View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Reunion'

October 12th, 2007, 03:43 PM
<DIV ALIGN="center"><TABLE WIDTH="450" BORDER="0" CELLSPACING="0" CELLPADDING="7"><TR><TD><DIV ALIGN="left"><FONT FACE="Verdana, Arial, san-serif" SIZE="2" COLOR="#000000"><A HREF="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/s4/403.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/graphics/403.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/s4/403.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">REUNION</A></FONT>
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A group of Ronon's people enlist the team's help in raiding a Wraith weapons facility, where they find themselves in the middle of a growing conflict with an enemy they never expected.

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October 15th, 2007, 05:39 AM
4x03 Reunion - Part 1 - The Discussion- Blue-Skyz

By my reckoning they are four for four so far this season (Including DG).
Reunion seems to have more personal and subtle interaction among the team members, including Carter, than any episode that comes to mind. They talk to each other, they share feelings and encouragement. They look at each other and they look to each other.
There is no inappropriate behavior and the humor is not imbedded in life threatening situations. They act like adults.

The scene where McKay thought he had been chosen the leader of Atlantis didn’t bother me. Half of it was Zelenka, after all, and he was absolutely perfect. McKay will never be the leader because he does not have the people skills for it, e.g., the evaluation scene in First Strike. The command hierarchy would be all military at this point if Atlantis has been militarized, so McKay would not be in it anyway. I don’t have a problem with him not being mopey over Elizabeth. Some weeks have passed and they have been waiting for the decision. This is McKay, after all, his thoughts and feelings jump around go off to extremes. Just because he isn’t considering Elizabeth now doesn’t mean he wasn’t twenty minutes ago. My problem is with how he got the tidbit of info in the first place. Somebody call him on his mobile in Pegasus? I wouldn’t think rumors crossed galaxies very quickly, not when they funnel through the stargate.

Carter calls Sheppard, John. I like her using ‘John.’ To me, it sounds like a mark of respect. He has been the military commander here for two (really three) years, he has been the leader of Atlantis since First Strike, for however long it took the IOA to choose a new leader and we’ve seen how quickly they make up their minds. He was also seriously considered as permanent leader, her new job, a job that could have gotten him an early promotion to Colonel. They are probably no more than a year’s difference in rank (if he spends the required three years as a Lt. Colonel). She has every reason to respect him and to trust and rely on him as her second in command. Their talk at the end of lifeline sounded like she would treat him as a relative equal. (Hopefully, she will never treat him like a mom.) We really have no idea how much time they have spent together or what specific circumstances have caused them to become comfortable with each other, but the evidence is there to suggest that they have. I’m willing to go with that. It’s her prerogative as his superior officer to call him by his first name. (He can’t call her Sam, except, maybe in casual circumstances and if she tells him to.) He never calls her anything here except Colonel Carter in his initial greeting.

Sheppard doesn’t salute Carter as she takes command of Atlantis for the same reason: they know each other better than we have seen take place on screen. I fully expected him to salute and wanted him to, but mostly for the weirdness of seeing laid-back Sheppard salute for real. ;) After the half-assed salute he gave her when he congratulated her in Lifetime, they’ve probably moved beyond a real one. Not much saluting ever around there anyway. Sheppard doesn’t even stand at attention, although he has his hands behind his back as he did with Ellis.

Carter tells Sheppard that he was on the short list for her job. He says he knows; that he saw what the IOA did to Elizabeth, the politics, the red tape; that he didn’t envy her and he doesn’t envy Carter. So the IOA talked to him. Did they offer him the job or, more likely, did he just tell them that he didn’t want it, like he did with Ellis in First Strike. The fact that Ellis said that he should be running Atlantis instead of Weir tells us that it has been discussed by the military, probably along with the fact that Atlantis needed to be militarized. My opinion is that it should have been militarized at the end of season 1. That would have been the time to have made Weir a recurring diplomatic advisor and brought in a series of military leaders to spice things up. I’m glad Carter is military. It fits with the supposed darker mood of the season.

