Did up my spoiler-laden review of "This Mortal Coil". Under the cut.
THIS MORTAL COIL
I’m going to ramble.
I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, it was a decent (good but not great) episode, with excellent production values, not too many plot holes, but… there were far too missed opportunities, easily guessed twists as there was, sorry to say, a similarity to SG1’s season one episode “Tin Man” and another SG1 episodes whose title escapes me, the where the Tin Men characters came back and then heroically sacrificed themselves to save the real team.
Stuff I liked…
The object strikes the city. McKay mumurs “Thank god it hit the reading library. Somebody really could have gotten hurt.” So, no one reads on Atlantis? ;)
Sheppard and Lorne arguing a little over the gate/probe threat. This is the kind of conflict of opinion we should see every once in a while between Sheppard and Carter.
Sheppard and Ronon in their stick fighting. Geez, working out a little aggression there, are we? ;) Interesting how the team noticed the change in people before Sheppard did, but if he’s doing command stuff he’s got his head buried in paperwork. And oh, it’s sooo official now: Ronon just likes to beat up on Sheppard. It’s his hobby. Beat him, stun him… ;) It makes him smile. Scary man.
Keller as a doc was scary – as in the please don’t even let the woman put a bandaid on you type scary. Her lack of medical knowledge was the first incredibly obvious sign she wasn’t Keller. On the plus side, her ignorance of all things medical means the replicators know little about human medicine. But then since to replicators, the only good human is a dead human, I guess the point is moot.
Ah, the Twilight Zone paranoia rears its ugly head. Keller and Lorne in collusion! Conspiracy!
Enjoyed the camera shot through the water (at the 10 minute mark, minus ads).
Keller and Sheppard. She’s so ‘okey-doke,things are fine” and Sheppard’s getting testy.
I love how everybody is accusing poor McKay of breaking things (Sheppard – you broke the gate; Ronon – you broke the computer, etc.)
Sheppard and Teyla seeing his medical scan, full of nanites. Lovely worried expressions. Fortunately the actors can put a heckuva lot into facial expressions when not given dialogue.
Okay, the ‘we made you out of flesh with nanites’ was a different twist. Not robots or replicators but sorta new and improved humans.
RepliKeller telling RepliWEir that the real Weir is dead, bumped off by Oberoth cuz she was a dangerous influence.
Like in SG1’s Tin Man/ alternate universe storylines, the characters reaction sorta the same: the alien (Teal’c/Ronon) isn’t deeply metaphysical. He thinks he’s the original and that’s it. And the replicators can’t ascend, not really. I mean that would be a like a toaster ascending…
Sheppard: “We’re genetically predisposed to being stubborn... and really pesky.”
My favorite scenes were with Weir and Sheppard. RepliWeir and RepliShep in the back of the jumper discussing what to do next, and RepliWeir so pragmatic about the situation, thinking how lucky she is to be the only one and doesn’t have a duplicate out there to worry about. And then Sheppard’s and Rodney’s faces when RepliWeir shows up on the screen in Atlantis. Just total shock, and when she tells them she’s not the real deal, you can just see how crestfallen Sheppard is at that revelation.
Sheppard: “The last time I came face to face with myself I ended up kicking my own ass.”
Interesting to see the team face themselves:
Ronons in a staredown.
McKay’s in ego lovefest
Teylas just watching the others
Sheppard’s just living with it and getting down to brass tacks
But… sorta predictable, wouldn’t you say?
Sheppard: Is that even a word?
McKay1: Of course it is.
McKay 2: We can’t both be wrong.
Sheppard asking about “our Elizabeth.” But then I have a quibble about that (below).
The Ronon/Teyla duos in the woods talking about their counterparts. It was nice to see them actually have some dialogue, but, quibble (below).
The Sheppard-RepliWeir discussions were good. Elizabeth is and always had been more pragmatic one of the two, while Sheppard does like to avoid the nasty realities of some situations until he’s kicked in the face with it.
After the crash, when RepliSheppard sits up, blood on his face and that creepy look on his face. It was great. Well, until he got bumped off.
The BEST scene in this episode was at the end, with Zelenka and Rodney, the latter working himself into oblivion to avoid thinking about Weir.
McKay: Seriously. If it wasn’t for the replicators and their plan to wipe out every human in the galaxy, I’d be in pretty bad shape right now. No, this is Carson all over again and I’m just not ready to deal ... not yet.”
And then Sheppard comes in later, Rodney still hard at work, and tells Rodney that they’re shipping Elizabeth’s personal effects back to Earth because he’d held on to the hope they’d get her back. Aw……….. even Rodney felt that too, and then, that said, Sheppard (avoiding the emotional stuff) decides to leave, until the computer spits out the info.
Rodney’s “oh crap” at the end.
When is Teyla gonna tell everybody she’s pregnant? When she suddenly goes “Oh, my water broke”??? Come on, guys!
Why do folks never just prick someone to get blood? This slicing across hands is well, just stupid. I mean, if the person is human, you could easily do a lot of damage. I know, it’s more spectacular but a quick stab to a thumb or heel of palm is gonna bleed just as well.
I was really surprised that nobody thought, hey, maybe a replicator ship might have a RepliLoJack on it. I mean if the wraith track their runners, and if the replicators can ‘reach out’ to drag their members back to the collective (like with Niam), then hey, RepliLoJacks aren’t out of the question.
Sheppard asking about ‘our Elizabeth’ and then, then just cut to the woods with a ‘wow, she’s dead.’ I’m not sure why the writers deny the viewers deeply emotional moments like this. The actors are capable of delivering, but maybe the writers aren’t capable of writing it.
The replicators are still crappy dressers. Did they copy their wardrobe from the old 50s tom Corbett shows?? Aieee…
The RepliTeam is dead. Just like that. Almost as an afterthought.
Overall, good, but… lacking somehow. Didn’t help that SciFi blew away so many spoilers with their dumb ads but even with those spoiled bits, it still went along rather well, but I would have preferred the revelation of RepliTeam come sooner, so we could have had more time with the real team and RepliTeam confronting each other and coming to the ‘well, we’ll sacrifice ourselves for you, ourselves, you know.” Instead, they just flew off into the sky and got blown up. Basically. No metaphysical discussion on who is really dead or “wow, didn’t think I’d die like this.” And while I liked seeing Elizabeth again, even as a RepliWeir, is that it? I hope to hell we get to see more as it would be a waste to just have her vanish after this episode. I honestly didn’t see any advancement for Elizabeth, but I fear the writers will “pull a Ford” and she’ll be out of sight out of mind. Not dead, mind you, as nobody dies in scifi. Excuse me while I pfftt pfft at that.
There were some great parts to this episode, mostly the emotional parts when the team is reunited with Elizabeth, or mourns her death, but I don’t want it left there.
I didn’t really see this as part one or a cliffhanger, but just another episode that could stand alone, which in some respects, is sorta sad, as Weir is now out of the picture, isn’t she?
And when it was all said and done, I went, ah okay, but NOT wow or anything like that.
And that’s all I felt like typing up. Would have done it Friday but was too busy decorating my Dalek for Xmas ;)