You've watched one of those Indiana Jones movies right? Well this episode of Stargate Atlantis is similar but the twist is, there isn't one person who's the focus here, they're all working for a team. Well maybe except for Dr. Rodney McKay.
It's a known fact that adventure is what Stargate thrives on, it provides the series with a sense of exhilaration that precedes most other sci-fi series; okay, maybe not Star Trek but it is something that defines the franchise. We've seen the crew in other adventures before but to see them in their first real adventure hunting for a ZPM to save Atlantis from certain doom is certainly something, expectations are high judging by how the thing opens but much of the beginning of the episode doesn't fulfill those expectations. I don't know about you but the opening scenes felt a bit slow to me; I understand that they're having them explore, build up to the moment where they do find something but there isn't much holding my attention here. What does hold my attention for these scenes is decent, them digging up, looking for clues to the mystery which fuels much of the Indiana Jones feeling; it just provides that sense of adventure which promises to make this episode awesome but for the most part, it just feels lacking for the first few minutes of the episode.
Once the Genii truly begin to get involved, the episode starts to kick into gear; becoming an ever so hectic experience that amps up the action and reveals the true colors of the adventure. Forya is as awesome as his last appearance, this time playing the foreign dictator who wants the stuff all to himself. I've noticed that this character seems to only exist to homage certain roles; first the German terrorist in Die Hard and now a similar bad guy from Indiana Jones? It's like they really want him to be that certain someone to Shephard or even McKay. The other Genii do good too, with some of them getting their chance to shine but they're ultimately Forya's cannon fodder; I'm ashamed that these Genii are treated as fodder; I could see the Gou'ald as throwaways but the Genii? they've even made it clear that they're a bunch of people trying to defend themselves from the wraith and there are tons of them of a society so why treat them as fodder? Regardless Forya and the Genii provide the action that you and the episode crave.
Forya, as awesome as ever.
It's nice to see our Atlantis guys kicking butt and taking names, especially regarding the Genii but the real surprise here is Rodney who steps up to the plate to play the role of Indiana Jones; It's definitely odd to see McKay playing the role that Shepherd usually would but after some getting used to, he proves to serve his role well; he may be weak, yes but he more then makes up for it in his own special way. His intelligence and skills has been something that has been somewhat underutilized, it has popped up from time to time yes but mostly to make the character seem self important, to see both put to good use is certainly a good use of his character and it's definitely something that sets apart his portrayal of Indiana Jones; the interpretations he does of the various stones and the usage of lasers in order to solve a complex but common mystery is classic Indiana Jones, it's something that though doesn't involve violence, more then gets across what Rodney is supposed to be homaging.
He even gets a girlfriend for the duration of the episode; though his interaction with the girlfriend is less then expected (he does that awkward stuff Z-grade romance movies commonly have.), it's certainly something that's good for Rodney (since it is his first girlfriend and all) as he's trying to romance it with a girl and the fun and the tons of unintentionally that Rodney brings just helps to separate the Romance plot from the thousands of others that exist. The mystery that fueled the episode was one you'd see in a movie, which is to say it's brilliant. I loved how they incorporated number structures, certain placement of numbers and even something in common sight, it's just something that made the mystery engaging and involving; within the context of the world it fit well and it even gave us some insight to the aforementioned "Brotherhood" which I thought was nicely done. The Brotherhood may have been generic but combined with the Ancients their something which provided a lot of intrigue which helped set the ground of the episode as far as anybody is concerned.
Rodney, you lucky dog you...
The lighting and mood fit the whole thing with it's natural aspects, bright colors, dark environments and strong hues; everywhere you go it managed to both remind you of Indiana Jones and Stargate, which is good and it managed to provide the perfect mood for anything, revelation, romance, action, exploration; the scene with the lasers has got to be the best scene detailing this lighting in my opinion. This episode is amazing as an Indiana Jones homage but there are certain things that irked me; for instance, why did the writers feel that having Atlantis without ZPM was more important then obvious logic? The whole surprise thing felt like it was forced and there are thousands of things they could of done but I guess the writer's intentions win out in the end. The few scenes taking place in Atlantis feel like they're there mainly to break up the monotony; a fight involving a couple of gateships is cool and all but it just seemed there to fill time, even when they do twist it around; still I have to admire them for building up to the finale by having the first interaction of it's kind, just shows they have something sinister brewing up.
Overall, this was a pretty awesome episode. It's kind of boring in the beginning but it builds up to be this incredible homage to Indiana Jones that will surely entertain everybody. Seeing McKay as Indiana Jones was odd but it's definitely one of the things that make the episode and though there are things that will irk even the most adamant of Stargate fans; it's still enjoyable regardless though those things hinder the episode alot preventing it from reaching it's true potential. If you're in the mood for an Indiana Jones-like adventure then pop this one in, you won't be disappointed.