Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Be All My Sins Remember'd"

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
[...]Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
--Hamlet, Act III, Scne I

“Be All My Sins Remember’d” is the premiere episode for the back half of the fourth season. It is said to be the most expensive episode of the series in terms of visual effects. I definitely believe it. The episode features some epic CGI work, but is far more than mere eye candy. There is a solid, well-executed story as well as some surprises.

Daedalus and Apollo arrive at Atlantis fully equipped with the Asgard upgrades left behind after their mass suicide. (a moment of silence for Thor, Freyr, Heimdall, Hermiod, et al/) The asard weaponry will not be enough to handle the replicator fleet, so they are counting on Sheppard to build an uneasy alliance with the Wraith via Todd and Rodney to come up with a WM that will wipe out the Replicators once an for all.

Sheppard has the easier time. Todd convinces seven Wraith hive ships to join in an attack on Asura once a WMD has been created. Sheppard works his charm to bring larrin and the travelers into the alliance. The only snag is Teyla’s revelation she is pregnant. Sheppard immediately removes her from the team. He says he is angry with her for not telling him about her condition sooner, but he really seems hurt that she has been with another man he does not know about. Not that he does not flirt with Larrin later when the opportunity presents itself. Well, that is how we men operate. There is always another woman in the binder.

Rodney’s plan to create a magnet for Replicator nanites to drop in the middle of Asura, then blow up the huge blob that forms, does not come into fruition until he uses the nanite creator to build a bare bones Replicator as the magnet. Surprise--it is pretty woman named FRAN to whom he becomes at least somewhat attached to because of sympathy over her willing sacrifice to wipe out the Replicators. I am not certain how emotionally invested the audience is supposed to be in the matter, but very little time is spent getting to know FRAN that it is not all that moving. If her loss is supposed to be an issue, then it is the weakest part of the episode.

The climax is a massive space battle and CGI bonanza on Asura as the nanites all come together to form a massive blog centered on FRAN. Its is The Thing That Ate New York, folks, and pretty cool. The big ka-boom o Asura is pretty, cool, too. The episoe ends with the revelation Elizabeth Weir is still alive and leading a faction of Replicators who are up to no good and are happy the rest are out of their way. Torri Higginson looks hot in black leather, too.

“Be All My Sins Remember’d” features the infamous colonels scene. Someone was gracious enough to post it on YouTube:If there is any big issue with “Be All my sins Remember’d,’ it is how crowded the episode is. There is a lot going on. So much so that very little has a chance to be fleshed out. I have already mentioned FRAN, but Larrin only has three scenes herself. So much for a big splash for her second appearance. Nevertheless, the episode is a good start. Its fast pace may not lrave much room for developing story elements to their fullest, but it does create a tense excitement that culminates in an impressive climax and the thrilling revelation about Weir. I cannot complain a whole lot. It is not worth four or five stars, but it is one of the best this season so far. Oh--and sam actually takes assertive command! It is about time.

Rating:*** (out of 5)

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