Every so often, I check out my spam folder for erroneously misdirected reader comments.  Last night, amid the 535 quarantined messages, I came across the following:

“Brazil shemales”

“Star ladyboys”

“Big ass shemales”

“Trilby hat sales”

– I find this offensive, embarrassing and downright disturbing.  How dare they presume I’d wear a trilby hat!

Hey, the results are in for April’s Book of the Month Club.  And the winner is…

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 12.12.43 PM


We’ll be kicking off our discussion of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation on Monday, April 7th – which should give you all plenty of time to read it.

In the meantime, our March Book of the Month Club reconvenes on Monday, March 3rd with a discussion of Terms of Enlistment by Mark Kloos.

1Ladies and gentlemen, start your reading engines!

Our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch continues with…Underground!

1Hmmm.  It would appear Akemi is fast losing interest in this show.  I keep thinking that if we can just make it to the mid-season two-parter, The Storm/The Eye, we should be okay.  Those two episodes, in my estimation the high point of SGA’s first season, should revitalize her interest in the series and keep her focused through to the season one finale.  Apparently, Carson Beckett’s charming eyes will only get the series so far.

Alas, Underground didn’t rate that highly for her because she had a hard time following what was going on.  But once the episode moved past people the various people-sitting-at-tables-talking scenes (about two-thirds of the way through), her interested picked up.  Still…

On the story: “Chotto difficult to understand this episode.  A little bit complicated.  Seems very odd from the beginning.”

On Teyla: “Too much make-up this episode.”

On Teyla informing the Genii that team Atlantis had awakened the wraith: “She is stupid!”

On McKay: “I like arrogant guy!”

And overall: “Surprisingly not so much episodes of the actual Atlantis.  I’m looking for more inside of Atlantis.”  Crap!  She’s beginning to sound like YOU guys!

Meanwhile, I offered my thoughts on the episode back here: June 10, 2012: Misery! Comic Con! Days of Stargate Past – Atlantis! Poisoning the Well and Underground!

So, what’d you all think on second (or more) viewing?

21 thoughts on “February 11, 2014: Perusing my spam folder! Our April Book of the Month Club winner! The Stargate: Atlantis rewatch continues!

  1. lol oh Joe…. I wonder what we would have found if only we’d explored the entire city… that might be an interesting game…. Ancient technology, library, “adult entertainment” lol

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. Does chotto = very? I love the sound of that word

  2. I think one reason Akemi may find it hard to follow by times is that she does not have the background of having watched SG1. I actually watched the first couple of seasons of Atlantis first before I watched SG1 all the way through and there were at least a few times I was like “huh?”. Akemi, if you’re reading this, keep watching! You’ll pick it up!

    That said, I enjoyed “Underground” right off the bat and it was at least as good this time around. It’s such an important episode in retrospect too, since it sets up so much of character of the Genii which will be part of the series until the end. I did always wonder about the casting of Sora’s father – he looks rather young. Did he have her when he was 10 or something? They looked much more like brother and sister (other than, you know, looking nothing alike.)

    I guess I better order “Annihilation” now – I actually went and cancelled my order from Amazon.ca for “Terms of Enlistment”. It STILL had not been shipped and by the time I would get it there’s no way I would have time to finish it by the end of the month, if I even got it that soon. Very disappointing service on their part. I have to laugh at ridiculous publicity stunt stuff like this:


    I think they should probably concentrate on shipping stuff at least within a month AFTER you order it. That would be a start.

  3. Sorry Akemi isn’t enjoying the show more. As for this episode, I thought the whole “invade a Wraith Hive” a bit rushed, and the events in the Hive were a bit contrived, but still. Colm Meaney. Who doesn’t love him, or love to hate him? Sheppard thinking ahead and having the puddle jumpers ready. A reasonably high tech human society, that now has reasons NOT to be friendly to Atlantis? And of course lots of McKay moments. This, like the others, holds up well on review. I just hope Akemi remembers some of what this episode establishes in the canon. So many twists and turns to come… thanks for sharing. And one question, if you are in a mood to answer. What restaurant in Las Vegas would you recommend trying? Got Ramsay’s steakhouse on the list, simply for the kobe beef. But looking for 1 more place to expand my culinary experiences.

