Well, hello there, and welcome to the first installment of the final season of the Stargate Atlantis Rewatch. Wow, how did we hit season five so quickly? Before we get started, I just wanted to take a moment to point out the new tab right up at the top of the page, above the post title. If you want to quickly find a review of a specific episode of the series, click on that and it will take you a list of all of my rewatch posts!
Anyhoo, after last week's crazy ending, I won't leave you hanging, so without further ado, let's jump into "Search and Rescue." Spoilers for the episode, of course, and any that came before it.
When last we saw our heroes, they were caught in an imploding building while trying to find Teyla. So of course the episode starts off with John and Teyla drinking wine in a candlelit room with Teyla thanking John for rescuing her. He realizes he doesn't remember rescuing her and when he says so Ford appears and says he never did, just like he never rescued Ford. John looks down and sees blood appear on his side and then hears Ronon calling his name. He wakes up in the rubble of the building and finds that they are trapped together and he has a piece of shrapnel in his side. Also he is pinned under some heavy structural beams. He asks about the others but Ronon says he doesn't know, they were separated, and he can't get anyone on the radio.
Rodney and Lorne (who thankfully was with Rodney and so by the Laws of TV is fine, aside from a broken leg) are trapped together in another part of the building. Rodney is unhurt but anxious and Lorne tries to convince him to just sit still (so as not to collapse the building further) while they wait for help to come.
Zoom out via really cool but random visual effect and we find ourselves on Michael's ship, where we find him surrounded by his hybrid minions. Someone brings him a report and he declares that they are setting a new course, their compound has been compromised.
On Atlantis there is an unscheduled gate activation. One of the soldiers from John's strike team managed to make it out of the building before it blew. He comes through and tells them what happened. The Daedalus is still a few hours out so Sam has Jennifer assemble a medical team as well as a group of combat engineers to begin a rescue operation.
Rodney tries to occupy himself by going through the rubble and finds an intact hard drive with pretty much all of Michael's files and data. It means that once they are out they can finish him for good. They hear footsteps above them and start making noise. Up top Sam and Jennifer lead the team searching through the rubble. They have found four life signs in the wreckage. They hear Rodney and Lorne and get to work getting them out. But Rodney tells them that their time is short. His data shows that when the self-destruct went off Michael was notified, which means he is probably on his way. Sam says they will have to hope that the Daedalus arrives in time to beam out the other two life signs, which are much deeper down.
John and Ronon, meanwhile, are in pretty bad shape. Ronon is working to dig John free while John tries to convince him to dig a hole to the surface so a rescue team can get down to him. Ronon says once he gets John free, then they can dig out together.
On the ship, Michael gives Teyla another creepy ultrasound, excited that the baby should be arriving any day. Teyla is not enthused, knowing that Michael has less than honorable plans for her son's future. She calls him on not meaning to keep her around once the kid is born. Kanaan comes and tells Michael that "it is time" and Michael leaves to make preparations. Teyla tries again to get Kanaan to help her escape but he is clearly too afraid of Michael.
Sam's team gets Rodney and Lorne out of the building and then they get a notice that a wraith ship has arrived. Michael is there. Michael realizes that they are searching for survivors and scrambles darts to attack. Sam has the team fall back to the jumpers, reluctantly leaving the other two trapped men until they deal with Michael. They only have three jumpers against a cruiser and at least twenty darts, though, so they can't really fight back.
Michael activates the gate so no one can escape and goes after the buried survivors and Rodney wants them to do something. Sam points out that their best hope is to wait for the Daedalus to arrive. It will take Michael time to dig out their people the same as it would have them. From orbit they see Michael's cruiser and realize that Teyla is probably on board. So close but there's nothing they can do.
In the building John has been trying to convince Ronon to leave him behind and get out of there while he can. Ronon of course is refusing to do this. While they discuss the matter, they hear people digging above them and Ronon's hope is renewed.
