Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Aurora"

The Atlantis crew discovers an ancient ship on the edge of the Pegasus galaxy with the the Lanteans aboard in stasis and unable to be revived. Rodney discovers their minds are all connected into a virtual reality world. He enters in order to communicate with the Lanteans unaware a wraith has infiltrated the program in order to speed up the Aurora‘s development of an intergalactic hyper rive capable of reaching Earth or that Caldwell is itching to destroy Aurora with him still connected to keep the ship from falling into Wraith hands. Geez, Caldwell really is itching for Sheppard’s job.

“Aurora” is awfully thin on tension. Sheppard and eventually Rodney when he enters the VR, too, can remove themselves anytime they want. It is not clear if either can be harmed even by the Wraith spy while in VR. In fact, evidence is string they cannot. The conflict with the Wraith is in the real world once the female second officer is exposed as the wraith. We learn by the third act who the wraith is, so there is not much mystery. The actual tension comes from Caldwell’s itchy trigger finger over the Hive ships approaching. What can you say about an episode in which one’s compatriot is the most prominent villain?

After the Wraith is exposed and desposed of, the VR version of the crew sets off the self-destruct in time to destroy the Hive ships while still preserving the survival of Atlantis. Our heroes toast the crew’s sacrifice.

“Aurora” is still interesting viewing in spite of the thin plot. The setting has atmosphere. I like the contrast between the “dead’ Aurora with the crew in stasis versus the vibrant, white an bright Aurora. There is a lot of humor to spur things along. I particularly enjoy the increasingly comfortable verbal sparring between Sheppard and Rodney. “Aurora” is ultimately forgettable filler in the grand scheme of things, but that is the worst thing to be said for it.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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