Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 5

Ghost in the Machine

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 15, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

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out of 10
320 votes
  • Weir is back - in replicator form but I'm not reviewing the episode here.

    Just briefly; this episode is a conclusion to a cliffhanger from last years 'Be All my Sins remembered'. The visuals were great and so was the story, a bit heavy on the expositional stuff but entetaining netherless. The ending is touching and somewhat of a surprise. Woolsey continues to impress (me) as leader of Atlantis.

    However, is it just me or has Joel Goldsmith gone up three levels with the music. Instead of a synthesised music vibe it now has a more orchestral feel to it. Whatever he's done the last year, it certainly has taken the show to a new and much needed level. Bravo Joel.
  • My first post! a great installment to the SGA storyline!

    My First and hopefully not my last post.

    I find that this episode answers the question of that part of last season where we see weir say, "we begin our work".

    i got to hand it to the actress that plays fran. she portrayed Weirs mannerisms quite well. even some of her distinctive tones. since replicators dont die in space. this episode can and may serve as a seed in another episode in the future.
    Weir is NOT dead. maybe dead because the actress refused to play weir again. but fran can play her now. and being in a form that is hard to kill... well... we shall see.

    i wonder what floating in deep space for a long time can do to the human mind...

    I hope the Stargate Series continue to grow. it has provided me insights and inspiration even as a simple human being on Earth. Thanks!
  • A past friend return *Spoiler herein*

    I was looking forward to this episode for quite some time, for 2 reasons, we finally get to see Wier again, and Fran.
    After a powerspike is stransferred from the Jumper to the City things starts to happen and an entity claims to be Wier. The entity takes the form of the last Replikator that was created on Atlantis, F.R.A.N, the Friendly Replicator Andriod. But soon thing are starting to happen and we find out she's not alone. The team struggles to gain control over the city again.
    After seeing this episode I can without a doubt say this was one of the best episode this season, and the end had me choked up. That rarely happens in Stargate for me.
    Michelle who played Fran/Wier in this episode did a great work portraying Wier, and was nothing like Fran we had previously seen. The actress had studied Torrie performance as Wier and could withouth a doubt pull it off.
    I enjoyed this episode, adn it was a great conclusion to the Wier saga, and hopefully the Replicator arc.
  • sad Weir, tough Woolsey and somewhat morally gray Sheppard

    I like this episode. I like how it told about ReplicatorWeir's confidence turning to fear(to herself), then she did what Weir would do -- sacrificed for Atlantis and old buddies without hesitant. Plus, Michelle Morgan really do a great job, I can see Weir through FRAM's everything. Excellent!

    And I also like how Woolsey threat Replicators. He still is THE BUREAUCRAT who put safe of Earth on first. But he also dared to take some risky now. I'm glad that Woolsey got his own play stage but not just a joke for others. (After all, EMH is one of my favorite Startrek:VOY's character.)

    Sheppard seems more morally gray than usual, but I can accept that. I wonder if fearsome to Replicators make Sheppard not even try to stop Weir's suicide (at least not on screen), but it's just my little wonder.

    oh, and Rodney really annoyed me this episode. 4 tech bubbles in one episode, was that really necessary? Or perhaps because I just want to hear more Dr.Zelenka's Czech grumbles (XD)

    Nice to see Chuck again.
  • An awesome episode with many surprising twists. Both thumbs up!

    I loved the intro - flying monkeys! And then John talking to Woolsey about the flying monkeys. And Woolsey's expression!

    The malfunctioning jumper was such a surprise. From the promo I knew that Fran/Weir would come back but this was a huge surprise. And so suspenseful too! That was something very unusual because on SGA, the jumpers never fail!

    I liked Weir in the computer thingy and John mentioning Ava! Nice continuity. And I did understand why they were so distrustful of her, no matter how much they wanted to believe that it was her. I loved what John told her, that she might think of herself as Weir but she's not Elizabeth anymore. The look on her face then...

    Woolsey was awesome in this episode, a real leader. He made the hard decisions and no one could blame him because they knew that he was right. For once, he and Ronon agreed on something. It was really nice to see him actually be the commander of Atlantis.

    What I didn't like was how everybody kept harping on Rodney to find a solution right now. Like he's some sort of "Insta Miracles Rodney". On the other hand, it's partially his own fault - when Radek offered help, he snapped at him and sent him away. And then, of course, he didn't manage to complete the program in time.

