View Full Version : FAN REVIEWS: 'Midway'

January 30th, 2008, 07:33 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/s4/417.shtml"><IMG SRC="http://www.gateworld.net/atlantis/graphics/417.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/s4/417.shtml" STYLE="text-decoration: none">MIDWAY</A></FONT>
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Teal'c visits Atlantis to counsel a headstrong Ronon, who is up for review by the I.O.A. But the two must work together when the Wraith invade the Midway space station in order to reach Earth.

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Wynd Ryder
February 17th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Midway is excellent entertainment with the all the regulars, albeit not together, but the story line gets a little sloppy with unbelievable and inconsistent details and the lack of any back up security measures on the midway station.

Teyla's costumes is first rate as usual. The make-up department does well giving each wraith their own individuality.

The actors all turned in another fine performance in the portrayal of their character, the interaction and timing with others, and the exceptional dialogue of this episode. Humor was interspersed well in this mostly serious episode. Specifically, but not inclusively: AT as Sam, showed as comfortable relationship with Teyla as with Teal'c when she put off the discussion of whether Teyla would rejoin the team on missions. JM as Ronon was masterful in the development of the relationship with Teal'c and the IOA. CJ's presence of the sage Jaffa that so deftly incited Ronon. JF continuing to give us a character who understands authority, but is able to keep things loose as he did with asking Carter if she wanted to place a bet, advising Ronon on listening to the 100 year old warrior, and ordering Rodney to vent atmosphere. DH surprised me pleasantly with a believable portrayal of a mature leader among the wacky scientists. With all the military missions McKay has been on, he should present a stable force amongst the geeks when the soldiers are stunned--and he did. The guest stars out did themselves with verbiage, fainting, pushing to be first to escape, and Coolidge overreacting to the crisis.

Graphics and set designs were great with the wraith gadgets, midway station, space shots, and various weapons. I noted the two spacesuits as Ronon and Teal'c walked through the station, nice job showing them early for use by Sheppard later.

The dialogue conveyed what was happening and was well interspersed among the characters.

There are some details I rate as poor and expect more attention to be given to a Stargate story: The fight between Ronon and Teal'c lasting over an hour, they're not winded, and there is not a winner--easy out and unrealistic. Wraith soldiers walking in to take over and don't have their weapons drawn? Dow's character standing there jabbering instead of closing the gate and since when would the military not have a better security plan even for an impenetrable station? How do the wraith get right into the control room? Dow's character has been in enough scraps that he ought to know to smash the control panel when he sees the wraith, well, at least someone should have told the doctor. Why weren't SGA's reports sent with Ronan and Teal'c? Knowing the possibility of wraith on midway, shouldn't SGA use the zpm to warn Earth? Why doesn't anyone sound the alarm when this ball comes rolling down the ramp at SGC? The auto lockdown was a nifty innovation and exactly what I'm talking about with security back up; however, it is then inconsistent to have Coolidge call in the military to nuke the facility. Besides, why not just set the auto destruct and if Coolidge can find the escape hatch, so can the wraith. Back on midway, why doesn't any of Sheppard's team have stun grenades to control incoming wraith? Finally, why aren't any SGC personnel, particularly Sgt. Harriman, going with Ronan to help our beloved Teal'c?

I know there is a lot to cover in forty-some minutes and some of the above details I can overlook for the sake of an otherwise very entertaining and enjoyable episode, but I've come to expect excellence from every aspect of a Stargate project and some of the above poor details muddy Midway. I do want to add this plot was superb.

February 17th, 2008, 04:48 PM
When the episode began, I was deeply concerned. The second half of the season has been uneven at best, and the writers seemed to be falling head first into yet another clichť. What happens when you toss the two biggest alien warriors of the Stargate franchise into the same room together? Inevitably they must fight and compete until the requisite threat forces them to work together, eventually coming to mutual respect.

As fun as it was to watch them beat the tar out of each other, and then take it out on the rest of the unsuspecting universe, that aspect of the episode was the least satisfying based on sheer predictability. The details made the episode work. As much as I enjoy the specific adventures of Team Atlantis (even when the writers test my patience), I appreciate the episodes that touch on the scope of the entire Stargate mythos.

The Wraith have wanted to attack Earth for quite some time, but the contingencies were in place to prevent that from happening. Thanks to the sometime alliance with ďToddĒ, the situation has changed considerably. At least some of the Wraith now have a source of insider information, and the use of Midway Station as a staging ground for invasion of the SGC must have hit home. Even though the attack was repulsed, the most expedient means of transporting personnel, emergency supplies, and other critical items has been lost.

