“Search and Rescue” is the fifth and final season premiere for Stargate Atlantis. It is also the final episode to feature Amanda Tapping as Sam. General fan buzz is the fifth season offers the clearest evidence yet the writers were bored with the show and simply phoning it in by this point. I am therefore bracing myself for the next nineteen episodes in case the notion holds true.
Our heroes survive the building explosion, but wind up trapped under rubble as Sam races against Michael to arrive there first. Caldwell even shows up with the Daedalus. did he even make an appearance last season? Maybe Mitch Phileggi was off filming his blink and you will miss it part in The X-Files: I Want to Believe. We have elaborate space battles and the darin rescue of Teyla from Michael’s flagship. Michael rides off into the sunset two-thirds of the way in. I guess he did not need that unborn kid so much after all.
Predictably, Teyla goes into labor durin her rescue. Even more predictably, roney is alone with her and must deliver the child. Hilarity ensues, naturally. I am not certain how often in popular entertainment a baby has been born while escaping an alien warship, so maybe I am being too harsh about the originality.
The story is overwhelmed by the production. The production design crew went all out in building the ruins trapping our heroes and the inside of Michael’s flagship. There are more special effects shots than we are used to, as well, including two, long pullbacks through space from one location to another that serve no purpose other than some artist found a cool app on his MacBook Pro an used it as much as possible. Actual content is razor thin and everyone knows it. Even David Hewlett phones in the comedy bits as he delivers the baby. Tapping practically has her suitcases packed on screen.
“Search and Rescue” is a lot of eye candy, but is very subdued for a season premiere. It feels like the powers that be were in a big hurry to get Teyla’s story out of the way to move onto other things. I am wary of how lackluster those other things are goin to be.
Rating: *** (out of 5)