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23 October 2005 @ 10:34 pm
SGA: Trinity  


The John/Rodney tension of "Trinity" makes me think of the Jack/Daniel tension in "The Other Side," though it seems to have caused less fannish outcry. Even knowing how the episode ended--or maybe because I knew--I felt jumpy and could only watch it in five-minute bursts. I'm such a sensitive flower these days. Wilt-prone. (Or, often, just prone prone, with my face mashed in my pillow, a la Rodney, but less happy.)

The ending wasn't as bad as I'd feared from reading transcriptions and some comments. And it makes sense, character wise, that they'd have an episode like this, where Rodney's ego, hubris, whatever, gets the better of him and he makes a huge, public mistake in judgment. It's supposed to humanize him, and it did. If it humbled him, he's hiding it well. Cracks in his facade did start to show at the end, but overall he kept his chin up. The last shot was even of him smiling; nice as a reaction to John, but on the whole not promising much in terms of lessons learned. If the last scene--or even the previous scene--had been Rodney alone in his room having a major emotional collapse, literally sinking against the wall in a Mulderesque fashion, his guilt and distress and uncertainty hidden from the world, that would have rocked. But SGA is like a cafe drink with a few shots of espresso and a lot of milk. And sometimes foam.

How the show handles Rodney has made me twitchy all season. At this point, what I think of the events in "Trinity" will depend on whether anything plays out in consequence--whether they give any follow-through in Rodney's character arc, and in Rodney & John's relationship, and in the seasonal arc. I'm not really confident in that. I think the strengths and weaknesses of SG-1 as a show probably carry over to SGA. SG-1 didn't seem to do much with character arcs after season three or so, and from the beginning were inclined to favor plot continuity over character. I think SG-1's biggest achievement has simply been its survival. To surive it's had reinvent parts of itself, adjust its gears, but it's done that cautiously. Despite that it lets its characters range far and wide in sci-fi plot terms, it's basically a conservative show with a narrow range of what it will let the characters do. It's strongly in the survival for survival's sake camp of television. It wants to be a long-term moneymaker. It doesn't want to startle and rock the boat and risk losing a core audience by being too dark or tricky.

Not that there's anything wrong with being comfort food for an audience. I think I may just be at a fannish point where, with most shows, canon gives me 40% of what I need and fan-fiction gives me 60%. Or something like that. What's really weird is that I seem to want my canon to be difficult and wrenching (in the good way), but in fan-fiction I often prefer lightness and happy endings. I want TV to be more complex than it is most of the time. I like complex fan-fiction too, though. So as usual I have no idea what I'm saying.

This may read as kind of negative. There wasn't anything wrong with the episode, though. I'm just inclined to be moody and down at the moment. Which is why the world needs more baby animals.
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Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: Rodney vulnerable - ruwalkdzurlady on October 24th, 2005 05:42 am (UTC)
whether they give any follow-through in Rodney's character arc, and in Rodney & John's relationship, and in the seasonal arc.
Is this a question, or are you remaining spoiler free?
Anna S.: joe-flaniganeliade on October 24th, 2005 05:48 am (UTC)
I'm not trying particularly hard to remain spoiler-free for SGA. I'll often skim post-ep commentary for eps I haven't seen, and I read any good-looking story that comes out regardless of whether it's related to an unwatched ep. I guess the only thing I'd try to avoid is getting really immersed in someone's strong opinion of an ep or eps, because then I'll be more likely to go into an ep with expectations of some kind, and that can be distracting and undermine the experience--if I have too much meta/discussion info competing with the episode itself, like background noise competing with the visuals, etc.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: McShep by ?mmmchelledzurlady on October 24th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
Cool - I was just going to say that there was indeed some later reference to what happened in 'Trinity' between John and Rodney - it's not completely forgotten. It's not to focus of a ep, or anything, but it is there, which is nice.
Destina: love2(v)destina on October 24th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
*drive-by kisses*
Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha: Atlantis manip (by me)elethe on October 24th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC)
Well, Rodney smiles just after Sheppard goes into the transporter, as though he has a bit of hope he hasn't completely screwed up - but then his face changes and there's definitely a regretful look, with the suggestion he probably will go to his room and start wibbling in private about all of it.

