Letters from Pegasus, a Stargate Atlantis text review: The Ark

It seems after my laziness induced hiatus. Netflix doesn’t have anything stargate but ark of truth (and not even this ark) so i’m paying real matt money to watch this, which in the past would have meant i’d have to buy a box set, but now thanks to Amazon Video i can just buy specific episodes and have them instantly. i flippin’ love technology

The Teaser:

My other car is a BC-304

My other car is a BC-304

This episode starts In Medias Res (which is latin for “aren’t i a clever director”) as an extreme close up (which is latin for “i was so impressed with my ‘In Medias Res’ stunt i forgot people actually have to watch this”) of the face Spacesuit Sheppard  (with Kung-Fu action grip!) shouts about not being able to make it. ok episode, i’m interested… what, the teaser isn’t over? and you were doing so well

meanwhile in the past Shep and Rodney poke around an empty, pretty neat looking 70s sci-fi space station in an asteroid while Ronan sulks in the gateship because there isn’t a spacesuit in his size. they’re about to head back and leave it to the background characters when Rodney reaches a control room overlooking a “re-entry” shuttle (important plot point) and lights up the nuke reactors so they can restore the life support and let Ronan out so he doesn’t make a mess in the shuttle. then anomaly happens and they pick up a “familiar reading” on the life-signs detector. ok, nice recovery on the snappy teaser front, i’m still interested… it’s still going on? blimey!

then they find a dead body near some tube beds, Cut to Titles.

The Episode:

So apparently the dead guy was stored in a wraith beamer, and he wasn’t dead, just winded. he is…uh, Guy McPerson. the last living member of the guys who lived on the planet below but now don’t because the wraith haven’t come up with the concept of “Sustainable Food Supply”. these guys, the planet guys not the wraith,  it turns out were pretty damn smart and reverse engineered a dart abduction beam into a people storage device, Dude McNameless was supposed to be the guy who woke up on a timer and flew a shuttle down after the wraith had left and let out a bank full of people but their computers blue-screened a couple hundred years ago so he’s a little bit late. also one of the banks containing Mrs ThatDude and their children as well as the second shuttle is missing. Beard McJumpsuit simply ignores our guys and revives Old McScientist guy out of the bank so he can strangle him for fucking up the apocalypse plan. also Old Ben McKenobi doesn’t get stunned on the way out so by the show’s logic he’s hocked up on wraith insulin. they settle their differences and decide to carry on with the mission and continue to ignore of the 3 guys now crashing on their space couch, although Ronan notes that Angst McDeadWife might try to kill Aged McAuthorityFigure so they decide to hang around so they can become relevant to the plot again.

Teylaa (yes, she’s in this episode, she just hasn’t been useful yet) tries to console That Guy with “my everyone keeps on getting killed by the wraith so suck it up” but Mournful McSolem is like “last thing i remember before being stored is hope for the future, now I’m super depressed. thanks a bunch, f**k off!” and opens a bunch of the station’s submarine doors (very important plot point). then he gets into the shuttle and fires the engines at the hangar bay doors, while all the doors in the station are open. see, i told you those were important plot points. everyone rushes to shut doors and/or stop him but it’s too late, the doors give way and Actually McDeadThisTime is sucked out into space along with the gateship and all of the shuttle’s fuel. on top of that Newtonian physics states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction and because this asteroid is parked in a super low orbit, and because the shuttle engine just burnt to slow them down for a bit, and now their orbit intersects the atmosphere and they’re all going to die, on top of that McKay reports that the reactors went into safety mode again and most of the station is de-pressurised so he in his spacesuit in the control room is cut off from Sheppard and Ronan who have just almost vaccumed to death, and Beard McInjuries and Teylaa are in the people bank room. Ronan undislocates his arm on a door and makes a death pact with Sheppard because death by re-entry is pretty sucky. Fortunately (double plus important plot point) the Stargate Program never leaves a man behind so they’re probably fine unless complications happen, like rodney getting booted out of the control room when debris hits the window and being forced to wander the halls shutting doors and all that stuff. Teylaa calls him up because Dr ForTheGood McOfMyPeople wants to know if they can save his people, Rodney doubts so given that they’re on a tight schedule but Teylaa translates that into “yeah, sure fine, whatever” so everyone’s happy, meanwhile Shep gets through to Weir and she sends Lorne, Beckett and Lt Beau Bridges to bail them out, because they never leave a man behind (again, important).

Anyway the rescue team arrives and welds up all the stuff so people can move freely but now it’s time to go and Dr Wounded McIndignant is pissed that they can’t take his people bank in that time. y’see they spent generations working on this this plan to throw their planet into a nuclear winter so the wraith would leave them alone and save this people bank (plus the other one that got nuked) so they could rebuild. anyway Dr Allegory McOppenheimer also doesn’t leave a man behind (see, it’s thematic) and pulls Teylaa’s gun on Teylaa before trapping him and her in the people bank. if i was still teasting main character deaths this is where i’d do it but i’m not. Sheppard, partially because we never leave a man and/or woman behind, and partially because he heard that the planet is full of delicious radiation grabs the people bank and wheels it over to the empty shuttle, everyone else escapes on the jumper while Action Star Extraordinaire John Sheppard rides the meteor down through the atmosphere and after it breaks up lands the shuttles without fuel (i mean there was probably some sort of Reaction Control System but the only one who could have told him about that is now a frozen crispy body orbiting somewhere above him.) LIKE A BOSS! (this is the bit of the episode the first teaser was alluding to)

Later Dr McWarcrimes dies on re-materialization off-screen because it’s not like most people have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of the best one’s i’ve watched so far. As i’ve said on multiple occasions one of the things i like about stargate is when they run into cultures with retro-tech and these guys had a pretty good design aesthetic, the asteroid station, or as they liked to call it “the moonbase”, had very submariney corridors and the control room full of Airplane 2-esqe blinking light computers was pretty cool, plus the actual shuttle design was also cool, kind of like the Hardcell Transports from Attack of the Clones or Zephram Cochrane’s warp torpedo but with a flying saucer bubble dome on the top. plus their brown ds9 season1-3 uniforms looked great. Dr Old Guy (who’s name is apparently Jamus)’s whole deal made for a good story. This episode really had a top notch plot. i like the fact that, as alluded to above, it’s about conflict between our heroes and someone with a similar ideals to them (“never leave a man behind” is one of the big tenants of tv stargate) and explores the extreme dark side of that, kinda like Balthazar Edison in Star Trek: Beyond mimicking Kirk’s “humanity was meant to struggle” shtick from TOS. that guy’s name was amazing, why the hell couldn’t we have had something like that in this episode instead of Jamus and Herik? i mean the guy mentioned Hadon Fortum at one point, why couldn’t we have had him, he sound’s good!

 

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