Last night, Fondy and I checked out Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, rumored to be one of the better restaurants in Vancouver’s hip Yaletown district. More upscale casual than fine dining, the place is spacious and brightly lit, with an open lounge area out front and two t.v.’s over the bar area for those interested in following the televised sport of the night. We were being seated just the pre-hockey crowd was finishing up, decked out in their Vancouver Canucks caps and jerseys, ready to head over to GM Place for the big game.

Fondy and I settled into a booth, perused the menu, and placed our orders. For starters, Fondy had a romaine salad with a creamy garlic vinaigrette and what was described as “Asian bacon”. Fondy suspected it was diced lup chong, that tasty Chinese sausage often found in dim sum sticky rice purses and my wife‘s rice cooker, but it was, quite frankly, nigh impossible to identify because they’d been reduced to tough and tiny blackened bits. “Wow,”I marveled. “They really cooked the shit out of those little fuckers, didn’t they?” Fondy ignored me, pushing aside the leathery nuggets and focusing, instead, on the romaine. Amused, I redirected my attention to my starter, a butternut squash with minced ginger and…hell, there may have been something else in there but I couldn’t get past the ginger. A little goes a long way and, in the case of this evening’s soup, a long, long, LONG way.  The soup had the consistency of baby food and was topped with a half-dozen sad-looking sprouts. I tried two spoonfuls and then set it aside. The waitress noticed I wasn’t a fan and was kind enough to take it off the bill.

For our mains, we both looked seaward: the sablefish for Fondy and the ahi tuna for me. We also ordered three side dishes as culinary support: hand cut taro chips, brussel sprouts, and bacon-fried rice. My tuna, described as “thai spiced” possessed no discernible spicing. Grilled medium on the outside, rare on the outside, and cool all over, it lay there like a disinterested escort, or an Amanda Bynes movie, neither impressing nor offering offense. Fondy’s sablefish, on the other hand, was perfectly cooked and thoroughly delicious, served with a miso glaze, gai lan, and a lemongrass broth. It was hard to believe both dishes came from the same kitchen.

Of the side dishes, the rice was the clear winner – fried with bacon, scallions, garlic, and topped with three sunnyside quail eggs. The brussel sprouts weren’t too bad either although, for my money, I still prefer Bistrot Bistro’s version. The taro chips were fine.

For dessert, I had a coconut-chocolate gelato millefeuille which was good, but a long way from the decadent Montreal versions of the millefeuille I grew up with. Fondy simply adored her banana spring rolls served with cashew butter and caramel sauce.

The service was excellent.

Well, in preparation for my Tokyo trip, I headed down to the mall today to pick up a few travel necessities: jeans, work-out sweats, and new running shoes to replace the ones Lulu has chewed into a matching pair of polyurethane and rubber pancakes. While I was picking up my jeans, I ran into a former SG-1 camera assistant and we ended up reminiscing about the good old days of the original four: Rick, Michael, Amanda, and Chris. From there, I headed over to Foot Locker where, I suspect, the employees were all participants in a bet to see who could avoid assisting a customer the longest. Two girls in the front were folding t-shirts, deep into an involved conversation while the lone guy in the back was moving boxes around. I picked out a running shoe (I say running shoe as opposed to a jogging shoe, basketball shoe, or murdering someone and burying the body shoe) and elected to try the guy in the back. “Excuse me,”I said as I approached – which was a mistake because he was far enough away that he could pretend not to hear me and disappear into the back. I turned and headed back up to the front, interrupting the conversation to request a shoe in my size. Girl #1 headed into the back and came back, minutes later, holding the same shoe. Apparently, they only had two sizes, hobbit and the one she was holding which was half a size too big. But I tried it on anyway and even though it was somewhat roomy, I decided to grab them. I waited for her to return, grew tired of waiting, went to the front assuming she’d resumed her conversation but she wasn’t there, went to the back assuming she was manning the register but she wasn’t there either. In the end, I never did find out where she disappeared to. For all I know, she accepted the impromptu marriage proposal of a passing employee from the neighboring Stitches and eloped to Yemen. I wound up hailing down Girl #2, holding up the lone running shoe and announcing: “I think I’ll take the other one too.”

As she rang me up, she ran through a list of preventative measures I needed to take to ensure the durability of the shoes. I didn’t catch all of what she was saying, but I believe it involved spraying them with some protectant, airing them out, and then slathering them with Cool Whip and dillweed. Okay, I’m not sure about the airing them out part. Anyway, once she’d bagged by purchase, she pointed to the row of shoe sprays lining the counter. “That one’s a silicone spray. That one’s for waterproofing. Spray that one on and it’ll keep your shoes from turning yellow…”

“Do you have one that repels wolverines?”I asked. “Because I’ll probably be doing a lot of wilderness running.”

Oblivious, she seemed to honestly consider my request, then sadly informed me: “No, we don’t.”

So I left the store, satisfied with my purchases, but making a mental note to track down the wolverine repellant once I got in to Tokyo. That place has everything. Even Cucumber Pepsi!

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday cat/girl NeKo.


Sheryl writes: “OK, when are you going to do the Brad Wright Q & A?”


Answer: Whenever he’s done. A few other things have been keeping Brad busy of late.

Wraith Cake writes: “So, I dunno. I’m a little incredulous when writers say they don’t read amateur writers’ material.”

Answer: With all due respect to fan fic in general but why would we? I mean, seriously – after spending the greater part of our day coming up with ideas, spinning, breaking, outlining, writing, reading, watching, and talking about Stargate: Atlantis, the very last thing any of us want to do on our free time is track down and read more Atlantis-related material. This isn’t a knock against the quality of whatever is out there, simply the reality of the situation.

Ytimyona writes: “Have you pitched your comedy pilot yet?”

Answer: Not yet.

Perragrin writes: “Joe, I have to ask.. ‘.. poisoned tape.”

Who’s moment of absolute brilliance was that, yours or Paul’s?”

Answer: Neither. Actually, that was the brilliant Richard Kind improvising.

Larissa writes: “Out of curiosity, why weren’t you allowed to air any of the pairings on tv?”

Answer: It’s not that we weren’t permitted to; more that we chose not to.

q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”

Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended.

78 thoughts on “November 7, 2008: A Little Ginger Goes a Long, Long Way and Foot Locker Runs Out of Wolverine Repellant

  1. Mmm, sounds like the rice is about the only thing on the menu I would like. Bacon makes everything taste better!!!

    Runner-girl rants about running shoes:
    I usually buy my running shoes online… being a girl with size 10 feet means you will probably be told that all the shoes in your size are sold out, even if you can get the people in the store to help you! Once you get to know and love how a certain brand feels on your feet, you are pretty safe assuming that the sizing will be similar for all of that brand’s shoes. I’ve been sticking with buying my New Balance online for a while now.

  2. Ford (Atlantis) + Sheppard (Atlantis) + Zelenka (Atlantis) = Fo’shezel

    when i said i didn’t understand the ‘fo’shezel’ thinger, i wasn’t joking. so…

    sally 😀

  3. My brother finally made it to the South Pole. At over 9300′ elevation it’d probably just been easier to go to the Andes. But then again he’s being paid to do this…

    Hope your Tokyo trip doesn’t have any delays. I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on any of your culinary extravaganzas.

  4. @ green – Glad the toe’s feeling better. Not so sure about being called a ‘cheeky monkey’, though… <_<

    Joe, remind me never to invite you over for dinner, k?

    And I totally understand not wanting to read fan fic. For me, it would just become information overload…too much. Everything would blur together in a muddled mess of disconnected stories and ideas and concepts, something that occasionally even happens to me now reading comics, with all the different realities and such. So, I can imagine that for someone who is actually writing the show, it would just be too much input, which could even compromise your original ideas.

    Well, it’s 9 pm…and I’m skipping the show tonight until after it airs, and I get some feedback. Being on vacation this week and being a bit detached from discussions about the show and all has me in a more positive frame of mind. Shame, because a show is supposed to make you feel good, not morbidly depressed. I might just watch the remainder of the series post-airing, especially the last two episodes. I can’t stand the sicky feeling I’m getting just thinking about Todd’s future – the show just isn’t enjoyable anymore because of it, so I’m going to continue to wait for feedback, and then decide whether or not to watch. I’m guessing tonight’s ep will be pretty intense and/or depressing, so I’m gonna busy myself with something else instead. Wish I could love the show again like I did at the beginning of the year, but right now it’s just not happening. Just like in seasons past, Mr. Das is once again watching alone.



  5. Joe

    You make even the most trivial of activities genuinely amusing. Good luck with your continued Tokyo prep.

    Thought of you and all of that SG1/SGA stuff sitting in your soundstages when I saw this…


    If BattleStar Galactica is selling off their props, costumes, set pieces, production art etc… maybe you guys should as well?Looks like it could be a pretty lucrative little endeavor for them.


