Today Ford leads a group of people to their deaths. Why? Who knows with this drug addict.
FART is out for a nice stroll in the woods only to be ruthlessly stunned by a group of men and brought to a cave on another world, only to be revealed that they’ve been taken by Ford and his Merry Men of Wraith cocaine addicts. Ford reveals that after being captured at the start of the season the guards left him alone which easily allowed him to fill up on Cocaine and escape the ship he was on. After leaving he began to form his Merry band of addicts until he got to where he is now, because his name is
Tony Montana Aiden Ford.
While claiming to be their friend Ford has their evening meal laced with cocaine in an effort to get them hooked on his own supply, all apart from Sheppard as he’s still desperate for his former mentor’s respect. Despite not being under guard the team can’t escape as Ford has hidden the DHD control crystal allowing to dial the associated Stargate (as unlike MW Gates Pegasus ones have no manual dial ability). To demonstrate how great Wraith cocaine is Sheppard and Teyla are brought on a raid by Ford’s men which goes off as little more than a straight charge on an armed position, even if it is successful. It turns out the raid was to recover C4 held by the Genii, the first stage of a plan to destroy a Wraith Hive. It turns out that Ford has access to a damaged Dart that he has Rodney fix up and Sheppard fly.
Over the course of the repairs Teyla and Ronon continue to be injected with Wraith cocaine by the others, leading to a series of personality changes. Sheppard still wants to try and escape so Ford initially fakes homesickness and claims to want to go home after the mission to keep him on board. When this fails however Ford ensures Sheppard’s continued participation by holding Rodney hostage on the planet until they return. Sheppard, forced to continue, beams up the strike force into the Dart and goes through the Gate to the location of the Hive. As he approaches the ship the autopilot kicks in, forcing Sheppard to guess when to beam out the team which ends with half the strike force falling to their deaths. Upon landing the Dark is inspected by the Wraith, forcing Sheppard to kill them, causing the alarm to sound. Despite the team’s might cocaine powers they’re all quickly captured by the guards.
After being thrown in a cell Sheppard is brought to the Queen to be interrogated about where they came from but this is quickly cut short when another Hive suddenly appears. Back in the cell with the others the team try to break out by throwing the surprisingly large number of knives hidden on Ronon’s person to escape confinement. As they attempt to escape however they pass through the section where humans are stored for feeding on later, with FART deciding to try and save them. The resulting argument however sees them all recaptured yet again.
Back in Ford’s hideout Rodney grows more and more panicked about why the others haven’t made it back yet. After his two guards continuously blow him off regarding what’s happening Rodney decides to use the entire stock of Wraith cocaine in the nearby cabinet, allowing him to overpower the guards and steal the Gate control crystals back. The man is able to resist the effects of the drug long enough to make his way to the Gate, repair the DHD, and dial back to Atlantis. When he arrives however he’s in such a delirious state he’s barely able to speak and almost immediately collapses, only saying that Ford took the others.
On the Hive ship the team are split into two groups, with Sheppard and Ford in one cell along with the woman they freed while the others occupy another. On the ship those who’d gotten high on their own supply begin to go through serious withdrawal, with the man stuck with Teyla and Ronon eventually succumbing. In the meantime the woman in the cell with Sheppard tries to connect with him, talking about where she came from and what happened while captured. Eventually she asks if she can come with him to his world, prying for information about it which causes Sheppard to become defensive. After waking Sheppard is brought to the Queen, who admits that the girl is a Wraith Worshipper when Sheppard guesses it’s the case. Sheppard however claims he’s a Worshipper from the other Hive, only to be rescued by Ford at the last minute. Ford decides to hold the Wraith off while Sheppard rescues the others.
By now Rodney’s recovered from his little drugtrip and begins to inform Weir of what actually happened. Using the Daedalus they head to the planet where the team were meant to have travelled to, finding the two Hive ships in orbit. Caldwell deploys a Jumper flown by Rodney and Major Lorne to scout ahead, who are unable to get radio contact with those on the ships, before engaging both Hives.
On board the Hive Sheppard steals another Dart and beams up Teyla and Ronon before escaping the ship. As both Hives fire on the Daedalus and deploy Darts Sheppard uses his to fire on the other Hive, causing the two to turn on each other. The resulting exchange however not only takes out both Hives but also any vessels in the area, leading to the appearance that Sheppard and the others also perished. Atlantis however receives an unexpected dial in from Sheppard and the others as it turns out Sheppard flew the Dart to a nearby planet using the Spacegate to Gate home.
The episode ends with Ronon and Teyla being given a clean bill of health by Beckett, with Ford being assumed dead along with everyone else on the Hives.
Finally after 1.5 seasons we finally reach the end of the Ford plotline once and for all, with everyone’s annoying Wraith cocaine dealer meeting his fate at the hands of a massive explosion.
Honestly it’s a shame that what could’ve been a good subplot was wasted on a character who’s just so completely unlikable. Even throughout the episode he spends most of the time just being manipulative and evil, force feeding the team the Wraith drug while claiming he’s just trying to help. Out of all the characters it’s the Merry Band who fight alongside him who’re the most interesting as they, if relatively one dimensional, have some purpose and story to tell. Most of them are just people who wanted to fight back against the Wraith and saw this as the best way possible, losing a part of themselves in the process but at least they were honest about it.
Ford’s plotline does end with him redeeming himself for his earlier actions, with him seemingly sacrificing his life to save the others. Unfortunately this turn is too little too late for the character, having scuppered a previous escape attempt and causing the death of his last teammate by hogging all the cocaine they had left. It’s hard to see such a dislikeable character redeemed in the space of an episode. By comparison characters like Jaime Lannister took an entire season of getting dragged through his own shit and mud to become sympathetic and even then it took him losing his hand along the way as well. And that’s a guy who pushed a child from a window.
Outside of this large failing as an episode it does have some good storytelling involved when it comes to the other areas. In terms of the show’s mythology the two parter does introduce probably the most vital characteristic regarding the Wraith for the rest of the show which is that it turns out they’re divided into factions and tribes amongst their own, barely cooperating if ever. Until now the entire show has seemed to be the united front of the Wraith versus the team but now similarities to the Goa’uld start to emerge but instead of 3-4 main leaders each Hive is basically a faction of its own. This leads to some very interesting interactions later in the season. In terms of the Wraith the episode also introduces the idea of a 5th column movement that is selling out other humans in the name of the Wraith. Sadly though this isn’t as well used in the future.
A great joy of the episode is David Hewlett’s portrayal of the increasingly fearful and delusional Rodney, especially after he decides to overdose on Wraith cocaine. In particular his attempts to stay sane while repairing the DHD and then communicate with both Weir and Beckett, especially with the latter’s embarrassment at his exclamations while going cold turkey, are a standout of the character.
The episode also sees the return of the Daedalus to frontline combat roles, taking on the Wraith ships. It’s fun to see how ships that have increasingly been upgraded with Asgard tech continuously made weaker than the foes they come up against. It just seems that the Tau’ri can’t catch a break when it comes to space combat.
· Totally not a person hiding behind the DHD, no sirree.
· Zelenka doesn’t hang round for long this episode.
Quote of the episode: “Why aren’t you dead?”
“Nice to see you too, Rodney.” – Rodney and Sheppard