Today the show suddenly finds another Replicator to shoot and then a group of Expedition personnel get stuck down a well of sorts.

Outcast

Synopsis

On Atlantis Sheppard and Ronon are enjoying a lazy day of recreation only for Carter to appear to inform that Sheppard’s father has died from a heart attack. Sheppard soon packs up to visit Earth so he can attend the funeral with Ronon coming in tow to support his friend. At the wake Sheppard’s old family issues come to light when he has awkward conversations with both his brother Dave and his ex-wife Nancy only to be confronted by a young woman Ava who seems to know all about Sheppard, Ronon, and the Expedition. Wanting to question her father Sheppard and Ronon leave the party with her but not before Sheppard and his brother have another argument.

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Later that evening Ava reveals that she was part of a team at Devlin Technologies, the company that had experimented with nanite tech and kidnapped the McKays, led by Dr Poole that was secretly creating a human-form Replicator until Poole attempted to destroy the Replicator when the IOA was shutting down Devlin but the Replicator was able to easily overpower his guards and escapes. An SGC team quickly tracks down Poole with Ava’s help and brings him aboard the Apollo for questioning but the scientist refuses to talk. Aboard the ship Sheppard runs into former Sgt. Bates, now with IOA, and Dr Lee, with the SGC scientist able to track the Replicator’s location with Ava’s help and eventually Poole’s too down to an industrial area.

Inside the industrial area the team attempt to hunt down the Replicator only for Poole to reverse sides once more, knocking out Bates and attempting to help his creation escape only for the Replicator to kill him. Despite attempts by the SGC forces to hunt the Replicator down he’s able to escape when he falls from a crane into the nearby river. The team regroup aboard the Apollo to try and plan a new strategy of tracking the thing down which leads to Sheppard asking his ex-wife, now a Director with Homeland Security, for help tracking down leads which she is able to provide.

Meanwhile aboard the Apollo Lee breaks Poole’s encryption, finding that Ava is in fact a Replicator as well along with a likely location both will be heading to that contains materials needed for self-repair. As expected both Replicators show up but the male one is able to use its military hardware to overpower them until a tracker is jammed into his leg, allowing him to be transported to just outside the atmosphere and burn up on re-entry. In the aftermath the team try to decide what to do with Ava given her Replicator nature but also the fact she deliberately chose to help. In the end they do the kindest thing they can think of, putting her inside a virtual world to live out her days while destroying her Replicator body. After this Sheppard decides to try and make amends with his brother.

Analysis

I don’t know what to make of Outcast as an episode given that on its own it’s a perfectly good episode but it doesn’t seem to connect up well with the rest of the actual season in terms of storyline. The part of this that doesn’t connect up well is the use of the Replicators once again in an episode just after they were supposedly destroyed for good. In a way it shows how dependent on the mythology of SG-1 this show really was in that outside the Wraith it badly struggled trying to set up any other real bad guy for the team to face down. It also doesn’t help the fact it very ham-fistedly tries to justify why there are Replicators left but also the company that created them still working even though it’d previously been taken control of by the IOA.

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Outside of these longer term issues however the Replicators in the episode are fairly interesting with two distinct personalities on display, one of a military model and the other civilian, with each wanting different things but overall just want to be left alone. If anything this episode is less like the Replicators of old and closer to Blade Runner in style as the authorities try to hunt them down in disused industrial areas. Compared to previous episodes of mythologizing and world ending threats this simple chase of one then later two Replicators is a lot more solid as it doesn’t have to build anything up nor fulfil the need for world domination threats and instead just focuses more on the attempts to take down a single walking weapon and how hard it is given their mechanical nature. It’s a style of episode for the human-form Replicators that really could’ve been done earlier given how well it works as both a break from the norm for the enemy and also on its own merits.

Elsewhere the episode tries to add to Sheppard’s character with the addition of multiple members of his family but the execution of it feels really flawed and in many ways pointless. While the addition of his ex does have a couple of plot points she never really adds anything to the same depth of O’Neill’s dealings with his ex back in SG-1 season 1 given that there’s no emotional element built up beforehand apart from a single off the cuff conversation in a previous episode. The addition of his brother has even less relevance to the episode because they share maybe 30-60 seconds of screentime yet he’s meant to provide the emotional conclusion to the episode. Both are therefore ultimately pointless to Sheppard as a character and the episode.

Overall Outcast is a fairly good filler episode that adds nothing to the wider world of the show of note.

Assorted Musings

· I like how Ronon has no idea about Earth customs but still recognises awkward ex conversations.

· So they aren’t telling Ava is something’s alien or not on a spaceship in a room with windows. NO, clearly they value security /s.

