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Veni! Vidi! Disputavi!
I am not contradictory. I am paradoxical which is something entirely different.
SGA 2x18 - Michael (aka The Fall of Angels) - Parte the Seconde 
21st-Jan-2006 02:53 am
lightning
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.


Carson shocked.


Michael despondent.


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 dangerous.


Carson gets to say "They went that-a-way!"


"It's your thing... amongst many other things..." *snicker* (and yeah, name six!)


Concerned Shep.


Action Shep!


Where-the-hell's-McKay-when-you-need-him Shep!


Michael "relapsing"


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!
Comments 
20th-Jan-2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
Mmm I agree with the Carsons Trinity episode. He seems intent to finish this experiment. I was a bit thrown off by that. When they were asking and turned to Carson I was like 'oh Beckett will say not to keep going...' And he was like yeah lets see how it ends! Im like ok... wtf?

Elia's tragic fate and John near-tragic fate fuelled a belief in Carson that some good had to come of it all.

Ohhh Yes carson would see it that 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.

Meh neither was I. I don't dislike Ronon but hes a little boring...

Squee! You put Michaels reaction to finding out hes a wraith! Love that bit! Conner rules in that scene.

Kate pissed me off to the max in this ep too! Die Heightmeir! *g* Its just something about her...

And now Atlantis is discovered! Duh duh DUH! Whoops! So really this whole experiment thing? BAD IDEA! :)

You didn't have this one in there.
Image hosting by Photobucket
I loved the cross eyed look down the barrel of the gun!

Ditto on the should be in bed. But I couldn't help but get inspiration for icons!! I'll make some tomorrow! Ta Derry!
22nd-Jan-2006 06:15 am (UTC)
I was like 'oh Beckett will say not to keep going...' And he was like yeah lets see how it ends! Im like ok... wtf?

Well, I thought it was kind of interesting that when Carson is saying "I don't know... Well, maybe I suppose I could", Elisabeth seems really eager to jump in and say "OK then, we're going ahead". It really did begin to look like she way the driving force and as long as Carson said he could do it, she was all go, go, go.

And *I* can't believe I missed that screencap! It's brill! Thank you! I'll be snaffling that for my own collection! Cheers!
20th-Jan-2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
What's with Weir, anyway? -sighs-

I'm not sure about the whole issue of Carson seeing Wraith as people. I keep thinking of "Duet" where he told the Wraith in the crashed dart that he would help him. I think that's the reason he's not engineering a bio-weapon to just kill them all. Maybe he doesn't look at them as full equals, but he has compassion for them.

Otherwise, yes. I think you are right there as well. I've clearly been spending too much time with the Anth crowd and not enough with Brother's Biology nerds, or I would have picked up on that. (Though I still maintain peer pressure as a contributing factor to "Trinity," because everyone does expect McKay to save the day). I wonder if anyone's trust issues are now going to spread to Carson. (In the theme of my opening question, how come Carson got absolved and Rodney got reamed out in public?)

I'm currently having a bit of trouble feeling especially sorry for him though. I may get over it.

Sheppard montage = GUH!

I've just now realised the Ronon is obviously someone's Mary Sue (Marty Sam/Gery Stu/whatever), because he has no personality and just about anything can be justified by his tragic past. That said, I still liked him. I would not have liked him if he had done anything differently, because it would have been completely out of character. He has good reason to be as prejudiced as he is, and no real reason to try to overcome it. There is historical precedent for this.

name six
Consumption of food on a large scale, possibly also waste disposal. Moreover, Beating the shit out of Sheppard's Marines. Secondarily, inspiring meyerlemon's highly amusing and entirely snarky photo essays. Sixth and lastly, carrying a sword which amuses me beyond words. And to conclude, occasionally acting all vulnerable and puppy like. :-P (oops, one short, giving Tayla someone to interact with, because she really didn't have much to do before).

Even though I had also been spoiled, the whole revelation scene freaked me right the hell out. Probably mostly due to CT's reaction.

Sheppard sure is dark here. That "time to go" line near the end was scary and sounded like a villain. I kept thinking that this was a reverse of that episode that all the other shows do where one of our heroes wakes up like that and some nasty aliens are trying to get information out of him or her (or create a new branch of the species or something). Really, if this was your first episode, you would think that Micheal was the hero.