Sheppard talks to Carter about going after Elizabeth. We know Sheppard well enough to know that leaving someone behind is a very hard thing for him to accept. He wants to be able to go after her but he can’t; he has no plan because there is no way to pull it off that has even the remotest chance of succeeding. If he was caught, Atlantis would be compromised. He hasn’t gone after her; he has stayed on Atlantis and done his job. He has evidently been reporting to the IOA and respected their decision that he not go after Weir. He is not the brash pilot that came through the gate in Rising. He is the veteran military commander of Atlantis. Carter would have expected Sheppard’s request from their talk on Lifeline and probably from briefings by the IOA. I can’t believe that Sheppard ever expected carter to sanction a mission to the replicator home world with no way to find Elizabeth. He knows it’s impossible, but he has to put the issue out on the table and he will keep it there until they gain some advantage and there is some chance of success.

Carter goes go off world to ‘rescue and recovery’ Sheppard et.al. from the Wraith. My first thought was :eek: she can’t leave Atlantis and put herself in danger when Sheppard is missing and possibly dead. But it is a way to introduce Carter as real military, show her concern and willingness to rescue her people when there is tactical intel (Ronon had been there) and show trust and support for Ronon. She could also get to see a Wraith facility with relatively little risk. I’m okay with it. It’s pretty common in SciFi for the captain and most of the bridge crew to go off into the unknown together and, we’re told that it will be rare for Carter. Besides, the reality may be that it is an economy, fewer actors. Lorne isn’t shown. Only two marines come along for the ride. Now, Zelenka going on a rescue mission? …Oh hell …Zelenka, anytime, anywhere. ;)

Ronon confronts Carter. She won’t let him bring his friends to Atlantis. (The IOA got it right that time) He gets in her face and she stands her ground. He throws Dr. Weir at her and she tells him (and the viewer) that she isn’t Dr. Weir. Later she asks him to stay. There is an ‘or else’ in there, but it is Ronon that speaks it. Later, she reconsiders and tells Ronon that she will respect his decision to leave. In the Wraith facility Ronon is overwhelmed and can’t get any of the team on the radio. He comes back to Atlantis for help, a half a day on foot avoiding the Wraith. He can’t rescue them alone and he trusts Atlantis for help. He’s come along way from the shoot first and damn the consequences guy he was when he joined them or even as late as Vengeance. Why didn’t the Wraith stop him? Did they want more people to come from Atlantis? New test subjects?

The biggest problem for me is that Ronon’s ‘friends’ know about the Wraith trying to change the replicator base code to deactivate the directive to attack them. How would they even know about the code. Shouldn’t that raise all kinds of red flags? Then the Wraith know that it was McKay that had reactivated it. (Did they torture the replicator? I wonder if that’s possible. Replicator whump anyone?) Did they hack into the replicator network through the one they have? Is there an informant on Atlantis. The Wraith could know about Atlantis and Sheppard and the makeup of his team, but making the connection to Ronon’s old friends? Atlantis had better pray that the replicators and the Wraith fight for a very long time because they are two very smart, very tech savvy, hard to kill enemies that communicate mentally over long distances. Very, very scary.

What does Sheppard do after he’s released when he runs to the Wraith console where McKay has his tablet hooked up? He does something, determinedly, and the replicator is released. They all shoot at it (the bullet holes heal immediately). It walks by them and Sheppard follows until he is sure it attacks the Wraith. Then he leads them to find Ronon. How did he know how to release the replicator and how did he come up with the idea so fast?

The meeting with the Satedans is my favorite scene in the episode (Shallow Sheppard fan ;)). Love the dialogue. Great Sheppard and McKay.
SHEPPARD: Well, that’s very considerate of you, but if we commit, we’re all-in.
McKAY: And I really don’t see why we would. I mean, sure, it would be great to get our hands on some new Wraith tech, but, um ... maybe if we stumbled across a stockpile, or maybe bought some off of eBay ...
(Cute little Sheppard smirk in there)
SHEPPARD: I think what he’s trying to say is, we’re not really sure if we want to risk our life for something like this. Maybe wait a month or two; let the Replicators and the Wraith soften each other up, then we do lunch, we talk about it again.