  6. Now, when you say “hobbit size”, do you mean small, large, or just right for a normal-sized person with normal-sized feet, being that hobbits have unusually large feet in proportion to their small bodies?

  7. Note: the “you” in this rant refers to no one in particular; just a general “you”.

    I’ll never get the attitude that, apparently, some brilliant fanficcers should be running the show. I smack my forehead every time some ignoramus says something akin to “OMG! That was awesome! You’re a million times better than the idiot writers we currently have! You should be in charge!

    (Not that anyone here’s said this; I don’t think. It’s mostly a Gateworld thing)

    Ok first, calm down spaz. Secondly, the majority; I’m sorry, I mean the VAST MAJORITY are utter crap; just utter bulldonkey. Now, that’s obviously my opinion, and more than a few would disagree; I’m sure there are people who love a great many fan fiction, but think: will this stuff sell on the market? I’m all for great character moments (that are in-character, thank you very much), but a whole show dedicated to that? No thank you. Stargate has always been about striking a balance between character stuff and good’ole fashioned shoot-’em up adventures and cool CGI (and awesome music, natch). I wonder whether these good fanficcers can achieve that balance, especially if all of their fics are one note (even if they’re brilliant).

    Admittedly, some are good. In fact, I will admit that a few fics are indeed better than some Stargate episodes themselves. The rare gems may even best most Gate eps.

    It’s just that, when you see praise, they’re usually from shippers who loved the fic because the fic dealt with the ship they’re shippers of. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, because I haven’t actually read that many Gatefics (mostly because I couldn’t stomach them; the characters were…wildly out of whack). I have, however, read quite a few Avatar: The Last Airbender fics, and this is the phenomenon I usually see. Does it correlate with Gatefics? Well, I hope so, or my entire argument falls apart. Haha.

    But step back for a moment and think about what you’re comparing: a multi-million dollar production, with a budget, schedule, manpower, studio politics, actor and set availability, and a deadline to worry about…vs. some guy/girl with a computer and time to kill. It’s not even close. While a fanficcers are basically write in a vacuum, putting down, in words whatever he/she likes; the writers of Stargate and other shows, as Joe has shown many, many times in the past, has other issues to deal with besides pure creativity.

    Hey, praise the fanficcer’s writing all you want, but that’s all it is; fanfics. Until they rise up and produce it, I won’t be that impressed, and I certainly won’t want them in charge of Stargate, especially if they have no more than shipping in mind.

    And if you think I’m just attacking people I don’t understand, please don’t think that, because I write fanfiction as well; I’m just not very public about it. It’s more of a…creativity venting kind of thing that I don’t get to do in my day job as a Physics student.

  8. You have OUTDONE yourselves with “The Prodigal”. Best tv I’ve seen in ages – KUDOS! Can’t wait for the 11 p.m. showing to see it again 🙂

  9. The Prodigal – never get between a mother and her child….

    and oh WOW did that baby grow in the course of the episode!!! Obviously it was a doll/prop for most of the episode, but was it even the same child from the one she placed in the bassinet to the one she was holding at the end??? Because the prop and the real baby were no where near the same size!

  10. The Prodigal…what an awesome episode!! Unhinged Michael is much more interesting than the standard version. He is the “ultimate” villain, but very one dimensional and therefore not as scary as some others we have seen. I loved the beginning with John and Rodney’s “big race.” Nice to know they have something to do in those rare free moments. I also really loved the big fight between Ronan and Michael. Not as long as I would have liked but extremely brutal. I think Ronan has been waiting for a long time to be able to fully unleash his fury on him. The fight between John and Michael was cool in a different way. The visual effects during the fight were amazing. The city at night, and the full moon during one shot. I am also glad that Teyla stepped up and eliminated a dangerous threat instead of locking him up. It sounded like Conner’s voice was different, did they change the technology that distorts the Wraith voice? I thought it was hilarious that Rodney hadn’t fixed those two jumpers after two years, and now was when they needed them. The last scene was very cute, I think “Uncle’s” John and Rodney will have a lot to show the little one.
    Best line of the season:
    “Mission Report.”
    “Michael invaded the city.”
    “Tried to blow it up.”
    “We stopped him.”
    “End mission report.”
    The other great line was when Ronan asked “You can fight?” and got “Five years of kickboxing.” as a response.
    The previews for next week look great…..Bring on Remnants!

  11. Virtual bouqets of roses to all involved with The Prodigal. Nice tense episode, and I am relieved and pleased with the resolution of the story. My joy was mitigated only by Sci Fi network’s continued success in giving us teasers that ruin some of the best story twists from upcoming episodes. While those here are aware of what is to come, I have friends who do not read about SGA on the internet, and who were thus shocked to see the previews for next week. And it looks like some of the other story plots in the upcoming episode got short shrift too. Ah well.
    So, when do you leave for Tokyo? The fact you’ve ventured out shopping would indicate the day is almost upon us. Or are you planning a suprise for your loyal readers by posting from across the Interntational Date Line? Either way, here’s hoping for a stress free trip(I know, I know, fat chance with today’s airport “security” measures) whenever it comes about.

  12. I just watched Prodigal. Thank you Mr Binder, it was awesome!
    I loved that they had to think quick and save themselves. I am one happy fan tonight.

  13. This was a team eppy!

    Finally back to good old John and Rodney banter. Hanging out, racing cars and acting like kids. Even when John cheats 😛

    Ronon and Woosley and his ‘mission’ reports.

    I’m so happy that they fleshed Micheal out, making him just a bit sympathetic over the monster Atlantis made to begin with. I really truly think he wanted Teyla to come with him. But he really was more intent on revenge then anything and was ticked that she didn’t choose earlier. And I thought it was pretty in character for him want to kill Ronon before he left.

    Speaking of. Ronon! Loved that he was the only one at the time who could do anything. Great fight between him and Micheal. And I adored his admiration of Banks…see, he deserves to date someone like her!

    Loved the Rodney and John banter with Radek. Rodney forgot to repair the jumpers from two years ago! Loved it.

    Also, acknowledgment of John’s numerous suicide runs in the past. And the hand shake! The expressions. Awesome.

    I was just happy of the back and forth of tension between all of the team.

    I loved the last bits. I think it was fitting that John had a show down with Micheal ..I mean he did approve of the experiment..and that Teyla got to be the hero in the end. Killing Micheal once and for all.

    And the end with Ronon’s mission report and back to the boys and their toys.

    This is what Atlantis is all about. Action. Humor. Teamness.

    Thank you Mr. Binder!

    And no Keller romanc eshoved down our throats. I’m just saying …I didn’t miss her.

  14. Now the rice looks like something I would finally eat.

    If I were the sales girl and you actually said “wilderness running” too, I would of burst out laughing. Of course laughing with you not at you.

    What an awesome show tonight. There were so many things I like. Suspense, the fights, rodney/sheppard bantor (that I love so much), and wow, Teyla was great and her resolve at the end was spectacular. Can I add that I loved Amelia in this too. I definately saw chemistry between her and Ronan (I am a love story kind of gal, I know these things lol). Please thank Carl for me. Can’t wait until 11pm to watch it again. It was definately worth missing movie night for. Although my daughter, called 5 min. before the end of the show in which I had to answer to make sure she wasn’t in an accident, because she knows better usually. When I knew she was ok, I simply said I’ll call you back. She then apologized stating she forgot what day it was.

    Can’t wait for remnants. My friend asked me to tape it cause she wanted movie night especially since her husband won’t be around. I first said no way you want me to miss my show for Angelina Jolie, I don’t ususally even like her movies. Then I saw her face she made, so I said ok maybe. When I saw the previews for remnants, I now know it is a definate no to the movies. I will tell her the bad news tomorrow.

    Now, since my daughter just called me again while I was typing, I can’t remember if I already submitted my comment. So, if I did sorry and maybe just post this one.


  15. I remember waaay back, in the Day, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I was in high school, the ‘sports’ footwear of no real choice were Adidas. — Although, strangely enough, I never owned a pair until AFTER I got out of high school… These days, one pretty much has to be DNA tested to find that *perfect* binary of Life-aspiring Toe Temples amongst the current 42 digits shy of infinite selection of brands, colours, materials, texture, anti-gravitational ability, IdiotPhone holders, GPSs, thongs, running lights, C4, studio heads… Hell, much easier to be a lottery winning NAVCAN employee!

    Oooo! TARO chips!! I love taro…

  16. I couldn’t agree more about your stand on fanfic, I am surprised you answer alot of Stargate related questions on here. Especially the repetitiveness from people who don’t know what search butrons are.

    By the way, why was Jewel Staite the only one nominated for a Gemini?

  17. q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”

    Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended.

