Monday, August 20, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"The Brotherhood"

“The Brotherhood’ is a cross somewhere between a small scale Indiana Jones adventure and a Dan Brown novel. Throw in a dash of continuity with the search for a ZPM identified by Old weir and foreshadowing of a dreaded Wraith attack to come, and you have an episode that overcomes that aforementioned dan brown influence to become a decent story.

Our heroes chase down the location of one of the ZPM to a long extinct group of monks known as the Brotherhood of Fifteen. The Ancients entrusted the Brotherhood with the ZPM with the idea they will get it back once the Ancients returned. One of the planet’s inhabitants of the planet, Allina, offers to help them find the ZPM under the assumption they are the Lanteans. Unfortunately, Kolya discovers the expedition and intervenes in order to take the ZPM for himself.

The Indiana jones homage ought to be obvious. There is a treasure hunt for an Ancient artifact with religious significance to the indigenous population. There are deadly puzzles to be solved in an underground chamber. Kolya and the Genii take the place of Nazis pursuing the artifact in order to power their war machine. The Dan Brown influence is a little less obvious. The main obstacle to finding the ZPM is a Magic Squares puzzle. Magic Square games have been a part of mysticism for thousands of years, but Brown’s use of one has brought them back into pop culture. Well, brown and Sudoku, which is pretty much the same concept.

Allina double crosses our heroes once they have the ZPM after defeating Kolya. She is part of the New Brotherhood. They are charged with keeping the ZPM for the Ancients return. Since Rodney let it slip earlier in a conversation with her they are from Earth, not originally Atlantis, she will not let them have it. Which is a bad thing, because the b-plot reveals the Wraith have discovered Atlantis. Three Hive ships are on their way to attack.

“The Brotherhood” is an amusing episode, although it feels much like an excuse to bring Kolya back and little else. I have it on good authority our heroes make no effort to track down the other two ZPM even though Old Weir left clues to find them, also. I guess the search for ZPM is not as desperate as it appears to be in this episode. Or maybe they have their hands full with the wraith. I do not know. We shall see. Whatever the case, ’The brotherhood” is fun to watch on its own merit. Kolya is a cool recurring villain thanks to Robett Davi’s portrayal. Treasure hunts are always a nifty plot idea, too. I dig it, even if the foreshadowing is the only aspect that keeps “The Brotherhood” from being considered filler.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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