October 15th, 2007, 05:40 AM
4x03 Reunion - Part 2 - The shorter comments- Blue-Skyz

* Sheppard talking to Carter before she arrived about the war and reports. Sheppard is actually being shown doing work. Not as strange as it used to be before Adrift.
* Carter’s tearful goodbye to Teal’c. No dry eyes here, either.
* Sheppard and McKay share a look just before Carter comes through the gate.
* Carter’s having the fruit when McKay brings her flowers. ‘Son of a B…’ I thought that Sheppard didn’t do it with premeditation, just circumstances, but it is more college level humor than grade school, so kudos for that.
* Teyla’s look when Ronon hugs the people fighting her. Priceless.
* Ronon feels obligated to take care of his old friends the way he once did. He’s really a nice guy… leader type… father figure…
* New security measures on Atlantis. No outsiders. They want to protect their location.
* Sheppard putting off Ronon’s friends until he finds out about the Wraith trying to change the replicator base code, then he is willing to take the chance.
* In the jumper Sheppard takes control of the situation and makes the decision.
* Sheppard is carrying the LSD, not McKay. He always looks cool with it and the P-90.
* Ronon stopping to say good luck to Sheppard as the teams part Sheppard nods his agreement and turns. Ronon watches them go with ambivalence.
* Sheppard reluctantly not stopping to help the people in cocoons, they need to keep moving. Teyla and McKay exchange a resigned glance.
* Tac vests make good handles. Good thing the floors are slick.
* Ronon running away from the Satedans toward Sheppard’s team when he hears gunfire.
* McKay knowing when to run and hide … um…strategically retreat. In a cocoon? Yuck!
* Teyla saying ‘Stay strong, Rodney’ to McKay as the Wraith take him away.
* The Wraith calling the replicators an abomination. Pot …Kettle?
* It was the Wraith that deactivated the replicator directive to attack them thousands of years ago.
* Sheppard and Teyla look at each other and take off when Carter tells them that Ronon is alone.
* Sheppard changing clips in the P-90.
* The replicator goes after the Wraith not the humans.
* "where are your friends?" Ronon's answer "Right here"
* Ronon has so much faith in his adopted ‘family’ that he just assumes that he can ‘go home.’
* Sheppard and McKay share a look after Ronon says ‘Let’s go home.’
* McKay took Ronon’s hideous painting. To save it for him? To have something of his?
* Teyla asking Ronon how he is feeling at the end. A bit stiff, but nice to see some interaction. I had expected Sheppard to walk in or maybe I was just hoping Sheppard would be the one that spoke to him. The team would have been my second choice.
* McKay acts very much a member of the team here and appropriately to the situation.
* Weir is mentioned twice. So not completely forgotten.
* Carter doesn’t reminisce about old missions once.
* Carter calls McKay, Rodney.

Not so Good:
* Not many people meeting Carter. I guess it was not a planned to-do. Budget? It was a speech to us, the viewers anyway. Nice speech. Nice demonstration of what to expect of her relationship with Sheppard and McKay.
* Zelenka seems to be using an Ancient scanner, but he does not have the gene.
* They are big bad Satedans. They all take off their gun belts and have a brawl in a Wraith facility. Real smart.
* Ronon not killing the third and last of his ‘friends.’ Now he thinks there has been too much killing. :rolleyes: I guess he has changed. He never should have left him alive.
* Too bad these Satedans turned out to be Wraith worshipers. It would be interesting to have some groups of Satedan allies. Need to keep Ronon on Atlantis, though, he gets more interesting all the time. Too bad we don’t know that much about Sheppard, or maybe the mystery is better.
* The way the Satedans described the Wraith torture, it is hard to blame them when you think of Sheppard in CG.
* Carter and Teyla standing side by side holding P-90s. I have always thought Carter looked really cool and credible using a P-90 or the older machine guns. Teyla, to me, has always looked awkward and out of place with a p-90. I think it may be because she is so short. It is interesting to finally see them side by side. The difference is striking.
* Teyla wearing a blindfold while fighting is ridiculous. References to Ronon being Chewie and by extension, Sheppard being Han Solo are great. Teyla is not a Jedi, she is not Luke, she is not Yoda.

October 24th, 2007, 08:48 AM
Reunion is as much about accepting change as it is about revisiting the past dealing within its major and minor plotlines with the reunion of Ronon with his Satedan buddies and the formal introduction of Samantha Carter as the new Atlantis commander. Both plots are woven together nicely in a tightly written episode that incorporates its character moments directly into the storyline. With everything generally adding polish to the final product, there is little to criticise in the episode with the negative points relatively minor.

