There are no "previouslies" this week on the actual show, so allow me to sum up for you: Atlantis didn't explode, but the Wraith think it did; Ford joined the T'Pol School of Space Exploration and got doped up on space crack -- the first time was an accident, but then, isn't that always the way?; Ford developed superpowers, outfoxed Sheppard and ran away; Sheppard had angst; Elizabeth got Sheppard promoted to Lt. Colonel, followed by eyefuckage; Assistant Director Walter Skinner, after mysteriously vanishing from The X-Files series finale, got assigned a new identity and command of the Daedalus; trelkez posted a photo essay of how we should all embrace our new cast member, best known as Shirtless Guy.
We open in dark woods. Two characters we have never met -- a military dude and a random science geek -- are tramping along with flashlights. Military Dude, who probably came on the Daedalus, seems to be disappointed that his tour of duty exploring "strange new worlds" is less Captain Kirk than the brochure indicated, while Science Geek geeks out about ozone depletion and how the sunlight on this planet is Very Very Bad (remember that, there will be a test later). besyd thinks they're sort of a doppel!Sheppard-and-McKay (with not!Shep being shorter and not!McKay being... less mean), but they remind me more of two hapless people who would be totally eaten by the Jersey Devil in about thirty seconds if this was an episode of The X-Files.
It seems I'm not the only one who notices the similarity in the landscape and flashlights and what-have-you, because we get a creepy camera shot from the top of a tree and the soundtrack kicks in to very Mark Snow-esque music of great impending doom. Sadly, Military Dude and not!McKay do not get torn limb from limb, but only stumble across a dead Wraith. Military Dude radios some other people we have never met, identifying himself as Lorne and the Wraith as a "dead sucker," who has been dead no more than a day. "All I know is that he didn't do that to himself," he says, and the camera helpfully pans up to show Ford in a do-rag of evil sitting at the top of a tree. "FORD!" I shriek. Aaaaaaand... credits!
Sucky, sucky new credits! Fortunately, as they are only ten seconds long, that cuts down on how long I have to hate them every week. Also, for those of you keeping track, and I know you are, Rainbow Sun Francks is still listed among the regular cast, and before Jason Momoa.
'lantis! Weir already knows what's going on, and she, Sheppard and Lorne bring Teyla up to speed about the Wraith body -- 1) it's dead, and 2) it was killed with bullets. Teyla suspects the Genii. Those of you on redshirt patrol: "Coughlin and Reed" are mentioned as currently guarding the evil sun planet (I'm so pleased that we can have another show giving a character named Reed nothing on-screen to do, aren't you?).
Beckett comes in with a midterm report on the autopsy: the Wraith's enzyme sac has been removed ["There's something very dirty about 'enzyme sac.'" -- Pooh]. Shep looks at Weir (eyefuckage!) and deduces, "Ford." McKay strolls in and we exposit the dead Wraith situation again for those just now switching over from... you know what? I have no idea what shows are on any other channels on Fridays. Sci-fi pwnz my soul! Anyway, Wraith: dead. Ford: possibly responsible. Sheppard: real excited. Just one problem, says Rodney: the UV index on Planet Blister In The Sun (P3M-736) is "something like a thousand," which I translate to layman's terms as "really fucking bad news." Sheppard advises sunscreen, because he's a brave soldier man. Rodney flusters, "I want to get Ford back just as much as everyone else, but have you seen my complexion?" Teyla shoots him a look of muted exasperation that just can't be described, says "Yes," and walks out. "Yes! It's... very fair!" Elizabeth gives a "now, Rodney" look, like he's four years old, and he pouts, "This isn't fair." Hee!
SKINNERRRRR! Sheppard isn't nearly as happy to see him as I am, as evidenced by a dramatic eyeroll when Skinner stops John's mad dash through the control tower. "We've got a bead on Ford," says Shep. Skinner has already heard. "That was fast." I'll say! "Base protocol dictates that all senior officers be notified of situations Code Orange and above," is Skinner's excuse, but dude, he would've had to be hiding in Weir's office closet or something. And no, that was not meant to be a fic bunny. Shep takes this opportunity to zing: "How does that go again? Red, orange, blue or the other way around... you mind if we go over that when I get back?" Something tells me Shep has spent much of his life getting slapped. ["I want to be the one slapping Sheppard all the time. Totally not for kink. Just for... um, discipline." -- Pooh]
Shep continues in petulent-mode, "You don't have to remind me of our respective positions or that you outrank me." "I was wondering if I needed to remind you to stop being an ass," says Skinner. Well, that, or that Ford is a significant threat to Atlantis, and that, friend or no friend, Sheppard needs to neutralize that threat by whatever means necessary. Sheppard insists that he's going to "find him and bring him back." Skinner points out that Beckett doesn't think anything can be done for Ford, which is important because it means everyone who ever talks to Ford ever again will be lying on this particular point, and also because it makes me SCREAM AT THE TV! NOOOOO!! MY BOY MUST BE SAVED!
