Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 6

The Shrine

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 22, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

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out of 10
372 votes
  • McKay starts to lose his memory and his brain has changed to that of a young child. You must see the scene where McKay wakes Sheppard in the middle of the night and they go out on a pier. It is truly amazing.

    This episode was truly great for so many differnt reasons. First I want to say that I thought all the actors did an exceptional job, especially David Hewitt. Next I want to say that this epside contains my favorite scene from Stargate Atlantis ever. Mackay waking Sheppard up in the middle of the night, scared. Sheppard reacting the way he did (how could you ask for a better friend?), and then of course the pier. With that joke at the end - it was priceless. Purely Priceless. I couldn't have asked for a better scene with better actors if I tried. Now, I still gave this episode a ten, even though there was one small thing I don't like. McKay's admission that he loves Keller. I could never see them together and still can't. And I don't want to see them together. I'm hoping it was a version of the softer, kinder Mckay because of the bug, and not the true Rodney speaking. Though I do have to say, Keller became more of a not great character in this episode by not wanting MacKay to go to the planet, but I liked her better because she didn't whine as much. But overall one of the best Atlantis episodes to date (the second best being the first one of this season - which is turning out to be the best, yet). And that moment with Sheppard and McKay - I will never forget it.
  • McKay starts to lose his memory and descends into a Pegasus condition known as Second Childhood.

    Ok..... I completely loved this episode for so many reasons. The acting in this episode was so emotionally charged that it was almost heartbreaking. All of the actors did tremendous jobs, especially David Hewlett.

    From the very beginning, it was just amazing. With Rodney trying to remember who he is, saying that he's a Mr. because he isn't smart enough to be a Dr.; it made me cry. And I think it was worse when he started calling out for John. You could just see that he was so desperate to know where John is, that you could tell how dependent he was on John to be there. With Jeannie there it made it worse because Rodney doesn't remember her and he tells her that his real name is a girls name and you could tell it just breaks her heart to see here brother like this. I loved the fact the Ronon was the one who was there to comfort her and tell her there was a way to say her final goodbyes.

    My favorite scene of all time in Stargate Atlantis was when Rodney woke John up by pounding on his doors, and then whole pier scene. Rodney was so scared because no one was there when he woke up and that that would mean he was loosing himself at an even faster rate. I just loved Sheppard's emotional reaction to Rodney. Drinking on the pier was just a pure Sheppard/McKay moment, and you can interpret any way you want. There was the whole snark fest going on, and John's refusal to say goodbye, which was just made the whole scene a big angst fest. John's line "You're stuck with me," is something I say to my brothers, so for me I think that their relationship transcends that of just friends or even best friends. I absolutely loved the giggling at the end of the scene; they're both nerds.

    When they get to the shrine I think McKay was justifiable in his anger that they brought him there. To feel better and then be told that it will only last a day is torture and I think deep down they all knew that they just didn't want to accept it because they wanted to say goodbye to the real Rodney. The only thing I had problem with was the last five seconds, it just did a complete 360 with the "I love you." Now I don't have a problem with McKay and Keller being in a relationship it's just that that scene didn't quite belong.

    Overall, it was very powerful and I kind of liked that even though it was mostly angst and drama, they were able to throw in some humor, like with Woolsey in the gate room and he statement about Ronon learning to hunt at age 6 and then Ronon's look at him. It just a really good episode.
  • The best episode ever! A huge nod to both Brad Wright and Andy Mikita. I think I will never forgive Brad Wright for giving the nod to the cancellation of SGA to make room for his new pet project but I can't deny that he's an amazing writer.

    David Hewlett and Joe Flanigan were great in this episode. They gave simply everything... David played the child-like Rodney perfectly!

    Incoherent now:
    * I adored them sitting on the gate! "I think I got a little damp dialing the DHD!" XD
    * Woolsey talking about his father! Nice character background there!
    * Woolsey telling John to say goodbye to Rodney for him. Aww...
    * Ronon insisting on giving Rodney the chance to die with dignity.
    * Teyla touching Rodney's forehead :D
    * Jeannie! 'nough said.
    * Rodney losing his mind and calling for John, always John!
    * The scene on the pier. That was... It was... I mean... No words!

