Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Irresponsible"

Oh, no--not Lucius Lavin again! As if “Irresistible” was not bad enough. The effort by Sga to create its own Harry Mud has not gone so well, but I will confess the second effort is better than the first. That is not say much, however. “Irresistible” set the bar pitifully low.

The AR-1 team and Beckett travel to a planet to investigate rumors of a man with super powers having successfully fought off the Wraith. They arrive to discover it is lucius, who has an Ancient personal shield like Rodney used in “Hide and Seek.” The Wraith story was bogus, but Lucius had been an heroic incident, so the people are as hooked on him as the others before. Lucius secretly hires so genii mercenaries to “attack” the village so he can fight them off, but they double cross him. It is actually a plot by Kolya to lure Sheppard there.

If you do not see the climactic twist of Sheppard secretly using the personal shield with it suffering a short out before confronting Kolya, then you are not cynical enough. I do think the final showdown between Sheppard and Kolya playing out as an homage to A Fist Full of Dollars is cool, however. I can be an occasional hypocrite in my reactions to originality, right? If you are going to steal, steal from the greats.

It is strange to end an episode with a wild west style showdown if it is going to be set in what looks like a hamlet set in the European Low Countries. Surely with Vancouver’s large television filming industry there is some locations for filming westerns. The whole situation is out of place an claustrophobic given the style and small size of the shooing location. No pun intended with the word choice.

A few things do feel off outside of Lucius being such an awful character. Beckett tags along with AR-1 for no stated reason. I like Beckett, but it is strange for him to go along on this mission, but no others. The personal shield does not work the same as it did on Rodney. Lucius can eat and drink. He even gets a foot massage. If the shiel conforms to t a user, Sheppard should not have been able to operate it. I suppose these things are not a big deal unless you are a continuity nitpicker, but I am one. So There.

It is funny Batman is referenced several times throughout “Irresponsible” as Rodney’s favorite superhero considering how the plot closely resembles the classic story “Must There be a Superman?” by Elliot S! Maggin. (The exclamation mark is not a typo. Maggin is a shameless self-promoter. I am pretty sure he kept it during his brief run for congress in 2006. He is a Democrat, of course.) The story involves superman being lectured by the Guardians of the Universe over his heroics stunting the social growth o humanity. After suffering self-doubts about his purpose, he comes to realize some things are a job for Superman, but he has to be careful to not become a crutch for humanity. Lucius does not exactly learn that lesson, but he does encourage the townspeople to not rely on him just tis once. But, hey--Lucius is no Superman, right?

“Irresponsible” is a better episode than “Irresistible,” but that is manly because the plot does not rely as heavily on Lucius. I still think he is an obnoxious character so over the top as to not be amusing at all. It would appear I am not the only one to think so. Kucius never returns again. The return of Kolya makes the episode enjoyable. I am sorry to see the character meet his end so soon. He and Sheppard should have had a chance to build up even more animosity for an even larger showdown somewhere along the line. Oh, well. “Irresponsible” has a few strikes against it, but it is still moderately enjoyable. You cannot miss Kolya’s death, at any rate.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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