  4. Uh, Joey…Pendergast wears a trilby, and he has exquisite taste!

    That’s all I have time for – right in the middle of watching the Westminster!


  5. I think you are experiencing with Akemi a bit of what happened when SGU started airing, just in reverse. There are certain expectations of what “Stargate” is and since she was first exposed to that with Universe, which she liked, the tone and characterizations are probably jarring to her experience with the franchise.

    I agree with gforce that there is an underlying richness of lore to be found in SG1 that underpins SGA and the universe is “thinner” (if that conveys what I mean) without having watched it. SGA was, by far, my favorite incarnation of Stargate but I did benefit from having the history of SG1 to enhance my viewing.

    That said, Underground is very important for the Genii and their ongoing relationship with Atlantis. I enjoyed the episode and the McKay snark as well. The visual of McKay and Sheppard in the field inspired quite a few fics back in the day and is found in many a McShep fan vid. 🙂

    I hope Akemi does come to enjoy Atlantis, even a little bit. Otherwise it’s going to be a long few weeks for her. And you. 🙂

  6. Not my favourite episode. I agree Joseph, The Storm and The Eye are good shows, but I think The Siege episodes are the best episodes of the Atlantis series to that point, and the series improves greatly as it goes along. I love The Siege part two scene switches as the camera flies between buildings. It gives us a better idea of how big the city is. I thought that was a terrific idea.

    I’ve gotten way ahead in my viewing, I’m currently halfway through season 2.
    I have no patience at all.

    I can see the Genii being like this. If you have a secret underground system of bunkers, you need to keep everyone from knowing about it. Especially if your enemy can read minds.

    I can also see them developing a very harsh military society. We’ve seen plenty of examples in our history. Hard times can make for hard people. I also agree with Gforce, it sets up a lot of important relationships. In fact almost every show has something important in it that effects the series later. Anyways, not a great show, but not a bad show.

  7. “Chotto difficult to understand this episode. A little bit complicated. Seems very odd from the beginning.”

    Um, I don’t think “Home” is going to improve the situation.

    I did enjoy re-watching “Underground”. The first time around, not so much. It goes that way with the foundational episodes sometimes. I get bored with the lack of resolution. Watching it again though, I know where the arc leads and I can just sit back and enjoy it.

    Snarky McKay was getting fun by this point, but he also came off as a bit imprudent by so readily showing the Genii the problems with their nuclear program.

  8. 1. Congrats to the Wire Fox Terrier for winning Best in Show at Westminster! I had a toy fox terrier when I was young – she used to steal cat turds out of the litter pan and hide them in her doggy bed. 🙂 … I mean, 😛 .

    2. I totally read ‘shemales’ as some sort of Mexican food, like tamales. 😛

    3. Looks like we’re gonna dodge another bullet…I hope. Most of the coast into eastern PA is gonna get slammed by a full-fledged nor’easter tomorrow night into Thursday, with PA getting up to 14″ of snow west of Philly. We should get mostly rain, but that can always change. My biggest fear is that we’ll get ice, and combined with high winds that could mean lots of downed limbs and even trees. Parts of eastern PA and NJ endured an ice storm last week, so a lot of trees are already weakened. Hopefully we’ll just get our regular wind-n-rain storm here, and nothing more.

    It’s been a long, coooooold winter for us, with lots of snow and rain, and now I’m ready for spring. But I want a good old timey spring (like last year – long and mild), not the springs of recent years previous – 55 degrees on April 1, followed by weeks of 80-90 degree temps, followed by a summer of more of the same. I remember when I was a kid spring was so nice and cool, and summertime temps rarely reached 90, except maybe an occasional day in late July and August. We even had to wear sweaters most summer evenings because of the sea breeze. It’s just not like that anymore. 🙁

    Nites, Joey!


