2.8 Conversion

This was one of those episodes were I’m strongly tempted to throw something hard at the TV, in the irrational hope that it will somehow smack the writers upside the head in the process. They had us (meaning, my wife and I) grumbling for half the episode, waiting for them to just get to the incredibly predictable final act already.

I’m going to qualify my comments. I don’t expect that everyone figured out where the story was going, and those who didn’t were probably very pleased with the episode. It provided a good look at characters not-McKay, specifically Sheppard and Beckett, and there was a lot of well-written tension between Weir and Caldwell. Having Caldwell there, stepping in under the assumption that Sheppard may not recover, was a great way to draw out Weir’s devotion to Sheppard.

OK, so first things first…the predictability. By the time Sheppard was begging to go on a mission, and the team was trying to raid the Roach Motel, it was rather clear what the solution was going to be. After all, Sheppard had been healing at an incredible rate, and really, what would the bug(s) be able to do to him that isn’t already happening? So we saw that solution coming a mile away, and it was damned frustrating to wait for the characters to catch up.

For all that, I thought Joe did a great job with his portrayal of Sheppard. Shep’s been one of my favorite characters on the series since the pilot, mainly because of his dry sarcasm and Joe’s line delivery. Plus, both Weir and Teyla seem to have this potential interest in him, and even McKay seems to need him as a foil. He’s also the one with the strongest relationship to Ford, which is key to that character development. All in all, he’s vital to the mission.

Which is why, of course, Caldwell comes across as such a jerk for trying to change things before Sheppard’s even lukewarm. Taken objectively, Caldwell is just doing what he thinks is best for the mission, even if it means butting heads with the civilian leader. I mentioned earlier in the season that this dynamic of civilian vs. military would be damned interesting to watch, and this episode proves that out.

Beckett also gets a lot of screen time this episode, and I liked that. But with all that screen time, I was expecting the writers to use him a bit better. One thing that I was expecting was some kind of discussion on how Sheppard’s condition would relate, in some way, to what Ford has been experiencing. After all, the retrovirus was designed to eliminate the Wraith DNA in Ford, so shouldn’t Sheppard’s experience be vital in terms of understanding the treatment and figuring out how to modify it? Not mentioning that was a sore spot for me.

The writers seem to be setting up a slow but developing love triangle between Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla. Add Weir into the mix and it’s a Rhombus of Complication. It’s somewhat cliché for Teyla to be given character development through a romantic subplot, so hopefully there will be more to it than that. But this is the kind of dynamic that a larger cast allows (SG-1 never really had that), and it adds another layer to a series that is struggling to regain its strong identity

I’m going to qualify my comments. I don’t expect that everyone figured out where the story was going, and those who didn’t were probably very pleased with the episode. It provided a good look at characters not-McKay, specifically Sheppard and Beckett, and there was a lot of well-written tension between Weir and Caldwell. Having Caldwell there, stepping in under the assumption that Sheppard may not recover, was a great way to draw out Weir’s devotion to Sheppard.

OK, so first things first…the predictability. By the time Sheppard was begging to go on a mission, and the team was trying to raid the Roach Motel, it was rather clear what the solution was going to be. After all, Sheppard had been healing at an incredible rate, and really, what would the bug(s) be able to do to him that isn’t already happening? So we saw that solution coming a mile away, and it was damned frustrating to wait for the characters to catch up.

For all that, I thought Joe did a great job with his portrayal of Sheppard. Shep’s been one of my favorite characters on the series since the pilot, mainly because of his dry sarcasm and Joe’s line delivery. Plus, both Weir and Teyla seem to have this potential interest in him, and even McKay seems to need him as a foil. He’s also the one with the strongest relationship to Ford, which is key to that character development. All in all, he’s vital to the mission.

Which is why, of course, Caldwell comes across as such a jerk for trying to change things before Sheppard’s even lukewarm. Taken objectively, Caldwell is just doing what he thinks is best for the mission, even if it means butting heads with the civilian leader. I mentioned earlier in the season that this dynamic of civilian vs. military would be damned interesting to watch, and this episode proves that out.

Beckett also gets a lot of screen time this episode, and I liked that. But with all that screen time, I was expecting the writers to use him a bit better. One thing that I was expecting was some kind of discussion on how Sheppard’s condition would relate, in some way, to what Ford has been experiencing. After all, the retrovirus was designed to eliminate the Wraith DNA in Ford, so shouldn’t Sheppard’s experience be vital in terms of understanding the treatment and figuring out how to modify it? Not mentioning that was a sore spot for me.

The writers seem to be setting up a slow but developing love triangle between Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla. Add Weir into the mix and it’s a Rhombus of Complication. It’s somewhat cliché for Teyla to be given character development through a romantic subplot, so hopefully there will be more to it than that. But this is the kind of dynamic that a larger cast allows (SG-1 never really had that), and it adds another layer to a series that is struggling to regain its strong identity.

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