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SG1, SGA 08-12-05

This morning when I woke up, it was to a catastrophic hard drive failure. *WAIL*! 1 hour with tech support, then 3 hours schlepping it in to the Apple store... which I discovered was a MADHOUSE due to this weekend being Tax Free Shopping in Mass... for which reason they had closed their service desk... and I fear I was a total bitch until I got them to look at it anyway, run diagnostics, run disk-fix, and give me back a computer that, thank god, actually works. (Because I spent the 45 minutes it took to do that pricing new computers... and I can't really afford a new one right now. Ugh.)

Tonight is for backing up like a big dog.

Here are my random thoughts on SciFi Friday (now, ETA the things I inevitably forgot):



SG-1:

-- I really kind of liked the fact that Ketesh's temple had a whole bunch of Cthulu heads on the wall as decoration. Seriously -- what was up with that?

-- okay, I give up -- where did Vala manage to get those BDUs (and I use the term loosely)? I've wondered that ever since I saw the promo pics. Those were not standard issue ANYthing. Not the jacket, not the pants. MAYBE the doctored tank-top, but that's it. What, does she somehow have Mad Seamstress Skillz that she puts into play off-screen? Don't get me wrong -- I find the detail of her coming out in her "super sexed-up" verison of military BDUs to be quite funny. It's just one of those jokes where I laugh... but it leaves me trying to figure out the HOW later.

-- the play the natives did for Ketesh, with the guy with the red streamers for guts. Okay, so I'm easy, and also I'm a fan of Renaissance theatre -- that was great.

-- Mitchell and Teal'c playing cards, I thought was cute.

-- did anyone else have a bad moment when the guy was all, "oh, you want us to put her through Mal'doran", and Daniel is like, YES! Yes we do... Um, Daniel? You might want to read the fine print on what the trial consists of first. It'd be just his luck if it had turned out to be witch-dunking, you know?

-- I've aired my thoughts regarding Daniel's extremely ineffective methods of confronting the Priors/Orii elsewhere, but, to summarize: my personal biggest problem with his arguments is that I don't know why he expects these populations to buy the "free will" stuff he's peddling. These are cultures for whom it is deeply embedded in their history that gods walk amongst them, talk, and punish you severely if you don't worship them. You may convince them that the snakey parasites are imposters... but that does not address this underlying pattern of what gods/religion means or feels like to the culture. Daniel's arguments are all great for any people who *already get* the idea of god/religion as intangibles... but none of these people have the benefit of the last 2000 years of Earth history.

Therefore, what gets me about it is the simplistic view that "free will" as a cultural concept is so inanswerably RIGHT that once you have explained it to someone in 100 words or less, *ping*, they will have an epiphany and agree with you that it's the greatest metaphysical thing since sliced bread. Um... Daniel, it doesn't *work* that way.

That said, I don't mind the fact that they're flailing at the moment with regard to how to address this problem, because all the strategies that worked for them with the Goa'uld won't work here, and all the strategies they'd use to address the question on Earth also won't work (see above). I kind of appreciate, actually, that they're struggling with it, because frankly the answer is *not* obvious.

-- I am with everybody else -- Mitchell getting sick was badly-staged, and not well built-towards. It fell rather flat for me. It also fell flat for me because Mitchell is too new and too undeveloped for the revelation of his being near death to *truly* impact me, yet. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. I'd regret his death. But I just don't *know* him well enough yet for his peril to matter *that* much to me.

-- There were numerous instances in which they could have used Teal'c to deliver some of Daniel's arguments -- both to Vala, to the people, and to the Orii. They ought to have. Shame on them for not doing so.

-- Landry/Lam -- ehn. I'm okay with Lam. I still don't *like* Landry; I don't dislike him, but he just doesn't do much for me yet. And why does the fact that Lam has a different surname puzzle so many people? I've just been assuming, until I'm told differently, that she could be (or could have been) married. That would be the easiest explanation. What intrigues me the most about her is the thing that nobody's discussed, including the show -- the fact that she's a civilian.

