Winter Sunlight

SGA 5x07-Whispers

The good: I love Dusty! I was delighted that she survived; she reminds me of a female Dixon (from SG-1). She's fun and snarky and competent and made me laugh, and I would love to see her come back again. I also liked that Porter wasn't absurdly young (I think she was pretty close to Beckett's age, actually), and she and Dusty seem to have the beginnings of a cute little friendship.

I liked having an episode that focused largely on background characters, and I liked seeing Sheppard interact with some of the people under his command. I also thought it was interesting that the team leaders appear to have a huge amount of autonomy to select and run their own teams; I know Atlantis is a pretty laid-back place, but it makes me wonder just how lackadaisical Sheppard is about his paperwork. *g*

The bad: Okay, basically, the entire episode relied on the characters behaving like complete and total idiots. I mean, I realize that this is always sort of a problem on this show (*pets show*) but in this case, it was completely distracting. I was embarrassed for them! Come on, people! No, you do NOT need to spend the night in the creepy abandoned village which the villagers just told you is haunted, and you do NOT need to go wandering around in small groups at night. It got to the point where I was *headdesking* every time YET ANOTHER person went off in the creepy mist by themselves. And just to make things worse, the Stargate was RIGHT THERE! How do they not have a contingency plan for this? When trapped offworld by hostiles, either a) hole up somewhere defensible until your check-in with Atlantis, and have a heavily armed puddlejumper sent through, or b) cluster all together and make a run for the conveniently nearby gate. It was hard to worry about them too much when help was a mere Stargate away.

Making matters worse, maybe this is just me, but I did not find the monsters scary at all. I found the general idea of them potentially scary, but when our heroes were armed with P90s and were up against what are basically 12 blind human beings whose only special abilities are super-hearing and the ability to scream -- Um. Yeah. Not scary. It is a very bad sign that I kept amusing myself during the episode thinking up ways to make the monsters more scary and intimidating -- such as, why bother giving them mist-producing glands when it doesn't do anything special other than interfere with flashlights (on a world that has no native-produced flashlights). What about poison gas? Sleep gas?

You could produce an incredibly creepy story using the idea of monsters with superhearing, where the heroes have to sneak around making no noise or they'll die. (I can only imagine what Steven Moffat would do with an idea like that.) This, sadly, was NOT that story.

I was also startled at how Vega's death was glossed over and never mentioned again. That was downright weird. I would have liked to have seen more reaction from Sheppard and from her teammates.

But in conclusion - DUSTY! I was totally fangirling her during the episode, and was thoroughly delighted that she didn't die, as I was expecting. I think Dusty and Porter need to have more adventures. :D
Yeah, I was surprised by how much I liked the characters. I'd got a bad impression about the actress who played Dusty from the photos I'd seen, but she was great.

The "romance" was a little sick making - I totally understand why Dusty wanted to get out of there.

The plot - have the characters not seen horror movies? Do they not have common sense? I too kept on thinking "Are you stupid? Don't go out there on your own!" Very, very poor.

Vega's death - maybe there was more about that but it got cut? Must check out JM's blog.

Oh and I can't believe that a moment has occurred that made me simultaneously want to slap Sheppard and Beckett - yep their little hand signal. BOYS! Still I did like Teldy's crack about the best and the brightest. Oh and John saluted again - albeit reluctantly.

I reckon Joe and David have "Must appear in every show" written into their contracts. Poor Rodney at the end - he must have his gossip....

And let's not forget Sheppard's surprise at an all-female team - hello? Military commander anyone? Shouldn't he know the teams, or at least which teams his underlings are on?

Otherwise, quite a useless and typical redshirt-episode. I found the Carson-Porter-thing quite amusing, as well as Dusty's comments.
Your icon! *g*

Yeah, that whole scene with meeting the female team made John come off poorly in pretty much every way -- he doesn't pay attention to who is on the teams, doesn't know the names of his underlings, and he acts surprised and uncomfortable to have to work with female soldiers. The whole thing just seemed to go against his previous characterization. I choose to ignore it. *g*
Fifteen minutes in, I was rooting for the monsters. And plotting the angsty Carson/Ronon breakup that was the real reason for Carson's quick decision to leave Atlantis.

I *so* want this to be the Season of Squee, but this episode? Felt like it was there to balance out The Shrine.
Well, every season has had its total "blah" episodes, and hopefully this was ours for this season. *g* I'm crossing my fingers that this was just a one-off misfiring (their attempts at pastiche seem to flop pretty badly; this was a horror-movie pastiche, and "Irresponsible" was pretty clearly a Western pastiche, and look how THAT turned out). The rest of the season has been strong, and I'm hoping for more strong episodes to come.

