For those of us who like a sci fi show with a faster paced adventure story, you'll love "Spoils of War." As expected, after the detruction of the Replicators the Wraith are up to their old tricks. This time we find out how exactly the Wraith were able to overpower the Ancients. We are presented a "new" piece of technology that the Wraith developed and must be destroyed. Our new "friend" Todd makes an appearance and helps our heroes in their efforts. Yes, even a Wraith Queen (known by many of us as Marilyn Manson) makes an appearance. Take my word for it, you'll love "Spoils of War." This show is truly getting better and better.
The third part of the trilogy ended well this time giving us an update on where the Wraith went at the end of the fight. A Wraith cloning facility was reactivated now that the Wraith have stolen zpm's thanks to the death of the replicators. The concept was great with this huge building capable of making tens of thousands of warriors in a short time. Also explained the defeat of the Ancients since they couldn't deplete the enemy fast enough to win. Our favorite Wraith looked as if he would be back in the crews hands but escaped again and Teyla after a trying battle with the queen sees she must now sit down for the sake of her child. Good episode I have confidence in the show but i'm sad to see the storyline end since I prefer arc's to stand alone episodes.
Carter is absent. Again. Nor is she even mentioned. And Team Atlantis got on just fine without her. It amazes me how the Atlantis producers have developed a Jekyl and Hyde tendency to mix in questionable character, plot, and other creative faux pas into the show. IMHO, the series has been better in the past and it would be stellar now if it weren't for the producers' constant tinkering. This is the episode I've liked the most since "The Seer." This episode's focus is much stronger than "This Mortal Coil" and "Be All My Sins Remembered." One reason why I was dissatisfied with those two eps was because I felt they tried to juggle too many subplots at the same time. To use a hypothetical example, how satisfying would "Siege" Parts 2 & 3 have been if they'd been compressed into one episode?
Regarding "Spoils of War," we get to see what happened to Sheppard's Wraith "friend" after the Wraith went their separate way following the destruction of the Pegasus Replicator homeworld. We focus on Sheppard's Wraith "friend," who orders darts from his ship to go zipping about the Replicator city as the Replicator blob reaches critical mass. He keeps his ship in orbit till the last moment when the darts return and the Replicator homeworld goes boom. A Wraith then presents him with a ZPM.
In Atlantis after the battle, Rodney points out to Sheppard that the locater beacon they'd implanted into his "friend" a few episodes back is active in an isolated region of the galaxy. But it's broadcasting well away from any Wraith activity, which is stirring up now that the Pegasus Replicators (sans Weir's secret faction) are kaput. Sheppard goes "hmmm," then decides to check it out see what's up with his "friend," who he nicknames "Todd" after an old friend. This moniker will probably stick when and if this particular Wraith resurfaces. I'm on the fence about it m'self.
As Sheppard's and Lorne's teams equip for their mission in the armory, Teyla shows up and tells Sheppard she wants to get back on the active duty roster. Shep tells her "No" and he and his people take a puddle jumper out to the location of Todd's beacon.
Apparently, the Daedalus and Apollo are in the Milky Way or zooming in between galaxies. I felt this would've been a good opportunity for more development of either Caldwell or Ellis, but it didn't happen.
Anyhow, Sheppard and the rest track the beacon's signal to a drifting Wraith hive vessel. They board and find Wraith bodies sucked dry and lots of battle damage. On the bridge, they find the beacon--without Todd attached to it. Apparently, other Wraith have jumped Todd's ship and taken him away for unknown nefarious reasons.
Rodney does some repairs. And Ronon (apparently intent on doing something about his lament in Season 2 "First Strike" on not being able to contribute in science/high tech situations) fiddles with some bioorganic panels. Without knowing how, he reactivates some virtual displays that flash on in midair. After Rodney's spate of surprise peters out, he starts to read the status readouts (without a translator program?) to see how spaceworthy their new hive ship is.
Sheppard flies back to Atlantis to pick up Teyla to help fly the hive ship. When she steps onto the bridge, she's magically able to activate and use the systems to her heart's content like what Sheppard does with Atlantean tech. Thanks to her pregnancy? She wasn't able to interface so easily before. I also can't help but wonder how she can plot courses through the Pegasus galaxy without formal flight school training in subjects like navigation and piloting?
Rodney comes up dancing with glee over some data he uncovered about a "facility" that was instrumental in helping the Wraith win the war against the Atlanteans. Sheppard and gang decide to go check it out. Hiding behind the moon of a Class M world, they find a hive vessel in orbit over the "facility." Teyla stays behind against her protests on the hive ship with Lorne and his team. Sheppard takes Rodney and Ronon with him down to the facility on the planet.
They pass a Queen, who's hibernating in a web harness of some sort. Then witness a larval adult Wraith warrior being taken out of its sac. Appropriately freaked out, they press ahead. At this point, I'm theorizing that this is a breeding facility, which is all well and good. But it was established in Season 2 episode "Instinct" that the Wraith start out as children.
