Stargate Atlantis: Search and Rescue
(S05E01) "What do you like, Duff Beer, or Oprah Ale?" - John Sheppard
And just like that, our old friends from Atlantis are back... for a little while. I continue to be baffled by the scheduling department over at Sci Fi. My best guess is that all programming is set in place at the whim of a 16 year old intern suffering from a mind boggling case of unmedicated ADD. He's followed up the senseless Battlestar break by promising an equally annoying split in the Atlantis season. I never understood it when they were doing it to Farscape, and I still don't get it. Whatever the case, our half of a season kicked off by tying up those loose ends from the season four finale, and dropping the bomb that launches season five.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5
As I said in the early look, this really was S04E21, not that it's a bad thing. Due to the cliffhanger, there was bound to be some of that. And with a whole season left to get into the new season five arc, I was actually happy that they took the time to finish out this story, especially given the rushed nature of the season four finale. That being said, let's hit on the high points of the premiere.
I was actually tripped up by that opening scene. When we saw Sheppard and Teyla sitting there, I thought we were being set up for a flashback to days, or weeks, earlier. Sheppard's failing memory and the appearance of Ford brought us right back to reality though, as clearly this had to be a dream.
Back in that reality, I was, for the most part, pretty happy with how things played out. The boys being trapped in the rubble of Michael's compound worked out just as you would expect. Watching McKay and Lorne banter was a great way to get back into the spirit of Atlantis. I love that McKay just completely forgets that Lorne has a broken leg. And the discovery of Michael's wiki, as odd as it was to hear McKay using that term, is something to put a pin in. That pile of information could prove to be very important later. Meanwhile, much lower in the rubble, Sheppard and Ronon were taking turns being so very heroic, just as they should be.
The self destruct alarm that brought Michael back into play set the stage for the daring rescue, and made me thankful that my cable company finally came through with the Sci Fi HD. I'm still a sucker for big space battles, and it made for a great line from Michael, "Well, I guess we're fighting after all." The ultimate destruction of Michael's ship looked great, but I'm sure there is more story to be told there.
The daring rescue, for the most part, was very good. I liked the plan to sneak in under the cover of the 302 attack. Once they made it in, the one bit I was a little unsure of was the birth of the baby. Was that really necessary? Was there not enough drama with Sheppard running the mission with critical injuries, the rescuing of Teyla, and a resolution for her relationship with Kanaan?
I will admit that it did provide a great Rodney scene as he freaked out over having to deliver the baby. He had a number of great lines. "Can't you just hold it in?" "Underhand him, alright? I've never been good at baseball." And my favorite, his proud declaration after the fact, "I caught it. Didn't hit the floor or anything." Perhaps it was worth including for that alone, but it did feel like a little much.
Back to the mission, if the 302 attack to sneak in was good, the escape was even better. I'm glad that Teyla got to settle things with Kanaan, and his character was redeemed. It really is a tragic ending to a long running story, but they can't all be happy endings. Putting the team in the storage device and sneaking out in a dart was a clever solution.
Back on Atlantis, we had my favorite scene of the night, between Sheppard and Teyla. Her thanks, and his insistence that it wasn't necessary. It's a small scene, but I thought it capped off Sheppard's refusal to be sidelined and leave a teammate in danger very well. I'm also curious as to whether this, and that opening dream sequence, are harbingers of romance to come for Sheppard and Teyla. I'm iffy on that, because it's really never been a strength of the Atlantis team. Teyla naming her son after Sheppard was also a very nice moment. And it did provide me with a trivia based chuckle. Little Torren John is played by a girl, named Annalise, and she already has her very own IMDB page. Cute.
Now, getting to season five. With so much to finish up from the finale, there wasn't a lot to be learned here. First is the introduction of Captain Vega (Leela Savasta). I haven't decided how I feel about that yet. We haven't really seen enough of the character to really form an opinion on her. But the introduction just seemed a little forced. It actually reminded me of Kennedy from Buffy, oddly enough. Whedon just jammed her in there and expected viewers to accept it when she hadn't really earned her place. I felt a bit of that when Vega was suddenly sitting in the jumper with McKay, Carter, and Keller. Of course, I'm completely aware that my utter disdain for Kennedy is coloring my perception of Vega, so I'm happy to give her a pass here and see where it goes.
Finally, the biggie came in that very last scene. Returning to Earth, looking to get through her IOA evaluation as quickly as possible, Carter gets sacked. I liked Woolsey's explanation that someone with a "different skillset would be more suited" for the job. It just sounds so much like Woolsey. As far as what it means for the show? That's the $64000 question. Much of the ultimate success or failure of season five will ride on that decision. Given the time that we've had since the change was announced, I've actually started to warm up to the idea of Woolsey in command. I'm still rather skeptical, but curious to see how it plays out. The next few weeks should be very telling in that regard.
So, there is is. There were a couple bumps, but overall I'd give the premiere high marks. Season five is underway and it's great to have Atlantis back.
|Great. I love Robert Picardo.||140 (36.0%)|
|Look at me on the fence. We'll have to wait and see.||111 (28.5%)|
|Not sure, but it has to be better than the Carter experiment, right?||64 (16.5%)|
|Terrible. It's just never going to work.||48 (12.3%)|
|Whatever. Screw you guys, I'm going to livejournal to write some Weir fic.||26 (6.7%)|