  9. I loved the Genii. They were such an interesting group of people throughout the show. And this episode also has some of my favorite McKay/Sheppard moments with the “we say, what underground bunker?” snark.

  10. Brace yourself:

    I don’t care for the Genii episodes. I just cannot tolerate the Genii. This is not a love to hate them kind of thing. This is an oh god, these people are going to keep on showing up down the line and waste 5% of a season’s worth of shows each time kind of dislike. I watched this episode twice within the past week to make sure I was giving it a fair shot, and I still found the Genii annoying.

    My more constructive thoughts: Teyla’s behavior toward the Genii in the beginning did seem condescending, possibly due to the perceived gap between the two societies. I don’t know if that was written in, or if that was due to the choices made by the actor. McKay’s comments about the exposure to radiation reminded me of the SG1 episode where Daniel is irradiated. I think it strange that the Genii make a point, even with prisoners in tow, to change from peasant wear to their military garb before appearing in the next scene. Since Weir is a master negotiator and deal broker, I’m surprised that she didn’t participate more up front in trade negotiations instead of sending in her key military personnel. The idea of Bates reaching a trade agreement with anyone for anything, goes against his Mr. PissyPants character.

    That is all for now.

  11. @ivonbartokfans: I think “chotto” means “a little”.

    It’s hard to watch Underground without thinking about the Genii stories to come later. I like the dichotomy of the agrarian front the Genii put on and their military technological society that is the reality. Upon this re-watching of the season I do feel that this story and Poisoning The Well were a little too close together. We have two technologically advanced (for the Pegasus galaxy, anyway (Why doesn’t my spell checker have “pegasus” in its dictionary?)) worlds both developing what they think will be the ultimate weapon against the Wraith. In fact, when Poisoning The Well started I thought it was going to be the Genii introduction episode! And another thing . . . I pity any plant experts reading about the Genii. I keep wanting to pronounce it “gen-ee-eye” when I see it written down.

    @Jenny Horn: I also noticed the costume change between shots when Teyla and Ford were taken prisoner. It seems weird that Sora would say to her prisoners, “Please wait here while I go change into my military uniform.”

    I finished listening to Terms Of Enlistment this morning. I’ll have to write down my thoughts soon. I’ll have forgotten most of them by March 3!

    I don’t like the cover to Annihilation. For some reason I read it as “Antlion” which will only mean something to entomologists and Halo fans. 🙂

  12. Hmm, why didn’t the Atlantis team ever threaten the Genii to tell everyone the truth about them?
    I mean, they could have just said something like “If you don’t do what we want (e.g. hand us the bomb prototypes in The Siege II), or if you don’t let us be, we’ll tell everyone that you guys aren’t just some farmers without any technology.”
    Wouldn’t that have made some things easier for the Atlantis crew or am I missing something here?

  13. Jenny Horn: I can understand how you feel about the Genii. I feel the same way about Michael. But for me, after considering it, it’s not really that I dislike the story arc, but I know viscerally that he’s going to cause trouble and I know that if I had been the one to capture him the second time, he would never had made it back to Atlantis. I agree with Ronon Dex, a few shots to his head would have been a better idea, but we would lose a number of good stories.

    I think for me at least, it’s kinda like waiting for something bad to happen that you know is coming up. Like a root canal. Which perhaps says something for the believability of the show, or perhaps my ability to suspend disbelief.

    Unintended consequences is a theme running through Stargate Atlantis, through all three series. Many a time they do something and it comes back to bite them in the tukhus. This is one of the reasons I like the series. Actions have consequences and for the most part, the series doesn’t reset for the next episode.

  14. She’s beginning to sound like YOU guys! 😆 Thanks for the laugh this morning.

    I’ll download Annihilation when I’m finished with TOE’s sequel, Lines of Departure. Thank you so much for all these great book ideas!

    Das: Did you see the last Sherlock? Loved it!!!!!