· I love how they used the original SG-1 Replicator Theme but remade for the Replicator.

 

Quote of the episode: “This could be our last shot at this guy. We’ve got to make sure he goes down for good this time.”

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“It’s not going to be easy. I mean, if this was the movies we’d dip him into a vat of molten steel or a volcano. You know, “the fires from whence he came.”” – Ronon and Dr Lee

Trio

Synopsis

Carter, Keller, and Meredith are prepping to head out to a planet where a people are suffering the aftereffects of Genii mining in the terms of breathing problems and also suffering geological tremors. On the planet however while walking across a field all three end up falling through the ground into a leftover Genii underground mining plant with no way out it seems when the only door leads to a vast cavern and a very long fall. While they initially suggest waiting for a backup team to check out why they didn’t call in the room, on metal stilts, begins to move due to the tremors forcing the team to try and escape. Their first attempt by stacking a bunch of crates within the room fails when one of them collapses, injuring Carter in the process.

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Their second attempt involves the use of a rope and grappling hook system, where in the process the two women attempt to make Meredith feel uncomfortable. Their preparation is interrupted when two little lovely kids turn up and hear them but refuse to get help because they’ll get in trouble for playing too far away from the settlement, not listening to any of the trio’s attempts to get them to help. They soon get back to tying the rope where Katie Brown comes up where Meredith talks about the fact she’s moved back to Earth, with the two women revealing that he’d accidentally broken up with her. The little cherubs come back again with a bunch of their friends but again refuse to help them in anyway because, well let’s face it they’re little shits. Once they bugger off again they attempt to throw the hook up, only for Meredith to trigger a gas explosion. When Carter takes over the hook makes it up successfully but there’s nothing for it to cling onto, leaving them trapped again.

The team’s third attempt sees them building a makeshift platform using planks of wood in the ceiling supports to get them the necessary height and then putting a couple of boxes on them. Unfortunately Carter falls from the structure when a tremor causes a collapse, breaking her leg in the process. With little outside a basic field kit Carter is left out of play and slowly getting worse the situation gets more desperate. Meredith attempts to use a makeshift cannon to launch the rope out tied to a metal pole, thereby giving it a greater chance of digging into something but this only causes more soil to fall in and cause the tilting of the room to get worse. Eventually Keller accidentally falls out of the room attached to the rope forcing Meredith to try and pull her back in. While getting pulled back up however Keller sees a mineshaft nearby that they could swing to and get out. Meredith manages to get to both Keller and the injured Carter to the shaft but seriously injured his hands in the process. Meredith is forced to climb down himself and barely makes it out before the rope snaps.

Analysis

Another episode, another filler but here it’s a rather good one yet again. It’s not perfect but it was a good little 42 minutes that saw some recently underused characters actually do something for once while touching up a bit of their characters arcs, what little some of them have.

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The main part of the story of course sees the three characters of Meredith, Keller, and Carter stuck in what’s essentially a big cube for the mainstay of the episode and quickly it turns into more an extreme “Escape the Room” scenario than an episode of Stargate but it’s good in its own right. After a series of episodes that were mostly solved through guns or were acts of sheer scientific genius watching these three nerds instead trying to solve more down to earth physical challenges is a breath of fresh air. None of the three are perfect at the job they have to now perform and therefore it’s more satisfying to see them do it as a result because the victory feels earnt rather than just expected. If there’s any part of the main story that annoys me it’s the scenes with the children. They’re little shits who didn’t need to be in the episode and added nothing but make me go “fuck this planet, let them die of bronchitis”.

In terms of the characters though this episode has a major downside because of how good they are in the episode. The show brought Tapping’s Carter in as the new leader of the city and it’s really disappointing that she’s had basically nothing to do all season, several episodes now barely appearing if at all. Staite’s Keller is even worse, with almost no time either and not even the background Carter had from SG-1. The episode just really shows how sadly lost the series has become with its characters, not really knowing what to do with them and most of their planned arcs having fallen apart due to issues with the cast. Add to that the decision to finish the main story arc of the season with the Replicators halfway through and this adds up to a real show of the wheels having come off.

And that’s Trio in a nutshell, a rather expensive filler episode that was so good that its well-put together nature showed up what’s been a rather poorly put together season of individually rather good episodes.

Assorted Musings

· Why did they both need to look down the hole?

· Poor Zelenka. He does nothing but give for these people yet never gets a break.

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· According the creative team this was one of the most difficult and expensive episodes the show ever made despite originally being one of the cheapest fillers planned.

 

Quote of the episode: “Are you talking about Neil deGrasse Tyson? He once stole an idea from me. Did I tell you that story?”

“Only about a dozen times, McKay.” – Meredith and Carter