Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"The Siege, Part III"

Wait…have we finally reached the end of the Wraith invade Atlantis story? After something like seven episodes and a few months hiatus to boot? Yes! We have been dragged across the finish line! The interesting part about “The Siege, Part III” is how many foreshadowed plot elements from the set up, which has dragged out so long, I nearly forgot all of them until they showed up, are woven together for the conclusion. I will give major props for the ending, as well. Anytime a story ends with a mushroom cloud, all the stops have been pulled out.

As expected, Daedalus arrives in the nick of time to not only deliver the ZPM, but teleport Sheppard off the Puddle Jumper before the nuke goes off inside the Hive ship. The cavalry rescue is only the beginning of a breakneck speed first act which sees Daedalus teleport nukes onto other Hive ships, ground forces engage Wraith in Atlantis, and Rodney properly hook up the ZPM while still serving as comic relief. The guy is a multitasked, what can I tell you?

The shield works to defend Atlantis, but even after the Wraith fleet is destroyed, a dozen more are on the way. Our heroes go on the offense by ambushing the second wave, but they are going to face a similar continual bombardment that convinced the Lanteans to abandon the city millennia ago until they get the idea exploding a nuke over Atlantis while the shield is up, then cloaking the city to make it appear it has self-destructed. The plan works, and the Wraith leave under the assumption they now have no easy route to Earth.

Subplots resolved: Teyla is alive. She rushes in to save Rodney from a couple Wraith after his security detail is incapacitated and his Keystone Kops routine in his defense does nothing more than amuse the audience. Everett was not killed in the first season finale. He does, however, have half the life sucked out of him before one o the men under his command shoots the Wraith. The experience causes him to empathize with Sheppard’s decision to mercy kill Sumner, and he expresses the epiphany with Sheppard. One presumes Everett dies off screen shortly thereafter. Teyla uses her mental link with the Wraith to inform them of the ‘plan” to destroy Atlantis so they will stop their bombardment while the shield is down.

Subplots begun: Daedaluis arrives, expanding both the cast and firepower of SGA. I cannot decide if I am happier to see Mitch Phileggi have a recurring role, or that a smart aleck Asgard named Hermiod. Novak shows up, too. She was not a major player on the parent show, but memorable nevertheless. Shippers should take note of the warm reception weir offers Sheppard upon his return after fearing he was dead. Finally, in what I assume is at least part of the second season arc, ford is infected with Wraith enzyme which makes him some sort of psychotic hybrid. He escapes to menace our heroes another day.

It has been a long time coming, but “The Siege, Part III” is a fine ending of the Wraith invasion arc. I am inclined to think there was only enough material for about half as many episodes as the powers that be chose to use, but no matter. The conclusion wove in dangling plot threads from past episodes, introduced new characters, and concluded the storyline in exciting, slam bang fashion while introducing elements for the new running plot, and all without feeling cluttered. I even thought Rodney’s comic relief moments were well placed and less obnoxious than usual. He and Hermiod are presumably going to comedically spar with one another, no? “The Siege, Part III” has me cautiously optimistic about a season which I have heard is generally considered the weakest of the series. We shall see.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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