This week in Sci-Fi-oid TV, 2-13 through 17 ’06

I’ve been neglecting to post this recently, so let’s give it another go:

Lost: At first I thought the promos for this episode were overselling what was going to happen and what we’d wind up seeing. As it turns out, they undersold it a bit. That said, I’m sticking with my theory that Rousseau is, in fact, one of the Others. (Surely I’m not the only person thinking this.) Assuming that the Others are operating on something other than a brute-force level and kidnapping children, a more psychological level perhaps, Rousseau has just done the equivalent of rolling a grenade into the room for the survivors – the presence of “Henry Gale” and how he has been treated is dead certain to polarize the survivors, with the fallout mainly affecting Jack and/or Locke, and certainly Sayid. Delenn she ain’t. (I also think the dissent between Sawyer and Hurley over the Noisiest Frog In The Entire Universe was meant to telegraph a preview of the coming strife to us, only I think the disagreement will be stronger than “Dude, that was cold.”) Actually one of the better episodes of this season, I thought.

Invasion: Throughout this season, we’ve seen Tom Underlay quitely dispose of various bad-apple “possessed/hybrid” characters, and now we know why (he’s fighting to keep the hybrids’ presence a matter of coexistence rather than conquest, and he may be fighting against the very nature of the beast itself)…but each of those characters, including his daughter’s ex-boyfriend and a nutty woman who literally discarded her own baby and then killed her mother, has remained a loose thread…until now. Those loose ends came back and bit us in the ass big-time – and left us with a killer cliffhanger. Actually, several. It now seems like at least two of the female hybrids, including Mariel, have bellies full of some kind of eggs. Ick. And it seems to be causing the crazy, baby-abandoning hybrid some big problems. Really ick. Are the male humans inhabited by these creatures also full of eggs? If not, why not? And is ABC really thinking about ditching this show with all of these loose ends still dangling?

Stargate SG-1: So…Ori Bugs. I found this one kind of entertaining, though admittedly on a purely B-movie level; take away the forward-moving story element that the Ori left these bugs to do their bidding, and that’s essentially what you have. It’s always good to see Robert Picardo too, though he seemed to be…well…strangely underutilized in this episode. That’s really all I can think of to say.

Stargate Atlantis: So help me, I’d forgotten how much I missed the Genii as an enemy. Granted, in some respects they’re stock baddies, but I’ve gotta say there’s something appealing about Colm Meaney as a total rat’s ass bastard. They almost, almost lured me into thinking that the whole thing wasn’t his character’s trap from the get-go, but he’s such an irredeemable jerk of a villain that it was satisfying to see events roll like a juggernaut toward what has to be the ultimate comeuppance. After last week’s lame cross between the original Star Trek’s Return To Tomorrow and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, this was quite refreshing.

Galactica: Baltar’s a slimy ass. There. I said it. (As if we haven’t all been saying it since the miniseries.) But throw him into bed with Tom Zarek and he’s officially even slimier. The Pegasus situation: this kinda bears out my earlier theory that it’ll take more than Baltar’s one nuke to take out Pegasus, but it wasn’t nice to see this demonstrated practically. I’m really wondering where the Apollo/Starbuck thing is going, and if Starbuck is going to redeem herself at any point soon; at this point she’s become as unreliable, and almost as unlikeable, as Tigh. Apollo’s arc has become fascinating – it’s interesting to have a Commander Adama on Battlestar Galactica again (as it should be), but I can’t help but feel like he’s in over his head on his new command. One can just imagine what the Pegasus crew, and those in the know among the rest of the fleet, think about the Admiral’s choice for the new skipper of Pegasus. At a few points early in the episode, until Adama pointed out that the human race needs repopulating, I was rolling my eyes at the abortion plotline, but once it became integrated into the story instead of – and I think I’ve mentioned ST:TNG’s second season opener The Child as a particularly lousy example of this – just grafting a modern-day debate into a script. I’m glad this turned out to have story implications beyond that, even if it still felt largely like that example. Hopefully it was just a “stylistic red herring” designed to elicit precisely the response that I had and throw people off.

2 thoughts on “This week in Sci-Fi-oid TV, 2-13 through 17 ’06”

  1. Without a doubt, this last show put the series back on track. The best moment of the show was when Apollo realized that he was in command of the Pegasus. He had this deer in the headlights look and I was thinking he was going to pull a Col. Tigh act. Then he shifted mental gears and pulled a brillant move that changed the course of the battle. This episode also put the other shows in perspective. Now I know why they spent all this time on the characterization of Apollo: they were showing us the making of a Battlestar commander.

    At first I was going to write this show off. The previews made it clear that the Pegasus was going to be in major trouble and perhaps be destroyed. “Oh, no”, I thought, “They’re following the track the old series made.” The old series got rid of the Pegasus right away because they didn’t know what to do with it after the two-part episodes it starred in. That showed a lack of imagination and I was very disappointed when we never saw it again. The writers in the current series are showing they got the nuts and the imagination to handle a major change in the situation with the appearance of the Pegasus.

    When I saw the “characterization” shows I was beginning to worry. Sure it may be a pacing trick but they didn’t need that pacing trick in the first season and I was wondering if they were running out of ideas for the show. The Apollo vs the mob episode looked like it was pulled straight from a crime drama. Starbuck vs the Red “Scar” Baron seemed like it came straight out of an old WWI movie. Things weren’t looking good and I was getting ready to bail. The different romance angles they were pulling with just about everyone having sex with everyone else was getting old. The show was losing steam and I was losing interest.

    This episode kicked up the steam big time and my interest skyrocketed. The show is back in form and I’m excited again! 🙂

    P.S. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the abortion subplot. Mostly it was because I missed some key points early in the episode (I went to get a beer or something). Once I watch the tape I’ll see what I missed.

    P.P.S. I agree that the bug episode of Stargate was a good popcorn show. The business of them not making a sound to avoid the attention of the bugs reminded me of the movie “The Day of the Triffids”. The Genii scientist reminded, sorta, of the Master: brilliant and, in many ways, evil. The only disappointment about the Genii episode in Atlantis is that we won’t see Miles O’Brien again. I guess the general saw the light in the end. 😀

  2. I was just writing episode synopses for the site update, and got a laugh when I saw that Kavan Smith (Atlantis’ Major Lorne) was in both Atlantis and Galactica this week. C’mon, Kavan, go for the triple crown – it doesn’t count unless you’re in SG-1 on the same night too. 😛

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