Team Atlantis did well enough without the intergalactic gate system, but this presents an interesting possibility. The writers dropped the ball with Weir on several levels, but when the time came to write her out of the story, they missed the most obvious solution. Weir made some bad decisions involving the Wraith (particularly in ďAlliesĒ), and they never came back to haunt her, despite many opportunities.

While Ronon was given kudos by the IOA for his part in saving Earth from the Wraith, itís not a stretch to consider whether or not Carter will be held at least partially responsible for the fallout from the alliance with ďToddĒ. The continuing tension with the IOA suggests something will come to a head sooner rather than later. Teylaís scenes seem to suggest that politics are ready to rear their ugly head again.

This episode manages to bring the action, but with three episodes left in the season, I still have the feeling that too many plot and character arcs have been left on the table. Considering how little attention has been paid to those elements in past seasons, Iíll be happy if just a few of them are addressed by seasonís end. Maybe the early fifth season pickup provided a longer view, but for now, I am guardedly optimistic.

John Keegan
Reprinted with permission
Original source: c. Critical Myth, 2008
All rights reserved
Link: http://www.criticalmyth.com

February 20th, 2008, 05:57 AM
Midway provides the setting for the meeting of Stargateís two alpha male warriors, Tealíc and Ronon. The story provides a solid back-drop for the encounter which delivers everything that is expected. Yet in meeting expectations, the episode fails to exceed them and this is perhaps the source of the disappointment that lingers.

The main story concept is an intriguing one; the Wraith hijacking the Intergalactic bridge to invade Earth. It actually delivers a real sense of threat from the moment the Wraith set foot on Midway, through the sequence where the SGC is stunned into immobility and the chilling scenes as the Wraith begin to occupy the familiar corridors of the mountain base. The story for the first time really showcases the threat to Earth from the Wraith in a way never achieved before and it deserves credit for that.

There is also a wonderful sense of consequences to actions here too. The story addresses the security question the bridge always posed and showcases that the arrogance of Earth in believing it secure was very much misplaced. It also examines the decision to work so closely with Todd, to allow the Wraith to travel to Earth. While it isnít clear whether Todd has volunteered his information to the hijacking Wraith voluntarily or has been forced to share the information, the result is the same; the Wraith are given the means to invade Earth. Definitely there is a sense of chickens coming home to roost for the Atlantis expedition and Earth, and this is punctuated by the loss of the Midway station at the end.

The problem though is that this wonderfully conceived main story actually feels like it takes second place to the sub-plot: the meeting of Tealíc and Ronon. Partly because the sub-plot is introduced and focused on first; the IOA interviews being the device required to bring everyoneís favourite Jaffa to Atlantis. Because of this, the balance is shifted between the plots and the main thread then becomes nothing more than a device to bring the two warriors to an eventual reconciliation following their initial antipathy rather than the showcase it deserved to be on its own merits.

The sub-plot does deliver everything that is expected; initial resentment by Ronon, a fight between the two, respect as they fight side by side and save each other. There are no surprises here beyond Tealícís new look (a fabulously buff Christopher Judge in a great new outfit with new look Tealíc hair). There are some nice moments; the look when they both head for the same bunk, Tealícís desire for Rononís gun, the moment Ronon says ĎIndeedí, and the casual informality between coach and pupil at the end signalling a bonding between them. What I was surprised by but very much enjoyed was the sudden realisation again of how alien Tealíc is because the contrast between the Jaffa and Atlantis was rightly jarring. Tealíc only really gels on Atlantis in his moments with Carter where the years of easy friendship between the two are clear and provide a nice bookend to their conversation before her arrival on Atlantis. In my opinion, this is a good thing; Tealíc should feel out of place there.

But for all the sub-plot delivers there is a but; there are no surprises and I think thatís the disappointment. Given the story set up with Tealíc brought into Ďcoachí a proud Ronon for the interview, itís hard to see from a characterisation perspective where else they could have gone except down this route yet it is so predictable and there is a definite disappointment that something more original wasnít tried. The story focused so much on the physical similarity, on their primary function as warriors, that it failed to provide any substance. It would have been great to have fully explored their emotional and spiritual similarities; their sense of honour and duty which are only touched on as Ronon goes back to help Tealíc.

It may also have been helped if there had been more Teyla in the mix to soften the level of machismo; her one early scene to set up the plot has a lovely vibe of female understanding between her and Carter, and it would have been nice to have seen more of her. The whole premise of the sub-plot though is fairly weak; if the IOA is looking at the Atlantis expedition and interviewing the members of the teams surely they would either go to Atlantis in a group to do it rather than have the Atlantis people come back one at a time through the bridge? Further the introduction of new IOA bogeyman Coolidge who miraculously wakes up from the Wraith stun before everyone else also feels too caricature.

