Once in a while, SGA has one of those episodes that places a character in a situation where he holds everything in his hands; something involving technology, a rival character, trading or even something at Atlantis and right now, we are witnessing one of those episodes and the character which the episode places in the situation is the ever so "invaluable" Dr. Rodney McKay who's situation promises to provide a beneficial experience for his character.
Now the situation itself is classic Stargate; a supposed building left behind by the ancients, a mysterious source which enthralls our character and for good reason, an environment that provides tons of questions and not enough answers. Many of Stargate's classic episodes had this exact situation and they usually provides many of the best episodes; the setting may be bare but the setting is the place which the character is allowed to work his magic, it's the things that contains the things essential to the plot and it provides something which keeps the viewer tuning in. The sheer amount of knowledge that went into this is respectable; the science mentioned or shown gives credence to the entire thing and it makes the actions of our characters so much compelling; sure, they could of gone the easy route but this is necessary for a plot like this and what is introduce here is some truly scientific stuff, stuff that gives sci-fi the name it's known for ever so well and the best part, it almost takes a background (but noticeable) role and it uses it to build on the exploits for our star attraction.
Simplistic, but effective.
I've written before that McKay has gotten chances to shine but this episode, this does wonders for his character. We finally get to see the enthusiastic scientist side that has mostly been neglected for his egotistical, cowardly comedic side... His performance reflects every scientists out there, breeming with excitement, filled with ideas, making sure that everything goes right; his performance reminds scientists why they chose the profession they did in the first place, science is about exploring the unknown, discovering what can be out there, knowing what can be known... It's one of the essential things of society that has survived for decades and it mainly exists to serve the human's desire for knowledge and innovation, one that can't ever seem to be stopped by anything. While Rodney's performance isn't going to make anybody run out and become a scientist, it does serve as a successful reminder to those scientists watching the show.
We also get a chance to see him beg and try to see his dreams fulfilled. I didn't know he had that type of leadership in him as he pleaded his case to Weir; seeing him as he stated his case ever so well, fueled by the desire that he has, it made me think of him as a whole nother person. You ain't seen this sort of determination from him in a long, long time; it's clear he has an idea and he believes in the prospective benefits of those ideas to the point where he's willing to do anything to see it through. McKay performance adjusts relating to the situation at hand, to confident to mopy to even desperate; he knows what to do in regards to the situation and he especially knows how to do it while keeping to his character. There are times where his ego does come up but I let some of those moments slide as it was related to his scientist persona and it was tied in to the whole scientific possibility belief thing and all, it actually added to his character this time around; (A rarity) the times where his egotism does get in the way it's distracting but overall I didn't mind.
McKay the scientist.
The conflict provided of possibilities vs. impossibility is something that's common but ever so relevant in today's times and the crew and the show's natural affinity for the unknown makes this conflict well worth investing in as well... They really utilize the conflict to let out their best; the tone of every one of these characters is there, the mood of these characters can easily be deciphered and each of them manage to make an impact on the plot like never before. Weir's forceful stance is something that manages to shine here and Sheppard's concern is something that manages to reflect on both sides of the argument while also proving useful to the plot at hand; the scientists also manage to utilize their knowledge and quick thinking to build on the conflict and and even the Daedalus guy manages to provides a nice balance. It's really refreshing to see a different take on it, Stargate always had something regarding making a common argument knew and I'm just glad that the SGA guys are able to do the same thing; the conflict builds up till the end and though what happens in the end is sad, it's something that ties the entire conflict together while providing tons of amazing visual moments and reaffirming the character of Rodney in a positve way...
There is a side plot involving Teyla and Ronan that serves to enhance both of their characters and reinforce the relationship that they have; I really like the fact that there's going to be a potential love triangle brewing up, just thinking about it is making me giddy... Anyways, we get to see the unseen side of Ronan's rebellious personality; from his involvement in a trade which we finally get to see to his revelation of people from his homeworld being alive to even the vengeance side of him, all of those things just add more to a character, who knew he had honor and that there were more people alive and Teyla gets some things to shine as well. Her treatment of certain things as art brought about a side that is mostly unseen but assumed, her friendliness shows as she takes care of Ronan and even her serious side manages to come out. It's nice to see both of these characters getting some time to grow and getting a reasonable amount of screen time, it just makes these characters valuable. Of course there is a feeling these scenes are being treated like filler but who cares when it's just so engaging character wise.
