The Great SyFy Rewatch: Day 32

Day 32 / 251 Days Until I Ship

Today's selections were "Michael" thru "No Man's Land."

It's a sign of how un-spectacular the season finale is that, though I've had all day to do so, I've only bothered to watch 2 of 3 parts of the S2 finale. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the "Allies"/"No Man's Land"/"Misbegotten" arc, I really do, it's just not really enthralling. Not like "The Siege" or (my all time Stargate 'verse fav finale) "First Strike"/"Adrift"/"Lifeline." Not bad, just not great either.

Anyway: "Michael" is an episode I've severely conflicted feelings about. Conner Trinner is a fav SyFy actor of mine (see my love of ENT elsewhere, and my fondness for Trip/T'Pol fics) and he plays the part well, but there are so many things about this episode that I just don't get. Like why, why, O why, would anyone think it'd be a good idea to let a de-Wraithed Wraith wonder around the supposedly-destroyed city of Atlantis, even under guard? Or lie about his background to his face when it makes more sense just to tell the guy he's a Wraith and keep him in the brig the entire time? He's a guinea pig. A test subject. A sentient test subject. If you're going to go down that route, you should go down the whole POW route, not treat him like the Expedition's red-haired step-child. Doing so basically asks for him to escape and tell the other Wraith where you are.

Though I did get an interesting idea during the rewatch that their forcible de-Wraithing of Michael and his reactions to it after he finds out the truth - particularly his "So what are you saying, that-that being a Wraith is some kind of disease -- something you think you can cure? What gives you the right to do this to me?" line - can be read as an allusion to the drugs they used to force some homosexuals to take to "cure" them. I suppose I could even draw this out, with the Wraith-feeding being akin to AIDS - striking against the victim's will - and killing entire populations, and say something about the vast majority of the Wraith being male... but since I'm 99.9% certain that SGA isn't a vast parody of such things, I won't.

"Inferno" is a favourite because 1) it makes me giggle and 2) Rodney is 100% pure bad-ass genius in this episode. (Oh, the plans I have for this one, when the Ancient!John 'verse gets there. *cackles*)

And then, of course, "Allies" and "No Man's Land" I've discussed above, but let me also add that the space battles in these two are just wonderful, graphics and RL-wise. In zero-g, to quote Ender's Game: the gate is down. Granted, the "gate" in this sense isn't the Stargate but the target, but the idea applies. There's nothing but convention marking "up" and "down" and all other cardinal directions, so there's no use in having all the spaceships facing the same directions, with the same "ups" and "downs". This is particularly noticable with the F-302s.

Random thoughts include: 1) The Wraith Queen wears heels. Why? She's the only female on the ship and all the males bow down to her anyway, so what's the point? 2) In the ENT relaunch novels, one of Conner Trinner's character's false identies is Michael Kenmore. 3) Why Orion? Is it a shout-out to the thusly named motors, which were part of the Pegasus rockets of the early '90s? The planned nuke-propelled spaceships of the late Los Alamos/early NASA days? The Navy plane? The Lunar Module of Apollo 16? And, if so, why 16? Why not one of the more "memorable" ones? 4) Caldwell's line "You know what you're asking me to do?" in "No Man's Land" - in specific, the way he says it - is half my proof for some sort of Elizabeth/Caldwell ship.

In other, semi-related news, I was trying to work on pt2 of "Fradator" and got sidetracked by trying to figure out what 19 languages the Expedition might use often enough for Atlantis to have come up with a translation matrix and which other 4 they might speak but not use enough to be useful - becuase I thought I might need a throwaway line to that effect. *facepalm*

In short, it's been a day.

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Or lie about his background to his face when it makes more sense just to tell the guy he's a Wraith and keep him in the brig the entire time?

Honestly, I could see Elizabeth, Carson, and possibly Rodney arguing that because he's technically human now, he deserves to be treated with some dignity and respect. Which would translate, for them, into giving him the chance to live as a human on the city.

As for lying to him, perhaps they wanted him to have a clean slate and didn't want his past life to influence him now?

