The weather forecasters turned out to be right and we got a foot of snow and subzero temperatures this weekend. That forced me to stay in. The good news is I’m very pleased with how my apartment looks right now. It’s all clean, reasonably tidy and instead of mound of dirty laundry I have clean clothes waiting to be folded. The bad news is the list of things I needed to do this weekend has barely been touched. That included starting my ShAgathon story. I was going to do that earlier today, but I ran into a slight glitch when I realized that I had the timing of some events wrong and I try to work with canon as much as possible. I think I can work around it, I just need to come up with a way to work around it.
I also planned to rewatch ‘Taking a Break from All Your Worries’ because I never did do a post regarding the entire episode. Plus I had some additional thoughts about the Lee. But I kept putting that off because I really don’t feel like rewatching the episode. Maybe the mood will strike me this week.
I did end up watching some SG1 and Season 3 of Slings & Arrows. S&A may be the only flawless series I have ever watched. Not a single misstep. Though, to be fair to every other series I have ever watched they weren’t limited to three seasons of six episodes. I’m betting a lot more shows could be amazing if they only had to write six scripts per season and had a year to do so. And had a kick ass cast. I know most of you probably haven’t seen the series, so my ramblings are for sdwolfpup and brynnmck.
I’ve never read King Lear so I am sure some subtleties were lost on me. However, Charles becoming Lear is well established moments after we meet him and William Hutt as Charles as Lear was incredible. When he finally got to perform the role in front of an audience I was as mesmerized as they were. The only thing that took my attention away from him was Paul Gross. As Geoffrey/Kent is helping Charles/Lear to his feet there is this look on Paul’s face that goes beyond what is scripted and being performed, you see his admiration and wonder and empathy for his co-star and, for a moment, he is us.
The series came to a bittersweet ending which I suppose was fitting. After all, we’re dealing with Shakespeare. Geoffrey is fired after putting everything on the line for a dying man’s final wish. Not exactly undeserved since he was playing with other people’s careers and money. There had to be consequences for his actions.
But while out of a job, Geoffrey at last finds some peace. He comes to terms with and is able to let go of Oliver and vice versa. How brilliant was it to put them in couple’s therapy? (With a therapist who is a minister no less. Nice nod to Shakespeare in which the priest often also served as confessor and confidant.) brynnmck made a comment in her post on season 1 that Oliver was perhaps a little bit in love with Geoffrey. I agreed with her and I felt it was confirmed during their final, heated exchange. Oliver tells Geoffrey that he broke his heart after he walked off stage and didn’t speak to him for seven years. It’s always been clear that the professional rivalry and antagonism they shared was a big part of their relationship and their troubles. But this was the first time I recalled the not speaking and Geoffrey simply not being a part of Oliver’s life being made an issue. And it was when Oliver was at his lowest and loneliest that he tried to reach out to Geoffrey before getting hit by that pig truck.
Can I put a plug in for therapy here? Because Geoffrey needed someone not familiar with him (other than the swan incident) and his insanity and his talking to dead people to get an unbiased perspective on what he is dealing with.
Charles seeing Oliver made him real; I often wondered if was just a creation of Geoffrey’s mind. This being seen convinces Oliver that his mission is to help Charles. Yet, I think it’s Charles who helps Oliver and Geoffrey. They worked together to see Charles through to his final performance and, in the process, Oliver managed to coax a terrified Geoffrey back on stage. And even though he was doubled over in agony back stage, when he was on stage his joy at being part of that performance came through. Geoffrey may have convinced himself he was granting a dying man his last wish, but there was more to it. After his breakdown, he gave up what he loved and here was a man so passionate about his craft that he was willing to sacrifice whatever time he had left for it.
I wanted to strangle Ellen throughout much of this season. When that harpy Barbara told her to stand up for herself I actually said out loud, “Yeah, and start by kicking Barbara’s ass to the curb!” I’m not saying letting Barbara come in to her life and take it over was OOC, we’ve seen her be dominated by those with stronger personalities or more power than her, but it was infuriating especially when it came to picking her best friend (who is a classic example of ‘with friends like these…’) over the man she loves.
One thing that really bugged me about the Ellen storyline that had nothing to do with Ellen was the writers choosing for her to sell out and do something beneath her talent by having her agree to do a sci-fi series. If it was 1970 I may have laughed at the jokes, but we currently have an Oscar nominated actress on a critically acclaimed sci-fi series. And ‘Stargate’, ‘Farscape’, ‘Firefly’, ‘Babylon 5”…I could go on, are all highly regarded sci-fi shows. It just seemed like they were going for an easy laugh and are out of the loop.
Geoffrey and Ellen get hitched and head off to Montreal to start over. It’s the first time in a very long time that his personal life is (relatively) stable and happy and he has a clear idea of where he wants to go professionally. All the pain and misery he has gone through at the New Burbage has been worth it because it has brought him to the place he is now.
