I did watch some TV this weekend. First up is the 'Gates'. I watched both SG1’s Talion and SGA’s Sunday with sdwolfpup, brynnmck, and danceswithwords because it was a special occasion beyond Bryn’s birthday. Unfortunately, said occasion I can only refer to behind a cut because it involves spoilage.
I’m just copying and pasting the thoughts I posted for ‘Talion’ many months ago. It’s spooky how I said the exact same things again Friday in chat without even realizing it.
As much as I loved Chris Judge being given something to do, I was rather 'meh' about this ep. I found myself missing Jack and his "It's a Jaffa revenge thing" a lot. Jack always supported Teal'c, but he was also rather bemused by Teal'c quests and would question his single-mindedness and reasoning. Granted, Teal'c walked away from the SGC and the team had no authority to do anything at that point, but I missed someone stepping up to make a stronger argument about the potential craziness of his plan.
Man, I really thought Bra’tac was dead or on his way to being so. But this is SG1 and not BSG and they are unlikely (the exception being Janet) to kill off popular characters.
I'm sure Arkad was lying through his teeth, but the actor was good enough that he made me wonder if maybe he wasn't the bad guy he was being made out to be. Perhaps had the series continued he would have stuck around longer so we could explore what his intentions really were. I would have loved to discover he wasn't a clearly defined villain, but had shades of grey. Then I remembered again that this is SG1.
I also missed General Hammond. Landry was such a tool here. If Hammond thought he was being played there was no way he'd just go ahead and follow orders and hope for the best.
And now for the moment I’ve been waiting for.
At long last it was Exploding Tumor Friday. Yes, I was spoiled for this.
Before I give my thoughts on the episode itself, let me go back, way back, in time. Many years ago I was an avid soap opera viewer. My favorite soap was Santa Barbara. A show I originally felt was laughably bad until I fell a little bit in love with the character of Mason Capwell. Mason and Julia would eventually become my soap OTP. But before Mason and Julia there was Mason and Mary. I liked them well enough together, but, thankfully, the show had other ideas in mind and they decided to kill off Mary. If I remember correctly, Mary had been raped by her step brother and, unbeknownst to Mason, was pregnant with the step-brothers child. I can’t recall what exactly happened, but Mary, the brother, Mason, and others ended up on the roof of the Capwell Hotel, during a terrible wind storm. There were tears and accusations as the giant ‘C’ in the big illuminated hotel sign began waving in the wind. Eventually, it fell over and, yes, Mary’s death was brought to us by the letter C. I mention all this because it was the stupidest death I had ever seen. That is until I watched ‘Sunday’.
Honestly, I do think Beckett’s death is more tragic than Mary’s or Trip’s on Enterprise or the Lone Gunman on The X-Files - bad deaths all. In those deaths there was an element of the characters own incompetence involved. Beckett was doing his job to the best of his ability and his own moral compass wouldn’t allow him to abandon his patient. Given the situation, he did everything right. But an exploding tumor? Really??? What were the writers
There was other oddness to the episode. I get that the show was attempting to depict how tragedy can strike at any moment and when least expected. Howevre, mixing the loss of a major character with so many light hearted vignettes didn’t quite work for me.
I have to admit I liked the John and Ronan scenes. It gave Ronan something to do other than look pretty and beat up the enemy and we got to learn a little more about each character’s personal life. I especially appreciated that John asked if Ronan was seeing anyone, a woman or a man, and how it was a non-issue. And I can only hope they follow up as to the mutual attraction that seems to exist between John and Teyla, not because I ship them, but I’m getting tired of both 'Gates' dodging the issue of relationships.
Which brings me to Elizabeth and the bearded guy. The ‘I can’t get involved with someone I work with’ excuse is lame because a) she doesn’t really work with him and b) they dating pool is rather limited on ‘Atlantis’. Yet, what I was most insulted by was Elizabeth stating that she can’t do her job and have a relationship. That’s just a slap in the face to professional women everywhere. On Stargate Sam’s relationships may have ultinately failed, but at least she was given the opportunity to try.
In honor of brynnmck’s birthday (one of the few perks of living in the eastern time zone is I was one of the first to get to wish her a Happy Birthday! ;-), I’m going to talk about due South. Because of Bryn and SDW’s enthusiasm for it, I had purchased Season 1 months ago as did DWW. While DWW has managed to start working her way through Season 2, I’ve been languishing in early season 1. (I blame HBO and the repeats of Oz.) Now with the 2006-2007 TV season officially over, I have time to haul out the DVDs again.
I mentioned in chat on Friday that I was up to ‘Victoria’s Secret’ (or so I thought, more on that in a bit), an ep that I had seen many people rave about. So at two in the morning, after Bryn departed due to the surprise arrival of her brother, SDW and DWWf convinced me to watch Part 1 of VS with them. Part 2 had to wait until the next day for me because I was becoming Zombie Asta by 3am. Watching Part 2 led to watching ‘Letting Go’ which led to…
It turns out I screwed up. I missed watching disc 3 in the set. Oops. This may not be a bad thing though because watching ‘You Must Remember This’ after ‘Victoria’s Secret’ is quite an interesting experience. First off, kudos to the show for setting a plot in motion months in advance - very few shows even attempt this. Second, it was fascinating to watch Fraser recount the exact same story about Victoria to a sleeping Ray (I suspected as much before the reveal since I had a hard time imagining Fraser being that open) while speaking to his own reflection in the glass. It’s a matter of baby steps here and he's finally facing a part of his past that I’d hazard to guess he hadn’t thought about in years. He needed to say the words, but wasn’t quite ready to talk about it with someone else.
