the retrovirus did not work, kill freaking Michael already--but it loses power when that's his answer to every dilemma out there. And especially since Sateda, and God, Common Ground, they've overemphasized his rabid-feral aspect over any other aspect of his character--and Sateda showed his life before, so there should be more to him. I can't tell whether he's actually thought through the decision--that he actually does believe the retrovirus was a bad idea--or he just hates Wraith, period, and it would not matter if there was an ethical way to alter them, which makes his judgement, to me, lack meaning.

Related, I was most annoyed at how we watch an argument with John telling Ronon to set his weapon to stun, and then we see John in *front* raising his *P90*!

...I didn't even try to parse that scene, just started laughing hysterically. I--guess he assumed that the bullets were more like the equivalent of stun to the creatures?

*starts giggling* I know, it was--surreal. God.

I think, as far as making the viewers feel for the Wraith, the writers would have done better to stick with Fred (a la John's Wraith Brother from Common Ground) and had Michael die in a ditch somewhere, alone and miserable, suffering from leprosy, starvation, acne, and really bad hair.
Because really. I DO NOT FEEL HIS PAIN. AT ALL. I'M GLAD HE'S SUFFERING. HE DESERVES IT.

John's wraith brother was *excellent* for that, actually, in that he was still a Wraith but showing recognizable *feelings*--he'd been tortured, he'd suffered, and he'd saved John at the end to hold up his side of a bargain.

Michael is just--I just don't care. I really just want him to die now.

I'm so glad I read your review before trying to download the episode. Instead, I will wait for the episode to show up on television because I really hate Michael. I also think I will skip reading the episode reviews because I know they won't have any "poor innocent Michael" warnings on the reviews that need them.

As for Ronon, the only two episodes I've really liked him in this season are Echoes and The Tao of Rodney. The fact that neither episode, especially the latter, gave him any opportunity to enter "kill them all" mode did help. It also helped that Ronon spent most of his time in those two episodes with Teyla and Rodney respectively and not John. It meant I didn't have to worry if Ronon's boring warrior stereotype would affect John and turn him from the fascinating military dork that I love into a boring stereotypical action hero that I will not love.

The above is a longwinded way of saying that I agree with you about Ronon.

*grins* Poor Michael. The so abused serial killer. Le sigh. How does he go on?

(Deleted comment)
SCARY AND IMPLACABLE. YES! How hard is that?