Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Midway"

“Midway” breaks the string of mediocre Stargate Atlantis episodes with a straightforward action adventure which prominently features Teal’c teaming up with Ronon to defeat a Wraith incursion of Stargate Command. The episode is a lucky break. Its creation was the fulfillment of a promise by executive producer Joseph Mallozzi to Christopher Judge to write an episode for him in the back half of the season as a thank you for making a cameo for free in order to cut costs earlier in the season.

Ronon is set to be interviewed on Earth by a new International Oversight Committee head. Sam requests Teal’c come to Atlantis in order to coach him on how to act diplomatically. The two are so much alike, they immediately lock horns, both in argument and fisticuffs. The two declare a tense d├ętente before they are set to be stuck on Midway for the required 24 hour quarantine.

A garrison of Wraith, who have learned of the McKay-Carter Gateway through Tod the Wraith, tracj their travels through the wormhole and invade Midway. After taking over, they open a wormhole to Earth, stun everyone at SGC, an establish a beachhead there. Teal’c and Ronon fight their way through midway to Earth in order to stop the Wraith there. Once Atlantis discovers what has happened, Sheppard leads a strike team into Midway. Midway is eventually destroyed do to Kavanaugh’s--yes, him again--incompetence during the Wraith’s defeat there, but Teal’c and Ronon manage to kill every Wraith at Sgc with no problem. They bond over the endeavor, naturally.

Kavanaugh is still the same old jerk as ever. Now he is stuck on Midway, presumably because still no one likes him. He arrogantly screws up the mission to retake Miway by inadvertently setting the autodestruct sequence. He even passes out under the threat of being fed upon by a Wraith. The character is being played far more for laughs now than as an obnoxious antagonist. I especially liked how Ronon shoved him out of the way when Kavanaugh was ecstatic to be rescue finally. The guy just cannot catch a break. Not that I sympathize.

There is finally a member of the Atlantis expedition from a Muslim country. I recognized a Turkish flag patch on one of the spectators during Teal’c and Ronon’s sparring match. So there you go.

“Midway” is pretty cool. It is a straightforward action piece meant to mostly entertain mindlessly, and it does. The whole purpose is to rack up a high Wraith body count and feature a large explosion in between antagonistic buddy cop humor between Teal’c and Ronon. It alll works very well, and I say that as one who is not the biggest fan of either Teal’c or Ronon.

Oh, and seriously--Teal’c does not realize how often he says “indeed?” Indeed.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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