Letters from Pegasus, a Stargate Atlantis text review: Underground

so today although this episode lacks the appearance of a certain well endowed singing goblin king we’re still meeting the genii, who are the plural for genius except that pronounced Jen-eye. this kind of makes the revelation we get later on a bit ham fisted as well, they’re a bunch of people smarter than the average space peasant

Pre-Credits:

atlantis is running out of food because it turns out you can’t just grow crops in the couple of weeks since they discovered the continent (except cress but nobody brought massive amounts of cress seeds and also nobody wants to eat cress but for some reason keeps on putting it in egg sandwiches, tradition maybe?). also super smart scientist dr rodney mkay PhD’s solution to this is to eat all the food before anyone else can, because he’s actually 5 years old or something. Teylaa Ermagawd (they brought her surname up, i only observe) suggests going to the aforementioned Genii, who she thinks are space rednecks scared that the gateship is here to abduct and probe them and i think are either what the tollan’s deal was or a species comprised entirely of old men who want you to come to their home continent of server and kill the local elvis-impersonating monkey evil overlord. but no, turns out they’re actually the space amish who have nice hats and hot redhead daughters called Sora who want to see shepard’s Loose Cannon, if you know what i mean, behind their fiancées back.

except plot twist: that girls father tyrus has a walkie talkie under his doublet (google it) sleeve which means… big deal, last episode Dr Beckett had a tablet PC (yes those existed back in 2004) and the Tau’ri have a superliminal battlestar with interplanetary fighter compliment, railguns, supernukes, pre-sheild-tech developed armour and a (working but temperamental) hyperdrive of their own design. next year they will have several. stupid plot twist sending me on a wiki walk.

The Episode:

What the hell is that weird moon thing that the puddle jumper flies over in the intro, Atlantis isn’t next to moon cliffs!

the episode starts with the ShepSquad being introduced to Ermangawd it’s Colm Meaney in an awesome hat, the chief of the genii who like robert picardo has decided to become BiTrektual with the stargate franchise. Awesome method actor Colm Meaney is not particularly pleased with mr loose cannon barging in, seducing their womens and offering a bottle of calpol in exchange for a metric fuckton of food but then shep blows up a tree with c4 to establish superiority and Chief Miles O’Cowen is more than happy to trade food for that. shep and Mkay then go back to get moaned at by mum… i mean weir, who then yet again says “sure, go ahead and do it anyway but i don’t like it”. meanwhile head of ops Colm Meaney takes teylaa and blackguy, yes he’s still in this show, down to quark’s to get pissed on moonshine (which is apparently in the universal translator). then shep and mkay discover that the Genii have a secret underground city full of radiation and are then captured by dudes with shotguns. they are interrogated by badass uniform wearing Colm Meaney, so badass that i’m not even sad that the hat went. the genii turn out to be ww2 era guys lving underground with the façade of common yokels so the wraith don’t get suspicious. mkay figures that the genii want c4 for building nukes to take out the wraith and offers and alliance seeing as he, the genius he is, decided to build for a science fair once, canada is apparently a little more laid back on that front than america where he’d have been imprisoned for making a digital watch or evolving but not for having a gun. so they grab teylaa and blackguy, first telling them the wraith are attacking but they don’t buy that as the wraith would be foiled by staying inside a wooden building and then just carting them off to dinner with shotguns, tyrus and sora now in badass uniforms. mkay offers them nukes to take out the wraith, their plan being to blow them up while they sleep… wait, we already woke them all! and pirate king colm meaney storms out angrily but shep convinces him to calm the fuck down by telling him about the gateship. they plot an attack on one of the ships that for some reason they think is still there because it’s on the genii’s much coveted wraith USB stick and, gratuitous weir nagging scene, set off to uh… do something other than nuking it. so they leave sora behind to be the next Genii chief if they die and set out. colm asks shep how many gateships shep has and shep, quickly tallying up the ones they’ve broken so far replies just the one. on the hiveship we discover the wraith keep corridors full of webbed up artificially aged old people midnight snacks because they’re weirdos, and teylaa ropes an unwilling tyrus into saving them. urrggh, grabbing sticky old people is not a fun thing so tyrus is like “fuck it” and kills them all before being gunned down by the pinecone guard because firing a gun in a ship full of wraith is surprisingly enough a bad idea. meanwhile rodney opens a door by cutting a hole in the wall and messing around with a disgusting wallgina and a credit card. he and colm do something in the hive’s server room, apparently download a bunch of stuff to the usb, and they get out of there under gunfire minus the idiot who woke the waith and surprisingly without blowing another cloaking device. so they fly back to the genii planet, let’s see they’re a confederacy in space and have radiation and seeing as the wiki gives no name let’s call it korhal, and have to give sora the bad news. also colm is pissed and ambushes them with shotgunners but everything turns out fine as shep was lying about having broken all the gateships and two show up to force them to hand over the usb of plot importance. we close on the revelation that sgt bates has gone out and got food for them off some other guys and chakotay hacking the usb to find out that the wraith have at least 60 hive ships. finally, no thanks to douchebag steve and number john being pathetic at interrogation last episode, do they know what they’re up against.

Final Thoughts:

Sora was great. not in the “i’m a teenage guy who likes gingers/redheads with freckles” way but in the “damn this is a good actress” way and the fact that in the 6 years since children of the gods, sg-1’s pilot, they’ve clearly worked out how to introduce strong female characters without having them announce loudly “i have a vagina but could still totally kick your ass”. the scene where they decide to leave her behind on korhal is brilliant.

context: shep and team are preparing to go on the gateship to do that thing

Sora: “i should be going with you!”

Ford (blackguy): “there’s a good chance we could end up in a firefight.”

Cowen (colm meaney): “sora is a skilled fighter, and expert marksman. lt ford”

Sora shoots ford a “what you gonna do about that” death glare.

Cowen (explaining it more to appease her than anything): “still, she must stay here. to carry on if we don’t come back”

Sora’s expression changes to “that’s a big responsibility and would also mean my father was dead but i’ll try my best” nod.

now that is how you establish a strong female character. take note writers. it’s a pity that as a reoccurring character on stargate she might as well start writing her will.

also the concept of the genii is also pretty awesome. like i said last time i’m a big fan of industrial era societies in stargate but ww2 era? that’s something that never occurred to me and an equally cool concept to explore. also apparently they’re an entirely militarised society, interesting, and presumably all have badass uniforms.

plus there was nothing glaringly stupid for a change. all in all a good episode.

EDIT: Wait, they spoiled the plot twist in the pre-credits teaser. WORST EPISODE EVAR!!!!!

y'see we don't need railings because this is all underground.

y’see we don’t need railings because this is all underground.

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One thought on “Letters from Pegasus, a Stargate Atlantis text review: Underground

  1. Pingback: Letters from Pegasus, a Stargate Atlantis text review: The Storm | Several Fighters Blog

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