Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 13

Inquisition

3
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Oct 24, 2008 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

7.3
out of 10
Average
285 votes
  • A very disappointing episode that could have been done better…Its major flaw is that it doesn't follow the usually good storytelling practices we've come to expect from SGA.

    5.0
    A very disappointing episode that could have been done better…Its major flaw is that it doesn't follow the usually good storytelling practices we've come to expect from SGA. Contains spoilers if you continue…

    The stakes at the beginning of the episode are that Sheppard and his team are captured and brought to trial for some sort of crimes. The stakes at the end of the episode are exactly the same. They are still captured and are still standing trail. In short, the stakes don't change and the suspense doesn't continually rise.


    For some reason a rescue mission is ruled out. At least if one had been possible it would have helped raise the stakes. Instead, "film clips" are supposed to provide suspense but since we've seen them before, it doesn't work.



    Specifically, Sheppard and his team are accused of: 1) Awakening the Wraith when Sheppard killed the Wraith Queen in Season 1. 2) They made changes to the Replicator code and the Replicators started to kill humans. 3). By creating Michael, they unleashed a menace who (at this point) is infecting humans with a plague to make them poisonous to Wraith but has an exceptionally high mortality rate of its own. I won't go into the timing of the charges in the story. They're kind of doled out in an attempt to create some kind of suspense but since we've seen them before, none of them really raise the stakes.



    Our heroes' general defense is to admit to all of the above but then deflect those charges based on all the "heroic things" they've also done (also shown in film clips). Of course, in relation to the underlying charges, that's legally irrelevant. Rather than mount a rescue from Atlantis, Woolsey shows up. Now, I was expecting at least a good legal "soft shoe" from him to get our heroes off. I don't know… how about: 1) Killing a Wraith Queen who is trying to kill you is self defense in any culture. 2). When the Replicators code was changed, they were already on their way to Atlantis to destroy it and kill the humans there. They didn't need any code change to kill humans. 3). Michael is a Wraith killing humans. That's what Wraith do. If you have a problem with it, start killing Wraith and especially Michael.



    However, instead of offering up some inspired legal defense, Woolsey bribes one of the judges. Part of me rebelled against that kind of resolution since I'd have preferred a solid legal disposition to this "court proceeding." On the other hand, it's simply so typical of Woolsey. He's been a worm for most the series (somewhat cleaned up this season) but it's the exact thing I'd expect his character to do. Overall, I think the structure of the episode is wrong. If you're going to do a court proceeding, then make it look like one. If you're going to do film clips then make them inspired such the ones in "Letters from Pegasus" in Season 1. Above all though, remember going good storytelling. The stakes need to rise even if you have to write them into the story (create a rescue attempt, even if it fails).
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