Stargate Atlantis

Season 4 Episode 11

Be All My Sins Remember'd (2)

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 04, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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out of 10
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  • A season's worth crammed into one episode.

    Compared to "This Mortal Coil," this episode was much better for me. Not nearly so flat and emotionless in dialogue and direction as the mid-season finale. And Carter's back from filming the SG 1 films to contribute. But like "This Mortal Coil," a couple of storylines which could've been material for at least ten other episodes were crammed into this episode.

    We open with two of Earth's cruisers, the Daedalus and Apollo, dropping out of hyperspace to enter orbit around Atlantis' new homeworld. Colonels Ellis and Caldwell beam down to coordinate with our Atlantis cast on how best to chip away at the Replicator war machine. With the help of the tracking program they got from the duplicate Atlanitis team in "This Mortal Coil," Caldwell and Ellis set off to ambush and vaporize 7 Replicator Aurora-class vessels with the wicked awesome Asgard beam weapons that were given to SG-1 in the Season 10 series finale "Unending." The remaining 30 Replicator vessels then concentrate over the Replicator homeworld. Advanced Asgard energy weapons or no (and apparently no Asgard anti-Replicator satellite technology), Atlantis and the two Earth cruisers don't have the firepower to stick their necks into the Replicators' den and blow it to kingdom come. So the Atlantis crew sets out to broker an alliance with the Wraith (potential major episode arc #1) with the help of their Wraith friend. At one point, they're stunned, but they wake up safe and sound in their Jumper in space with their "friend." The Travellers conveniently show up (major episode arc #2) then. The Traveller female leader, Larrin, asks Shepherd via audio transmission why the Wraith left him in one piece. I wondered how she knew it was Shepherd before seeing him? Shepherd sets out to draw Larrin and her people into fold...

    Meantime, Rodney constructs a "good" Replicator (major episode arc #3), FRAN (Friendly Replicator ANdroid), with Ancient blue prints to download a destructive program in the Replicators' midst.

    Over the course of fifteen or so minutes, Team Atlantis brokers a grand alliance against the Pegasus Replicators. Sisko's DS9 and Sheridan's B5 crews took a couple years to line up their coalitions. And Atlantis' allies conveniently don't demand major concessions with consequences, like freedom to feed on humans or access to restricted Ancient/Asgard technology that's dangerous in the wrong hands. And Fran is gung ho about sacrificing herself. I wonder how things would've been if Fran had experienced doubts, had the chance to escape, then chose to fulfill her function? Trip's clone, who was grown to provide neural tissue for a life-saving operation, went through that ordeal in ENT season 3 episode "Similitude." Incidentally, Teyla reveals to Shepherd that she's pregnant by a Pegasus human, Kanan, not seen or referred to at all. Shepherd relieves her of active duty immediately. Ronon congratulates and cosoles her as she goes to gain her bearings. Why couldn't the father be from the Atlantis expedition? Will Teyla's child be important and relevant down the road?

    Anyhow, the Atlantis task force and its allies number only about 15 ships, which have to keep the Replicator ships in orbit long enough for Fran to do her part and initiate a "blob" that draws all Replicator nanites into one mass on the planet surface. Rodney and Ronon beam down with a marine team at a ZPM control panel to generate a pulse that'll fry the Replicator "blob." The lack of technicians and guards was understandable, but there were apparently no security/safety measures Rodney had to override before the "blob" sank through the planet's surface to destroy the local power grid.

    Sam in orbit then points out to Rodney that the planetary mantle has neutronium. It sets off a spate of Trek-like technobabble by Rodney, who sends some sort of signal to the blob? with his notepad (how?) to order it to contact with the neutronium so that (as far as I can figure) it'll condense and cause a chain reaction that'll make the Replicator world go boom. Rodney, Ronon, and the marines beam up to the Daedalus, which jumps away with the rest of the task force from the Replicator world as it blows up. The Wraith don't show up at the rally point, though, apparently intent on being enemies again.

    And after Rodney removes the Replicator homeworld from Atlantis' database, we cut to the remains of the planet. There an Aurora ship sifts through the debris. When the sensor officer reports no sign of active Replicator nanites, we see Elizabeth Weir in the command chair, saying, "Good. We can begin work without looking over our shoulders."

