Its nice to know that without Sheppard being around everyone else just dies
Interestsing episode, to be honest I'm not too sure what to make of it. Am I the only one who was surprised at how fast Sheppard returned to Atlantis? After the whole build-up of him maybe not making it because of the sun turning into a Red Giant, to have him them go from stasis pod straight back to Atlantis seemed a bit strange. Which was why I was wondering whether it was genuine or not? I thought it was a pretty good episode until that point because that whole ending bit seemed a bit, rushed? Not nearly as effective as previous end of season cliffhangers.
Perhaps I'll change my mind when I see how the rest of it turns out.
Although two things that definitely made this episode worth watching - General Lorne! Haha success and a glimpse of life with Woolsey.
The Moon, Let It Guide You And I Shall Find You a Home In Our Heartland, a Heart In Our Homeland
"Well, we're going to this party because I'm trying to picture this girl who likes you and all I can see is you in a dress." ~ Bernard (Black Books)
And am I surprised that he didn't post it? A little bit. I'd assumed that JM started his blog so he could interact with his audience - surely he should expect that not all fans are going to approve of every single show?
If he really felt the urge to blog, he could have gone under a handle or created one anonymously. If he wants to cash in on his success/position as a writer on a series, then he should have the guts to post everything as long as it's not defamatory to real people, filled with foul language (although he doesn't seem to have a problem with allowing those sorts of comments through), expressing violent thoughts, etc. Simply disagreeing with a comment is, IMHO, not good enough. It shows he can't handle criticism.
WE know Ronon has a kind of 'samurai' complex, where he showes respect to his betters. BY this time he has probabily built up a lot of respect for todd.Aw, such an awesome episode! Ronon's death was the best one, he and Todd working together, smiling at each other before they detonate the C-4. Brothers in arms, finally! They are so similar, it was bound to happen (even if it's AU now).
Maybe in that AU carson was never captured and cloned by michael..One problem for me, Sheppard goes to the stasis chamber room and not even a mention of Carson? He just got frozen in there the last episode and they don't even mention what happens to him... Wow...
I just never know how to start these posts anymore.
I mean, I can go with the BIG FONT HOLY CRAP THAT WAS FREAKING AWESOME.
Or, I can go with...ab...abso...lute...won...wonderment...thus...failing...can't...coherence. ..
Or, I can just go WOW, WOW, WOW a few dozen times, and then sprinkle it thoroughly throughout my post.
But they've all been done, so I'll just state it plain and clear: The Last Man is easily one of the best episodes of Atlantis, ever.
Clear enough for you?
The Stargate TPTB have a knack of making the finale feel different from every other episode in the season. They can pretty much throw anything on screen, but there is just that feeling that 1). the end is coming and 2). a ****storm is coming, and this episode added onto that a whole bunch of angst and drama and sadness and awesomeness...I loved it.
There are so many thoughts going through my head right now regarding the subtleties of the character work done in this episode along with everything else that's good and holy, but let's start from the beginning. I knew what the overall plot was, but beyond that, I was clueless. I made it a point to avoid this board after the episode started, and I pretty much kept to that. The result was a riveting hour as I continue to get surprised by the various stories of our valiant Atlantis crew as they meet their maker, and one man's undying legacy of trying to right the past, and above all, get his friend home.
Yes, I was thinking of what this episode was about, and then made up my mind when I saw the McKay-Keller scene with the latter near death's door at the end. That scene was so sad (not to mention doing a good job of rounding up Keller's first year on Atlantis), that I got teary eyed from it, actually. It was just such a powerful scene, with Keller using the last ounces of her strength convincing her loved one to live a happy life and leave the past behind, while Rodney just wouldn't listen. The theme of letting go of the past hits home, personally, for me, so I really understood what Rodney was going through. As always, his "innocent happy face" at figuring out exactly what to do at the cost of thinking about the bigger picture was just heart-breaking. And then...and then he tried for 25 years. That's another story element that I always latched onto, the stories where a person is forced to live a lifetime in emotional pain and suffering (that's why I hearted Unending); I mean, just the thought of that: no one can truly comprehend it without having gone through it, and that's a facinating thing to think about. Seeing Rodney, wrinkled and feeble, his mind heavy with equations and formulas, not to mention horrible memories of his friends and his loved ones...that was the emotional drive of this episode, IMHO, and Sheppard was just going along for the ride. This was a Rodney tour-de-force, no doubt about it, and it just reinforces why he is the greatest character, IMHO, in Stargate.
