Monday, October 17, 2011

SGA Rewatch: The Hive

Woohoo! It's time for another installment of the Stargate Atlantis Rewatch! Are you excited? You are, I can tell. Well, then, what are you waiting for? Oh, the spoiler alert, you say? Very well.

Spoilers Ahead

Happy now? Yes? Good. Onward, then, to today's episode, season two's "The Hive."

What Happened

Picking up right where "The Lost Boys" left off, Sheppard has been brought to the hive's queen. She starts to interrogate him, wanting to know how the heck he managed to get a dart and fly it into her ship. Sheppard holds his own with plenty of witty comebacks, but then the queen settles in to do some serious grilling and it looks like our hero is up that proverbial creek. Before she can get started with the questions, however, the queen jerks and hisses, pulling back and leaving abruptly. Sheppard is escorted back to the cell where Teyla, Ronon, Ford, and Kanayo wait, glad to see him unharmed. When Sheppard says they took him to see the queen, Ford immediately wants to know if he revealed anything, but Sheppard says he didn't get the chance, as the queen ended the interview early. Teyla says that she can sense the queen is upset and agitated and before anyone can wonder why, the answer appears in the form of another hive ship dropping out of hyperspace alongside the one in which they are being held captive.

In Ford's lair, Rodney, meanwhile, is getting extremely worried about the rest of the team. He just knows that something has gone horribly wrong and insists that they should have returned by now. His guards just roll their eyes and tell him to chill out. Incensed, Rodney then begins demanding that they go to Atlantis to put together a rescue team. The guards tell him that's not gonna happen, since Ford took the control crystals out of the gate. Rodney knows this, but tells the guards that since they are the ones keeping the control crystals safe, they can just go get them and he can then put them back in the gate. He demands that they get the crystals and they refuse, looming with enough menace that Rodney backs down muttering. 

Sheppard, never one to sit still for long, starts brainstorming a way to get out of the cell on the hive ship. He remarks about the time that Rodney managed to open some doors on the ship by cutting into the control panel, and spots the control panel for their cell's doors. Ford pulls out a hidden knife and tosses it at the control panel before Sheppard can figure out where they actually need to aim. Sheppard doesn't get much of a chance to berate Ford for not waiting, however, because Ronon then pulls out his own knife and they try again. When that one fails, Ronon pulls out yet another hidden knife. Apparently he's got them concealed all over. Eventually he manages to hit the right spot and their cell doors open. The group hastily exits and begins sneaking toward the dart bay, hoping to get the heck out of there.

Deciding to take matters into his own hands back in the cave, Rodney locates Ford's stash of enzyme and injects himself with a huge dose so that he can get enough of a boost in strength to deal with his two guards. He then makes a quick search for the control crystals and, upon locating them, beats a path straight to the gate. He manages to get the DHD working again, despite clearly being very hopped up and jittery due to the enzyme, and heads back to Atlantis for help.

As Sheppard and crew are making their way to the dart bay, they cut through a room of storage cocoons--where the wraith stash people they want to feed on later to be kept alive until they are needed. As they pass through the room, a voice calls out for help from one of the cocoons. Sheppard stops to help the girl out, despite Ford's objections to the delay this causes for them. 

Rodney gets to Atlantis, but he is so high on the enzyme that all he can really get across is that he took out his two guards. A surprised and concerned Elizabeth tries to get some coherent information out of him but he isn't making any sense at all. Then he suddenly collapses, unconscious, and Elizabeth has him rushed to the infirmary.

Sheppard's crew is, of course, captured again before they can make it back to the darts. This time the wraith split them up into separate cells to minimize their chances of escape. Ronon and Teyla regain consciousness in a cell with Kanayo, who tells them they both went down pretty quickly when the wraith stunned them. The effects of the enzyme are starting to wear off in them. Sheppard wakes up to find himself placed with Ford and the girl he rescued, Neera. Ford tells Sheppard that the enzyme is wearing off in Ronon and Teyla, and that the space between doses can get pretty bad if one can't get more of the enzyme right away. He says he is fine for now, but if he doesn't get more enzyme soon, he won't stay fine for long.

In Atlantis, Carson updates Elizabeth and Caldwell on Rodney's condition. He took a massive dose of the enzyme and Carson had to sedate him to keep him from hurting himself as withdrawal set in. Unfortunately, they have none of the enzyme on hand in the city, so there is no way to wean Rodney off of it slowly, he is going to have to go cold turkey and just let it break down in his system. Carson has given him some beta-blockers and vitamins to give Rodney a better chance of beating the drug, but Carson warns them that it is possible Rodney might not survive the process. There isn't anything else they can do but wait and hope. 

