Today we have a fight across two galaxies and then travelling speeds that’d make Varys blush.
In the control area Teyla is talking with Sheppard and Carter, the Athosian having just returned from an interview at the SGC with a new pain in the arse IOA member Coolidge who is also demeaning to women. Thankfully Teyla feels the interview went ok but they all fear what’s going to happen with Ronon’s appraisal so Carter decides to have an old friend try and guide him through it, Teal’c. When the Jaffa arrives Carter and Teal’c spend some time catching up before she introduces him to Ronon in the sparring room. While Carter hoped for a mentor-protégé relationship the two aliens almost immediately rub each other up the wrong way and clash during a practice interview in the mess hall as Teal’c prods his buttons, leading to them sparring with each other as most of the base bets on them.
Soon after Ronon heads to the Midway station on his way to the SGC with Teal’c sharing the transfer as he heads back for the Jaffa territories, the station currently staffed by a small security detail along with a science team led by Lee and includes everyone’s favourite tool Kavanagh, and try to settle in for the mandatory 24 hour quarantine period. Elsewhere a Wraith team are on a planet with a Stargate for some unknown purpose only to lock onto what appears to be the dialling in by the team. Soon after a Wraith strike force hits Midway station in numbers and quickly overruns the Marines waiting. Taking control of the station the Wraith soon dial Earth and send their forces to attack the SGC itself despite Ronon and Teal’c’s attempts to stop them before that happens. Given the choice Ronon and Teal’c choose to follow the forces heading to the SGC and prevent them gaining access to Earth.
Back on Atlantis the team realise they can no longer contact Midway but assume it’s a glitch until they find the Wraith on one of the planets whose Gate is used in the system. While Meredith doubts his system could’ve been breached Sheppard believes Todd may have broken the encryption and used it himself to attack Midway. The Expedition put together their own attack force and attempt to retake Midway only to get caught between the Wraith still there and the next wave coming in from Pegasus and almost entirely wiped out. As Meredith and Lee attempt to lock out the Gate system to stop the Wraith Kavanagh decides to wake up and accidentally activate the self-destruct. With the station lost they vent the atmosphere everywhere but the control room, with Sheppard the last remaining soldier managing to hide in a spacesuit that has an internal air supply. After repressurising the few survivors make it to the emergency Jumper and escape just before the station blows.
At the SGC the two soldiers arrive to find the SGC staff unconscious and a few unlucky sods having been fed on. Finding that the base has automatically locked down the two slowly make their way through the base killing the Wraith, rescuing a certain pain in the arse IOA member in the process. While Coolidge attempts to warn the military and escape the two soldiers instead continue to cut down the Wraith together and clear out the final few, coming to each other’s aid multiple times.
In the aftermath Ronon’s meeting with the IOA goes surprisingly well and he and Teal’c find mutual respect for each other while the Daedalus after two weeks rescues the Midway survivors, finding that Sheppard had locked himself in the cab after only a day having tired of the inane chatter of the others.
In terms of action-packed episodes that don’t really care for making things completely stick together Midway is a perfect example. The story runs riot with itself, at times barely making any sense, but the show never tries to act like that matters and instead focuses purely on the action and for that reason it ends up working well.
The main story has plot holes that you could drive a bus through as the Wraith attack is repeatedly dependent on forced bad decisions. The Spacebridge suddenly using planet Gates, no defences on Midway, and the SGC not closing the Iris immediately like they always do. The pulpy tone of the episode however prevents you from really spending any time thinking about this at length, instead just focused on armed teams fighting the Wraith in close-quarters in a season that’s been rather devoid of that sort of intense action so far. It’s almost cathartic really to stop all these large arcs for an episode and instead just shooting the bad guys for 45 minutes straight.
Thankfully the show really does make the best choice for who it has to carry out this vital task in the form of Ronon and Teal’c, very much the brawn of both shows, and their partnership is enjoyable in the fact they really don’t like each other until they team up to kill dozens of Wraith and then quite enjoy each other’s company. The Ronon-centric episodes have always been great and the addition of Teal’c who also had some interesting ones of his own really makes sense despite it likely have not been expected. If anything it’s a shame this is the last time we ever see Teal’c appear in the universe of Stargate but what a great way to leave him.
Thinking quickly about the outside mythology it’s a bit stupid to me that they’ve destroyed Midway as that was seasons in the building and now it’s already just gone for really no reason and then isn’t mentioned again, with little to no effect on day to day operations as they suddenly seem to find ZPM like mints.
Outside of that it’s a fantastic episode that there isn’t much to say about because it simply does what it says on the tin, an action packed Ronon episode that is intensely satisfying and a great addition to the show.
· Seems the incident could’ve been avoided if they’d just used Spacegates rather than cheaped out on the budget.
· Oh look, they could’ve just had a fucking Iris system.
· Bill Lee proven himself a loyal scientist to the SGC and getting his break for once.
· We all know Michael Bay’s only good film is The Rock and that’s solely if you watch it as a secret Bond film.