And really, I can just go on and on about Rodney and David Hewlett's exceptional portrayl...and so I shall! First of all, David did a superb job acting all old and decrepit. Did anyone else notice the slightly slurred-speech patterns, much-slower talking rate, and the addition of "ums" and "uhs"? He also acted a lot more mellow for good reason, and overall it just came together perfectly, especially the makeup as well. I still see the Rodney I knew behind those wrinkles, but at the same time, the pain he had felt for all these years was clear as day. As usual, he was putting up a brave front for other people, just like he always does, but after so long, it's just not working anymore. I felt as if he had reached some kind of "enlightenment", a stage only a lifetime of suffering can give you. There was a moment, right before Shep got frozen, where Rodney just kind of sighed or looked down, and that single look just gave me chills, because, at that moment, he looked so pathetic and run down and world-weary; the capture of 25 years of misery. Like I said, heart-breaking. And then there was that excellent push in on Rodney near the end as he comes up with his idea. That, coupled with the voice over and Rodney's raw (I gotta use that word at least once in every review) emotional train of thought of Keller dying made it another one of those...un-Stargate moments, when REAL drama erupts from the screen (no offense to TPTB; it's just that most of the time it's action and adventure, not drama, that I see on screen). So excellent job to Paul Mullie who wrote that line (most likely), to DH who performed it, and Andy Mikita who came up with push-in (again, most likely). One moment capturing the horrible events of the time.
Still, Rodney had his wits. I loved how, upon activation, he made the hologram appear right behind John. Loved his "young man" remark, and his caring about Sheppard needing food. I mean, think about it, he is the only hope of getting Sheppard back home, and Sheppard is the only hope of getting history to go the right way. 1 Human, 1 Hologram, far flung into the future on a dead world, carrying the keys to salvation in the present. That is pretty heavy stuff, IMHO.
Well, enough about Rodney. Let's turn to the others, who also had their time in the sun:
Wooo! Sam! I loved how, at the beginning, when she and Rodney were touring the ship, she was all smiles and excitement (her inner geekgirl coming out!) while he was all "oh crap, we've got sooo much work to do". And then we had her saying goodbye to Rodney, and hugging him, and it had such a tone of finality to it. It's almost like she knew that she was not going back. It made perfect sense. By having Sam putting her foot down on continuing Atlantis's stay in Pegasus despite the odds, it made it perfectly clear that she was going to fight this fight until the bitter end, simply because this was all their fault. Having her going off alone (well, with a crew) seemed like a penance...be all my sins remember'd, as it were. Hehe.
And then we had the battles. Honestly, the last one, in which Sam perished, has got to be one of the most intense moments in Stargate history. I was literally shaking and speechless afterwards. From the moment the battle begins, it just never relents. Right way we're treated to a feast for the eyes as a beautiful blue planet stretches out below us, with the tiny Phoenix almost gliding over it. At the same time, we get a feast for the ears as well, as Joel Goldsmith delivers one of his best scores of the franchise. Then, the many Wraith hives come into view (slightly off topic, but I had a story in my head where the Wraith ambushes one of our Asgard-enchanced ships to study it, and this is how it starts, so this was surreal), and bam bam bam the situation goes to crap as explosions ring out across the bridge, wraith glowy blobs impact the ship over and over, the music roars in all its magnificence, I get ridiculously hyper. And then, just to top it, we have a freaking RAMMAGE! I've always loved seeing one ship ram another, just because I loved the carnage of the twisting and snapping and grinding of metal on metal; just, such raw force. And Sam did that at superspeed! What a women!
Sam Carter went out a hero, just like we always thought she would, if, God forbid, it ever came to that. AWESOME.
Before I get to the other characters, let me just touch on how much I loved the unique-look of the battles in this episode. Not only do we get to see hive-on-hive action (hehehe), but they're always at a strange angle. Well hey, there's no up in space, right? So this is expected. Finally though, we get to see it on Stargate, which has utilized the "chessboard" model of space combat for far too long (even BAMSR had that problem). Of course, seeing two hives circling each other as we pulled away made it clear that they were just fish in a pond waiting to be plucked out by Michael. It made the situation that much more hopeless.
Now, before I forget, I gotta touch on the Science Fiction part of the episode, namely the time travel. I love time travel, always have, always will; but unfortunately, television seems to favor one type over another; we go back a lot more often than we go forward. This is why this episode had me intrigued the moment I heard about it. So, when Sheppard returned to Atlantis, I was just freaking out at how cool it was. Then, John went outside, and I just lost it. The CGI was phenomenal, and the lone female voice singing in the background as we pull back from a sand-blasted Atlantis...in fact, that moment at the end of the teaser was one of the 2 "awesome Stargate moments I will watch over and over again" that appeared in this episode. The other was the death of Sam. Anyway, the mere thought of ending up 48,000 years into the future was...unthinkable. Although, I'd agree with Rodney, it IS cool when you think about. Heck, I'd love to do it myself it it weren't an one-way trip! But just...48,000 years. That's crazy.
