Saturday, February 16, 2008

Midway [a.k.a. The Wraith Spanking]

The testosterone-heavy Stargate Atlantis, Midway was an outstanding stand alone and was easily the best of the last four episodes. Midway serves up the perfect blend of character drama, action and humor all in equal doses. Not to mention, it's always a pleasure to see the Wraith take a good old-fashioned ass-whooping.

The episode was laid out beautifully in 3 segments: Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy, the Midway Station and the S.G.C. on Earth [hey Gary Jones!] beginning with that warm, fuzzy feeling of Carter reuniting with Teal'c in Atlantis. He arrives with another great 'doo too.

The story centers on Carter's request to have Teal'c meet with Ronon Dex prior to Ronon's meeting with the I.O.A. so that Ronon might fair well in the interview with Mr. Coolidge back at the S.G.C.. It's brilliant to see the always stoic Teal'c come face to face with the strong, silent Ronon. It makes for some great on camera moments without much dialogue. Ronon is clearly disinterested in receiving any help from Teal'c and the hand-to-hand combat sequence is pure machisimo between the two! Fight proves two things. Ronon is a bad ass and Teal'c has become a wisened, Master Bra'tac-type bad ass! It's a draw and it's just pure darn stubborn, good ol' fashion warrior fun. Crazy kids.

When the time comes to travel to the S.G.C., Teal'c and Ronon meet up with Dr. Lee and the geek squad and must share quarters [and watch some dreadful Earth television in the form of The Three Stooges- damn! their exporting that stuff to space now!] for the required 24 hour quarantine period at the Midway station. Again, some great physical humor between Christopher Judge and Jason Momoa. Unexpectedly, the Midway point is overrun and commandeered by the Wraith.

In the second half, the two actors enjoy playing the proverbial "flys in the ointment" messing up the Wraith plans badly. They stop kicking each other's ass and start kicking Wraith ass! Did I mention Ronon and Teal'c are bad asses? Both head through the wormhole in hot Wraith pursuit who have knocked out all personnel at the S.G.C. with a stun device. Meanwhile, Shepherd and company arrive at the Midway to put a stop to the remaining pasty-faced ilk and kick more ass after Shepherd's boys receive their own ass plastering! Gotta love Shep! The guy is the best! Things heat up at the S.G.C. as many asses are spanked hard thanks to Ronon and Teal'c bringing things well in hand.

Some perfect dialogue for Dex and Teal'c throughout and appropriately limited. [I may be paraphrasing this example] Ronon: "You say that alot." Teal'c: "Say what?" Ronon: [immitating Teal'c] "Indeeed." Teal'c: "I hadn't noticed." As a whole, amazing performances all around with some great lines penned for all parties involved. It was a rollicking good time.

Oh, and Kavanaugh inadvertently blows the Midway station to kingdom come. This battle for Midway doesn't quite wind up like the one from 1942.

In the end, there's a respectful mentor/student-like nod by Dex to Teal'c following the interview. I think they like each other. Seeing Ronon flick Shepherd's nose in the final moments was classic.

A terrific installment with loads of great action and back and forth banter between a great cast. It was an unexpectedly strong outing. I was sick as a dog watching this one and it kind of picked up my spirits. Who needs a spoonful of sugar? We've got Atlantis.

Midway: A-

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