    What I didn't like much was the whole McKeller thing. I like Jennifer and I adore McKay and I'm not opposed to them having a relationship just not with each other. I just really don't see it. Even in this ep - Rodney told Jennifer that he loved her but when he reverted to a child-like state, he always, always sought comfort with John, never with Jennifer. If he really loved her, wouldn't something of his feelings remain? His trust in John survived Rodney's change but his love for Jennifer didn't? Even without the McShep goggles on I found it strange.
  • a nice, touching episode

    David Hewlett delivered a great performance in this episode, going through different stages of memory loss and other effects. The other actors performed well, too, and there was nice bonding moments all over. Here are some other thoughts:

    Great to see Jeannie Miller again - I love the character.

    Touching Sheppard/McKay scenes, with McKay banging on Sheppard's dood and the pier scene and McKay calling him Arthur at the end!

    Brad Wright wrote this character development story, and there may be more of this type in the future Stargate Universe series.

    Rodney saying that Dr. Nichols is so arrogant - that was funny!

    Well, it's almost officially McKay/Keller!

    Nice episode!
  • David Hewlett should win an Emmy for this one.

    I must admit, I rarely watch Atlantis, being a big SG-1 fan it took me a while to get into Atlantis. But when I saw the previews for the episode I knew it was going to be a good one. And it really was. I wont go through the plot, you can read it above, but this was a very dramatic, sad and emotional episode. Hewlett portrayed a patient with an alzheimer-type disease perfectly and I honestly believe he deserves an Emmy for such a great performance. Everyone else in the cast did a great job and the story was well written. We should see more of these types of stories, but I just learned Atlantis has been cancelled. Sci-Fi has such a habit for cancelling great shows. Sad. But this was a great episode!
  • Absolutely amazing!

    This is absolutely the best episode of Stargate Atlantis! It was amazing! David Hewlett should definitely win a Emmy for this episode! He did an awesome job! Totally out of his normal character! The only reason it didnt get a perfect 10 is because once the part with starting the brain surgery started it seemed kinda rushed! Like after that it went by really fast and the recovery went by really quick too! But the parts with Mckay loosing his memory and everything was some of the best acting I have ever seen! David Hewlett did an amazing job as well as Kate! Great episode!
  • Seriously SciFi, what on earth are you thinking?? After an absolutely superb episode like this it's a massive shame that they are putting Atlantis out to pasture. David Hewlett was nothing short of stupendous. Probably the best ep of this show so f

    A much more emotional side to SG:A than I have ever seen before. David Hewlett seriously deserves some recognition for his tremendous work here. The scenes with Sheppard and McKay were outstanding, especially McKay's "You're a good friend Arthur" comment.
    It was nice to take a break from the Wraith / Replicator storylines and just tell a story all about the characters and their relationships.
    The only minor negative was Keller's brain surgery with a scalpel and a power drill, but that aside what a brilliant brilliant show.
    I'm glad we've gotten 5 great seasons of this show but after an episode as brilliant as this it really makes you wonder exactly why they are ending it.........
  • An absolutely incredible episode. WARNING: Spoilers in body of review.

    "The Shrine" was an incredible episode. I cried through most of it. One of the best of both series. Mr. Wright wrote a near-perfect script and I send my compliments on a job well done - even if I am made as hell at him for his part in Atlantis's cancellation.

    Kudos to whoever first thought of stranding the team atop the Stargate. That was a great image.

    The entire cast outdid themselves in this episode but I must single out Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Flanigan. The scene where McKay runs to Sheppard's room in fear and Sheppard is trying to calm him down while simultaneously kicking himself for leaving McKay alone was perfectly done. And the pier scene was an excellent follow-up. Mr. Flanigan can express volumes with his eyes and Mr. Hewlett... Well, I have long considered David Hewlett one of the greatest actors of our times.

    I do have a few "questions" about the episode, though.

    1. When the 38 minutes were up, why didn't Sheppard dial that desert world from "The Defiant One" and let all the water go there?