As for some of the other characters…loved, loved, loved Anna especially in her final scene with Richard and finally having enough of all the crap she’s put up with. I really had high hopes for Richard. We got to see him grow from his joy at seeing ‘Hamlet’ performed to struggling to keep the theatre afloat to finally being given a chance to be part of something he loves – musical theatre. He got to live his dream and he was successful at it. As Anna put it so well, he was so close to finding his soul. He was trying to embrace everything good about the theatre and what it means to be an artist, but he let a little success go to his head and reverted to the bottom line guy. I even hoped Geoffrey’s termination would be a wake up call, he seemed genuinely outraged… until he was promised complete control over the festival which, depressingly, now seems more likely to put on a production on ‘Kiss Me Kate’ than ‘Taming of the Shrew’.
And while I like Sarah Polley and thought she did a good job as Sophie, her Cordelia failed to move me. I think she’s proof that you can be a good actress, but that doesn’t mean you are cut out to do Shakespeare.
And now for something completely different…
I really enjoyed this episode, but I was also disappointed by it. The disappointment may be my own fault because of assumptions I had made. I was spoiled for Daniel becoming a prior and I had this impression that he would be one for several episodes and that the team would be forced to fight him as they were fighting the rest of the Ori. Silly me thought they may be forced to make some hard choices. Instead, we are introduced to Prior Daniel and about thirty seconds later are told he’s faking it. So much for drama. Yeah, hearing Daniel try to convince them for most of the episode that he’s really Daniel and this is all part of some brilliant, convoluted plan got old. And in the end we learn that, once again, they may have done more harm then good.
It dawned on me today that the problem I’m having with the Ori storyline is not that they are rather boring villains or that they do best SG1 on a fairly regular basis (I like the idea that our heroes can sometimes fail), but that the Ori are the only storyline we are dealing with. In their heyday the Goa’uld weren’t the focus of every single episode. What happened to discovering new cultures or dealing with the crisis of the week?
What did I like about the episode? RDA could have put a bit more effort into it, but I really did like the Jack/Daniel banter (and it did make sense to call in Jack here, it wasn’t just a glorified cameo) and Daniel’s increasing frustration with no one trusting him. Vala sitting on Daniel’s lap was cute without being too cute. And Cam and Vala working together was great because it meant Ben and Claudia got some alone time. ;)
Double Jeopardy: Some nice continuity with the hairstyles reflecting what the SG1 team looked like when they were copied. And the clones visiting a planet that SG1 had already visited, but is again under Goa’uld rule raises an interesting question - do they bother to check back with the people they supposedly liberate? Oh, this was directed by Michael Shanks, hence his head getting blown off so early. Cronos may be the scariest looking system lord yet. He looks like a cross between a Viking and the lead singer of a metal band. Jack vs Jack is hilarious and proof that he can’t even get along with himself. ;) Favorite line: “Is this the first time you’ve ever lied to yourself?”
Exodus: Methos! I mean, Tanith. I have no clue who this guy is since SciFi skipped some eps. The thing I found most interesting here was the discussion between Jack and Jacob in regards to who has the better plan to fight the Goa’uld. Jacob makes a good point that since earth and SG1 in particular have entered the fight they have taken to killing system lords, causing power to become consolidated, and thus making system lords harder to fight. But Jack makes an interesting point, what have the Tok’ra accomplished in their 2,000 years? I understand the theory that if you keep the system lords fighting each other they’ll be depleting their resources making them easier to defeat, but when? Jacob admits they are still working on their plan.
Enemies: When did Jack get so flippant? He use to be a little bit serious when they were, oh, facing death, but now everything is a joke to Jack. And while I think Jack has a certain amount of respect for Jacob as a person, especially since he’s Sam’s father, there seems to be a lot of animosity between the two. I like that Daniel couldn’t fly the ship on his own. Most series by this point make their heroes good at everything and I like that Daniel still doesn’t know how to do certain things or that Jack can’t understand Goa’uld. Please tell me that Apophis is really dead. PLEASE.
Threshold: Nice that we get a back story on how Teal’c came to no longer believe that the Goa’uld were gods. It was also great to see Chris Judge have something to do. My biggest complaint of Season 10 is that the guy has nothing to do but sit in a chair or get tortured or shoot at stuff.
Ascension: OK, Orlin is creepy stalker guy and Sam should be a lot more freaked out. And while Sam is a great gal, I’m not really buying his seeing her and falling in love. Though, given how long he was alone any woman may have looked good to him. Is this the first time we here about ascension and ascended beings? The team seems rather casual about the revelation so I’m guessing they don’t really know the significance of what Orlin is telling him and how it’s going to give them many headaches in the future.
The Fifth Man: Who didn’t know Taylor wasn’t one of them thirty seconds after meeting him? Totally predictable episode done better on ST:TNG, probably because that plant turned out to be evil and not a goody two shoes alien.
And HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!!! to joools and soundingsea. I'll say I hope you all had great days, but you are all trapped in the frozen tundras like me. ;-)