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November 1, 2014

Stargate Atlantis: The Kindred -- Part 2

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 1st 2008 12:00PM

Michael thinks Teyla's child will be something wonderful and powerful.

(S04E19) "Just another day in outer space." -- Colonel John Sheppard

Now, let me introduce to you...the one and only Carson Beckett! Is he live or is he Memorex? That was the question on everyone's minds this week as fan favorite Dr. Beckett returned to Stargate Atlantis after his unceremonious death last season. Of course, Dr. Keller told us at the very beginning of the episode that he was Carson Beckett. This didn't mean squat, though, because there was a whole episode for that claim to be disputed.

So, was Carson actually Carson or something entirely different? And, what happened with Teyla and Michael? For that, read on.

Well, it really seemed like he was Carson after telling his story to Rodney: he was captured two years ago in an earlier meeting with Michael and then coerced to conduct medical experiments for his cause. It sounded very convincing, and I'm sure Carson himself believed all of it. It just looks like those memories were imprinted on his brain when he was cloned. Notice I said cloned -- not a Replicator: Carson is a clone created by Michael, As it has Beckett's memories, and his personality strengths and weaknesses, one would think that it was a fairly good duplicate.

But, as we all learned in the Michael Keaton movie Multiplicity, everytime you build a duplicate of yourself expect to see a bit of degradation. In the case of Carson the issue is with his cells, which aren't regenerating fast enough to keep his body going. In other words, he's dying from the inside out. However, Carson isn't a quitter and proved he would do anything to halt his imminent death.

Even if it meant going on a mission with Sheppard and McKay to rescue Teyla from the ashy clutches of Michael. Unfortunately, all that got Beckett was a shot to the chest and the revelation that Michael is able to mind link to Carson and stop him from doing something drastic -- like killing Michael himself. However, since Michael is a hybrid and Beckett was injected with Wraith enzymes for the longest time, I could see this being an advantage once Carson gets out of stasis, especially if Teyla can help him control the link.

You read correctly...Carson had no other choice but to be put in stasis. When they discovered Michael's lab it turned out that he didn't have any antidote in his jacket pockets to pass along to Beckett. I was expecting something like this when it came to the return of Carson. Not only does it allow him to return to Atlantis next season (he is cast in five episodes) but it brings him into the whole 'Get Michael' storyline. I will say that his good-bye to the cast of Atlantis was pretty heart-wrenching. Here he is, back with the people that were his family for so many years, and now he has to leave them again for an unknown period of time.

Meanwhile, back at the Hybrid Ranch, there's good news and bad news for Teyla. The good news was the reunion with many of her fellow Athosians that disappeared off of her home planet. The bad news is Michael has been experimenting on a number of them, including father of her unborn son. This number eventually included Teyla herself, and not because Michael despises her. His interest is in her unborn son. As I speculated in last week's review, this is going to be one powerful Athosian as he has the combined Gift of both his mother and his father. What Michael wants with this baby isn't too clear, although I'm sure it has to do with the defeat of the Wraith and his dominance in the Pegasus Galaxy. That, or he's just ready to settle down and have some kids. It could go either way.

To me, Michael may be the greatest threat to the members of Atlantis. Sure, the Replicators and Wraith had cunning and firepower behind them but, as a whole, they don't have the main thing that makes Michael so dangerous -- he knows them. He especially knows Teyla, who was with him when he found out he was a Wraith. Because of that they have a certain bond that makes them nearly inseparable when they meet. If this next episode were to be the end of Michael I think that they'd have a hard time finding another person to fill that gap, particularly since the whole Weir-Replicator storyline is out the window.

A few additional notes:

  • I can't say if there were more commercials this time around, but this episode of Stargate Atlantis went very fast for me. Perhaps it was because I was waiting to see the fate of both Beckett and Teyla and I mentally moved time ahead.
  • Ronon grabbing Carson and giving him a hug -- he's just a old softie at heart.
  • My gosh, Rodney has certainly changed over the last season. His whole demeanor shifted this episode when he was reunited with Beckett. Maybe it was a bit of guilt for not getting together with Carson before he got caught in the explosion. Either way, I'm okay with this version of Rodney. Not all of the time mind you, but certainly on these occasions.

On next week's season finale -- a little romance, a little fighting, and an abandoned city of Atlantis.