The Daedalus arrives and sees the wraith ship. Before it can attack Sam sends them a message updating them on the situation and that they can't destroy the ship because Teyla is on it. When Michael realizes that the other ship's shields will sustain his attacks he orders his people to jump to hyperspace, calling the men on the planet "acceptable losses." Caldwell takes out his hyperdrive before he can jump, though, and so he turns to fight. Rodney and Sam tell Caldwell they still have two people trapped on the surface and ask if they can scan for their transmitters and beam them out.
John and Ronon wait for their rescuers to dig them out and John asks them a question about one of the engineers. They say that engineer is with them, but Ronon says he thought that guy was on leave. John nods. They realize that it is not their people but Michael's coming for them. They arm themselves and get into position to fire as soon as the hybrids are in range, planning to go down fighting.
Caldwell gets a lock on them and Sam asks him to beam them up. He tells her to bring the jumpers on board at the same time. They have to lower their shields to beam the people up and the ship takes significant damage before they get them back in place. So everyone's back on board (yay!) but the ship is pretty much dead in the water. Shields are holding for the time being though.
In the infirmary Jennifer gets to work patching up John and updates him on the situation. She also tells him that Rodney and Lorne were the only other two survivors. He wants to get patched up to go back out there. With Teyla so close he cannot sit still. Jennifer has objections, she says he needs surgery and recovery time, but he insists.
Sam and Rodney get to work trying to repair the ship. John and Ronon find them and say they have an idea to attack the ship with 302s to get Michael to launch his darts, allowing a cloaked jumper to sneak onto his ship through the dart bay. Then they can go rescue Teyla. The Daedalus and 302s would just have to hold the line while they do it. Caldwell is skeptical but Sam stands firm and he agrees.
Sam doesn't buy that John is actually fit for duty and Jennifer let him go willingly, but she lets him go on the mission anyway. As they get into place and wait for the darts to launch, even Rodney can see that John's in bad shape, suggesting maybe he should stay with the jumper while they are gone. They get into the cruiser and Rodney finds a spot to hack into its systems. He is alarmed to find that Michael already has the hyperdrive back online, they have maybe fifteen minutes to get Teyla and get out.
They find Teyla and she tells them she is in labor. She's not really in shape to move quickly and Rodney sees that the hyperdrive is powering up. He says they are near the main drive core though and if they put C4 on it that should shut it down for good. John and Ronon go to do that and leave Rodney to keep an eye on Teyla while they are gone. Of course, this is when the kiddo decides he is ready to see the world outside of mama. Rodney is thrilled.
John and Ronon get to the drive core and get the C4 in place. They get to a safe distance and detonate it, causing lots of ship-wide damage. Michael realizes they are on board his ship and wonders how they got on board.
Teyla's labor is well underway and she starts to crown. Rodney starts to freak out and she has to calm him down, telling him he just needs to catch the baby. The kiddo makes his debut and John and Ronon get back to find Teyla holding the baby and laughing in relief with Rodney. Ronon scoops up Teyla and the baby and they skedaddle to the jumper...which isn't there.
They go to plan B and decide to try to disable the ship's jamming code so the Daedalus can beam them out. On the way they run into Kanaan and Teyla convinces them not to shoot him. She shows him the baby and asks him one more time to help. He says he knows a way off the ship. Ronon doesn't trust him but Teyla says that she does. John asks Kanaan for his plan.
A dart approaches the Daedalus and hails them. It is John. He tells Caldwell he has the team and Teyla, and the baby (which he is holding in the cockpit, he did not beam it up, thankfully). He tells Caldwell to feel free to do what he wants to the cruiser and they blow it up. John then lands the dart and beams them out so they can take the stargate home.
Back on Atlantis, Rodney runs into Sam on his way to visit Teyla. She tells him she is headed back to Earth for some SG-1 related business and also so the I.O.A. can do an "exhaustive review" of her first year in command.