    Well then it sucked. Sorry. If GITM was the end it should have really been an end and not left like it was. Oh well…I can’t do anything about it. *re-watches s1-s3(up until The Game everything after that doesn’t exist)*

  18. Mr. Crazymom brought home an early Christmas present today: a 42″ plasma TV! Unfortunately, when technology is being installed at our house, things get tense. We generally hand everything to GeekBoy, who actually understands the stuff but has little experience. He gets it done, although sometimes it takes a couple of attempts. Mr. Crazymom feels the need to advise, even though he is not technology compatible, After a couple of hours, Mr. Crazymom has gone to bed to avoid committing murder and GeekBoy has given up on programming the universal remote and is instead shooting people on his XBox in HD. But the TV works!

  19. Joe,

    Is Amelia Banks Ronon’s new kick-ass girlfriend? I approve! The Prodigal was a very fun and intertaining episode. After Gero’s dim portrayal of Ronon in The Lost Tribe, Carl Binder brought back his strong, valuable, put his life on the line for Atlantis and his friends, warrior personality and characteristics again.

    A couple of times I was screaming at the TV. At the very end when I thought Michael was going to cut off Ronon’s hair (yes!!), then to realize he wants his HEAD (no!!)! And Teyla “flicking” Michael’s last remaining hand off that ledge like it was a cigarette butt! Very fun stuff! Well done Carl Binder! Thank you!

  20. My experience buying running shoes at foot locker was the exact opposite. I had several very attentive employees trying to grab the sale, to the point it was annoying as hell.

    I heard one of them telling another customer that the shoes he was looking at were “apple compatible” with a chip that could be plugged into an ipod or computer for his running stats. How ridiculous is that? I like running shoes that I can run in.

    Shawna, maybe they have extra height to make room for the foot hair without messing it up.

  21. What? Ya gotta be kidding me. I could have sworn I checked this darn blog before and there was nothin’ new. Now, not only is there a new entry but six people commented?

    Dag nabbit!

    Have fun in Tokyo! Could you just…email me the next time you write a blog? I really wanna be a number one commenter. It’s a goal, now.

  22. Okay, The Prodigal? Brilliant! Top 10 of all time, if not Top 5. Rodney and John playing, fighting, and snarking together! Teyla the mamma bear, Woolsey and Ronon bonding, Radek annyoing Rodney, and Michael being scary-awesome. Kudos to all! Any chance Carl will come do a Q&A with us again?

    Was it Michael you referred to when you mentioned “a familiar face” in a recent interview?

    BTW all your pairings were brill yesterday. Whenever you’re ready to dip a toe in fanfic, just let us know. We’ll start you off slow and save the kink for later. 🙂

  23. Of course, of course. I hear ya. I wouldn’t be that inclined to do this myself, especially in my free time. To be honest, I wasn’t even really thinking of you in particular. I was referring more to intellectual property rights, and the degree to which we allow large companies versus a lone-show artists to perpetually make money from work that really should be public property.

    Many people do not realize that Canadian copyright laws are not the same as those in the US. Until the final bill is tabled (first reading passed July 12, 2008–making downloading a crime), downloading in Canada is technically not illegal–it falls rather into a grey area of intellectual/electronic infringement. This protects the people who really do not realize when coping something from the internet, that he/she is downloading copyrighted material.
    Hence preventing idiotic lawsuits against aged grandfathers who allow their grandchildren under ten to down load Veggi Tales.

    The US civil court system is utterly cluttered by this sort of nonsense. If Harper gets this bill passed, a situation like the above only needs to happen once in Canada and the whole thing will be retabled.

    The truth is, people for the most part, have no idea of the degree to which copyright laws effect us all; yet, they DO effect us, immediately and punitively. Until there is some type of fall out, people will amble along in blissful obliviousness.

    Also, I wanted to say, while I’m still coherent (I should be in bed right now), that there is so much published garbage out there that one tends to wonder whether the public even has a pallet for quality story telling.

    I’m actually quite a snob when it come to literature (I bet you had NO idea I was like this 😉 ). I’ve never ever read a piece of fan fiction, I have to say. The only reason for me to do so would be if a friend of mine who had written a piece asked me to proof-read the story. Then I might perhaps on payment of a cuppa joe!

    I suppose in summarising my thoughts on the matter I will say that where ever a writer gets inspiration from, it is very difficult to prove an intellectual property right, especially if one idea is inspired by another. Isn’t that why you read all the novels you do? I would imagine it is part of your “informal research”
    And at the end of it all, we are standing on the shoulders of giants as Newton has said.

    So I don’t care whether writers borrow ideas from me as long as it goes both ways. Actually, I don’t really care whether it goes both ways. Do you know what I mean?

    I’m really starting to fade. I don’t know if what I’ve said is coherent, but I “must to bed” the sheets are screaming.

    Oh, oh, finally, I wanted to say…why don’t you do a another sort of mix ‘n match like what you did for yesterday’s blog. Except this time use Lovecraft stuff:

    Cthulhu + Zelenka = Spock? or a Chia Pet

    The Wall of Sleep + Ronon = Schlep

    The King in Yellow + boob factor five (all the T&A in fan-fic male pron) = Rodney

    After all Rodney must be someone’s male fantasy somewhere. 😉


  24. *~*Obligatory spoiler warning for “Prodigal”*~*
    Prodigal Reactions and Questions:
    Who exactly is the prodigal in this episode? Michael returns to Atlantis, but not from a lifestyle of reckless and wasteful spending. And you can’t mean it in the misconstrued Biblical “returns home repentant” because Michael doesn’t repent of his sins, either!

    The remote control car racing was priceless… reminded me of the scene where we meet the Mormon twins in Ocean’s Eleven (the remake). And I love how the episode ended with laughter 🙂

    Amelia Banks KICKS BUTT!!!! I absolutely loved that whole scene with Ronan/Banks/hybrid. AWESOMENESS!!!!

    Ronan’s mission report was also priceless… I was VERRRY worried about Ronan after that fall… no normal person would be able to walk after that!!!

    Is Michael really dead? I tend not to believe a character is dead unless I see the body… this is scifi, after all. Heck, even dead-for-real characters come back!

    I was really happy to see Lorne. (Kavan Smith just makes me happy for some inexplicable reason.) And I always love to see Zelenka as well! 🙂

    Why did Jewel Staite’s name scroll across the bottom of the screen when she wasn’t in the episode? I kept expecting her to rush in and save Ronan (and maybe rekindle something that I know I saw between them last season?) and was disappointed not to see her in the episode at all.

    All things considered, an awesome episode. I love to see the team in action! 😀

  25. Hi Joe:

    I wasn’t expecting Elizabeth to be in the movie. For some reason there wasn’t a place for her on the show, so why would she be in the movie? However, it would be nice to finally get closure through some sort of goodbye scene. Shoot, Carson got TWO scenes like this and he’s still alive!

    Sorry if I sound a touch bitter, but IMO she was a great character and deserved a better send off.

    Thanks for your time.

  26. On the topic of this weeks episode —
    I thought Prodigal was amazing. It was well paced and really showcased the Atlantis cast. Great dialogue, great acting, we got to see a wide variety of characters, the RC car scenes were hilarious. Definitely one of the best episodes of the series.

    Just one little nitpick:

    Why the FUCK did Michael die like that? He was murdered in cold blood! In the most anticlimactic way possible! It wasn’t even the season finale or a two-parter! In my opinion, he has been the only villain in the entire series with any actual character or interesting motivation (apart from Kolya, who was also killed off way too early). His eponymous episode at the end of season two is my favorite of all time in both Atlantis and SG-1. Now there is no compelling bad guy at all, unless you stretch the definition of “villain” to include Todd. The rest of the Wraith are all faceless and interchangeable.

    I was hoping the Atlantis Movie would be about Michael’s defeat. I believe he deserved more than a single episode with an anticlimactic ending. All the other major bad guys in both series went out with a bang in a two-parter or cliffhanger or movie (Apophis, Ba’al, the Asurans, Anubis, RepliCarter, Adria, even Sokar and Hathor for crying out loud.). I was completely stunned when Michael just got kicked off a ledge instead of just hopping into one of the many available jumpers and blasting his way through the gateroom. He didn’t even get a final monologue.

    Or maybe Michael cloned himself and only a clone was killed, like Ba’al. In which case, ignore the previous two paragraphs.

  27. Prodigal was excellent, and thanks for letting Teyla kill Michael, but after the promo for Kolya’s return next week I’m a bit worried. How much whump can one guy stand?

  28. Ok Joe,

    In tonights show, Prodigal, who’s baby was that? Was it Rachel’s real Baby? I could not see the credits as SCIFI…”Skiffy” always makes the credits to small to read on the TV…. So please tell us, who’s baby is that in real life?

    Thanks so much!
    Patricia Lee

  29. With your Yahoo junkmail filter going overboard, is there another address to use that is less likely to eat mail to you?
    I have a feeling one I sent was a victim.

