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October 21, 2014

Stargate Atlantis: Missing

by Brett Love, posted Nov 10th 2007 9:20AM
Jewel Staite and Rachel Luttrell - Stargate: Atlantis
(S04E07) So far in season four we've had Ronon, McKay, and Sheppard episodes, so it was high time Teyla got one of her own. If that wasn't enough, she brought along Keller for some much needed screen time and character development. Of course, if Teyla was just heading home for a bit of the slap and tickle with her beau, it wouldn't make for much of an Atlantis episode. Luckily, for the viewers, it all went to hell and the whole gang got involved by the end.

Things went off the rails quickly. That bit of it came as a surprise to me. I'd managed to miss all of the previews so I came into this one completely blind. Between Sheppard's warning about the wine and that giant jar of lollipops in Keller's bag, I was expecting the two of them to walk into a big party as much as Keller was. Surprise or no, I was on board as soon as Teyla declared that something was wrong and made for the village. We get so much of the even tempered calm Teyla that it's good to see her just knock the crap out of some baddies on occasion.

While the Bola Kai wouldn't top my list of best foes to battle, they're not bad. The crazy face paint, primitive weapons (the jumbo saw blade throwing stars are awesome), and the whole idea that the pack is hunting them all worked really well. My biggest complaint with them would actually be one of omission. In case you didn't see it through the face paint, the leader, Omal, was played by Danny Trejo. While Trejo isn't what anyone would call a superstar, getting him is still a pretty nice addition for this show. I would have liked to see him get a little more to do.

It's possible that we haven't seen the last of the Bola Kai, which kind of points to what was one of the more interesting aspects of this episode. That being the fact that they left so many things open ended. What is Nable's real identity? Is he actually a Wraith worshiper? What became of the Athosians? Are they alive, as Nable hinted? If so, where are they? Did they flee, or did someone capture them? And of course, what medical mystery was Dr. Keller about to solve just before they rolled credits and left us all hanging? That last one was actually one of my least favorite parts of the show. It came off very soap like, as if it would have felt more at home with Dr. Scorpio saying that to Lulu on General Hospital. Plus, I think that cat got out of the bag a while ago, so with all of those other balls in the air, it would have been worth it to answer that question.

With much more weight to carry than in the normal episode, I thought both of the girls handled it well. It's something I've come to expect from Rachel Luttrell, and more than giving us any new insight into Teyla, this just reaffirmed what we already knew. For Keller and Jewel Staite though, this was a nice showing. She was very convincing as the fish out of water that didn't know how to deal with the circumstances she found herself in. She came through in the end, solidifying herself as part of the team. Her line about needing something to heal first, before plugging Nable in the leg, was very cool.

For Sheppard and the boys, there's not a lot to say. The rescue mission went exactly as you would expect. The one moment that stood out for me was the conversation between Ronon and McKay when Ronon mentions that the Bola Kai use arrows. It was a nice reference back to the season three episode "Sateda." McKay getting shot in the ass is always going to be funny. For me, it narrowly edged out the Bola Kai warrior walking around with the lollipop for the funniest gag of the night.

Overall, the episode falls short of "Tabula Rosa." But then, that was an exceptional episode. It was nice to get Teyla out in the forefront, and I'll never complain about more Jewel Staite on my television. Add to that the myriad of directions the story can go with all the open questions and I'd have to count this as a solid entry in the season four archive.

Yay or Nay on these episodes that focus on one of the characters?
Yay. It's a nice change of pace from the full team episodes.182 (67.9%)
Nay, things are always better when the team is working together.86 (32.1%)

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21 Comments

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teeb

"(S04E07) So far in season four we've had Ronon, McKay, and Sheppard episodes, so it was high time Teyla got one of her own. "

Ronon? McKay? Pff...

What we really need is a Zelenka episode...

November 13 2007 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadowdoc

I must have missed some key points prior to this episode. When Atlantis left Atlantia in the season three finale, did the Athosians, who were on the mainland, come aboard for the ride? And then got resettled to this planet? Plus, last I remember, there were a lot of Athosians....why then were there just a handfull of tents in the village? Shouldn't there be several settlements???