Doctor Kate always annoys the crap out of me. I think it's my psych minor kicking in.

Too bad CT's been recast. Oh well. I guess it won't matter as much with all that makeup.

Have fun at the wedding.

Thank you for the lovely caps.
22nd-Jan-2006 06:46 am (UTC)
What's with Weir, anyway? -sighs-

Lord knows! But if you find out, do let me know.


I'm not sure about the whole issue of Carson seeing Wraith as people. I keep thinking of "Duet" where he told the Wraith in the crashed dart that he would help him.

To be perfectly honest, when I first saw that in Duet, I found it a bit over the top. It looked like they were trying to reinforce this idea of Carson as the "perfect caring doctor" (which is just a rubbish idea anyway) and being totally ham-fisted about it.

But then I rationalised it to myself that Carson doesn't go off-world all that much and he doesn't see too many alive and free wraith who just might be able to come over and attack him (he knows their regenerative powers). So that could have been him being flustered and almost "nice doggie - not gonna hurt you - don't bite me".

But what I really meant by he didn't see the Wraith as real people is that he didn't view them as individuals. He's not stupid. He knows they're sentinent. But he primarily thought of them as other-than-human. And possibly that's "species-ist" - but I can see him thinking that way.


(Though I still maintain peer pressure as a contributing factor to "Trinity," because everyone does expect McKay to save the day).

Well, I think there was a lot of "peer pressure" on Carson in this ep, especially from Weir. I was really quite struck by the way when Carson seems tentative and then says "I suppose I could..." she seems to jump right on it and say "OK then, we're going ahead."


I wonder if anyone's trust issues are now going to spread to Carson.

Well, I don't really think there are any lingering trust issues with McKay except maybe from Rodney's own POV. Everything Sheppard does says that he trusts the man. When he actually verbalises that he doesn't, it's obviously snarking. But whether Rodney himself realises this is another thing entirely...


(In the theme of my opening question, how come Carson got absolved and Rodney got reamed out in public?)

Simple. Weir was as much implicated as Beckett. She was not only backing him up, I think she was actively encouraging him, so she can't ream him out. (And yeah, the reaming out of Rodney in public wasn't exactly professional on her part anyway)

So Weir can't accuse. But I think Carson accuses himself.


I'm currently having a bit of trouble feeling especially sorry for him though. I may get over it.

LOL! That's OK. I still don't feel especially sorry for Teyla and she's the one that got actually whumped in this ep (aside from Michael himself).

20th-Jan-2006 06:00 pm (UTC)
There was so much to dislike about this episode and you summed it up perfectly for me. I felt uneasy watching it, seeing the tragedy looming ahead. I still cannot believe that no one openly questioned the stupidity of playing this out on Atlantis... unless they never intended to let him go, in which case, what*had* they planned for Michael.

Doesn't really bear thinking about!

Agree that Michael's 'total' humanity could not be the only reason why he turned out as a nice guy. As you said, compassion, a need for friendship, the need to ask for forgiveness (of Ronon) are character traits that must have been in place BEFORE Carson got his needles into him. It has 'humanized' the enemy.

Ronon's dislike and distrust were perfect for him but NOT his constant attacks on Michael. They showed disrespect to the others and to the plan. Even though he did not agree with all this, he should have watched and waited rather than be brutal and antagonistic.

I felt sorry for Michael right up until he regained his feeding abilities and then went on to prove Teyla was right about the wraith. I guess it was out of anger and that terrible sense of betrayal though, but we won't know up the season finale.

Rodney... not in it much and I wondered what possessed him to actually speak to Michael. Plain curiosity? Though I kind of got the impression that he wanted to see if the experiment was a badly thought out as he no doubt believed it to be judging from his lack of enthusiasm and later remarks that displayed NO support for what had happened or for the reasons given for the experiment.

Carson... yes... he allowed his obsession with the genetics dictate his actions whether good intenioned or not... except, as someone else pointed out, he did not get bawled out publicly because they all shared the blame for this.
22nd-Jan-2006 06:56 am (UTC)
unless they never intended to let him go, in which case, what*had* they planned for Michael.

Now that's a very good - and scary - question!