    The ending was sad. Really really sad. I loved the camera centering on John, the sad look on his face.
  • Weir's storyline is finally finished.

    The first half of this episode was really great. I liked the opener alot. And I thought there was a really nice moment when they first found out that the computer was talking to them. The hightened music was a nice touch. However, it started to get a little boring when Weir was describing what happened to her. And the rest of the episode was kinda predictable, with a not so good ending. But I quess it had to be done to finish her character storyline to sastify all her fans.

    Overall it was great until Weir was on. I hope they can keep their beginings that good.
  • I guess it's goodbye then, Dr. Weir...

    A good episode with a very cruel ending. It was really painful to watch as all the members of the team didn't trust Elizabeth. I think they should have felt very bad when they finally understood that it was really her. And for the first time in Atlantis I really HATED Ronon. He was like: "It's not Dr. Weir - can I kill it??" Stupid... Woolsey at least considered other options. Sheppard was also to cruel - it was not like him at all. It looked like he is the replicator and not Fran/Weir. Michelle Morgan did a wonderful job portraying Elizabeth, I think nobody could have done that better - A+ for her. I hoped that they would just put the replicators in virtual realities (well at least Elizabeth), but they used the easiest option. So, I was looking forward for this episode the most in this season and I think that it could have been much better.
  • The end of Weir

    I thought this was a good episode. However, even though I thought it was well written, I suppose I didn't really like the way it ended, compared to other potentially exciting possibilities after the BAMSR ending scene. But still, it was a nice sacrifice by Weir, and with Torri not playing Weir, there wasn't a lot of good choices. So now this is most likely the end of the Weir character forever. Here are some other thoughts:

    I thought Michelle Morgan (FRAN) did a great job of looking and imitating Torri Higginson as Weir with respect to her facial expressions and demeanor!

    We now know that there are other worlds in the galaxy that are somewhat technologically advanced, so that's good.

    I thought Woolsey did a great job this episode. He was the commander, and he showed courage and toughness against the replicators.

    Why couldn't they upload the consciousness of the replicators directly like with Ava? Maybe it needs a human body or it was still too dangerous, I suppose.

    Poor Sheppard - again! This will be the last time with Weir, though.

    Flying monkeys, Planet of Oz... a la SG-1!

    Overall, a good, solid (yet sad) episode.
  • See Summary

    Ghost in the Machine saw a brief return of the Replicator Weir, if only in Voice. The episode was good over all but it was not as packed with action as is usual to the series. There was a little bit of emotional fall out in dealing with the last remnent of Elizabeth Weir. The episode was a little slower paced than most. It was cool to see how the characters choose to deal with the situations presented to them. The replicators seem to keep popping up, but this is perhaps the end of their story line in the Atlantis saga.
  • Little weird episode

    So.. how could you kill (end) storyline when the most important thing of the storyline is gone - this case the original actress of Weir. So, they just try another way to deal with it and it all goes too weird, in my point. Some parts of the episode has little slow motion and then other really exciting and fast moving so the overall feeling is somehow jumping and to be honest - I have never liked the replicator storylines as somehow they always are coming back when we think we get read of them.

    The best part of this episode, I think, was the end where they sent them to space gate and the way Rodney stand there in the end and said what he said...
  • Weir comes back as the leader of the replicators looking for Ascension

    I am not sure whether I like the Weir storyline. I wished she had stayed in command of Atlantis fro; the beginning. Now she comes back as the leader of the replicators looking to ascend (and fail). The only part that I really like about this episode is the fact that she scarified herself to save Atlantis, proving to everybody that she was indeed Elizabeth Weir.
    I also wished that we learned more about the other technologically-advanced races (maybe for another episode??) and whether the aliens seen in the previous episode are part of the races whose tech was occupied by the replicators while they were in subspace.
    So in all, it's a good episode to wrap up the Weir storyline and show promises for encounters with new races, whether potential allies or enemies.
  • It wasnt bad,but it wasnt great!

