Saturday, February 23, 2013
Todd, who has cured himself with an Iratus bug, contacts Atlantis with the news a rival Wraith has swiped a ZPM from him, modified a Hive ship, and has learned the location of Earth from the signal sent from the alternate Las Vegas. Our heroes have no choice but to trust him. The ZPM Hive makes short work of Daedalus and Apollo on its way to Earth. Sheppard is called back to Earth as part of its efense as Atlantis uses another of Todd’s ZPM to pursue.
Sam and Maj. “Disaster” Davis gather in Earth’s deense. Lorne joins AR-1 in sneaking aboar the Hive ship when it drops out of hyperspace halfway to Earth for…refueling? I do not know. They make up an excuse because the Hive cannot engage in a cullin or dramatic reasons. Firefights ensue. Ronon dies only to be revived by a Wraith for interrogation. X302 fighters engage in a special effects laden dog fight. Atlantis arrives in the nick of time to destroy the Hive ship before crashing into san Francisco Bay.
That, folks, is the end. A straight to DVD film was supposed to wrap up the Wraith culling Pegasus storyline, but that is not going to happen at this point. Use your imagination.
As a digression, you really have to wonder about Todd. A few episodes back, he jumped to the wrong conclusion about being betrayed and stole Daedalus. he gets his entire crew killed working with Michael’s genetic modifications. Then he hands over a ZPM to another Wraith in order to modify a Hive ship. The other Wraith promptly screws him over and steals the uber-Hive ship. In seeking revenge, Todd winds up stranded on Earth where he is going to starve to death as a prisoner because no one is going to give him a human to consume. Todd is pretty much an idiot, is he not?
It is funny how the episode features virtually every major character in at least one scene to the extent it is almost funny how much credibility is stretched to justify the cameo. Keep this in mind when realizing we do not catch even a limpse of the Wraith attacking earth until the final act and then he is on screen for less than a minute beore being killed by AR -1. Kind of bad form, that.
Nevertheless, “Enemy at the Gate” is a worthy conclusion to the series. I would call it a much better send off than SG-1 received from its final episode. The story is sufficiently large and, unlike most of the season, not lost in an ocean of overwhelming special effects. Some of the character appearances are forced, but that is a minor complaint. The biggest flaw? Ronon should have died. His sacrifice would have given the episode some emotional punch.
As far as series conclusions go, “Enemy at the Gate” is satisfying. This show should have been treated better than only being allowed five seasons.
Rating: **** (out of 5)
Friday, February 22, 2013
In this reality, Sheppard is a loser Las Vegas detective investigating nine murders that the viewer immediately recognizes as Wraith feedings. There is a wraith on the loose. He is playing poker in order to win enough money to buy parts for a long range transmitter he is building in a trailer out in the middle of the desert. Sheppar is recruited by Rodney, who has left this reality’s Atlantis for Area 51 after a wraith ship crashed on earth, to hunt the poker playing Wraith down.
If that all sounds weird, believe me, it is. “Vegas” is a serious case of a series having been cancelled, so the writers are fulfilling fantasies onscreen. Most of our regulars are playing different roles. Woolsey is an FBI agent, for instance. Keller is the las Vegas coroner. The episode is odd, but something I felt compelled to pay attention to, anyway.
I bet if I were a big CSI fan, I would like “Vegas” more. Instead, I like it for the curiosity of it all. It is very different, yet not so out of whack as to not be as entertaining as the series normally is. The loud soundtrack is obnoxious. I assume that is a CSI thing. Learn a little about mood setting with music from Miami Vice, folks. I do think the Wraith rocking out to Marilyn Manson is funny considering fan complaints the early wraith make up resembled Manson’s.
Tomorrow--the final episode.
Rating: *** (out of 5)
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A thief named Neeva is stealing a set of communication stones shortly after Keller has touche another set found in Janus’ lab a few episodes back. The wo find themselves in each other’s body. Neeva has a difficult time pretening to be Keller. Stabbing Zelenka contributes to the problem. Keller is in prison about to be executed for Neeva’s crimes. Neeva leads AR-1 to the planet, but her cohorts have rescued Keller thinking she is Neeva before they get there. Everything is straightened out, but not before Keller is shot and Neeva is killed over the mistaken identities.
