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September 5, 2015

Stargate Atlantis: Lifeline

by Brett Love, posted Oct 6th 2007 9:02AM

david ogden stiers - torri higginson - stargate atlantis

(S04E02) I've been a fan of Atlantis from the beginning, but then I've been a fan of a boatload of shows that nobody watched. So, with SG-1 ending I was a little concerned over whether or not the little brother was ready to stand on its own. Even as it wound down in the uneven final season, being paired up with SG-1 is still a better match than sharing schedule space with Flash Gordon. Two episodes into Atlantis' big adventure though, I think the show is going to be just fine.

This week, the team made good on last week's plan to heist a ZPM from the Replicator home world, enabling them to bring the shield back to full capacity and find Atlantis a new home. I have to say, that idea worked very well. It provided a fun adventure, set up a very interesting exit for Dr. Weir, got Atlantis to its new planet, and set the stage for Carter to join the team.

Working from the top, the caper played out very well. It had a lot of the interplay between Sheppard and McKay, which is something I always enjoy. I find that more often than not I identify with Sheppard in those exchanges. McKay's incessant ramblings about all of the things that can go wrong always make me think of a line from Woody Allen in Scoop. Sondra tells him he always sees the glass half empty and he responds, "No. I always see the glass half full. Of poison!" That's McKay to me. So, it was funny to finally here Sheppard comment on it with his line, "It never ends with you, ya know."

Using the nanites inside of Weir to gain access to the Replicator mainframe was an interesting idea. I'm still on board with the Replicator story, so the more of them the better. It helps that they have Oberoth, who is such a great villain. He's also the main reason that I thought using the nanites just couldn't end well. I was glad to see that Sheppard did give the order to hit the kill switch, even if it didn't work. It's what I would expect from him, Elizabeth or not. Sheppard is a soldier first.

The added bonus of being able to run the Wraith-hunter command, for lack of a better term, was something I didn't see coming. It makes for a great story and offers the potential for some really cool battle sequences. It also gives the Atlantis team a bit of a break, which they could use right about now.

That gets us to the exit of Dr. Weir. News that this was coming has been floating around the internet for quite some time, so that part didn't come as a surprise, but the events that brought the exit about did. I was totally suckered by her ruse with Oberoth and thought that was a nice twist. And just as I started to think, "Now wait a minute, she's had the connection for 12 minutes and she's already gone all Neo on Oberoth's Agent Smith?" it all flipped again. This wasn't Weir taking over the Replicators, it was her doing her part to keep Atlantis safe. That's a good way to go out. Or, rather, kind of go out, because I can't imagine that we won't be seeing replicator Weir again at some point, in some form. It's something I'll look forward to.

I'm curious to learn about the new planet. I'm guessing that the impending war between the Wraith and the Replicators means that we have a fair amount of stand alone installments to look forward to before we get back to the heavier serialized episodes. And that's ok. When done right, those episodes work very well. An entire new planet, one with five moons no less, should offer up something to fill a Friday night.

Carter telling Sheppard that she isn't staying came as a bit of a surprise. That whole scene set up perfectly with the two of them there, the start of a new partnership. They look good together, and it really seems to fit. I am a bit sad to see Dr. Weir moving on, because I have always liked that character. All the same though, sometimes change is good and I think there is a lot of fun to be had with Carter and Sheppard together.

So, two down and I really don't have any major complaints. The only negative I have for this episode, and it's a small one, was how they dropped the little side plot with Teyla. Sheppard went into great detail explaining why she was staying behind, how if he didn't make it back she needed to be the leader and get people to safety. And then, when the chips were down and there was a chance that they actually wouldn't be making it back, nothing on that front. It would have been nice to get some sort of gauge as to how things were going back at the base during the mission. But that's not much, and if it's the worst we're going to see from Atlantis in season four, it's going to be a very good season.

What do you think about Dr. Weir leaving?
Crap, she was my favorite character.138 (28.5%)
It was a good story, looking forward to what's coming next.265 (54.8%)
Finally...geez.81 (16.7%)

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dr.weir was gorgeous and much more interesting character than carter

atlantis needs a new director, i'd like to see it become more gritty and character based than the lame deus-ex-machina format it seems to be churning out week after week, its basically become a poor mans star trek tos

November 03 2007 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

There will NOT be a Sheppard/Carter love story. In reunion we had a nice nod of Jacks picture in Sams bags. I think its clear (without coming out and saying it) that Sam and Jack have hooked up.

