Friday, October 05, 2012

Stargate Atlantis--"Submersion"

“Submersion” can best be summed up as SGA meets The Abyss. It features an underwater theme, a drilling platform, and an alien. In this case, it is a Wraith Queen, so those buggers finally make a return. You can consider "Submersion” Teyla-centric, so she moves into the spotlight after being essentially a background player for…wow. I have lost track of how long.

The AR-1 team leads a group of scientists and Weir deep under the ocean ro investigate an abandoned Ancient drilling platform. Unbeknownst to them, a Wraith Cruiser that was the flagship of the fleet attacking Atlantis 10,000 years ago is sunken nearby. The Wraith queen has survived all this time by feeding on her crew in between long periods of sleep. She is awaken by Teyla’s Wraith DNA and sets into motion trapping our heroes while beginning the self-destruct on her ship. Teyla implants the thought in her mind the ship is still flyable in order to convince her to shut off the self-destruct. The Wraith Queen does, and is killed by Sheppard and Rodney for her efforts.

“Submersion” has about as straightforward a plot as a story can have. Having no particularly interesting twists is a mistake when you consider there are so many oddities in the episode we really need to be distracted from recognizing. Why is weir coming along on an underwater exploration mission? Why was the fleet commander Wraith Queen using a cruiser as her flag ship instead of a Hive ship? Why was her ship so far away from Atlantis when it crashed? How does the Wraith Queen survive multiple rounds from a P90 but die from three pistol shots in the back? Does anyone else notice the interior of the Ancient drilling platform is parts of the Atlantis and Daedalus sets with the lights turned off to disguise it?

I have a lukewarm feeling about “Submersion.” it is meant to be a paranoia laden homage to The Abyss and Alien as the Wraith queen stalks our heroes through darkened, claustrophobic corridors beneath the ocean surface, far from rescue. It does not do enough of that to be thrilling, however. The Wraith queen is captured soon after the required killing of two red shirts. The rest is mental sparring between her and Teyla with a ticking clock for good measure. “submersion” is not much more than action oriented filler with glaring plot holes the viewer is hard pressed to ignore even in the name of enjoying a relatively frivolous episode.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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