Stargate Atlantis: The Queen
(S05E08) On paper, "The Queen" looked to have a lot of potential. The team was back together and off on an adventure. Even better, this wasn't some standalone excursion to an unknown planet that we wouldn't be seeing again. The story was set to tie the research that was recently discovered in Michael's lab in with the ongoing story of Todd. For the most part, all of that added up to a very good episode.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5
It actually took me a little while to get into the episode. The reasons for that are twofold. First, the miraculous transformation of Teyla into a Wraith queen. That's a really big deal. The kind of big deal that deserves some kind of explanation. My initial thought was that with all of the monkeying with Michael's research, Keller was able to also create a modified retrovirus. That really doesn't make sense though. It would require much more testing before being put to use on anyone, let alone Teyla. Also, she did say she was going to perform surgery.
I suppose we can chalk it up to crazy space plastic surgery, but given the dramatic change, even that is pushing some limits. Whatever it was, it really seems like a point that deserved some detail. Something more than rubbing iodine on the back of Teyla's hand anyway. The quick jump from preparing to operate to all done felt rushed, and lacking. Frankly, I would have bought into it more if they had just said they were doing movie makeup, and relying on Teyla's DNA to sell it.
The other bit that just wasn't working for me was Dr. Keller. As we move along, I'm starting to find the character more and more annoying. It's long past time for her to grow up. If we look back to when she joined Atlantis, she was unsure if she was up to the job. That's a fine starting point for a story. The problem is that it appears to be a story that the writers really don't want to tell. Keller keeps having all of these experiences that should be leading her character to learn and grow, but then we keep seeing the same character over and over.
It really stuck out when she was all nervous and freaked out by going to meet with Todd. Really? After all that she's seen and done? This is still the reaction that she has? It makes one question why she hasn't been bounced back to Earth by now, or at least demoted to a research position. Especially with a perfectly capable Dr. Beckett available to resume the duties.
Once those two things were out of the way, business started to pick up. The idea to work with Todd, using the new treatment, is complicated. They did cover the possibility that the newly non-feeding Wraith could enslave planets. They forgot the most obvious issue though. With Todd's alliance now not dependent on that food supply, are they not in the same position as the Replicators? It's not a big jump to think that they would turn to trying to reduce the food supply for competing alliances.
Despite that possible future issue, the advantages gained by Todd make a reasonable case for him to be on board with the plan. That, and the look at the inner workings of hive-alliance politics, was enough to capture my interest. Where things really got good though, was when out of nowhere, Todd killed the Wraith queen and put the knife in Teyla's hand. Totally didn't see that coming. That this is how power exchanges are made in Wraith politics makes perfect sense. And Todd's double cross, using the Atlantis eagerness to get him on board, was very clever.
It leaves so much up in the air. Does Todd really have interest in the new treatment? Or was that all just a part of his plan to seize control of the alliance? And we have to factor in what happened on the ship as well. Teyla clearly took advantage of her position to destroy a whole mess of Wraith. That can't be good for Atlantis/Wraith relations. But she also holds the trump card of still being the queen of the ship. I doubt that we'll actually see her under cover again, but it does leave Todd somewhat under her thumb.
Of everything that happened on the Wraith ship, I only had one minor issue with it. The hive ships, and the space battle, looked great. But did that battle make no sense to anyone else? Given that Teyla had just taken over the Primary's ship, I think we can assume that it would be the most capable in their fleet. How is it then that the best ship, with the element of surprise, is drastically losing the battle? Teyla launches her darts and half of them get destroyed, but the other ship can launch their darts without worry? It all felt just a little too convenient, like the only reason that the battle was going that way was because they had already decided on Sheppard saving the day.
At the end of the day, I'd call this a very good episode. The shenanigans with the transformation, and my growing annoyance with Keller, stop it short of being great. On the other hand, the double cross by Todd, and the look inside the Wraith alliance were both top notch. Also worth noting that Rachel Luttrell did a great job. Despite the cumbersome makeup, she managed to convey the whole range of Teyla emotions.
Are we to make anything of Teyla staring at her palm while in recovery? Is there something lingering from the procedure?
Todd is now my favorite recurring character. Christopher Heyerdahl does a really good job. Also, he had the line of the night with, "I hope they prove delicious as the farmers who grew them."
|Totally dig Keller. No problems here.||98 (31.8%)|
|Take it or leave it. I'm watching for other reasons.||109 (35.4%)|
|Driving me crazy. Buck up little soldier.||101 (32.8%)|