“Reunion” is an interesting critter. It has to introduce Sam as the new leader of the Atlantis expedition, but it is not a Sam-centric episode per se. Instead, the focus is on Ronon. He discovers several members of his old unit have survived. He is turn between loyalty to them and to his friends on Atlantis until the plot twist is revealed and sam, reentering the picture, saves the day.
While Ronon and Teyla track down rumors of several Satedans roaming about on a backwater planet bragging of their Wraith kills, Sam is appointed head of the Atlantis expedition. It makes sense to appoint a military officer in charge considering Atlantis is now in the middle of the Replicator-Wraith War zone, one has to note weir’s comments about the military’s dissatisfaction with civilian leadership has come to a head. Gone is the diplomat to replaced by the air force colonel. The early strain of the change at the top is pointed. Sam nixes a recon mission to discover weir’s whereabouts to which Sheppard reacts badly. Sam and Ronon get off on the wrong foot when she does not allow his Satedan friends unto Atlantis.
Speaking of, the Sateans provide the action of the episode. They want to hit a Wraith research facility with AR-1’s help. Our heroes do not think it is worth the risk even for some advanced Wraith technology until it is revealed the Wrath are working on eliminating the Replicator attack command. Ronon plans to take part in the joint operation, then leave with his old unit. The plan is a double-cross, however. The Satedans have been promised eternal life through the sharing of life force if they lure Rodney to the research facility to shut off the attack code himself. Sam does her best Rambo impression in rescuing everyone, so she automatically wins everyone’s respect as the new leader. Ronon kills his Satedan friends, so he naturally decides to stay on Atlantis.
Christopher Judge makes cameo appearance as Teal’c when he sees Sam off to Atlantis. Judge is the last of the original members of SG-1 to make an appearance. Although ’Reunion” is the third episode aired, it was the seventh produced. Rachel Luttrell is quite preggers by this point. The powers that be hide her baby bump with a bulky jacket, lon shots, and close ups exclusively of her shoulders and above. It is humorously conspicuous Luttrell is framed differently than the other actors, but I must say her growing belly is being hidden better than many other series with a pregnant actress whose character is not supposed to be expecting.
I think it is a good idea to introduce tension between the old crew and Sam, but have her win their respect right off the bat by having her be the rescuing hero. By her actions, she has proven to Sheppard she will take a risk to rescue weir if the opportunity presents itself and proved to Ronon loyalty to her people. There is still room for friction, but I can accept that it will not take half a dozen episode for the new status quo to sink in. I am thinking back to how long it took Jonas Quinn to become part of SG-1 an Cameron Mitchell to get the team back together. Those two elements ragged on seemingly forever.
The best thing that can be said about “Reunion” is it gets the job done. The idea is to make Sam a vital part of the Atlantis crew, and it does. I am still not a huge Ronon fan, but I appreciate his conflict of loyalty and eventually acceptance of who his true friends are. The Wraith laboratory set is quite impressive, too. Gaters will probably like “Reunion” solely for the short Teal’c appearance, but it is an entertaining view all around.
Rating: *** (out of 5)