The facade does break during that scene - from blustering to fragile at the end. It is quite subtle, but subtle is good, isn't it?
Raven: book womanraveninthewind on October 24th, 2005 09:36 am (UTC)
think I may just be at a fannish point where, with most shows, canon gives me 40% of what I need and fan-fiction gives me 60%.
I understand what you mean--I feel like TV series only partly satisfy, and for shows I care about, I need the fanfic to round out the experience enough to keep me watching.

What's really weird is that I seem to want my canon to be difficult and wrenching (in the good way), but in fan-fiction I often prefer lightness and happy endings. I want TV to be more complex than it is most of the time.
This I don't agree with, though. I had to stop watching BSG after SG-1 and SGA because the contrast was too large. While I admire BSG and will catch up eventually, the darkness of that 'verse wasn't much fun, and for 10 p.m. on a Friday? Not what I want to see before falling asleep.

That said, I tend to prefer less angst and more lightness and happy endings in fanfic, maybe because characters rarely get that in canon. Or maybe it's that I want to feel good afterward, not impressed (opressed) with the gravity of the human condition.
(Deleted comment)
julia_herejulia_here on October 24th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
I think SG-1's biggest achievement has simply been its survival. To surive it's had reinvent parts of itself, adjust its gears, but it's done that cautiously. Despite that it lets its characters range far and wide in sci-fi plot terms, it's basically a conservative show with a narrow range of what it will let the characters do. It's strongly in the survival for survival's sake camp of television. It wants to be a long-term moneymaker. It doesn't want to startle and rock the boat and risk losing a core audience by being too dark or tricky.


Not that there's anything wrong with being comfort food for an audience.


Well, except this: for some of us, it's not enough. I need strong, character driven arcs to get really interested in a show; its why I loved Homicide: Life on the Streets, Farscape, and Buffy. And why, after three years of watching SG-1 (including, for a while, the backstory reruns on Monday) and watching SGA from the beginning, I have trouble telling episodes apart, unless I'm fannishly committed to a guest-star.

I want it to be better, especially since my son's not likely to be moving out until he graduates from college, and he does follow it. I keep trying, but my brain slides right off most of it. In the words of the stereotypical rejection letter, "it does not fill (my) current needs."

Julia, limited ability to make fannish commitments R me
fanaddictfanaddict on October 24th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
Condemned, which was shown before Trinity, was supposed to be aired after it, which is why Condemned Rodney kept saying he couldn't do things, etc. It was supposed to show how his confidence had been hurt by Trinity. For some reason it was aired out of order and an important continuity arc was lost. Sheppard's trust/lost trust in Rodney also comes up in at least one later ep (maybe more, not sure). So there has been/were intended to be references to the Trinity issues. And S1 of SGA surprised me with an arc that I didn't notice until it came back in Jan, so the same may happen this year and TRinity may be important. I don't know spoilers so I have no clue.
Alizarin_NYC: mcshep peckalizarin_nyc on October 24th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
But SGA is like a cafe drink with a few shots of espresso and a lot of milk. And sometimes foam.

Yes, exactly. And now I'm thirsty.

And this post doesn't read as negative at all, just insightful and what many of us are feeling... well, at least ME.

I think I may just be at a fannish point where, with most shows, canon gives me 40% of what I need and fan-fiction gives me 60%.

For SGA, I find that canon gives me 30%, fanfic gives me 70%. I have been re-watching certain episodes, like Duet, and thinking, was John ALWAYS this callous to McKay? It just seemed so weird and out of character and it was THE SHOW. The show itself can't be out of character, can it? Well, in my mind, it can. *sigh*
Fenris Wolffenris_wolf0 on October 25th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
The show itself can't be out of character, can it?

*deep sigh* You're right, unfortunately...

:(
Fenris Wolffenris_wolf0 on October 25th, 2005 05:32 am (UTC)
Don't worry, it gets better: Season 2 is indeed not really following through very well in terms of character development (as you rightly note, Stargate writers are not the best as when it comes to consistency, a tendency clearly demonstrated in SGA S2) but things do look up afterwards (after 'Conversion', I mean, because 'Conversion' is really rather bad, IMHO).

Frankly, you are not the only one to have been made twitchy by some of what we have seen lately; in my case I have to admit I am downright incensed about the way Elizabeth has been handled -can they add any more eye shadow to underline in a heavy handed fashion the fact that she is now romantically available?- and I cannot say that Sheppard character has shown up very well either so far).

It's not really bastardization in any of these cases as much as an apparent lack of understanding by the writers of what these characters are about. Or what they were about in Season 1.