John gets up in Skinner's face and "with all due respect"s him, but Skinner continues that Ford is now SuperFord, is no longer Sheppard's "friend" (SlashWatch!), and could seriously compromise all of Atlantis. Sheppard is "duty-bound" to "do what's right." Sheppard looks totally horrified, which makes me want to hug him, and damn you, Skinner, for trying to make me hate you! GRRR! And then, because today is his day to really be mean, he continues: "You didn't seem to have a problem with mercy when it came to Colonel Sumner." Oh, Skinner, the Sumner angst is so last season. Sheppard totally looks like he's about to cry. His jaw twitches! We at home wibble for him, because it's very hot. He totally deserves comfort sex from Elizabeth later.
Planet of Deadly Sun. Nighttime. Puddle-jumper. Very dramatic and triumphant music thrums on the soundtrack for no particular reason. There's some Sheppard/McKay snark about how McKay Is Always Right, and then about how they're all going to be horribly irradiated. Search plans, etc. What I want to know is, for all McKay's concern about radiation poisoning, aren't there other problems inherent to a planet without an ozone layer? Like asphyxiation and death? I hope someone will enlighten me as to the science of all of this. Anyway. Sheppard is all, "How come it smells like I'm on vacation?"
McKay: "Could it be the simulated tropical aroma of cocoa butter?" No, McKay, someone smuggled cheap beer onto the puddle-jumper when no one was looking. Also, hee.
Sheppard: "Strong enough for anyone within five miles to smell you."
McKay: "Like they haven't been tipped off by the Aqua Velva?"
AHAHAHA. McKay: 1. Sheppard: 0. Sheppard apparently hates Lorne, and so pairs him up with McKay. Lorne, who also wasn't told about all the slashy undertones of space travel, declines the offer of McKay's homemade suntan oil. Good grief.
No, seriously, how slashy is this show?
Woods of terror. Shep and Teyla Mulder-and-Scully around with flashlights, investimagating the Wraith crime scene and discussing how weird it is that a lone Wraith would be running around the woods of British Columbia. Teyla whips out her hunter-gatherer tracking ski11z and sets them on a trail.
Elsewhere. McKay asks about Lorne's "special training," in context of how, exactly, these special military folk become qualified to go on missions like this. Lorne awesomes, "And by 'this mission' you mean 'hunting down a skilled weapons expert hopped up on Wraith drugs in the pitch black of an alien planet'? Actually, I skipped that course in Major School." Lorne? I love you, even if you're short. He then explains why McKay is even on this mission -- which I'd been wondering, giving the bitching and carrying-on and the lack of both melatonin and proper training in SAR -- which is the hope that Ford will just up and turn himself in upon seeing a "friendly face." Because that worked oh so well in "Seige III."
If there were any McKay/Ford slashers out there, Rodney proceeds to dash all their hopes: "Oh, yeah, when we weren't out on harrowing missions together, we used to hang out together. I'd share my dreams of a self-sustaining fusion, he would talk of how you could sever a man's torso with a P-90." Those of us who write fanfic where everyone on Atlantis have drinking-and-movie nights together and make each other friendship bracelets slink quietly away. I fucking love this show. The banter is brought to a less-than-abrupt halt when Lorne sees something move and McKay still doesn't know his hand signals.
Woods of Sheyla. In a subtle detail that I will pretend is totally intentional, Teyla The Huntress hears perhaps-Ford before Sheppard does, because she's woodsy like that. Shep calls out for Ford, and makes the slashers happy by saying "It's John!", although I suspect that the first-name usage was less about the slash and more about Shep realizing this isn't precisely the right moment to announce his new promotion. Teyla, all plaintively: "Aiden, listen to me." My double-standard kicks in here, because now I believe again that First Names Are Love. Squeee! She babbles more, only want to talk, want to help you, etc., and then there is what closed captioning calls a [loud rustling] and she bolts off towards it to FIND HER BOY! Sheppard follows. I squeee to myself and continue my usual passtime of inferring 'ship into scenes where not all parties are actually present.
