this indeterminate amount of time’s episode is about the atlantis team rushing to cook a delicious meal before their guest arrives, that meal is John Shepard and their guest is weird leech vampire bug thing.
i’m somewhat surprised i managed to make that cooking joke actually relevant to the episode.
anyway we open in medias res with a puddle jumper swooping around in space backed by a tune from the crack in time pirate radio soundtrack, it’s being flown by some reccuring background guy called markham and sgt slaughterhouse while teyla, rodney and ford dance around the injured Shep. for some reason, i guess the music wasn’t that dramatic, i spend the rest of the teaser assuming that this was some kind of drill but apparently no shep really is being munched on by the deformed devientart fanfiction child of a clown horn pump and Michael Jackson’s glove. they try to speed back through a spacegate but get stuck,more on this later.
the episode starts proper with McKay and teyla waking up to find that the gate has eaten half the jumper and most of lt “totally dead” ford. this is somewhat disconcerting but they pull him out and he’s fine. Atlantis is somewhat concerned by the fact that they’ve been waiting the whole titles sequence for the gateship to come through and radio in to see what the fuss is. then the rest of the episode is essentially that bit from apollo 13 that they made into the Martian. weir shouts at people to come up with a solution and they say shut the door so worst case scenario even though markham and slaughterhouse get deleted from the gate buffer (explanation for non stargate fans: when the gate teleports people it stores them and makes sure it gets all of them before sending them to the other gate for it to store them and do the same in reverse, back in sg1 Rodney was around to provide no help while they tried to get one of their guys out of a receiving gate buffer) but everyone else just floats for a while in a can before running out of oxygen or hopefully getting rescued. rodney has already thought of this and does so before they can call him. shep wakes up and says that he can’t feel his legs, no they’re not poking through the gate, and that the think is probably gonna kill him. we get some flashbacks as ford tells them what happened (or to be precise how much of a dumbass he is, come on dude we already know about the wraith hologram horses), shep and the atlantis equivalent to sg1 went back to the woods in Vancouver to look if the wraith were still there, they weren’t cause their base was actually a space ship but they did show up anyway and fight them, shep tripped into a spider web, got baby glovesack on him and some wraith wearing a giant conker shell/skin think laughed at him. ford also recounts about how they’ve trashed a second gateship now as the engine pods on this won’t retract. oh and also he shot the spiderglove but it just regenerated by eating shepard.
meanwhile weir gets a czech science guy dr zelenka, who actually speaks czech a bit and not space english or the equivalent to the broken Russian from earlier gate series’ so kudos for non-butchered bilingual bonus guys, to mess around in another jumper and find a solution apollo 11 style while dr beckett does the same thing with shep and the bug by grabbing a soldier backpack. weir then shouts at scientists for arguing about the gateship exploding, spacedad halling for trying to hold a funeral when, as an extension of the SGC, Atlantis team doesn’t leave guys behind and one particularly whiney scientist for talking back. also i’m shouting at them to shove shepard into the gate buffer so they can stasis him and deal with the the mittenbug later but apparently no, this thing that the episode identifies as being of similar genetic whatever to the wraith (which is to say, spoiler alert, the ancients messed in things they shouldn’t and managed to get themselves thrown out of the galaxy for like the 3rd time) and they’ve shown a lot of problems with stargates what with repeatedly flying through them in spacships made of papier-mâché. so they have to remove it by, get this, killing Shepard. fortunately there is also good news: zelenka is a badass at science so good that he managed to render himself invisible for the first two episodes and so he finds the perspex pillar the engine controls are on and tells mckay.
anyway enough of that because now we have to kill shepard but not before interrupting something important he wants to say, i imagine that that either gets revisited or forgotten about in a future episode. they get out defibrillators and shock him to teh deads but can’t revive him so teyla carries him into the gate buffer, F-ing finally! mckay and ford spend their last minutes, yeah forgot to mention they jolted the engines earlier and now the door wall is partly gonna get cut off so if they fail they’re screwed, messing with the perspex till they retract the engines but they don’t go through the gate as they need a push cos they stopped moving. fortunately they do the whole open the back hatch and drop all + much more than the volume of the gateship of the air for thrust, y’see this was cliché even back in 2004. we end on shep, revived by more electricity, CPR and one of those doctor rabbit bottles somehow, in sickbay deciding to keep his famous last words for later, my guess is that he probably wanted to tell them where he hid all the porn that he almost certainly smuggled onto the expedition.
so like last episode this was a bottle show, i guess they’re still saving for the rent on their floating city, but it was a pretty good one. it was also mostly in real time, what with the gate in the episode being open for the same 38 minutes in screen time as they boast in the title. as usual science is all over the place; the jumper didn’t bounce off the space gate like it probably would (those of you who’ve attempted docking in KSP will know what i’m talking about), i have no idea whether the defibrillator usage in this episode, beyond killing him: that actually makes a lot of sense, is correct. i’ve read that defibrillators are used to regularise erratic heartbeats but there’s also some page that says that you should use CPR and a defib if someone’s heat stops and TV tropes is being unfortunately vague as to what they did get right. although i guess killing people with defibrillators isn’t a very common problem so, just so ya know, if you see someone with heart problems i think CPR is what you want to do. unless you’re a doctor in which case you probably know better than me
ANYway back on topic: as far as it goes this was a good episode, even if the sound design at the start was a bit misleading.
i was a bit surprised by rodney being on the away team, i kinda got the impression he was more of a stay at home support role guy but i guess not. also teyla kinda blends into the background for this one, not that she doesn’t contribute but she doesn’t say that much and what she does say is a tad generic and character interchangeable.
Bounce the gravaton particle ray of the main defibrillator dish, that’s the way we do things lad: we’re making medical science up as we go!