View Full Version : Critical Myth Review: Stargate: Atlantis 4.1: "Adrift"

October 1st, 2007, 06:00 PM
One of the things I enjoyed about the third season finale was the endless cascade of problems to be solved. Every new moment seemed to complicate the situation for Team Atlantis, leading to casualties and an exodus from their planet of residence. One might have expected this episode to provide a bit of hope, but the writers took things in a far more interesting direction.

Some might have found the episode depressing or even overwhelmingly negative, but that’s not the way I would describe it. Instead, I thought it gave the characters a chance to prove their meddle through extreme adversity. This is functionally equivalent to the end of the first season, where the Wraith launched a blistering attack on Atlantis, a situation that took a few episodes to cover. This particular crisis is one of their own making, however, making the process of survival more painful.

Sheppard has always been something of a leader, but the writers have preferred to give him enough latitude to maintain his O’Neill-esque sense of dry humor. It’s good to see him forced into more of a standard command role. For one thing, it puts him in direct conflict with McKay, who has become too accustomed to a free hand. In many ways, McKay becomes an instant problem for Sheppard: he needs the genius to keep the city intact and the team alive, but he also needs control over the total operation.

McKay does what he always does, taking action without consultation and stepping around authority when he believes himself to be right. Which, of course, is practically every waking moment. All the same, his decision to give the Replicator nanites to Weir should not have been framed as his call alone. Dr. Keller was equally involved. Acknowledging that, of course, would have complicated the conflict between Sheppard and McKay, which was the point of the exercise.

In the end, Weir’s medical status will reflect badly on McKay (assuming that things go wrong, which they are practically required to do), especially once Colonel Carter is in the mix. Carter’s scientific arrogance is more subtle than McKay’s, but it’s there all the same. She will question McKay’s judgment and Sheppard’s ability to control Team Atlantis, and in the end, that is why she’ll be in charge.

This could lead to new tensions within Team Atlantis, and that could be a good thing. According to the producers, the goal is to present each character with a clear arc over the course of the season. If done well, this could help continue the improvement, especially if McKay is finally forced to face the consequences of his actions. Character growth is scarce in the “Stargate” franchise, however, so fans will simply have to wait and see.

John Keegan
Reprinted with permission
Original source: c. Critical Myth, 2007
All rights reserved
Link: http://www.criticalmyth.com

October 2nd, 2007, 10:36 AM
Nice review. Good to see that Stargate is finally getting good press reviews.

October 2nd, 2007, 09:41 PM
Some might have found the episode depressing or even overwhelmingly negative, but that’s not the way I would describe it.

Oh geez... if anyone thinks that, they seriously need to check out some *actual* dark fiction.