"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 suppose this was an episode to work on developing characters. See how different people deal with a possible traitor. Weir and Bates as the civilian/ military clash over who is to blame, and Sheppard in the middle.
At least a use was found for the Athosians, instant farmers on the mainland, nice and convenient!
McKay seems to be slowly building up to perfecting the whining! It was funny when he was hit in the face and stunned, it was some peace and quiet for a while!
The necklace as an Ancient detector was an interesting idea, those sneaky Wraith! Appealed to the Ancient sense of aesthetics so they'd notice it and pick it up I guess. They always seemed to add artistic flourishes to their technology, the base unit for the communication stones found in Glastonbury for example, and the gates themselves, they look good!
Joe Mallozzi's memories of this episode:
This was Paul and my first episode of Atlantis and, looking back now, it’s amazing how many elements were put in play here. We establish the wraith stunners, the mainland, Teyla’s stick-fighting ability, the Zelenka-McKay working dynamic, and the beginnings of Teyla’s conflicted loyalties between the Atlantis expedition and her people. There’s also the civilian vs. military divide that’s touched upon here in the scene in which Sheppard dismisses Sgt. Bates only to have Weir remind him that she, as the leader of the expedition, appointed Bates as head of security. We also introduce the wraith self-destruct mechanism that, while interesting and effective on off-world encounters, aren’t going to enter into the equation when the teams take the fight to the hive ships.
The thing I remember most about this episode was wondering why the Atlantis away teams didn’t have designations like the away teams oeprating out of Stargate command (ie. SG-1, SG-2, SG-3). While my writing partner, Paul, was busy thinking up lyrics for the Atlantis theme to accompany the bang-up job we’d done coming up with lyrics for the SG-1 theme (We give a rare performance here: Stargate Theme (with lyrics!) – YouTube. Ultimately, Paul was only able to come up with: We’re in Atlantis! We’re underwater!) I set my mind to coming up with SGA team designations. And, I did, but the other writers balked at my First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team idea. Clearly, they were just jealous.
Midweek...another ep of Atlantis.
1. Sheppard was a bit OTT here.
2. Bates was even worse but Shep just playing the superior officer card doesn't work.
3. It was wierd to find that Teyla was the unwitting mole after all. Should have called it.
Rember when the show actually was a team and the character all had equal time? That is what so great about S1. Everyone seem to have a part to do. Well except Ford but we won't go there. I really like this episode because of how it shows the tension in Atlantis or more specfically Bates versus everyone. I kind of miss this later on because the tension between makes sense with all these clashing ideals in Atlantis. And given how much the Wraith have attacked I can believe that tension would develop between these people. Its human nature to be suspicious of people and the Athosians are a mysterious factor with the Tauri. So I kind of like the arguements and disagreements between the two groups in this episode although the whole mainland subplot seems kind of an easy way to get rid of the arguements. But it did bring the capturing of that Wraith. Using tasers and stun grenades was something new which made that interesting to see
Ah... The Athosians, a race of people just like us... They laugh, they cry, they care, they pray and though their culture and customs are different, we relate to them all the same but there always manage to be some sort of tension between different races, no matter how much we know them; hence when suspicion of a spy on Atlantis is up and about, the heat is on the Athosians as they seem to be the only race of people who would have a spy in their ranks.
The episode is sort of played as a mystery as the Atlantis crew question everyone, investigate leads as the writers manage to have you at pins and needles over who it is, testing your belief and giving you a difficult mystery to solve much like "The Missing Crown Affair". The mystery isn't something that's dumbed down so that the general public can get it but this isn't earth-shattering since it's a sci-fi show and all... There are time frames, there are location visits, there are even visual things that may trick you into thinking the opposite and from the characters shown, there are personas, hints, ideas and motives. The best mysteries will have you questioning whether your instinct is right or wrong and this is no exception but this is far from the best mystery here. (though it does rank high.) The mystery will provide you with hours of fun and the ever-so-expected reveal at the end will shock and surprise you (after you get so involved in the mystery) but the mystery is not the focus of the episode.
No, this is...
No... That goes to the Athosians who are given the majority of the episode's focus. As I said before, there has always been tensions between different races and the writers of the episode utilize that as they craft racial tension situation and I have to say, they did an exceptional job; the Athosians culture, beliefs and perception of outsiders really gets to shine within their forced confinement which does a great job at reminding me of the similar incidents that dawned history, you can see their desire not to be imprisoned, not to be treated like prisoners and even their objection towards Taylor and her siding with Atlantis, which in my opinion is one of the best things about the episode because it accurately reflects a certain situation where an entire group of people hated on those people who wanted to forgo their own culture in exchange for being one of them. Being who you are is tough, you always get rained upon and treated differently (even today) and even though the intentions of the city you're inhabiting are good (and they are good), it all boils down to one thing; the perception that one race is superior while the other is inferior...
