View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Lifeline'

October 5th, 2007, 06:29 PM
<DIV ALIGN="center"><TABLE WIDTH="450" BORDER="0" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="7"><TR><TD STYLE="border:0;"><DIV ALIGN="left"><FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif" SIZE="2" COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s4/402.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/graphics/402.jpg" WIDTH="160" HEIGHT="120" ALIGN="right" HSPACE="10" VSPACE="2" BORDER="0" STYLE="border: 1px black solid" ALT="Visit the Episode Guide"></A><FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888">ATLANTIS SEASON FOUR</FONT>
<FONT SIZE="4"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s4/402.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">LIFELINE</A></FONT>
<IMG SRC="/images/clear.gif" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="10" ALT="">
Colonel Sheppard and his team embark on a risky mission to steal a Z.P.M. power module from the Replicators -- but must rely on a compromised Dr. Weir to succeed.

<FONT SIZE="1" COLOR="#888888"><B><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s4/402.shtml">VISIT THE EPISODE GUIDE ></A></B>
<FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif"><FONT SIZE="4"><B>GATEWORLD FAN REVIEWS</B></FONT>

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October 17th, 2007, 02:49 PM
The strength of this particular outing for the SGA team is the emotion that seeps through the story and bleeds through the screen. It is a combination of good direction, solid writing, and excellent performances that provides a fitting conclusion to the trilogy despite the missing originality and the less than believable escape from the replicator home-world that leaves the actual plot a little lacklustre in comparison.

It seems appropriate to focus on what is wrong before examining what is right and unfortunately the plot is the main failing of what is otherwise a very accomplished episode. While the main plot – a heist on the Asuran home-world to get a ZPM is original, there are one too many elements that make it feel like its all been seen before; RepliWeir strangely reminiscent of SG1’s RepliCarter (and even Voyager’s brushes with the Borg Queen); the confrontation with Oberoth too similar to Daniel and RepliCarter. The frozen Replicators are definitely a call back to SG1’s Reckoning and the episode introducing the Asurans which also contained a mock ‘escape.’ Even allowing for the possibility that elements within the story were included as tributes or nods to previous storylines, so much seems to be reminiscent of past episodes that the originality of the core plot is lost.

It is difficult to say whether the final escape coming across as being less than believable is down to the pacing, the plot or the direction, or a combination of these. The ‘mock’ escape employed by Weir would have worked well had the team used the time she was fooling Oberoth to escape but given that there is a delay and the team is still far from safe when she comes out of the fake scenario, it all seems a little pointless. Indeed, the fake escape slows the episode and destroys the pace. More than that, when Sheppard and Ronan are in the corridor with Weir and Oberoth, the impression is that they are still surrounded and about to be overrun with Replicators but somehow they still manage to make it to the jumper – although Weir no longer has control?? It’s a jarring note.

If the direction and writing is a little off with the escape, where they come together brilliantly are in those scenes which focus on Weir’s relationship with her team and their reaction to her situation. From the scene in the infirmary where Sheppard awkwardly tries to reassure her they won’t use the kill switch through the scenes in the jumper where his trust in her is demonstrated to the decision to use the kill switch to her desire to protect her team and get them to safety to Sheppard’s decision to leave her behind and the team’s reaction to losing her once they are back on Atlantis…every scene shines with repressed emotion, regret, loss. There is realism to the reactions – the acting is superb, just simply outstanding. McKay’s quiet ‘but’ when they make the decision to use the kill switch allowing McKay a moment of emotion in what was otherwise a technobabble overload of a story for the character. Ronan’s gruff comforting of Teyla at the end with the simple hand on her shoulder; Jason Momoa and Rachel Luttrell proving what an asset they can be when given something to do. However, both Joe Flanigan and Torri Higginson steal the show.

Flanigan truly steps into leading man mode; he carries the story. Sheppard is still a man feeling the responsibility of his position; he leaves Teyla in Atlantis, he makes the call to use the kill switch, he always has the best for Atlantis in mind every step of the way. Yet, his desire to reassure and comfort Weir, his friend, are there in each look, each awkward exchange. The difficulty in making the decision to use the kill switch clear in his expression; the one to leave her behind devastating on a personal level that seeps through his body language and expression. Fantastic acting especially in his scenes with Higginson.

Higginson’s performance is accomplished. She plays Weir subtly different to the one of old; Weir is a curious mix of human and machine; emotional yet clinical. The scenes in the jumper particularly allow her to showcase this new Weir. Higginson revels in the story which allows Weir’s passion for her team, her overriding desire to make Atlantis safe (the core of the character), free rein. Carl Binder has written great Weir material and this no exception; it is a strong story for Weir. In fact, the trilogy of First Strike, Adrift and Lifeline, is a great Weir story from her feeling undermined by the military, to her near death and resurrection, to her ultimately saving the city, it’s a fantastic arc for the character.

The story provides a showcase for Weir while her soon-to-be successor is kept mostly (and appropriately) in the wings; the scenes of Samantha Carter on the Apollo are short and sweet but fit well in a way they did not in the previous episode (comic relief from Doctor Lee is still unnecessary and unwanted), her inclusion in the final scenes a nice transition piece; a taster for what is to come. Tapping and Flanigan played the balcony scene well; I enjoyed her ‘Actually, there’s five [moons]’ retort: classic Carter. The final recognition that Sheppard would continue to try and find Weir so long as there was the hope she was alive, poignant against the backdrop of the night sky and Carter’s quiet ‘I know.’ Importantly, Carter didn’t overshadow Weir’s exit and at the end it is still Weir that the audience is thinking about.

