Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 19


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 02, 2009 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

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out of 10
334 votes
  • Now this is an episode that will definitely be a classic for the Stargate Atlantis enthusiast.

    At first I thought I had the wrong channel. Then I thought I was watching CSI. Then I realized I was watching an alternate universe with the same characters living alternate lives. I enjoyed every minute of it. I may be easy to please but the fact that I am actually writing a review on this must mean the writers, directors, actors and producers did their job well. You all met your goal to entertain. Don't worry about the low ratings received for this episode. These critics were from an alternate universe themselves.

    Looking forward to seeing how this alternate universe fits in with the current one.
  • One of the top 5 episodes. The best or second best this season

    This is one of the top 5 episodes of the show. The soundtrack is über cool. I don't watch CSI much, but it didn't take long to see the link. If you love the show, then you will love this EP. The way that John Shepard is in this reality is very plausible. There way he is flawed, and uncaring about others kinda suits him. He is a bit like Hank in Californication.

    The action scenes are very well made, and again the music is very cool, even though I don't really like the artists. See it. Rate it. Love it.
  • Awesome. Great writing, great music!

    This episode was really good. It was great to see something different from the team. I loved the music and it was put together well with the episode. Some of the scenes reminded me of Blade, particularly when featuring the wraith. I thought the episode had a movie feel about it at times. I liked the CSI Vegas style as well, it worked really well. The poker scene was very well done. Joe Flanigan was great as a moody detective.. maybe his next role? The story threw up lots of possiblities for the next episode which i have seen yet ...maybe..?
  • An earthbound SGA episode that was only slightly scifi.

    I normally hate alternate reality episodes because they are always dark and creepy. I'm not into the evil twin - eat your gramma for dinner genre. I even considered not watching this episode because I feared it was going to just like the others. Thank god it wasn't! In fact, it was probably one of the best SGA earthbased episodes I've seen. Life on earth was very real. Detective John Sheppard came off as a normal guy with his quirky humor intact. McKay was the evil twin, but in an okay sort of way. I'm not into the McKay-Keller relationship in any reality ... so too bad the writers didn't take the opportunity to finally acknowledge the McShep relationship ...I mean .. geez, McKay called Sheppard out on it!!! Go the distance - it's not like people are going to get mad - you got cancelled anyway!! The firebird with the ripped headliner, am radio and the oversized tires was the perfect vehicle for Sheppard!!! Any other vehicle would have ruined it. Todd calling out Sheppard from the cage was a nice touch. I still wonder if Wraith every need to use the bathroom, but I guess that will remain one of the seven billion wonders of the world. This episode could have easily been the last episode in a more believable way than ST: Enterprise dorky try. A down and out John Sheppard taking out the bad guy only to face his final fate in the desert alone .... with riches just at his fingertips is the classic dream. It still amazes me that the Scifi channel cancelled this show! ER can tell the same story for 11-some years on NBC and never get cancelled ... SGA tells a fresh new story that's fun every week and gets the axe? So much for the ad campaign that says SGA is the best show on SciFi ... apparently TPTB weren't listening.
  • Exciting :P

    I liked how this episode showed the alternate version of earth where sheppard never joined the sgc(if thats even what they called in there) We pretty much know its a wraith from the start but it was cool to see how the wraith went about everyday earth life in cosmetics looking like a human. What i really found interesting was how the result of this episode helped form the plot for the finale. The wraith builds a communications device and ends up sending the location of earth to alternate realities. The episode ends with sheppard hurt in the desert probably dies but it wasnt clear. Overall this episode started as just a filler but got better and better and ended up connecting with the next episode. Once again sad to see this series end.. Stargate is my favorite show. Sg-1 was the best show ever
  • Somehow, Stargate Atlantis throw off the shackles in excellent form to bring us an incredible and well thought out episode.

    Wow. I'm shocked. While I was initially peeved that SGA would end on an earth episode (which I've never really enjoyed in Atlantis) my mind was soon free of all worries.

    And similarly, the CSI style of the episode led me to believe that this was a terrible move... until it got to it's heart. Yes, the 'metal' riffs may have been odd for the show, the characters were so far from what we know, the world so different... but that's what makes a great sci-fi classic. Taking something you know very well, and shaking it up, leaving you dazed and amazed.

    Clearly, I can understand the overall confusion and low scoring. But on the other hand, what did you expect? Stargate is great, but when it comes down to it, very predictable. Explosions, guns, space fights, minor witty humour. Repeat.

    This then, is an utter triumph. The best episode SGA has produced all season (and theres been some damn good ones). Here's hoping I can say the same about episode 100.
  • Wow I'm surprised more people didn't like this one-off take on the Stargate Atlantis characters and universe. Robert C. Cooper rocked the house with this one. I loved it.

