wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,

Stargate Atlantis: "Whispers" episode review (spoilers)

This appears to be an episode most people either love or hate....

As in, forgetting things, etc., like Rodney did in “The Shrine.”


There was a LOT of build-up over this episode, namely by its writer, Joe Mallozzi, so I took all that “it’s going to be wonderful” with a grain of salt, which is good, as I had no expectations for this episode so I wasn’t let down.


It was an okay episode, but the plot was a distillation of every bad horror cliché out there. I’ve seen far too many horror flicks so nothing was really a surprise, or a scare, in this episode. Michaels’ experiments were like zombies, so will be referred to as ‘the undead’.


Okay, first, the all-female team… Teldy (Christine Cox) was the best. Cox has always delivered a good performance in anything I’ve seen her in. Teldy kept a cool head about her and of all of the team, she’s the only one I’d like to see return.


Capt. Vega… um, pretty sad that I can’t remember much at all about her except how, in true horror movie fashion, she turns her back and is immediately sucked into the fog to meet her doom.


Allison Porter (Nicole de Boer), likewise with Christina Cox, I like in virtually all her work, although I really thought they’d kill her (but maybe that wouldn’t be fare to give Beckett that ‘black widow curse,’ which afflicts Sam Carter). The flirting between her and Beckett reminded me an awful lot of the same flirting with Daniel and young Leanna (oh, Destroyer of Worlds, right?) But there wasn’t much to her character here except a “gosh wow” attitude and possible interest in Beckett. Although she did get a good idea for the ambush.


Sgt. Dusty Mera. Ah, well. I had really hoped she’d be killed off as I didn’t care for her. Why? She’s a clone (bad pun) of all the rough around the edges, wise-cracking, gum-chewing soldiers you see in virtually every WWII movie.  “Bad guys need killing.” Gah, she was doing a bad bit of Clint Eastwood channeling. “I thought I heard something.” It was over the top and well, yech. I’m not certain why they went with this stereotype.


Cliches ‘R’ Us (aka the bad points):


§          The lone villager (or townsfolk, etc. etc.) who warns them of very bad things about to happen, but hangs around anyway to get done in.

§          All bad things come out after dark and of course everybody has to run around AFTER dark.

§          Nobody seems to notice the boarded-up windows (obviously to keep something out).

§          Dumb lone villager stands predictably in front of boarded-up window to get sucked through window by the undead.

§          People (aka Beckett) foolishly going outside and going “Sgt., is that you?” and well, no answer, it’s obviously NOT so why go out? Aieee. Oh wait, it’s a horror movie.

§          The well smacked of ‘The Ring’ (and wells are usually harbingers of doom in horror movies and the underground connection was a given).

§          Vega walking away from others, turning back and oh, gee, getting suck away to her death (now, do these undead eat the bodies of those they kill?)

§          Someone stupidly releasing the undead (now, how did the villager not get killed during that process?)

§          A female (9 times out of 10) foolishly not staying put and getting lost, needing to be rescued (Porter).

§          Undead crawling down wall (they can all do that now) to harass Beckett and then of course, the obligatory noise sounds which attracts the thing back to attack.

§          Everybody splitting up.

§          Dusty thinking the light is Teldy. A given it’s NOT.

§          Not waiting till daybreak. With four military personnel with P90s, two civilians with other firepower, they could have held off 12 bad guys, but then someone would have had to go to the bathroom and then died ;)

§          Sheppard with the creaky well (or creaky door, etc.) a given that noise will attract the undead.

§          Beckett basically just running around out there like a chicken without a head, but coming back to save the day. He’s the character you think, oh he’s dead, or is gone so long, you just forgot they were there.

§          Escaping down the well. Who didn’t see that coming?

§          Where was the cat? (sorry, but all horror flicks have a cat or dog, someone mentioned it on the Skiffy board, and yeah, where was the obligatory cat/dog?)


Otherwise, no Ronon, no Teyla, barely any McKay and I swear he just repeated his dialogue in both beginning and ending scenes. Also, has Michael just been abandoning secrets labs at every street corner? I swear they’re everywhere. I wish they could find one that actually bodes well for them, such as rescuing people and having an ethical dilemma of some sort.


The thing with horror movies is that normally, if it’s done correctly, they build up characters that you actually care about if the big bad monster gets ‘em. In this episode, I’d only be concerned about Shep & Beckett, and the rest, well, they’re just monster-fodder, like in all Sci Fi channel Saturday movies.


Good points:


Beckett. It’s nice to see him again, although they’ve just glossed over what has happened with him.


Shep looking rather perturbed that the self-destruct mechanism could be disabled, probably making him think for a split second McKay fouled up and he hadn’t had to spend hours buried in “Search & Rescue,” but it was a nice follow-up. Oh, mock turtleneck looked good, but eye candy stuff only goes so far ;)


“All we need is the prom queen and the kid in the wheelchair,” said Sheppard. Probably the best quote in the entire episode.


Beckett and the creature at the wall. It was just coolly done, but it was clichéd. ;)


As far as horror/writing goes, it rates a C- due to unoriginality and the above-mentioned cliches. It’s not an episode I’ll watch repeatedly.

Tags: review, stargate atlantis
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