Episode Reviews (22)
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Sometimes there needs to be an '11' score to select.
... and this episode is one of those times. The series often features an individual character or even multiple characters and their relationships. This episode is a 'Rodney' episode, and as I, or any of my friends and family will attest too, these are the best episodes, so far, of the series. This installment of the Rodney episode is no exception, the humor, character emotion, and relationship development was above and beyond the call of duty. Well done, looking forward to the next Rodney ep!!!moreless
Inner space instead of outer space
Wonderfully humanistic episode that addresses inner space instead of outer space.
McKay's overweaning narcissism is often intolerable. But in this episode it is an integral part of the character arc.
The scenes where a dying McKay sheds his abrasive egotism and reaches out to his long suffering colleagues from the heart are truly touching.
The Tao of Rodney was one of my favorite episodes. It was a McKay focused episode, developing the character more. We get to see the emotional transitions of McKay who has more or less been put on a one way ticket, with no guarantee of success with his plans. We also got to learn more about the process of Ascension, and how it was studied by the Ancients. Rodney was zapped by some Ancient device, which mutated his genes to evolve physically, at a faster rate than normal, giving him super abilities such as telekenisis, mind reading abilities, and his own intelligence increasing. He has a choice, Ascend or Die permanently. It is interesting to watch McKay gain wisdom, into himself, into life, into all. Does he make it? Watch and find out!!!moreless
My Favorite Episode of Stargate: Atlantis to date.
The Tao of Rodney is currently my favorite episode of Stargate: Atlantis to date, moste definitely my favorite of Season 3. It, of course, showcases Rodney McCay and how he would react to getting close to becoming Ascended. When it was done with Daniel Jackson on Stargate: SG1, it just seemed too easy for a character to become a higher being (even though Dr. Jackson had a little help from Oma Desala). With Dr. McCay it was entirely different. When Rodney McCay got subjected to the radiation from the Ancient device, it was more dynamic than Dr. Jackson's path. Rodney develops "superpowers" as he gets closer to the point of where he needs to Ascend or die. This was handled quite well with the character not being capable of concieving of Ascending. With death looming for Rodney, he decides to use what little time he has left to help his "family" as well as humanity. From performing a tea ceremony for Teyla, removing Ronan's scars from his back, or even writing a 500 page book for Dr. Weir, this shows that there is more depth to Rodney McCay that what is seen at first blush. Whereas Dr. Jackson just succumbed to radiation sickness and, after a heartfelt talk with Jack O'Neil, Ascends. Everyone in Rodney's "family" gathers in support for him and shows that although he usually gets on their last nerves at times, they actually care for him. At the telling moment where Rodney either ascends or dies, the solution comes to him and he becomes human again. David Hewlett did an exceptional job with bringing another facet to Rodney McCay and just not leaving the character as a stereotypical "grumpy scientist". As an actor, he is to make the character he plays as believable as possible. He gives a performance where the other actors can interact and work off of which makes this story, to me, have a little more impact than the Ascending on Stargate: SG1. The feeling of family comes forth in this episode (along with the episode "Sunday" that was also in this season) and makes you actually care about what happens next. Isn't that what great Television Shows are supposed to do?moreless
Even more brilliant McKay...
This episode was good but I do not think it was so brilliant as many have thought. It offered so much new, opened a new perspective to McKay and show us two new side of him - totally genius and hyper super egoist one and the second one - caring, and really doing and saying what he thoughts. So, for character development it was great. The storyline itself - the way he was gaining more and more.. maybe the irony of you got all the knowledges but you are not able to use them - the beauty of the mind. The story was great but all the wining from McKay - it can drive crazy. And the end - when he was dying, grasped Beckett and then had told what to do to save him.. Great ending.moreless
Pure 100% Rodney!
This episode was pretty awesome, coming from a Rodney fan like myself. But there was something about it, something that annoyed me. It was too much Rodney, I'd call it over-exposure. Too many snarky comments, too much "me, me, me", not enough of the rest of the cast. It was annoying by the end of it, and I was thankful Rodney finally saw the light and decided to do nice things, say goodbye to everyone, and deal with his impending death. As much as this episode was funny, and full of wonderful Rodney-isms, it was one big annoying fiesta. In my opinion, it could have been written a lot better and made less annoying.moreless
The episodes have been getting better every week. This episode is all about Rodney McKay. He got super powers in the first half of the episode, then he figured he was going to die because of those powers.
It was fun watching McKay try to Ascend, in order to save his life. The nice things he did showed a new, different part of him. It was also cool to see what he did with his new super powers - like saving Zelanka's life. It was a great episode to watch. In the next episodes I think they need an episode with the Wraith in it. They haven't had one in awhile. Aden Ford, I also think, should be on soon - before everyone forgets who he is. Overall, all the new episodes have been really good. I hope they keep up the good work.moreless
Pretty good episode, but nothing special.