    Granted, I don't generally consider myself a SG-Atlantis fan. I find most of the writing to be generally poor and predicatable. However, I am a big fan of Robert C. Cooper former SG-1 writer who wrote and directed what I thought was a fantastic ep with Vegas. People are also judgeing this ep without even seeing the impact it might have on the finale. But back to Robert C. Cooper -- I have always felt him one of the strongest SG-1 writers right up there with Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner. He did a great job with the Ark of Truth movie as well as the SG-1 finale. I guess some people don't like his style, but I felt in this ep he made great use of the music and a style fitting perfectly with the Vegas setting. Very flashy. My friends loved it too. Atlantis has desperately needed a fresh overhaul and even if for one ep, I think this one achieved it in a very cool way. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it yet - but I have to mention the awesome inclusion of the actors who played Phil Leotardo and Bobby Bacalla from The Sopranos!! (and was that Todd Brunson at the table too?) That scene was hilarious. Anyways, great ep - thanks Mr. Cooper for a fresh look at some cool characters and for helping take the series out on what I consider to be a very high note.
  • great ending... to the series

    This was truly a great episode and totally summed up the series, at the end. John Sheppard dying a "solitary man" alone in the desert. same like the series, dying alone. Almost made me bring a tear to my eye. I'm really sad that this was only the second-last episode and happy to know that there will be a tv movie to follow up on such a great series. This episode though and wraith, the music truly a great one. I like how that all the earth characters were wearing suits and that Dr. McKay was a little different, less annoying smart but still great. it shows how great the series relied on the actors.
  • It blew my mind. Wow, what an amazing episode! Robert Cooper is awesome, I love all his episodes on SGA, just like Brad Wright's are great, and it shows that they should have never let Mallozzi and Mullie take over as executive producers!

    But back to swooning! I mean, wow, they had to have blown their budget on those songs! And the whole ep had a real movie feel, just like this season's premiere or Sateda. Just wow!

    I loved the scenes with Rodney and John. They were amazing but also so very, very sad. I mean, you knew what could have been and it was apparent that Rodney knew too and that made him sad - one event and their whole lives went in a completely different direction.

    I wonder if John really died in that ep or if he was rescued in the end. I think that he died - and that made me actually cry. Literally. That Johnny Cash song and John under the stars, all alone. But it's obvious that in every reality, he was willing to sacrifice himself for others.

    But it was a nice set-up for the series finale. I hope that it won't disappoint after this amazing episode!
  • Film Noir episode of SGA

    Film Noir episode of SGA.

    Don't know why some fans got all bent out of shape over it.

    Every popular series has to do a film noir episode sooner or later.

    Besides, it works as an alternate universe scenario, and the series was winding down anyway. What's the problem?
  • just watched this episode realy enjoyd the episode awsome soundtrack

    you sort of think at the beginning that they are on earth and a wraith is there but then when you find out its a alternate reality episode you sigh but then a awesome scene were they have the villain (the wraith) dressing up as a human and they are playing marlin Manson - beautiful people and then a poker match then awesome chase scene I was like I want this to be a series a detective that catches aliens :P it would be amazing then the hole episode come 2 a close worth watching for the sound track and a awsome set up for the seasons final episode and then no more stargate :(
  • alternate reality done a different way

    i suppose if you are going to do an episode that has touches of csi about it you have to do it in vegas. then there is the alternate reality angle. i think i safe in saying that in all the stargate sg1 and atlantis episodes that an alternate reality storyline has never been done where there are no characters from the original reality crossing over and having to get home. the storyline was good, to me there was no weak points, and watching sheppard die brought forward the realisation that the next episode will be the last ever so in way we will be losing him twice in 2 episode's. the main difference for me to any other stargate episode was the inclusion of music there have been very few others that come to mind 1969 being one and the fragile balance when jack is cloned and is a teenager, and affinity where teal'c is living off base.but these are just 10-15 snippets whereas the tunes in vegas are quite major,from marilyn manson, the stones, and johnny cash and the times they came in the episode made it manson for the menacing wraith and johnny cash for the loner sheppard at the end. all round a cracking episode.
  • Tis was different...

