Stargate Atlantis: Ghost In The Machine
(S05E05) It's a strange week for Stargate Atlantis. Normally we talk about the episodes of various shows, be they good or bad, based on what was on the screen that week. Behind the scenes goings on occasionally come into play, but rarely to the extent that they do for "Ghost In The Machine." There's a lot of back story to this one, and now that I've seen it I find myself thinking as much about what could have been, as what it is we actually saw. And really, I'm not sure whether or not that's a good thing.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5
As we all know, this episode picks up on the cliffhanger ending to "Be All My Sins Remember'd." It's a story I've been wanting to see the conclusion of since about two minutes after that episode finished. Knowing a little bit about what went on behind the scenes as they tried to put this one together though, makes it hard to really grade it based solely on what ended up on the screen.
As the producers have said, this story was written with the idea that they would have Torri Higginson back as Repli-Weir. There were even hints that it was to be the launching pad for a much bigger arc. Unfortunately, as has been documented, difficult relations between Higginson and the producers eventually put the kibosh on both of those things.
The return of Michelle Morgan (Heartland) as Weir/FRAN was the solution. And, I have to say, given what they had to work with, it was a fairly clever and successful one. I liked her short stint as FRAN, and I thought she did a great job here capturing the Weir persona. Certainly, given the choice, I would have much rather seen Higginson return, but I was pretty happy with how the change worked out.
The return of Weir set the table for a whole host of odd reactions from the crew. It's something that was probably increased a bit given that she was in FRAN's body, but I think it would have played out much the same had this been done with Higginson. Some of those reactions were to be expected. Woolsey and Ronon being against pretty much everything, for example. Or Sheppard's conflict over so desperately wanting it to really be Weir, but knowing the dangers the replicators represent.
The one bit of it that really surprised me was Teyla's reaction to Weir asking if her son was with her on Atlantis. It surprised me not only because Teyla lied, saying he was off world, but also because the question gave me the odd feeling that there was much more too it. Like they were somehow mixed up in the whole business of Torren being a special child. Perhaps that was a remnant of the bigger arc that was mentioned.
For the most part, it was a well done story. I liked finally having an answer to just what the replicators were up to. And the story on Atlantis played out well. Of particular note was Woolsey's big bluff. I've now been won over by Woolsey being in charge at Atlantis. I was sure he was going to cave to keep the city from being sunk. When he made his bluff, it was a great moment for the character.
The escape, and resulting shenanigans, of Koracen (Robert Moloney) did offer up a couple of issues. First, with all the hand wringing over the security and access that the replicators would have as they went about their work, how did he have access to take control of the force field, and other systems? And second, I would have thought that about ten seconds after "The replicators are coming" people would have been digging the anti-replicator weapons out of mothballs. Sure, Weir saving Sheppard's bacon by giving Koracen the four fingered lobotomy was a cool scene, but the business of "just keep shooting them" didn't set right.
Where they really lost me though, was the ending. It just really didn't make any sense to me. I get that it was Weir sacrificing herself to save the city, but I just can't see how anyone on Atlantis went along with it. We've already seen that dropping the replicators in space doesn't actually kill them. They managed to take a group of people who they thought were a danger to the city, and gave them a reason to be pissed off. I suppose it leaves the door open to revisit the story again in the future, but that could have also been accomplished by a newer, more secure, environment for them to do their work in. They could have worked away, rarely being seen or acknowledged, like Kanaan and the Athosians, ready to appear should the need arise.
Overall, I'm left with mixed feelings. I think the ideas for what was to come from the Weir story were good, but whether or not that is to go anywhere now looks to be in doubt. Perhaps something will come from the information on the various systems that Weir gave to Rodney. While the idea was good, I just didn't buy that ending, and I can't shake the nagging thought of what could have been.
Other fun bits:
I'd be up for getting a look at the flying monkeys. The descriptions alone were very funny.
Very cool CGI in the opening. I especially liked the gate re-orienting itself after the jumper crashed into it.
Woolsey being dumped on the balcony. He does inept so well.
|Sad, but a good ending to the story.||80 (19.9%)|
|Ok, but I'm left thinking it could have been more.||218 (54.2%)|
|Bah. I left with Torri.||104 (25.9%)|