Last night was the final Stargate Atlantis episode and we sat through, box of keelnex in hand, ready for the long goodbye. So long, SGA... and thanks for all the nonsensical space jargon, spoilers.
Todd the Wraith is back, bringing a plot point with him. Turns out Todd is a crappy leader and his crew turned on him, but not without leaving him valuable knowledge of a Super Wraith Hiveship with a ZPM (If you're wondering, "ZPM" basically means "indestructible"). Also, turns out the bad guys also have the Super Secret Wraith Code that punched through the fabric of space in last week's CSI Stargate episode (which I loved). So, the Wraith baddies now have a Hive that's headed straight to Earth that no one can beat. Todd is moved to the brig and pretty much forgotten: Thanks for the help, Todd, now go away while we use your valuable information to create a show around.
But back to the task at hand: bad Wraiths headed to Earth. Time to call Amanda Tapping and other past SG-1ers. Tapping dons the old Samantha Carter wig and delivers a heart-felt tip of the hat to Stargate cast member Don S. Davis (General Hammond) who passed away last year, and she explains that top Stargate brass renamed the Phoenix the General Hammond. It was a truly nice moment, and I'm glad the producers saw it fit to memorialize this actor who was an important part of the franchise. And then Dr. Peter Kavanagh pops his head in so that McKay can flair his nostrils and come close, so close, to having a funny moment. But it passes.
Atlantis has to high tail it over to Earth to protect our home planet, and Sheppard powers up a ship to fight Wraith in the air over on Earth. Quality time is wasted with science jargon and McKay discovers that their Stargate will take them into the super-bad Wraith ship, which means the others will have to actually fight.
Woolsey takes Teyla and Ronon aside and tells them that this is the last call if they want to bail. Of course, they say hells no and adorable Woolsey smiles. This isn't really a super important moment in the grand scheme of this episode, but it did demonstrate (in a very heavy-handed Stargate way) how far Woolsey has come as a character. Robert Picardo, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and you made Woolsey's climb from by-the-book boss to accepted member of the crew enjoyable... if not believable. Thank you for joining the cast and bringing your own touch of elegance to the Pegasus galaxy.
So together, guns ablazin', the crew (minus Sheppard, 'cause he's on Earth, but with one possibly gay Lorne) sets upon destroying the evil Wraith ship via Stargate. More fighting and finally something happens! Ronon gets shot and has a heavy breathing death scene. "Holy crap!" I cried, a plot point that has some sort of weight upon the characters. This is sad and unfortunate, but it's war and war is hell. Sometimes people have to die to save an entire planet. Goodbye Ronon, you were a warrior and deserved to go out in the thick of battle, Jesus Christ, is he getting healed? WHAT?!? HE'S STILL ALIVE! WHY, WHY, Why, why... Oh wait, it's Stargate. I forgot.
I was tremendously disappointed when Ronon came back to life. Then I remembered that NO ONE DIES ON STARGATE ever, so why would the final episode be any different? In fact, it was right at this point in the episode that I stopped looking for a grand finale and set back and just enjoyed Stargate for what it was: simple. It would have been wrong, no matter how climactically interesting, to kill off a character because it would be going against the grain of Stargate. I gave up wanting more and embraced SGA for all that it had been. What was I thinking? Of course Ronon is going to come back and have long-haried babies that punch things and like guns.
So Ronon doesn't die and the Earth is saved because Atlantis splashes down in the nick of time and some sciency stuff that doesn't make any sense.
Moving forward. Hey it's what's-her-face! She's happy because Ronon isn't dead, but not surprised because she knew that by being a member of the Stargate team they are both issued passes on the "we'll live forever" train. She says some words and Ronon gives her the old bedroom eyes and says he wasn't going to die because "there's still something he needs to do," which I assume means breed. It wouldn't be Stargate without cramming in a forced relationship in somewhere. But why Ronon? Because he's the jilted ex lover of Dr. Keller? And by "lover" I mean "someone he shared screen time with"? So he's upset, but not truly deeply upset, but now he's happy because he'll get walking from what's-her-face. Either way, everyone is now happy because no one died, not like they ever would.
The crew then gathers on the balcony over looking what I assume is San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge (but I thought the map showed the splash down for Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but whatever! It's prettier this way). UPDATE: Finally got a chance to check out the map again, it's all good. But it's too bad the world didn't get a chance to see Atlantis, as it was cloaked.
Like a group of Austrian brothers and sisters tired from a long night, the SGA crew assembles on the balcony overlooking a world unaware of just how close it came to being Wraith slaves. Together they stand, for their final farewell clasping onto each others' shoulders and snuggling tight in their quickly-created relationships.
Was it a great farewell, bring-down-the-house episode? Nope. Did it masterfully let McKay and Sheppard spar in the witty banter as only those two know how? Sure didn't. Do I wish that the writers spent less time trying to justify the plot with science jargon and more time on the funny dialog that made SGA beloved by many? Yes. But the final moment is still rooted in love as the cast looked upon the Earth with glistening eyes. You could tell this was the last scene they shot together as a group, and it was the long hug the dedicated fan deserved. In fact, "Enemy At The Gate" really felt like just another jumbled Stargate episode until this final moment, and it was sad. It was exactly what I expected, but didn't really desire, but it was still Stargate through and through. McKay got to fix everything by typing, Sheppard did all the leg work, and no one died. I will miss SGA very much because when it was good it was a welcome relief from the overwrought, depressing and brutal scifi out there, but still treated each episode with dignity (even when McKay was a girl). So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye, Stargate Atlantis.