Meantime, an apparent Wraith commander with guards revives the Queen. He says that everything's gone well with the latest brood of warriors. When the Queen orders her commander to bring their "prisoner," he says they may need to keep the "prisoner" around longer for his knowledge of the facility's systems. When the Queen asks if he's ready to offer himself as food in the "prisoner"'s place, he orders the guards to go get him. We find Todd in a holding cell. When the guards unseal the cell to fetch him, they get taken out by Sheppard and gang. Talk about good timing. Todd leads Team Atlantis to where the ZPMs are powering up the facility. They pass a chamber stuffed to the gills with thousands of maturing Wraith. Rodney rightly points out that a single Queen can't possibly provide enough genetic material for so many Wraith.
Todd says she can for those who serve as cloning templates. Wicked awesome. So that's how the Wraith got the numbers, which helped them win the war against the Atlanteans all those millenia ago. So how did they outproduce the Ancients in warships and other military materiel?
When Sheppard gives Todd an accusing look, Todd says he'd planned to create an army to wipe out the other hives except a member of his crew betrayed him. Nice twist but what motivated this betrayal? It would've been nice if the commander was also the Wraith who betrayed Todd. And I believe Todd, too. Apparently, being a prisoner of the Genii for who knows how long has given him a certain empathy for humans. (Speaking of which, when will the Genii return?)
The haunting alarm shriek goes off (I like it. Very otherworldly. Brings me back to the pilot "Rising.") when the Wraith realize Todd is missing. Todd and company hurry along, but get waylaid by Wraith warriors. Todd escapes while Sheppard and the team get stunned.
Back on the hive ship, Teyla frets about the Team when she detects a dart flying inbound from the planet. She and Lorne consider blowing it to kingdom come, but Todd makes contact and they let him aboard.
Todd urges they fly to Atlantis and come back with reinforcements to destroy the facility. Teyla and Lorne want to help the team, but Todd rightly points out they can't fight their way past the other hive ship and reach the team in time.
But Teyla says she has a way...
Sheppard and the team're dragged up to the Queen. She asks Sheppard how he learned about the cloning facility. When he resists her mental coercion, she's intrigued and switches tacks. Spill your guts or one of your friends is dinner. She chooses Rodney, who moans over being picked first for the first time ever. The Queen's about to suck Rodney dry when she stops, stares around, and orders the other Wraith to put Sheppard and the team back into holding.
Teyla's doing mental handstands back on the hive ship, where she's apparently taken control of the Queen's body. Nice, but since when did she have that kind of power. Teyla doesn't know how long she can keep it up and the other hive ship locates them...
Sheppard and the team stare dumbfounded as the Queen comes to their cell, unlocks it, and gives them their gear. It all comes clear to them when the Queen says, "John, it's me."
Meantime, Teyla faces off with the Queen in her mind. The Queen is impressed, but knows Teyla can't keep it up. She then realizes and shares with us that Teyla is pregnant and being helped by her baby. Since when can a baby boost Teyla's sketchy mental powers. The father is obviously being revealed out of the blue as being other than normal, which makes his absence during the first half of Season 4 more annoying to me. Teyla and her baby match minds with the Queen. The other hive ship comes to close quarters then, and commences with the pounding. Todd proceeds to fight back as best he can with his ship being damaged and all.
Before Sheppard and the team head off for the puddle jumper, Teyla via the Queen asks for help. Sheppard fills the Queen with a few shots and goes for the exit. Again.
Teyla comes out of her mental torture session with relief to find the hive ship falling apart around her. Todd wants to cut off, but Teyla and Lorne insist they wait for the team to come back in the jumper.
But it getting real close...
Sheppard makes contact then. Teyla and Lorne're ready to cut out the second he enters the dart bay, but Sheppard has an idea.
The Wraith commander in the facility receives a message that the damaged hive ship is headed his way. We then get a cool shot of the hive ship flying and crashing into the facility. No shields and ground to space defenses?
Sheppard and gang (sans Todd) view the explosion on the surface from the safety of the puddle jumper. Todd got away on his own in a dart. Too bad we couldn't see everyone's departure from the hive.
It'll be interesting to see whether he comes back as a friend or foe.
We need more episodes like this: tight plot and good character interactions. The dialogue of the Wraith and Pegasus humans can be sharper and less stilted, though. Only the Earth humans talk naturalistically (but then that's been a characteristic of Stargate: SG-1 from the beginning). And it would be nice to have story developments properly foreshadowed and fleshed out.
Though not as epic as "Be all my sins remembered", this episode revealed more about the wraith than in previous outings and wrapped up some loose ends as to what the wraith did during the battle above the replicator planet. It also addressed the pregnancy of Teyla further in preparation for reduced involvement in offworld activities but not totally grounding her on Atlantis.