Rodney... not in it much and I wondered what possessed him to actually speak to Michael. Plain curiosity? Though I kind of got the impression that he wanted to see if the experiment was a badly thought out as he no doubt believed it to be judging from his lack of enthusiasm and later remarks that displayed NO support for what had happened or for the reasons given for the experiment.

I really think Rodney felt a strange sort of "duty" to go and talk to Michael. He was clearly very uneasy about doing so and he kind of looked like he thought it was expected of him. Not sure why though. That's just an impression I get.


Carson... yes... he allowed his obsession with the genetics dictate his actions whether good intenioned or not... except, as someone else pointed out, he did not get bawled out publicly because they all shared the blame for this.

I really do think it's because Weir knows she's as much at fault as Carson in this case. With Rodney in Trinity she was saying "no, no, no!" all along - but here she was one of the main ones saying ÿes, yes, yes!". So frankly, she doesn't have a leg to stand on in reaming Carson out publicly or otherwise. And she was the only one to do it publically to Rodney. So, y'know, that kind of explains all that to me.
20th-Jan-2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
I think I'll put this into my LJ memories, because I think that your analysis of Carson's actions was really good!
Thanks for that!
22nd-Jan-2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks! *blushing* Glad you think it's that good.
20th-Jan-2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
I just - yeah. Dark. No kidding.

*goes off to digest thoughts and spit them out into some kind of coherent form*

There, wasn't that a nice image? (excuses self as being broken through too much considering of issues here)

Wow. Thanks for this - fed the theory bunnies no end!

:-) xx
22nd-Jan-2006 11:05 am (UTC)
There, wasn't that a nice image?

Digesting them and *then* spitting them out... okay, maybe that's a little ew!

And glad to keep those theory bunnies fed! Cheers, mate!
20th-Jan-2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I loved your character analysis of Beckett, and the fact that you didn't indiscriminately trash various aspects of this ep. It was supposed to make us uncomfortable and thoughtful!
22nd-Jan-2006 11:15 am (UTC)
Thanks. I do try not to indiscriminantly trash anything.

Surgically strike? That's a different matter.
21st-Jan-2006 10:23 am (UTC)
I felt this episode was right for most characters. They acted as themselves.
I think Carson tries to remeber that the Wraith have a human side that is hidden somewhere. He seemed to be genuinely considering the option, while the others had made their minds up. Elizabeth seemed to be waiting to hear what she wanted, so she could agree.
I think that Michael's chracter was changed as well. His attitude towards them, even after he found out, was quite peaceful(he did regret killing the sergeant). And when he found out, when he said "I'm a Wraith" it sounded like he was almost disgusted. Before that, when he talked about them, it was the same tone.
I was thinking about transforming the Wraith into humans against their will and it feels somewhat like the Goaul'd.
22nd-Jan-2006 11:17 am (UTC)
Elizabeth seemed to be waiting to hear what she wanted, so she could agree.

I so agree. It really did look like she was trying to push Carson into saying yes, we can do it.


I was thinking about transforming the Wraith into humans against their will and it feels somewhat like the Goaul'd.

Now, there's a thought!
21st-Jan-2006 11:52 am (UTC) - re Michael
Anonymous
That was well done.

The pics were great but the review and insights were fantastic.

Carson's a cutie.
22nd-Jan-2006 11:18 am (UTC) - Re: re Michael
Thank you kindly!

Carson's a cutie.

Indeed he is!
21st-Jan-2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Intruiging review, Derry. Seems like the moral ambiguities of this episode have everyone in a less Squee!ing state than usual, and have turned us all into ethical debaters. Which isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination - one of my friends used to say that you 'could live your life based on the wisdom gained from television' and nowadays I think you could easily include the debates and exchange of ideas that follow (especially on the net, but also in real life) in that idea.

Awesome pics, too, I love how crisp your caps always are. Great work, mate. And YAY!!!!!! for the Aussie! (who is probably Canadian, and is just holding my place until I finish uni and can get to Canada to start work. ... ... *laughs riotously* Not that working on the SG series isn't a career aspiration, I just don't think it's very realistic. But I can dream, can't I?) =D
22nd-Jan-2006 11:20 am (UTC)
Heya! Yeah, more serious contemplation than squeeing this time - and as you say, that's not a bad thing.