  30. Just watched Prodigal – What a super super super episode!
    Everything was just right – Classic Atlantis at it’s very best.
    The right pairings, the right humor and snark, the action, Teyla the warrior was back, McKay and Sheppard were back, Lorne and Zelenka were back, the baby was cute…… I could just go on and on and on, I am so bubbling over with glee, or squee or whatever it is. (or could it be the Pomegranate vodka I just drank?)
    See this episode epitomizes what I am going to miss about Atlantis. The team was there and they all had something to do. You could see the respect and friendship (despite the snark) between the characters, especially Rodney and John, and Rodney and Zelenka. The characters that I have come to truly love were there, (except Chuck of course), but Woolsey and Amelia were excellent in this one. Go Lorne! I was sooooooooooo glad that there was no McKeller that I almost cried!
    God, there are no words for how bittersweet this is, knowing how good it can be and how soon it will be over, and knowing that several of the future eps I think I wont be enjoying (see above comment).
    But, that aside, thank you and thank all of you for one hell of a night of good entertainment. I enjoyed it immensely.

  31. Oh, and that’s how an evil villain should be killed off!
    This was a class death, if that makes any sense.
    Teyla is my hero!

  32. q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”

    Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended.

    Leaving the character hanging in limbo for the second year in a row just to stick it to Torri Higginson and her fans is no kind of “end.”

    Yet again, you’re just making up excuses and trying to cover up your failures after totally screwing up the Weir storyline again.

    Like it or not, you owe it to the fans who have supported this show and thus allowed you to earn your paycheck to admit your mistakes, apologize to Torri and to her fans, and fix the mess you’ve created.

  33. “The Prodigal” has become, hands-down, my fave Binder ep, and, to me, one of the best eps of the season as well, right up there with The Queen and Broken Ties! 😀 In particular, I loved:

    All of the McShep bonding, especially Rodney’s goodbye in the jumper, but the car racing as well. I was squeeing practically the whole ep! 😀

    Rodney, regarding the stairs — I think climbing all that would have killed me. XD

    The Radek/Rodney exchanges, especially over the stun-bubble.

    Rodney getting called on not fixing the jumpers in the underwater bay in two years.

    Ronon’s bits, especially his chat with Woolsey, and his getting flipped over the balcony railing (total shocker!).

    Amelia’s awesome kick.

    Woolsey going ahead of Teyla.

    The fights Michael and Ronon, Sheppard, and Teyla respectively, especially the Sheppard one. Beautiful shots of the city at night and scary as hell to boot. But I’m glad Teyla got to be the hero! 🙂

    I’m sorry to see Michael go. (Unless he made a clone of himself that might be used in a later movie? Although I suppose you already did that sort of story with Ba’al …..)

    And while I feel for the McKeller loving fans, and even the ones that just like Keller, for myself, I’m happy that this was yet another ep without her. XD

    I’m surprised there was no mention of the ATA gene thing, though — I assume Michael had used Carson or Carson’s research to give himself the gene? Or have they finally fixed the jumpers so that *anyone* can fly them?

    Sanctuary was great tonight too. 😀

    Incidentally, my review of “Inquisition — which I also rather enjoyed — went up this morning:

    PS ~ Loved the fanfic pairings you came up with!! XD

    Note to PG-15 ~ but remember that, to that shipper that says a fic is better than the actual show, to them? Maybe it *is*. And at the end of the day, though one can and should take other opinions into account, what one is left with in the end is still one’s own opinion. 🙂

    While I won’t say that there are many writers who should be writing the show *instead* of Joe and crew, I have read quite a few writers who have, to me, written stories I felt were of the same quality as any ep I have seen. Yes, I felt that way about stories that catered to my ship tastes, but then, why do we like *anything* if not because they cater to our tastes in some way? 🙂 A story still has to be written well, too, though, for me to sing its praises, not *just* support my ship.

    I guess what I’m saying is that we have a right to love a writer based on our ship and wish that writer were writing for a show. Just like you have a right to wish there was no shipping in the same show. But it seems … odd to me that you would tell us to stop expressing our feelings, as if they weren’t valid just because you don’t agree … Sometimes a review may indeed be overenthusiastic hyperbole, but other times we *really do* feel a story or a writer is *that good*. And I would say at *least* 20% of the fics I’ve read have been what *I* would consider *show-quality*, even if it just wouldn’t be feasible to actualy have such a story in the show. I’ve read a fair number of writers who I would *pay* to read *original* works from — and who are working on original fiction *besides* the fanwork. 🙂

  34. Re The Prodigal

    As Cam would no doubt say, “Now THAT’S what I’m talkin about!”

    Whatever spark of magic exists in great episodes, this one has, in spades!
    Thank you!

  35. RE: #26 by kabu

    Thank /god/ I am not the only one! As I was watching, I thought the show was /amazing/ I got so involved in the characters and what was going on that I was /totally/ lost in the plot itself. My pets, my girldfiend… nothing existed around me but Atlantis. And that’s not an easy thing to do when you’re so used to the business of making these shows that you see right through everything.

    And then the end came.

    I had always worried that Michael would find his end in this episode. It was part of a pattern that I was expecting and so I was prepared for it. But to have it happen like /that/? When does Teyla begin to have the nightmares where Michael comes to her every night in her sleep, his voice haunting her as she watches him fall… “We’re not /that/ different, Teyla…” To have her do such a thing, after /all/ of the work that people put in to making that relationship such an interesting reflection of the characters to each other… /All/ of that work wasted…

    Naturally the whole way through I wondered if this was a clone of Michael… He looks different every time we see him, of course… but this was even more of a change somehow, it seemed. I watched the rerun just to be sure I wasn’t imagining it… and lived through the tears of it one more time, just to hope that there was some other sign that this /was/ a clone and not really Michael. Because Michael deserved so much more than such a /stupid/ ending. And Teyla deserved more than just doing something so cold and brutal, then getting /no/ chance of reflection or remorse afterward… And she /would/ have it. She /always/ went from one side to the other about Michael, even just a little bit.

    I may not have been bothered to hear that they ended Atlantis this year, but I /was/ bothered by this. When I heard the news about the show, the only thing I could think of was that Michael would make a /wonderful/ character for a “movie”. There were so many things that could happen, so much potential for character development and growth…

    Michael honestly was the /only/ reason I watched Atlantis. I can’t stand the Stargate shows. My girlfriend loves them and so I end up hearing about them or having to have them on in the background, though thank goodness it’s mostly just Atlantis. She’s kind and understanding enough to not put me through too much of it… and knowing I can’t get enough of the Michael plot helped in that choice too, I think. I survive by making fun of /everything/, which I know must drive her crazy. Michael was one of the best characters I have ever encountered on a television show… One that no one was afraid to create for the sake of looking within ourselves… You don’t find characters like that on television often enough any more.. not ones that /really/ do the job, not ones that are so believeable between acting and writing…

    So I won’t be watching any more because I only watched his stuff. Not out of protest, but because I just can’t stand to put up with anything else… but, I will keep up the hope that this was a story about a clone… That Teyla will get her time of development and reflection to realize Michael is right in many ways… that Michael will get his chance to drive that message home one more time… After all, why go yourself just to steal the child when so many things could go wrong. Of course, on the other hand why send a clone to take your final revenge… unless that revenge was just an added bonus and not the original plan all along… Or maybe it had something to do with the experiments he’d done on himself.. who knows, but I can hope..

    I’m torn.. really torn… and hurt that this would happen to a character that literally /demmanded/ much more respect than he got. The people in the city of Atlantis aren’t the only ones guilty any more. And it breaks my heart to think it.

  36. @ wolfenm: Oh, I have no doubt that some shippers think that some fics are better than the show in their opinion. I have no problem with that. It’s all opinions and personal preferences, after all. Liking one thing over another was never the issue (though “issue” may be too heavy a word for this. lol.).

    I don’t believe I told anyone to stop expressing their views; what I did do though, is express my opinions that some of those views are ignorant, in my opinion (that might not be much better but…well, I’m nothing if not brutally honest). And by “those views”, I mean something very specific: that certain fanficcers might make for good Stargate showrunners and writer/producers just because they wrote a good fanfic, as there is so much more than just writing in making Stargate, and there is usually more, different subjects in Stargate stories than what’s in (apparently) a majority of Stargate fics, which focus on romance and what not. Again, I haven’t delved deep into Gatefics, so I could be wrong. In fact, I’m intrigued by your “show quality” comment. What are these good fanfics like? I’m genuinely curious.