Quote of the episode: “He was fed on by the Wraith. That’s not a good way to go.”
“You say that a lot.”
“I had not noticed.” – Ronon and Teal’c
We start with Teyla having a nightmare where her Athosian lover and father of her child Kanaan is accidentally burnt alive on a funeral pyre begging her to help him. The next morning however she finds the others focusing on a new illness that’s suddenly taken the Pegasus galaxy by storm, though Meredith stops her to give her a birth present which she uses as an opportunity to share her “vision” of Kanaan. The next night she has another vision again of Kanaan asking for help, this time giving her a location of a settlement. While the others don’t think much of the visions they still indulge her desire for a trip to the settlement just in case there is something in it.
The team visit the settlement only to find that the person they’d been hoping to find has died from the new sickness when it spread through their settlement. With no one else coming forward the team return to the city. Upon return to Atlantis Keller alerts Carter to new information regarding the mystery illness, revealing that it’s an altered version of the Hoffan drug the team helped create a long time ago. Given that the Hoffans had been wiped out a longtime ago by the Wraith upon finding out about the drug Sheppard and Meredith head back to explore what remains but only find rubble and a few child scavengers picking over what’s left. Returning to the city once more they find Todd wants to have a word with them.
Meanwhile on the city Teyla asks to go searching again when she has another vision, taking Lorne’s team as backup just in case. This time however Teyla finds a man selling Athosian trinkets who happily guides her to the person who sold it to him. This new guy is easily apprehended by Teyla and Lorne’s team and questioned in an abandoned building where he quickly tells them he found the stuff at a “dumping ground” off-world. As the team attempt to escort the man to the Stargate a Dart suddenly appears just before the man grabs Teyla and runs into the beam’s path.
Offworld the rest of FART are searching an old Wraith vessel that Todd’s signal came from only to find it full of dead Wraith. It turns out that the new disease killing 30% of populations is a tainting of Wraith food supplies to weed them down by an unknown party and that Todd needs their help. Todd however reveals that if the Expedition didn’t spread the virus the only other could be Michael. Todd asks for what research they have on the Hoffan drug in return so he can work on a drug. The team agree but asks that if he comes across any info on Teyla that he send it to them.
On Michael’s ship Teyla awakens in a cell only to be met by Michael who reveals he’s the one who took the Athosians in the first place and has begun converting them into more hybrids, including Kanaan, to help him exterminate the Wraith but wants to use Teyla’s baby to help him perfect the process.
Despite their worries Todd wouldn’t get back to them the Wraith is surprisingly quick in keeping his word, letting them know of a facility the Wraith rumour mill has received word of. The Daedalus transports FART and SART to the facility but can’t detect Teyla, instead finding the facility lightly guarded. Soon Michael’s cruiser arrives and manages to get away before the Daedalus can take out its engines. Inside the facility the two teams find who they’d been guarding, a certain Scottish doctor who took a bomb to the face.
So here we are, the beginning of the end for the show and pretty much the final real arc the show puts together, Michael’s creepy as fuck obsession with Teyla’s baby, and this episode really is all setup as opposed to any real payoff.
Towards the end of the episode you can really begin to see they regretted this fact with the sudden addition of a battle sequence that could’ve been left for part 2 and instead feels sadly rushed as they fight a ship for all of 20 seconds and shoot a couple guards. This clearly had a knock on effect to the earlier parts of the episode where at times it felt more like vignettes than a coherent narrative as the team jumped from place to place in ridiculous amounts of time than believable. And people complain about Thrones teleporting these days.
The ending of the episode also sees what is the worst narrative copout the series ever pulled out its arse which was the reintroduction of Beckett, who it turns out is a clone. Beckett’s death saving the lives of countless others was one of the seminal moments of season 3 and to be honest the whole show so now suddenly bringing him back retroactively with the most amazing amount of handwaving just negates all that went into that story in the first place and then to top it off he barely appears at all in season 5 so what was the point of it all really.
I guess if there’s any little bright spot narratively in the episode it’s once again everyone’s favourite Wraith Todd. Though he appears little in this episode you can see the way in which a sort of friendship has developed between the two sides as no longer do they feel the need to trick or even barter at the same time with each other, instead a lot of asymmetric deals are done with trust that the other side will keep their side of the deals. Todd didn’t need to give them information on Teyla’s location if he heard about it just like the team didn’t need to give him the Hoffan info after he’d told them it was all Michael’s doing. Even a grudging respect between Ronon and Todd is sort of seen given that he isn’t threatening the Wraith for once. It was moments like these that saw the characterisation in the show at its best.
Overall it’s a fairly dodgy first part that moves too quickly to set things up and rolls back major plot points from the show but has some great moments that really shine.
· Well this might come up in Lorne’s evaluation.
· God Michael’s like the ex who never leaves.
Quote of the episode: S: “Obviously there is more you want from me or you would not have come.”
R:“Maybe we just came to kill you.”
T: “Did you?”
S: “Unfortunately no.”
T: “Well there’s always next time.” – Sheppard, Ronon, and Todd