It *was* nice for Joe to get an episode to solo in, though!
there was a fantastically creepy SF story from the 60s (I suspect it was Brabury) where a guy who hated extraneous noise converted his vaccuum cleaner to a noise-eliminating machine which he soon discovered actually eliminated the thing that made the noise. It got away from him and the scariest part was when it was stalking his baby son and he had to be absolutely silent to stalk it.

Umm... yeah, there was much ehhh in this episode.
Yes, I was thinking about that story too! :D I think the author was Zenna Henderson, actually -- I believe it's in a book of stories that I have by her. It was a babysitter who was trying to make the baby be quiet and ended up with this horrible vacuum-cleaner thing that was eating everything that made a sound. That story totally creeped me out! This ... was not on that level, sadly. XD
The worst part, for me? Was John not realizing that a team under his direct supervision, being military commander and all, was comprised of all women. It smacked of unprofessionalism -- I didn't buy it at all. John wouldn't be the type of commander to not know who is on what gate team, should the need to, oh, I dunno, rescue them arise. The one who should have been surprised in that scene was Beckett.

The show had so many inconsistencies in it it felt like I was watching swiss cheese. John taking Beckett instead of Rodney to a Wraith lab. Leaving the two scientists with only one military escort. SPLITTING UP in the fog. John's very stupid plan to blow shit up. COME ON. Honestly.
Not to mention that they treated it as the first gate team to ever be comprised of only women. What, in five years, Atlantis never had an all-female gate team before? That makes me crazy.

I did like the zombies, though.
I've only watched half the episode so far, and had to give up, at least for the time-being. The illogic made my brain hurt. The fact that this was written by Mallozzi & Mullie makes me even more worried what we're going to get by way of the movie.

Was Dusty the Sergeant? Because, yes, I liked her.

Sheppard not knowing what personnel are on away teams is beyond stupid.

In conclusion, what I've seen of this episode so far pretty much sucks.
Yes, Dusty's the Sergeant.

I didn't find it irredeemably horrible, but it's probably one of my least favorites of the series.
Agreeal. This was not a good episode. Which is annoying, even coming after The Shrine and all, maybe you expect a bit of a slump, but this? It played like some kind of boring and not-very-scary horror movie. Meh.

It did have some good scenes, though. I liked Dusty too. And Rodney's scenes where cute!

I'm torn between wishing they would have used the main team, so we could have had some team interaction, and glad that they didn't, so that Ronon, Teyla and Rodney didn't have to catch teh stupid. ^^
*laughs* Yeah, with the team at least we would have had cute teaminess to offset the stupid -- but then, Ronon and Teyla would have wiped out the zombies in ten seconds flat, or talked them out of spending the night in the abandoned village, and the episode would have been very short. XD

Which is probably why they weren't there...
It's the way the scene was played out. John is SO SHOCKED by the fact that there is an all woman team - which is stupid and just makes John look bad. If it had been something along the lines of him knowing there was an all woman team but had forgotten exactly which team it was I would have felt differently about it.
Um, ditto? I think that covers it.

I LOVED Dusty too. Teldy as well. Tough, snarky girls RULE! I was also surprised that Sheppard didn't know who was on what team. He's always known every other soldier by name. Why does he suddenly not know who was on Teldy's team. OK, I'll give him not knowing Porter since she's a scientist, but the rest? And his sudden case of the stupids? He and McKay must have spent too many hours drinking with Carson during his week there. I found Porter cute but didn't see a lot of chemistry with Carson.

And why was Carson there? He comes for a week and decides he needs to go back to Earth? What happened to the year long contract? I guess if the Daedalus had the space. Still, that's a long trip for a week's work.

I didn't hate the ep. It's just a big meh.
And why was Carson there? He comes for a week and decides he needs to go back to Earth?

I didn't get the impression that he was leaving for Earth, but, rather, leaving Atlantis for the rest of the Pegasus Galaxy to help the plague victims, especially when he asked if Porter could help him. Which is really making me wonder what the heck Carson's status with the IOA is right now, because Ronon leaving in "Reunion" was a really big deal (Carter didn't really want to let him, because it'd be a security risk) but now ... here's Carson. I keep wanting to fanwank the whole Carson thing because such HUGE swathes of it are unexplained right now.
The problem with the episode, as you hit upon, was there was no jeopardy. I never felt the tension. I knew the team would survive just maybe not all of them. The only surprise was Vegas' death and only because we had been introduced to her before. it wasn't scary.

Carson and Porter's scenes were awkward and not in the cute adorable way. The dialogue and reactions just didn't mesh.