Who is the greatest threat to the Atlantis team
The Replicators (in the past)29 (9.5%)
The Wraith41 (13.4%)
Michael120 (39.2%)
The previously used plots from other science fiction programs.116 (37.9%)

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Angela

I enjoyed the return of Carson, although he's not in the next episode and the next one is the finale. So will he come back in season 5? Let's hope. The next episode with Sheppard sounds really cool. I'm almost as excited to see the sneak peek trailer for Ark of Truth during Atlantis Friday as I am to see the episode though! http://stargatehub.com/

March 05 2008 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Boomstick

Most of the Atlantis plot themes and story arcs are ripoffs of other sci-fi shows. Especially the original SG-1 story arcs. Alternate timelines, dream realities, robot dopplegangers, and the ever faithful fallback story - duplicate clones. I am really disappointed that the writers of this show developed such good characters that we as viewers were able to get attached to them only to find out that the writers are unable to develop any original storylines for them.

Personally, I was half expecting Beckett to be a Replicator. I think that would have been the better move. We have already seen replicator doubles. This would have been a great tie-in with the Weir double that we have already seen after the destruction of the Replicator planet. And a coalition between Michael and the Rebel Replicators would have been a delicious turn of events for the Pegasus galaxy. Or maybe not even an alliance. Perhaps Michael took a Replicator Beckett hostage.

Either way, I thought the whole clone angle was cheap. The Replicator angle may have been just as cheap, but it was already part of the storyline.

Maybe they can inject Beckett with some of the same nanites that Weir had keeping her brain intact, to combat the cellular degradation of the clone.

I really think the writers of Atlantis are stealing their ideas from old scripts of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_the_Long_Ladder

Ronan's storylines eerily mirror Andromeda scripts.

March 03 2008 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Boomstick's comment
Akbar Fazil

Clones and their duplication degradation was hardly a new story line when ST:TNG did it. And Atlantis ripping off SG1? How about the fact that SG1 (even in its first seasons) were rehashing old plots and story lines into scifi.

Face it, everything has been done. The best we can hope for is a new take or twist on an old story. For me, SG1 and Atlantis have always managed to do that.

March 04 2008 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
teeb

Seems a bit weird that Zelenka doesn't appear at all, when he and Beckett were pretty close. He didn't even get to say goodbye!

Good episode, though. Looking forward ot next week's season finale.

March 02 2008 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

OH I forgot that the Teyla storyline is also a lot like Charmed when Piper was pregnant with Wyat. Wyat was supposed to have been a very powerful being to. So this storyline is why over done now.

March 02 2008 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

This whole Teyla thing with the child is beginning to sound like Anakin and Star Wars. I truly don't like the Teyla story line. I used to love Stargate Atlantis but once they started getting rid of some of the main characters I lost interest. Now they are copying other Sci Fi plots and so forth. Sad , very sad. Sad to see a good show being done this way.

March 02 2008 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sue

I loved Carson's comment, "No wonder I felt like a dog's breakfast..." Nice shout out to David Hewlett's film, "A Dog's Breakfast".

March 01 2008 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sue's comment
Usama

Oh yeah I forgot to mention that! I caught that too. It was great of them to do that.

March 01 2008 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

I was pretty satisfied with the episode. There were some loose points here or there as usual, like why didn't they take two teams to secure the one ship on that planet Michael was working w/ the clones or whatever. That would've been usual protocol.

Anyway they can't make the Beckett that died the clone because (very astutely) they made these clones not-so-perfect in that they require weekly injections. So if that Carson had been a clone he would've died in a matter of weeks. The only way around it would've been if Michael had developed the ability to make perfect clones, and that I wouldn't have liked so much.

That last scene w/ Beckett going into stasis WAS heart wrenching.

March 01 2008 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Something must be wrong with me because I thought the whole return of Carson Beckett was a great let-down. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the character and thought it was beyond stupid for the writers to kill him off (altough I've grown to really like Dr. Keller), but these two episodes didn't do much for me. I would much rather have concentrated on Teyla and her baby.

March 01 2008 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cynthia

Is it just me. or is Michael obsessed, i.e. in love with Teyla. I'm sorry it just seems to be what I sense when the characters are together. I do admit that it does have a little Darth Vader sense about it- he can read minds, but it's cool anyway. The needle in the bump was a little cheesy though.

March 01 2008 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

"the one and only Carson Beckett"

Very nice touch to the beginning of the review.

Are the writers so ignorant or cocky that they can't admit to their mistake and make this Beckett the real one and the old one a clone or Rep?

I want Beckett back full time. They can pretend that the other one was a mess up and someone else dead and that they found the real Beckett now and he could go see his mother. The writers had several ways to fix their mistake and they didn't. Instead we had an episode in which the whole time I went "This is the best actor on the show and the best character", yet he is dead. Stupid writers, I will never forgive them for killing off Beckett.

March 01 2008 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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