    2. Since when does Sheppard's Jumper (Jumper 3) stock drills? We've seen them search through the inventory quite often and there's never been drills before. 3. Missing Scenes:
    A. I felt there should have been an "Are you sure you want to risk going. You've got a child." scene with Jeannie and/or Teyla.
    B. I think it is obvious that John was the person he had known longest and so McKay would remember the best, but a scene showing the start of his dependence on John from Sheppard's perspective would have been nice. An argument with Woolsey about him shirking his duties, maybe.

    4. Costuming:
    A. Was Sheppard's panda t-shirt from that World Wildlife group? Did Costuming come up with it? It didn't seem very Sheppard-ish to me.
    B. I find it a bit difficult to believe that Teyla would go to a Wraith stronghold in native clothing, not full military gear, even if she was visiting a Shrine and having a picnic.

    5. Rodney had one drink with Keller and says he loves her? Shouldn't it have been "I really, really like you"? That seems more McKay-ish to me.

    Overall, this was an excellent episode with few detractions.


    Acting & Directing: A+
    Production: A+
    Writing: A
    Average: A-

    Overall Rating: 9.9/10
  • Beyond words....

    This episode was just too much.. I really didn't expect that it will be that good. I think it's not only the best this season but definitely one of the best episodes of all 300 Sg-1 and Atlantis episodes. David Hewlett should get the best award there is for this one. Also Jewel Staite did an excellent job. The ending was just too sweet. I didn't expect that Rodney will tell Jennifer that he loves her. Let's hope that everything will be great with them (not like Last Man's reality I mean). And did you notice how Rodney said "Ronon DEX"? His tone was very funny and sweet...

    SCI-FI made the BIGGEST mistake ever by cancelling the show... I really just can't understand them and I never will...
  • I just love everything about this episode

    David Hewlett is acting wonderfully in this episode.. I think it shows the real friendship among the characters and how far they're willing to go for each other.

    I wonder what's going to happen now that Keller knows about McKay's feeling for her... Is it going to be the kind of relationship that Sheppard learned about in the future??

    What I don't understand is why the Ancients would not have install a device emitting the same type of radiation than the shrine on Atlantis. If they were aware of the disease and built the shrine why not cure their own people in the city???

    Well I think it's the best episode of the season so far..
  • Not action packed. Not pivitol but it didn't need to be!

    I realy liked this episode. It didn't have a lot of action in it and it wasn't a pivitol episode as far as the rest of the series goes but I loved it none the less. It was quite emotional at times, sad even. I knew the'y find a way to make it all better in the end. They always do. I also liked what they did with the diary cams. Somehow it was better than just watching events unfold from the beginning, in order. I'm glad they didn't kill off Rodney. It definately wouldn't be the same without him. All in all, well rounded and enjoyable. 9/10
  • great episode...

    I loved the character interactions in this episode and the character developments. I loved the flashbacks and how they unfolded the story. I think that the actor that plays Rodney McKay did well in this episode. I loved Woolsey in this episode. He just continues to be one of my favorite characters on the show. Sheppard has been quiet lately, or is it just me? It seems that he's not as funny anymore...hmmmm... I don't like McKay's sister a lot, but she was fine in this episode. It was funny how quickly the parasite was killed once they were able to do surgery. It was a rushed ending, but it was better than a drawn out ending. Overall, good story, great character development, and an overall great episode.
  • Too many holes and scenes thrown in for "dramatic effect" absolutely ruined this episode for me.

    I couldn't help but watch this episode and think, "This week, on a very special Stargate: Atlantis..."

    For starters, this wasn't Carson Beckett dying, or Dr. Janet Fraiser. This was Rodney: arguably the most popular character on the show. The idea of killing him off is ludicrous, and it diminishes the emotional impact.

    Secondly, anybody who knows or has known a person with Alzheimer's should take offense to the portrayal of this similar type of disease. People with Alzheimer's do not talk like babies. All that was missing was for Rodney to start sucking his thumb.

    Now, my beef with certain plot points:

    -Why didn't John cloak the puddle jumper before going to Talus? Seriously. No excuse for this. "We'll hide in the smoke," he says. Uh, they're gonna see you fly out of the smoke; it's not like it blankets the whole planet.

    -"I've been meaning to tell you this for some time ... I love you." WHAT? He was going to propose to Dr. Katie Brown midway through last season. It was sort of a big deal. Now it's like Brown never existed and he suddenly loves someone else? Let's stop trying to create love interests to appeal to sappy romantics. This is Stargate, not Grey's Anatomy.

