Oh look, we’re back with the opening two episodes of season three where the best character is a blood-sucking lawyer.
No Man’s Land
Picking up almost immediately from the finale of season 2 we see Sheppard leading his F-302 wing on the attack against the two Hive ships. It turns out that Sheppard had survived the engagement and was attached to one of the Hives as it entered hyperspace as opposed to being destroyed like the Expedition believe.
On Atlantis the Expedition regroup and attempt to prepare a response for the two ships which would likely involve the deaths of their colleagues who were captured. Caldwell however is uneasy as the Daedalus isn’t ready for a fight but agrees anyway given that the SGC has no ships ready to defend the homeworld given the Ori situation. After both the Daedalus and Orion leave to stop the Hive ships Weir contacts Landry who requests her presence to speak with the IOA on Earth, leaving Teyla as the commanding officer on Atlantis. Upon her arrival Landry reveals that the whole thing is so the IOA can point fingers and that she’ll do fine.
Meanwhile with the Hive Ships Sheppard attempts to attack the ships while in hyperspace only to stop when he remembers a conversation Zelenka and Rodney had regarding it while he’d been staring at an attractive Expedition member. Inside the vessel Michael finds himself Persona Non Grata, with the other Wraith despising him for being too human now. After the ships come out of hyperspace Sheppard attempts to make contact with Ronon and Rodney only to be greeted by Michael who instead offers his help as they both want revenge on the Hive for the betrayals. In the victim cocoons Rodney and Ronon manage to escape after Ronon cuts his way out, driven by Rodney’s constant defeatism.
In the IOA meeting at the SGC Weir finds her leadership under fire from the IOA delegates, with the Chinese and British representatives taking a hardline against her actions while Woolsey as the American representative is far more understanding. When Atlantis calls in again Woolsey supports Weir’s decision to execute the attack on the Hive’s, Weir knowing that the IOA have no intention of making any decision that they could be held responsible for, even if he knows the IOA won’t like it.
Outside the Hive Sheppard launches his attack on the Hives, managing to destroy the hyperdrive on one of the two ships before being heavily damaged. When recovered by the Wraith and brought on board Michael is able to get him free from the others and attempts to help him find the others. The Daedalus chooses that moment to arrive, immediately attacking the Hive they’re on with nukes of which some actually hit for once. The Orion arrives as well and manages to take out the other Hive with drone weapons but suffers catastrophic damage in the process, forcing the Daedalus to beam out the ship’s crew before it’s destroyed. Inside the remaining Hive Sheppard and Michael find the others and begin to head for a transport ship off the Hive, managing to make it back to the Daedalus.
The Daedalus, shields failing and out of nukes, fires on the Hive Dart bays which cripples the ship. Unfortunately the human ship has been crippled as well, including the life-support. With the other Hive being the only option Michael suggests a solution; beam across the retrovirus gas and use that to remove all the Wraith and then take the Hive with both crews back to Atlantis. After several hours of waiting the team beam across, finding much of the crew dead and fed on while the survivors are human though the Queen hadn’t been altered. With the ship under their control they begin the task of shipping the crew over.
So there we go, the ending of the mess of the problem the team created for themselves being in part solved by the very problem they created in the first place. But don’t worry because they create yet another mess once again.
It’s annoying how the show has a tendency to destroy ships almost as soon as they appear if they’re not the Daedalus but here we go again, with the Orion meeting a grim fate in the battle with the Hives as it arrives late and then is almost immediately destroyed by the Hive. Oh well, at least it managed to do some damage itself for once. The Expedition has always been rather careless with its property so I wonder how long that Wraith Hive will last (hint, not bloody long).
The last part of the episode also sees the Daedalus heavily damaged once again, this time actually taking damage to ship functions rather than just sci-fi sparks going off on set. In their haste to respond to the problems facing them they once more make things worse for themselves, creating a ship full of human Wraiths that they now have to deal with, deciding to keep them alive despite what happened the last time they did so even though they had the product of the last time it happened in the room with them. Talking of that Michael suddenly turns sides again, realising that the team are less likely to kill him than the Wraith were at the time. While his inability to find a place to belong will be an interesting arc in the future right now it’s failing to find itself, with Michael still being little more than a screenfiller. He’s been in three major episodes now and yet his characterisation is still fairly poor, with his redemption not lasting for long as we’ll see.
The more interesting part of the episode was probably the SGC content involving Weir and the IOA, the latter wanting to point fingers and remove their role in the current disaster in the Pegasus Galaxy. It’s still same old, same old for the bureaucrats, using hindsight to criticise Weir for decisions they backed at the time and accusing her of deliberately misleading them as to the true nature of the threat facing them. Once again however it puts Woolsey in an interesting light as he’s forced to not only once again see that the organisation he sees as important is simply not up to the task but that he’s struggling to try and tie the two sides together in a moderate way, with most of the IOA clearly not willing to discuss solutions and Weir not willing to talk to the IOA. It’s remarkable the contrast in just this episode between a character designed for an arc but having none and a character who was simply a cameo filler now a well-rounded personality on the show.
In the end the episode is a fairly by the numbers season opening for the show that stands in the shadow of the excellent The Siege Part 3 that opened the previous one.
· Only Rodney would criticise coding skills during a spacebattle.
· Oh boy, the IOA? I’m sure they’ll be nothing but helpful and supportive.