What can I tell you? It is a passably enjoyable episode of Stargate Atlantis without much frills to raise it above that bar. As with a couple episodes back, Jewel Stait shows off ample cleavage to compensate for any script shortcomings. It works for me.
Rating: *** (out of 5)
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Todd’s Hive ship appears in orbit with the entire crew in hibernation pods. It turns out the serum that eliminates their need to feed on humans causes cancer. As our heroes work on a cure, they become trapped as the ship creates new walls blocking their way in an attempt to fix the cancer. If that was not bad enough, Wraith begin awakening with carnivorous intentions. Ourt heroes are forced to kill them all except Todd, who remains alive to manage a crash landing on the ocean. He departs freely as thanks and goes off in search of an Iratus bug to hopefully cure him.
A Hive ship as a floating tumor is a gross, but neat idea. The sets and special effects are the highlight of the episode, especially the ocean splashdown. The Zombie Wraith aspect could have been a bit more exciting. Instead, it feels like action sequences thrown in there at the last minute out of obligation. “Infection” is not all that bad, but it is clearly a quick storyline wrap up from a cancelled show.
Rating: *** (out of 5)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Rodney invites Keller to join him at an unveiling ceremony of the latest project by one of his rivals, Malcolm Tunney. Tunney is played splendidly by Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio alum Dave Foley. He is about the only highlight. Rodney is ready to head for the hills after being needled mercilessly by Tyson and Nye, but not only stays, but becomes incensed when he realizes Tunney has stolen some of his work.
Tunnry has created some space/time techno babble device inadvertently based on one of Rodney’s Pegasus projects. It is designed to cool the Earth down on a massive level. Tunney demonstrates it on the building in which the scientists are currently gathered,. In so doing, he ignores Rodney’s warnings space/time cannot be controlled. Long story short--everyone is trapped and going to freeze to death.
It looks like it is up to Rodney to save the day, but he runs off to rescue Keller from a flooding room. They share their first smooch ater she declares him her personal hero. The day is actually saved by Tunney and Nye--yes, the Science Guy--by turning the darn thing off. Well, there you go.
Staite is hot, Foley, Tyson, and Nye are funny, but “Brain Trust” just does not fly. I am not big on global warming alarmism, nor can I get into meaningless techno babble solutions to problems. I suppose if one is a big David Hewlett fan, seeing him in a pair of tux smooching Jewel Staite might be a thrill, but it is not enough to save “Brain Trust” from its too many dumb ideas.
Rating: ** (out of 5)
Monday, February 18, 2013
The plot is that the artificial intelligence representative of a long dead silicon based civilization causes Rodney, Woolsey, and Sheppard to hallucinate zelenka, a potential love interest, and Kolya for each respectively to convince them to preserve a pod containing the knowledge of said civilization. Such is the tall and the short of it.
Robert Davi gets to play Kolya again in all his sadistic glee, so that is a plus. As with the last couple seasons of VOY, Robert Picardo is required to do a lot of heavy lifting. This time, he is in love with a fiment of his imagination. Davi and Piaro are about the only two saving graces in an episode that does not mean muh passed the shock value of seeing Sheppard’s left hand get chopped off. Ouch.
I am not a fan of “Remnants.” It is nothing more than an excuse to bring back Kolya, but it is ultimately too flimsy an excuse to be worthwhile.
Rating: ** (out of 5)
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Michael lays seige to atlantis, cutting off power by way of a stolen jumper, in a plot to kidnap teyla’s baby for experimentation. The episode is good, not only because it is action packed and exciting, but because each of the main characters contributes to Michael’s defeat by doing what he or she does best. Rodney and Zalenka are the scientists attempting to regain control of Atlantis. Ronon engages in a brutal fistfight with Michael. Sheppard is ready to sacrifice himself in a suicide mission to prevent Michael’s escape. It all flows beautifully.
The best part is that Teyla is the one to put an end to Michael. Granted, she kills him in cold blood, which is not very heroic, but you know what they say about a woman scorned. Never try to kidnap a mother’s newborn.
