Warning: this review contains massive spoilers for those who have not seen Atlantis 4.10 "This Mortal Coil".
It was a little strange.
This episode had an awful lot. Replicated Atlantis Team, duplicate Atlantis, the return of Elizabeth Weir… a lot was crammed in here.
And it wasn’t bad.
Nope. In fact, it was pretty good until the last 5 minutes, when the writers seemed to decide that they’d got bored of telling this story and that they’d wrap it up as quickly as possible, killing whoever necessary in the time being.
The writers crafted an excellent set-up which fell flat on its face, and felt more than a little insulting – is that really the end of Weir? To die facelessly in a Jumper crash? Is the original Weir really dead? I hope not. If she is, they just butchered her character ruthlessly.
And why oh why can Atlantis not learn to ditch the clichéd bad-guy talk. "That won’t be necessary" as the Evil Major Lorne strolls in the through the door. Okay guys, we got the idea 14 seasons ago when SG-1 started.
There’s a lot of good from this episode though. Good Sheppard/Weir scenes, and a great moment for Rodney and Zelenka towards the end, not to mention that ominous last scene with the hundreds of Asuran battleships appearing on the screen. Jewel Staite turned in a good performance as Keller this week, something that was lacking in "Missing". Good to see.
The set up was clever and well presented, and the story had a great deal of potential. They were just starting to explore the moral dilemma presented by the RepliClones(tm) when the writers again decided that they’d rather not take the challenging route, and instead they’d just kill off the ethical pickle. For a show supposedly keen to explore its darker nature, it failed miserably here.
Oh, and where’s Carter? Does she run the base when she’s not busy restyling her hair now? It’s feeling more and more like she’s only in the credits to clock up another year of contractual obligation, but I eagerly await being proved wrong. Do I think I will be? I doubt it, I’m too much like Rodney McKay for my own good.
That said, we’ll see how the second part turns out in a few weeks time (no six month break this year!). Maybe it’ll redeem the ending here a little, although I’m not hopeful.
Overall Rating: 6/10