There is a brief sequence of scenes that show Rodney, Teyla, Ronon, Ford, and Kanayo all going through withdrawal. Everyone is in pretty bad shape, and Kanayo's symptoms are severe enough that he dies. The wraith come and take away his body, and then they go to Sheppard's cell and take Ford as well. He is still alive, but in bad shape. Neera tells Sheppard that the wraith will put him in a cocoon so that he will stay alive until they are ready to feed on him. With Ford gone, Sheppard's resolve returns and he begins looking for a new way out of the cell as Neera just kind of stands around watching him.

With Carson's help, Rodney recovers enough to be released from the infirmary and makes his way to Elizabeth's office to tell her what happened to him and the rest of the team. He observes that while he was high on the enzyme he actually felt like he was perfectly lucid but that it was everyone else that wasn't making sense. He remarks that he kind of understands why Ford reacted the way he did when they tried to get him off of it. After he fills Elizabeth in on the team's last known status, he tells her that he does know where the wraith hive ship was headed. Elizabeth notifies Caldwell so that he can take the Daedalus to that planet and hopefully mount a rescue mission for Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla. At the very least, she says, they can alert the planet about the culling before it happens.

We get a quick glimpse of Teyla and Ronon, both starting to recover from the withdrawal. As they pull themselves back together, Teyla worries for Ford, believing his dependency on the enzyme was probably even greater than Kanayo's. She and Ronon begin discussing their options and try to put together a plan of escape. Sheppard, meanwhile, seems to have abandoned breaking out of the cell as a possibility. He is resting and Neera gets all cuddly (for "warmth") with him and starts peppering him with questions about where he is from and what is his planet called and can she go with him when they escape and so on. After a few questions, Sheppard starts to get a little evasive and then tells her he needs to get some rest to quiet her. 

The hive ships (the other one that arrived at the beginning of the episode traveled with them, planning to join the culling) drop out of hyperspace and suddenly the wraith are in Sheppard's cell, dragging him out. They take him to the queen once more, and she is now ready to resume interrogating him. Sheppard takes a shot in the dark and tells him good try with Neera. He has realized that the queen let them escape their first cell and put Neera in their path so she could pump him for information once they were recaptured. Neera and a few other humans are escorted into the room and the queen tells him that Neera is just one of many who serve her, worship her even. Neera starts to spout some nonsense about a prophecy of "the great awakening," but Sheppard interrupts her. Quickly swallowing and hiding his disgust and surprise to learn of human wraith worshipers, Sheppard claims to be one himself (well, more of a business acquaintance). The other queen doesn't believe him, demanding the name of his queen. He tells her to look outside her window, insinuating that the queen of the other hive was the one who put him up to it--giving him a dart and the information he needed to infiltrate her ship and take her out. 

The queen does not react especially favorably to this news. She makes to attack Sheppard, but before she can she is shot by a burst of red energy and Ford runs into the room brandishing Ronon's gun. When the wraith took him away, he apparently managed to take one of them down and get some more enzyme, then found out where Teyla and Ronon were being kept, recovered the team's weapons, and went to rescue Sheppard. Super!Ford saves the day! He and Sheppard manage to take down the queen's minions and then he tells Sheppard where to find Ronon and Teyla. He says he will hold off the wraith while Sheppard gets the rest of the team to the darts. Sheppard refuses to leave without Ford, but Ford insists Sheppard gets going and promises to catch up. 

Sheppard manages to find Ronon and Teyla and break them out. They make their way to the dart bay and Sheppard manages to steal a dart and fly by to beam up the other two, then joining with the rest of the darts leaving the ship to begin culling the planet.

On the Daedalus Colonel Caldwell, having had no luck making contact with Sheppard, is preparing to attack the hive ships before the culling can get underway. Rodney says that just because they couldn't contact Sheppard doesn't mean the team isn't aboard or is dead, but Caldwell insists they can't take any chances. Sheppard and team have been in wraith hands long enough that they have to assume the information that Atlantis wasn't really destroyed has been compromised. That means destroying the two hive ships before they can tell anyone else that fact. Caldwell tries to beam nukes onto the hive ships but they are jamming the beaming frequency so that's a no go. With no other choice, the Daedalus moves in and begins to make a direct attack on the two hives. 