I have to give major credit to writer Carl Binder for placing every character in his or her exact element. Binder has been my favorite writer for the series. ’The Prodigal” is a fine example why. There are some implausible bits. For one, Ronon falls off a balcony and endures a backbreaker on a handrail. But winds up perfectly fine. Torren also sleeps through the entire ordeal, including during a fight in which Teyla is holding him! Talk about a heavy sleeper, no?
“The Prodigal” is one of my favorite episodes of the season based purely on its entertainment value. That Michael, who is as good a villain as Kolya, gets a worthy send off is icing on the cake.
Rating: *** (out of 5)
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I will give “Inquisition” one kudo--at least the episode reasonably uses clips from past episodes. It is still a lazy, budget saving move, but placing the Atlantis crew on trial and using old clips to illustrate their defense testimony at least reinforces the testimony. Sp there is that.
As mentioned, the plot is that a new coalition of human worlds have captured AR-1 and placed them on trial for crimes against the Pegasus galaxy. A strong case is made against them. Sheppard did initially awaken the Wraith. They did interfere with the Genii plan to destroy the Wraith. They did create Michael. They did spark off the Replicator-Wraith War. The tribunal did not even bring up that Rodney destroyed an entire solar system. All tolled, two million people have died due to these actions.
The most amusing part about the charges is that they are so solid, the only way to avoid a guilty verdict is for Woolsey to secretly create an alliance with two of the coalition powers with the argument they cannot fiht of the Wraith without the power of Atlantis behind them. The plan works, and our heroes are found not guilty.
Is there a jab at military tribunals for Gitmo prisoners here? I expected one, but was pleasantly surprised that nothing jumped out at me.
“Inquisition” is a neat idea. If it had been more elaborate, it might have even made for a good final episode. Maybe the writers decided against it because our heroes really were guilty of everything of which they were accused. A little too Seinfeldian, perhaps? The episode does feel extremely cheap. I am surprised one of the few remaining episodes of the series would be wasted like this. “Inquisition” is a disappointment because of how much potential is squandered. Not even Robert Picardo as the defense attorney save the episode.
Rating: ** (out of 5)
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The virtue of watching a series or the first time years after it has been cancelled appear yet again. I had no idea a surviving faction of Asgard were going to show up on Stargate Atlantis. Raise a glass in salute to those long lost, pre-internet days when every revelation was not spoiled months in advance. Days like those will never come around again.
I have much hih praise for “The Lost Tribe” beyond the surprise appearance of the Asgard in spite of some minor issues. The cliffhanger resolution--Sheppard an Zelenka survive the tower explosion by moving away ten feet--is a cop out solution. The Asard disappear 2/3rds of the way in because the CGI to animate Vanir is too expensive on a basic cable budget. The Travelers also return, but Jill Wagner is not among them because she was serving as the eye candy for the brainless game show Wipeout at the time. Bummer. But these are only minor gripes in an otherwise excellent episode. Particularly the bit about Wagner, as she is replaced by the equally hot Daniella Alonso.
“The Lost Tribe” is a fun, epic adventure that strikes the right balance between its two concurrent plots. One, Ronon and Keller play Die Hard in sabotaging Daedalus to thwart Todd’s plan to attack Atlantis . Two, Rodney and daniel have to stop the Asgard from using the device to destroy the Wraith because it causes every active stargate to explode. That is quite a negative consequence. The two stories come together when Sheppard recruit’s the Travelers to help save everyone.
Of particular note for those not primarily thinking with their gonads is the rationale of the Asgard for their actions. They face the same problem as their Milky way brethren, namely they can only reproduce by cloning. They need humans to experiment on, so those pesky wraith need to stop culling the fresh supply. The survival of the Asgard justifies their actions according to spokesman Vanir. Thor and company would not dream of destroying the stargate system and killing millions in the process just to save themselves. However, Thor and his people are al dead. Vanir and his are still alive. As Vanir tells Daniel, it is difficult to argue with the results.
But none of you care about a philosophical discussion on the ens justifies the means morality of Vanir’s effort to preserve the Asgard. You all only want to see Daniella Alonso in a bikini. Fine. I can accommodate:
I have said about all I can say about “The Lost Tribe.” It is a great episode. One that makes you wonder why the series was cancelled so unceremoniously.
Rating: **** (out of 5)