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Saturday, February 09, 2008

It's Probably a Defense Mechanism: A Review of the Stargate Atlantis Episode, "Trio"

The most recent episode of Stargate Atlantis continues to avoid building on any kind of an arc with episode 16 of the fourth season, “Trio,” in which Dr. Keller, Samantha Carter, and Rodney McKay all find themselves stuck in a hole. This is just about the third such episode this season, each involving Dr. Keller, so I’m guessing that she’s on some kind of fast-track to character development with the writers. The only thing I’ve learned about her so far, though, is that she’s terrible when put into a life-or-death situation, unless, as revealed in “Trio,” said situation involves bar games. So, if you’re ever captured by a Wraith with an affinity for beer pong, you’re going to want her right there with you. If, however, you are not in such an alcohol-fueled predicament, but instead find yourself a member of the opposite sex, you’re pretty much screwed: in her two out of three “locked room” episodes, Keller has ended up forming a tenuous and quickly forgotten quasi-sexual relationship with a crewmate. The earlier episode, “Quarantine,” showed us that when faced with danger and having her only plan fail terribly, she’s willing to let it all hang out and sex-up Ronon. In “Trio,” her failed “bar knife bridge” leads her to ask McKay out for a drink – an event that occurred after she was all too willing to strip for his failed plan of making a rope for his “grappling hook” out of shirts and pants. Given the evidence, I’m surprised that her earliest outing of this type, “Missing,” didn’t find her macking up Teyla, with whom she shared the spotlight of that episode. This may have just been common courtesy; after all, Teyla was involved with an Athosian man, and Keller did have the good sense to convince Rodney that he had inadvertently broken up with Dr. Brown in “Quarantine” before she began to shove her sweet thing all up in his grill.

Speaking of Keller’s past romantic interludes, there’s a part of me that wonders if this might be what sets Ronon down the “dark path” that Jason Mamoa talks about wanting to do in an interview with I know I’d be pissed if my lady was fooling around with David Hewlett behind my back. If I had a lady. And if I knew David Hewlett. And if me doing something counted as any kind of evidence for what Ronon would do.

Sexual relations aside, I was just bored with “Trio.” It was a character-building episode for a character that I don’t particularly care for, it didn’t advance any of the dangling stories from this season (was it just my imagination, or were we not promised that Season 4 would be “darker” than previous seasons? I hope they weren’t just talking about giving them leather jackets.), and there was no real sense of peril. Rodney’s clever bit of “Arena” engineering was fun, though, and I liked their little discussion about Zelenka. Poor guy just can’t catch a break.

The good? McKay fails, but isn’t made to be the complete cause of the team’s problems, so we don’t have to hate him.

The bad? Keller turns into a frightened field mouse when in danger.

The ugly? We’ve seen it all before.

Correction: We also know that Keller would rather do Brian Green than that thief, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Stargate Atlantis Airs Fridays at 10PM on Sci-Fi.

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