Stargate Atlantis

Season 4 Episode 13


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 18, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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  • A "computer goes berserk" episode... It's been done better on Trek.

    A computer medical quarantine program, either an Atlantean one or something written by Rodney, activates out of the blue and locks people into different parts of the city: Rodney and Katie in a bio lab, Carter and Zelenka in an elevator/transporter, Ronon and Keller in sickbay, and Sheppard and Teyla in Rodney's computer lab. The self-destruct sequence and a distress beacon that can alert the Wraith are activated.

    Needless to say, Team Atlantis manages to save the city and shut down the beacon to keep the Wraith and Pegasus galaxy at large from learning Atlantis' new location. It's Zelenka rather than the usual hero Sheppard, who shuts down the power to the computer system to save the day.

    The Atlantis producers have said they wanted to avoid reusing old plots, but they've already done it a few times this season and this week's installment was another retread. The premise of an old program coming out of nowhere to take control and wreak havoc is one of SF TV's overused standard plots. At least two others I can think of are: Trek TNG Season 5 episode "Disaster" and Trek DS9 Season 3 episode "Civil Defense." "Quarantine" by comparison to those episodes strikes me as less dramatic. One tech bug I wasn't certain on was how the city's computer system shut down the Atlantis expedition's wireless communications, which I believe is Earth-based technology. I will pass on a plot recap detailing the various situations. The main thing that went on in this installment was relationships: the likely start of a couple (Ronon and Keller), the ending of another (Rodney and Katie), a nonevent (Sheppard and Teyla), and a crush that'll likely go nowhere (Zelenka on Carter). I'm not necessarily against Ronon and Keller coming together, but I feel that there could've been a lot more setup over several episodes to this relationship to help build up fan investment as in the case of Kira and Odo on DS9. I don't see at this point what those two have in the way of chemistry. For example, Ronon makes Keller feel safe and Keller makes Ronon feel like smiling for the first time in years because of a quirky sense of humor...

    Ronon simply sniffs her hair, then the two lean in for a kiss as power cuts out, then comes back on line, and sickbay unseals as the city's computer system reboots.

    Rodney goes through a major panic attack when he's locked into the botany lab with Katie just before he proposes to her. Katie finds the ring Rodney was going to give her and is thrilled, but Rodney is too preoccupied with predicting they'll both die. Needless to say, Katie realizes Rodney isn't marriage material and Rodney says it aloud at the end when the two wordlessly break off their relationship. Unfortunate. It seemed to me that Rodney was overreacting at the behest of the writer.

    Sheppard and Teyla talk a little bit about how he came down hard on her when she finally came clean about being pregnant. Is Sheppard jealous? I'm not sure. He doesn't seem to be either. The writers don't seem to be clear on this either. A funny bit was Sheppard worrying about Teyla going into premature labor, seeing her react when the baby kicks, then climbing out of the lab to reach the control room just four stories up the spire they're trapped in. There was a tense moment when it looked like Sheppard would fall, but it was just a moment. This episode needed more.

    Zelenka gave Carter a self conscious look in the elevator when she took off her jacket because of the apparently rising temperature. Is the elevator air tight and overheating from carbon dioxide buildup? Is Atlantis located on a humid ocean? Something else? We learn that Zelenka has pet pigeons (on Earth?), which contributes what? For the main storyline of Season 4, would it have been a bad thing for the Wraith and the rest of the Pegasus galaxy to learn where Atlantis was roosting? With Carter having been absent during episodes where more major things happen, it was dissatisfying to have her appear in a filler episode where nothing really happened.

    Season 4 of Atlantis is really striking me as hit or miss and in need of a direction with the premature demise of the Pegasus Replicators.