There are a few things about this episode that I really enjoy. First among them, this is kind of where the writers started remembering that at his core, Rodney McKay is a sarcastic jerk who throws putdowns in every direction. Maybe he’s spent the last three months getting more restless than he’d like to let on, because while he’s been petulant and supercilious in the last two stories, he’s downright nasty this time. At one point, the sergeant in charge of security says he can’t imagine the new continent that they’ve discovered being any worse than the Athosians’ homeworld. “That could just be failure of imagination on your part,” McKay sneers. We haven’t seen him this rude since his original appearance. Our boy is back.
The story is centered around trying to figure out how the Wraith keep finding teams when they are on off-world missions. Here’s what I don’t like: the immediate conclusion is that one of the Athosians is deliberately collaborating with the Wraith and compromising their position. Honestly, my first thought would have been that there must be some biological component, that the Wraith can sense the Athosians and target them. Turns out we’re both wrong, but by going down the “collaborator” route, they create divisions between the two camps, and the Athosians end up leaving to resettle, without immediate access to a Stargate, on the huge continent they discovered.
But there’s more than that. We really could have used some more time with the humans and the Athosians collaborating over the course of these three months before everything starts falling apart. This episode marks the last appearance of Christopher Heyerdahl as Halling for quite some time, but we hardly got to know him, and certainly not anybody else, other than Teyla, who, of course, remains with the Atlantis expedition. In a very nice continuity touch, it turns out that she’d been the unwitting reason the Wraith keep ambushing them: the locket that they found at the end of the first hour is a short-range transmitter, and Sheppard’s the one who switched it on. Our son enjoyed the whole story, but expressed his most admiration for that “really good twist.”
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