So…as I was typing up my observations of ‘Common Ground’ I realized that that is a ton of words that was being added to an already big post. Thus, the catch-up episode posts have been made separate.
Here ya go!
Season 3, Episode 8 – McKay and Mrs. Miller
Rodney McKay is annoying and condescending, but the character grows so much that, just like his friends, we simply roll our eyes when he starts up again and listen while he (inevitably) is proven right.
In this episode we get to meet his sister! (fun fact; the actor and actress are siblings in real life which makes this so much better).
Jeanie has been out of the ‘game’ for several years. In fact, she hasn’t published any papers since she got married and had a daughter. She wanted to be a mother more and unfortunately, we find out that Rodney tried to talk her out of it. Considering what he’s like, you can imagine how that went.
Now though, she has a new theory that could revolutionize power modules and make the ZPM’s obsolete.
If she knew what the heck they were.
Which is where Rodney comes in. The SGC needs him to convince his sister to help them out. Despite their differing positions and four-year estrangement, he convinces her, and they go to Atlantis.
Things take a turn for the weird (as they do with our lovely family) and during the experiment a Rodney from an alternate reality pops up and tells them their experiment is destroying his world. Of course, they shut it down immediately, but it leaves the new Rodney stranded.
The new Rodney goes by Rod and is much cooler than our Rodney and has never been estranged from his sister. The differences make Rodney feel like an outsider amongst his own friends and family, which gets worse when it seems they prefer Rod’s company over his.
Turns out, the bridge they’d created between realities is still open and causing problems. The only way to shut it down completely is to send a massive amount of energy (using their only ZPM) through to disrupt it before it kills them all.
Rod asks if Rodney will help him get back to his reality, saying that he envies Rodney for his ability to not care what people think about him and for having the freedom to speak his mind. Rodney, naturally, mentions the possibility that Rod won’t make it through before the bridge collapses, but agrees when Rod insists.
The bridge collapses as planned, but Rodney refuses to shut the power off until he has confirmation Rod’s made it home. He ends up depleting the ZPM completely.
I adore this episode for SO many reasons and the character development and different sides of Rodney we get to see are why.
If you’ll recall, many episodes ago he recorded a message when the city may be lost. The message was full of self-important insights and such, but in the middle of it he records a message for his sister. Sheppard takes it upon himself to share it with Jeanie before she leaves.
Rodney isn’t good with people, not even his own sister, but we get to see that he understands that and isn’t exactly happy about it. When he can’t say the words to repair the rift between him and Jeanie, he grabs her in a hug instead and finally gets the words out.
(we will see Jeanie again!)
Season 3, Episode 9- Phantoms
This is an emotional episode so have the tissues ready.
The team heads out to see why another team is six hours late checking in. Sheppard’s team, Dr. Beckett and three extra Marines go as backup. On the planet they find several dead bodies belonging to the Genii. Some have been dead for months and it’s obvious they killed each other before killing themselves.
Things do not look good for the SGA team they came to rescue.
Rodney has them follow an energy signature and they find a Wraith machine of some kind that the Genii were messing with. Since the priority is the other team, they leave the machine.
Unfortunately, it’s too late for three of the team as they’ve been killed by their CO. You can see how Sheppard is doing with this news when they watch a recording that shows their deaths. Not knowing why he killed them, Sheppard orders everyone back to the Stargate.
Carrying their dead (Rodney complains and asks if they can take a break at one point) Ronon suddenly signals for them to stop when he sees something in the forest around them.
He can’t say what it was though, and they continue to the Gate.
One of the Marines goes to dial the Gate and it blows up, killing him instantly and injuring others, while our missing Marine starts firing on them.
The two remaining Marines are badly injured and there is no way off the planet now because the dialing device crystals are shattered and they don’t have spares.
Rodney insists they go back to the Wraith machine since it’s interfering with their radios so even when Weir dials the planet, they won’t be able to respond.
Remember when I said Rodney complained about carrying the dead Marine earlier? Yeah, well he’s helping carry one of the injured Marines now and the Marine apologizes for the fact (even though he has no reason to) and Rodney tells him it’s not a problem.
I bring this up because of the look Dr. Beckett gives him at his words to the young Marine. It’s really great that the writers took the time to consider such small things.
Think about it. What show/s are on today that care to show such a small detail that is nevertheless so important? When I say they don’t make shows like Stargate anymore, I’m not just talking about the really cool storylines that don’t revolve around sex every other episode.
I’m talking about the characters being the focus and so very obviously driving the story with their lives!
Beckett doesn’t expect Rodney’s response because of his complaining earlier and so it surprises him and it shows on his face.
They make it to the Wraith machine and Beckett does what he can for the injured Marines while Rodney tries to turn the thing off and Sheppard, Ronon and Teyla end up trying to track down the missing Marine.