Ok, getting back to the characters. Gotta give it up for Ronon. Again, the character stuff is sutble. He left Atlantis only after Shep and Teyla were gone. This really says how he connected (or didn't) to the Expedition. Or, perhaps the fact that his first friends in 7 years (heh, almost typed "tears") had died gave him a bad taste as to the place where he got to know them? Either way, Ronon's choice to leave Atlantis is definately something to focus on. If I were a good fanfic writer, I'd SO write a piece on Ronon's last day on Atlantis. This whole episode gives a vast playing field for fanfic writers, anyway. Fast forward to the Toddmeister's return; again, loved, loved, loved it. Once more we get subjected to the awesomeness that is the funny Wraith Todd. Loved his "naturally" to Ronon's simple plans of destruction. Then of course, we have that ending. That's just...what's the word...oh yeah, PERFECTION. An excellent "fake" conclusion to Ronon's arc. He died, but there was so much to it. He died to make sure his men live, maintaining his noble spirit. He also died destroying a Wraith facility, maintaining his aversion towards them. At the same time, however, he destroyed the Wraith facility to weaken Michael, who was killing Wraith, and at the same time working with Todd, showing that the Ronon in that timeline has come to accept that not all Wraith are created equal; not all of them are evil; not all of them are the demented monsters who hunted him down. And that smile at the end...perfect, like I said.
Oh, and I like to touch on Keller for a moment. She didn't have a big role in this episode, but I love what they gave her. I haven't read the thread, but I imagine there are people complaining about her quiting. Well, that made perfect sense to me. Either you do nothing for the Pegasus people in Atlantis, or you do nothing for the Pegasus people at home. At least this way she doesn't have to see the carnage being done while standing helpless on the sidelines. As for "McKeller"...well, I'm not a Stargate shipper, but I'm definitely facinated by it. As I said waaaay back above, that scene at the end made me teary-eyed. But then, it was just heart-warming seeing Keller and McKay smiling at each other and holding each other's hand. Sometimes a simple gesture is all you need to get across the thought that you care about someone like that. Loved it.
Oh, and a shoutout to all the cool cameos in this episode! Kate Hewlett (and the brief moment of sibling squabling), Robert Picardo (foreshadowing!), General Kavan Smith, etc. etc.
And...heh, this just makes it all the more better: I have to split this post up since it's too huge now. A perfect event for the finale of my favorite season (since the longer my reviews, the more I liked an episode). So...
To be continued.
Previously, on PG15's ridiculously long review...
THE LAST MAN ROCKED! WOO!!
And now, the conclusion.
Finally, we come to Michael. What we have here is a complete evolution of a character, people. Michael started as an ordinary Wraith, we captured him, we experimented on him; we basically created him anew. From there, his ambitions and hatred grew, and thanks to various events, he arrived at a position to dominate the entire Pegasus Galaxy! Usually, a villain is already at power when we try to take them down, but very rarely do we create a villain ourselves in this way. The pace at which Michael evolved was, IMHO, done incredibly well and in many subtle ways, and his ascension to power seen in this episode was just...EPIC. In his words "I never asked for any of this". I mean, just the way everything came together for him; I wouldn't be surprised if he now thinks that it's his destiny to rule the Pegasus galaxy with beings like himself.
I would just like to focus on that scene that quote came from for a moment. The way it was set up, lighted, directed, and performed was just spectacular. At all times, Michael's face is in semi-darkness; you never see his whole face lit up. That gives him the perfect air of mysteriousness and unpredictability a villain needs. Then, when he decapitates the Wraith Queen, watch how his face changes. It switches from that of arrogant swagger to homicidal maniac in a matter of a second; so fast that it's unnerving. Seriously, watch it again and pay close attention. Connor did a wonderful job in this. Indeed, Michael has become my favorite villain on Atlantis. My wish is for Teyla and the baby to be both found, but Michael finds another way to finish his plans. There, best of both worlds.
And then we have that ending. Some people felt it rushed. I actually did as well. But then, I realized that "The Last Man" ended when Sheppard got back to Atlantis, and "Search and Rescue" started there and then. It's a good thought. Of course, the question is: how the hell do they get out of something like that?! No doubt, the only response to that question is: watch Season 5, and find out.
And boy, if Season 5 is as good as The Last Man...we're in for another wild ride. Here's to Season 5!
Season 4 Score: 9.5/10
So...you liked it, then, PG15? Just to make sure...