    Ok,this episode wasnt the worst of Stargate Atlantis! It was just ok. I, like everyone else, have to blame the writers. None of the characters were in character,and Oh my God if I ever have to hear the "voice of Weir" again I think I will shoot my screen. They could have made that less annoying and that scene could have been cut in half. Also the ending was rediculous and not needed, All they had to do to stop those things were put them back in the form that they were before taking on the bodies of replicators then destroy the little nanites. If I, a 15 year old, can think of a better way, then the writters could have I think they were rushing through this episode to go on to another one.... The Shrine maybe?
  • SGA continues its downhill side of quality

    what is happening this season?? the first episode was ok but how many filler episodes are there going to be. This episode, compared with many of the episodes from season 4 is well below the standed set by the series.
    the show is losing it! its gorn from my number on show, to five. leyts hope it returns to its former glory before the end of the series. This episode laked a good plot and was domed from the start. it had nothing to do with the central plot of the series. The episode was defently one of the worst SGA eps lets hope it gets better..
  • Give the replicators a break for once we see some (mostly) good ones....

    I thought this episode could have potentially been brilliant, however for goodness sake! - We finally have 'good' replicators. With Fran a.k.a. Wier downloading all that tech info into McKay's computer, and getting rid of that rougue, what further proof do you need!

    They should have let them setup and make their human bodies - they could have been, useful tech savvy allies...

    I hope they realize that it was a stupid idea and bring them back and give them another chance, the potential there to boost their tech level of Atlantis, and meet other useful allies in the Pegasus galaxy needs to be explored. We had good Go'uld in Stargate SG1 (Tokra), so why not replicators, or Wraith for that matter ....
  • Damage control forces too much exposition

    The fate of Elizabeth Weir has been a matter of contention for the fans of "Stargate Atlantis". Many consider Torri Higginson's exit from the series to be a massive loss (not to mention poorly handled), and this episode feels like it was twisted and tortured to provide closure. From the published interviews and reports, that's exactly what Higginson had wanted, but the producers were somewhat evasive regarding the future of the Weir sub-subplot. It's charitable to say that the comments from producer Joe Mallozzi have been, typically, a bit hostile and contradictory.

    What might have been a resurrection of Weir's plot thread was ultimately turned into "damage control". Was this the original direction intended for Weir's subplot? The writers of the "Stargate" franchise often toss out cliffhangers with little or no plan for how to resolve them, so I doubt there was much mapped out for Weir's future.

    The result is an episode that feels a bit cobbled together. Covering for Higginson's absence requires a mountain of exposition in the first half of the episode, including a segment where a computerized version of Weir dispenses a monotone lecture to bring the audience up to speed. It's one of the most obvious violations of "show, don't tell" storytelling in recent memory, and it definitely makes this episode feel like a bald attempt to repair self-inflicted wounds.

    Bringing back Fran as Weir's avatar was a clever notion. The actress is easy on the eyes, which softens the overall blow, and she manages to pull off a fair impression of Higginson's line delivery. It sells the idea that Weir is stuck in a manufactured body, which is at least possible within established continuity. In fact, the writers do a capable job of pulling together a reasonable enough story, given the challenges involved in making sense of Weir's return.

    That said, it was clear from the tone of the episode that Weir was going to be written out or given the slimmest possibility of a return. It was equally obvious that she would sacrifice herself for the sake of Team Atlantis. The process of getting to the sacrificial act was the only real source of tension in the episode, beyond the odd (and convenient) shifts in ability to control the city. The conflict was well constructed under the circumstances.

    I didn't hate this episode by any means, but like much of the fifth season, I find myself less than enthusiastic. The only real surprise so far has been the excellent character development for Richard Woolsey, who has been a far better commander than I might have dreamed. The writers are staying very true to his origins, yet he's showing a remarkable resilience. Hopefully the rest of the season will devote similar attention to the rest of the cast.
  • Here come Dr Weir again!

    I've seen better episodes. I was beginning to wonder when Elizabeth would show up again and here she is. They didn't completely close the story though because they left it with a posibility of the replicators being re-activated. The storyline fealt a bit like it was just a fill in untill they got back to the rest of the story. I was expecting something better. Saying that it was a bit emotional towards the end. It's actually quite sad, the story of elizabeth.
    Could have been better. But it could have been a lot worse. Overall I give it a 6/10.
  • Elizabeth Weir comes back as the leader of the "Ascension" oriented replicators but Torri Higginson chose not to reprise her role for this episode...and for good reasons.

    The storyline starts off with a intriguing premise, and the overall plot was satisfactory, but the character of Dr. Elizabeth Weir was vastly changed in the process.

    Weir's character made mistakes that the Weir we know certainly would not have done (i.e. Take the easy path to ascension through "digital ascension", trick the Atlantis team into letting other replicators come), all in all an otherwise satisfactory episode was ruined because her character was not properly written for. I can see why Torri Higginson declined the offer to return to the show since this Elizabeth Weir was not the character she portrayed for the last four years.

