Stargate Atlantis 2.14 – Grace Under Pressure

Marie called this one of the iconic episodes of Atlantis and I think I’d agree. It’s a tour de force for David Hewlett, who carries the episode by himself for several minutes. McKay’s Jumper has crashed into the ocean and is sinking to the bottom. As he starts to lose hope, and blood, he hallucinates that Carter from SG-1 is there with him. Most of the rest of the episode is a two-hander with him and guest star Amanda Tapping. But is his hallucination there to help him focus and spur him to decisive action, or distract him from the reality of his hopeless situation?

I was reminded of a couple of other things that we’ve watched for the blog. Two seasons previously, it was Amanda Tapping who was stuck on a broken down ship hallucinating her co-stars in SG-1’s “Grace”. And, of course, we saw an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, “Tsunami”, in which seven actors got to work in a submerged set. Despite this story not having any of the action that our son enjoys best, he really liked this one a lot. McKay’s arguments with himself, and constant reminders that he is arguing with himself, and not Carter, had him amused, and the desperation is done so well that he stayed riveted, unable to guess how his friends would rescue him. It probably helps that he’s predisposed to like anything dealing with shipwrecks anyway. Plus all those years watching International Rescue pull off similarly unlikely last-minute saves has kept him primed for this sort of television.

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