“Trio” is Stargate Atlantis meets Jean Paul Sarte’s No Exit. At least the homage are becoming classier, no? Sam, Rodney, and Keller do not discover hell is other people, but they do take the opportunity to et to know one another while practicing applied physics to escape an abandoned mine shaft on an earthquake prone planet.
Sam leads the tiny expedition of herself, Rodney, and Keller to a planet prone to earthquakes in order to convince them to relocate. The three fall through a sinkhole into an abandoned mining facility and spen time getting to know one another while devising means using various items in the room to climb out. Their conversations center around risqué, but not obscene sex talk and convincing Sam and Keller to take their clothes off. As good an idea as any, if you asm me.
Naturally, none of the plans go well, especially the one in which they stack crates into a staircase to climb out. I have seen chimpanzees successfully build those in order to reach a dangling banana.. I do not know what the failure says about our heroes. Okay, I am kidding. The crates simply would not hold Sam’s weight. That is not a fat joke, either. Amanda Tapping is one fit MILF. The real complication comes on a second attempt to make a sturdier stack. Sam falls and breaks her leg.
The trio eventually finds their way out by climbing down a rope--Sam on a makeshift seat--towards an adjacent shaft which leads to the surface. Sam wonders out loud why they did not think to look for another shat before, which makes one wonder if that truly was the loical thing to do first. Whatever the case, Rodney winds up the hero for helping sam and Keller escape. Keller ends the episode strongly hinting she has a thing for Rodney. How lucky can a guy get?
The oddest part of “Trio” is our heroes fall 25 feet through a hole in the ground to land on a hard surface without becoming injured. Any fall over ten feet is potentially fatal, so the act none of them are injured at all is tough to swallow, particularly when Sam eventually breaks her leg falling from a lesser height. But all that is necessary for the sake of drama, so I must let it slide. It is amazing on a show in which aliens from another galaxy speak perfect English, it is an implausibly easy fall that bugs me.
I know there were grumblings from fans during the first run of SGA that characters had no direction. Presumably, that is why so many recent episodes center around characters getting to know one another rather than confronting an antagonist. I was apprehensive when I learned the plot of “Trio” because these character explorations have not been all that good, and a cheap, locked room escape that is essentially a one act play did not sound promising. However, I am pleasantly surprised with the final result. It is a simple episode, but the humor makes it absorbing. “Trio” exceeds my expectations. Any episode featuring Jewel Staite prominently is worthy of attention.
Rating: *** (out of 5)