This episode would have been awesome if it didn't practically copy a Stargate SG-1 Episode. It's great to see Rodney freaking out about not being able to ascend and him actually being nice for a change, but, other than that, it wasn't anything great. Dr. Zelenka (I know I spelled it wrong) tried to help Rodney even though Rodney treats him like crap. I think they really mutally respect each other, which is pretty cool. Anyways, again the reason I don't like this episode as much as I should is because it is almost just like the episode in Stargate SG-1 when O'Neill gets the ancient knowledge downloaded into his brain and he would die in a few days because it was too much for the brain. Ya, they put a lot of different aspects in this episode, but it just wasn't enough. Overall, it was a pretty good episode though and had great character development.moreless
SGA does "Flowers for Algernon"...but will it ever come up again?
If there’s one complaint that seems to rise above the rest, when it comes to “Stargate: Atlantis”, it’s the lack of balance in character exploration. One might argue that the writers rarely get character development right, since there seems to be little change over time, but they do write episodes that focus on certain characters. More often than not, such episodes focus on either Sheppard or McKay.
Both complaints come together in this particular episode. First and foremost, Rodney McKay is the focus of this episode and there’s not a shred of doubt about it. The title makes that plainly obvious. And what happens in this episode will probably mean nothing in the end, despite the fact that the circumstances could and should result in a massive shift in Rodney’s personality.
These issues become a point of contention because it didn’t have to be that way. Many fans remember how the first season was constructed and note the delicate balance: plot and character arcs, consistent world-building, and a true sense of isolation. Taken in context with the sagging creativity on “SG-1” in the same time period, and it gave many fans hope that the series would revive the best aspects of the franchise. Since then, expectations have cooled, because the producers have fallen into predictable patterns and the series has been struggling against that tide.
This is pertinent to this episode because many fans will ask a pointed question: does anything in this episode really matter? If this were a series like “Babylon 5” or “Lost”, Rodney’s experience would likely result in a massive change in the character’s progression. More than that, there would be a clear path for the character leading to this moment of personal revelation.
Instead, one is left to wonder if all of Rodney’s soul-searching (as good and necessary as it is) will stick, or if he’ll go back to being the snarky, arrogant genius that he’s been since the inception. Just as Sheppard’s experience with the Ancients is ignored until it’s convenient for this particular plot thread, I expect McKay’s epiphany to be handled sporadically at best.
I could be wrong, but when it comes to a character as iconic as Rodney, whose personality quirks are practically his entire reason to exist, change is incredibly rare. There’s simply too much to lose. And for me, that renders so much of the meaningful work in this episode moot. That’s a shame, because this is one of the better character pieces for the franchise in quite some time. The episode itself is a great use of a familiar plot device, but I’m concerned that it will lose something in the long view.moreless
The ballad of McKay
Once upon a time there was a brilliant man, but this brilliant man had flaws that didn’t make him happy for he knew he wasn’t as cool as the strong pilots from the base or as handsome as some other men less brilliant & less talented were or as brave as some gentle alien women were kind enough not to say and so he grew insecure of the love his friends: How could anybody love him, if he couldn’t love himself? Rodney steps into an ancient device designed to trigger ascension in regular human beings, at first it only increases his hearing and gives him some extra abilities that makes him feel like the king of the world but as Elizabeth’s investigation advances it becomes clear for everyone this might be a death sentence if ascension isn’t achieved by the subject. Elizabeth urges Sheppard to help him ascend, Carlton and Zelenka work day and night to find a cure but Rodney is the only one among them able to recognize his days are numbered so he let go & make amends with everyone he knows: He goes to Zelenka to ask his forgiveness because he can’t help but to surround himself with this bubble of hostility to protect himself all the time, Radeck couldn’t know this but he most certainly didn’t deserve such treatment from him.
To Teyla, he offers to serve a ceremonial tea for the dead in memory of her father, a gesture for all those many she’s had to him over the years; to Ronon he heals the scars on his back for all those inner scars he hides so deep no one could ever reach; to Elizabeth he writes a novel, a 500 pages long novel about the Elizabeth he has seen every day they’ve spent together, his Elizabeth, the one no one else could see the way he does and to Sheppard he asks to read his eulogy for they have always been okay with each other, no matter what. As the time has come to either ascend or die, all his friends gather around him, Rodney is still not ready and fear overwhelms him as Elizabeth pleads Sheppard to help him one last time but all Rodney can do is to surround himself with this new protecting bubble made out of the love of his friends so once Carson comes up with a last minute solution that returns him to normal, he grows less powerful, perhaps still a little hostile but a lot more happy about himself.moreless