John and Teyla are in the hospital together, John waiting for surgery from his injuries and Teyla recovering from, you know, childbirth. She is cuddling her baby and totally in love with him. Jennifer comes to get John for surgery and as he is being wheeled off he asks Teyla what she will name her son. She said she was thinking Torren John, after her father and John. John is very honored.
Sam gets to Earth and is greeted by Woolsey, who informs her that she is being removed from command of Atlantis. She is gobsmacked by the news and asks who will be replacing her. Woolsey informs her that he will be the new commander of Atlantis.
Wow, John's subconscious is clearly still harboring some self-recrimination about failing to rescue Ford. The accusation in Ford's voice when John is dreaming/hallucinating him speaks volumes. Although it led to a nice dovetail moment at the end when Teyla resolutely told John she never lost faith that he would save her. His team still has faith in him even when he doesn't, which is probably something he needs to know. Also, I think it's kind of important to remember that Ford never wanted to be saved. As far as he was concerned, being on the wraith enzyme made him better and he just wanted to prove first that he was good enough for and then that he didn't need John or Atlantis anymore. You can't help someone who doesn't think they need to be helped.
Rodney with Teyla in labor, oh my goodness! Rodney delivering Teyla's baby! Words cannot describe the awesomeness of that whole scene. They just can't. It was wonderful.
So, Teyla is back safe and sound with her baby. Michael doesn't get his key to galactic domination and Rodney managed to recover the tool to destroying all of Michael's resources. So it seems pretty read that he is done with, especially with his ship getting blown to bits and all. Of course, there is the matter of the missing jumper to keep in mind. But for the most part, a happy ending here and a big threat dealt with, so all is well.
Of course, then there is the whole matter of Sam being removed from command. Logistically speaking, this was so Amanda Tapping could go work on Sanctuary full time, but from a story standpoint it is kind of screwed up and very sudden. Of course, it is totally in keeping with character for the I.O.A. They have been getting more and more grabby about trying to control Atlantis all through the past season. Deposing Sam and putting Woolsey in her place probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprising move.
Hmm, Woolsey in charge of Atlantis. Why does that seem familiar? Oh, right, because in the alternate timeline where everything went to hell that John just got back from, Woolsey was in charge of Atlantis. Uh oh. Though at least Sam is just reassigned and not dead, John isn't missing, Teyla's been recovered, and Michael has been neutralized. So...maybe it won't be as terrible as what we saw in our glimpse of the future last season, right?
I guess we'll find out.
"I'm pretty sure my leg is broken." (Lorne)
"I think I'm remarkably fine." (Rodney)
"Well isn't that wonderful. That brings me great comfort, thank you." (Lorne)
"I'm fine. It's just a couple of scrapes." (Rodney)
"Wow. Rodney McKay refusing medical help. Now I really know there's something wrong!" (Jennifer)
"We're getting a reading. The gate's been activated." (Sam)
"It's a classic wraith battle technique. They dial the gate, lock everyone out, make sure they can't escape." (Rodney)
"Well it's a good one." (Sam)
"Yeah, well, they're not idiots." (Rodney)
"If we get outta here, beer's on me boys. What do you like, uh, Duff Beer or Oprah Ale?" (John)
"Well, they don't watch The Simpsons or drink beer." (John)
"All right, how do you wanna play this?" (Ronon)
"Shoot until we can't shoot anymore." (John)
"As a rule, I like to keep daring rescues down to one a day." (Caldwell)
"It's closing." (Rodney)
"I see that." (John)
"It's closing quickly." (Rodney)
"I got it." (John)
"Now you need to catch him." (Teyla)
"Catch him?!?" (Rodney)
"Yes. You need to catch him when I push him out." (Teyla)
"Oh god. Okay, well just underhand him all right? I've never been good at baseball." (Rodney)
"How the hell are we supposed to get off the ship now?" (Ronon)
"I just delivered a baby! That's not enough for today?" (Rodney)
Whee! Well, that's season five started off with a bang. See you back here on Wednesday for the next episode, "The Seed."