-- I really really liked that the ep ended with SG-1 having been roundly spanked. They did not deserve to win that round -- and they didn't. Good. It also builds the seriousness of the problem.

-- While I can defend the way they're going about it, overall I am not thrilled with the religious/evangelical/theological nature of this season's Big Bad, for two main reasons. One -- I get enough of that shit looking at the headlines. I'd like a little break from it while indulging in my entertainment. Two -- I get enough of that shit when BSG rolls around. BSG -- don't get me wrong, I like it, good show; but it's already got the monopoly on Big Religious Questions/Conflict on Friday nights. It's so dark and heavy that it's almost too much for me, especially as I always hit it at the end of a tiring work week, and at the end of a night of TV. I just don't need TWO shows on the same damned night hitting me on the head about complex issues of religion, okay?



SGA:

-- telepresence and I had one huge problem with the ep, which I haven't seen anyone mention yet... in order for us to have a dilemma, John had to be both REALLY STUPID and a BAD PILOT.

First: John, you know the population of the island is hostile. Perhaps you kind of think that they aren't armed very well... but that's a huge assumption that, as we saw, almost got you killed. (You make Star Wars references -- did you not *see* the primitive Ewoks take out stuff in "Return of the Jedi"?) So: why wouldn't you cloak the jumper going in? Cloaking the jumper is easy. There's no reason not to do it. Even if you think the hostile population can't hurt you, cloaking is the better part of valor. Anticipate possible problems and avoid them when you have the means to do so -- don't just be reactive.

Second: John, you can weave a jumper around to out-maneuver Wraith darts, so why didn't you do very much to try to weave around and avoid those flak-shells? Also... okay, John. You're a pilot, you have to have heard of anti-aircraft guns. What is the first thing you do when the flak-shells start going off? GET ABOVE THEM. Your jumper can go higher than those shells can. Instead, he kept flying low and relatively slow. I might have bought it with some lines about a lucky first hit causing them to lose altitude or maneuverability... instead, they just looked kind of dopey.

-- Overall liked the way they developed Ronon's character in this ep. Like the way he and Teyla complement each other. (LOVED Teyla in that fight scene.) Like that he's a bit of a loose canon, but that he was all, "give me a direct order, that's what I need". Loved the "Chewie" reference -- very nice. It works for me.

-- Rodney's snark about "some countries do", in re. the death penalty -- priceless. Can't even quite believe they went there, but was glad they did. Also, shallowly enjoyed Rodney's MacGyver line. Plus... darnit, he made some good movie reference, and I'm blanking, what was it?

-- liked getting the data-point that one of the Ancient squid-y drones can do serious damage to a Wraith cruiser, but it doesn't totally destroy one like it does a Goa'uld ha'tak. That bugged me at first until Len pointed out that clearly the Wraith are far tougher than the Goa'uld -- and yeah, I'll give them that. But Shep's line about "it'll take a lucky shot", which echoed Jack's in "It's Good to Be King", bothered me. Dudes, we have seen the little squid-y things in action. They freakin' aim *themselves*. You shoot, they home in and do their thing. That's what I kind of love about them. Every shot is a lucky shot, because seriously, there is something going on with the squids.

-- Twitchy Former Prisoner Guy -- he'd BETTER freakin' show up again back on Atlantis, that's all I'm sayin'. Not least because I liked him.



BSG:

-- I don't think the show is dark enough. Hmm. How could we make it darker?

-- I'll go down on record as saying that I liked Kara and Ander together. It worked for me.

-- what didn't work for me was Kara As Victim of Child Abuse. I thought that was heavy-handed and misapplied. Starbuck as a woman is a fairly unique example of female action hero on this show -- and with that revelation, I thought she became just a bit less challenging and intriguing. (Which leaves... hmm, Zoe on "Firefly", I think.)