    -I know this episode was filmed before word came of the show's cancellation, but come on, let's try to advance the plot a little with each remaining episode instead of creating all these one-shot deals that can be inserted at any point in the season.

    -Good thing the parasite crawled out of the drill hole. What else was Keller planning to do with A DRILL? Use it like a saw and grind through Rodney's skull? NO.

    -Horrible, cheap set design for the cave. The plays at my high school looked better 10 years ago.

    -And finally, the big one: Waiting for the water to recede on the flooded planet was mind-numbingly stupid writing. Simply dialing a space gate would have caused the water to flood into space, not Atlantis. Then, when the gate closes after another half hour or less, go back to Atlantis through the second gate! Problem solved. They'd have been back in an hour, tops -- not NINE HOURS.
  • The best episode of the season so far

    This has been a difficult week for fans of "Stargate Atlantis". Despite all the various conspiracy theories, it appears that it was business as usual. The show is getting older and more expensive, and the ratings (still the measure of success for most network endeavors) have been low. With the show on the cusp of traditional syndication, it's cheaper for a network to commission the studio for a new series than foot the bill for a beloved but barely successful show.

    For some time, I've been less than impressed with "Stargate Atlantis". I thought the first season was quite good, with the perfect mix of plot and character, stand-alone and serialized elements. Quite frankly, I think it began to fall apart when the producers realized that certain characters were more beloved than others, and began tailoring their storytelling accordingly. I'm not sure the writers have ever been able to find that initial balance again.

    That doesn't mean that the writers have been incapable of producing powerful episodes. This episode is a perfect example of how good the series can be. It's hobbled a bit by the realization that McKay will obviously survive and the status quo will barely change, but the dreaded "reset button" doesn't always have to ruin a story.

    The story works because it's not really about McKay and his fate. Hewlett pulls off one hell of a powerful performance, and he deserves some serious awards for it, but his situation reveals more about those around him. In particular, I felt that this episode was all about McKay's relationship with Keller. Every decision she makes is based on her desire to save his life within the bounds of her ability. It makes her seem intractable, but she's simply desperate.

    The same desperation takes Ronon out of his usual comfort zone. Ronon seems just a bit out of character throughout the episode, but I think it's intentional. Ronon is struggling to find a way to save his friend, and once he considers a solution, any delay is unfounded. It makes sense, though, that Rodney's teammates on Sheppard's squad would be the first to take that leap of faith.

    I could continue to rave about this episode, but it speaks best for itself. If there is one episode this season that has lived up to the promise of "Stargate Atlantis". Fans will no doubt find it ironic that such an episode would air just after the cancellation announcement, as they need only point to the most recently aired episode as evidence that the show is still capable of powerful storytelling! If nothing else, it proves that the show has no intention of going down quietly.
  • Why does Dr. Keller not bring surgical equipment to the shrine?

    Its very unusual for Dr. Keller to 'forget' to bring surgical equipment when they bring Rodney McKay to the shrine; especially if you take into account her crush on him, (and his crush on her). Even I would have thought about it, in case the legends of a miraculous recovery for 24 hours implies a shrinking of the parasite i.e. a temporary recovery of full or partial brain cell functionality. Dr. Keller should get a reprimand on her record. Richard Wolsey will surely institute an upgrade to jumpers to always carry a minimal suite of surgical gear (including the Black and Decker drill).
  • Excellent!!!!!

    LOVED IT!!!!"Simpley the best"!!! I enjoyed every minute of this episode...My hat's off to the writers and the actors especially David Hewlett....I was glued to the Televsion for an hour. "The Shrine" was witty and emotionally moving. I was suprised and touched by the ending. The Mckay and Keller story line is sweet. It's sad but this is the kind of episodes I will miss when Stargate Atlantis complete's it series run and take's the movie path just like Stargate SG-1. I hope someone is listening out there and we can have one more year before we have to say goodbye.
  • David Hewlett should be nominated for an Emmy