The performances of every one of the Athosians are good, truly managing to seem like a society at every turn. Their objections to their treatment, their stances against the Atlantis crew and the references to interrogation aren't cliched, they're as natural as they can be which helps the believability of the racial tension situation significantly; it would of harmed the episode if the tension was contrived so to see them putting the effort to make the racial objection believable, that's saying a lot. The performance crew of Atlantis are also good, managing to walk the fine like between concern and intolerance; it's nice they didn't make every one of the crew Athosian-haters (which most of them are, and their performance detracted from the episode.), there needed to be someone to balance out the racial tolerance and the safety of Atlantis, someone like Dr. Weir who does as nice job as anybody. It's nice to see how the innocent actions to weed out the spy can lead to racial intolerance, even if it's not suggested; it paints a nice vivid picture about how people are either aware or unaware that such actions can lead to these things and the tough situation regarding the treatment of the people, how much they care about the people and the feelings of the people in general, certainly gives the episode some metaphorical weight that this episode thrives on. Shepherd also performance that both fits the mystery and serves his character well, you can see the devotion in his eyes as he acts; I do wish they could of gone a bit deeper but for what it's worth, they did it well enough.
Athosians vs. Atlantis, truly a conflict.
We even get some shots of Atlantis which introduces more of it's hidden charms and even the world around it while serving to further the racial tension thing and even though that was it's only purpose (would of liked it to be more substantial); it's still an amazing sight nonetheless since this allows for even more possibilities for Atlantis and beyond. It even allows for some insight between the two people who find the land, which is nice since the insight behind their characters actually makes them more relatable and in the case of Shepherd, makes them more insightful; for you action fans out there, don't worry... they've left a little something in there just for you as there are two action packed scenes that both serve the story and are exhilarating. The first action scene is a classic example of things that go wrong but it seems like it's missing something; it's got Wraith shooting at them, it's got a rush to go back to the gate, it's even got a couple of people missing so what's missing that could make these scenes exceptionally great? I'm not sure but I do know it's missing something; the second scene however is a complete masterpiece; it isn't senseless action per say, more so it has a purpose in that it showcases the true cooperation and execution of everybody involved, using bangs and explosions to get the point across and what happens in those scenes proves beneficial to the series as a whole; it also contains some martial arts that is just plain awesome to watch and serve reinforce the Asian influences this show contains, who knew they'd be able to incorporate martial arts in an action scene?
The ending is also good, I won't spoil anything but let's just say that it's dramatic and breathtaking at the same time; though the journey to get to the end is a long one as there are some scenes that just drag on and it felt like I was watching a 2 hour movie instead of a 44-minute episode so it can be pretty tough to wade through but if you can make it through, it's worth it.
So this proved to be a pretty good episode; the focus on the Athosian's provided a good background for a racial tension story as well as an exploratory story. The episode also provided a mystery that was very good and also had some amazing action scenes as well as some exploration in Atlantis but this is the Athosian's show all the way. The racial tension provides a metaphorical look into the argument of differential treatment of races and the superiority race that continues on, even today which makes this one of SGA's deeper episodes. It isn't a masterpiece but it certainly is one of SGA's best and an enjoyable experience nonetheless.
Back from the grave.
This ep rocked.
Wraith stunners, Athosians going to the mainland, Teyla's fighting.
I'm beginning to like Teyla very much.
Wier could have been more clever here. And the necklace, well I figured that out
Last edited by Cluas; February 12th, 2013 at 05:08 AM. Reason: spelling
I liked the episode. Still don't like Teyla but I did enjoy her fighting. Early on I thought it was something that was planted on someone. I was almost right.
I wonder.. Would repeated stuns to the face make one potentially mute as your vocal cords get damaged?
I'm guessing the hostility between Sheppard and Bates is intended to continue (and that there is more to Bates than we see here*), but I think a scene should have been added showing Sheppard or Taila, or both, give the sergeant some manner of apology for how they treated him. After all, he was right and his persistence ultimately saved the city and the team from future peril.
I've noticed that the various badges, flags and insignias are often missing from uniforms. Is this a mistake or are they removed for off-world missions?
* Bates has a "dodgy" vibe about him and I suspect that the Wraith prisoner will lead him to a bad end.
I like how the writers are slowly developing the story and the city - like finding the "sun roof" now rather than tossing into the pilot episode - and taking the time to add in events or situations that are not just about plot or character - like McKay getting shot in the face, it had no relevance to the story but was just fun.