"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.
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+
Overall Rating: 9.9/10