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Stargate Atlantis – The Prodigal

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

(Season 5, Episode 14)

Sadly, we only have six episodes left before Atlantis ends its run. I say sadly because “The Prodigal” really shows that there is a lot of life left in the series. This isn’t a show struggling to the finish line, by any means. With the end in site, there were more loose ends to be dealt with this week. An old foe returned to the city, bent on revenge. Along the way we got to see a whole lot of fighting, some clever uses of the Atlantis technology, a new character stepping into the spotlight, and the cutest baby in the Pegasus galaxy.

Welcome back, Michael (Connor Trinneer). Todd has been the go to Wraith for a while now, but with the series winding down Michael, and his obsession with Torren, was going to have to be dealt with. This was a great way to do it, using the stolen jumper to gain entry, and the stun bubble to buy time. And yes, I’m going with stun bubble, just like McKay would have if he had thought of it first. And you have to admire his conviction, “It’s only fitting that I return, to extinguish this blight from the galaxy once and for all.”

Of course, everyone in Atlantis, and the galaxy for that matter, has issues with Michael, but it made sense for Teyla to be the one dealing with him. It also served as a nice fit coming out of “Inquisition.” Michael shares Shiana’s belief that everything he’s done is the fault of Atlantis. He’s just as crazy as she is in that thought, but you can see how he got there.

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Fortunately, he didn’t belabor the point. Nobody wants to see an hour of Michael getting in touch with his inner self. We came for the showdown, and we got it. Two of them actually. Michael vs Ronon was a slugfest that lived up to the billing, and had what many would consider a surprising result. I would have thought some interference from one of the henchmen would be required for Michael to take out Ronon. Such was not the case.

The big story though was the final battle. Sheppard did all right for himself in what was a very cool fight outside the city. But really, as great as Sheppard is, if Ronon wasn’t taking down Michael, he was fighting a losing battle from jump street. Enter Teyla. Really, it was the best end for the Michael story. The way it has all played out, to have Teyla kicking him loose from the ledge seemed just right. And, even though they didn’t show us the body, I think we can close the book on Michael now.

Along with all of the Michael dispatching goodness, there was a lot of other stuff going on. Keller’s absence seemed a little strange, given that it was an Atlantis based episode, with scenes in the infirmary. I’m ok with it though, and in fact, I’d be all right with just giving all of her screen time to Banks (Sharon Taylor). She’s had an increasingly visible presence on the show as we’ve moved through the season and finally got her first major scene, and totally kicked ass. How she ended up as a gate technician and not a member of an away team remains a mystery, but I’m worlds more interested in Banks than I am in Keller at this point.

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

Sci Fi

We also had two really good buddy sequences this week. First, Sheppard and McKay. I loved that they went to the under water jumper bay, and especially enjoyed the look from Rodney as he was found out. He had two years! The best bit though was the return of the “long shot at best” task for Rodney, and Sheppard’s reaction to the news, “What do you need? Fifteen minutes?”

And then we had Ronon and Woolsey. Part of me wants to see some sort of comedic episode that finds these two living together in some sort of Odd Couple setting. They are just so strange together. But strange in a good way. From the discussion about filing reports… “Was I there?” “I saw you. You’re hard to miss.” …right through to the filing of his first report. You could see the joke coming from a mile away, but it still worked.

All things considered, another fine installment. Season five is coming along nicely. Next week, another old foe returns to put the boots to Sheppard. It should be fun.

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Categories: | Episode Reviews | General | TV Shows |

7 Responses to “Stargate Atlantis – The Prodigal”

November 8, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Hi, Brett.

Terrific episode. I remember yelling out “ouch” when Ronon fell, and yelling “all right!” when Teyla dispatched Michael. And the music by Joel Goldsmith was marvelous, especially with the use of the Taiko drums in that last fight sequence between Shep and Michael.

Thank you again for the HD screencaps, especially of the race cars! :)

Darn, only six episodes left? Yikes! I know we’re getting Stargate Universe, but I’ll miss Stargate Atlantis (just as I’ve been missing new episodes of Stargate SG-1). But, just as with SG1, we’ll be getting a SGA movie in ’09, so I can find some solace. And then there’s the Big Finish audio dramas, the Fandemonium pro novels, and the fan fiction to assuage my addiction to all things Stargate. And Sanctuary! :)

November 9, 2008 at 7:31 AM

Great review. I agree with you 100%. I’m really going to miss Atlantis and I’ve already decided that Universe and it’s lame character descriptions (football jock, party girl, slacker…etc.) are not for me. Canceling an amazing show to make room for Stargate 90210 just doesn’t make sense. Oh, and basically telling the fans of Atlantis and Stargate that they are just plum too old for the newest installment seems pretty stupid too IMO and just a tad bit insulting.

This episode rocked. I found your words on the Banks character very true. And finally after an entire season, some McKay and Sheppard interaction. Oh, how I’ve missed it. And Teyla was amazing. Keller is an extraneous character who’s had far more screen time than she deserves this season and the romance idea with McKay is just plain lame. Prodigal was just about perfect and interestingly enough, Keller and her forced presence thankfully didn’t breathe a line in it.

November 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM

I agree, I’m not going to be watching Universe. I just wish SciFi knew how much they were alienating the Stargate fanbase all in order to make MORE money (emphasis on the more because they’d be making less money as SGA went on, but they’d still be making money!)

I enjoyed this episode .. kick boxing scene was awesome, I agree I’m glad I got to see more of Banks. I did think it was odd not having Keller in the episode at all, I mean it really stood out as weird.

Also I hope Michael’s not dead. He’s been one of the best villains, if not the best, on this show.

November 9, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I have to say, I am very disappointed in the Sci-Fi channel for canceling SGA as I was when the canceled SG1. This is one of the best shows. And they took canceled it for what, a show where people chase each other around and a show where people have to go through different things to win money? After this show is done, I will be waiting for BSG and the Dr. Who specials to finish and I will no longer be watching this channel.

Enough complaining I guess.

Loved this episode. I have always loved the comedy that these characters bring when they interact with each other.

McKay and Sheppard racing the cars down the hall was very funny. Boys and their toys.

When Michael told Teyla he would stop the countdown, knew he was lying but I agree, he is one of the best villians, I even had a twinge of compassion for him when he was saying that it was the crew on Atlantis’ fault that he was the way he was.

The best was Ronan’s mission report… It was so Ronan. I was not sure I was going to like Rober Piccardo in this role but I have to say… he is good.

November 9, 2008 at 12:51 PM

This is what we should have been watching all season long. Team episodes where everyone had some important function in telling the story. We have not had enough of this kind of show and especially not enough scenes with Sheppard and McKay together bickering and snarking at one another. Teyla was wicked awesome throughout and Ronon was great, too. Banks is an interesting, believable character and I like her, unlike the forced screen eating time by Keller. I love when she is not in an ep, as the focus is on the plot and the team not on her and the disgusting, unbelievable, no chemistry “romance” with McKay. That can wait for 90210 – don’t make us suffer through it. Anyway, Prodigal – awesome episode, lots of team, lots of action and lots of humor – why Atlantis is my favorite show. Nothing better than Sheppard and McKay racing their cars and doing some serious trash talking. Ronon’s mission report was good, too. Great script by Carl Binder. Looking forward to Remnants next week.

November 10, 2008 at 11:26 AM

I believe that Sharon Taylor can actually kickbox. I always like when characters do something that is unexpected

November 11, 2008 at 11:21 PM

According to her IMDB bio, Sharon Taylor actually is a kickboxing instructor…