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.