Today the team continue looking for Teyla and we have a scenes that could’ve happened montage.
We pick up straight off from the last episode as the team wonder whether bringing Beckett back was a good narrative decision as the man is examined by Keller in an isolation room. Meredith goes to talk to the Beckett clone who believes he’d been kidnapped by Michael and the other Wraith 2 years ago when they’d been in the bad 80s Heavy Metal hairstyle camp. After escaping Michael created the clone and used him to create the new version of the Hoffan drug that’s killing humans all over the planet. Still unaware of his clone nature Meredith breaks the news that the real Beckett died only a year earlier before breaking the news that Weir is also dead.
On an unknown planet Michael brings Teyla to a disused factory area where he reveals the other Athosians still in captivity. Reuniting with her people they fill her in that they’ve slowly been turned into more of the hybrids like Michael. While the Athosians are downtrodden Teyla still has hope that the Expedition will come for them. That night Teyla notices that Kanaan is on guard duty and attempts to break through to him but is unable to when a loud noise suddenly attracts his attention. Come morning some of Michael’s men arrive to take Teyla away.
Beckett, wanting to make up for what he’s helped create attempts to help the team locate Teyla as he’d seen an address Michael’s men have used in the past. Beckett joins the team on the mission where they are soon met by an ambush in a local tavern but are able to wound the attacker. When they bring him back to Atlantis to patch him up and interrogate him Keller recognises him as the man who tried to kill them on New Athos, Nabel. While attempting to assist Keller the clone of Beckett suddenly collapses. After dealing with the Nabel they find that Beckett has a killswitch built in by Michael to keep him under control, requiring an injection to stop his body from failing every week. Keller and Beckett attempt to find the drug in his system so that they can replicate it but are unable to get a good enough sample.
Back on the planet where Michael is holding everyone Teyla finds herself strapped to a table in a makeshift lab with Kanaan as her guard again. This time however she’s able to break through to him for a while as he attempts to free her only to stop when Michael arrives and fall back under the conditioning placed on him. Now left alone with the creepy ex from hell Teyla once again finds out it’s her child that Michael is after so he can perfect the hybrids.
In the city Nabel gives up Michael’s facility in exchange for sanctuary in the Milky Way. Despite his condition Beckett still chooses to go with the assault team. Just as the team make their way into the facility Michael believes something’s off and begins to leave with Teyla in tow. The team are able to easily free the other Athosians easily but come under renewed fire and are pinned down. Beckett slips away to try and get Teyla and finds her but is unable to shoot Michael when he appears and is stunned instead while Michael takes Teyla away and escapes in his cruiser.
Returning to Atlantis having failed to rescue Teyla the team refuse to give up but have to deal with Beckett’s severely worsening condition which sees him placed in suspended animation until they can help him.
So there we have part two of what’s really a four parter and it really does feel that way in the episode regardless of its title.
The main story again is very fast paced and almost vignettes in nature just as with part one as the team jump around looking for Teyla once again with them running from place to place to have a couple of set pieces but very little actually development in terms of the plot. Take for example the tavern shootout which is completely unnecessary for the episode when instead Beckett could’ve just as easily overseen the address of the actual facility where the Athosians were held, thereby saving a good 6 minutes of episode time that could’ve been worked on making that final firefight more coherent. Instead it was a bit of a mess as the team all fire all over the place while Beckett runs off and does his thing and doesn’t really gel together that well.
Talking of Beckett seriously what was the bloody point of bringing him back given that he gets put in the frozen goods aisle at the end of the episode. Yes he did a couple of things in the episode towards sending the team in the right direction but that could’ve been easily done by anyone else. A Genii spy perhaps could have found an address or Todd’s information could’ve been Teyla’s address in the first place rather than finding Beckett. Instead they bring him back and then remove him once more as if it was some standard recurring character and it’s just a disservice to both the character and the fans.
Also quickly lets mention Michael and once again he’s taken a turn for the worse. Michael when he’s doing his schemes is arguably the best villain the show ever managed to turn out, admittedly not to the same quality as either Ba’al or Apophis on SG-1, but when he obsesses over Teyla I just grow rather bored of him. There’s no real connection there but it’s like watching an obsessive ex-boyfriend as opposed to this galaxy conquering psycho.
The Kindred is probably the least memorable key two parter the show ever put out to be frank. Boring, badly connected, and undoing key character developments for the sake of “shock” value.
· I wonder why that Athosian had his hair cut? Almost like he plays another character *wink*
· How would Beckett be close enough to Carter to call her Samantha when he’s been deep-sixed all season?
Quote of the episode: “Oh my God! My mother! You didn’t tell her, did you?”
“You were dead. I mean, I’m sorry to be blunt but we buried you, I mean, there was a memorial service at her church. I was there.”
“This can’t be happening! I have to get back there! I have to talk to her!”
“No no, you can’t. I mean, do you have any idea what kind of effect that could have? Besides, what are you going to say to her?”
“I’ll say the Air Force made a bloody mistake, that’s what I’ll say!” – Beckett and Meredith
Sheppard and SART are off-world getting intel from the Genii in case they know where Teyla is but so far nothing. Sheppard decides to head back early while Lorne keeps his team off-world for a while longer only to find himself in an empty city where the city is on a desert world and half buried within it. After calling out on the radio he hears Meredith’s voice who asks him to go to the hologram room where he finds a hologram of an older Meredith. His old teammate reveals that he’s accidentally gone forward in time about 48,000 years and that Meredith has prepared him with a hologram to help try and return him to the past so he can help stop Michael.