    But I suppose “show quality” may mean different things to you and me, I’m not sure. To me, show quality is about more than just being good and writing stuff I like; it’s about capturing the basic structure of Stargate, including stuff that I myself may not like, but which other people do. As I said, a fic about a little chat between McKay and Shep (let’s say) about, uh, going on a Golf Trip, or whatever, may sound like a good read (and as someone who loves the McKay-Shep friendship, I’d probably love that fic, if it’s written well and in-character), but if I were to examine it with the criteria I just set out, then it would be good, but incomplete, and the writer who wrote a bunch of these fics, though skilled, isn’t showrunner material because he/she hasn’t shown his/her capacity to write anything else; and Stargate needs more than just private chats between friends. Can he/she write good action? Can he/she write good plots and plot twists? Can he/she write for other characters besides those involved in his/her favorite pairing? Can he/she write well in script format? Further more, can he/she write good stories in the confines of production pressures outside of writing, like budget and actor/set availability? Etc. etc. That was my real point, I think; it’s all about the “You wrote a good fanfic, so you should be in charge at Stargate!” mentality that, IMHO, really demean what the writers on Stargate have to put up with. They don’t JUST write, you know what I mean? So many fans think that, just because you have a good idea, or can write a good fanfic, you’re better than the writers on the show at doing their job. That’s my real problem.

    By the way, I’m not anti-shipping. In fact, I like Sam/Jack (and yes, I do wish for some form of confirmation…though I’m not fanatic about it. ;)), and I always thought Shep and Teyla had something there. And, of course, I’m always a sucker for McKay-Shep Friendship (me = tear up multiple times during The Shrine, especially the pier scene). If you want to see a rabid shipper, you should’ve caught me in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom; KATAANG FOREVER!!! 😀

    I admit that I made some other, tangential points that I think you picked out, and thinking back I don’t think those were very good points after all; I guess I got carried away with the ranting. Sorry. That’s what happens when I’m kept from expressing my views on a daily basis by abandoning Gateworld. I’ve got pent up opinions to vent! Sometimes wildly, offensively, and illogically done so! 😀

    Speaking of offensively…

    M wrote:

    q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”

    Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended.

    Leaving the character hanging in limbo for the second year in a row just to stick it to Torri Higginson and her fans is no kind of “end.”

    What load of Bullshit this is.

    Yeah…I think that’s all I got for that waste of pixels.

    Like it or not, you owe it to the fans who have supported this show and thus allowed you to earn your paycheck to admit your mistakes, apologize to Torri and to her fans, and fix the mess you’ve created.

    What fans? Those that bitched and complained for nigh on 2+ years about OH THE GREAT INJUSTICE THAT’S COMPLETELY NORMAL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, and at the same time attacking the show and the writers? Hey, they didn’t have to “allow [them] to earn [their] paycheck”, you know? Nobody forced them to keep watching. Heck, if anything, they owe the rest of us the sanity their incessant whining has eaten away.

    And this fans isn’t owed anything, so please speak for yourself. It’s their show; they can do whatever they like.

  37. Cucumber Pepsi? Okay I really thought you were kidding but I googled it and found out it was true! Eep!!

  38. Read the spoilers for the prodigal,
    my poor shippy heart!!!
    don’t know if i’ll be able to watch it now without screaming obscenities

  39. “Answer: Neither. Actually, that was the brilliant Richard Kind improvising.”

    The guy’s a genius. Thanks for the clarification, Joe.. and for throwing both Richard and Robert into a hoot of an episode. They’re priceless together.

    Well, i’ve just finished watching ‘Prodigal’.. and it was absolutely fantastic. Outstanding in fact.

    Kudos to Carl for the story and to the cast and crew for bringing everything to life in such a spectacular way. It was a wonderful Team episode and kept me sat on the edge of my seat for the entire duration. Naturally, i’m a happy bunny as there were plenty of Shep moments to keep me glued to the screen. Loved the John/Rodney interactions – especially with the remotes racing – and the scene in the Underwater Jumper Bay was typically priceless. Nice to see Woolsey and Amelia getting their teeth into things too and absolutely wonderful to have both Teyla and Ronon back in on the action and up to full fighting force.

    Talking of fighting.. there were some incredible scenes mixed in there. My favourite however has to be the one between Sheppard and Michael, up on the tower.

    Wow.. reaaally enjoyed the whole story, from start to finish. Thanks, guys! 😀

    That said.. after watching an episode like that, it’s difficult to imagine the logic that went into the decision to cancel Atlantis. When a show is so obviously riding on the wave of success and with hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe clamouring for more, it has to be criminal to cut it down in it’s tracks.

    How can the Franchise produce something that spectacular and then say there’s no more?

    I don’t understand it. I really don’t.

  40. Hey Joe, Prodigal was awesome, BUT is Michael really dead? And by “the significant-character-death”, you were talking about in recent interviews, did you mean Michael? Thanks!

  41. Funny, it never occurred to me that Michael was actually dead at the end of the episode.

    Mind you, I have no idea how he could have survived such a thing …. unless he has discovered how to fly maybe ……

    If Koyla is on next week’s episode, anything must be possible.

    As to Teyla taking out Michael …. startled me for a moment, but I didn’t blame her in the least. You don’t screw around with someone’s child.

  42. @ kabu & Mirrani – I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the episode yet, for the exact reasons that you have lamented over. I knew this would be Michael’s end, and though I hate what he’s done, I realize he wasn’t fully responsible for his course in life.

    Now, I probably would have watched the episode along with everyone else if the Lanteans had shown remorse – and accepted full responsibility – in Inquisition for raping Michael in body and soul back in the beginning. But they refuse to acknowledge what they’ve really done to him, instead brushing off their actions as a justified way to rid themselves of the Wraith threat.

    I keep thinking back to the first episode with him, to Michael, and to that struggling Wraith on the table. THAT is the Michael I feel extreme sympathy for – for the capture ‘animal’ – helpless, mocked, experimented upon, stripped of all he knew, biologically and psychologically raped, corrupted to such an extent that he could no longer live among his own, and so coldly rejected by those who created him. Some compare the Wraith to nazis – well, sorry – the only ‘nazis’ I see in this show are those that would do such horrible experimentation on another sentient being – experimentation they would condemn on their own planet – then hypocritically hide behind the cry that they were doing it to save the galaxy. This is the hypocrisy that I am beginning to hate in this show – everything the Lanteans do, even if it’s 100x worse than anything the Wraith do, is ‘good’, while one hungry Wraith is condemned as the evil villain because he needs to feed. Doesn’t make any sense to me!!!

    And it worries me that I am one of only a handful that can see it. Makes me realize that humans in general would rather destroy than understand. Makes me hate calling myself human if all it means to be human is to look out for yourself, everything and everyone else be damned.

    I can only hope that this was a Michael clone, or that there is another Michael out there if this was an original. However, I doubt it. I’ll eventually watch the episode, but I know it’ll just make me hate the human characters even more, and rue the day I ever started watching this show. I had so hoped that there would have been a true coming to terms with what the Lanteans have done in the galaxy, but instead it’s a continued pattern of self-justification that, with all shows completed now, I have no hopes of seeing change. The pattern has been set in stone by Inquistion – the team is ‘not guilty’, just like OJ.

    I have come to hate the team with a passion over the last few weeks, especially since Outsiders and Inquistion. Makes me regret buying 4 boxsets now. And with Michael gone, that only leaves Todd to be honed into the next big villain, and that worries me. Of course, they could just go and kill him, too…since that’s the Lanteans (and the writers) answer for everything. Cold-blooded bunch of bastards, the lot of them (characters, not the writers), and that’s the only way I can see them now. Yeah, cold-blooded bastards, killing out of want and not necessity, forcing change on others because they have crowned themselves Gods of the Galaxy (Carson’s the worst of them, too). I’ve said it before, they are more like Wraith than Wraith.

    Oh, yeah – the Wraith kill. 🙄 We have clearly seen now – especially in this season – that the Wraith are almost childlike – too willing to trust and easily deceived (Broken Ties, Outsiders), desiring to be ruled over and fearful to be left without a leader (The Queen), and easily defeated at their own games (Tracker). It makes the Lanteans look like high school bullies picking on grade schoolers, and only helps to reinforce my feelings about everything I have already expressed about the show, and its characters. I almost want to stop watching now, but Todd is too much of a draw, even though I fear he’ll be royally screwed over, too…while the Lanteans pat themselves on their treacherous little backs for a job well-done. Ugh.

    On the other hand, Sanctuary was quite enjoyable…fun, like a sci fi show should be. I’ll watch The Prodigal sometime today – during the day to avoid being depressed right before bed – but I fear my passion for the show, and any enjoyment I used to get from it, has died. I feared this would happen, but I so hoped I was just being a negative nelly and would be proved wrong, but so far the back side of this season has been nothing but depressing. As a show approaches the end it’s depressing enough, but to leave an even more sour taste in fans’ mouths by making it darker and darker with each passing episode, and by justifying every unjust action, is just too much for me. 🙁


  43. Good service in a not-so-delicious restaurant, I can put up with. I’ll even return in hopes of a better kitchen evening.

    Bad service in a store…I’m afraid to say I dump my merchandise in a heap if necessary & vow never to return. If tempted, I just remember the Old Navy incident.