    This is my first review on and after watching this episode recently, I had to write. I was simply blown away with David Hewlett's (Rodney McKay) performance. This is one hardworking actor who plays the role great but in this episode he pushed it further. He should be nominated for an Emmy. Perhaps this will allow the suits upstairs re-think to keep the series running longer instead of pursuing the money making DVD movie method. However, there was one part of the story I didn't like and this was explained well with another reviewer (spaize) on here:

    -"I've been meaning to tell you this for some time ... I love you." WHAT? He was going to propose to Dr. Katie Brown midway through last season. It was sort of a big deal. Now it's like Brown never existed and he suddenly loves someone else? Let's stop trying to create love interests to appeal to sappy romantics. This is Stargate, not Grey's Anatomy

    I totally agree with his statement. It seems the writers are now rushing to wrap loose storylines up. Which is the reason I gave it a 9 out of 10 instead of a perfect 10.

    With this being the last season, lets go out with a bang and not on a sorrow note.
  • Absolutely Brilliant, but poigniantly sad as well. Its a horrible thing to lose your memory & regress to your second childhood as its called by Ronan & Tayla's people. But its really hard for the loved ones witnessing this trama as Jeannie & the team show

    At first I found the flashback scenes a little hard to digest within the story line, but in the end I just read the date and time stamp in the bottom right hand corner of McKays tapes and found it easier to follow. When you grasp the small timeline, you realise just how quickly McKays memory degraded and how quickly the team reacted to his plight. Shows true friendship and love.

    Anyone who has ever suffered with a loved one who has dementia would have found this episode quite disconcerting and frustrating at the same time. It was good to see Jeanie in the storyline again as I find the interaction between the two characters makes for great scenes.

    I also loved the scene with Johm and Rodney on the Pier of Atlantis. It seemed like the right thing to do. Grab your sick and dying mate and ply him full of alcohol on the precipis of a huge drop into an extremely deep ocean in the middle of the night, whilst all the time rocking backwards and forwards in gales of laughter hoping not to drop off said precipis into said deep ocean. Thats almost the Aussie way of doing things. Then afterwards you would lament at the funeral that thats how he would have wanted to go - not get sick and then die.

    Hey what about Ronan shooting the parasite with his big gun? That was overkill but so Ronan. And Keller panicking about operating near the Shrine? I thought these armed forces doctors could do anything anywhere? Most of the army medics I know would have just cleaned up the area and got going the best they could. I like Keller, but a great deal about her characters personality does not gel with the position she holds if you know what I mean. Although I did see Rodney falling in love with her. I saw it a while back. And Rodney saying he loves her - why not? On the edge of death we all do things we may not ordinarily do. Yep I think that does fit for now. Remember Rodney has already bought an engagement ring so that tells us he is emotionally ready for an attachment. Then he did mention that he liked the idea of passing on his genetics to another human. And he tried to hold Tayla's baby (until he dropped it), so he does like the idea of kids. Not it all fits in the storyline I believe.

    Great episode and I loved it!
  • Rodney's worst nightmare comes true as Jeannie Miller comes back to say a final goodbye to her brother.

    The Shrine brings out the the absolute best on every single character of Atlantis as they gather around McKay's last days on earth; unlike "Tao" this time caused by a parasite that literally dimishes his mental capacity until there's nothing left of him. Keller watches helplessly how McKay reverts to a child-like state waiting for a sister he may not even recognize while flashacks document the progess of the dissease as the Atlantis team refuses to let go but once is obvious that is already too late and Jeannie will never have the chance each of them had to say goodbye, Rodney is brought to the shrine: where he'll get one last day with his family just the way he was only to die the next morning.

    However, once there Keller comes up with a last minute solution - using the shrine's radiation - for her to extract the now diminished parasite and for Ronon to kill it thus saving McKay's life. As Jeannie takes a moment with the brother she has always known Keller takes another moment to watch the tape of a Rodney she may've seen for the very first time.
  • Rodney McKay is infected with a paprsite that robs him of his knowledge and memories.

    I liked this episode about Rodney and it showing his weaker side. The show was predictable, but interesting to watch as all the stargates are. I can't wait to see more with rodney's sister in them, i like to watch him get taken down a peg. Ronan was different in this one by the way he did'nt "weird out" on mckay like he did when the cloned Doctor came back. I did like the way that they showed the regresion thru the video they saved. I just hope that now Mckay and Kellar can get together after this. I just love how All in all a good (not great) episode.
  • A very moving episode with all the right elements - family and friends close and willing to risk all to help a brother/friend.