The niggles over the story aside, the episode definitely delivers on all other fronts. It was good to see the SGC regulars return and for once not used as incompetent foils to the others as a means of provoking humour. The humour within the story, imbedded in the dialogue and the reactions of the characters to that dialogue and events achieved a nice levity without detracting from the story. The last scene with Ronon waking Sheppard was particularly well done. The special effects also deserve a mention; Midway was stunning in terms of the central hall and the final explosion but all the effects were good including the Wraith stunner device.

All in all, Midway is not a bad episode but it needed better story construction to really make the main plot shine and the sub-plot go beyond what was expected. In the end what is delivered is a solid hour of entertainment with tension, drama and humour, but which just lacks the quality of story to elevate it beyond expectations and make it a classic.

March 15th, 2008, 06:14 PM
This episode was just straight [email protected]$$. First, I was one of those die-hard fans who was just not ready for SG-1 to end, so needless to say when Sam joined the Atlantis cast, that was incredible enough. But when it was announced in '07 that Teal'c was soon to pay a visit to the show, this brought such a strong sense of continuity to the entire franchise for me that suddenly even a third show spinning off made perfect sense, maybe even with Teal'c headlining; like Star Trek, there's just so much to address (the entire Universe) that I don't find the shows to be at all in competition. It is logical that characters would overlap here and there, as there is only one military Star Gate program. As such, the shows compliment one another beautifully, and each has its own set of regular antagonists (which -- as in Midway -- bleed comfortably into one another's realms . . pun OK).

From the majestic arrival of Teal'c thru the gate the suspense was afoot. At first, I was perplexed by Ronon's apparent anger/rejection of the Jaffa, but by the end of the show I realized that Ronon, being such a strong, hard character, simply had to be shown (not told) whom he was to trust. He actually developed a healthy, brotherly respect for Teal'c, indeed someone worthy of his respect. But this had to be proven, and once it was, there was a feeling that Ronon no longer felt alone in the SG world. Of course he has Colonel Sheppard, Teyla, and all of his friends/comrades, but in his fighting league he's a lone wolf on Atlantis. For me it was not about which soldier would win in some ultimate bout; from the viewpoint of Atlantis' storyline, Ronon represents the kind of force Teal'c brought to SG-1, and I found nothing lessening nor egocentric about Teal'c offering his expertise towards the success of an up-and-coming fellow warrior.

In fact, watching Ronon and Teal'c kick Wraith butt all over the station/SGC was wonderfully fulfilling. The two warriors looked absolutely great onscreen together, handling firearms as if they were born to do just that. And apparently they were, as the entire SGC operation owes its continued existence to Ronon Dex and Teal'c of the Jaffa. My hat's off to Jason Momoa and Chris Judge for such pure, raw, entertaining performance, and as always to the fine cast and stellar production teams.

September 26th, 2012, 09:07 AM

Once upon a time, in a far off world called "GateWorld", there was a user did the normal things a GateWorlder would do; he would post daily in the "Count to 38,000" thread then he would peruse the thread looking for interesting discussions. On one particular day, an idea came to him. "Who would win, Teal'c or Ronan? (http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/51300-Teal-c-Vs-Ronon-Who-would-win)" Being the GateWorlder that he was, he quickly conjured up a thread and that thread gathered a small amount of people who enjoyed talking about the combat styles of the two while also comparing their stamina. The thread slowly grew and grew and grew until 3 years later when the thread was visited by the grandest of the grand, King Joe Mallozzi and his queen Martin Gero; both took just a single glance at the thread but they felt something inside; the feeling of inspiration. That feeling overtook the king to the point where he ran out to the creator of the thread and yelled out, "Subject, you just gave us a new episode for our series!" Kneeling down as he cried tears of joy.

That story may not be exactly what happened but it does sort of explain how this episode came into existence.

