Stargate Atlantis: Quarantine
(S04E13) 'Wait, what are the other numbers?' -- Teyla
'42.' -- Sheppard
'What is that?' -- Teyla
'It's the ultimate answer to the great question of life, universe and everything.' -- Sheppard
I seem to be getting the episodes of Stargate Atlantis to review that remind me of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This week's episode, in which various members of the Atlantis team are trapped in different parts of the city after a false quarantine is declared, reminded me very much of the TNG episode 'Disaster', in which the crew members of the Enterprise are trapped in different parts of the ship after being struck by a quantum filament.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Quarantine
The difference between the two was that the episode of TNG was equal parts character driven and action. This week's Stargate episode was definitely heavy on the character interaction and development and light on the action (although there was one action sequence that was just terrific. More on that later.). Plus, it was a quiet episode. A very quiet episode. So much so that I fell asleep watching it.
That was probably more me and the exhaustive playboy lifestyle I lead than what was going on in the episode, but you could tell that it was one of those 'breather' episodes that they put in after a series of big installments. Plus, it was one of those 'fishbowl' shows (like TNG's 'Disaster') that took place just in the city of Atlantis itself -- mostly in the tower. Those are usually done when the budget is blown after a series of big episodes. I personally couldn't tell you if this story was run because of the cost of the special effects used in the previous episodes or because the characters needed to be fleshed out a bit more.
Regardless, 'Quarantine' did help give more dimension to the characters we have grown to love as well as set up some plot points for the future. Two of these plots involved relationships. One was the relationship of McKay and Katie -- probably one of the least physical relationships on television that I have ever seen. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but have you ever seen Katie and McKay show anything resembling love? You can tell that they like each other, sure, but there hasn't been any real measure of how far their relationship has gone. And now, out of the blue, McKay wants to marry her.
Of course, it was destined not to be. McKay, despite the growing he has done in the last year-and-a-half, still has lots of problems. One of them being extreme negativity. With Dr. Brown being a fairly positive force in his life, I'm really not too sure how these two would have made it as a couple. We may never find out, since it seems that their relationship may be over. At least that's what I saw from their last conversation before the credits rolled.
As an aside, let me say that Rodney must have felt totally impotent without anyway to investigate what was going on with the quarantine. He didn't have a tablet, or a desktop, or anything that he could use to communicate with the other team members. I guess he felt like many of us do when computer issues deny us use of the Internet or our email. Gosh, isn't modern technology wonderful?
The other relationship we saw was between Ronon and Dr. Keller. Well, they were really seeds of a relationship -- we really don't know how it will turn out. Their mutual affection could have been a result of the dire straits they thought they were in. On the other hand, their attraction to each other has been simmering for awhile now, and this may have been the spark to ignite their passion. Man, I sound like a romance novel!
Anyway, I am interested to see where this relationship goes. Ronon is a man's man, yet he definitely has his sensitive side, which he displayed to Jennifer this week. Dr. Keller, who many of us thought the weakest link of the team, is showing a good amount of strength and could be a very good partner for Ronon. I hope that this isn't a plot thread that is left to dangle.
In addition to these relationships there were also some surprises in characterization. One was Zelenka. After so many episodes where Rodney comes in to save the day it was very refreshing to see Radek be the man on the white horse (it must've killed McKay when he heard about it). Why David Nykl is not a full-time member of the cast is beyond me: he has great potential to be the anti-McKay. In other words, a less self-absorbed version of Rodney.
Another surprise was Sheppard. I know that John is smart, but I didn't realize how smart he was. He was able to pull Rodney's very long password out of memory, and he was able to rattle off to Teyla what the numbers meant. I mean, I certainly know why he knew what the number 42 meant since he's full of pop culture references, but to rattle off the birth date of Isaac Newton...now that's retention!
The most exciting part of the episode was Shep's climb up the tower to the control room. I know that it was all special effects, but they were done so well that I had a case of vertigo when the camera showed the Colonel's climb. I was even nervous that John would slip and fall down the tower. It was a very well done sequence.
Next week -- Shep and Rodney try to protect a princess from their most trusted allies.
|Ronon and Dr. Keller||206 (49.3%)|
|Teyla and Sheppard||93 (22.2%)|
|McKay and Katie Brown||25 (6.0%)|
|McKay and Samantha Carter||35 (8.4%)|
|None of the above||59 (14.1%)|