Not that working on the SG series isn't a career aspiration, I just don't think it's very realistic. But I can dream, can't I?) =D

Hey, if Atlantis goes for as long as SG-1 already has...
22nd-Jan-2006 07:06 am (UTC) - We like it dark!
Well, after a few weeks of shameless squeeing, we've been brought to a bit of sober reflection. And that's not a bad thing.

I enjoyed your analysis. I agree with most of it, although I'll cut Ronon a bit more slack. He's not a fav of mine, by any stretch, but I can understand his reaction. But I'll agree with one of the other commenters here that if he couldn't get onboard with the plan then he should have absented himself - not confronted Michael with such obvious displays of hostility. And, frankly, after he snarled at Michael the first time either Shep or Weir should have exiled him to the mainland until he was able to cool off.

Lots of good Shep in this ep. He acted completely in character. We've seen this sort of "ends justify the means" before on several occasions. I have to say that one aspect of his character that I find intriguing is how he can go from laid-back, almost surfer dude-ness to full on military mode in less than a millisecond. He has no compunction about defending Atlantis and its inhabitants - he hasn't shown remorse for the encounters with the Genii (I'm thinking particularly about his little killing spree in "The Eye"). He's military, he knows what his responsibilities are and he's not afraid to act.

There's been a lot of interesting fanfic that's been written trying to explore Shep's remorse for the deaths he's caused. I'm not military and I don't know anyone who is. But I just have to think that you can't stay in an active combat situation for too long if you're going to be hit with massive attacks of conscience over every person who gets killed. Yes, you want some reflection and evaluation - someone who kills without any regrets is not someone you want to be around - and you need to constantly assess the goals and results of what you're doing. But you can't curl into a fetal ball after every action you take. It's a balancing act, but one that Shep seems able to do very well - he listens, he gives reasonable arguments, he's open to other ideas and he acts.

And, finally, it's nice to see TPTB stretch a little bit. I've always thought the strength of SciFi is the ability to explore situations and questions that are perhaps too sensitive to be set in reality. We can take a bit of a step back and look at something without getting too personal about it.

This ep presented an interesting moral question and it's been very good to see the comments and ideas that are being expressed about it. "Humanizing" the wraith should make for some very thought-provoking future eps. It's been interesting to see the progression from Steve, Bob, etc. to Elia and now Michael. I think the comparison between Michael and Elia is fascinating - a real nature vs. nuture thing. Was Michael's reaction to finding out what he was a result of the fact that he was clearly an adult (raised in the Wraith culture)? Would the results have been different if a baby/child Wraith were given the treatment and raised as "human"?

Ok, I've run on waaaaay too long.

Great pics, great commentary. Don't ever stop!
22nd-Jan-2006 11:38 am (UTC) - Re: We like it dark!
I have to say that one aspect of his character that I find intriguing is how he can go from laid-back, almost surfer dude-ness to full on military mode in less than a millisecond.

Absolutely! That's one of the things I find most fascinating about Sheppard too. When things are chugging along, he snarks and jokes and is almost boyish. But if he needs to, he loses all that in an instant and does the necessary without compunction. It's a bit like flicking a switch - and yet it's always totally believable and not in the least bit jarring.

There's been a lot of interesting fanfic that's been written trying to explore Shep's remorse for the deaths he's caused. I'm not military and I don't know anyone who is. But I just have to think that you can't stay in an active combat situation for too long if you're going to be hit with massive attacks of conscience over every person who gets killed. Yes, you want some reflection and evaluation - someone who kills without any regrets is not someone you want to be around - and you need to constantly assess the goals and results of what you're doing. But you can't curl into a fetal ball after every action you take. It's a balancing act, but one that Shep seems able to do very well - he listens, he gives reasonable arguments, he's open to other ideas and he acts.

I believe that Sheppard compartmentalises his thinking on this sort of stuff. He is a moral person and he's not a stupid one. But when he had to shut it all down to us vs them, he does. He leaves any philosophising for another time. I can imagine him having guilt issues and regrets about some of theings he's had to do, but not in a crippling way.

Shep certainly does balance things well - but sometimes one particular case or scenario or incident can get to you. I can see that happening to him. He acts on gut instinct emotion quite a lot too. I begin to wonder if that's almost like an "outlet" for him. Similarly, him trashing the rules from time to time. He does what's necessary, but every so often (maybe subconsciously) he lashes out. Just a theory, though.