    The Prodigal was downright superb, probably my favorite of the season so far. Everyone got the chance to shine.

    “Stun bubble”!!!

  44. Can you get Fondy to post a recipe of hers? That rice dish you mentioned???

    Missed your blog 🙂

  45. Thanks for an absolutely amazing episode. Prodigy was truly one of the best. Yeah team!

  46. Prodigal: Holy CRAP.

    Laughed at Ronon and his reports, at John and Rodney racing their cars with the enthusiasm of kids. And then the action started, I don’t think my heart slowed down once. Just one thing after another, and I truly had NO idea what was going to happen next. I forgot to note who wrote this one, but cheers to you.

    Ronon’s fights were fantastic, and best surprise of the night was Amelia jumping in to help out. Cheered right out loud for her. We gotta see more of that! (There’s a woman who could handle Ronon, by the way.)

    Truly a team episode, though, everybody got in on the action, which was great to see. But the best moment was the end, the final confrontation with Teyla leaping in to help John. Her actions at the very end — and the look on John’s face when he realizes what she means to do — were shiver-inducing. Very emotional too. Quite the payoff.

    Thanks everyone. You were great!

  47. “q-ball-er writes: “do u think that there is hope for Weir popping up in any movies…at all??”
    Answer: Sorry. Weir’s journey has ended”

    What about FRAN? Her template is still there.
    Will Michelle Morgan play FRAN again?

  48. I’m not too upset the writers don’t read fanfic, even if they did, they couldn’t very well use what they were reading because that would be stealing ideas, right?
    Although there are some amazing fanfiction stories out there sized like 200-300 kb pure text, whole novels actually, and some of them are better written than official novels and the series itself – no offence here. So maybe you should venture out and read some of the best rated fanfic (not necessarily stargate, there’s many more interesting ones) stories out there for your reading club?
    My personal experience is btw that star trek fiction seems to be overall worse than fiction for shows like stargate and x-files and I think it has to do with the more mixed nature of the latter shows.

    BTW speaking of x-files, I had a really strange, though mildly entertaining, dream last night about Skinner (same actor who plays Caldwell) and an X-file involving cartoon characters last night… I’m blaming you!

  49. @ M
    I was under the impression it was Tori herself who had made the decision not to return to Atlantis and that this was why they had to use the actress to played Fran (not that she didn’t do a good job playing Weir, she did!).
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m as upset about Weir being written out of the picture as you are (and while I could stomach it with Sam replacing her, I certainly can’t stomach Woolsey in her chair) – it’s what spiked my whole comment about authors having to consider fanfic writers in he first place. The stargate universe isn’t complete without Weir. But if Tori doesn’t want the role, what can you do?

  50. Quick stop by to let you know how much I loved “The Prodigal”.

    Like others have already said it had everything that makes SGA such a great show:

    Team love, Humor and Action

    Def. one of the best episode this season

    Thanks 🙂

  51. Lots of great comments about the show…I especially agree with Wolfenm.

    Loved the interplay between the pairings. Loved seeing Lorne (he makes me smile, too) I love Zelenka and McKay banter and Zelenka bitching in Czech…

    Ronan’s mission report was priceless and the fall from teh balcany was wow…..

    But I did get a bit of an “ick” factor when Michael was practically begging Teyla to come with him. I think he really wanted her to come.

    So glad she did not come out of hiding to “sacrifice” herself for Atlantis….

    I am not a shipper, I watch the show for the sci-fi/action elements. I don’t mind a ship if it happens and it seems natural and there is chemistry. Some of those hinted at, I’ve disliked, some I’ve liked…

    I have never read fan fiction. Just don’t have an interest in it.

  52. Wow Joe, as for your running shoe shopping experience you showed a whole more patience than I would have.
    Waiting around and then buying a pair that were larger than you normally wore. I don’t know if that is such a good idea-ill fitting shoes can cause a lot of problems with your gait and also with how comfortable you and your feet will feel.
    Maybe you should take them back and go elsewhere.

  53. well that sucks…i’ve always thought she deserved a better ending, and i see so do others

  54. Well, the Prodigal, a very good episode. Suspenseful, this is the type of story that Carl Binder does well, he’s good at suspense and episodes like this and Michael can come off very well as a result. In fact he seems better at writing episodes set on Atlantis then off imo…

    But yeah, a good end to Michael, one that I think is a shame as well though. But one thing I’m sure you know though is the bigger the bad guy, the bigger their finale needs to be. This was a very ‘big’ way to end Michael’s story, and having Teyla involved at the end. It was a string ending. A shame almost, because I like Michael and he always has a plan down the line somewhere which usually has very personal repercussions for the characters, which make the stories more interesting. But he didn’t outstay his welcome, he left the show before he got old (a bit like Atlantis the show now I guess…) which will probably ensure his character is one that people look back on as one of the franchises best.

    But it was a good episode, and I hope Universe has a fair few bad guys who have a personal connection with the cast. As like Apophis, Ba’al and Michael, it makes them so much richer.

    Teyla was really good in this episode though, the ending was very strong for her character, and highlights the direction her chacter has taken. She would not have kicked him off the ledge in season 2, her doing so really highlights not only how she’s changed, but how Michael’s changed him. His inclusion in the show was a benefit to her character imo. That scene also showed how Michael has changed, the whole episode did. It was very important to do in my opinion, and it was done well.

    One nitpick with the episode though, in Moebius 1 they dialed the Stargate in Antarctica from America, from a puddle jumper. How come they needed to be in close proximity in this episode, we’ve never seen any hint that Jumpers need to be close for them to dial out.

    Another strong episode in a generally strong season. At least Atlantis will go out on a high. 8-9/10.

    Also one quick question about Universe, will we see more non human aliens in the show? Given the varying galaxies they will be visiting. Alien races are something that I think should be in the show a bit more imo.
    Any chance for any more puppet alien races like Thor or Rygel from Farscape?

  55. *waves*

    I blame you for my absence.. all that thunking over a certain scene in TLT shot a few braincells I think, and i’ve been incoherent ever since.

    So just popping in to say that I totally adored Prodigal, it was filled with awesomeness… I can’t believe i’ve used that word to describe it, but there ya go. I can be hip and chic on occasions. 😉

    Great story, fabulous angst, drama, tension. Lots of teamyness, and whumpyness. Absolutely adored the city shots and the whole feel to it. The one liners, the humor, the character moments, the boys and their toys. Teyla kicking ass!!! 😀 The whole ep made me all full of squee. Thanks for that, I needed it.

    Next week Remnants. I’m just hoping I don’t spontaneously combust with too much squee before then!! 😮


    *does her happy dance*

  56. A lot of things had me grinning while watching Prodigal Son last night…
    The banter between Woolsey and Ronon.
    McKay and Sheppard as overgrown kids racing their cars. Banks kicking hybrid butt.
    The Ronon/Michael fight scenes.
    The John/Michael fight scenes.
    THE Teyla/Michael fight scene!…Yes!
    And then I really grinned during the last scene with John, Rodney, Teyla and Torren. That just felt good – like family hanging out together.

    Excellent episode. Thanks to all, Joe.

  57. I know that I am only a lowly viewer, but I’d like to request that the SGA movie(s) be modeled on “The Prodigal.” The show had EVERYTHING that many of us have wanted and waited to see for some time — a true SGA team effort!

  58. I enjoyed “Prodigal.” Carl Binder is the best at utilizing the cast and he has the best ear for dialogue.

    Michael? I wasn’t sorry to see him go, what with being crazed arch villain and all. I am impressed that Connor Trinneer made him almost sympathetic in different moments.

    i love that shot of Teyla, her hair blowing in the wind as she looks down to where Michael fell. She looks like an avenging angel or superhero. Rachel Luttrell gives her a great intensity and coiled energy.

    That shot reminds me, too, how much I liked the lighting in this and the way Andy Mikita put it all together.

    This makes me sad again that it’s coming to an end

    When do you leave for Tokyo?

  59. The Prodigal was superb!! 😀 I loved the whole team and the final fight scene was just amazing! 😀

    Easily my second favourite episode of the season (after Search and Rescue ;)), so thank you to everyone involved in it 😀 It’s the first episode in a while that I’m eager to watch again 🙂

    Cazz x

  60. Prodigal had a spark of what used to make SGA great but it also highlighted that the writers are still only interested in Shepppard and McKay and everyone else’s relationships gets pretty much no development.
    The John and Teyla dynamic has clearly been squashed for this rediculous Kanaan/Teyla invisible relationship. The writers didnt even have the balls to kill off the guy but yet use him to keep Teyla as this strange devout little woman who supposedly has the perfect life with the lover we never see.

    Yet it’s always John who is left to protect her and Kanaan’s son and put his life at risk whilst Kanaan is conveniently not around, and yet she still addresses John like a stranger at times. The writers seem intent on giving Teyla some rediculous fairytale happy ever after, whilst distroying one of the best dynamics on the show. But at the same time they couldnt really be bothered giving any proper attention or development to either relationship.

