Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stargate Atlantis--"The Last Man"

So much for trying to keep up with these reviews on a daily basis. I am not feeling consistently well from day to day. Here is to doing the best I can, whatever that may be. At least “The Last Man’ was a unique episode to watch even with its clear influences.

“The Last Man’ is a semi-alternate reality story with apocalyptic overtones. I am usually a sucker for those. In this case, Sheppard is transported 48,000 years into the future when he travels through the stargate during a solar lare. There he meets the hologram of an ae Rodney who explains to him all the bad things that happened after he was lost in time. Teyla was murdered after givign birth. Michael used her baby to create his army of hybrids. Sam and Ronon were killed battling the hybrids. When Woolsey took over Atlantis, Rodney and Keller, who have fallen in love, quit. Keller eventually dies of exposure to the Hoff virus. That is when Rodney hatches a plan to send a hologram into the future to return Sheppard to the past proper in order to change things.

The plan sort of works. Sheppard is sent back in time with the knowledge of teyla’s location, but the place is booby trapped to explode. The explosion signals the fourth season ending cliffhanger.

My description may not sound like it, but there is a lot of Babylon 5‘s “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” in ‘The Last Man.” They both jump ahead several times into the future, holograms of major characters are prominent, and there are hints of changes to come for the next season. Unlike “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars,“ “The Last Man” is mostly eye candy since Sheppard’s return to the past means none of the tragic events told in flashback likely happened. That diminishes the episode a bit, but knowing every main character dies is such--pardon the pun--overkill, the episode may not have much meaning for the skeptics among us in the first place.

But I am a sucker for alternate reality stories, so I liked it. “The Last Man” is frivolous and arguably meaningless, both puzzling traits for a season finale, but there is a high entertainment value. To make yet another comic book analogy, it is a What If? issue on film. If you liked that comic, “The Last Man” will be right up your alley.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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