    What do you get when you cross Stargate Atlantis with CSI? How about a very entertaining hour of television. Robert C. Cooper took a chance with this episode and he really delivered. This episode was great in so many ways. It really captured the spirit of CSI and at times felt like an actual episode. I liked the idea of Sheppard being a detective in this universe. He was much more of a dark character and that's the beauty of the alternate reality epiosodes, you can see your favoprite characters acting different with their personality and such. One of the great things about this episode was the soundtrack. Seeing Sheppard driving the car through the dessert and the Johnny Cash Music playing in the background was just legendary. Probably one of my favorite parts of the episode was the end at Sheppard's death scene when te trailer blew up and more johnny Cash music playing, that scene is what defined this episode. This episode also played an important part in the finale, so good job on the writer's part.
  • Should not have watched this episode when I was already feeling depressed. It's not exactly a pick-me-up.

    I liked this episode a lot better than many from the last two seasons. However, the second to last episode of a series isn't one that should be spent in an alternate universe, at least not entirely. The "case" itself was boring and slow-moving until close to the end, and none of it related to our universe or characters at all until the last few seconds. The ending was great, but I think the episode as a whole would have been great if they had condensed the Vegas plot. They could have interwoven it with a plot in our Atlantis or even the alternative Atlantis.
  • Good character development. This has been missing in SGA, as opposed to SG1, for example. At this point in SG1, Jack and Daniel especially have already been developed to a point where they inspire some sentiment and familiarity. Not so, SGA.

    Here we see a John Sheppard who has given up on himself. Unlike the more familiar Sheppard, this one has found only loss and failure from his attempts to "go back in" and risk himself for others. He is rejected as a failure, and rejects himself, although not completely successfully. In his meager accomplishments he betrays his true character, and displays his inner, perhaps unconscious conflict.

    He is given an opportunity to grab an easy fix for his life's problems, at the cost of not risking himself for others, in what he already knows is likely to end badly for himself. This John Sheppard has been taught very different lessons from life and expects very different outcomes. In his choice we see a redemption of John Sheppard, and an affirmation of the Sheppard we know in a way that could never have been accomplished with the slightly comic action hero we have been shown.
  • Funny and silly on the same time

    Oh.. Ok - I most say.. in some way I liked it - it was sure it was not going to be usual SGA, so I did not expected it and was ready more like CSI what it was more like.. And they have some really great way of doing this - the music, the motion, some camera work and the end - it really had different energy, that kind of heroic look.. and it just all worked so fine together.

    But if I think - this is the last minus one episode of SGA, I would maybe have wanted something else. And the story itself was not too amazing - it more concentrated on effects and the motion, music, the way elements visually worked together.. and if you make one episode just out of the box, i do not know - maybe it is too hard to expect good story too.
  • An interesting concept, but it felt more like someone's challenge on a fanfiction site than an actual episode.

    With the series wrapping up not long after this episode aired having us watch an episode where our favourite characters are playing their alternate universe selves was the wrong move. This episode could have aired earlier in the season, or, really, anytime during the series, but to put it so close to the end was rushing everything.
    While I didn't mind the concept, on spec, the actual episode wasn't what I was hoping for. Very few of the characters interacted with each other, and none in a way that was familliar to us. A Wraith blending in on Earth without a problem defies believablity--they're not exactly a low-profile species. And the fact that the entire episode was a set up for the series finale completely took away from what could have been a decent episode had it aired at a different point in the season.
    Altogether not overly impressed, though any excuse to watch Joe Flanigan is a good one.
  • See Summary

    Vegas was a different episode of Stargate Atlantis. It didn't really seem to have much to do with the season, and feels a little out of place. It is however a great story, and neat concept. I think that they should have played this earlier in the season, as many have said. It was cool that they did an episode like this, the timing of it is off however. I liked the whole Wraith blending in on Earth, looking like a Goth, and maybe like some one out of the Matrix. The ending was very artistic and sets an eerie tone for the end of the season, if it does correlate in any way to the last episode.
  • CSI-Atlantis

    I'm somewhat disappointed by this episode, mainly because I didn't want the penultimate to be another filler episode - in this case a CSI alternate reality. If it happened earlier in the season, I would probably thought better of it. I wonder if there was enough time to change the script of this episode after the cancellation notice.

    As far as the story, I think they tried too hard to make it CSI. I'm just an occasional watcher of CSI, and maybe others who love CSI enjoyed the episode because of it. The problem for me is that this is Atlantis, and the only mystery was figuring out whether this was an alternate reality or a dream until about halfway through. At least Todd and Walter were there. It's too bad Ronon wasn't there to show off his blaster! How did the wraith hive get to Earth? Did that Todd have all the information necessary? If so, how do they know that other wraith (under Todd) in the Pegasus Galaxy don't already know Earth's location?

    Anyway, a disappointing penultimate episode, and I'm looking forward to the finale.
  • CSI version of SGA...odd at best...