  15. “And overall: ‘Surprisingly not so much episodes of the actual Atlantis. I’m looking for more inside of Atlantis.’ Crap! She’s beginning to sound like YOU guys!”

    Ha ha! It literally is all your fault! 😉

    You can assure her that down the line, there are plenty of “bottle” episodes.

    I’ve been taking a hiatus from the rewatch as time seems to be at a premium these last few days and whatever time I have available, I’ve been giving to watching the Olympics. But, I think between my memory and your short recaps, I should be ok to follow along.

    What’s next on the hot chocolate agenda/menu? (I’d love to send you a medal of some kind, but since I would be making it out of chocolate, I don’t think it’d survive shipping.)

    -Mike A.

  16. I enjoyed reading some of the above reviews as they help me remember parts of this episode. While McKay capitalizes on Snark, the Genii also show their failings as being overly confident and arrogant in the execution of their plans. McKay out does his Napoleonic syndrome and less interest in helping scientific endeavors. They would end up like the Hothins perhaps worse as they were incapable of delivering their devices. I enjoyed the stories of where the Atlantis teams find more technologically divers people. I was becoming board with the medieval societies so prevalent in SG1.
    One interesting aspect of this episode is the moral dilemma of Teyla. As mentioned above this show provides the many arcs of things to come. Part of that is the greek tragedy that ends in the loss of Sora’s father. At a mission critical moment Teyla tries to change directions and save the captives. I find it equivalent to the movie “Jurassic Park” where the heros set into motion the deaths of so many, or in a real live story “Lone Survivor” describing the experiences of Markus Luttrelle.
    I should receive my copies of “Terms of Enlistment” and “Annihilation” today. I hope to have the former finished by next month. As I am finishing “A World Restored” describing the diplomatic efforts of Metternich of Austria, I was thinking there is a mini series in that story.

  17. I have a question that I keep forgetting to ask – Teyla shows Sheppard that the Athosians had command of fire by using a device that sends energy over a distance to light a candle. That lighter was advanced beyond what the expedition have. If it was an Ancient device, how did she activate it without the gene? Why was it the only advanced item they seemed to have? Why was it only seen once in the series? Every action in a script is supposed to move the story forward. How did the advanced lighter move the story forward?

    You once answered my question about what a Consulting Producer does by saying that they do a variety of tasks. As a Consulting Producer in Underground, what were your and Paul’s specific duties?

  18. @ Tam Dixon – Yes, I did! LOVED the surprise ending! Oh. Come to think of it, I have NOT watched the entire episode – we were out that night and I just watched the beginning, and sort of ff through the rest. I understand the story, just haven’t been able to enjoy the nuances yet. That’s why hubby was asking the other day if we missed one episode, and I said no. I think I’m losing my mind. 😛

    In other news, I’ve been enjoying a Canadian show just recently airing here in the States – The Artful Detective (US) – a.k.a. Murdoch Mysteries (Can). I caught an episode and thought that the dialogue and acting was absolutely terrible, but ended up really enjoying it nonetheless. Then I watched another, and another…this show is like cats and potato chips – you can’t have only one! I can’t explain it – I am in LOVE with this show!!! Especially George. 🙂 It’s just an episodic police procedural, nothing special (besides the whole turn of the 20th century thing with new inventions and famous people like H.G. Wells popping up now and then), but it’s really hooked me. One thing working in its favor is that I understood the entire show in just one episode, so it immediately had a familiar (and comfortable) feel about it. There’s over 90 episodes, so plenty for me to catch up with, too! Woo! A new obsession! 🙂


  19. Das: Did you know that Sherlock’s parents are played by Benedict Cumberbatch’s actual parents? I watched “The Making of” one of the episodes and was surprised by that tidbit.

  20. @Das Damn golden retrievers never win anymore. Only the small dogs do. Clear discrimination.

    I liked Underground. But YES AKEMI–The Storm & The Eye were amazing, but you really needed to see Underground to completely enjoy and understand what is coming.

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