Meredith reveals that by the time the “current” Expedition found Teyla it was too late and she’d been killed by Michael and her baby used to perfect the hybrids. Pretty soon Michael rapidly increased the “Hoffan Plague” spread to continue weakening the Wraith so that he could easily beginning wiping out those who remained, wiping out the last major Wraith forces within 12 months, before converting the best of those who’d survived the plague into more hybrids. The tale is cut short when they find parts of the city have been flooded by sand, blocking access to the stasis room. Instead Sheppard wants to dangerously makes his way through a sandstorm so that he can reach an exterior access on the other pier but decides to wait a couple of hours first for the storm to let up somewhat, allowing Meredith to continue his tale.
It turns out in response to the threat of Michael Carter strong-armed the IOA into giving her the Phoenix, a new just-finished but untested Battlecruiser. Eventually getting it ready for operation Carter begins to use it as part of a guerrilla war, taking out a number of Michael’s Hives. Eventually however her luck runs out and the Phoenix is lured into a trap and heavily damaged. Unable to escape Carter has the rest of the evac before she is forced to run a suicide run on the attacking Hives, taking them out with her. After waiting several hours Sheppard decides to take his chances and begins his long walk across the sand. As he walks across he asks Meredith to fill him in about Ronon. Meredith reveals that Ronon left the base and soon, with supplies from the Expedition, started his own military force to take the fight to Michael on the ground. Like with Carter his guerrilla ops went well at first until an attack on a Wraith Lab, bumping into Todd who was there to destroy it as well. Unfortunately their presence is discovered with Ronon ordering the others to evac while he and Todd complete the mission. The two end up getting cornered and unable to escape but share a brief moment of mutual respect before the explosives detonate and take out the facility.
Eventually Sheppard makes it across the desert to the other pier and is welcomed in by Meredith, who provides him with a data crystal that holds key information he’ll need to make a difference in the past. After this Sheppard wonders what happened to Meredith. The hologram reveals that his organic self and Keller eventually became disillusioned with the new Expedition leadership under Woolsey, who’d been ordered by the IOA to an Expedition Needs Only situation and thereby leaving the rest of the galaxy to their fate, and choose to leave the Expedition. The two however ended up becoming a couple too and settled into a far more normal life back on Earth. Unfortunately however Keller’s repeated exposure to the Hoffan Drug has caused a fatal illness that eventually kills her leaving Meredith alone.
Despite Keller’s insistence before her death that he continues on Meredith instead decides to enact his plan to send Sheppard back in time, sacrificing his happiness and career in order to have the time to work on it. Though it took two and a half decades to do it he finally succeeds and is able to gain access to the city for a final time thanks to Lorne, who by then had moved up the ranks to leading the SGC, despite the latter’s fears of changing history. Finishing the story Meredith places Sheppard stasis until he can be sent through the Stargate when the conditions are right.
Forty-Eight thousand years in the past Sheppard emerges from the Gate into the control room 12 days after he first stepped through the Gate. Now with time to save Teyla FART and SART rush to the facility only to find they’ve arrived too early. While searching for information they accidentally trip a self-destruct and the building goes up with them inside.
In terms of the alternate timeline and alternate reality episodes both shows have done The Last Man is probably unique in that the alternate stuff is relayed past tense to the out of time character rather than them have any role in what will now occur. Instead of doing anything Sheppard is as much the audience as we are, hearing the tale of how Michael will take control of the galaxy unless he goes back in time to stop it. In that regard it’s less a season finale and more a prologue for the main plot of the start of season 5 as the team stop Michael’s plan for galactic domination.
It strange to watch characterisation that you know doesn’t stick but thankfully most of the character beats revealed in the nation feel true to what we’ve seen so far that if this had happened it would’ve gone down like this. Ronon and Todd having a strange respect for each other even if that doesn’t spread to friendship feels believable given that Ronon feels a kinship with warriors and knows Todd helped many in his “family” while Todd seems to have a respect for Ronon’s simplistic “say what you mean” mentality compared to the games he usually has to play with other Wraith. You also have a brief look at Meredith finally growing up as a person as he puts all his more childish issues behind him to do the right thing, spending decades dedicated to the task without so much as a complaint. It feels like the logical endpoint for his character arc over the last few years and old man Meredith is a great character as a result of that journey, finally devoid of selfishness that plagued him and only caring about saving as many as he can.
Elsewhere Carter going down with her ship feels oddly reminiscent of her potential death back in Unending on SG-1 while also sadly being the most heroic action she ever gets on Atlantis. This is her final real episode on the show too and it really does sum up a season where she never really gelled with the new cast with nothing of her own to do and frequently playing second-fiddle to Meredith. Seriously between Weir and Woolsey she definitely comes out the weakest through no fault of Tapping but just poor writing and planning by the staff.
Lorne and Keller also get a couple of beats but honestly I’d have liked to see more from two side-characters of interest that always felt underused. How Lorne ended up leading the SGC would’ve been a good tale by itself.
Overall it’s an episode that’s very much small vignettes like the previous two but actually designed that way this time and it really works as a look into a potential future.
· Compare this elderly makeup to what came only a year or two before on SG-1.
· God that CGI crowd of Michael’s followers is awful.
· Teal’c was Todd the whole time? What a twist.
· So Lorne was the one who ends up in the Chair. Who’d have thunk.
Quote of the episode: “The sand has penetrated the lower levels.”
“48,000 years into the future you’ve still got a knack for stating the obvious. All right, what do we do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Well I wasn’t programmed for this variable!”
“You said you had twenty five years to work on this plan!”
“Well McKay did, and he brilliantly anticipated a lot of potential problems! It’s just that, well this wasn’t one of them.” – Meredith and Sheppard