Turns out the machine was an experiment intended to help the Wraith hone their mental abilities. The Genii messed it up and now it’s emitting some kind of energy that’s affecting their minds and making them hallucinate.
The missing Marine is seeing Super Soldiers from back when he served in the Milky Way (you’d have too watch the first series to understand the backstory there). Ronon starts seeing the others’ as Wraith. Sheppard begins to relive the mission that got him in enough trouble to be sent to McMurdo, while Teyla tries to pull him back (she’s been shot in the leg and her Wraith genes keep her safe from the hallucinations). Dr. Beckett thinks one of his patients stops breathing and gets the other to help revive him.
Rodney is working closely enough to the machine that it doesn’t affect him for quite some time.
The ending is really heartbreaking for our people and I think it’s good that these kinds of episodes were added because it isn’t always the obvious enemy that can be deadly. The original Stargate series was like this too and it gives us time to understand our teams and get to know them better outside of their usual fun and sarcastic selves.
Our missing Marine runs out of ammo and, believing he’s surrounded by the Super Soldiers, takes a grenade and holds it to his chest.
Sheppard and Teyla see him die.
Ronon goes after Sheppard because he thinks he’s a Wraith who’s abducting Teyla.
Sheppard shoots Rodney and Ronon believing they’re terrorists trying to kill him.
Dr. Beckett loses one of his patients without even knowing it and the other is barely holding on.
Teyla has to use Sheppard’s nightmare to get him to turn the machine off and they barely make it before Ronon almost kills him.
A not to miss episode! I don’t care how much it will make you cry, you have to watch it because it is so worth it.
Season 3, Episode 10- The Return: Part 1
Apparently, there was an Alteran battleship that has been slightly out of phase with the rest of the galaxy for quite some time. The Daedalus contacts them and agrees to help repair the ship and bring them back to Atlantis.
They arrive and the Alteran leader takes control of Atlantis and kicks our peeps out. Presumably, after awhile they’ll let people back to learn more about them, but not now.
Teyla, Ronon and the Athosians are not allowed to stay either. It’s an interesting thing to hear about because the Athosians pretty much believe the hype about the Alterans (calling them Ancestors in a reverent way) and think they’re the galaxies saviors. So, to be kicked off their new home for no reason is a blow, to say the least but they are most happy to offer Ronon a place with them.
Back on Earth, and not happy about it, Weir is having trouble adjusting and is keeping to herself to the point that Beckett shows up and pretty much bullies her into joining him, Sheppard and Rodney at dinner the following day. Sheppard is with SGC and running missions and having trouble fitting in with them. Beckett is also with SGC and not quite unpacked himself, while Rodney is in Area 51 having the world handed to him and hating it.
They’re at dinner when their phones go off and they’re called into Stargate Command.
General O’Neill and Mr. Woolsey are on Atlantis keeping the lines of communication open with the Alteran’s, when the replicators (also known as the Asurans) attack.
The Alteran’s, in usual stupid and arrogant fashion, don’t believe they’re in any danger because of the no-harm coding in the Asurans base code. So when the Asurans attack, the Alteran’s are killed off quite easily.
O’Neill and Woolsey, however, are still alive and hiding in a previously flooded area that’s impossible to scan. Relatively safe at the moment.
Standing orders are to nuke Atlantis in case of a foothold situation and Colonel Caldwell is on his way to do just that when out Atlantis peeps hear about what’s happened.
Not inclined to leave anyone behind, and also not inclined to let Atlantis be destroyed, Sheppard leads them back to Pegasus.
Which leads us to Part 2!
Season 3, Episode 11- The Return: Part 2
(I may have jumped the gun on when the last episode actually ended, but that’s okay)
Ronon and Teyla are happy to have their friends back and are even happier to help them take Atlantis back.
With the help of O’Neill and Woolsey, they’re able to get into the city and start to set C4 charges in each of the ten shield emitters.
If the Asurans can raise the shields, the nukes Daedalus has won’t make a dent. Take those shields down and they will be able to keep the Asurans from leaving the Pegasus galaxy and coming to the Milky Way.
At least, that’s what they want the Asurans to believe.
In reality, and once again let’s thank the wonderful Dr. Rodney McKay for his genius, they have replaced a certain crystal with the replicator killing energy weapons crystal they brought with them from Earth.
Essentially creating one big replicator killing energy wave when the shield is activated.
In the nick of time they’re able to win the day and contact Caldwell to ask him not to destroy the city and them.
You know, as annoying sometimes as Caldwell is, he really is a good man. Instead of blindly following orders he gives our peeps a chance and, no doubt, gives everyone in two galaxies a chance to survive because without the Atlantis expedition things would get bad real quick.
Alrighty, since ‘Common Ground’ was so long I’ve split the catch up posts’ in two so next week will be the last episodes before the next book.
See you then!