Today Meredith once again shows himself as an idiot when it comes to people and then we have a terrible child character episode.

Quarantine

Synopsis

On the city Sheppard and Meredith are talking after playing a gold game only for Meredith to reveal that he’s about to propose to Katie Brown, the botanist he’s been dating on the city for over a year or two now. As he leaves a heavily pregnant Teyla comes in to talk. Elsewhere on the city Keller finds herself treating Ronon for yet another training injury while Carter and Zelenka share a transporter to the control tower and Meredith attempts to propose to Katie. Just as all these events happen the city suddenly goes on lockdown, trapping them all in their rooms and their comms network also down.

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Inside the botany lab Meredith very quickly begins to lose it as he’s stuck without a computer and only the woman he was about to propose to for company. While Katie attempts to reassure him Meredith continues his descent into full-scale panic as he doesn’t know what’s going on. Soon his hypochondria begins setting in as he feels sick and sees himself as infected though Katie is entirely fine.

In the infirmary Keller finds herself stuck with an equally anxious Ronon, who doesn’t like being trapped in a situation he can’t control. Ronon attempts to pry open the door which only ends up aggravating his injuries which forces Keller to restitch them. While Keller suggests passing the time with talk neither seems to know what to say. Eventually they start talking about their personal lives, with Ronon opening up about his partner who died during the Wraith culling.

Stuck in a computer room Sheppard and Teyla attempt to find out what’s going on with the lockdown, with Sheppard worrying that Teyla will suddenly need to give birth because movies. While looking through the computers Teyla shares her concerns of not being able to go out on missions after giving birth as putting herself at risk wouldn’t be fair to the child. Sheppard shares with her the story of a friend who’s a mother as well as a cop who sees it as protecting other children as well as her own and that even if the worst happened to Teyla she has the rest of her Expedition “family” to help take care of the child. Focusing back on the problem however they’re able to get into Meredith’s computer as Sheppard has remembered his egotistical password only to find that the city is broadcasting an alert beacon which could draw the Wraith in.

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Elsewhere Carter and Zelenka find themselves stuck in the claustrophobic confines of a transporter pod with only a tablet computer to help. Looking on the tablet they find that the entire city has effectively shutdown and there doesn’t seem to be any real outbreak at all. Instead Zelenka fears it’s down to atmospheric disturbances unseen on Lantea so the city doesn’t know how to handle its new environment. Carter decides to try and get the doors open by directly interfacing with the transporter only for the tablet to fry when Zelenka fiddles with the crystals directly.

Still stuck in the computer lab Sheppard eventually gets tired of waiting around and smashes the window, deciding to climb the four floors up the outside of the tower. Despite some trouble along the way he quickly makes it to the gate/control area, smashing another window to get back inside, to find Lorne and the control staff trying to get out the room. Using Meredith’s password they shut down the beacon only for the self-destruct to be armed automatically as a result. Using a small amount of C4 hat Lorne had they’re able to breach the main door out of the control tower and free Carter and Zelenka from the nearby transporter. Given that they haven’t shut off the self-destruct Zelenka volunteers to crawl the ducts down to the power room and shut it off manually.

For the somewhat happy couple in the botany labs things aren’t going great when Katie accidentally finds the ring box that Meredith was going to propose with. Katie asks him to propose there and then but he blows it massively.

Having heard the alarm Keller and Ronon decide to once again try and escape the infirmary using a plan that involves the oxygen tanks as a makeshift ram but this also have zero effect but destroying most of the meds in the place. In the end the two almost share a moment only for that to be the exact moment Zelenka manages to shut off the self-destruct.

In the aftermath most of the team along with Zelenka, Carter, and Keller all share a meal while Meredith instead goes to talk to Katie only for him to unknowingly break up with her.

Analysis

Compared to the episodes we just had Quarantine is a very dramatic shift in tone, a small character driven affair where most of the content is small moments rather than the serious issue of the city about to explode yet again.

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The main character and relationship being looked at is once again Meredith and his relationship with Katie. This relationship has largely existed in the background over the last two seasons so the proposal storyline is a bit of a leap given how little time we’ve had with them but the two actors still make it work regardless of that lack of screen presence. Katie as a character in particular displays a tenderness and affection for the man that can only come from knowing him for a really long time and even then being optimistic about him. Meredith on the other hand continues to screw up his life in sad ways as he’s still unable to function properly regardless of the progress he’s made when it comes to his social life recently, in the end accidentally destroying his relationship because he doesn’t understand you can’t just walk back a proposal in a good way.

Even with the other characters a lot of the discussion ends up focusing on the oblivious scientist, once again revealing his massive ego in regards to how he puts together his password and their somewhat reserved respect for his skills due to his massive ego problems. Throughout the episode everyone repeatedly mentions how Meredith must be stranded as he’d have easily solved the problem by now though none of them dare mention this to his face after the matter is resolved because they all know he’d never stop boasting about it.

Out of all the strands though the one that really sucked had to be Keller and Ronon, a pairing that seemed more out of what they had left than anything else. The episode seems to try to suggest a romance between the two could brew but it’s one that seems unhealthy as hell with the only shared quality being Ronon replacing her for the nurse he was previously seeing and Keller having treated him a lot. Even though Ronon’s a big softie at heart outside of those two qualities they’ve never had any shared experiences and no real connection. Most annoying of all though is how this episode starts up the Meredith-Ronon-Keller love triangle that ends up dominating a large amount of the base stories stuff in the rest of season 4 and a lot of season 5 so thanks (not).

