wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,

Stargate Atlantis 405: TRAVELERS - a review

 Below the cut is a spoiler-ridden review of the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Travelers", in which Sheppard is abducted by an alien race.



Never watch Stargate (or CSI) with someone who knows electronics, as they’ll say “Oh, I know what that is and it's total nonsense”. Referring to the mass of useless wires all over the place in Larrin’s ship during the meal scene. Although I * think * that was to mimic FIREFLY. I’ve seen a few episodes of it and it looked very similar, and in fact, weren’t the FIREFLY folk the same nomadic types??


Overall, this was a decent episode, with some strong Sheppard performance and his team doing their darndest to find / save their friend,  And we got Lorne too. I never say no to Lorne and I think it was functional to have him on the rescue mission as I believe you need to have at least one military person per jumper, just in case. Anyway, the first part when the jumper gets attacked and it’s “Sheppard?!” and then “Rodney?” to dead air as they were cut off from each other was well, warmed the cockles of a fan who sees a strong friendship between the two men.


But, the episode had its flaws, regrettably.


The biggest drag for me was the casting of Larrin. I know, I know, some guys think Jill Wagner is hot stuff, and considering how tight her outfit was, she probably is that, but the delivery of dialogue was at times, just, well, eh, flat? Looks only get you so far. I could see the smugness in Larin, she was the leader and had to have a bit of arrogance to pull off that job, but otherwise, I didn’t see much at all to her character. Even when they gave her some meaningful stuff to say, it just wasn’t so believable the way she said it. I think they should honestly start looking at actresses who have done Lifetime moves as they’re at least allowed to frown and emote. Yeah, Larrin yelled once or twice, but anybody can do that. It’s putting the oomph into the parts about abandoning her people that would have helped immensely. I did watch BLADE, well, two episodes. The first one of which I thought was dreadful, and I only returned to watch the one Kavan Smith appeared in, otherwise, I was rather unimpressed with the show, the writing and the lead.


I did like that they didn’t beat around the bush and abducted Sheppard right away, nor did they spend the entire episode trying to coerce him into helping. Tossing him into the void of space (fortunately with a shield) was rather convincing. Reminded me of when I went to the CN Tower in Toronto years ago. They have a glass floor you can stand on and look allll the waaayyy down. I think I put one foot on it.


Sheppard being a smartass all the way through was just the way he is, but that’s not to say I don’t love serious Sheppard either, and there were glimpses of that here. Did love the great maneuver of not initializing the inertial dampeners and the look on the one guy’s face just as he realizes what Sheppard is going to do. And then shooting the guys with the gun (“My friend’s got a gun just like this. Always wondered where he got it”) (although the Travelers, who are just travel and I doubt they have a MasterCard, probably just swiped it off Sateda, etc.).


Best Kodak moment, Sheppard sprawled out on the bunk, arms outstretched, tapping fingers. “Does he look like a man who thinks he’s going to die.” No, he looks like a kid stuck waiting for the schoolbus ;)


(see end of review for screencap credit)


The SOS was good, showing that Sheppard has smarts – shown throughout the episode as he had very good hands-on skills with Lantean technology. Rodney would be proud ;) He could even fiddle with the underside of the control chair to make it work.


However, he really should have punched Larrin back instead of letting her punch him repeatedly, considering she was alone and her other two lackies were up on the bridge. Right? But then it was integral to the plot that that not happen and someone might gripe if Sheppard punched a woman, and I do think Sheppard’s own code of honor is that he won’t punch a woman. Unless of course, she’s trying to suck the life out of him like a wraith queen would. But he did have the perfect opportunity to escape, get the gun and overpower the other two, which I’m sure he could have done with the element of surprise.


Okay, when Larrin foolishly opened the door to the Wraith, I thought, hey, that wraith looks like Billy Baldwin!


And why do women wear high heels in space?? Sure, they were blocky heels but still high enough. It’d be one thing if they needed them for stirrups on horses, but we have yet to see any real animals on SGA..


The hiding in the closest scene was funny, if not predictable, but you’d think Larrin would have brains enough to realize that they had to be quiet so the wraith wouldn’t find them. So, she’s not as smart as she’d like to think she is.


Aw, Shep left the iron on when he left the house (aka left the control room on for the wraith to find) ;) But he was right; if she hadn’t opened the door to the wraith, he wouldn’t have had to go rescue her in such a rush.


Gotta admit, I did not see that coming – Larrin getting sucked dry by the wraith. The scene was both good and bad in some ways. Fantastic in that Sheppard got to see exactly how the de-aging process worked, so his mind was probably going back to what happened in “Common Ground” and I’d love to see some fanfic on that.