In his dart, Sheppard also wants to stop the culling. He veers off from the pack to start attacking the other hive ship. This causes the two hive ships to start firing on each other and upon one another's darts. From the Daedalus, Rodney notices the dart attacking the hive and realizes it must be Sheppard. He, Lorne, and Caldwell watch as the two ships turn on each other, doing enough damage that one of them blows up, taking out the other hive and all of the darts. Rodney quickly has them scan to see if any darts (meaning Sheppard) survived the blast, but the readings are negative. Their relief at the destruction of the two darts quickly dissipates as they realize that they lost Sheppard. Caldwell reports in to Atlantis, telling Elizabeth that both hives were destroyed and that he is headed back for the city. Elizabeth is disappointed that he has called off the search for Sheppard, but he responds that there is nothing to search for anymore.

On Atlantis the gate fires up and Elizabeth runs to see who it is. Chuck announces that it is Sheppard's IDC, and as the shield is lowered, Sheppard, Teyla, and Ronon come through the gate. They are in the infirmary, where Carson is checking up on Ronon and Teyla, when Rodney and Caldwell arrive. Rodney runs ahead and wants to know how Sheppard isn't dead. Sheppard explains that as soon as he saw that he had gotten the wraith to fire on each other, he realized it would get nasty pretty quickly and headed straight for the planet's space gate, going to a safe world where he could rematerialize Ronon and Teyla and they could then return to Atlantis.

Rodney then asks what about Ford, and Teyla replies that he was still on the hive when it blew. Sheppard isn't so sure though. He says he wouldn't count Fort out just yet.


Yay! Everyone (well, except for Ford) is back at home, safe and sound, not addicted to the enzyme. Woohoo! We have also learned the very disturbing fact that there are humans out there who worship and serve the wraith (not just make business deals with them to be spared culling like in "Condemned"). Also, it is clear that suspicion is very high among the wraith hives and they are getting more and more territorial, which opens up new tactical options for the Lanteans in their fight against the wraith. 

I think the saddest thing about this entire episode is that it kind of drives home the point that there is every chance that, had they been able to keep him in Atlantis, Ford would have been able to overcome the enzyme pretty quickly. But alas, it wasn't to be. As Sheppard pointed out in the episode, Ford apparently had a lot of issues to work out regarding his role in Atlantis and he just wasn't willing to give up the enzyme in order to do so. Bummer. I am kind of with Sheppard on not counting Ford out just yet though. He could easily have bee-lined for a dart and skedaddled before or after Sheppard got Ronon and Teyla out of there. 

I do wonder how the heck Rodney was able to transmit his IDC to get back to Atlantis. We never see him get his GDO back (though they don't really ever show those on Atlantis, now that I think about it) or dial it that I can recall. Maybe I am making too much of it, but it would have been nice to hear it mentioned that he actually had the darn thing. Maybe Ford never took them away in the first place, since he had disabled the gate anyway. Oh well. Just one of those things that nags at me for no reason other than it feels like a missing detail.

I do have to say, one of my favorite things about this episode is the whole "everyone's got a knife but Sheppard" thing. I mean, I know they only showed Ford and Ronon with knives, but I bet you anything Teyla had one too. In fact, I would posit a guess that Teyla is the one who taught that "have one knife for them to find and one that is hidden" rule to Ford, since Sheppard seemed to have no clue about it, and we've seen Teyla use this tactic before in "The Brotherhood." In fact, why the heck didn't Sheppard learn from Teyla at that point to always have a knife hidden on his person, huh? I mean, it's not like he never gets captured by hostiles or anything...oh, wait. Anyhoo, it still makes me giggle whenever he tells Neera that everyone in his last cell had a knife.

Favorite Quotes

"We call them darts because they're so pointy." (Sheppard)

"How many of those things have you got?" (Sheppard)
"How many do you need?" (Ronon)

"You took some of the enzyme?!" (Elizabeth)
"No no no no no no no. I didn't take some of the enzyme. I took a lot of the enzyme." (Rodney)

"I feel not unlike the priest in The Exorcist." (Carson)

"I hate to say it, but his stubbornness is probably what sustained him throughout the ordeal." (Carson)
"Hmm. We won't tell him that though." (Elizabeth)
"Aye. Mustn't feed the beast." (Carson)

"How will you get us out of here?" (Neera)
"Okay, well I haven't figured that part out yet. But when I do, it's gonna be real impressive." (Sheppard)

"If it distracts you, clear your mind of it. If it fuels your anger...use it." (Ronon)

"Do you have anything sharp? Knife, hairpin--anything that would puncture the skin of these walls?" (Sheppard)
"No." (Neera)
"It's just that everyone in my last cell had one, so..." (Sheppard)

"Ford?" (Teyla)
"Well, last I saw he was alive. I'm stickin' with that." (Sheppard)

With that we'll wrap up for today. See you back here on Wednesday for "Epiphany." 

Ta ta!

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