Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"The Eye"

With a title like ‘The Eye,” you would almost suspect the episode is tailored made for me. I am not that arrogant--no, really--but ’The Eye” is the most thrilling episode of SGA since “Rising.” It is a slam bang action oriented story that satisfactorily concludes all plot threads begun in ”The Storm“ by way of a nifty Die Hard homage. Interestingly, Kolya actor Robert Davi has a role in that film.

Rodney has a sudden flash of bravery and steps in front of Kolya’s gun in order to nake a compelling argument he cannot take over Atlantis without both Weir and him. Kolya relents, but radios Sheppard he has killed Weir in revenge. Sheppard vows to kill him, then goes off John McClane style to do as much damage as possible while evading Kolya’s men. Rodney and weir collude to delay repairs to the shield as long as possible to buy Sheppard time. Meanwhile, when the eye of the hurricane passes over the Puddle Jumper on the mainland, Teyla, ford, and Beckett take advantage of the calm to risk flying off to Atlantis as reinforcements.

You can likely fill in the blanks how all these events converge. The happenings are incredibly tense and exciting. You can tell because the accompanying music is the most over the top I have heard in a television episode in a while. Even when Sheppard is sneaking about as a covert saboteur, a time when quiet subtlety is called for, he might as well be guns blazing as far as the soundtrack is concerned. The mismatch is more humorous than anything else. I almost expect for Sheppard to break the fourth wall and say, ’would you all tone it down? I’m trying to sneak around here!”

What makes the episode good, besides the solid resolutions to eah cliffhanger, are the personal moments for virtually every character. Rodney is not a heroic man, and you can see how terrified he is in jumping in front of Kolya’s gun to save Weir. Ford’s gung ho loyalty to Sheppard causes him to recklessly fly inside a hurricane just to help his commanding officer. He and Beckett are at each other’s throats over the matter. Beckett is thrown into this assault on Atlantis even though he is fr out of his element and resents taking orders, especially for young Ford. Teyla and Sora finally confront each other over Tyus’ death. Sora is convinced to end the fight because her father would not want her to be killed seeking revenge. Teyla certainly kicked her tushie, too. The shippers must be excited over the revelation Sheppard has a deep emotional connection with Weir that emerges when he believes she is dead. There is a flash of recognition of it her after Sheppard takes out Kolya with sniper fire before he can escape with her through the stargate. I am aware Kolya survives the gunshot wound. I hope his recurring appearances as an arch villain are equally memorable.

“The Eye” is a fantastic way to conclude all issues established in the midseason finale and is a great start to the backend of the first season. The script is solid action without feeling like anything is dumbed down. I mean, pretty much every issue other than Rodney raising the shield in the nick of time to prevent a tidal wave from destroying the city is resolved by gun, knife, or a carefully timed stargate closing to kill sixty Genii reinforcements. The special effects regarding the tidal wave striking the shield are enormously impressive, too. Some of the musical accompaniment could have matched the scenes better. I am also amused how much of the fight between Teyla and Sora took place in the shadows so as to disguise the stuntwomen doing the action. But those are small quibbles in what is otherwise my favorite episode so far in the young series’ history.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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