Stargate Atlantis 1.15 – Before I Sleep and 1.16 – The Brotherhood

In episode 15, they decided to work around the rest of the cast’s busier schedules and give Torri Higginson a little more to do, which is fine by me, because I’m all in favor of Torri Higginson having lots more to do than the producers usually gave her. Unfortunately, “Before I Sleep” takes a promising idea and plays the story that a mysterious woman has to tell them as another Atlantis episode, with dramatic peaks and valleys, and the meat of what she had to say presented as the climax.

Weirdly, that “meat” fuels just a single episode, when it seems like it had story opportunities for several. “Before I Sleep” ends with the expedition getting gate addresses for five planets where the rare power sources they need might be found. Four of them don’t seem to ever be mentioned again; this one attracts the attention of their enemies the Genii, who send Robert Davi’s villain character, last seen in the midseason two-parter, to take another shot at Sheppard.

Honestly, though, as entertaining as Davi and Flanigan’s sparring is, the real fun this time is watching Dr. McKay out of his depth. Last time I wrote about this series, McKay was disapproving and mocking of Sheppard acting like Captain Kirk and romancing attractive aliens. This time, an attractive alien starts dropping hints to McKay, and the poor guy is so clueless that his friends have to point it out to him.

Stargate Atlantis 1.10 and 1.11 – The Storm and The Eye

When we met the Genii in episode eight, I was saying how I ended the episode hoping somebody would give Colm Meaney’s character a good knuckle sandwich. Compare to the Trust over in SG-1, who are just a bunch of faceless nobodies, really. Meaney will appear again next season, but this is the last appearance for Erin Chambers’ character, who will be referenced a few times in the future.

But we get a great new villain this time out. Robert Davi, a good actor who’d played heavies and mob bosses all through the eighties and nineties before taking a lead role as a hero in NBC’s Profiler for four years, is actually quite perfectly cast as Commander Kolya, who leads a Genii strike force to seize Atlantis while it is badly short-staffed. A massive hurricane, which seems to form every twenty-ish years, is bearing down on the city. Once upon a time, its citizens would just power up the shields, but they don’t have power for the shields anymore, so they evacuate.

Most of this is an incredibly entertaining cat-and-mouse game and it includes a terrific moment that our son loved: Sheppard interrupts the Genii’s plan to call in reinforcements with a very clever trick. It’s the sort of thing that’s guaranteed to make a baddie want a second shot at you. Kolya will return a few more times. You can’t keep a good archenemy down. In fact, you shouldn’t try.