IDK. I agree completely that the whole episode had some sketchy details and actions that didn't make sense for the characters (John letting a wraith-turned-human wander around his city, even with a guard? What.)
I'm sorry, but it's my feeling that if you're going to get your feet wet with human experimentation for medical purposes, you might as well go whole hog with it - cages, chains, the whole Nazi death camp routine - because it's the same moral line you've crossed. You might as well get as much out of it as possible.

Maybe you're right about the clean slate thing, but... IDK. It's all very sketchy and wrong and more or less a blatant exuse for the S2 finale to exist at all.

Plus, the fact that they make him an LT kinda bugs me. The actor was late 30s at the time and looks it. At that age, he'd be a Captain or Major at least if he was still in service... It's possible he could've been mustanged, but still. It's another annoying detail that makes me just wonder what the hell TPTB were thinking
Oh, I agree with you. They crossed that line, and once crossed - well, why stop there? It's not like it's going to make a difference. I was just trying to explain it from their view.

The entire premise was sketchy. Though I'm torn, because if they turn the Wraith into humans, they could at least leave. As they are, humans are looking to genocide. There's really no good answer to the problem of the Wraith.

I...never thought about his rank. Good point. Kind of cruel to the people who are of lesser rank, too.
LT is as low as you can go as an officer, but there is no way someone his age could pass for a junior enlisted. But still, even making him E-6 or so would've given him an uncomfortable amount of power over others.

Their POV sucks, BTW.

The only way it can end with the Wraith is for one side to kill the other entirely. Using Carson's drug isn't a viable long-term solution, and no matter what you do to their make-up, they're always going to be Wraith underneath, looking to kill and feed and so forth and so on.

Though I point out that later on Rodney essentially brainwashes the Assurans into fighting the Wraith, which has to be just as bad, if not worse, than genocide, and no one bats an eyelash at that war crime.
Ah. I didn't know that - my knowledge of the military is very, very miniscule.

I agree.

*nod* There's an "Earth Lost" fic where Elizabeth, John, and Rodney seem uncomfortable with the idea of committing genocide on the Wraith, but Teyla and Ronon are all for it (for good reason). It's just an idea that stuck with me.

Another excellent point. Clearly I don't think much about the actions in this show!
Knowledge of RL miltary definately creates an... interesting spin on the SyFy stuff when you watch it.

I can't ever see John being *against* committing genocide on the Wraith. Unless, you know, they all turned into Twilight-esque vegetarians. Which would never happen. But that's just me.

And I clearly think too much about them. *sigh* such is my life.
I think it was genocide in general and not against the wraith specifically that he had a problem with. The act of committing genocide is no small thing, even if it is against evil Space Vampires that really need to be destroyed.
I suppose. But given the choice between Atlantis and the Wraith, I think we know which one John would pick.

Plus, when you think about it, SG1 and SGA ends up essentially commiting genocide upon or bringing to the brink of extinction nearly all of the actual aliens they come across. Humans they like though. It's a very species-ist show.
Agreed - it's no question. But I like the idea of John pausing momentarily to contemplate what they're going to do. If he was just dismissive - "Oh, genocide, yeah okay" - then I'd be worried. But hands down John would kill them all for Atlantis and humans.

*nod* I was thinking about that. Don't they bring the Goa'uld to the brink of extinction or something?
I don't know if he'd think to much about what he was doing at the time, but there'd definately be guilt afterwards. If there was a chance things could have ended without nessicitating their deaths.

All the goa'uld are killed off (more or less) except the Tok'ra, but they don't have a queen so they can't reproduce. Then they off the Replicators, who arguably aren't alive, but still. And the Ori, but they're Ascended and mightn't count either. And then they're indirectly responsible for the Asgard's and Tollan's deaths. And a whole lot of non-friendly Jaffa.

It's a very pro-human show.
Wow. I didn't realize SG-1 went through so many races. Wow.

I guess if the Wraith were ever defeated on SGA, we could add them to the list.

I think humans are the most dangerous race of all.
I think humans are the most dangerous race of all.


And SG1 really does kill off a lot, don't they?