CliqueClack TV

Stargate Atlantis – Todd is back, and he brought zombies!

(Season 5, Episode 17 – “Infection”)

After a week off to examine the McKay/Keller relationship, it was time to get back to it. “Infection” brought the whole team back together again (Lorne too); paid off the nasty bit of business at the end of “The Lost Tribe“, as well as the Keller gene therapy from “First Contact“; and, most importantly, provided a reason for Todd to rejoin the story. It all added up to an action packed episode that managed a nice mix of that adventure with some interesting discussions on the gray areas of the Atlantis relationship with Todd. All that, and zombies. What more could you ask for?

Given that it was the root cause of Todd’s situation, let’s begin with the Keller gene therapy. There are certainly echoes of Michael and the retrovirus in this tale. The big difference, of course, being that Todd didn’t have the gene therapy forced on him. I was surprised to learn that not only had he been testing it, he used it on himself. I assumed, from his “What would we be?” question to Keller, that it wasn’t something Todd was likely to do any time soon. Then again, much like the retrovirus, it seemed to be working so well, right up until things went off the rails.

It makes one question just what the motivation for using the therapy was. Sweet, teddybear-like alien that he is, I don’t really see Todd developing a soft spot for humans and “doing the right thing.” The answer has to stem from a tactical advantage he would be afforded. Were we not so close to the end of the series, I’d be worried that we were heading for another situation like we saw with the replicators. A rogue army of burger-loving Wraith wiping out “food supplies.”

The real treat with Todd, though, is that he is such a gray area character. We saw the whole thing laid out again by Sheppard. There is certainly an upside to just blowing him up straight away. But then, he’s been useful in the past, and could prove useful again in the future. Oh, the conundrum. I was thrilled to see it play out with Todd gating off to give the Iratus bug treatment a go. Because, really, is there anyone that thinks it’s not going to work? It puts Todd squarely back in play, and that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t mind seeing both the Iratus bug, and the gene therapy, working as a precursor to Todd joining Atlantis in some capacity. I know, give him Keller’s job!

I can’t imagine Todd would pause in the middle of a crisis to ponder his inadequacy. That scene nailed down my biggest pet peeve with Keller. How did she ever get this gig in the first place? On the other hand, it could just be that the whole scene felt like it was forced in there in order to acknowledge the grand love affair that started with the hypothermic nookie in the jet plane. I just can’t get on board with the McKay/Keller thing. That probably doesn’t bode well for me and Universe, does it?

Getting back to the out-of-control hive ship … I was pretty happy with the way things played out. Passing the virus to the ship through the pods, leading to the malfunctions and the constant reconfiguring was a solid idea. And the addition of the wraith soldiers, sans masks and extra creepy, made for some great action. The new-found taste for meat made them the baddest zombies ever. It also set Sheppard up for one of my favorite lines. “Great. So we’re flying around in a giant tumor.”

Finally, how about our old friend Woolsey? Look at how he’s changed. He’s dealing with his own gray areas. When it first came out that he was taking over for Carter, the big question centered on how he would balance all of those rules with what needed to get done at Atlantis, and the influence of Sheppard. It’s changed him. And in the process, validated the decision to put him in charge, both in the writers doing it sense, and the IOA doing it sense.

All things considered, this is just the kind of episode I’m looking for as the show winds down. Cleaning up some loose threads while getting the whole team together, with the bonus of another Todd appearance, makes for a good hour. It does suck that the show is ending, but it looks to be headed out on a strong note.

Bonus link: If you have a few hundred extra bucks just burning a hole in your pocket, you can totally buy your very own, authentic, Iratus bug.

Photo Credit: Sci Fi

Categories: | Clack | Episode Reviews | General | TV Shows |

3 Responses to “Stargate Atlantis – Todd is back, and he brought zombies!”

December 6, 2008 at 11:49 PM

Sob! I can’t believe that there’s only three episodes left for Stargate Atlantis.

Todd has been the best adversarial character created on Stargate Atlantis. And Christopher Heyerdahl was terrific not only as Todd, but as Holling.

This was a very enjoyable episode. A nice romp in space, with a Wraith spaceship catching a cold, lots of gun fire, and some great lines.

Thank you again, Brett, for the terrific HD screen caps!

Best wishes to everyone at Clique Clack for a very joyous holiday season!

December 7, 2008 at 12:50 AM

Wonderful episode this week.
An oasis after the desert we walked through last week.
The Team, Todd, Todd and Shep, Lorne, Woolsey were great.
Teyla and Ronon were actually in this episode! Imagine that.
This is what Atlantis can be when they do it right and write for the SGA team.
I loved it.

December 7, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Eh, it should have been everything I like in an episode: team, Wraith, Todd, hive ship breaking up and crashing, lots of gunfire, but it just all felt so underwhelming this time. The acting and direction just seemed tired, like the series was almost over. Also kind of a waste of a Todd ep, to bring him back just to neuter him, as they did with the Weir ep earlier this year.

Also, did anyone else think the CGI of the front half of the hive hitting the ocean at that speed was really off? It should have skipped along the surface, or dove mostly under before surfacing again. Either way, a heck of a lot more water should have been displaced.

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