That's about it, I don't have many more thoughts on BSG, as I'm not as invested in it as a show, and I'm usually pretty punchy by the time it rolls around.

Pursuant to my rant yesterday about confronting actors with slash, raqs has some thinky thoughts about that here, and, yes to everything she says. That's a great deal of what's at the heart of my objection to the practice, with some good analogies.

I think there was more stuff that I meant to say, but as usual it's leaked out of my brain because I didn't jot it down. Feh.

Going to pet my computer and try to make it behave. And to back it up.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Aug. 13th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
yikes! glad you were able to get the computer working and hopefully all your data is safe.

i'm guessing vala managed to get hold of someone's credit card.

and yes to this: "I kind of appreciate, actually, that they're struggling with it, because frankly the answer is *not* obvious." i expect that they'll all go into their various default modes in response to the ori. and have to learn the hard way how to jump out of 'the box' so address how to stop them another way. and i think they need to figure out what the ori agenda/goal really is before they can do that?

good points about the ending; it represents real consequences to the way the struggle is going.

regarding bsg: i would like to see something go right for those characters. something that gives them a reason to believe in hope. i feel as if they are slowly being wittled down to have nothing to live or fight for....and i would like to see them catch a break.

and yup, good point about cloaking the jumper. and yeah for ronon who is intriguing to watch. :)
okojosan
Aug. 13th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Did you notice the person who asked the inappropriate question actually thanked you for calling her on it? She didn't make a direct reply, but she did leave a comment in her own post. That's more than some people in the fandom I'm peripherally involved in would do!
katie_m
Aug. 13th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC)
Therefore, what gets me about it is the simplistic view that "free will" as a cultural concept is so inanswerably RIGHT that once you have explained it to someone in 100 words or less, *ping*, they will have an epiphany and agree with you that it's the greatest metaphysical thing since sliced bread. Um... Daniel, it doesn't *work* that way.

It occurred to me earlier today that one of their problems may be that with the Jaffa, it seems that it has worked that way, to some extent. The goa'uld are easier to prove as ungodly than the Ori are, but still... Teal'c went out and managed to sell "the goa'uld are false gods and we must be FREE!" to an entire race of people. So I think it's natural they would try to do essentially the same thing.
miera_c
Aug. 13th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
They freakin' aim *themselves*. You shoot, they home in and do their thing. That's what I kind of love about them. Every shot is a lucky shot, because seriously, there is something going on with the squids.

I'm confused about the drones. In the two battle scenes we've seen the drones used in Jack and John have both seemed to be concentrating very hard on using the drones. Also in "Rising" it seemed like Carson had some control over the drone - maybe he had to in order to shut it down. Yet, they also sometimes act as if they don't require any control. I'm thinking this is one of those "we'll do it when it's convenient" things. Either that or the drones can operate in a limited capacity on their own but are also susceptible to control. Bah.

I'm with you on the Starbuck thing. That pissed me off.
tafkarfanfic
Aug. 14th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
darnit, he made some good movie reference, and I'm blanking, what was it?
The Braveheart reference?
dustandroses
Aug. 14th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear about the computer problem...I'm dealing with that, too. It comes and goes, but eventually, it's going to leave me, then I'll be stuck. Bummer.

The thing I've decided about the Ori? I don't care. They bore me, which is not a good thing, since they're supposed to be the Big Bad this season. I'd rather change the channel than watch them, and that's not good. There were a few things I enjoyed in this ep:Teal'c and Mitchell with the cards was good (probably because I'm still rooting for some Teal'c/Mitchel fic.) I also liked the play with the red streamers for blood. I kept expecting Bottom to make an appearance. *g* Other than that, I was less than enthused.

I enjoyed SGA better. I loved that Ronon was looking for a direct order from John. That made me smile. And it also worked my slashy little mind. I've liked Ronon from the beginning, but I'm really seeing the slash potential more and more every week. And Teyla and Ronon can kick some serious butt. That made me happy.

I need to find some Ronon icons, now.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )