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*sigh* Critiquing "The Last Man"

I'm left feeling pretty sad about the whole thing, for a number of reasons. Though there were certainly a number of well executed features.

Please, read my ramblings below. Note: SPOILERS for the finale, if you haven't seen it.


The episode certainly had its strong points:

John's little chat with Lorne at the start.

The desert sand engulfing the city. I'm not great at noticing the intricacies of special effects (other than "Ooh neat") but those images of the sand burying Atlantis were more than intriguing. (On the other hand, Sheppard walking through the red sand storm? Not so believable. Pretty fake, actually.

OldMckay, hologram or not, was charming and a little more mellow than  the Rodney we're used to; this worked well for the episode.

Sam "not taking no for an answer," from the IOA or anyone else, was awesome. It's a tribute to how she really is (and could continue to be if she remained) a very competent leader of Atlantis. I really liked the little moments of Carter-Mckay working as a team, as well. And the hugging. Such a bittersweet moment. Come to think of it, this episode makes Sam feel more like the classic Sam I remember than any other Atlantis one yet. She's that perfect blend of humanity and dignity. You can see the genuine emotion in her expression, but she's ever the picture of control.

Oh, and Major Lorne in charge of Atlantis? Someone needs to write fic about this. Too fun, or at least it would be under different circumstances. And General Lorne: so adorable.

Ronon-Todd team. Very cool and something I never expected to see.With all of those "good" things, you'd think I wouldn't be so depressed. But I am.

It's the Michael aspect of the episode that makes me the most sad. And, really, sad is the best word I can think of to describe it. He feels so completely beyond redemption with this ep. And that's a real shame.

I think it's amazing that he's still able to pull off the revenge bit (the "I'm doing this because it was done to me) without seeming pathetic. He doesn't flinch when carryout his matters, and manages to be witty (in a very bitter, but cutting way) without intending to be.

But killing Teyla? It doesn't make sense. He seemed genuinely attached to her in both Kindred's I & II (though I realize that opinion is hugely influenced by my crazy fondness for Teyla/Michael 'ship). I know that OldMckay could be wrong about how Teyla died. She could have died from complications in delivery, or in the experiments related to the delivery, or other things. But to just leave her on the floor like that. It doesn't add up to me.

Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. Villains come back all the time on Stargate, and the longer they're around the more potential there is for development, in one way or another. I shouldn't give up hope. But I do anyway. :(

The Rodney/Jennifer thing was awkward to me somehow, which is strange since I tend to pair up the oddest and most unlikely matches. It wasn't horrible, but it was strange. I was disappointed that Rodney left Pegasus. I don't like the idea of giving up, even though I can completely understand the temptation and in a way, it was Rodney's persistence with the time travel figurations that make any hope possible...  

And I have questions about the 25 years thing. Earth seems quite unaffected. For all we know, SG Command effectively forgot about Atlantis, in its neglection of it. I guess Michael never intended to conquer any area outside his galaxy? With the way they described the extent of his power in that time-line, you'd think it'd be cake for him to expand into the Milky Way. Though, maybe that's not his intention. What exactly are his intentions, beyond creating the hybrids and eliminating everyone else? You'd think, being so capable, that he'd have a fairly complex master plan beyond simple extermination. Maybe that's just me, and my not very objective pov.

The actual cliffhanger point seemed more appropriate for a commercial break than a season ender. And they've seriously reused that building one too many times. It would have been more suspenseful to end the episode with John in the chamber, even though it might have been  too similar to Kindred II's ending...

I'm so depressed.

So, yeah, console me if you're up to it.

Comments

Hello just read your review and I had to comment. The Rodney/Keller romance was the weak point of the episode for me. The thought of Rodney being inactive while Sheppard was trapped somewhere in the future really, really, really bothered me. As does the fact that it took KELLER dying to have any impact on Rodney trying to set things right.

So, what, if Keller didn't die Rodney wouldn't have done anything??
So, what, if Keller didn't die Rodney wouldn't have done anything??

You make an interesting point. I'm tying to think of a possible answer... This might be total bologna but I imagine that for Rodney, who struggles with acute paranoia (though I love him for it, it's probably more along the lines of extreme paranoia), the utter hopelessness of the Atlantis situation probably made the temptation to escape to earth all the greater. The fact that Keller made the decision to leave first, probably justified the ethics of it in his mind.

Another factor could be that, over the last year, he's lost so many people he cares for -- Elizabeth, Carson, now Teyla, Carson (again), Sam, Ronon and John. Keller's death could have pushed him over the edge in the sense that, after her, there was no one really of his Atlantis-family left.

Still, it is disappointing, isn't it? I know I didn't want him to leave Atlantis at all, I wanted him to fix it -there- or at least try like crazy. But, I guess 25 years of working on the same math problem makes up for some things. :) I love that line at the start of the ep, where Rodney says something like, "For all the years I've been planning this, I never really thought of what I'd say when it worked." That's so like him.
I guess I just hate the idea a universe where Rodney doesn't at least ,try to rescue Sheppard when he knows his friend didn't die but is in fact alive somewhere in the future. Sheppard isn't dead, he's alive and probably very, very frightened and confused. And when Rodney leaves Atlantis it practically guarantees that Sheppard won't be coming home.

I can't think of any scenario or answer that is good enough to justify Rodney McKay leaving his team leader behind.




I understand what you're saying.

I'm with you on not being a fan of that universe. I'm glad it's strictly AU form this point, and am hoping here's better things in store for the "real" characters from here on out. Might be wishful thinking, but I'll just have to see. :)

Thanks much for the discussion. It's what makes posting the review fun.
Sadly the most I see for Rodney from this point on are subtle hints and eye-rolls that he belongs with Keller. By the end of next season mark my words, we're going to have seen at least two episodes that show them all "confused" and "uncomfortable" around each other because they are obviously destined to be. And if there's an episode where Sheppard even hints at McKay's other timeline life with Keller...well just shoot me now!

You have no idea how wrong I want to be about this! God, I just realized I've been up all night! Oh this show!
I don't know what to say... other then I completely agree with you with your thoughts about Michael.
I don't understand how he could leave Teyla to just die like that - it didn't seem like him to do so, although I too am completely biased from a shippy point of view. And he was so evil. I cannot describe him in any other way than evil, at least not now after I had just finished watching that episode. I understand how you feel about no redemption - I was so shocked at how absorbed he became in revenge - and then equally shocked at how powerful he had become. Like supreme ruler of the galaxy really. So supreme that I cannot ... well, I am sure he will come to a stage where he will just go, "NOW WHAT?"

On the good note, which I am trying to think aboout now, I loved Sam and General Lorne. I didn't mind the Rodney/Keller though. I think I secretly like them - even though it seemed... really really wrong.

Sigh. I feel quite sad. However, on a completely shallow note, I noticed that Michael's voice changed, and now it sounds more human than wraith. This... this slightly made me happy.
You know what made me feel a little better? tielan mentioned that the episode is, really, a lot like SG-1's 2010. That makes me think that some kind of redemption is at least a little bit more possible.

I am sure he will come to a stage where he will just go, "NOW WHAT?"
Exactly! There has to have been more of a plan in his mind than 1. eliminate the wraiths/ humans 2. populate the galaxy with hybrids. Seriously, there has to have been more to it. Right? Or is that too crazy a thought. (Though in all truth, Michael is nothing if not crazy in that episode).

Aesthetically, I don't know which Michael I prefer: greenish Michael with the platinum hair, or creepy hybrid Michael with the red eyes. I think I like them both, in a way. Honestly, I'd rather they switch-up his looks every episode than his character (consistency of behavior, personality, *insert what you will*).

And yes, definite happy face for Sam and Lorne. :)
That makes me think that some kind of redemption is at least a little bit more possible.
I currently don't know what to feel. But something tells me that Michael will not be seeing a very happy end. =(

I am still sort of angry at the lack of screentime Michael gets though. Urgh. ONE OR TWO SCENES is not enough. In this episode with that small amount of time he had, he was completely cold. Even with his more boyish!human voice he still sounded just. Well. Cold.

Aesthetically, I don't know which Michael I prefer: greenish Michael with the platinum hair, or creepy hybrid Michael with the red eyes.
I like both two, but I am lame, and love human!michael.

Sigh. I am now off to finish that moodtheme.
I currently don't know what to feel. But something tells me that Michael will not be seeing a very happy end. =(

Reiterates sad face: :( *cries*

I am still sort of angry at the lack of screentime Michael gets though. Urgh. ONE OR TWO SCENES is not enough.

Absolutely.

Sigh. I am now off to finish that moodtheme.

Oh goodie. I was worried you weren't going to finish it, and commented on your mood entry to ask. Glad to see your up for the challenge.
FINALLY. The moodtheme is complete! It's all here!!!!!!
Now that it was mentioned, TLM does remind me of SG-1's 2010, which I didn't like very much because of the direction the characters went and how they were portrayed in the future. The more and more time I have to think about this episode, the more I don't like it.

I loved the Sam and Ronan scenes and it clicked with their characters. And I enjoyed Ronan and Todd working together to fight Michael's hybrids. But those scenes I loved cannot make up for what they did to Michael.

I'm not sure if the writers know where they're going with the hybrid story line. Yes, Michael wants revenge for the injustice done to him from both the humans and the Wraiths and thus wants to kill/destory/whatever them all. Yes, the writers needed a new bad guy to replace the Replictors/Asurans (who sort of replaced the Wraiths) and they figured hybrid Human/Wraiths would work. **rolls eyes** They really have no function other then to destory humans and Wraiths. What are they suppose to do after they accomplish their goals? With the Wraiths, they mainly kill humans to feed. The Asurans were created to kill Wraiths but they also want to follow the Ancients footsteps. I think the writers used Michael as an excuse to kill off everyone and to have Earth loose interest in Altantis (which also seems like a gap in the writer's thinking).

And it doesn't make sense that Michael kills Teyla. And I absolutely hate the ending where Shep and team into the building (yes, they reused that building too much because I rolled my eyes as soon as it popped on screen) and Shep? picked up that knife/sword thingy in the baby lab. It makes one think that Michael will cut Teyla open to get to the baby. This does not fit with the Michael we all know and love. I just don't see him cutting her open just to get to the baby. He made a ultersound thing so that Teyla could see the baby was okay. He cared about her feelings and fears for the baby. He wouldn't just ripped the baby away from her and either kill her or leave her to die.

**muse hits Sasusc while she types this** Yes, the muse likes to hit me while I try to reason/figure out things. As future is told to John by Rodney, we only know Atlantis version of events. Michael has the "transforming humans/wraiths into hybrids" thing down without the need to feed on humans. Who's to say that Michael needs Teyla's baby? I'm still not quite sure how a child born from two Athosians born with a little Wraith DNA would help Michael's research, and wouldn't one think that there are other Athosians who might fit the requirements? Anyway, who's to say that it was Michael who killed Teyla? Michael has made enemies of both humans and Wraiths. Anyone of them could have stolen Teyla from Michael, cut the baby out and kill it (as they want to destory Michael's hope of using it for his project). This could make Michael go insanely bad and step up his conquering and killing everyone. **nods** Oh, I think I better start writing this version of events now while it's fresh in my mind.

**hugs** If I hadn't read this, I don't know if I would have thought about this happening. So thanks!

Hey I just friended you! Hope that's ok? :-P

Sorry I haven't posted an answer to your question yet, but it was really late when I got downstairs from watching TLM, cos the dl didn't go too fluently, and then I flew off to GateWorld to do some chatting about things.

I hope I won't forget tomorrow.

I'm really not in the mood to use 1 of my like 10 icons with Michael in it, though. Does that tell you something?

Spikey
just friended you! Hope that's ok?

Of course. Friended back. :)
She could have died from complications in delivery, or in the experiments related to the delivery, or other things. But to just leave her on the floor like that. It doesn't add up to me.
Did they say how soon they found her? Maybe Michael didn't have time to do anything with Teyla's body before the Atlantis team or someone else showed up.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. :P
It's the Michael aspect of the episode that makes me the most sad. And, really, sad is the best word I can think of to describe it. He feels so completely beyond redemption with this ep. And that's a real shame.

I think it's amazing that he's still able to pull off the revenge bit (the "I'm doing this because it was done to me) without seeming pathetic. He doesn't flinch when carryout his matters, and manages to be witty (in a very bitter, but cutting way) without intending to be.

But killing Teyla? It doesn't make sense. He seemed genuinely attached to her in both Kindred's I & II (though I realize that opinion is hugely influenced by my crazy fondness for Teyla/Michael 'ship). I know that OldMckay could be wrong about how Teyla died. She could have died from complications in delivery, or in the experiments related to the delivery, or other things. But to just leave her on the floor like that. It doesn't add up to me.


There has been a lot of contradictory writing of Michael in various or even the same episode. One minute he shows emotions, the other he sounds like an evil robotic killer with no soul, yet shortly after that he is shocked that Teyla could be afraid for her baby. the writers are trying to portray him as a complete mad man. It's depressing, to think of all the wonderful potential story lines, about love, redemption, fighting for a place to be accepted... and instead we get mad evil bad guy

There is hope though, since the writers have shown little care for continuity, than they , themselves, might forget about the finale, and give us back our more interesting and complex character that we had come to love.!!!!