Let's get the obvious out of the way; it seems like the writers here weren't concerned with making a masterful script, more so they were focused on making Teal'c and Ronan look awesome. Understandable because the two have had awesome moments throughout the franchise but ultimately detrimental to the episode itself, just look at how an instant rivalry is formed without any explanation or justification; while it is natural that the two would be rivals, we wouldn't expect them to be rivals that quickly nor would we expect them to showcase it so obviously. They way they grill each other, it's like they don't even know what the word subtly is and while I would expect Ronan to show an obvious dislike, I wouldn't of expected Teal'c to do the same and additionally his behavior is contradictory in itself; simply put, you can't have Teal'c talking nicely to Sam and then talk sinisterly to Ronan, it just doesn't match up. You would think it'd be awesome to have Teal'c and Ronan fight but their stuff ends up generic and unengaging and this is despite their personalities and history; It's almost as if TPTB believed that simply having Ronan and Teal'c fighting would be enough to appease the fans; speaking of which, there is the obligatory scene in the episode where they actually duke it out (also without any explanation) but it seems oddly meta; compare this thread and you'll notice many similarities, so much so that it almost becomes a reference to the thread itself. Ronan and Teal'c duking it out is nice but I would rather have it without cheering and people betting on them for no reason whatsoever. Sam breaks up the fight but it's more of a moralistic statement rather then something in character, it's like she's telling us "It's not about who wins, it's about getting along." rather then her caring for both of the people; I am happy that they introduced this 10 minutes into the episode rather than dragging it out, who knows how it would of worked out near the end.

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

You would think that they would at least translate this rivalry into something meaningful but instead this episode turns into a mindless run & gun fest with Ronan & Teal'c working together like they were brothers. These two barely show any character throughout these scenes; while they do attempt to develop some form of rivarly/bondship, these things are quickly dropped as soon as they're introduced. These two kill things almost effortlessly, never managing to break a sweat or even be taken advantage of by the enemy but after a while or so the effortlessness becomes boring; when you know these two will make it out of any situation, the risk is gone and what's the fun in watching the two if there's no risk. Of course, an episode like this has to be powered by a plot and the plot here is extremely weak; something involving the Wraith, the midway station and an invasion of Earth may have sound promising on paper but it ends up being extremely manufactured. The IOA plot does nothing for Ronan except give him a beginning and end and pair him up with Teal'c; (which doesn't make sense considering other reasons) the IOA guy is hyped up as a tough challenge but he turns out to be what we've been getting for years. Settings such as the midway station and oddly enough the SGC end up being bland excuses for corridors having little to zero purpose other than to serve as shooting galleries for our heroes and it's a shame too since these settings are trying to justify their continued existence. And it feels disjointed as well; the Wraith's introduction seems to be out of thin air, with a sudden plan to take over the station that's unnatural and jarring, the need for an enemy is understood but it would be better if it introduced the enemy naturally. Also the episode doesn't know if it wants you to focus on the action or the crew of Atlantis; whenever the episode is building the action, it constantly changes it's mind and switches back to the crew and the times in which it changes it's mind is infrequent, constantly diluting the momentum. Because of this, we don't know who we're supposed to care more for.

Alot of the scenes scream questionable. Many of the scenes of the Atlantis crew feel off, I can't exactly put my finger on it but something tells me that it's their first day on the job, not their 77th; for one, it seemed to take them an awfully long time for them to take action, especially considering what's at stake here; I don't know about you but these people should of at least put a bit more effort into helping them out. Same goes for the Wraith; for a menacing threat they sure make tons of mistakes like not sealing the doors or making sure that essential parts of the station are guarded and I don't know what they were thinking when they decided to leave their equipment and ship visible in plain sight... The most off characters have to be the crew on the midway station itself; I don't know what the writers were going for but it doesn't seem to be working as much of their joking/banter/behavior between the three makes it seem like they're total goof-offs and their shtick caused me to take their scenes less seriously then usual; the Earth scientists were better in small does but here they're intolerable and what's worse is that someone makes a really stupid decision to blow up the midway station without a second thought. There's not much excuse to this when you consider what was going on; under different circumstances I may understand but his actions serve to unnecessarily blow up the midway station while conveniently providing the tension needed to help reach it's conclusion. There are a few bright spots though, Sheppard and McKay manage to be decent even though neither of them really feel interested in their roles; there's a "been there, done that" to their performance but the charm they provide helps to keep them afloat. Christopher Judge did a good job with Teal'q managing what he could with the script he was given and at least they're back to using the Daedalus to travel back and forwarth between worlds.

Shoot em' up.

"Midway" is an episode which promises some good Ronan/Teal'c action but ends up being "Teal'c vs. Ronan: Who Would Win: The Episode" Much of this episode is a run & gun fest with barely any depth or soul, manufactured from the ground up to fit the pair; the Wraith have become nothing more but cannon fodder, the settings shooting galleries and Ronan/Teal'c a confused mix of rivals/buddies; while the mindless shooting can be fun for a while, it quickly gets boring after a really short time and you'll be left wanting more, much more. And yet, the thread still lives on despite what has happened and it continued to live on and on until the end of time. The End.