Except, you know... Holy. Shit.
Yeah, my thoughts don't really get any more coherent than that.
First off, the music. Manson to the Stones to Johnny Cash, used entirely too well for a show that only uses score. Perfect soundtrack. And the Wraith gone Goth (with the coat! And the gloves! And the lowlights!). And Todd the Bard, delirious and trapped and still getting inside John's head... we've come full circle in another reality. That's a gorgeous touch.
John. John is friggin glorious here. When he rolled up in his pimpmobile, black trench billowing, I thought "okay, this could be bad." (Then again, the Aviators always soften me up.) But he's so hardened and world-weary, so weighed down by the weight of his existence that it almost hurt to watch. Flanigan sold the hell out of dark Detective Sheppard, who has nothing left to lose and wouldn't care either way.
Rodney was more Hewlett than McKay, which was interesting to watch. He was all mellowed out, thoughtful. Reflective. You get the feeling that he's seen to much, and it's... humbled him somehow. Even the nitpickery with Radek (Radek! Suited Radek! With neatly-combed hair!) was somewhat subdued. His interrogation of John was fascinating, in a way. We got Sheppard backstory in a nutshell (and it's sad that one scene supplied more information than the past five years have), but can it be applied to our Sheppard? It'd be interesting to know how much of their pasts overlap, especially in the case of The Shoutout.
I actually had to rewind that for clarity. We were gaping at the screen, and I'm pretty sure I sputtered incoherently for a good five minutes. Surely they hadn't just confirmed that John was canonically gay in this universe. Don't ask, don't tell, right? Except Rodney knows. And seems... affected by it. Despite his wedding band. Mmhmm.
Oh Powers That Be. You may have pissed off the McShep contingent with The Season of Keller, but your last-ditch effort to win them back is indeed impressive. Well played, chaps, well played. *insert golf clap*
One has to wonder what incarnation of Shep Rodney met, and what those circumstances were. What kind of dynamic they had. (Really, one does. Rodney just knows far too much.) He rattles off a speech about the John Sheppard he knew having been a hero, and his leader, and a Good Man. And it's not at all maudlin or trite - it's sad, in fact. Sad and maybe a little hopeful, but even the hope is tinged with disbelief and disappointment.
And then Hot Gay Detective Sheppard takes Rodney's words to heart, points his pimpmobile in the direction of Do The Right Thing, and... bleeds to death on the desert floor. To the rolling rumble of Cash's "Solitary Man." And this is where I say...
RIGHT THE FUCK ON.
Kudos, SGA, for finding your balls. You have finally stopped dipping your toe in the pool of moral quandary, and flung yourself into dark waters. Everybody drowns there. That's the whole point. This John was beyond salvation, had been long before we met him. Once upon a time, all of this would have been an impetus, in that "today is the first day of the rest of your life" way. Bullshit. Bull. Shit. He once again made a choice, fully aware of what the consequences could mean, and that choice cost him. Again.
That said, I would totally watch the John Sheppard Detective Hour. In a heartbeat.
Easily one of my top five episodes ever. This is the show I'm going to miss. Too little too late, but damn, what an effort.