It doesn't involve the Wraith or any substantial form of action but it doesn't need to; the wonder behind this episode is the situation at hand and the character whom the situation focuses on, which is Rodney. Episodes like this are the best when it comes to characters like him, and this is no exception as he utilizes every ounce of his will to provide an exceptional performance that more then grows his character while also providing an argument and the science-fiction they have come to know from the genre. Though there are some faults which seriously impact this episode, this is truly one of SGA's finest episodes... In fact I go so far to say as the best of the season so far...
Back from the grave.
My LiveJournal post
Wow, what an ep. McKay's arrogance has still not ceased to amaze (and annoy) me!
Some good news for Ronon though.
"Thanks to denial, I'm immortal."
"A big 'Hello' to all intelligent life out there, and for everyone else, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys!"
"Excuse me, barmaid? You seem to have brought me the wrong offspring. I ordered an extra large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side. This here, this is a talking fishbone!"
"I'm Jack. It means... what's in the box?"
>-- Czechs Rock! >--
I recently saw this episode a few days ago for the first time, and I gotta say, I loved it! Everybody had a part to play, so nobody got sidelined as sometimes tends to happen if an episode dwells on one particular character.
Everything from the Ronan background plotline points, to Teyla's fierce warning to not use her again, to McKay's smug arrogance that oh so quickly turns to horrifying dread, to Sheppard's trust being temporarily lost, to Weir giving McKay a dressing down ... I really liked the episode.
... Okay, so maybe Carson didn't get a huge part in it. But considering he just got promoted to regular, he's already had a couple big moments. Like getting a girlfriend and having McKay kiss him.
Yawn. Another McKay episode. Its boring to have so many episodes feature him. And an episode featuring his own arrogance. I would rather watch paint dry. Which is unfortunate. Because the the super weapon built by the Ancients sounds like an interesting concept. I did not understand the technobabble it would have been interesting but was unfortunatly overshadowed by another McKay episode. And not even a very good one. On the other hand I loved the Teyla and Ronon B plot. I loved seeing Ronon coming to terms with his past and the ability to see his people once again. I agree with Ronon and Teyla about what they did based on how Kel is responsible for the death of thousands
I liked both plots but didn't think they went well together. It felt jarring back and forth between them. The best parts for me were Weir yelling at Mckay and Teyla warning Ronin never to use her like that again.
To be honest, i felt the b plot of teyla and Ronin could have done with being it's own episode.
One of the few good lines from the SG-1 comedy episode "200" applies here:
Teal'c: "I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."
An inexhaustible power source would indeed be too good to exist. But I'm noticing that the Atlantis team harvests or manufactures hardly any techology at all. The outpost looked well constructed, and had some kind of power source to heat and light up the place. It was a valuable property. "Was" being the operative word here.
Sheppard seems to be the wise man superhero who never makes mistakes. I don't buy that he was even remotely qualified to judge the project's viability. Frankly, I'm annoyed by his license to be the only hero, judge and jury.
The dialogue between Tayla and Ronan after Kel's death was good. Tayla truly seemed an alien to me. I'm glad they have each other as support.
The wraith hadn't been there in 10 000 years. In a galaxy where no world is safe from the wraith, it was the motherlode.The outpost looked well constructed, and had some kind of power source to heat and light up the place. It was a valuable property. "Was" being the operative word here.
So yea the planet alone was super-valuable.
I don't see why Weir retracted her decision; episode-minutes earlier she agreed with Caldwell and Sheppard that her decision was gonna be overruled by the IOA or president or whoever anyway, so she could best stall the re-activation of the device and let Zelenka do his math.
True. Though i would put this more to being a Mccay and Zalenka focused ep, than just only Mccay.