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The other unusual pairing in the episode however ends up being a surprisingly fun one. Putting Carter and Zelenka together in a small area doesn’t sound like it’d work on paper but in the episode, largely thanks to Zelenka, it ends up being the most memorable bit, even more so than Sheppard’s climbing of the tower. Zelenka’s somewhat odd personality and interests combined with his awkward attempts to avoid looking at his boss sexually are both endearing and ridiculous without lowering the character to SG-1 Meredith levels of borderline sexism. Zelenka’s heroics in the episode continue afterwards with his Aliens style duct crawl saving the entire city and sees him get the credit he’s been due for seasons.

In the end this small city-focused episode isn’t necessarily the most memorable on its own but adds some much needed character development after the last couple of episodes along with setting up a couple of character plotlines for better or worse.

Assorted Musings

· Sheppard is such a nerd.

· Please don’t tell me they made a dick joke about the cactus.

· Meredith’s an idiot.

 

Quote of the episode: “16431879196842. See, doesn’t take a genius.”

“It doesn’t?”

“1643 is the year Isaac Newton was born, 1879 Einstein, and 1968.”

“The year Rodney was born.”

“Never underestimate the size of that man’s ego.”

“Wait weren’t there other numbers?”

“42.”

“What is that?”

“It’s the Ultimate Answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything.” – Sheppard and Teyla

Harmony

Synopsis

Sheppard and Meredith are off world visiting a medieval society they’ve been trading with for the last while which just so happens to be represented by two attractive sisters. The two leave to get a third sister leaving them to call dibs only for it to be revealed as a child (so yeah this actually fucking happened) called Harmony. It turns out the two are to escort Harmony, due to her young age, to Ancient ruins nearby as part of a rite before she ascends to ruling the people of the planet. While they don’t want to do it the potential of getting with one of the two older sisters leads them to saying yes.

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They soon head off into the forest where Harmony is quickly disparaging of her escort, Meredith in particular, and causes petty arguments over things like powerbars and fake crying to get her way. Soon they hear a “beast” that haunts the forest causing Meredith to suggest they head back given how no one will know otherwise. Sheppard suddenly disappears moments before a Genii force appears only for Sheppard to return and take them out, having disappeared as he’d heard them coming. It turns out the Genii were former trading partners but are likely angry as the Expedition have replaced them. Harmony soon descends into creepy admiration of Sheppard until he decides that they should head back to the castle.

That night back in the castle it’s revealed that the Genii are working with one of the two older sisters to put her on the throne. Back in the woods the two Expedition members argue during which time Harmony sneaks off to continue heading for the ruins, finding her cooking food on the road to them. After Meredith and Harmony eat the small chicken thing she was eating Harmony goes to Sheppard, who’s guarding the entrance, only to once again creepily hero worship him. The conversation is cut short thankfully when they overhear the “beast” killing Genii troops. Later Harmony and Meredith sort of makeup.

Come dawn the group make it to the ruins, wanting to avoid the “beast”, only to find Genii have beaten them to it and are fiddling with something there. After clearing the Genii they find the “ruins”, really an Ancient terminal, is no longer working because they’ve broken the thing which is a drone testing site for mini-drones. Meredith goes about attempting to fix the tray so that they can use the drones, the reality behind the “beast”, to clear out the Genii. Harmony refuses to understand this fact and just sees it as her failing a test. Soon things go bad when the Genii call for help via radio. Meredith finally fixes the terminal just as the Genii show up but Sheppard is able to activate the terminal using the pendant Harmony has and kills the Genii leader before chasing the others off.

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Back at the castle the traitorous sister is punished while they unveil a portrait of Sheppard cowering in fear whereas Meredith is Harmony’s valiant protector much to Sheppard’s chagrin and Meredith’s glee.

Analysis

Apart from that final reveal of the portrait at the end I really don’t like this episode and even that final laugh really doesn’t make up for it. There’s a reason plots involving children rarely go well and that’s because child characters are very rarely fleshed out.

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Child characters are annoying and Harmony is no different from that. It’s not the actress’ fault, in fact as far as child ones go she’s pretty good, but the writing is just awful. Why the shows thinks I would want to watch a girl fantasise over 30 something men and be generally a pain in the arse I have no idea but that’s the result as you instead treasure the moments where Harmony doesn’t appear. Yes she makes Meredith look hilarious in some ways as he becomes as whiny as her but it’s just stupid to watch.

The one way in which the episode exposes anything is that the Genii as a recurring bad guy has seriously declined from intimidating to bumbling buffoon. Remember when they invaded the city in a master-stroke plan or cleverly had a triple-cross on both themselves and the Expedition? Now they’re down to stumbling around a forest with no clue as to what they’re doing. The tribal nature of the Goa’uld meant you could have a main Goa’uld and his Jaffa be cunning villains while still having side ones be generic cannon fodder as needed but the single entity nature of the Genii sadly doesn’t allow for that.

Outside of that I don’t have much to say. A boring episode that dumbed down a formerly good foe and has one of the most annoying characters of the run that includes multiple references of child-adult romantic feelings as a joke that hasn’t aged well IMO.

Assorted Musings

· Can this just end now.

· Come on Sheppard just dump her in the woods and remove the planet from the database. No one will ever know.

 

Quote of the episode: “What’s your status?”

“Good.”

“Elaborate.”

“Real good.” – Toran and Sheppard