    On the positive side the actress portraying Weir, Michelle Morgan, did a spot on imitation of Weir. The voice, the posture, the mannerisms, they were all deeply reminiscent of Weir and I was thoroughly impressed. I recommend this episode just to watch her portrayal of Dr. Weir.

    The ending leaves rooms for the return of Weir and her cadre of peaceful replicators. I sincerely hope they return and that the writers create a faithful portrayal of her character in the future rather than the let down that was this episode.
  • Great opening followed by painful waste of potential, but Michelle Morgan steals the show.

    The first quarter of the episode was excellent, and it looked like we finally find out what Weir meant by "We can finally get to work without having to look over our shoulders. It's time to begin..." in her previous appearance.

    Actually, the build-up for this resolution has been coming ever since Weir went nanite all those episodes ago. So, was the payoff worth the wait?

    Absolutely not.

    Everyone is out of character this episode. "Weir" is deceitful, Rodney is foolish, Woolsey is confident, etc. Not to mention the inexplicably (and unnecessarily) cruel fate at the end.

    I really cannot understand the minds of the writers for this episode. There were so many different possible outcomes that would have been much MUCH better than the one they went with. This is really just an overall terrible episode, despite the excellent start.

    That being said, I have to give props to Michelle Morgan, who previously portrayed F.R.A.N., the nanite-world-ender. As Torri Higginson did not return in the role of Weir (understandable, considering the awful writing), Morgan did a SPOT-ON Higginson-Weir impression. The tone of voice, the facial expressions, the body movement... And the character was nothing like FRAN. Watch the two episodes back to back to get an idea of Morgan's talent.

    Overall, the episode is a waste. It's like they wanted to conclude all Weir story-arcs as fast as possible, and nothing else. Too bad.
  • Pretty sad… Spoilers if you continue…

    Pretty sad…

    Spoilers if you continue…

    After having dumped Weir, SGA now tries to bring her back as someone else and expects us to believe it.

    Still another example of the producers caring less about their fan base as they've killed off lead characters only to bring them back in a Sci-Fi way but only for limited appearances. In this story, they don't even do that.

    This story might have worked if they'd bought back the original Weir. Instead, her "incarnation" is FRAN who doesn't look like or doesn't sound like Weir. Even though we the audience isn't fooled, our usually astute heroes buy into it!!! It completely stretches willingness to buy into the story. Seriously, we're not that stupid.
  • one of the worst...

    Wow...I hated this episode. I almost turned it off several times when I was watching it - but I had nothing better to do so I watched it all. Anyways, Dr. Weir shows up in a form that isn't really a form and she gets in the systems and creates a body...some stupid replicator mumbo jumbo and then she basically kills herself and her people. Ya, that was the story. I hate the replicator story line and I hate Dr. Weir story lines. I hope they never bring her back - ever. I actually loved Woolsey in this episode...I like him a lot better than Weir. Anyways, this episode was horrendous with a terrible story and the return of annoying characters and enemies.
  • Simply terrible. Probably the single worst episode in the entire show. Bad writing to start with topped off by replacing Weir with a different actress.

    While I enjoyed seeing F.R.A.N. again, this episode had such a retarded plot that I just couldn't enjoy it. Man, when we originally saw Weir in the ancient battle ship appear in the rubble after the fight with the replicators, we were all so excited. What were those grand plans she had ? What were they going to do ?

    Well, it turns out their master plan was to die. How exciting. And of course they lost the ship, too. No money for special effects this week I guess. I'd have preferred if they just never revisited that plot thread at all over this total mutilation of common sense.

    Not offering Weir enough to be on this last time was just the nail in the already buried coffin. When "her" voice appears for the first time, I couldn't believe that it was a different one, and was rather disappointed. Man, was I in for another sucker punch when the door opened and "not Weir" stepped out.

    For the record: Fran didn't act like Weir, didn't behave like Weir, didn't talk like Weir, didn't even walk like Weir. Couldn't they have made her at least watch some tapes of Weir so she could be at least remotely convincing ? Apparently not, since the writing for her ALSO wasn't like Weir. Even if they had casted Weir for the episode, the writing would have still made her seem like a different person.

    As a bonus, no Dr. Keller and almost no Ronan.

    This episode bad was in almost every single aspect. F-, SGA.

    Edit: Would have given it a lower score if it would let me, but it's bugged somehow and didn't accept anything less.