View Full Version : Critical Myth Review: Stargate: Atlantis 4.9: "Miller's Crossing"

December 3rd, 2007, 07:14 PM
Last season’s “McKay and Mrs. Miller” introduced Kate Hewitt (David’s real-life sister) as McKay’s equally brilliant sister Jeannie. Despite the potential criticism for the inherent nepotism, the episode worked very well and gave the writers an opportunity to show a different side of Rodney (or Meredith, if one prefers). This episode is both a follow-up to that earlier installment and a good continuation to “The Seer”.

Frankly, I was worried that the writers would slip into familiar patterns and drop the ball on the whole Replicator code plot thread, despite the obvious urgency. Instead, finding a solution to that problem was the logical hook into this particular tale. It makes sense for McKay to recruit any and all help available, and his sister is a reasonable choice.

The focus on the potential medical applications for the Replicator nanites was also a nice touch. Not only did it serve as a compelling complication for this episode, but it served to remind the audience of Weir’s situation among the Asurans. One would expect that this reminder is more than just a coincidence, considering that the mid-season cliffhanger is right around the corner.

Stephen Culp is a great actor, and he brings some dramatic heft to what could have been a paper-thin role. In fact, I found myself just as interested in his character as the usual suspects. Without straying too far from thoughts on the episode itself, I must admit that I was considering how well he would work on other shows whenever he was on-screen. Imagine a guest appearance on “Torchwood”, with Culp and Barrowman facing off for a while!

The episode structure is actually quite deep, and there are some stunning questionable moral choices along the way. McKay is caught in the most obvious moral dilemma. Having been kidnapped to save someone’s life against his will, he is forced to use the Wraith from the previous episode in much the same way, and he knows it. That makes the interaction with the Wraith a lot more interesting, as McKay runs through a list of justifications a mile long, all the while knowing how ineffectual they are.

Of course, that’s nothing compared to Sheppard’s decision to allow the Wraith to feed on a human “volunteer” to save Jeannie’s life. Sheppard holds on to his justification at the end of the episode like a lifeline, and it definitely rocks McKay back on his heels a little. The episode comes down to several characters making questionable choices for the right reasons, and that kind of depth is greatly appreciated.

John Keegan
Reprinted with permission
Original source: c. Critical Myth, 2007
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