    An excellent episode with the right mix of everything - family, friends and another world. Brilliant acting from 'Rodney' as he devolved into a second childhood, touching moments with his sister (who he has always been so competetive with). Overall this episode showed the value of friendship and how much real friends will sacrifice for a friend in need. The present and the past were brilliantly handled with taped messages (full of sensitivity). The special place where the victims of 'second childhod' were afforded one final day of clarity was both visually and creatively inspired. The end (while predictible in order to save a central character) was inspired. After my criticism of the 5th season I was delighted that this was on the mark.
  • Rodney McKay comes down with an unexpected case of Alzheimer's Disease. Can the Atlantis team heal him before its too late.

    I truly enjoyed this episode because, we got to see David put all his acting skill to work. He did a AWESOME job in this episode. This was not a walk in the park for him. And we saw that he was working hard. And I was feeling what Rodney was feeling. And that is good acting. Congrats David for a good job. I going to miss you and Rodney McKay.

    I believe that is is a award winning performce of David. You see him act in the show but this episode was a true experience to see him put his skills to work. I hope all of you enjoyed as much as I did.

  • I have been watching this show since it's premiere and SG-1 prior to that. This is, without a doubt, one of the best of the best I've seen.

    David Hewlett should win an Emmy for this episode. I've been watching Sci Fi for about 45 years, since George Reeves was Superman in the 50s. I've not been moved to tears very often but this one got to me. I can't say much more than that about the quality of this episode. Congratulations David for a perfect portrayal of a man losing his mind, and totally aware of the progress. The development of character in this show is remarkable. I HATED Rodney McKay as the stuck up horse's backside he portrayed for years in SG-1. I considered his character as a man with no redeeming values. That he has totally reversed my opinion of this character is a tribute to the writing, direction, and fantastic acting this show has brought to the world of Science Fiction. Keep up the marvelous work all involved in this show. You are the bright spot of my tv viewing every week.
  • A beautiful story

    It started really weird and it caught me to the screen from the first moments - I usually have not been the person who enjoys McKay storylines but there have been some pearls and this one is too - the way everyone cares about Rodney and how he just slips more and more away.

    So, it is totally right to say that the best thing of this episode is the emotions and the team spirit and how everyone shows it. And it had some really impressive beautiful scenery as the waterfall - it was just beautiful.

    A really moving episode with a good ending.
  • See Summary

    The Shrine was a touching episode mainly focused on the character of Dr. Rodney McKay. The episode was another drawn out episode of drama, and it ended on a sentimental note. This was a good character driven episode on McKay, and it was nice to see the return or his sister Jeannie. The episode was a little slow, and had a tone of seriousness to it. It was however very entertaining and a good view into the characters being. I hope that the season soon picks up and we see some action on main story lines. These side episodes are good, but I think its better to watch something more engaging.
  • Rodney starts to experience memory loss after returning from a check-in mission.

    This episode was absolutely amazing. David Hewlett's acting was outstanding; he deserves an award! I loved this episode for many reasons. One, because David did a great job and it was another good episode for Rodney. After reason I liked it because you can clearly see how much John and Rodney care for each other and I love that! Throughout the whole episode, it made me cringe, yet smile, everytime Rodney called out for John. And I loved how John kept calling him "Buddy". Also, I loved when John recalled their pier scene and then when they flash back to him, he makes a little smile; that was just perfect for the scene. Overall, this episode has amazing acting, a great storyline, and was definitely something different for the fans. Well done Stargate Atlantis!
  • Fantastic episode, although characterization a little off.

    For more than a decade the SG-1 show was my favorite program (I continued to enjoy the DVD'S and the DTV films well after the shows cancellation) until the fourth season of Atlantis. The fifth season simply took that to the next level. This episode was a prime example of how perfect an episode can be when the writing and acting are in perfect sync. I can't really say any more that is positive about the episode, it was a joy to watch and I look forward to the DVD's so I can watch it again with commentary.