The script and story provide an extremely good foundation to this episode. I have previously found with some of Mallozzi and Mullie’s writing, particularly on SG1, that at times the plot is weak and the episodes are saved only because of the character interaction (Family Ties, Morpheus in S10 come to mind). Here, the story is well-thought out (with the change of command seeming to help create a situation making it easier for Ronon to consider leaving Atlantis and his reunion providing an opportunity for Carter to prove her credentials with rescuing Sheppard and team), and the character interaction is an integral part of the plot; Carter’s goodbye to Teal’c, her conversations with McKay, Ronon and Sheppard, Ronon’s talk with Teyla and Sheppard, Teyla’s concern for Sheppard and McKay…all feel like a natural inclusion to the story; all move the story, or wider arcs, forward.

The characters themselves are nicely in-character and we get to see both their professionalism and their personal sides; Sheppard’s leadership on the mission contrasting with his personal desire to rescue Weir; McKay’s hiding from the Wraith and his innate arrogance at assuming he will be the IOA choice; Ronon’s quiet leadership of his Satedan team and his personal struggle to discover where he belongs; Carter’s mixed feelings at taking command expressed with Teal’c yet her calm assuredness when faced with her initial challenges, Teyla giving McKay support when captured and sharing her own sometimes mixed feelings about being on Atlantis with Ronon. The episode and story is filled with characterisation and character interaction. It provides warm, fuzzy moments that makes the audience care about the characters, and makes the team feel like a team. Kudos.

The acting is accomplished throughout; Hewlett’s acting in the scene where he gets stunned by the Satedans is brilliant but while all the cast do a great job, Jason Momoa shines as Ronon; he truly makes the brooding, protective brotherly Satedan come to life. The scene in which he discovers his friends’ betrayal is truly heart-wrenching – Ronon’s pain, anger, loss conveyed with passion. His scenes with Rachel Luttrell are fabulous. Both the opening walk into the village, their discussion in the work-out and the final scene; they have great chemistry. Luttrell also excels; her expression as Teyla when her attackers are hugged and greeted warmly by Ronon is outstanding; her confession of still debating her choice truly conveying Teyla’s vulnerable side nicely. It’s good to see both actors and their characters front and centre in the story.

However, a couple of the minor issues with the episode are around Teyla. While her losing a fight against three trained soldiers is very believable, there is an inconsistency as she manages to beat up Ronon blind-folded and then he manages to hold his own with the three trained soldiers who over-powered her. Even allowing that Ronon was distracted in his session with Teyla and powered by some pretty strong emotions in his fight with the others, it is an inconsistency that jars.

Additionally, the direction fails to hide Luttrell’s pregnancy; her altered body shape is clearly apparent in some shots and while it is clear that some shots have been blocked to try and hide the bump; that her new outfits are designed to try and hide the bump, it just doesn’t work. Still, relatively minor.

On the costuming side, the Satedans with the matching neck tattoos and their similar dress to Ronon were excellent – and a stark contrast to the Atlantis team in their matching uniforms. It was also good to see Carter in her dress blues as she walked onto Atlantis before she changed into the more casual Atlantis uniform, and another change into a BDU as she went off-world to rescue Sheppard and his team.

Carter’s introduction is done very well in the main; the farewell with Teal’c an appropriate nod back to SG1 (loved the undomesticated equines reference), the picture of O’Neill in her luggage another interesting call-back, her first discussions with Ronon and Sheppard an interesting taster of her command style. Tapping is always great; her acting in the moment on the balcony after the discussion with Sheppard definitely gives the impression of how lonely it is at the top with Carter having to deal with some difficult conversations right off the bat. The direction in her scene with Ronon where the Satedan looms over her is particularly well done.

The only thing that jars is Carter going off-world when she’s base commander. It never felt right when Weir did it and it doesn’t quite feel right here (Hammond went for years without stepping foot outside the SGC), but it does showcase Carter’s military credentials and the scene of her shooting at the replicator with Sheppard and Teyla is fabulous if a little unnecessary - after all, presumably they all know that their weapons were going to be useless?

Overall, the minor failings are few and don’t detract from the polished feel of the episode. The story is well-told, well-acted and well-directed; generally well put together on all counts. The result is an enjoyable outing, one which by focusing on the characters as an integral part of the storyline extends a welcome invitation to the audience to get to know these characters better, to care about them, and I hope it’s an invitation that will continue to be extended via future episodes.

