Review: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5

Series: Stargate: #18

Series: Stargate Atlantis: #5

And so it ends.

I do sorely wish that Atlantis could have gotten another season. There are some very strong episodes in this seaon. As much as I liked Weir and Carter, Woolsey is another huge case of character improvement (almost as much as McKay).

Mini-reviews (potential spoilers):

  • Search and Rescue: Half a closed room, buried deep in a collapsed building, half Teyla. Neither quite what I was hoping for.

    SHEPPARD (calling up to the ceiling): I’m gonna stop making fun of combat engineers as of today, I promise. Harris up there with you?

    MAN’S VOICE: Yes, he’s here. Don’t worry, we’ll have you out soon.

    (Ronon frowns and looks at John.)

    DEX: I thought Harris was on leave until next month.

    (John nods, then calls up to the ceiling again.)

    SHEPPARD: If we get out of here, beer’s on me, boys. What do you like, uh, Duff Beer or Oprah Ale?

    MAN’S VOICE (after a slight pause): Duff.

    SHEPPARD (quietly to Ronon): Well, they don’t watch The Simpsons or drink beer.

    I enjoyed that. McKay being stuck helping to deliver Teyla’s baby is both expected and actually a pretty good scene.

    And then… Carter only gets a season. And Woolsey is in charge. A surprise.

  • The Seed: Body horror, cloneCarson gets to do things, and Woolsey settles into command.

  • Broken Ties: Good guys gone brainwashed. It’s fine.

  • The Daedalus Variations: Jumping from one reality to another. will they find a way home… A neat concept for a show or, like this, a one off. Convenient that Teyla random has Daedalus training.

  • Ghost in the Machine: Spooky computer virus/something more. Interesting to see Weir back (more or less). I also like seeing how they dig into Replicator ascension and how people change—or don’t.

  • The Shrine: Oh the range of McKays we’ve seen. And more McKay/Mrs. Miller! A painful episode. One of the best.

    McKAY: I’ve been trying to remember the name of my sister’s kid.

    SHEPPARD: Betty.

    McKAY: Betty. (He frowns round at John.) Pretty sure that’s not it.

    SHEPPARD: It’s Madison. See? At least you remember what it wasn’t.

    McKAY (smiling): Now there’s an under-rated skill.

    SHEPPARD: I’m just saying – you may not be as far gone as you think.

    McKAY: I’m hiding it. Believe me, I’ve already forgotten more than most people will ever know, and I know that sounds… (he struggles to think for a moment, sighing)… arrogant, is that right?

    SHEPPARD: Yeah. (He chuckles.) That works!

    I’m puzzled on why Dr. Keller is so strongly against the possibility. She outright says the parasite doesn’t kill cells a few times. With ancient tech, that’s an obvious possibility.

    Also… I have to agree with Woolsey about the MALP… or just a camera. Radio works both ways.

  • Whispers: Creepy Wraith labs! All woman Stargate team! Beckett? Zombies…? Kind of weird.

  • The Queen: Wraith Queen Teyla! Of course that goes… questionably. It’s always interesting seeing Todd–knowing the other roles the actor plays in SGA and other shows.

  • Tracker: Ronon and McKay fighting over Keller is… hilarious and awkward. Wonderful.

  • First Contact: Dr. Jackson finally makes it to Atlantis! Have we seen McKay/Jackson before?

    ATLANTIS. NIGHT TIME. In Janus’ lab, Daniel is sitting at a console and gazing at text scrolling across a wallscreen in front of him. Sitting at another console beside him, Rodney yawns.

    JACKSON: You know, it’s almost dawn. If you wanna call it a night, it’s, uh …

    (He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes tiredly.)

    McKAY: What? No-no-no, I’m fine, fine, but, you know, if you need to rest, I completely understand.

    (Annoyed, Daniel puts his glasses back on and turns to face him.)

    JACKSON: Seriously, is everything a competition with you?

    McKAY: I’m not sure what you’re talkin’ about.

    JACKSON: I just found you a secret lab full of really cool Ancient stuff. I kind of think that should score me some points here.

    McKAY: OK, I will admit that I may have been little brusque with you up until now.

    JACKSON: Just a little(!)

    McKAY: But the truth is, I really didn’t think you were gonna find anything.

    JACKSON: Well, that much I actually understand.

    McKAY: You do?

    JACKSON: Yeah. I’ve spent the majority of my professional life being ridiculed for my theories – most of which turned out to be correct, by the way. I’m kind of used to it, Rodney.

    (Rodney slumps back in his chair and sighs.)

