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October 23, 2014

Stargate Atlantis: First Strike (season finale)

by Brett Love, posted Jun 23rd 2007 2:10PM
joe flanigan, david hewlett, torri higginson - stargate atlantis

(S03E20) "I'm just saying... They're a cool team... and we're a cool team..."

This week Atlantis brought out what I consider to be a classic season finale. By the end of the show there are questions about who is going to live, the survival of the city, and an impending war with the replicators. As long as they don't kick off season four with Shepard stepping out of a steamy shower, or waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette, things are looking very good for the future of Atlantis.

jewel staite, stargate atlantisWith a lot going on in the episode, we'll start at the beginning with the introduction of the new head of medicine, Dr. Keller. I'm a huge Firefly fan (although I loathe Serenity) so I'm happy to see Jewel Staite back on the television with a regular gig. Her reluctance to embrace the opportunity is interesting, and Weir's reassurance that she is comfortable putting her life in Keller's hands was a nice hint at what was to come.

I like Colonel Ellis. Not so much the character himself, because he is kind of a gung-ho ass, but what he brought to the story. The various conversations he had with Dr. Weir really highlighted her worries that she is not taken seriously as the leader of Atlantis. Rather, she is looked upon as the Administrator, with all the big decisions being handled from above. I especially liked the way she turned Ellis' 'with all due respect' speech around on him at the end.

Ellis also served to show just how much respect Weir has from the Atlantis team in his scenes with Rodney and Shepard. My favorite of those was when he told Shepard that he should be the one running Atlantis and Shepard replied, "But then I'd be the man, and who would I have to rage against?" It calls to mind the quote from O'neil in season eight of Stargate, "I've spent my whole life sticking it to the man. If I do this, I'll be the man. I don't want to be the man." It's also a typical smart ass Shepard response, but shows his support for Dr. Weir. Rodney signaled the same when Ellis gave him the order to submerge the city and was just blown off as Rodney looked to Weir for the go-ahead. .

The return of the replicators was a welcome one. I actually prefer the wraith as a foe, but that probably has more to do with my penchant for horror films, and the wraith's resemblance to a big bad that lurks in the shadows than anything else. That said, the replicators are a dangerous and clever enemy and there is still a lot of mileage to be had in battling them. Now that they have focused their efforts on Earth it makes the battle all that much more important.

The actual Horizon attack, while ill-conceived, looked really good. As did the retaliatory satellite/mini stargate/energy weapon. The sequence where they worked to find a way to save the city was very well done. The Rodney/Radek back and forth was in top form. The two of them play off of each other very well. Rodney and Shepard's eventual plan to launch the city and move to another planet in order to get out of the energy beam was intriguing for a couple different reasons. First, flying cities are just cool. But also, a new planet for Atlantis opens all kinds of doors for next season.

Of course, we didn't quite get to that point. The energy weapon breaking through just before the shield could be closed came as a surprise, but Weir getting caught up in the resulting explosion didn't. Her discussion with Teyla about leaving combined with SciFi's big promos about Carter joining the show didn't bode well for Dr. Weir.

And so we are left with the city lost in the middle of space, with only 24 hours of power, and questions about who will make it out of season three. As far as cliffhanger endings go, that's a pretty solid one. I don't know that Atlantis is yet equal to Stargate in its prime, but ready or not they are being handed the keys. Come fall, Atlantis is going to have to be the man, so to speak.

Is Atlantis ready to take over for SG-1?
Absolutely, the show is as good as it has ever been.292 (47.2%)
It's not to SG-1's level yet, but it's getting there.232 (37.5%)
No, the show will suffer without its big brother.52 (8.4%)
No way. SciFi has a problem coming in the fall.43 (6.9%)

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wui yoong

teylar is in charge of atlantis whenever Dr W is off someplace, that crap, funny shaper you need more gutsy please, with the only few that can fly a stealth ship, mckey not a change to fired a bullet so there is no need for you to bring the gun in any senario, ronan is cool but a big gun and a knite to kill wraith but training with wood stick, come-on that crap,and WHY you dont think of using axguard beam to kill super space vampire ..... :D

July 13 2007 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wui yoong

teylar is in charge of atlantis whenever Dr W is off someplace, that crap, funny shaper you need more gutsy please, with the only few that can fly a stealth ship, mckey not a change to fired a bullet so there is no need for you to bring the gun in any senario, ronan is cool but a big gun and a knite to kill wraith but training with wood stick, come-on that crap,and WHY you dont think of using axguard beam to kill super space vampire ..... :D

July 13 2007 at 9:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

At this point I watch the 2 Stargates because I like the characters and I like their back and forth banter. It's the stuff you hear from long time coworkers. Both shows seem to take a lot of heat from snobby sci-fi fans in that story lines are sometime rehashed/reused from other shows/books/movies. That may be true but those other vehicles don't have these characters. They could film a show where they sat around and had dinner for an hour and for me the dialog -and the actors doing it - would be enough of a reason to watch.

June 26 2007 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Well O, then if you are seeing on a Fox affiliate then they are breaking the law and showing episodes in a US market before they should be show.

June 25 2007 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anthony

SkyOne a UK based Cable Network aired SG-1 and Atlantis weeks ahead before they came out in the US.

June 25 2007 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omar

no i dont think so, i live in bethesda, MD on the east coast. I saw on normal broadcast television, on fox. they usually put a few random episodes on during the weekends, and i saw this and the one where beckett died, a while ago. i think they air around noon.

June 24 2007 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

O, there is no way you saw this aired on any US channel.

Most of the rest of the world did air this episode months ago. Perhaps you caught it on a Canadian channel?

June 24 2007 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omar

i am so confused, this aired on television one saturday a few months ago here in the US, and i remember watching it because i had never seen it before, and then spent about a week trying to figure out what happened next, and if i could find it online, which i couldn't. why did they air it then?

June 24 2007 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

Who cares about Weir. She's just a shell nothing more, the character has no depth whatsoever. It's too bad that Rainbow Sun Franks had to leave the show and I honestly don't quite understand why they first make Becket a regular in season two just to kill him off in season three - but that's not important because we know he will be back because he's not really dead.

About Michael Shanks: he wanted out because he thought he was a big shot. Look at other examples like Seth Green - he left Buffy on a high point and it all went perfect for him. Shanks did horrible stuff during the time he was gone from SG-1 and came back with his tail tucked between his legs.

To me, everything SG-1 meant went kind of downhill after RDA left but at that point we already had Atlantis in place and everyone has to agree that Shepperd is nothing else than O'Neill in slightly different gear.

Of course you can ask yourself whether everything would've gone differently if they'd taken SG-1 off the air and made a movie but like MGM I always felt that the franchise wasn't strong enough to pull off a movie (but then again The Fantastic Four or better the crap that Bernd Eichinger made of it is total garbage IMHO but still totally successful so I guess the difference between SG-1 and F4 is Jessica Alba and Michael Siklis).

I guess the way we have it now is kind of ok. DVD movies as an end for SG-1, a character from SG-1 over on Atlantis (Star Trek reference: Worf on DS-9 rocked)... maybe everything will work out fine.

And a new show is on the way too. We'll see.

I also agree that his was a "real" season finale not like SG-1 but as I mentioned there SG-1 did not end with the last episode of season 10, it will end with the DVD-movies.

June 24 2007 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jccalhoun

It was a decent episode but I found it odd that they didn't manage to put in a line about Teyla's people back on the mainland. Now they are stuck there with no stargate and probably no way to contact anyone off world.

June 24 2007 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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