Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stargate: Atlantis, Whispers

Of all the episodes to end up watching alone at night!

Not a bad episode--a good, solid mid-level one. Great atmosphere & overall good character interaction, and clearly the Michael arc is *not* over.

Flaws: "Let's split up so we can cover more ground." That has never struck me as an extremely intelligent approach, and it looks even less so when the team is being hunted by a team of nasty predators on a foggy night. Now, not only can they be picked off one by one, they can pick each other off since all they can see is shapes in the dark.

A lesser irritant was the "all girl" team--or rather, the reaction to it. One of the the things I particularly appreciate about the Stargate shows (both series) is the way they take the existence of competent women for granted. Bar one or two slight slips (say Hathor), the women are competent in the same way the men are, without flourish, stress, or special emphasis. So that initial confrontation was something of a step back for them--an unusual over-stress on "HEY LOOK! We've GOT COMPETENT WOMEN HERE!" It's more impressive when it's not impressive (if that makes sense). Fortunately, they pretty much dropped the matter after that, and even more fortunately, the fact that the team was an all-female team wasn't a major point of the show (No "Oh no! The creatures-in-the-dark want mates!" or other such nonsense). Oh, and Sheppard really should have known about the team. Joseph Mallozzi has a kind of explanation up here on his blog, but I'm rather uneasy with having to go outside the story for an explanation, and I don't really find it satisfactory anyway--Sheppard may spend a lot of time on the field, but one would think that, as ranking military officer, he would at least skim reports and personnel files.

Good points: I liked the new team; the writers did a good job of showing them as a team and giving a sense that they knew each other and had an established working relationship. They showed both camaraderie and some of the same sort of common irritating character flaws that make the regular Atlantis team so much fun to watch.

Beckett's back!

The atmosphere and creepiness worked well, and the reason the monsters got loose was plausible.

So, overall, a good, solid, watchable episode. Not deathless, but worth watching.

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