My main bugaboo: Larrin’s reaction to being fed upon and resurrected was just well, that’s it? Cripes, the process sounded painful in “Common Ground” If nothing else, the experience has got to be psychologically traumatic but she acted like it was basically nothing, or something cool. Of course, she might be a closet masochist and maybe that’s why she was smiling * cough * I think boils down to acting and the director/writer/whoever putting the ‘gee that’s cool’ spin on it. Blech.


Second bugaboo – As Larrin puts the seductive moves on Sheppard, nobody bothers to check that the wraith did leave?? He might have decided that out of sight, out of mind, and hightailed it do damage in the ship.


Back to the romance… Of course, Sheppard is never gonna tell McKay that she seduced him and then stunned him because he SOOOOOOOO deserved to get stunned. There’s a time for a little hanky-panky and that was not the time with the wraith just seconds out of view and for all they knew, he could have been standing around the corner. Of course the leading man/woman kiss is a classic cliché in the old scifi movies, but at least they wait until the last Martian is dead before locking lips. So, well, Sheppard’s never gonna mention that to McKay cuz he’d never live it down, although if Larrin appears, I wonder if she’d mention it.


Second screencap I want - Stunned sprawled Sheppard waking up in corridor.


(see end of review for screencap credit)


We got to see Sheppard do technical stuff we normally don’t see and negotiate (and not end up giving C4 to the bad guys). It is nice to see an advanced race who aren’t total idiots (although their tactic of attacking people to get technology doesn’t fall far from the Genii). So they’re not total good guys, at least not this bunch. More of the end justifies the means, and Larrin hadn’t been above abduction, torture and possible long-term imprisonment. Yeah, she wanted to save her people, etc. but this was not a good first impression to make.


Had to freezeframe the food just to see what they’re importing. Lettuce, chocolate chip cookie, carrots, mashed potatoes?, burnt meatloaf. Ah, no Evian water in this episode (I’m not big on product placement). Loved Ronon’s way of just stabbing the steak and taking bites off it. That’s what kids and barbarians do. Ah poor  Ronon, getting stereotyped. I liked this team shot better than last week’s, which seemed more ‘look at how they’ve all bonded, see, see’ and seemed tacked on. Here, it made sense and was a bit amusing.


Third screencap wanted – Teyla’s eye roll during that scene. (see note below)


Overall, a 6.5 out of 10. Might have given it more but Jill Wagner’s delivery of Larrin just didn’t impress me. I actually sat there and thought, hmm, Botox?, due to lack of reaction on her part. I think a stronger actress could have pulled off the role a lot better, especially when it came to talking about having to ‘abandon’ some of their people on the ground. However, as much as I love Shep, I adore episodes more where we get to see more team. There wasn’t enough in this one (and I suspect I’ll bemoan that aspect with TRIO, if video clips are any indication). Plus, well, it was a sort get-captured-escape type plot, which doesn’t really give a lot of depth or anything to go “oh wow, that was just incredible”, although if they’d written Larrin a bit better, toned down a bit of the smartass Sheppard, and gotten a better actress, I think the episode could have warranted a higher rating (at least from me).


And it wasn’t until it was over and I saw someone else mention it. I hadn’t even noticed carter not being there. However, it was great to see Rodney charging off to lead the rescue team J




QUIBBLES / Questions (besides the casting of Larrin):


Now, how much radiation did Sheppard get when Larrin “flooded” the bridge area. If it’s being flooded, there should have been some lingering aftereffects at the end of the episode, or maybe that can be a great tag written by a fan since the writers seem to have an aversion to that kind of stuff.


Okay, how did Larrin operate the life signs detector??


Sheppard really, truly, for having been hit repeatedly by two people, should have had some bruises. Sorry, folks, but people do bruise when they get hit. The writers oughta just google ‘black eye’ to get the idea. Not to mention with all the blood he spit out, he should have a nice sized cut inside on the cheek, so it’s gonna hurt when he eats.


Just how does Lantean technology NOT fall apart after being underwater, in space, etc. for thousands of years?


Did Sheppard checking the gun’s ammo mean they actually run out??  And if they run out? What? You go to Walmart to get a new insert??


Will our folk EVER get to keep a Lantean spaceship? And not blow it up if they do get one?



*Screencaps snerched from [info]a_pilgrim_soul 's delightful photo commentary (link below) 


http://a-pilgrim-soul.livejournal.com/53789.html *


















http://caparchives.crystalfires.net/2007/10/26/stargate-atlantis-season-4-hdtv/ - not yet but hopefully soon

http://www.stargatecaps.com/sga/s4/405/ - not yet, but hopefully soon

Feel free to add links to comments section below.



Tags: season 4, stargate atlantis
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