At BOBW26, Paul McGillion said that Carson was going to touch the darkness towards the end of the season and the man did not lie!
As I said before, in many ways, this episode is Carson Beckett's Trinity
. He is so blinded by the pursuit of his goal that ignores all the warnings being thrown up. His belief in his own ability to complete the task isn't absolute because he isn't Rodney, but he remains resolute in the belief that it should
be pursued. Instead of Sheppard reluctantly supporting him, he has Weir actively egging him on. And the fallout is far worse than the impersonal destruction of a presumedly uninhabited solar system (or five-sixths, it's not an exact science).
How did he get there? I think it was gradual process brought on by several factors (unlike Rodney's sudden discovery of new and wonderful technology).
First up, Beckett is a scientist as well as a healer - quite a few doctors are, actually ;-)
Let's face it, if looking after sick people was all Carson cared about, he'd be in clinical practice back on Earth, not jumping in over his head in another galaxy. And he has a scientist's normal curiosity. From as far back as Rising
, he was fascinated by Wraith physiology.
Did he see the Wraith as people? I don't think so. I think he saw them as first and foremost those scaring and very powerful creatures that are out to suck us all dry. And he secondarily saw them as a fascinating organism to study. Why did he start working on a treatment to rid a wraith of the Eratus (spelling?) bug elements and preserve the human? Because he could. Seriously, I think it's probably because he came up with an "amazing" scientific theory and pursued it in the lab as fascinating research - in much the same way Einstein probably thought "hey what if E equals mc2?"
He seems to have put the various pieces of the puzzle together over the course of the first season - from the features of the bug that attacked Sheppard, to the revelation about Teyla's ancestors. And as Rodney said at the time, "fascinating problem solved" but no use in their then situation. Still, he would have been able to reason that the idea might have a practical use way down the track. It's science for it's own sake - and quite harmless in the lab. And it might actually have a use one day...
Then Elia came along. There's a suddenly practical application for the theoretical research. Oh, happy day! Elia wants
to be rid of her Wraith side. She wants it so badly that she steals the unready prototype and uses it on herself. Not only does it result in her death and the death of her adopted father, but Sheppard is almost lost as well.
The Collins Factor. I genuinely believe that McKay felt that Collins' death should not have been in vain and this contributed to (but was not the only reason for) his fixation that the Acturus research could continue. And in a very similar way, I believe that Elia's tragic fate and John near-tragic fate fuelled a belief in Carson that some
good had to come of it all. In some ways, he was fulfilling the dead girl greatest wish in perfecting this treatment. Too late for her, but her legacy would be that he would succeed for another. And driving himself to the point of exhaustion, he achieved it.
So much sorrow. So much death. And after so much pain and effort, he's found a way of stopping the Wraith from being a fundamental threat to humans but without killing them. It must be justified. It must be a good thing. Right?
Now, contrary to what some seem to believe "firstly, cause no harm" is not part of the Hippocratic Oath. Furthermore, it is not part of any oath medicos take during or after their training. Rather, it is an ideal to which they aspire. And yes, I do believe that Carson Beckett takes striving for that ideal very seriously. Most medicos do. But the fact remains that sometimes doctors do cause a degree of harm either mistakenly or as an unavoidable side-effect of the treatment they give. Frankly, if it didn't happen reasonably regularly there wouldn't be a specific medical term for it (iatrogenic).
So while I don't think Beckett is insensitive to the suffering he has caused Michael during the course of his "treatment", I do think that he accepted it as necessary for what he, the doctor, saw as the patient's eventually greater good. Was he wrong? Yeah, I think so. Does he reproach himself? Hell, yeah! On several different counts. Do you think he, for one second, believes Weir's assertion that the blame starts and ends with her? I certainly don't.
There's a lot of blame to go around. Let's face it, they've screwed up big time.
Out of them all, I think Sheppard comes out of it the best. John is not an unthinking man, but he is a soldier at war. And in such situations he compartmentalises his thinking down to "us and them". He states his case quite plainly. The Wraith will stop at nothing to kill them all - and there's nothing he won't do to prevent that from happening. Very hardline, but practical and true to form. I've never got the impression that John Sheppard revels in death or violence for it's own sake (a fascination with explosives and weaponry notwithstanding), but when the chips are down a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do - and John's a man who does it. (And if that doesn't deserve a little montage, then I dunno what does.)
But I am really
not as impressed with Ronon as everyone else seems to be. Yeah, he was right about it being a bad idea. Still not impressed. A broken clock gives the correct time twice a day because it doesn't move from a position that will eventually indicate the right time - and that's about the same level of "rightness" I ascribe to Ronon in this episode.
Michael said that he felt he should
thank Ronon for at least being honest with him. But did he feel genuine gratitude? Nuh.
I can see that I'm supposed
to be impressed with the honesty and the way Ronon refuses to compromise his principles for this grand experiment that everyone else is so caught up in. But am I in the least bit impressed? Nuh.
Sure, he's "honest", but the honesty stems from nothing I admire. Did Ronon even consider that saving a Wraith could save the rest of them and therefore might be worthwhile? No. Did he analyse the pros and cons and decide it was far too risky, not to mention morally dubious? You're kidding, right?
No, Ronon being "right all along" merely stems from his unreasoning and unrelenting hatred of all things Wraith. I can't admire that in the slightest. It's just not in me. I have much more respect for someone who thinks about the issues and then compromises their principles because it's necessary at the time (even if they do so mistakenly) - rather than someone who just steadfastly and "honestly" clings to their preconceived notions. Unreasoning hatred continues to not impress me - and until Ronon demonstrates that there's anything more to him than that, why should I be the least bit impressed - or even interested?
Okay, so it's getting late and I really need to go to bed. Driving to Canberra for a brother's wedding tomorrow.
We are gonna go to pic-and-point mode.
The big revelation. It sucks to be Michael. Great acting by Mr Trinneer.
John pointing out that the alternatives for Mike aren't that crash hot.
Michael indicating what he thinks of that.
John - dubious (and cute)
Carson & Kate (she really annoyed me in this episode – didn't mind her before but in this one she was painful)
The gang's all here.
John - still dubious (and still cute)
Michael gets away and it's death of a minor character time.
John's not happy.
We need a new plan.
Transporting the prisoner (John with gun! Guh!)
Then the more "medicinal" approach.
Michael thinks there's something familiar about this situation.
Teyla discovers that Sympathy with the Devil really is
Carson gets to say "They went that-a-way!""It's your thing... amongst many other things..."
*snicker* (and yeah, name six!)
John with gun! Again! Squee!
And it's all fun and games until the Wraith learn your big secret about Atlantis not being destroyed after all.
The implications are ongoing. Unlike the fallout from Rodney's mistakes in Trinity
the consequences of this ep directly impact on the people of Atlantis. It's a bit like hit the reset switch for this time last year though - same threat as last year. Same time, same batchannel. Just, y'know, back again. But hey, that's okay. It is
a pretty hefty threat and there's the Michael factor in the mix now.
And it occurs to me that I considered that this might be the season's "clip show". I did notice an "excerpts written by" in the credits but the only footage I can attribute those to some of Michaels dreams of hiveships. Is that the extent to which clips are going to be recycled this season? Wow.
I've heard the premise for the next ep and it doesn't seem geared towards what could be used for a clip show, but you never know. And then the season finale!
But I seriously
need to go to bed now! Nighty-night for now!