- I think that in many ways I'm enjoying these episodes more than I did first time round. Of course, back then I was in the first flush of obsession and desperate love, which made a big difference, but this time I've got the addition of warm, fuzzy nostalgia. But that's not the reason. Back then, I was watching as a huge Sheppard fan, so I was always a bit disappointed when he didn't get a prominent part in an episode. This time, I'm still a huge Sheppard fan, but I'm watching it after two years of writing the whole team, so I'm much more able to appreciate everyone else's moments in the sun. Also, it's a case of expectations. Back then, I was approaching each episode in the hope that I would find it wonderful, so was easily disappointed. This time, I know which episodes disappointed me last time, so I approach with low expectations, and almost always find lots loads of moments to love.
- Zelenka! How I love watching Zelenka! In my opinion, me pretty much steals any scene he's in. But I can't remember ever writing Zelenka, apart from putting him in small background roles. I really ought to rectify this. He's such an expressive character, and I bet there's loads of good character stuff there just waiting to be explored. It's just that I'm scared of the whole Czech language issue.
- Character flaws: I'm beginning to come to terms with those moments in which characters make me want to slap them. Thanks to various comments on my previous posts, I'm trying to look at them at cases of characters evolving and changing - initially making mistakes, but learning to grow past them. Also, perfect characters are no fun. Why do I get bothered when a favourite character acts in a way that I consider bad? Flawed characters are human! Flawed characters are interesting!
It's interesting to consider how accepting I am of flaws in McKay, and compare it to how uncomfortable I feel when Sheppard does something I disapprove of. McKay - in my opinion - has been written from the start as a character with flaws. His flaws are initially what defines the character - though, of course, we soon come to learn that he's also capable of great heroism and selflessness. However, Sheppard is written from the start with "Hero!" stamped all over him, just as Weir has "Leader!" They're written in hero roles, so it seems far more jarring when they do things that make me want to slap them than when McKay does. It probably shouldn't. I should see them with in-universe eyes, as humans, and not as fictional types.
- Loyalty: Last time I was worrying about Sheppard's attitude to authority figures, and this time I'm worrying about his attitude to his team. I'm thinking about those scenes in The Siege part 1, in which Bates makes the - in my view entirely reasonable - point that Teyla might possibly be a security risk without realising it, since they don't understand how the Wraith mental link thing works. Sheppard refuses to contemplate it, stating that she's on his team, and therefore there's no way she can have been compromised. I'm afraid I was with Bates on this one. For Sheppard to defend a team member is of course entirely within character - but he is also the military commander of the base, so that loyalty should arguably be tempered by consideration of what is safest for Atlantis. I have vague ideas on ways I could explore this issue further in a story.
- Although, talking about Sheppard and authority figures, I did find it interesting to see how he acted when Everett was around. His whole demeanour seemed stiffer - more formal and more uncomfortable. It makes me wonder what he would have been like had Everett - or someone like him - stuck around. It would have a big effect on storytelling, of course, since Sheppard would no longer be in a decision making position (except when off world) but it might have been an interesting thing to have seen for half a season or so.
I also noticed that when Everett gave an order to Sheppard, Sheppard didn't obey it since Weir was present, contradicting it. Compare that with the situation in Hot Zone, with Bates...
- Wraith: One thing that's been bothering me is that Teyla said in the first episode that the Wraith hadn't done a big culling for five generations, although they do make occasional small raids. While the Wraith do attack in that episode, we learn that it's only a small caretaker group, snacking during their night shift. However, later in the season, Teyla talked about fighting the Wraith for her whole life. And then there's Ronon's experience, of course... I'm now a bit confused about exactly what difference hibernation means. The level of Wraith activity that Teyla and Ronon have experiences doesn't to me suggest a period of letting human populations recover ready for future feasting.
EDIT: Some of my above ramblings could perhaps be read as me bashing Sheppard. This is not what I mean at all. He remains my favourite character - which is why a lot of my musings are concentrated on what makes him tick.
No time right now to reply to the comments, since LJ has been blocked at work all week, so I can't do my usual lunchtime LJ surf. (I've just popped home very briefly en route back from somewhere, which is why I'm online now.)