November 12 2007 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NavStar

Oh, and just exactly WHY is Amanda Tapping in the show? She looks tired... and puffy. She's barely used (if at all). Did the producers throw a bunch of money at her? Is she burned out after 10 years? (I'd be)

I feel like her scant apperances are ruining my good memories of Sam in SG1.

November 12 2007 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NavStar

Usually I hate these episodes (All Teal'c/Jaffa or Ronin/Satedans storylines bore me to tears). But I found this was pretty interesting character development.

I'm a Jewel Staite fan, but her character was such a wuss. I like the extreme contrast between the Dr. and Teyla. And I'm glad Dr. didn't turn into Linda Hamilton at the end of the episode.

But another primitive race of KISS cavemen? BOR-RING. I'd love to see another advanced race like Aschens.

November 12 2007 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

I've got a much easier explanation of the Bola Kai and their technology level.

They are a warrior tribe that is always on the run from the Wraith. They don't stick around long enough to learn new tech or master found tech. Their simple weapons serve them well to survive.

November 12 2007 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Morjana Coffman

Regarding Chuck's complaint: "Such a primitive tribe wouldn't be capable of space-flight, so it stands to reason that that would've been their home planet. And if you can assume that the Bola Kai have also spread out through the galaxy because of the stargate, then don't you think at some point they'd try and get better technology than bows and arrows? I don't buy it."

Just because the Bola Kai know how to use the Stargate to travel from planet to planet, doesn't necessarily mean they would also upgrade their weapon technology -- and there could be several reasons for having primitive weapons, including:

1) Perhaps the Bola Kai tribal religion prescibes not only the cannibalism, but also the manner on how their prey is killed -- with primitive weapons.

2) The firearms that the Genii have (projective weapons) require bullets to work. Whereas the Bola Kai can acquire the actual weapons, they don't have the knowledge/skills to manufacture the bullets. And perhaps their homeworld doesn't have a sporting goods store franchise.

3) And if Ronon's weapon also requires to be reloaded, then again, they run into the same problem with manufacturing the ammunition.

4) We don't have a clue as to how the Wraith weapons work, but I'm guessing they're similar to the Goa'uld weapons, and in that they too require a renewable energy source. In the Goa'uld weapons, it was liquid naquada. So again, the Bola Kai could acquire the weapons, but what do they do to in finding replacement energy sources?

Morjana

November 11 2007 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

I liked the episode, but I don't buy the Bola kai for a second. In this galaxy, this race of people is completely implausible. Here's why: you have a completely primitive race of people, right? Yet everyone seems to know who they are, right? (At least, Teyla and Ronin both knew quickly). Such a primitive tribe wouldn't be capable of space-flight, so it stands to reason that that would've been their home planet. So the Athosians should have known that before settling there.

And if you can assume that the Bola Kai have also spread out through the galaxy because of the stargate, then don't you think at some point they'd try and get better technology than bows and arrows? I don't buy it.

November 11 2007 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

DataDroid! I caught most of those, except the Bola Kai being Reaverlike. Well I mean I did think they were Reaverlike at first because of the face paint and the reputation they had (Teyla said something along the lines of nothing being left to find if you're caught by a Bola Kai), but then when they took the two as prisoners and questioned them and all that I was like, okay maybe they're not straight up Reavers. But still, you're right. Did you catch who wrote this one?

p.s. - Rachel is always hot, but yes she looked especially nice in the coat.

November 11 2007 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DataDroid

First of all, how hot was Rachel in that outfit? Anyone with me on this one?

Anyway, was I the only one to notice several Firefly/Serenity references in this episode? First, the Bola Kai initially appeared very Reaver-like (rumored to be cannibals, use primitive weapons, alter the appearance of their faces, etc.), Second, when Teyla fights a group of them, the camera angles and moves used almost mirror those used by River in Serenity. Thirdly, Teyla eventually ends up fighting them with, what else, a blade and an axe. Finally, do my eyes deceive me, or was Teyla wearing a large BROWN coat for nearly the entire episode.

November 11 2007 at 2:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

I didn't like the episode yet it was a good one. There were twists and turns. The writing was good. There was plot development short and long-term.

Yet it felt meh for me.

The reason is simple:the only part I liked was when the team was back in action at the end, with the weapons being fired. That's the kind of action I like.

Still this one was better than any DS9 Ferengi episode. They pulled at least three of those out of their asses every season and I hated them all.

November 10 2007 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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