This and the next few episodes form an interesting trinity. Each of them deals with how a civilization is learning to survive in difficult situations.
In this episode the citizens who were thinking of their civilization surviving long term. They realized their technology would only support a limited number of people so their solution was to limit the age of their people and set up a system where the leaders take their lives at age 25. Remember Logan's Run? Same setup. The facilities would only support a certain percentage of population.
Dr. McKay once again is as irritating as possible without you wanting to shoot him. Actually I think I would shoot him. :) He steals their shield generator. Talk about arrogant. When Dr. Weir points that out he finally realizes what he had done. It still was not enough for him to feel remorse. It's almost as if he is emotionless except when it comes to his own well being.
One has to realize that this civilization has not advanced in centuries which is not normal. I don't personally feel that the change in laws and allowing the people to now live their normal lifetimes. Obviously this civilization was advanced to a pretty high level as it was a ZPM type power supply that was running their defenses. Who knows if they were involved with the ancients while they still were around. Of course all human civilizations would have been related at one point.
Good basic episode with a moral message and the first in a number of similar interesting episodes. Also a interesting side note, the more advanced the civilization the more dangerous and conniving they have become. Thanks for reading...