hey, human form replicators guys. those dudes were pretty scary right. so why don’t we have a whole planet of those and kill off at least a Manhattan’s worth in one hit to show how tough they are… wait what?
business as usual in atlantis, they send a malp to some planet and discover people the other end who reply with “if you’re chill then visit but otherwise fuck off”. so naturally they bring ronan. they arrive in atlantis 2.0, which is like Atlantis so we don’t have to make new sets. also the dudes there are wearing pjs so they look like actual ancients.
and are about as dumb as the ancients leading our guys along a mile long gangway instead of using the teleport booths. They are the douchey sounding asurans and their leader oreo is like “oh the wraith? we have a plan for them… in a totally non-cylon way. no cylons here now fuck off”. also there’s this nasally as fuck guy called nyan who’s really interested in ascension. weir nags oreo for a bit about him being an apathetic dick but oreo just has them all kidnapped and thrown in the not-atlantis brig. then they escape and make for the jumper bays, they dial back to atlantis and… it’s a dream, this is all an interregation dream, as if next episode doesn’t have enough of that. sure enough a fuckoff wraith fleet has come to destroy them and sheppard sacrifices himself to save the day while everyone runs to earth and he wakes up to find an old man’s hand sticking out of his forehead. cylon dicks, you could have just asked. then oreo is like “kill them, we’re going to blow up real Atlantis because we have daddy issues with the ancients”. nyan persuades him otherwise and he shows weir the story of his people with 90s ass cgi: the ancients made them, programmed them to kill wraith, stopped them from altering their own programming, they somehow still evolve into “the most efficient forms” which is apparently humans and not giant spheres of goop or seagulls or bacteria, the ancients say fuck it and blow them all up, they can rebuild them, ancients flee the galaxy, etcetera etcetera. rodney has to get rid of their daddy issues protocol or atlantis is hosed so he reprograms nyan and gives everyone else rigor mortis for… let’s say 7 and a half minutes? 38 minutes? 365 days? it’s an arbitrary number. then they’re like “nyan, come with us if you want to become space ghost and/or live” and blow up the city, along with escaping in a jumper. then the asuran planet reprogramms nyan, despite not being able to alter their own code and… who gives sentient foxdie nanites subspace trancievers?, uploading “strangle”.exe and they have to blow him out the air lock so he can death glare the ocean below or something. shep and weir close debating whether the producers have the dignity to stop milking the replicator cash cow, deciding they hope so.
their was a bright flash in the sky tonight, pretty. i wonder what it was.
i think the problem in this episode is made apparent best when comparing it against the sg1 classic episode window of opportunity, one of my favorites and one i just watched.
in window of oppurtinity weird time travel hyjinks, O’Neill spends a year lucid on groundhog day and hitler tries to use ancient time machines to talk to his dead wife. it was a good episode, but that’s not the point. the point is that as with all early ancient stuff these guys are treated with the respect the guys who built the stargates deserve writing wise. they have a time machine that can affect a vast area of the galaxy, they cannot get it to work and wisely turn it off. you cannot hope to comprehend how it works and it’s broken in a way beyond the people beyond you. meanwhile by early season 3 atlantis the ancients are these guys who lose every war ever, create scourges to the galaxy by accident and/or so much as sneezing and are idiots. the more we learn about how they tried to make cylons and couldn’t even carpet bomb their mistakes right the less we buy them as the ascended gatebuilders. similarly the HFRs: in sg1 HFRs are a big deal and you can only really kill them by collapsing a sun or anti-replicator gunfighting them. or (spoilers) the dakara superweapon, that’ll do it. replicarter? wipes out the system lords on her own. big fucking deal. these guys? whole city of them can’t stop one rodney. frikken ronan’s pistol can stun them, cool as it is no. it’s just a gun, these guys should be at least odo level impervious. you have the 90s cgi for it.
also: they clearly edited their own code in becoming cylons, the premise of this episode and their entire race is just… stupid.