Stargate Atlantis 5.9: "Tracker"

After delving into massive implications in the previous episode, I suppose it makes sense that the writers would want to step back into something a bit less ambitious. This is a story that has been told a thousand times before, so for some, familiarity will breed contempt. So will the upfront presence of Dr. Keller, as there are plenty of Dr. Beckett fans still unconvinced that the character is necessary.


Keller shows more grit in this episode than she had in the entire fourth season, and it's good to see the character getting some actual development. Granted, it's about as much development as anyone gets in the Stargate franchise, but it's progress, nonetheless. She doesn't back down or cower; she demands to know her captor's intentions. It's a step in the right direction, because it's very clear that she'll need a strong stomach and a lot of patience in the days ahead. (Though, would it kill the writers to make Keller more than the convenient hostage victim?)


The combo of Ronon and McKay was amusing, if a little predictable. Ronon was a Runner, so he knows how to live off the environment, how to track, and how to think like his hunters and prey. McKay, for all his bluster, is out of his element, and he's too jealous of Ronon's rugged manliness to admit it to himself, let alone Ronon. In the end, the day is saved by a combination of both men's strengths, but McKay does come out looking a bit short in certain areas.


The episode was designed, however, to highlight the growing tension between Ronon and Rodney in terms of Dr. Keller and their "intentions" for her. The potential love triangle was predictable enough; I called it back at the end of the fourth season (despite many derogative comments to the contrary). Perhaps for that reason, this episode seemed to go a long way to deliver old news.


On the other hand, the writers could be playing to the expectations of the audience. "The Shrine" demonstrated Ronon's loyalty, even mild affection, for Rodney. And I think it's reasonable to assume that if Ronon had designs on Dr. Keller, it would be a lot more obvious. Rodney already declared his love for Dr. Keller in "The Shrine", and she seemed to reciprocate through action. Putting two and two and two together with the final scene of the episode, it's possible (even likely) that Ronon is pretending to have "intentions" towards Dr. Keller for the sole purpose of forcing Rodney to take action.


If explored in the predictable manner, I expect the "love triangle" to be a bit of a disappointment. But the idea of Ronon playing "love therapist" for Rodney McKay, for some indescribable reason, sounds like the perfect character turn. If nothing else, it goes completely against expectation! I suppose, in this final season, I'm hoping for surprises from every turn.

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Sep 22, 2008 10:28PM EDT

"Ronon is pretending to have "intentions" towards Dr. Keller for the sole purpose of forcing Rodney to take action."
thats what I was thinking. It's just something about ronans grin at the end that made me think about it.

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