Stargate Atlantis: Vengeance
(S03E19) This is more of what I have been waiting for as the season winds down for the Atlantis team. Here is an arc with a good enemy that builds nicely on the overall Atlantis story. I love the decision to bring back Michael. That's partly just because I like Connor Trinneer (Enterprise), but mostly because the story of Michael, and what the Atlantis team did to him, is very interesting.
Before we get to that though, I'm going to bring up Beckett again. If it seems like I'm beating a dead horse, I apologize, but this episode is a great example of what I was getting at in "Sunday." I didn't think his death carried the importance it should have, and this would have been the perfect place for it. Given Beckett's involvement in the retro-virus story, it's easy to see how Michael would blame him and want 'vengeance.' Had he died at the hands of Michael it would have been more of an event, and it would have served to drive those "What did we do?" questions just a little deeper.
Speaking of the questionable ethics behind the retro-virus, I liked the scene between Ronon and Shepard when they were chasing Michael. Ronon's refusal to switch to stun, and his speech about how he never agreed with any of it, reminded me of the scene in "Michael" where he has the chance to kill Michael, but Shepard steps in and stuns him. The moral issue is very interesting. Atlantis created the monster that now threatens them, and they even had their own questions about it while they were doing it. We did get a glimpse of the fallout from this as Weir blamed herself for the fate of the Taranians.
For his part, Michael makes a great enemy because he is completely renegade. Having been abandoned by the Wraith, he now has no one to answer to, and no one to protect. He serves only to further his own goals, and that's very dangerous. His mad scientist creation of the iratus bug army was a nice addition. There certainly was an Alien feel to all of the chase/combat scenes in the tunnels, but that's ok. They were very exciting. I also like the turn of events that finds Teyla as Michael's prisoner again. They have a very odd relationship and it is something I would like to see more of in the future.
The ending left a lot up in the air with Michael and his army of bugs just disappearing, returning to the unknown 'out there somewhere' classification. It will be interesting to see where they go with that. I'm sure we'll have to see Michael again at some point. Will he use his new army to go after the Wraith? Possibly use the army as a bargaining chip to get back in their good graces? Or maybe he will hatch a plan to move his army to Earth. Whichever way it goes, it should be fun.
Overall, it was a good episode. Some nice effects, and a good story that got us away from these episodes that just float out there on their own with no real connection to the bigger picture. Next week is the big finale. Hopefully it lives up to the billing.