    Will Kanaan continue to be out there indefinitely therefore permanently killing the warmth and friendship that existed between John and Teyla. I may have understood the writers not wanting to pair up main characters except for the recent development between Keller and McKay, so what happend to not wanting main characters to pair up.

    I was quite gutted at hearing about the cancellation of SGA but now not so much. Prodigal did regain some of the team magic but I fear it’s just a one off after seeing future spoilers. I’ll probably tune in for the odd episode before the end of the season, but I don’t hold out much hope that the show is going to give any attention to anyone but McKay and Keller and a bit of Sheppard.

  61. Hi Joe,
    Wow! Really enjoy Prodigal last night! Has so many great moments throughout the show, so many! From John and Rodney racing cars, to Banks kicking hybrid butt, to Ronon giving his report to Woosley and many more!

    Give my Thanks and Well Done to all involved! Downloaded from Amazon and off to see the episode again!

  62. Loved The Prodigal last night. It was great seeing Teyla giving Michael what he deserved. It’s a nice break from the hero saving the villain.

  63. The Prodigal

    That was an outstanding episode. I enjoyed every minute and just loved the ‘playing boys’ (and everything else between Sheppard and McKay). 🙂 Teyla really earned to defeat Michael in the end. One of my favourite episodes and exactly the SGA I want to watch. Thanks.

    Regarding your yesterday’s entry: That was really funny. I heard that you are not permitted to read fanfictions, but I didn’t know that you know so much about them anyway. 😉

    I love reading SGA fanfictions. Of course not everything is good, but I just skip the bad stories or the ones I’m not interested in. On the other hand I read fanfictions that are just fantastic. The story, the writing, the portrayal of the characters. There are a few which are among the best stories I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot in my life.

    I want the show and fanfictions side by side. I love the fanfictions for the character moments, not for the description of action. I know a TV series can’t always show such (deep) character moments and I love it also for other things. For me these two complement each other in a perfect way.

  64. I wander off for a few days and look what happens … you keep blogging. Cool.

    Quail eggs, I love quail eggs! I miss being able to buy them at 7-11. And thanks for answering my questions a few days ago.

    Oh yeah, The Prodigal … Most Excellent! I enjoyed it quite a bit.

  65. Have a great trip, Joe! I’m looking forward to hearing about your fabulous food adventures. And with your new sweats and running shoes, you can keep in shape jogging in the park near the Palace and still be slim and trim when you return.

    Prodigal spoiler alert!!!!!
    About “Prodigal” … I was really enjoying it for the first 40 minutes. Actually, right up until the end of the fight scene on the roof. Lots of great little moments for all of the cast. But, like kabu and mirrani I really disliked the ending. I have no problem with Teyla’s desire to kill Michael and protect her child. And I acknowledge that the Pegasus Galaxy is a safer place for human (and Wraith) with him gone. But much of the episode re-established Michael’s affection for Teyla and brought home what a conflicted, tortured soul he really was. *And* it reminded us that Atlantis was responsible for creating Michael.

    What I didn’t like was the way the writer decided to have Michael die. It’s one thing to kill an enemy in the heat of battle, but quite another to have him helpless and entirely at your mercy, then kill him in cold blood. Michael intended to kill Ronon, cutting his throat while he was unconscious — an act that (I think) everyone will acknowledge was evil, cold-blooded murder. So how can it be just fine and even admirable when Teyla does exactly the same thing and steps on Michael’s hands as he clings to the ledge causing him to fall to his death?

    Just my thoughts on the episode.

  66. Hey Joe.

    Prodigal KICKED ASS!!!!!!!! I thought it was quiet shocking and appropriate that Teyla got to take care of Michael. She was incredible. I don’t think she or any one else is going to lose any sleep over it.

    To DasNanger

    I agree that, for the most part, The Wraith are only doing what they need to feed & survive but does that mean that the Human population of the Pegasus Galaxy has to sit back and let it happen? Don’t humans have a right to defend themselves and choose to not be fed upon?

    I also agree that what the expedition did to Michael was wrong. I would love to see there be some acknowledgement of that but that still doesn’t excuse Michael of everything he did afterwards.

    At the beginning I did have sympathy for him and I even had a bit for him in this ep but that only goes so far. He was non stop on his quest for vengence. Some may say he had no choice but everyone has a choice in how they live their lives. He deliberately killed 1000’s of innocent people & refused to accept responsibility for his actions. He conveniently blames it all on what Atlantis did to him. It was shocking how he died but What is Atlantis supposed to do? Ask him for forgiveness and then let him go?

    As for the ep, I loved how John’s numerous suicide runs was brought up. It was so moving to see Rodney hesitate in leaving and then offering to shake hands. I almost SGUEEED at that. LOL!!! The two of them with the remote control cars was hysterical. Sheppard must be in great shape he didn’t look the least bit winded by all that Stair climbing. Poor Rodney. : ) Loved Woolsey frustration with Ronan. Ronan mission report was priceless.

    I want to make a special note of just how brilliantly Michael played by Connor. I almost felt sorry for the guy. I am sad to see him go.

  67. RE #44 by dasNdanger-

    This is the hypocrisy that I am beginning to hate in this show – everything the Lanteans do, even if it’s 100x worse than anything the Wraith do, is ‘good’, while one hungry Wraith is condemned as the evil villain because he needs to feed. Doesn’t make any sense to me!!!

    I have /always/ hated Atlantis for this reason exactly! I thought I was the only one… thrust into the Stargate fandom simply because I thought the Michael storyline was brilliant, I honestly expected the writing of the rest of the shows to be the same… but I can’t /stand/ it… And even the Michael shows got to a point where everyone went out of their way to write him being beaten down again. Maybe I was raised on a more sophisticated form of Science Fiction and therefore have a higher standard than anyone else, but I’m glad I’m not alone! I honestly thought all people who watched Atlantis didn’t care about quality of a story!

    So many people call Michael evil to explain away who he is and what he does. He /isn’t/ evil.. he’s USED. He was USED by the humans, he was USED by his own people to come back to Atlantis in the show Connor wasn’t in… He was USED again by the Not Clone and everyone else, when they re-humanized him in the hopes he’d be a good example for the others… and he continued that pattern in his own ways… It was ALL he was ever given to work with once the first transformation had been made all those years ago… It’s like the cycle of abuse… a person who was abused is more likely to become the abuser as they continue through their lives. Sure, what he did was certainly horrible on such a huge scale… but does anyone ever watch these shows from the POV of anyone /not/ on Atlantis? … Besides us few, that is…

    I had so hoped that there would have been a true coming to terms with what the Lanteans have done in the galaxy, but instead it’s a continued pattern of self-justification that, with all shows completed now, I have no hopes of seeing change. The pattern has been set in stone by Inquistion – the team is ‘not guilty’, just like OJ.

    Yes! I was so very excited to see them go on trial a few weeks ago, but the minute I saw the preview I turned to my girlfriend and gave her the whole plot. “How stupid is this? Why is anyone going to watch it? We know what’s going to happen. They’ll say they’re innocent of everything, the Annoying One or Bob Picardo’s character will weasel their way out of it and they’ll come off looking like HEROES in the deal!” And … what happened?

    As a show approaches the end it’s depressing enough, but to leave an even more sour taste in fans’ mouths by making it darker and darker with each passing episode, and by justifying every unjust action, is just too much for me.

    I don’t mind dark or I wouldn’t watch Michael’s stuff… Sci Fi is supposed to challenge the mind a little, make you reflect on yourself and whatnot… Well the stuff /I/ like is, anyway… along with the … Sci Fi Elements of course…

    RE #70 Sparrow_hawk-

    So how can it be just fine and even admirable when Teyla does exactly the same thing and steps on Michael’s hands as he clings to the ledge causing him to fall to his death?

    Yes! Exactly!.. Only she didn’t just /step/ on his fingers, she practically kicked him off. I expected Teyla to get her revenge, yes… just as much as I hoped that she would /someday/ manage to come to a certain middle ground in the way she saw his actions… I thought when he took her before she had the baby… I thought he almost got through, almost made her realize that they /do/ do the same things… only circumstances cause Michael to do it on a slightly larger scale… (to slightly misquote from the episode) And actually the deaths Michael caused were all for survival in one way or another… or not just by his own hand… what happened caused the death- problems with the genitics, the need to shut down equipment… not Michael’s own two hands… Michael’s death wasn’t about anyone surviving after it happened… it wasn’t about just leaving him there to fall on his own… That was /all/ Teyla. And I could almost tolerate her character before too…

  68. @ Mirrani – Oh, you are certainly NOT alone. There are many of us who are disturbed by the narrow-mindedness of the show. I started watching because of Todd, and then – after buying the boxsets and seeing the show from the beginning – for the Wraith in general. Many of us see things from their POV, or Michael’s, or others, and we see the potential for these characters, too. But most just go with the flow, and don’t think any deeper about the show unless it’s to ship Sheppard with a potted plant (or so I’ve heard 🙄 ). I posted additional thoughts on this under Nov. 8th’s blog entry.