I also liked the parallel between Fraser and Victoria and Ray and, um, the federal agent whose name escapes me. Each man experienced immediate and intense connections with these women, but Ray's ‘relationship’ had a key difference - he was willing to let go. First, when he still thought she was a criminal, he gave her the opportunity to run. Love was more important than duty. Then he let her walk out of his life. And he was OK with the choices he made because they were the result of his personal feelings. And he still had hope. She left him for “the right reasons” and while the timing isn’t right for them now, who knows what could happen down the road? Fraser and Victoria separation never sat right with Fraser and he didn’t believe he’d ever get a second chance...until ‘Victoria’s Secret’.
So I’m finding out that I was in the minority deducing that Victoria was up to no good from the start. She didn’t allow Fraser to walk her to her hotel room - a clear sign, to me, she wasn’t actually staying there. We didn’t see who shot Dief (OMG, SHE SHOT DIEF!). Finally, it's revealed her accomplice had a knife, not a gun, and she suddenly does have a gun. I was with Ray on this one, the woman could not be trusted.
As Part 2 unfolds it is revealed, that, yes, Victoria set Fraser up big time. She’s going to make him suffer as much as she did, more so even. She’s stripping him of his freedom, worse yet, his name and everything that makes Fraser Fraser. Yet, she declares she loves him and I believe her. Perhaps it’s all the Oz viewing, but I've come to find that you can be a deceitful, manipulative, selfish bitch and still believe you love a person. It's not healthy, it's ultimately destructive, but it doesn't mean it's not love. She wants it all - the money, the diamonds, and Fraser. And blinded by love Fraser is willing to turn his back on his entire life.
I can’t say I hated Fraser, but I was disappointed in him. He couldn’t see past his guilt and regret as to who and what she really was. The woman he fell in love with during the storm was not the woman who showed up in Chicago. He had fallen in love when they both thought they were going to die, when they were reaching out to provide any comfort they could to each other. He saw the best of her in those two days and chose to believe her prior actions had simply been a mistake, she wasn't the criminal he tracked when, in fact, she was.
I’m still a little confused as to what the ending meant. Maybe I didn’t want to believe he’d actually run away with her, so I told myself he saw Ray pointing the gun at her and ran to save her. Or maybe he wanted the choice taken away from him. He made an interesting comment in ‘Letting Go’ about trying to destroy yourself. He was destroying himself. Had he gotten on the train with her, Benton Fraser, as we knew him, would have been destroyed and would have turned into a sad, broken man. I also think the rational part of his mind that was still working thought Ray might hit him instead of her, kill him, and thus he wouldn’t have to deal with any of this mess.
Checking out some old posts on my Flist, a comment by danceswithwords stood out for me – that in shooting Fraser, Ray saved him. I hadn’t thought about it in that respect. I was focused on what Ray was going through at that moment, devestated at shooting his best friend, but it’s a brilliant observation because, as I mentioned, had Fraser gotten on the train the man he was would no longer have existed.
‘Victoria’s Secret’ and ‘Letting Go’ I look at as a trilogy and since I like to be contrary, I’m going to say I liked ‘Letting Go’ the best of the three episodes. One reason is the awesome homage to Rear Window, one of my favorite Hitchcock films. Another reason is Laurie Holden as Jill who I think, more than through the physical therapy, helped Fraser get over all the trauma he had been through.
There were also some very neat parallels between events here and in VS. One of the reasons Fraser was so reluctant to get involved, to help, which is a natural instinct for him, was because he was identifying too much with the victim turned killer who did, ultimately, let herself be destroyed by the situation and lost everything that mattered to her.
And Ray takes a bullet for Fraser as Fraser did for Victoria. What men won’t do for love? ;) I can’t say that I’m shipping Fraser/Ray, but I see why others do and can. Good grief, the dialogue practically made subtext text. “Put Victoria behind us”, getting a “do over”, talking about how she “almost came between us.” Wow.
A couple of non-relationshipy things struck me in ‘You Must Remember This.” At some point is Fraser put on the Chicago police’s payroll? It’s one thing to allow him to hang around the police station, but he was going on the stakeout as Ray’s partner. Isn’t that some sort of no-no?
Dief succumbing to an urban plight - turning into a junk food junky. I about died when he finally decided to help and Fraser’s only response was, “Did we run out of donuts?”
I assume many of you have heard about the new series Moonlight about a tortured vampire detective that falls in love with a mortal? David Greenwalt is taking over as show runner. ::head desk::
inlovewithnight is organizing the very low stress One Night Stand Challenge. You should all go over and take a look to see what there is to look forward to or, better yet, contribute. I have an idea, now it’s a matter of finding the time for it.
Finally, since I believe this is the longest post I’ve done since BSG wrapped up it’s season, Happy Birthday! x_h00ine. I hope it’s not raining on your parade, not a literal parade even though you deserve one, and that you continue to have an awesome weekend. :)