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Stargate Atlantis: This Mortal Coil

by Brett Love, posted Dec 8th 2007 10:30AM
David Hewlett;Torri Higginson;Jason Momoa - Stargate Atlantis
(S04E10) We've all been waiting for it since October, and this week we got the return of Dr. Weir. Kind of. If that wasn't enough to capture your interest, the SciFi channel was also running promos all week letting you know that this was the last episode of 2007. Surely they wouldn't go into the break without a big episode, right? Kind of.

I actually thought that this was a very good episode that was stopped short of being great by two things. One of them my fault, and one the fault of the producers. First, I am guilty of building this one up too much ahead of time. With the show going on a break after this one, my expectations were for something much more monumental in the overall story with the battle between the Wraith and the Replicators. It was still important, to be sure, but ended up being so more as a preview to what is to come, as we saw in that terrific final scene. "Oh crap."

Now, as for the producers, they have to take a hit for the decided lack of Carter in this episode. I know it's a part time gig and she's not going to be in every episode, but come on. Hi, I'm a replicator, and I've got a whole crew of replicators with me here, and we'd like to meet to give you some badass replicator fighting tech. But don't bother bringing your commanding officer into the loop. Surely she has more pressing issues than that to deal with!

If I had to choose, I would put myself in the camp that would rather still have Weir running the show on Atlantis, so maybe I am a little biased, but I was still alright with the idea of bringing Carter in. If they are going to do that though, they need to do it right. As much as I like Carter, the implementation of her character has been the weakest part of the season so far.

Getting to the main story of the episode, the replicated Atlantis team, I really liked the way it played out. The previews made it pretty clear that we were going to be seeing the replicated doubles, but the process by which they came to be did come as a surprise to me. Both the program to achieve ascension and the fact that Rodney's mucking about with the replicator code enabled the creation of the doubles were very good.

I did find myself wondering the same question when the team found out that the data for the dupes came from when their minds were probed. Where is Beckett? The explanation that Weir served as an update to the system worked well enough, but I couldn't help thinking that the show would have worked just as well the other way. Had Sheppard headed off to get tested and ran into Beckett, things would have been the same for his character. Clean bill of health, and suspicion of foul play.

From the viewer standpoint though, it would have made things all the more confusing. I wouldn't have jumped right to replicators in that case. I would have been more likely to think we were entering into the story through one of the character's dreams. That's neither here nor there though, but it is fun to think about.

The big meetup of the two teams was much like I expected it to be. The two Teyla's calmly contemplated what was going on. The two Ronon's looked like they wanted to fight. The two Rodney's had an immediate love fest, and their banter was so close to being the best part of that scene. Unfortunately, they were topped by OGSheppard's reaction to seeing OtherSheppard. "Great. Last time I came face to face with myself, I ended up kicking my own ass."

The duplicate team brought up an interesting ethical question as well. Who's to say what is more real or which one has any certain claim to people, places, or things? I would have loved to see at least one of the replicated team make it out of the diversion mission, but I never thought it would happen. It is a story that can be done very well, calling to mind the two Chrichton's on Farscape.

Finally, the destruction of Atlantis, paying off the prediction from "The Seer." That did serve as a nice bit of continuity between episodes, but it also stood out,as Carter was the one with that vision. Yet, here, when it's all going down, she's nowhere to be found. It's like if you had received a vision and saw that the turn signals on my Chevy Luv project were going to stop working whenever I turn on the headlights. It's kind of cool that you knew that was going to happen, and if you have any ideas for the fix I'm all ears, but at the end of the day, you're just not involved in that, which makes the whole thing a little odd.

So, ten in the books and we are done until January. Overall, I think it's been a pretty solid first half. I'm looking forward to picking things back up next month and getting a little deeper into the Wraith/Replicator smackdown. Until then, Happy Holidays, and whatnot.

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CallMeMellow

"It is a story that can be done very well, calling to mind the two Chrichton's on Farscape."

Man, I wish that Farscape hadn't ended when it did...think the rumor mill has a couple movies on the way though.. Now if we can just get FireFly back on....

The duplicate story can also be done very poorly - say ST:TNG Riker duplicate for instance - the premise was fine, but the execution was abyssmal ( and the acting not much better).

December 28 2007 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordo

This has not been send in Germany so far.

I don't know this episode because currently they are running Season 3 in TV.