    As far as ‘darkness’ goes – I don’t mind a little, but there has to be something to counter it (of course, being a fan of the Wraith means all of their stories will be dark, so my fault for liking them…there is no hope where they’re concerned 🙁 ). As far as sci fi, I grew up with the original Star Trek, and Star Wars, nothing deeper than that. Not sure any of that shaped my feeling here because – well…because I’ve never felt this way about characters before. I am totally frustrated with the treatment of the ‘enemy’ (usually I have no problem with it), especially when there is SO much potential here besides demonizing them and killing them off.

    Oh well, this is a dead horse. The season is wrapped, and I certainly doubt anything will change for the movie, so I don’t even know why I bother. Maybe something good will come of Todd at series’ end, and I’ll be on top of the world, but – right now – I’m just…disappointed.


  69. Michael has killed “hundreds of thousands” of humans.

    Atlantis has destroyed maybe a dozen hive ships.

    One episode (can’t remember which) said that there are not many more than sixty hive ships in the galaxy, and the wraith live only in their hive ships (as shown in the pilot episode). So that means that the humans have wiped out perhaps one sixth of the entire wraith *species*. How is this any better than what Michael has done?

    Also, every death caused by Michael can be laid directly on Dr Weir’s and Dr Beckett’s heads.

    And I think that Teyla’s act of murder would actually be considered a war crime by international law. But the Geneva conventions were tossed aside when Atlantis first experimented on “Steve” in season one.

    Don’t get me wrong; Prodigal was a great episode from a critical standpoint, and was very fun to watch. I just can’t sympathize with the Atlanteans.

  70. I just saw “The Visitor” and Richard Kind has a wonderful turn in it. It’s just one scene but he’s perfect in it. Instead of lots of exposition there is just that brief scene where Richard Kind’s conversation with the character of Walter Vale fills the audience in on Walter’s grief and loneliness. You’d need an amazing actor like Richard Kind to pull that off in just one scene and he nails it.

  71. Das,

    Based upon today’s posts and previous ones I’ve read, you are acting like YOU are being put upon. Like YOU are the victim of humanity’s crueler side. Like YOU (and those who agree with you) are the Chosen Few who See the Truth. Like those who disagree with YOU are cold, heartless, evil, and even may be like the Nazis.

    Note: I did not say above that you think SGA viewers are Nazis. You were calling fictional characters Nazis. But if some viewers agree with what these “Nazis” did, what does that make US in YOUR eyes???

    If you HATE the show/characters this much. If it UPSETS you to the point where you HATE humanity, thereby YOURSELF, this might be a good time to sell your DVDs and change the channel, eh?

    I’m a bit worried about you.

    I’m not saying you can’t have your opinion. I’m not saying you can’t empathize with the ANTAGONISTS. I’m not saying you can’t wish the ANTAGONISTS were the PROTAGONISTS. Keep whatever you got goin’…y’know, goin’.

    But I am a bit worried about you.

    No one – not the writers, producers, actors, crew, or other viewers are attacking you. You are not the victim here.

    If you are going to put your money on the losing side (since this is TV and this is SGA, the Team will usually win), expect to be disappointed when the Wraith lose again. And again. And again.

    But don’t play the Picked-On-One cuz going back as far as Beowulf through Lords of the Ring up to SGA, the “bad guys,” the “enemy,” the “antagonist,” the “evil ones,” lose.

    Maybe this is a good time for you to write some fanfic? Make the SGA ‘verse the way YOU want it to be, not how it actually is?

    I truly hope you will have a nice day. A day of peace, love, and even some Wraithy goodness. Cuz they do rock. But they are not the good guys on SGA. And that’s why I like them.


  72. eddy – Next time, just PM me…you know where I can be found. But since you bring it up, I never said that anyone was attacking me. Attacking me would be…say…someone calling me an idiot for liking the Wraith. That would be an attack. I was just saying how much it hurts us to see how the Wraith are being treated, especially when it is known that they have a very passionate fan base who truly care about what happens to them.

    Also, I try not to criticize people for their likes, or dislikes, as far as the show is concerned (can’t say I never do, but I try not to). For the most part, I only express how I feel, or my frustration with the writing, and how it all interprets in my mind. How I feel is not to imply that the way other fans feel is wrong, unless…of course, they have a guilty conscience. 😉 Of course, when I express displeasure in the writing, that is to imply something…I’ll leave you to figure out what.

    I’m talking about something different, and it’s hard to explain. As far as how we feel about the Wraith, either you get it, or you don’t. Most people don’t, but many do. We ‘feel’ for the characters. It’s not just ‘whoa, he’s hot’, or whatever…but it has to do with the bigger picture. I think Laura Dove summed it up nicely in today’s post (Nov. 9th) when she said, “And that instead of finding ways to work out difference and natural rivalry, your intention for SGA is to only display ways to annihilate those who are different and natural rivals?”

    We see in the treatment of the Wraith every example of human intolerance, and the wanton destruction of species man doesn’t understand, that has occurred over the centuries right here on this planet – a mentality that, unfortunately, continues to this day, and is carried over into the very medium that has the power to change it – fiction. (For the record, I walked out on Dances With Wolves for the same reason I’m about to walk out on SGA.)

    Like tonight – we had an injured duck in the street – it had a small puncture wound in its chest, probably birdshot. We gathered it up and took it to a place where it could die in peace (as, obviously, it wasn’t going to make it). My husband cradled it in his hands until it died, and then we laid it in a peaceful place in the woods. For what was that duck killed? It fed no one…not man, not another animal. It was a wasted death. All life is fragile, not just human life. When I watch a show that puts so much emphasis on human superiority, while never acknowledging that other creatures can have a purpose and deserve respect as living things, too…well…there comes a time when I just have to say, ‘I’m done’.

    Ya know – it doesn’t matter how much I try to explain this, you just won’t get it.


  73. @ eddy – Not sure you’re even reading this far back, but I don’t want to drag it up on the latest blog entries, so I’ll let it die down here. Anyway, I do have to make a correction of something I said above. I DID rant on about being upset that no one sees the hypocrisy of the team, and that humanity as a whole would rather destroy than try to understand, and by doing so I implied that fans were wrong. I did say that, and forgot. I’m sorry.

    As far as loving the antagonists – it really wasn’t a choice. It just…happened. Instantly. I should be loving Shep or Ronon, but…nah…it’s not gonna happen. I can’t relate to either of them, but could instantly relate to the Wraith. Why? NO idea, other than the fact that they remind me of cats…and I like cats. But mostly it has to do with feeling sympathetic towards their plight…I think. Or…maybe it really is just the hair. Or the whole no eyebrows thing. I can’t say – but the fact is that I didn’t ‘willingly’ choose to like the Wraith, it just happened, like a truck hitting me. It’s not like I sat down and said to myself, “I’m gonna like the bad guys because I REALLY enjoy feeling gutted each and every time they’re slaughtered in front of my eyes.”

    As far as hating to be human – sometimes, yeah. We’ll leave it at that.

    As far as changing the channel – well, if I did that, I couldn’t watch Sanctuary. I will wait until the end of the season, but I am also waiting until I hear feedback on the episodes before I bother to watch them. Someone said tv should be escapism – not a time to think. Well, I agree. But when a show starts reminding you of everything you hate about ‘humanity’, it’s no longer escapism, but reality slapping you in the face. Hey, same thing happened to me with ST: Voyager – but that one I quit cold turkey – something I can’t do with this show simply because of Todd. If he wasn’t in any more eps, I probably would have stopped watching after Inquisition, but I’m still holding out hope for Todd…which I’m sure will lead only to devastating disappointment. But I love him enough to still have a little glimmer of hope that I might be wrong.

    As far as enemies being on the losing team – true. Unless their status changes. In a book or two-hour movie, the enemy usually doesn’t change. But in an on-going series, one that lasts for seasons, enemies often do change, do evolve into something else. Enemies may become allies, or they may remain at odds with the heroes, but more tolerably so. That’s what I was hoping for, based on several factors (which I won’t bother repeating). But I was wrong, and I misread the direction of the show. I started watching with the wrong expectations. IF I had known what I know now, I would have never bothered getting involved. But I did get involved…and now I just can’t quit Todd. So for him, I’ll still keep an eye on the show, but I’ll wait until I hear feedback before I risk watching any more episodes (except this week’s – this one I think will be ‘safe’).

    Anyhoo – I didn’t mean to address all of that again. I just realized that I was wrong about the statement I made (about not implying things about fans), and then I went off on a ramble. I’m kinda good at that. 😛


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