    Whether the new Elizabeth (and her Replicator? faction) is good or bad, an organic or Replicator copy, we can't tell at the moment. Whether Elizabeth will be used well, we'll see down the road. IMHO, the producers redeemed themselves by not killing her off completely. It seems to me they did that in part due to the fan backlash in some quarters over Weir's apparent death in "This Mortal Coil." But I find the use of out of the blue revelations on the part of the writers this season to be annoying and clumsy ploys at getting themselves out of plot holes.

    The producers did a good job of hiding Weir's resurrection. In fact, Torri Higginson's role in this episode hasn't even been listed on her bio at the IMDB site (Internet Movie Database) as of this posting. And as the Replicator-Wraith war was built up during the first half of this season, it was stated that the Replicators had our favorite life-sucking baddies reeling back on several fronts. When we learn there were only 37 Replicator Aurora-class ships in the whole Pegasus galaxy, the Replicator "fleet" was suddenly revealed to be just a good-sized squadron.

    The producers went into the episode saying the battle over the Replicator planet was the biggest spectacle they've staged on Atlantis. It certainly is the biggest space battle for the series, but not as engrossing to me as the Daedalus' engagements against the Wraith in Season 2 "Siege" Part 3, SG1's fleet action against the Ori in Season 9 "Camelot" or against the Milky Way Replicators in Season 8 "Reckoning" Parts 1 & 2 (where thousands of ships were involved). In fact, there are any number of space battles with at least hundreds of ships in "Revenge of the Sith," "Return of the Jedi," and several seasons of B5 and DS9 I can think of that make the battle over the Pegasus Replicator homeworld seem like a skirmish.

    And there're quite a few battles on BSG, where the Galactica faced off against the Pegasus and Cylons at different times that fired up my blood even though the numbers weren't epic.

    37 Replicator ships with no support vessels for a variety of missions don't strike me as being a large enough force to threaten the Wraith and all human life in the Pegasus galaxy. For example, the US Pacific fleet consisted of nine battleships, three aircraft carriers, 12 heavy cruisers, eight light cruisers, 50 destroyers, 33 submarines, and 100 patrol bombers at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To use a more current example, today's US Atlantic Fleet comprises over 118,000 sailors and Marines serving in 186 ships and 1,300 aircraft.

    Notwithstanding my earlier nits, I feel that the largest casualty of this episode were the Atlantis characters themselves, who were caught up and lost in the summarized and rushed events. IMHO, Shepherd and Larrin, who may become an item, don't have a quarter of the chemistry that Rodney and his biologist girlfriend, Katie Brown, have. Teyla's pregancy has no emotional impact on me. Ronon had nothing to do. Will Shepherd's Wraith "friend" become Atlantis' Gul Dukat (and get a name?)? Gone is the tension Weir had with Caldwell over sharing power in Season 2. Carter should've been brainstorming with Rodney in the lab and I think she can have her own vessel to command like Sisko and Sheridan did. And now that Carter's in charge, what kind of interpersonal conflict will she have with Ellis and the others who wanted Weir gone?

    I'm curious to see what the rest of Season 4 will bring, but most of the remaining episodes don't seem to center on the Wraith, who're the main baddies left now that the Pegasus Replicators have apparently been vanquished after a year and a half. The Milky Way Replicators were a threat for four years, though. Whether by design or accident, I see Atlantis starting to ape the kind of political intrigue, epic battles, and social commentary we saw in DS9 and B5. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel the execution can be better. And I question a lot of creative decisions, like ejecting Weir at all, then bringing on Carter (who I do love) rather than Daniel Jackson.

    In a lot of ways, I feel Season 1 of Atlantis was the most exciting of the series when the expedition was cut off from Earth, exploring the city and the Pegasus galaxy. Of course they couldn't hold out indefinitely without support from Earth--unless they were able to manufacture on their own the supplies and technology they needed and get the Pegasus humans to join in, say, a kind of Federation based on mutual support and understanding. IMHO, reestablishing contact with Earth has had a mixed effect on the Atlantis series.

    I see a lot of issues in this episode from the Atlantis producers' constant tinkering with the show. This review with my views and observations only touches the tip of the iceberg.

    Lastly, whose sins were this episode centered on?