I postet an article about Rachel Luttrell into my Blog: http://www.gordosweblog.de/2007/12/22/rachel-luttrell-sexy-fotos/

December 22 2007 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snarkella

SGA is in no way the wonderful show it used to be. Without Beckett and Weir it just falls flat, and most of the others seem like they'd rather be somewhere else. As long as TPTB refuse to admit they made a mistake and take steps to fix it, the ratings will continue to decline. It's a shame really.

December 12 2007 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grace

So many people can see that, but not TPTB. What is that? Fans could see from the moment they announced it that getting rid of Torri was a bad idea. They thought it was smart and was going to win them ratings.

Stupidity. Sheer stupidity. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson with the outcry over Beckett.

December 12 2007 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grace

The whole thing's becoming a joke.

This episode got 1.6 million viewers, which puts it around a 1.2 along with Adrift, the season opener. That's about the best it's done all season.

It seems nobody cares for the cast changes. People have been turned off by them. TPTB knew this was going to happen, unless they were completely brain-dead.

Then add to that that they're rehashing old SG1 storylines to bring in ideas for SGA, and it's a great big laughing stock.

If they were smart, they'd have used Carter and Keller recurring and kept Beckett and Weir. Their ratings and their storytelling would have been a lot better.

As it is, they've replaced the heart and soul of Atlantis with a hardly ever there, bland and boring SG1 character and a cry baby CMO who looks like she's barely out of nappies, let alone med school.

December 12 2007 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

"I am still hoping that we haven't seen the last of Dr. Weir, the real one. They could bring her back at the beginning of next season..."

As I've said before, SG-A is missing a great opportunity plot-wise by not having Weir and Sam together- military vs civilian, two entirely approaches, maybe even an implied triangle of some sort- and we SG-A faithfuls might even forgive what's been done.

December 09 2007 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KenMo

I agree with #14. I don't think the duplicates are all dead, it would be great to see one or more of them show up in the season finale.


Very good episode with the exception of the lack of Carter. Either she is in command or not.
To use her charater like this destroys what they built in SG-1.

She is so much smarter than Rodney. There should be all kinds of running battles between them. She just looks like another dumb blone commander at this point.

Better to put Sheppard in command and have her be his superior that comes in from time to time to check on things.

December 09 2007 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel

Well, overall it was a good episode, but I'm with everyone: you don't have to kill a cool story twist like copies of everyone off just because it messes with things. For instance, I really wish they hadn't killed off the robot SG-1 in their second appearance... it makes for really cool recurring characters, or, even better, the regular appearance of two of the same person would have been hilarious! But no, the status quo is soooo important...

I would like to think we haven't seen the last of Weir. And they didn't show them killing everyone, so perhaps there is more to see from them, just not immediately. Perhaps they'll take the extra folks captive. I would really, really like to see them again.

I also hope we see more of Weir... I'd like to think she's not really dead, and that fake-Keller just thinks they are.

Did anyone catch that subtle joke where McKay was about to do the very thing that, in the fake-Atlantis, had supposedly kept the gate broken? Funny!

Oh, and what was up with Replikeller saying they could become anyone, becoming a random face, then morphing back? I thought perhaps she would stay with that face, as maybe that's her "true" form, but nope. Odd.

It would have been interesting if we had another Repli-Carter on our hands, but bringing back Torri instead was nice.

I can't wait for January! I'm so happy my favorite franchise is still going strong. (knock on wood) I hope the third Stargate series is as good as the first two when it finally comes out. Speaking of which, shouldn't we be hearing some details by now, if they're targeting it for Fall 2008?

December 09 2007 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nathaniel's comment
Akbar Fazil

I am not convinced the duplicate team was dead. Or at least maybe not all of them. Maybe some of them died in the crash but were not killed by the Replicators. Remember it's scifi: no body, no death. ;)

December 09 2007 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

No offense Oreo but I'm wondering why you watch and the comment on the show? When I get sick as sick of a tv show as you have gotten sick of Atlantis I stop watching it. (It's why I haven't watched an episode of Smallville after the first year).

I was lucky enough to not have seen the promos. It's funny, I considered looking for the promo online because I had missed it. I guess it worked out really well that I had no idea what was going on going into the episode.

I really really liked that they didn't do anything really crazy to end this half of the season as they have done in the past. In fact I really loved the "oh crap" over black screen, and yes it's been done in other shows and it was just nice to see it on a Stargate episode. It was humorous but serious at the same time. Anyway we'll see how things turn out. The episode overall was good, not great, but it set things up for what I think weill be two to three big episodes next year.

December 08 2007 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Sam is only in 14 episodes, that has nothing to do with the movie shooting and everything with the creators doing a bad job.

December 08 2007 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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