    I watch several crime scene oriented shows and it was hilarious seeing the stargate spin off the genre. They clearly copied CSI (the original based in Vegas). I figured right off the bat that it was an alternate reality and I liked how they connected it to the other McKay that came through before. The idea of a wraith killing on earth was interesting at best, but very predictable. I liked seeing it blend in as a human and beat everyone at poker. Sheppard was interesting, but I wish he was even more different. I liked not having Ronon or Teyla in the episode... overall, just an ok episode with a great lead in to the final episode.
  • Totally Useless Episode

    This 43 minutes could have been used much better as a lead in to the series finale. To end a series as good as this one in a one-parter was just stupid and shows no feelings at all for the fans. Of course, writing a review 3 years after a series is over is senseless too. Enjoyed ya SGA. The fans enjoyed you for 5 years on TV, you killed 2 weeks for me on Netflix.
  • Detective John Sheppard investigates a series of unusual murders in Las Vegas.

    I'm a big fan of the show and even a bigger one for the franchise.

    But this last season of SGA is starting to look as if someone said: Well, we ain't coming back so let's do it quick and cheap.

    And while we're at it, let's make an episode with a poker game where we could use some know actors, real poker player and MGM boss...he's such a nice guy.

    And this particular episode was boring unless you're a fan of the Crime solving genre.

    We even had the overdone "team on trial" episode which was very unoriginal.

    I expected better after the great ending of the SG-1 series.

    Great story t'll the end.

    Can't wait for Stargate Universe.
  • CSI: Atlantis, as horrible as the real CSI

    I don't often mention it, but I find the entire "CSI" franchise to be a waste. What could have been a far more interesting series was quickly revealed as style over substance. In particular, the writing and acting is abysmal, and the directorial style seems based on a combination of ADHD and excessive drug abuse. I have yet to get through even one episode of that series, despite multiple attempts on the advice of others.

    So it's not hard to understand my reaction to this episode. As clever as it was to co-opt and mock the "CSI" formula to tell a very different kind of "Stargate" story, I found it very hard to enjoy. I'll give everyone full credit for the effort that was put into the presentation and characterization, and the cast (particularly Flanagan and Hewlett) pulled it off beautifully, but I kept waiting for things to return to some semblance of normalcy. After all, we like to say that change is good, but that only applies if the changes are actually palatable.

    In terms of plot, this was also a bit of a cheat. The writers wanted to set up a major Earth/Wraith conflict at the end of the season/series. So why not build up to it over the course of the season? Instead, they use this alternate reality episode to jump-start the plot, thus allowing for the invasion without the need to spend time on setting it up. Considering some of the questionable plotting decisions this season, including entire episodes that have felt like a waste of time (even without the cancellation in mind), this feels like a massive plot convenience.

    I'm sure this will appeal to a number of fans (especially those who love anything involving Sheppard and McKay). It does provide a prelude to the finale, and for that reason alone, it justifies its existence. That said, for me, the style was abrasive and made it hard to enjoy. In fact, my reaction to "Vegas" was similar to my reaction to "Sateda", another episode directed by Robert Cooper where style was very much in the forefront. When style becomes an unwelcome distraction, the results will always be hit or miss.
  • An alternate reality episode that is overdone in so many series.

    With only 2 episodes of the series left, they obviously were swinging to the cheap side with this.

    The actors did a good job, I guess - they're very talented actors no matter how they are scripted.

    When I think of how many threads are still loose in this series, the fact that they wasted an episode on this storyline is very annoying!

    What about Ford? Dr. Weir? They left them hanging - literally - in the series! I'd have much rather seen an episode rescuing these rather than this pointless side trip.

    This episode makes me feel like they owe me an episode - 2 in fact, since I had to come up with 100 words to whine about it. :s
  • Absolutely pointless.

    One of the worst episodes of the series. While I enjoyed seeing what it would be like if a wraith were loose on earth. The alterna-sheppard redemption plot line was ridiculous and pointless considering it takes place in an alternate reality and has absolutely no bearing on the events in the reality were the series normally takes place. To show this as the second to last episode of the series makes me worry that instead of going out with a bang, as I would expect from SGA, it will go out with a lame pointless whimper. This show owes the dedicated fans more than that. As a side note, did anyone else feel like they were watching CSI. I was seriously waiting for Grisom to show up.
  • If i liked CSI I would watch that. Having the bad guy being Raith and the detective being Sheppard did not make it any more interesting. This was a very boring episode and I am so disappointed that they wasted a whole ep for this.