    McKAY: Doesn’t that bother you? I mean, there’s no vindication, no recognition, no credit.

    JACKSON: Well, I could say the same thing about you. The discoveries you’ve made – you probably could have won the Nobel Prize five times over by now.

    McKAY: It’s too true. So – I guess none of us signed up to get famous, huh?

    JACKSON: No, we did it for the money.

    McKAY (chuckling): Good one!

    (He continues to chuckle as Daniel grins. Then Rodney’s smile drops and he turns to Daniel.)

    McKAY: Wait a minute. You don’t get paid more than I do, do you?

    (Daniel rolls his eyes and sighs.)

    McKAY: Do you?

    Plus crazy intense new* aliens! The B plot with Woolsey doing diplomatic things with Todd is pretty funny too.


  • The Lost Tribe: Part 2!

    DAEDALUS. Elsewhere on Daedalus, in the area in which they were trapped when the emergency lockdown was activated, Jennifer Keller watches as Ronon Dex tugs angrily at one set of the doors, trying to force them open.

    KELLER: You really think that’s gonna work?

    DEX: You got a better idea?

    KELLER: We’re on a spaceship. Those doors are designed to be airtight. That means something as tiny as air can’t even get through. How do you think you will?

    DEX: Yeah, well I’m a lot bigger than air.

    (He strains at the doors again. They creak under the pressure but don’t budge.)

    KELLER: Yeah, that’s kinda my point.

    I love Sheppard, Zelenka, and the 15 year old engineer (reminds me of Firefly). I love Jackson/McKay and the big twist of the new* (heh) alien race.

    McKAY: This is an Ancient facility, and Rodney McKay knows a thing or two about Ancient facilities.

    JACKSON: You know, it has been clinically proven that referring to yourself in the third person is a sign of mental instability, right?

    McKAY (smiling smugly): Mentally unstable like a fox!

    A wonderful pair of episodes. Poor Jackson … sent back to Earth again. I suppose that at least when Atlantis comes to Earth in the finale , he’ll get a chance?

  • Outsiders: Still really weird to have Beckett back… It’s like he never even died, they just treat him as the same guy. OTOH, the Hoffan drug plotline is fascinating. Hard decisions made with complicated consequences.

  • Inquisition: The main characters are on trial! Clip/bottle show! Yeah… it’s a way to save some money and Atlantis does it less than SG-1, but they’re still often not the best. There’s a reason it’s the lowest rated episode of the season.

  • The Prodigal: Michael invades the tower! It’s a pretty intense episode. And we actually get a bit of Teyla’s baby and some big momma bear moments from her. Pretty cool.

  • Remnants: Woolsey is on the other side of the IOA now… It’s always fascinating when TV shows do the unreliable narrator thing well.

  • Brain Storms: Kind of crazy cameos. One of the few Earth centric episodes that I actually like in Atlantis (or really any Stargate).

    TYSON: He’d say things like, “I was about to say that very same thing,” or “I was just about to have that same idea”!

    McKAY: Hey, at least I didn’t declassify Pluto from planet status. Way to make all the little kids cry, Neil. That make you feel like a big man?

    NYE (to Jennifer): See, thanks to Doctor Tyson, Pluto is now the first of the plutoids – a new class of celestial object. It’s cool! Come on, Rodney! It’s the twenty-first century!

    One of the things I would have like to see more of if Atlantis had gone on was the McKay/Keller relationship. But of an age difference, but there’s good chemistry there. Delightful to see McKay awkward.

    Just don’t think too hard about ‘freeze lightning’ (it’s copywritten!).

  • Infection: Oy. We did the zombie thing once before, but now they’re stuck on a Wraith ship with the occupants asleep… Oh boy that’s creepy.

  • Identity: Body hopping again! And this time around… Keller and a thief. Oh, that’s complicated. Dawn Olivieri does a great job as a one off. Wish we’d gotten to see more of Keller… It’s kind of amusing how there’s an episode or two of the Ancient communication device in SG-1 and Atlantis and then it’s such a huge deal in Universe.

  • Vegas: For the penultimate episode of the entire show… I would rather not have an alternate team on Earth doing Earth things. That’s just not what I signed up for with Atlantis. It’s one of the few episodes I’ll skim/skip on rewatches. Bummer with only one more after this.

  • Enemy at the Gate: Man that escalated quickly. The Wraith are on the way to Earth… to stop them, we’re going to have invent something impossible and better by far than anything we’ve seen in Ancient/Asgard/anyone’s technology. It’s … a bit annoying, but if the show has to go out, it could have been worse.

    I just wish they would have had a movie or another couple episodes to wrap things up.