Hey there, and welcome to another installment of the Stargate Atlantis Rewatch! Today's episode up for discussion is season five's "Outsiders." Spoilers for the episode and any that came before, as always.
Carson is visiting an offworld village and offering medical treatment. John's team stops by to deliver some supplies and says they should last Carson for a while. He says he wishes that was true and explains that he's been dealing with a lot of infections in survivors of the Hoffan virus that Michael distributed. Teyla remarks that this planet was not one affected by that virus but Carson tells her that survivors of the virus from a world called Balar were taken in by this village when their own world was destroyed by the wraith. The wraith don't want to leave anyone out there immune to their feeding (and deadly to them), as the survivors of the virus become.
Carson introduces them to his assistant Novo, one of the Balaran survivors who has been helping him treat the villagers, and then invites them to stay for dinner. Carson leads them through the village and says he really is enjoying his work and is starting to feel like he is making a real difference. In the distance they hear a woman scream and look around the corner of a building to see a troop of wraith drones march into the village. Ronon thinks they can take the wraith but John is worried about the civilians. Teyla says this doesn't appear to be an ordinary culling.
A scientist wraith steps forward and asks who speaks for the village. He demands that the villagers turn over the survivors of Balar that they recently took in. He refuses to say why he wants them. The village leader, Elson, asks what happens if they don't comply and the wraith tells him a hive will be there by nightfall. If they resist his demands he will have the village destroyed from orbit. Everyone will die, rather than just a handful of outsiders.
Novo doesn't understand why the wraith would continue to hunt her people after destroying her world. Carson tells her the full truth of what being immune to the feeding means--that they are poisonous to the wraith. She fears that they will not be safe anywhere. Another Balaran, Sefaris, comes to see Novo and tells her that the village elders are meeting to discuss the situation. John goes to talk to them and tell them the full truth of the situation. One of the villagers, Jervis, seems willing to hand over the Balarans, though Elson is not so sure. John says that he might be able to help relocate the entire village, but they are not so keen to leave their homes behind.
Teyla and Ronon radio from the gate that it is not heavily guarded, just the group of wraith that came to the village. With John and Rodney's help they can take them out and get through the gate. John tells the elders that if they move quickly he can get everyone in the village to Atlantis, where they will be safe until they can be found a new home. Jervis pipes up that this is unacceptable. John says even if they do cooperate with the wraith that is no guarantee of safety. Elson reluctantly agrees to the evacuation plan.
John grabs Rodney and tells him what they've decided. He tells Carson to ready his patients to be moved. Teyla radios them that more wraith have arrived at the gate. She and Ronon are stuck at the gate for the time being and the original plan is off the table. John goes back to the elders and says they just need to think of a new plan. Jervis stirs the pot and says that if Elson isn't willing to act then he is and he storms off.
John and Elson go find Carson and Rodney and start to gather up the sick Balarans. John doesn't think they are safe in the clinic any more. He is right, Jervis rounds up a posse and starts hunting down the Balarans. He is less than pleased to find that Novo is not in her house. After he moves on to the next Balaran home, we see Novo and Sefaris hiding nearby. They realize they need to leave the village and start to make their way out only to be caught by Jervis' goons.
Ronon and Teyla make it back to the infirmary just ahead of Jervis, who busts in and demands the sick Balarans come with him. Carson jumps in front of him and tells Jervis to shoot them himself if he is going to turn them in, since giving them to a wraith is a death sentence anyway. Jervis can't bring himself to do it and Elson takes him and his men into custody. John says they need to keep working to move the villagers but Jervis tells him it is too late. More of his men are already on their way to the wraith the first group of captured survivors.
They lock Jervis up and try to decide where to take the villagers for hiding. The hive ship arrives and the wraith tells Novo and the rest of the captured Balarans that they are about to be moved to their new "home." Novo's friend Sefaris freaks out and tells the wraith that he wants to make a deal. Someone far more important than his people is hiding in the village. Spare their lives and he will take them to him. The wraith declines so Sefaris asks for just his own life then, and the wraith relents. Sefaris leads the wraith to the clinic where Carson and Rodney are gathering up the last of Carson's supplies. The wraith stun them both and Sefaris says he's held up his end of the bargain. The wraith agrees that is true but remarks that due to Sefaris' condition it is too risky to keep him alive. He clearly intends to kill the man anyway.
The rest of the team has moved most of the villagers to the mines below the village. John is concerned that Rodney and Carson still haven't shown up and goes to check on them. He gets to the village just in time to see some wraith beamed up into a dart along with Carson and Rodney. Carson and Rodney wake up in a cell on the hive ship and begin trying to find a way to escape. The wraith come for them and take them to a lab. Their leader explains that his top scientist had been working on figuring out a way to detect the toxin. Unfortunately, he died during his experiments. Sefaris told him that Carson has experience with the toxin, even worked on developing it. He wants Carson to come up with a way to detect it or he will kill everyone in the village.
John goes to see Jervis in his cell and ask how the wraith knew about Carson. Jervis swears he and his men are innocent of that crime. He suggests John asks the Balarans, thinking one of them might have tried to save his own skin at the cost of Carson's.
Carson has a small crisis of conscience, telling Rodney he can't help the wraith. He knows if he does they will hunt down everyone in the galaxy with the virus, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Then they can just go about feeding willy-nilly again. It is clear he still feels guilty about his involvement in the development of the drug in the first place. Rodney tries to assure him that none of this is his fault. He asks Rodney what he is supposed to do. Rodney tells him he just needs to stall--pretend like he's working long enough for them to find a way to escape.
