Friday, 20 April 2007

Bonding - Atlantis style

The one thing i've grown to love about Atlantis over the last three years is watching the relationships develop within the team. As the seasons have progressed we've been afforded the good fortune of seeing how our characters have changed from one dimension to three. And considering that Atlantis has just now completed its third year, the analogy seems quite apt. :o)

Appropriately this is what has been needed to establish who our characters are, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they relate to each other. Something that the whump thread has been discussing in great detail today. Shame on all of you who think we just talk about how to whump Sheppard ;o)

So as Echoes airs tonight, I find myself joining in the squee with my US friends. This episode personifies exactly what a great show Atlantis is. When we were all desperately awaiting Season 3, we were given so little information on it, that people naturally assumed (from what I remember) that it was going to be either one of the best eps or one of the worsts. And like all good Atlantis fans do, they assume the worst and hope for the best. It has to be said though that this is not all Atlantis fans, just those that have decided that no matter what Atlantis produces it will never be up to their expectations...see my previous post about how I feel on that subject! And i'm not the only one who has had enough of the constant complaining and moaning minnies of the Atlantis world. I digress....

Where was I? Oh yes, Echoes! *sorry i'm having a McKay moment.* :o)

What I loved about this episode is that it seemed to build upon the friendship between Shep and McKay. And the banter/chemistry Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett have on screen absolutely shines through in these types of episodes; this one was no exception. I have to say it kind of reminded me of Irresistible, when they had their fan boy moment over Catwoman! Classic. I think tptb struck gold when they put these two together. For some reason, and it has been asked a few times, why in Season 2 the writers got away from the banter. No one seemed to know why. Thank goodness they amended their error in judgement and we have the boys back on form again!

Male friendships on TV will always work well, when the characters are written as polar opposites, but if you watch closely both have certain personality traits in common. Shep is secretly geeky ;o) who enjoys indulging McKay in his little obsessions, like the whales, playing chess and talking about Batman. But I think it's unlikely that we'll see that side of him with the others (Teyla, Ronon, and Lizzie) as it seems to be a bond between the two of them, that's shared usually in private (and I don't mean that in a slash kind of way). For me it shows how comfortable Sheppard is with McKay and it's clear that when they're together, McKay sees the good, the bad and the ugly, and vice versa. And that only tends to happen when you're family. One thing I don't think we'll ever see in Atlantis, is the boys getting mushy. I have to say I don't want to see that, because it would just come off as cheesy. They don't tell each other they care, because let's face it, they're men!

Nuff said. ;o)

For all Shep's complaining about Rodney, it's so evident that he cares, because he makes a point of protesting too much, such as in Sateda and the Ark. Likewise with McKay, in The Defiant One, Aurora, and Common ground. When his friend is in danger, he loses the 'geeky' persona and does what's necessary to protect his friend. And when you're family is in trouble, you do whatever it takes to get them out of it.
So, for me this is why I think I enjoyed Echoes so much. We had lots of bonding, not only between the boys, but we also had some nice Ronon and Teyla moments. Both have come together thorough unorthodox ways, and they've started to become good friends. Ronon seems to be losing some of his hostility as he settles down more, and I think Teyla's meditation classes are starting to pay off. ;o)
What I enjoyed in Echoes;
  • The jumper scene with Ronon, Zelenka and Shep.
  • Ronon falling asleep and snoring while Teyla teaches him how to mediate.
  • McKay putting his case to Lizzie about the ZPM and the 20 page email.
  • Flagisalus and identifying the sex of the whale *giggles*
  • McKay naming his whale, Sam and Shep's protests because it's creepy. :lol:
  • The balcony scene between Sheppard and McKay when he sees the whale.
  • Geeky Shep rushing off to see the whales and McKay running after him.
  • The whump and the infirmary scene.
  • Sheppard and McKay shouting and escaping.
  • Their expressions at escaping Carson's clutches.
  • McKay trying to be all military in the corridor.
  • Shep coming up with a plan, and McKay telling him just what a bad plan it was :lol:

I could be here all night! If I had said I enjoyed everything about this ep, it would have saved me a lot of time. But I have the pen chance to go off on a tangent... hence my very long winded fanfiction ;o)

I've always strived to be a good boss, and if I were any more laid back i'd fall off my chair. Whenever you become a new manager, you tend to learn from your superiors. Not me. I have my own style, and while it's not everybody's, for me it means I get the most out of the people that work for me. Their's a little thing called trust. You have to trust your staff and give them a bit of flexibility or you stifle them. And if they respect you then you're half way there to becoming a good manager.

Every team leader has their ups and downs with staff, especially if you work with them for long hours. Given that you spend more time with them, than you do with your own family it's normal to build up a bond with those you work with. I look out for my staff, just like they look out for me. I've seen them at their very highest and their lowest, because my job is to protect them and guide them as they move on. When they're having a rough time, they get a pep talk and a swift gentle kick in the kaboose. But at the end of the day, there are times when I have a bad day and they're there for me. And believe it or not, I'm not perfect. :eek: I make mistakes and they like that, because no one is perfect.

That's something i'd love to see explored on the show more; letting Sheppard make mistakes, and then agonising over those decisions. We know he has to remain infallible because to have a lead character who questions his actions is not one that is likely to be portrayed. But sometimes all it takes is a look. Let the audience take it from there with their imagination. JF is fantastic at playing those subtle scenes and one look of doubt/uncertainty would show he is human and does make mistakes. And sometimes the team need to be there for him instead of him being the one to save himself. Let the hero take the day off once in a while! He deserves it ;o)


Pocus said...

Hey, Cheeky, me again. Love all your comments on Echoes. I get to see it on the widescreen in 1 hour and 8 minutes. Woo Hoo!

I love the Shep/McKay banter. I think they are bonded more closely than brothers. There is something about risking life and limb for someone on a consistant basis that leaves a mark on all interactions. Look at police officers and their partners or any small military group. They are bonded by trust and interdependancy that goes beyond any blood.

It does help that Shep and McKay share some interests and some personality traits. Together they can beleive they are unbeatable, but don't let anyone know they actually care about each other.

Linz said...

Well, I could tell you what I loved about Echoes, but you seem to have done that for me! Lol!

So, I agree with all you say.

Sheppard and McKay are the show for me, and although different people are also very alike too.

You are so right about the relationship. GeekyShep can be himself with his friend, and they do care, in a manly understated sort of way.

The one thing more I'd love is for McKay to call Sheppard 'John' in an extreme and tense moment. One of them is hurt? Shep, obviously! LOL! Someone else is hurt and they're frightened for them? I don't mind what the situation would be. But, I'd just love to hear that once. I have no idea why, I'd just like to.

I'd like to see some leader/subordinate stuff in the show. Showing the tensions there are. That'd be fantastic.

I'd love for you to be my boss!!! :)

tristen said...

I so totally agree with you, Peg! The McKay/Sheppard friendship is what makes the show for me. I do like Teyla and Ronon, but there's just something about Sheppard and McKay together. a non-slashy sort of way! :o)

Anyway, I'm gonna hold off on repeating everything you said here, even though I agree with just about everything :oD

So I'm just gonna say: what you said! :oD