Stargate Atlantis

Season 3 Episode 17


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jun 01, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (52)

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  • Yes, this is the episode you've heard so much about… Spoilers if you continue…

    Yes, this is the episode you've heard so much about…

    Spoilers if you continue…

    They kill off Carson Beckett in this episode. He's as dead as you can get in Sci-Fi. A habit the producers are going to carry forward for awhile.

    There's some really good writing here considering that there are only two events in the show and they're both explosions. The first explosion opens the story and is then is retold through "hours earlier…" segments each of which adds more about the explosion and successfully continually raises the stakes.

    This format also presents different "character moments." In a (few) nutshells, a day of rest has been ordered. Everyone has their own plans. Weir is working until a fast-talking slime ball (Mike Branton) emerges. We've never seen him before and probably never will again. He asks Weir to lunch…just a lunch. Nothing else. Nothing wrong with that? Yeah, he only wants to steal broccoli off of her executive lunch plate. She goes along with it and definitely goes beyond appropriate bounds considering her leadership position. Sheppard and Rowan hit golf balls out into the water. After that, they hit each other with sticks. Eventually, they end up in Sheppard's room reading magazines, drinking beer, slapping beer cans into their heads, and talking about women. Rodney's "hours earlier…" goes back to yelling at two doctors for turning on a piece of Ancient equipment and possibly being irradiated. He's also supposed to go fishing with Carson Beckett but begs off by making a lunch date with Katy Brown. Now the whole fishing thing is a little "fishy." By not going with Carson to the mainland to fish, Rodney keeps Carson on the base so he can later get killed. But, why would Carson want to fish on the mainland when he's on the planet's largest floating pier?

    Now, it seems that the two doctors who turned on the Ancient equipment were irradiated by it so that they are developing exploded tumors. Yes, exploding tumors are what caused the first explosion. There's a great deal of exposition explaining how the tumors gather chemicals in the body, concentrate them, and then explode. Too bad they don't spend any time explaining why the Ancients (or anyone else) would try and develop such an unpredictable weapon. It definitely makes the whole exploding tumors look like a bad contrivance. Okay, let's just say it: It IS a ridiculous contrivance that detracts from an otherwise well-written episode. Well, Beckett operates to remove the second, still unexploded tumor and just as soon as he delivers it to the bomb squad technician, it goes off. Carson Beckett is killed. Apparently the technician (who was closer to the tumor) must have survived because only Beckett's casket is given a farewell at the gate and returned to Earth. And, that farewell scene is very nicely staged and could illicit tears.

    Like everyone else, I wasn't happy they killed off Beckett. We do have a certain level of investment with the characters (especially those who are considered leads). However, this is Sci-Fi. Nobody has to stay dead. The ending fantasy sequence between McKay and Beckett hints in such a direction. That leaves my only gripe about this episode to the "mainland fishing idea" and the whole exploding tumor contrivance.
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