On the planet John points out that the hive ship still hasn't attacked and wonders why. Teyla thinks it might have something to do with Carson and Rodney's capture. John says either way they need to use the time to come up with a plan. He thinks he has an idea.
On the hive, Carson finds something and demands to speak with the hive commander, telling Rodney to just wait there and everything will be fine. Carson tells the wraith that he's not going to help him. He says people will die no matter what he does, so he will not do anything. The wraith says in that case Carson is only useful to him in one way and goes to feed on him. The wraith collapses and asks what Carson has done. Carson tells him he was closer than he thought to perfecting the detector and he decided to do one more test just to be certain--on himself. He is infected--he believes Michael did it to keep other wraith from getting to him. The wraith dies and Carson takes his weapon, shooting his way back to the lab and Rodney. They destroy the research and then make their way through the ship, looking for a way out.
Rodney finds a terminal he can use to hack the ship's communications and tries to get John on the radio. He tells them they are on the hive and managed to escape. John says that is awesome but he needs their help. He needs Rodney to hack the ship's other systems to help pull off his plan to get the villagers to safety. Elson watches them confer.
A figure makes its way through the village and to the jail and we see that it is Elson. He gives Jervis the keys to the cell. He wants him to go to the wraith at the gate and get them to honor the original deal. Jervis says they will have to deliver all of the remaining Balarans at once. Elson tells him they are in the mine.
The other wraith find their dead commander and begin searching the ship for Rodney and Carson. Rodney is still working on whatever John asked him to do so he has Carson hold them off while he finishes his task. They get it done and then make for the dart bay. They both squeeze in to a dart but nothing happens, probably because there are two of them. The wraith track them and begin trying to break down the door. Rodney gets an idea.
Jervis and his men lead the wraith into the mine to where the Balarans are hiding. When they arrive, however, they don't find anyone. One of the wraith picks up an object from the ground and we see that it is a block of C4 with a blinking detonator attached. From outside, John's team and the villagers observe the explosion in the mine. John turns to Elson and tells him nice work.
The wraith on the hive get word of the explosion and that their troops are under attack. They try to open fire on the area around the stargate but their weapons don't respond. On the ground John, Teyla, and Ronon take out all of the wraith remaining around the gate and then dial it up, beginning to move the villagers offworld. On the hive, the wraith now in command says they cannot allow the villagers to escape and he orders the darts launched. The team holds off the darts long enough to get the villagers through the gate. One looks like it is about to get Teyla but instead of scooping her up it deposits Rodney and Carson in front of her. Rodney exclaimed that it worked and explains he reprogrammed the dart to rematerialize them and only discharge after that, knowing that without their main weapons the wraith would launch their darts and it would be their way off the hive. Everyone gets through the gate and they go home.
Back on Atlantis Rodney finds Carson in his lab. He tells Carson that Lorne's team has found a suitable planet for the villagers to move to. Rodney wants to hang out but Carson says he's got work to do. He thinks that something in the serum that keeps his cells from deteriorating might help the survivors of the virus since he isn't getting the same kind of infections. Rodney is clearly a little disappointed, and Carson relents, agreeing to take a break and spend some time with his friend. They head to the mess and Carson asks Rodney if he is seeing anyone these days.
This episode, for me, was pretty much all about Carson. Considering that he is kind of a secondary character these days, that was actually pretty nice. It helped to wrap up some of what's been going on with the Hoffan virus situation (and how the wraith are reacting to it), and it also helped to redefine his character's new purpose in the galaxy. I do kind of have to wonder what happened to Novo and the other Balarans that were in that first group sent to the wraith though. I don't think we ever found out. Bummer.
I did really like that Carson was so willing to stand up for himself and to others like Jervis. The way he took out that wraith commander was ballsy. Crazy. But ballsy. I think that knowing he is a clone has kind of freed him of some of the insecurities the original Carson was so caught up in. Also, it is completely amazing to me how easy it is to forget that he is a clone. I mean, look at his guilt over the development of the original Hoffan virus. He personally actually had nothing to do with that. That was all original flavor Carson. But he has that man's memories and for all intents and purposes, he was the one that worked with Perna and introduced that blighted thing to the galaxy. So damned if he isn't going to do everything in his power to work to fix it.
It was also very nice to get some of the friendship moments with Carson and Rodney as well. Early on in the series that was very heavily featured and it is nice to be reminded that as prickly as Rodney may seem outwardly, he still very much wants and needs to have his friends around. That kind of character development and continuity is the type of thing that always made this series shine for me.
"He and his men have been locked up, they will not be giving us any more trouble....Although I do not think it was necessary to stun them." (Teyla)
"Felt good though." (Ronon)
"God, is it just me or have they juiced up the stun weapons?" (Rodney)
"I've got lots of experience escaping from these things." (Rodney)
"You do?" (Carson)
"Oh yeah yeah, been in this situation dozens of times. Always figured a way out." (Rodney)
"How, exactly?" (Carson)
"Ah, let's see. Um, last time Teyla was posing as queen so um, you know, she had us released..." (Rodney)
"Not much chance of that happening." (Carson)
"No, I guess not." (Rodney)
"How about the time before that?" (Carson)
"Ronon's friend Tyr was pretending to be in league with the wraith but he was really on our side so...he let us out." (Rodney)
"I'm starting to sense a pattern here. You've actually never really escaped from one of these cells on your own, have you?" (Carson)
"First time for everything, right?" (Rodney)
"So, interested in anyone these days?" (Carson)
"Me? No. I don't have time for that..." (Rodney)
"You're a terrible liar Doctor McKay. Tell me, tell me, tell me!" (Carson)
Another episode down, wow, only eight left for the whole series! See you back here on Monday for "Inquisition."