Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 19


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

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

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  • 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.