First, I am surprised they brought back the storyline of the Caledonians and the Rand Protectorate, for I was not very impressed by the earlier episode. However, the writers were successful in bringing it back.
The best thing about this episode was the risk that the writers took. Stargate Atlantis episodes (at least through the 2nd season) have created problems which the team struggles to overcome; problems that would result in someone's death, the destruction of a ship, Atlantis, or perhaps a planet. However, in Stargate Atlantis, at the very last second someone solves the problem.
This is where Stargate SG-1 differs, and this is very apparent in this episode. Not all the problems are solved in this episode. Yes, most of them are resolved, but they are not resolved in a way most people would suspect. SG-1 usually wins, and it was a refreshing break to bring some reality into the show: you don't and you can't always win.
True, I admit, their were some things that could have been left off from the final edit. For example at one point Samantha Carter (One of the main characters) is presumed dead. However, not to my surprise, she is later found to be alive and well, with no explanation for how she survived.
Overall, I applaud the writers for their adventuresome ideas, and it is an unconventional episode worth watching.