    On the other hand, I like to disassociate myself from time to time and watch my favorite sci-fi in that mindset and while I constantly sing the praises of the show to my friends as an example of "smart television" (nerd TV as it were) this episode to an outsider would probably appear ridiculous. Whether you believe in global warming or not, the blatant usage here as a scare-tactic was unnecessary, considering the overall conflict of the episode had nothing to do with it (the catalyst of the plot could have been anything) and the arrogant attitude the Earth-native humans have over the Pegasus-native humans is out of character for the franchise. Specifically I refer to Dr. Keller's automatic dismissal of the "mystical place" that Ronon refers to that might help Rodney briefly, considering they all came to Atlantis through a metal gate found in the desert in Giza in the 1920's, and since the formation of the SGC 13 years before Lord knows how many "mystical ancient devices" turned out to yield post-modern technology or the very least positive results. Rather out of character for a member of an expedition member who has to retain an open mind.

    Those moments aside, I really did love the episode rather because I enjoy trying to predict how an episode will play out, and being proven wrong.
  • A brilliant and heartbreaking performance by David Hewlett.

    There's only 3 times in my life that I have actually teared up when watching a television show or movie (Ironically all of them while watching Stargate episodes) This was one of them.

    David Hewlett's performance in this episode was truly inspired. Undoubtedly one of the greatest performances in the franchise''s history. He made you genuinely believe that the true Rodney McKay was slipping further and further away. He conveyed so well just how devastating it would be for a character like McKay who's entire life and self worth revolves around his intelligence to slowly lose it. From his body language to the slurred and warm tone to his words, it was truly a remarkable performance deserving of recognition. Brilliant performances also by Jewel Staite and Kate Hewlett in conveying their characters individual and shared grief over Rodney's situation. And yes while I will admit there are plot holes in the flooded-planet situation (ie. Why didn't the scientist notice the glacier was melting?) David's heartbreaking performance makes those holes seem irrelevant.
  • An very emotional Rodney episode with a great performance by David Hewlett.

    One of the things I like about Stargate Atlantis is the writers ability to create great action-packed shows, emotional chracter-driven shows, or maybe a combination of both, and still make the episode interesting. The idea of Rodney's picking up the Pegasus version of chicken pox and is excellent and well conceived. This kind of story runs the risk of being overplayed or made to look ridiculous but it is dealt with in a sensitive and respectful manner. David Hewlett really has an opportunity to shine in this episode and he does. His performance is entirely convincing and, at times, he actually had me believing this was all happening in front of me.

    The minor criticism for this episode is the Deus Ex Machina of the "shrine". From the moment it was mentioned, it was obvious it was going to be some magical ancient machine that could heal all of McKay's problems. However convenient it was, I did like how it played out though. And the fact that it is included on a Wraith stronghold added a little peril to the episode, though the presence of the Wraith did nothing to interfere with the main plot. If I'm going to nitpick, I would also say that Keller's quick-fix surgery in a damp cave under the threat of Wraith discovery using tools from a first aid kit was a bit of a stretch, but I'm going to let that slip as it was a great episode overall.

    There's not much else to mention about this one really. It's definately not action packed and some might even call it a filler episode, but it is worth watching if only for Hewlett's performance. I'm giving this one 9/10.
  • Buddy

    This episode was so good and so heartbreaking. The way Sheppard says the word, "Buddy," is so sad. It all sounds so genuine. Like he really cares so much about Rodney. I can't even describe how it makes me feel. Now, every time someone says the word buddy on any show, I get this lump in my chest. I want to cry. This episode literally got me to like Sheppard's character. I actually appreciate him more in all the episodes I've ever seen. Also when Rodney says Ronan Dex with that accent on the "Dex". It makes me smile with sarrow. And of coarse when he says John. It brings tears to my eyes. Then there's the part when they're in the infermary and John gives Rodney this look. He's got a tear in his eye, and he's just looking at Rodney in this pitying way. His arrangement friend has been reduced to this mush mouthed pitiful child.
    On a second note, this episode was practically made for me. I have this odd obsession with mental illness. Physical too, but mental when I can get it. When I start a new show, I actually read through the episode guide to look for any episodes with mental illness. I am in love with this episode.
    It doesn't hurt that Rodney is my favorite character on the show.
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