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Review: ‘Stargate: Atlantis’ – Spoils Of War

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the “Stargate: Atlantis” episode, “Spoils of War.” “This one.” — Wraith Queen “Oh great, in my entire life Ive never been chosen first.” — Dr. McKay This episode starts off with a bit of rewind action as we revisit the last moments of the destruction of the Replicator homeworld […]

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the “Stargate: Atlantis” episode, “Spoils of War.”

“This one.” — Wraith Queen
“Oh great, in my entire life Ive never been chosen first.” — Dr. McKay

This episode starts off with a bit of rewind action as we revisit the last moments of the destruction of the Replicator homeworld (“Be All My Sins Remember’d”), this time from the perspective of our Wraith “friend,” who from now on will be called Todd (Brendan Penny & Christopher Heyerdahl). Todd sends darts to retrieve ZPMs for a nefarious Wraith plan.

Flash forward, and we are back on Atlantis. McKay is tracking the Wraith ships to see how the civil war is going. That is when McKay discovers that Todds ship is dead in space. Oddly, Todds subspace signal is transmitting. Curious, Sheppard leads his team out to the ship.

On the ship, they find dead Wraith apparently fed on by enemy Wraith. Yikes, theyve gone cannibal! But Todd is nowhere to be found. However, they do find his transmitter cut out of him.

After a search of the ships database, they learn of a Wraith facility that was apparently crucial during the war with the Ancients. Reluctantly, Sheppard has the pregnant Teyla use her hybrid Wraith DNA to control the ship and fly it to the secret base.

There they discover a cloning facility and free an imprisoned Todd. But the team is captured before they can blow up the facility. Todd escaped back to the Atlantis-controlled Wraith ship. He is eager to leave, but Teyla believes she can save her friends. And save them she does when, with the help of her babieslife force, she manages to control the Wraith Queens body and free them.

With the team onboard, they decide to ram the Wraith ship into the facility and destroy it. Once more, Todd disappears, but Im sure we will see him again. The team escapes back to Atlantis in their jumper. Overall a good episode, in which they stop the Wraith from replenishing their forces.

What Worked

I liked their handling of Teylas pregnancy. Who knew that Ronon would be so supportive? It was interesting to see the conflict between Sheppard and Teyla as he tries to keep her out of danger. In the end, with the baby almost being killed by the Wraith Queen, Teyla finally decides that she has to focus on protecting her child.

Another unexpected plus to the pregnancy is the psychic power boost. This subplot has made Teyla — who has been for most of the series one of the most dull characters — much more interesting. But now Im curious about her powers, about what will happen to her baby and if she ever finds her people.

Im glad to see that they are revealing how the Wraith defeated the Ancients. Since the beginning of the series I had a hard time believing that they accomplished this. But now that we know that the Replicators released a virus that killed the Ancients (according to McKays theory from a previous episode) and that the Wraith cheated “Attack of the Clones” style, it makes a little more sense.

Todd the Wraith is quickly becoming one of my favorite recurring characters. Im looking forward to seeing him again.

Overall, it wasnt as good as the last episode, but it was a good episode that has continued to move key storylines forward.

What Didnt Work

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away : there were the Clone Wars. Oh wait, wrong franchise.

On one hand I liked the clone facility explaining how the Wraith won, on the other hand it did remind me of “Star Wars” … not that there is anything wrong with that. Ill let that one slide, because the building looked so cool and icky.

I am a little confused as to why they would want to clone more when they are short on food, but I suppose that is just because the Wraith Queen wanted an army fast and didnt care about the long term repercussions.

Im also confused why they would build something like that when they didnt have the power resources to make it work. By now, they have gotten the ZPMs, but it seemed overly optimistic to design a facility that needed a power source they didnt have.

Ah, but I may be looking at this wrong. The Atlantis team does this sort of thing all the time. They can almost power this uber-weapon, but they need more. Then the clever scientist in the team manages to make something alien work with the technology. This should probably be seen as how clever the Wraith are, like the humans, and why they managed to win.

Again, Carter is AWOL. Now notice something here. Dr. Kellar is mentioned twice in this episode, the last being after Teyla sees her for a check-up. However, Carter isnt mentioned once. Rather, it seems like Sheppard decides on his own to move forward with the mission. Couldnt they have had a throw away line of, “Carter says we can proceed with the mission,” or something? Just who is running Atlantis, anyway? (And yes, I realize there are contractual issues with Tapping, but thats no excuse for holes in the storyline.)

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Spoils of War” was written by Alan McCullough and directed by William Waring. “Stargate: Atlantis” airs Friday nights at 10 p.m. on the SciFi Channel. The show stars Amanda Tapping, Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Rachel Luttrell and Jason Momoa.

Marx Pyle is a staff writer for Airlock Alpha, writing out of Vancouver, B.C. He can be reached at mpyle@airlockalpha.com.

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