September 5th, 2012, 12:52 PM

Ever since she appeared in the opening credits, she was "destined' to be a leader and this episode makes that official as Sam steps through the gate and arrives at Atlantis, leaving her SG-1 self behind and filling the shoes of the recently departed Dr. Weir and from what we see of Sam, things are definitely going to be different. Oh, and Ronan meets up with a bunch of his Satedean friends.

First things first, a big part of the episode has to do with Sam and her newfound command position. From the many episodes we've seen of Atlantis, we know how Weir operates; she's friendly, she's willing to take risks, she's not afraid to break boundaries and she's definitely someone who's dedicated to the mission so to our surprise what do we see; Sam doing things different from Weir! telling the crew that they can't do this or they can't do that. It does help to portray to the audience that feeling of newness, that things are certainly going to take some getting used to around here but what she does is more like "Weir would let me do stuff that you wouldn't!" rather then any true show of commanding ability. They do try to show that Weir is not Sam by having a scene involving Teal'c of SG1 showing her off with wise words; this scene is the best moment for Sam in the history of Atlantis mainly because she is acting like herself and isn't trying to be something she's not, you can definitely feel her as she looks back at the years and contemplates her new position; however, when she walks through the gate in an extravagant fashion, she immediately tries to act like Dr. Weir. Every attempt she makes to communicate with the crew, every decision she makes, every attempt to bond with Atlantis reminds us of Weir and that can't be easily washed away by having a scene with McKay reminding us of their "relationship" or even Sam saying "I'm not Weir" because it's clear that she is.

Dr. Weir Col. Samantha Carter, leader of Atlantis.

Ronan and his Satedean friends are the main plot of this episode and it seems interesting mainly because of the potential for Ronan, unfortunately it doesn't seem to live up to those expectations. It is good in the beginning, we can feel him as he chats it up with his friends, reminisces about the good old days, drink; it shows a bond that they have and that bond does well for Ronan because it shows just how friendly and enthusiastic he can be, I can imagine he would be the life of a party containing those of his kind; as his plot converges with that of Sam's, it starts to go downhill somewhat. While it it nice to see Ronan thinking about his friends, trying to justify what he's feeling and even showcasing some hidden feelings relating to nostalgia himself, it seems deterred by the fact that his friends weren't allowed in Atlantis; he appeared in two seasons and it seems like everything was fine in Atlantis, he kicked ass, got fair respect and they even helped him out on a couple occasions, you're telling me those moments don't matter? It reduces the impact of Ronan possibly leaving Atlantis and all of the character moments that could of possibly happened because for the entirety that you'll be seeing him, you'll be thinking "is this character really leaving because Sam told him no?" It doesn't help that his Satedean friends are generic with no character whatsoever; from the moment you see then, you'll instantly know that they're obviously there to support Ronan's plot.

The plot where they head towards a Wraith lab does promise to be an exciting, action packed endeavor but the way it's executed on screen, it's almost like a bunch of people with ADD shot these things; you'll know when you have the crew shooting at Wraith like it was nothing and scenes where slow motion and extravagance seem to take the reigns. I will say that the initial moments where the crew infiltrates is exciting and we've get the team moments that we've expected but when things get going, that's where things go downhill. What you see here will remind you more of SG-1 than Atlantis, what with it's almost self-parody vibe, Wraith who don't even bother to be scary, characters who seem less colorful, environments that seem more colorful then anything else and of course the action which seems more like a video game then a sci-fi show; they even manage to have Sam (who also appears to be a replacement for Beckett.) come in at the nick of time to save them with little to no effort. While there is an interesting concept and while there are some truly surprising moments; you can't help but to think of SG-1 as your watching this, even as Ronan is providing the most emotional moments of the episode which definitely shape his character. If this episode is a sign of what's to come then I don't know if the audience is going to stick around, this is clearly a different show then the one that has been on the past three seasons; one that focuses more on comedy and over-the-top action then it does on morally questionable actions or even the darker content. We'll see as the season goes on.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

As the episode where Sam takes the reigns, "Reunion" proves to be disappointing. It has an interesting concept and the potential for Ronan character growth but it doesn't seem to be utilized properly, instead leading to an episode where everything seems to be an odd self-parody of itself and nobody seems invested in what they're doing. This could of been a good episode under the right circumstances but all it does it make me worry, is all of season 4 going to be like this?