Even Major Lorne had his moment(which rarely happened during his entire run on the show) with Teyla...its the secondary characters that add texture to the core characters and is a good move on the writers.
Stargate Atlantis may have started a little shaky this season but is greatly making up for it with episodes after the mid-season break.
After the space battle at the home of the Replicators, Rodney got a signal from our favorite Wraith, Todd. :)
They tracked down the signal, and found a hiveship, with no living wraith on it. They also find the previous destination of the ship. Its a cloning facility. 1000s of wraith are made on that labour. After John, Ronon and Rodney freed Todd, and with Teylas help they defeated the hive Queen, and destroyed the facility by directing the hive ship into it! Its better than C4... :D
Todd escaped, and Teylas baby is all right too. Any, its a boy. :)
Now, im curious about the Weirs story line.
Another great episode! But the again i'm a big fan so i'm suspicious to say that!
A good conclusion for this triology of episodes. We've learned some new things about the Wraith and how did they turned the tide of the war against the Ancients and how they plan to grow powerful again. I've though they've been stoped this time i think we will still see mora bases of operation from the wraith
It's seems Teyla has some groing powers because of her pregnancy, and i think there will be more surprises around the subject.
The wraith "friend" continues to escape certain death but he looks like that he's always being tricked and never forfilling his plans.I think that we will some new developments in this strange "friendship" in the future.
I was getting tired of this story arc, but I really like how they ended it. I love how they started out the episode from the wraith's point of view. The story was interesting and we finally find out how the wraith were able to get so many numbers and defeat the ancients. I was getting really annoyed with Teyla and her baby issue. I just don't like her and now with the baby story line she's just getting more annoying. I love seeing the Tod wraith again. Overall, good story and more great character development, along with some annoying characters...
The aftermath of last episodes events - the wraith are now happy again and making their war against human, so their new plan with three zpm-s they got from Replicator homeworld and now they are starting to clowning themselves an army.
And ofcourse, Sheppard and his team get there, by flying a wraith ship by Teyla as she manages to make them take her with them. A lot of problems on the cloning base, no zpm-s collected in the end, nothing good coming out.. only managing to save Todd and putting Teyla and her unborn child into a great danger when she tries to take over the Queen mind to save her team...
Beautiful concept around Teyla and her baby and Todd starts looking more and more sympathetic if wraith can do that
Spoils of War was a good follow up to the two previous episodes. It was nice to see how everything got wrapped up, and now there are some new questions. This episode has carried on with a tone of darkness. Teyla once again attempts to control the mind of a Queen Wraith. This almost cost her babies life, but she managed to do it. It was also fun to see Todd the Wraith, he is honorable, and some what likeable for a Wraith. It was neat to see how the Wraith multiply so quickly. I wonder how many more of these facilities exist. I was surprised we didn't see more of Replicator created Human Weir. I look forward to the rest of the season!
If there's one thing I've been looking for over the course of the past couple of seasons, it's more depth for the Wraith. The first two seasons explored the origins of the Wraith and their unique physiology relatively well, but since then, advances have been sporadic at best. Most of the progression has come from Michael and the recently captured Wraith scientist.
This episode helps to change that, as the reproductive aspects of the Wraith are explored in grim detail. The writers manage to avoid too many exposition-heavy scenes, letting the brief glimpses of the process speak for themselves. This episode also explains how the Wraith managed to overwhelm the Ancients, despite the gaps in technology and evolution. All in all, it's a heaping plate of Wraith goodness.
The end result appears to resolve any possibility that the Wraith will quickly expand to take control of the Pegasus Galaxy in the wake of the Asuran defeat. The Wraith will continue to operate as competing factions, giving Team Atlantis the opportunity to counter them as effectively as they have to this point. This takes some of the pressure off the writers, in a sense, because they can't be accused of ignoring the latest shift in interstellar state of play.
This episode also addresses Teyla and her situation, which is a bit more mundane. She resents the thought of being handled with kid gloves by Sheppard, which is understandable, but this encounter with the Wraith forces her to acknowledge her role as the salvation for her people. Logically, she and her child won't be able to restore the Ethosian race alone, but they are vital until her people can (hopefully) be found. This realization is hardly surprising, but the writers made it work within the context of the Wraith conflict.
I found it interesting, from a character perspective, that Sheppard was upset with Teyla over lack of disclosure. I've felt, since the first stirrings of an impending Weir exit, that Teyla and Sheppard were being pushed towards each other. While this is an admittedly subjective interpretation, I can't help but wonder if part of Sheppard's annoyance comes from learning about Teyla's hidden relationship.
This has been a surprising season for "Stargate: Atlantis". After a quick start, the momentum seemed to diminish, but the last few episodes have been well above average for the series. Considering that the series has already been renewed for a fifth season, there's reason to believe that the rest of the fourth season will continue on the same path.
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