· I see they’re finally putting Sheppard’s “hot girl” thing into a more jokey form now.
· Oh Lorne, always almost being killed.
Quote of the episode: “It didn’t work on her.”
“Oh? Beckett wondered if the females would be immune.”
“Yeah, something you might have mentioned before she almost killed me, Rodney.” – Lorne and Rodney
The city is awaiting the arrival of a Wraith Hive ship, having no idea about what happened in the battle just outside the galaxy. Thankfully before Beckett can launch drones at it Sheppard makes contact from the ship, revealing that the crew transfer went well, with Beckett’s reward being that he’s now got 200 human Wraith to deal with. The Expedition as a whole however will have to deal with Woolsey, who is coming home with Weir to conduct a review to put the rest of the IOA at ease. Given that the Hive can’t hold the prisoners indefinitely the Expedition put in place another plan.
An unknown amount of time later all the prisoners have been placed on a planet under Expedition guard, along with an again “cured” Michael, and they’ve decided to try and do the whole “make them human” plan again but this time with a small army to guard. Beckett starts to raise doubts about the idea, especially as he’ll be left alone on the planet with only a small security detail while the Hive goes back to Atlantis for resupply. Before the rest can leave however one of the Wraith goes missing, with both the Wraith and humans going out to look for him. Michael and other Wraith find him however, with it being revealed that the other Wraith had already begun to remember already, and kill the lone Wraith via an “accident” to stop him from arousing suspicions.
On Atlantis Woolsey begins to try and start his investigations, having a “chat” with Caldwell and trying to judge his character with comments about how he could become the military commander if Weir was gone. The Daedalus commander however merely rebuffs the man, instead choosing to make no comment about the arrangements on the base. Woolsey doesn’t make things better by butting in on all the command meetings and undermining Weir, though this seems to be honest obliviousness rather than malicious intent. The others, even though Woolsey is irritating, decide it’s best to just grin and bear it rather than cause an incident.
In Wraithville Beckett realises that the Wraith killed their own for some reason but decides to alert the Security team while they’re in the middle of the camp and are overheard by the Wraith. The other Wraith proceed to kill the security team and then capture Beckett, rightly pissed at what the Expedition have done to them. It turns out that the Wraith have alerted a Hive ship to the planet and are waiting to be rescued.
The Expedition back at base have also seen that a Hive is on route to Wraithville and decide to send their Hive there to deal with the situation before the opposing one arrives. After it leaves Caldwell is able to get the Daedalus at least flyable again and decides to follow in case they need backup. By the time the friendly Hive arrives they find that Wraith have already reverted back to their former selves. The team first attempt to rescue the security detail and Beckett before using the “fail-safe” left on the planet, a small nuke that would wipe out the how camp, only to find the security team dead and the nuke deactivated. Instead they use the Hive weapons to wipe out the camp. The Daedalus soon also arrives, only finding the friendly Hive debris field and a Jumper with the team in, who’d fled when the other Hive showed up and blew the just acquired Hive to kingdom come.
Back on Atlantis Woolsey completes his report. While Weir expects him to write one detailing their screw ups by keeping the Wraith alive in the first place Woolsey conveniently leaves it out, instead praising the leadership for taking the actions to stop the Wraith as that’s the “Greater Truth” of the situation.
God this episode just makes me want to shout at the TV. It’s not that it’s even bad, it’s just so bloody dumb. Much like in Allies at the end of last season this one requires the team to make bad choice after bad choice time and time again. This is literally one episode after the consequences of keeping one human Wraith alive for any amount of time in the form of Michael’s betrayal and what do the team do with the 200 they have. Do they increase security or better yet just eliminate them? No instead they leave them with one squad for security and what do you know the whole thing goes tits up, with them having to try and eliminate them all.
Once again it’s so stupid that it’s just awful to watch. The team make so many obvious mistakes throughout the episode again and again yet expect you to be engaged with the episode when really you just sit there going “well what’s the point of that”. One of the more glaring “because plot” elements was the fact that a Wraith with no fucking training was able to defuse a human nuke that was live. Talking about pushing the bloody envelope. I may not be a TV writer but I know that you don’t make a villain compelling by making the hero thick as mince.
Thankfully however the episode has a saving grace in the form Woolsey, not something you’d think you’d write about a government bureaucrat. Again the character shows himself to be such a well-developed character over the last 2-3 years of show. This time we see him actually finally break past his obsession with rules and procedure, realising that if those above him aren’t going to follow the rules then he won’t either by effectively doctoring a report to save Weir’s career in return for nothing simply because he knows she’s the best for the job. This is a man who was introduced to make sure the SGC followed correct procedure and now he’s doing what he initially looked into. You also see a more jokey side for him that we haven’t seen before, with the previously so sure of himself presence seemingly unaware of the fact he’s making things uncomfortable for the others.
Misbegotten is another awkward and annoying attempt to build up the Michael threat through stupid decisions and obvious failures that instead makes the show a bit of a joke.
· See, even Michael knows it’d be easier to just kill him.
· Those wigs make the human Wraith look like a Die Hard villain convention.
· I see they teach Tau’ri EOD at Wraith school.
Quote of the episode: “We couldn’t hit the side of a barn.”
“Hive ships are a hundred times bigger.”
“A giant flying barn, we couldn’t hit that.” – Rodney and Sheppard