This was an episode that demonstrates the meaning of mediocrity. The one shining star being Sgt. Dusty.
Yeah. The main tension for me in a show like this isn't "Which redshirt is going to kakk it?" but "How will our characters react? How will they interact with each other?" Take that out of the equation and it's not very interesting. (Though I did get kinda tense about Dusty and Porter at the end, it was more "Oh, dang, they're dead" than "OMG, what's happening???")
blackmare called the mist exuded by the monsters MORONIUM OXIDE, and it's a hunting device because it makes the prey STUPID. Heh.

I didn't buy Sheppard as not knowing who's on his gate teams, and I didn't buy his understated 'crap' reaction when he lost one of his people, and I am irritated by Carson, but I LOVED Dusty, too. (And I agree, we could write a fantastic creepy story--I'd really love to see somebody remix this episode, and do it the RIGHT way. heh.)
BWAHAHAHA! Moronium Oxide! That's the perfect fanwank for this episode - thank you! :D

It's soooooo tempting to take the general idea from the episode and do it right ...
Oh god yes.

But I'm inclined to place the blame for stupid character moments at the feet of the writers when they happen.

Love for:

Sheppard and Carson boy-bonding over a mission with ALL GIRLS.
Sheppard not wanting to get buried under rubble...again.
The Sarge. Seriously, best thing to come out of this episode.

Hate (mmm dislike maybe, hate's too strong of a word):

The stupidity written into it. Sheppard not knowing who is under his command? Maybe if you command an actual military base, but Atlantis is more like a station and most station commanders meet their people at least once during their tour! Splitting up -- okay, when is that a GOOD thing? when there are creepy monsters hunting you as So, cmon writers, take a stupidity check pill and call me in the morning.

The plot -- ummm, was there one? Because to me it seemed like running around in the fog, shooting and oh, yeah, making stupid decisions.

Teldy and Vega. Hmmmm. Not feeling the love for these 2D cardboard characters, but wait, one is dead, and her team didn't even bat an eye. Guess they didn't like her either. *ouch*

The village/villager. More of the campy, cheesy sets/stereotype.

It's kind of funny. I love my show, I really do, but JM and PM, no no no, if they are going to write an episode they need to...what am I saying, just, please don't write anymore. Do your producing thing and stop writing, for the love of god, because it's not good.

I absolutely loved this comment - that the mist exhuded by the creatures makes people stupid! And it must have already been affecting Sheppard back at the gate. Yeah. That's it. I love that whole fanwank almost enough to write it. Good thing they didn't stay on the planet any longer or they would've been too dumb to dial the gate!

I think one of the problems with the JM/PM episodes is that they don't explain/justify the characters' actions adequately. I mean, in this case, a little more explanation or a better reason for why they had to stay on the planet and couldn't go back through the gate would have helped somewhat. And, the whole time, it felt like the characters were little game pieces being moved around ... either that, or mentally impaired. They just didn't have reasons for what they were doing!
I have to admit that I pretty much turned my brain off for this ep, cuz I was sure it would be kinda...vapid?

Solidarity for the power of low-expectations! :D I wasn't expecting much from this episode either (was pretty much sure there'd be a lot of stupid) so I ended up entertained. I wasn't ever scared, but I was entertained.
blackmare_9 called the mist exuded by the monsters MORONIUM OXIDE, and it's a hunting device because it makes the prey STUPID. Heh.

*hehe* That would explain it!! ^^

OMG - the story was so bad!!! I was headdesking the whole time because of this stupid horror-movie-behaviour! At the beginning I thought it was funny (the "Hello?"-Moment of this guy in the first minutes) - and then I realized they were SERIOUS about it!

And they bring Carson back for SUCH an episode?? That hurts!! *eyesroll*

But I liked Dusty - she reminded me of Cadman... ^^
I adore the "moronium oxide" explanation. IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES SENSE. The whole thing - it was like a horror-movie parody, but they were trying to be serious and, just, no. The stupid, it burns!
I so agree about john not knowing who was under his command...that bothered the bejesus out of me. As a character i think he would know and in that situation it should have been Beckett who remarked on the fact that it was an all female team after Sheppard had introduced them and then Sheppard could have made some smarky comment or maybe agreed with beckett and then had his "I wasn't saying anything!" line.

There's no reaosn why McKay couldn't have gone off-world with would made for a really good interaction and how many jokes could you make about McKay having to be quiet or Mckay and Beckett running around the fog!!

The episode just made me cringe. I agree about the strong women felt they had to let everyone know just how capable they were..which bored me.

My only fave part was John telling them the plan and ordering them to listen and him losing his C4. Oh and him trying to lower that squeaky well bucket was funny...but yeah....i kinda expected more...
Sheppard's surprise/confusion about the all-female team was just ... a badly written scene. He comes off very unprofessional and just generally unconcerned/uninterested in the people under his command. I agree that the surprised reaction would have worked much better coming from Beckett.

The episode had its moments, but if only they hadn't been wrapped in so much stupid. XD