October 18 2007 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why has no one brought up the point that its Teyla that should have been booted. She is the weakest actor and the weakest character. Dr. Weir was finally gaining some personality and depth and now that she kicked Oberoth's butt she is super awesome.
I also agree I am a little worried about what Carter will bring to the show. My husband asked if they were going to start a Sheppard/Carter love story. I told him I hope not too many fans still want her with Jack.
I am hopeful, because I saw a surge in writing quality once SG-1 was canceled. I'm not sure if their writing staff no long felt stressed working with two shows or if they knew they had to step it up to stand on their own, but its working. Except for getting rid of Weir I think things will go well for Atlantis. Plus I'm so happy that the new Doctor is Kayli (sp?) from Firefly, even if I am still mourning the lost of the other Dr. Carter.
BTW I hear he will be back YaY!

October 13 2007 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Wow quiet_one, have some time travel device that allows you to see the future? So glad you know that we will never see Torri on the show again in Season 5!

Amanda did choose to come to Atlantis yes, but the offer was made to her to fill her contract. They still would have had to do something with her contract. My original point still stands...Torri was not taken off of the show to make room for Amanda which many people seem to believe. They were two separate decisions.

October 11 2007 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JM said that Amanda chose to come to Atlantis, she didn't have to but she did.

Torri wasn't booted from the show. They wanted to take her character in a new way.
Way to sugar coat it. They wanted her out. Torri herself said that TPB told her IF she wanted to she could do recurring work. So they would have been happy to just kill Weir off in First Strike had Torri not decided to do the 4 episodes. After her last episode in TMC we won't ever see her again. Yeah great new direction.

October 09 2007 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

For the record (at least how I remember it from being mentioned on J Mallozzi's [exec producer of the show] blog)
-Rainbow asked to be taken off the show. The pace of shooting and long days were too much for the actor.

-Changing Torri's status/Weir's Character was decided before the idea of bringing Carter over. So Torri wasnt removed to make room for Amanda.

-Torri wasn't booted from the show. They wanted to take her character in a new way.

-After SG-1 was cancelled, Amanda Tapping had a contract that needed to be filled. Putting her on Atlantis was a logical choice technically, we will just have to see how she works out on the show. I am more curious as to when this takes place compared to the upcoming SG-1 movies.

October 09 2007 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We'll probably never know the true nature of TH's leaving and AT's coming on board, but I do think Atlantis is going through deliberate growing pains.

With these changes, things are bound to be awkward, they're bound to be uncomfortable. If it was an instant "fit" people would have issues with it seeming too fake. I like that each character is dealing with the changes, instead of moving on like everything is fine.

I'm looking forward to future episodes, I hope Weir's next two episodes are just as strong, and I like Carter so far. The cast changes aside, with the new tone and theme, and the new flavor of writing and producing, season four looks like it's going to be the strongest season of Atlantis ever.

October 07 2007 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

I absolutely agree that the best episodes of Stargate are always the standalone. I think the same thing applies for Star Trek. Hopefully we will have some nice, tension-filled standalones this season.

And yea, I certainly hope they bring Weir back. She has to be one of the strongest actors ever to grace the Stargate franchise, and she will be sorely missed. (FYI, I liked the original Weir actress more too, but Weir made the role her own, eventually)

October 07 2007 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoy Stargate Atlantis. I thought that this season has started out wonderful; however, I am disappointed and upset that Torri Higginson has been dropped down to a recurring character. I was sorry to see that SG-1 was cancelled but they didn't need to bring Carter over to Atlantis. I like Carter's character, but please she should have stayed away or had just a few recurring episodes. I did like the way that they wrote Lifeline and that Dr. Weir was able to allow the team to steal the ZPM and allow them to escape. I am hopeful that the show gets picked up for another season and they bring Dr. Weir back. I also hope that they don't do to her what they did to Ford where she is never seen or heard from again. Please bring back Dr. Weir where she belongs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 07 2007 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm ticked if it is true that Torri was booted. She was one of the characters that made the show for me, and I was enjoying the ever-developing relationship between her and Shepard. Now, we've got Carter whose dynamic was great for SG-1, but seems to be an awkward fit for Atlantis. The unit now has two Colonels and no strong non-military leader from Earth. And there's already a strong science representation in the form of McKay. Plus, I've never seen a character transfer from another show that I've liked with the exception of Munch going from "Homicide" to "Law and Order: SVU".

Bring back Weir after Tapping's contract is up!

October 07 2007 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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