Stargate Atlantis: Broken Ties
(S05E03) I have to admit, when I saw in the previews last week that we were getting a Ronon episode, I wasn't exactly excited. I figured it would be another stand alone episode, probably ok, but I don't usually think of Ronon as a character to carry the big load. Having now watched "Broken Ties," I'll say I was pleasantly surprised. Jason Momoa took advantage of being given the A-story and delivered his best performance to date. And along the way we got a little more background on Woolsey, and some answers to Teyla's burning question.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5
Or maybe I should call that Teyla's smoldering question, because it really seems that fire has been going for quite a long time. I was glad to see it finally addressed, and I liked how it all came about. When Sheppard finally put his foot down and told Teyla that she has to make a decision, I felt like I was sharing his frustration. The will she or won't she of returning to the team really was left hanging out there for too long. It is great to have Teyla back on the team. I'm left wondering what that means for Torren and Kanaan. I suspect they'll quickly be shuffled to the back burner and we'll hear them being talked about much more than we'll see them.
Perhaps the one good thing that came from the drawn out decision process was the interaction of Woolsey and Teyla. It painted him in a good light and also served to give us just a little more background on him. The new boss is divorced, a dog lover, and feels right at home in a suit. Woolsey continues to win me over. His struggles with not being able to open the door to the conference room, and his reaction to being handed Torren, were both very funny, and help to make you sympathize with the character.
We also got another peek at the Sheppard/Woolsey dynamic this week. Sheppard is getting his way, but he's not being allowed to just walk all over Woolsey. Something we saw as he was forced to pause and get the go ahead for his mission, just so everything was by the book.
The episode gained a lot by being a continuation from season four's "Reunion." Tying up the loose ends from that episode wasn't actually high on my radar, but I really like Mark Dacascos. The fact that it brought him back into the fold was reason enough to go forward with the story.
The story of Ronon being brainwashed did kind of echo that of Teal'c from season five of SG-1, but we are fast approaching the 300th episode in the Stargate universe. I suppose if you try hard enough you can find something like that for most any episode. For me, the episode set itself apart enough that it didn't matter.
It was pretty clear that Tyre didn't have good intentions when he kidnapped Ronon, but the addiction angle to the reverse feeding was something I didn't see coming. It was an interesting way to go. For one, it provided a way to redeem Tyre quickly, so he could be trusted by the team. And it also created a way for Ronon to be turned by the Wraith without giving in. He wasn't beaten mentally, it was a physiological reaction to his system being overwhelmed with the Wraith enzymes. They even made a note of just how much of the crazy juice he had in his system.
Where I was fooled was the big showdown. Initially I thought Ronon was playing along to stop the torture and look for his chance. That all kind of went out the window when the team showed up and he punched Sheppard in the face. At the same time, I was still expecting Tyre to turn on the team, so his sudden betrayal came as no surprise. It didn't all come clear until after the Wraith got his hand cut off. With the way it was shot, initially it seemed that Ronon had done it. Alas, the next cut was to Ronon, with his sword still undrawn, and things finally started to make sense.
On the negative side, I have two minor complaints about the episode. First, that was probably the least impressive Wraith baddie I've seen on the show. Partly the voice, and partly the makeup, but he just didn't seem to command the fear and creepiness I"ve come to expect. And second, the Wraith really could use more lighting in their ships and bases.
The big battle with the sword fight was great, but damn was it ever dark. I just kept thinking, maybe some indirect lighting that could be tucked out of the way so as not to detract from the architectural integrity of the veined walls. Ya know, that, or maybe a sconce or two. Or maybe I just shouldn't watch the DVR'd copy of Design Star while waiting for Atlantis to start.
Some final notes: The actor that played the Wraith, Tyler McClendon, is a Sci Fi superstar, having also appeared on SG-1, Eureka, and Battlestar Galactica. Sean Campbell, who played Solen Sincha, has been on SG-1 as well. Sheppard had the funniest line of the night with his reaction to McKay's explanation about bathing and problem solving, "I'm not taking a bath with you." All things considered, a solid entry. Season five is off to a good start.
|Awesome. More Ronon please.||84 (35.1%)|
|Better than I expected. Good stuff.||111 (46.4%)|
|Eh. Below average episode.||30 (12.6%)|
|Good grief. It was as bad as that wig they're making Momoa wear.||14 (5.9%)|