Overall, Lifeline is a thoroughly enjoyable episode which evokes an emotional response from its audience through its character interaction, strong performances, good writing and direction. While it is not a perfect rendition given the plot issues, the lasting impression is of that emotion, of the tangled regret and sadness at the loss of Weir, and for that it deserves high praise.

September 4th, 2012, 05:15 PM

Atlantis in space continues (and ends unfortunately, shame.) when our heroes set off to the Asuran planet in order to get a coveted ZPM (and end up doing something else) and as a bonus they get to take Weir along in what could be the last moments of her character; well, maybe not the last but she is leaving the show so this is her last hurrah.

This episode continues the momentum that Adrift set up, which means you'll get your best character moments, your action, your tensity and your amazing VFX moments. Everything is in tip-top shape here from McKay to Sheppard to Atlantis to even Teyla who's scene makes her less wallpaper then usual; while some things may not be there (Sheppard being dramatic), they do make up for it by having the character do things they couldn't in the previous episode, things such as being heroic, working as a team, sneaking around, worrying about enemies coming at them, actually pulling off a mission. It is absolutely delightful to see Sheppard and Ronan move around with finesse, they have not lost one step in doing this and the catchphrases they say, the stuff that they do, it just really draws you into the action you know and McKay with his technical dilemmas are decent and worthwhile to watch, mainly because he manages to retain the dramatic sense he had with the previous episode and combine that with the usual stuff that McKay fans expect from him and that is true acting talent right there.

Keeping the momentum.

That momentum really contributes to the Asuran city; which is massive, a visual masterpiece and a source of wonder the likes of which no one could ever imagine. We've seen them in the city itself but never have we seen them infiltrate the city and this is what makes it so fun and unexpected, the threat that the Asurans pose themselves as, the danger that is there, the possibility that our heroes will not make it and the way the producers manage to get across that feeling is impressive as all around you there is scale and excitement that clearly portrays how big this is going to be and a sense of determination and investment that surrounds our heroes who act as if what they were doing mattered to the entire universe. The city really proves itself to be a fine breeding ground for our heroes but the Asurans don't drop the slack either, proving their "threat" title quite nicely with the climatic scene showcasing the resilience and resourcefulness that they have as they come around in all directions, though it makes them look like enemies it has them utilizing their smarts well and it provides that uncertainty that makes their mission 10x harder that they love and the other stuff... words cannot describe how "threatful" they are.

And what episode wouldn't complete without Weir, who really treats this as her last hurrah giving it everything that she's got. Her situation really places her actor in a unique position, a position filled with both uncertainty and intrigue, on one hand she can connect to the replicators but on the other hand she can be taken over by her at any second; she could of underutilized it but she doesn't, taking the position and using it to draws viewers to her and makes us feel for her situation at hand. Though she's speaking in monotone and doing nothing but guiding the team for most of the time, she proving herself to be a dynamic character as she leads her team and while I would of liked to see more of her then just being something who sprouts something out, this proves adequate for the character and the plot at hand; the moment where she truly shines has to be the encounter with the Asuran leader where she shows the strength and determination that got her here. It's almost like a faceoff the way she taunts him and the way she controls him, a faceoff with wise words and metaphors but a faceoff nonetheless and she even manages to up the ante even showing off at one time and yet the it allows her the pivitol final moment to give it all she's got, letting out everything that she's been holding onto. That pivitol final moment is what will make us miss her dearly; her sacrifice, her commanding shows that there will never be anybody like her.

R.I.P. Weir.

Speaking of which, new leader Samantha Carter gets more airtime and in her scenes it actively seems like she's trying to convince the audience that she's leader material; at least that's what I've got from her performance. What we're watching doesn't seem like Sam at all; it seems like we're watching a different Sam, one who speaks in a different manner, makes different decisions and possibly even has different traits. They do retain some traits such as her unique brand of friendliness and but ultimately we're watching is not SG1 Sam but a brand new Sam who just happens to look like the original. Watching Sam in this episode makes me think about something; Weir had that determination, compassion and friendliness, she could really connect with the crew at various times but she also had doubts and put her foot down where necessary, plus she also had that connection to Atlantis, her lifelong dream was to get to Atlantis, she wanted to know what made it tick and from what we've seen, she feels more at home at Atlantis then she does at Earth. Compared to Weir, Sam doesn't have that determination or charm, nor does she have that intrigue that an Atlantis leader requires, in fact it feels like she's trying to create those things to make up for the lack of them and because of that I fear that Sam is going to quickly suck the charm out of Atlantis. (may be wrong though) She does save the day though and though it's a bit of a deus ex machina; it does prove fruitful in the end.

The second episode of Season 4 manages to be as exceptional as the first; providing a satisfying conclusion while unfortunately providing a satisfactory goodbye for Weir. You will be on the edge of your seat as you watch our heroes traverse the Asuran city while feeling something for Weir's performance which closes out her leadership days with flair; the only flaws is that it switches to activating the base code too suddenly and there's the whole Sam thing but other then that, very, very good. Now there's the issue of what will happen after this episode...