I think the comparison between Michael and Elia is fascinating - a real nature vs. nuture thing.

I do too. When Michael was amnesiac and thought the Wraith had altered his mind somehow, he was as willing as anyone else to beleive that they were just evil.

Cheers, mate!
15th-Apr-2006 11:00 pm (UTC)
Wow, I totally agree with everything you said, but I just want to say that although I'm not a Ronon fan, I actually felt proud that at least someone on Atlantis was voicing their feelings about this being a bad decision. But after reading your review, I am not only in complete agreement with you, but I'm a little ashamed of myself for not realizing that Ronon was nothing more than a broken clock! (I LOVE that analogy, by the way!)
16th-Apr-2006 02:28 am (UTC)
Oh dear. I really don't want people think that their opinions are wrong and mine are right in these review thingys. It's just my opinion, y'know?

But then again, you said you liked the analogy and I have to confess that I was rather pleased with it myself. Not meaning to bash Ronon, but I admire the "cleverness", not the "being right" about characters. And for Ronon this was a case of "being right" without any mental exertion. I couldn't give it the credit that everyone else seemed to be giving him.

Thanks.
6th-Jul-2006 02:39 am (UTC)
Hey. Believe it or not, I just got around to seeing Michael for the first time. I was thinking the exact same thing about this being Carson's "Trinity." I'd go one step further to say that both he and Rodney crossed their own personal Rubicons this season, and who knows what the fallout will be.

I'm not sure Carson did it with "the eventual good of the patient" in mind, either. Let's face it, he's a physiologist. If he really wants to know the mechanism of action of the virus, and how to refine it, he'd need to do a necropsy. Somehow I can't see them waiting for Mike to die of "natural causes." I suspect Carson doesn't want to think about that.

And I totally agree with your view of Heightmeyer. Of all the shrinks, they bring a COUPLES THERAPIST to Atlantis?! :-)
11th-Jul-2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
Hey. Believe it or not, I just got around to seeing Michael for the first time.

I do believe you, but you've seen Allies right? Coz y'know the follow up to that is kinda just around the corner... ;-)


I'm not sure Carson did it with "the eventual good of the patient" in mind, either.

Well, and this ties into my previous question about having seen Allies because it's from his actions and statements in both episodes that I base my perceptions, I don't think Carson regards a being he treats as a "patient" unless he sees them as "human".

He makes a statement in Allies which really reinforces my perception that he believes in the "sanctity of human life" in almost a quasi-religious way - to the point that I would not be surprised if he held fairly strong religious convictions. Not in the "world was created in seven days" sense of religion, as some people seemed to think when I first said it, but rather in "moral supremacy of mankind just because it's some kind of divine right" sense of things, because he does very much stress his qualms about allowing humans to be killed.

To be honest, I don't think the writers (and thereby Carson by default) ever considered doing a necropsy on Michael unless he died in the course of the treatment. starrylizard and I have chatted about (and I give full credit it to her for the idea) the fact that the writers have no idea how to balance the caring physician and the highly focussed scientist sides of Carson's character.

The great strengths of Sheppard and McKay's characters (in our humble opinions) come from the way the paradoxes in their characters are wonderfully portrayed. With Sheppard it's the laid-back goofball and the cold hard soldier - although other conflicting traits also come into play. With McKay it's the abrasiveness versus the fact that he is actually a very moral person and can't help caring underneath it all even though he pretends not to, as well as his fear and natural tendency to self-preservation versus a tendency to do heroic things out of necessity in a crisis. With Carson they need to balance the ethics of a doctor (which they seem to have a very poor and very "Hollywood" understanding of) and the curiosity and focussed detemination of a dedicated scientist.

They just don't get it. So their writing of Carson has just come out as maddeningly contradictory, rather than fascinatingly paradoxical, to starrylizard and me anyway ;-)


And I totally agree with your view of Heightmeyer. Of all the shrinks, they bring a COUPLES THERAPIST to Atlantis?! :-)

LOL! That hadn't actually clicked with me, but she is, isn't she? Hmmm... I suppose that might reflect the writers' experience with psychology types too *meow* ;-)
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