There I am, lounging on my couch on a Friday night at the end of the week, a time when I usually tune into SciFi’s Stargate Atlantis, which I only watch because it’s not as boring as SG-1 was, nor as putrid as almost any other offering that The SciFi Channel has had in recent years on their “SciFi Friday” nights, and really, is almost the only tolerable scifi show since Farscape went off the air, even if only barely so, but I really need a scifi fix, and Doctor Who just isn’t cutting it anymore, and that dumb Torchwood show only makes me want to yell at the screen, and that even dumber Primeval show running on BBC America makes me think that the Brits need their heads examined if they think that’s any improvement over the cheesy Saturday night monster of the week offering on SciFi, and for God’s sake, don’t even think about getting me started on all the things that make that Galactica show sucky, so if I’m going to get a scifi fix, Stargate Atlantis is it, but mostly it only runs in the background, and a couple of times it gets so bad that I have to turn it off, but not always. Sometimes it rises above itself and actually holds my attention. Which is the only reason that I even bother with it.
So, as you can see, I mostly only tune in just to see if this week it’s worth watching or not, but this Friday night I’d rather do some websurfing, and plan on having SG-A on just because, figuring that since the previous two episodes were distinct stinkers, there’s no reason to think that the trend is going to be reversed, what with the show being nearly at an end and all.
Instead I see an episode that’s gripping, exciting, with a soundtrack to die for, filming techniques that I didn’t think anyone on the production team had any idea about, much less knew how to do, and all of it works together to tell a smart, dark, noir story which is totally unlike anything ever seen before in the entire history of the SG franchise. Most importantly, unlike the gooey mish-mash of half-baked ideas that most scifi shows have, this episode had a genuinely interesting idea at its core, and made an important comment about the human condition, and just like Farscape used to do, it left me thinking afterwards about the meaning of what I just saw.
Oh, and it featured my most favorite car of all time, a 1978 Camaro. (Ain’t she a beauty!)
So…what just happened? What magic hole did they pull this episode out of? If they could do this all along, why haven’t they done so before? My jaw was hanging wide open as I watched this story unfold. I actually turned my computer off so I could focus on the story. I even watched this episode twice, thinking that maybe I was fooled into thinking it was a good episode simply because it was different, but no, it’s really that good.
I’m sure this was a one off, and judging by the previews for next week’s episode, which is the series finale, the show returns to its usual same ol’ same ol’ form. Still, I’m glad someone on the show got to stretch their writing skills and their directing skills, and yeah, even their acting skills. I’m glad that for once a show rose above it’s mundane self, and I was there to catch it when that happened.