    If i liked CSI I would watch that. Having the bad guy being Raith and the detective being Sheppard did not make it any more interesting. This was a very boring episode and I am so disappointed that they wasted a whole ep for this. I love all things Stargate but I have too say I really think they screwed up this time. CSI fans out there might like it but as I am not one of them I really hated it. Did like the look on the "human" raith though. Raith with good skin, good teeth and sunglasses is quite appealing. Tod the poet was quite funny too, but that's about it for the good points.
  • John Sheppard (who is not our John Sheppard, and never really clearly IDed as an alt reality character... confusing) works to solve a mysterious crime in Nevada. A.K.A. CSI: Atlantis.

    The bottom line was that this was a pretty rediculous filler episode. It made no sense in the story arc of the season, or of the series as a whole. It would have been much more enjoyable to see a more applicable episode since it is the next to last in the series... I'm looking forward to the series finale. From what I have read, it seems that what was lacking in this episode is made up for in plenty in the final one. The overall take on the ep as a CSI-style drama was interesting... for about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to keep me motivated to watch. The end *SPOILERS!!!* was just confusing... did John die? Didn't he?? What was the point exactly? We shall never know... I was truly expecting a pretty "To Be Continued" screen at the end, but alas... I guess it's up to the viewer to decide.

    Overall, not worth watching again... but here's looking forward to next week!
  • A very poor episode, not even in keeping with any other episode we've seen

    In the episode, McKay mentions meeting another version of John Sheppard, but hasn't met the one in this world. That means he's not the Rod who came into Atlantis through the bridge created by McKay and Mrs Miller, who talked about his John Sheppard as being a pain in the ass and leader of Mensa on Atlantis, or some such.
    So this means this is an alternate reality episode with no connection to our world except the danger they unleash at the end. With so very few episodes left to the series, I was hoping for something memorable. Instead, we didn't even see half the regular members, and not a stargate in sight. Sorry, I don't like the wraith particularly, am not a John Sheppard fan, and like the team as they are, not some alternate reality version. This felt like a very poor fanfiction, not the brilliant writing we've come to know and love.
  • Atlantis doesnt deserves this kind of crap

    Its the worst filler atlantis has ever had (and this season was so full of them) a totally pointless episode which's only purpose was to get ready for the final ep... as they have wasted half the series on stupid fillers and returns of dead characters "Oh my god! i tought we killed you the last 3 times!" stargate atlantis is starting to somehow resemble the freddy kruger movies, they could have sued all those fillers to prepare a good end for the series, but they preffered to waste them and come up with a stupid episode like this, the music reminds me of an old western and they try to make Sheppard look like the old west sherif...FAIL
  • Sadly, just a careless spindown to get a bridge to the final episode!

    Initially, 3 words come to mind: What a waste!
    What a waste of my time! What a waste of script writing, actors (who really could have performed better) and other resources!

    There is so much to complain about in this particular episode that I just don't know where to start! What a crap!

    It is almost not worth it to dig deeper into it. Below are only some thoughts:

    Cloning the style of CSI must have been an 'exciting' idea for the writers; however, if I want to see CSI, I just turn on the correct channel – this is not why I watch SGA! Somehow I should be thankful for the cancelation of the show. Who knows, if in a later alternate reality show we might not have a SIMPSONS clone.

    And where we just are at this topic: again we are dealing with an alternate reality! What happened to the core idea of the show? Atlantis, the amazing city and the stargate? How many episodes really dealt with this since the end of season 3? I still remember that there was not even 30% of this amazing city explored; however, since season 4 there was not much more than 'character killing' and artificially trying to bring them back to life or replacing them entirely with someone worse!

    While watching this episode, I got an entire different idea about the WRAITH too. It seems that this wraiths are a caring species with social values rather than the life-sucking monster the writers of SGA intended it to be. I have no other explanation why else the particular wraith in this episode would worry about his brothers in an alternate reality, … worrying so much that he is willing to give up his own life to transmit the coordinates of this alternate earth …

    Alternate realities are tricky!
    This wraith could not have possibly known if in the reality, he was going to transmit earth's location to, earth – or the wraith as race for that matter – would even exist! In addition, even if it would exist, there is always the possibility that the wraith in the alternate reality would be different (maybe good guys) or on a different step of evolution. In addition, earth might have been without humans or not even exist at all … - well, I guess you got my point! So, why did this wraith transmit to an alternate reality rather than broadcasting to his own kind in this reality?

    Just sad how artificial and careless this episode has been written down just to have a bridge to the final one! During the entire seasons 4 and 5 I was hoping that the old spirit of SGA would come back after the makers got their characters replaced; sadly, it never happened! No more strange things happened, no more exploring the city and the stargate itself was barely to see in any of the episodes …

    I guess I am done!