McKay and Lorne. Lorne's all, "Talk to him!" McKay, who has seen the X-Files before and recognizes these particular Woods Of Certain Death, is all, "but what if it's not him!?" Lorne manhandles him up to standing, and about six slashy fanfics instantly appear on ff.net. "It's your best friend Rodney... Rodney McKay." Oh, that Rodney. "Everyone misses you back at Atlantis." YES! YES WE DO! *criz* Although by 'everyone' I suspect he means 'Teyla. And Shep, too, but mostly because he was absolved for the whole Sumner thing two episodes back and doesn't have anything else to angst over.' Rodney... Rodney McKay continues to babble until Lorne sees something moving and takes off in a run. He radios Shep that they are in "pursuit of suspect." Shep, over in his own neck of the woods, is all "No, we are!" They argue about this for about two lines of dialogue, and then OUT OF NOWHERE Teyla gets hit by flying red beam and TOTALLY FLIPS AROUND in mid-air and lands flat on her back. Eep! That is going to smart.
Lorne and McKay lose track of Ford. Shep gets hit by what looks like an Intar blast and collapses with less athletic merit than Teyla, but more moaning. Lorne on radio: "wtf!?" My TV: blatant Sheppard crotch shot for like five minutes. I think mspooh is totally bribing the editing guy. ["You think baking a cake was a bit too much?" -- Pooh]
Commercials. Teyla and Shirtless Guy (who is actually wearing a shirt, though I feel the ad for Atlantis would be more effective if he wasn't) have serious purple-promo eyefuckage. I think Sparky has some competition now in that department.
'lantis. Elizabeth paces around her control room balcony. Lorne is on the radio, and I will transcribe this exactly for entirely selfish reasons: "We haven't heard from them since 26:30 Atlantis Standard Time." I was RIGHT! They totally DO have 28 hours in the day! I WIN AT FANDOM!! However, according to my darling friend pirateelmo, who works at a sleep lab (where, sadly, she does not get paid to sleep), the human body can't adjust to a length of day that's that different from 24 hours, and therefore, everyone will be phenomenally cranky and bitchy about every 4 days. Presumably, the Ancients fixed this bug in the Pegasus humans, since we know Athos had really short days, but the Earthlings must kinda hate it. That, or they've managed to make it so that, instead of everyone being bitchy every four days, every fourth person is bitchy all the time, which would explain Skinner and McKay. Hermiod, alas, is not human and has no excuse.
Meanwhile, back on the actual show, Elizabeth tries to hide her deep and flailing concern for Shep by, er, calmly promising to send more redshirts and some radiation suits. She asks about Ford, and Lorne suggests that they might be dealing with an entirely different raving lunatic. And there's a conundrum for Elizabeth -- would you rather Sheppard be in the hands of Ford, who we all know and love but who nearly took Beckett's head off a few times in the season premiere, or with a totally random and yet often shirtless stranger? The scene ends with Elizabeth looking sad and worried, and wondering whether it might be better for her blood pressure to have a lover who doesn't try to get himself killed every Friday. Awww.
Cave set. Sheppard and Teyla are tied up together. (Oh, not like that -- they're unconscious). Sheppard has got some serious pointy ears on him (and yet continues to resist logic at every turn. Curious.) A rather feral-looking human roots through their stuff. Sheppard wakes up, and blearily asks, "Ford?" Shirtless Guy, who is actually wearing a shirt, shoots him a look like, dude, just because I have dreadlocks doesn't mean I'm pretending to be black, so shut up. Teyla wakes up and complains that "[her] head is pounding". ShipWatch: unable to successfully execute eyefuckage when tied together back to back, Teyla tries to nuzzle him with the back of her head. Er... don't ask me, I'm just recapping this. John totally doesn't notice. However, this touching Sheyla moment is short-lived, because John calls her attention to Shirtless Guy, and ta-da! A NEW OTP IS BORN!
(By the way? I want fanfic where John and Elizabeth are held captive and tied up together. You know, for those of you making Christmas lists.)
Shirtless Guy, instead of taking off his shirt to impress the lady, walks over all menacing caveman-like at them with a P-90. Shep complains that the safety is off, and, in response, Shirtless Guy cocks the weapon and points it at Shep's head. Heh. Shep: "Okay, be that way." He then asks a bunch of "no, seriously, why the hell are we here?" questions, but Shirtless Guy is the strong, silent type and says nothing. Shep consents to go first, and enunciates the hell out of introducing himself as "Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard." Shirtless Guy: "Colonel?" I personally find it appalling that even an alien who has never heard of Earth before knows to shorten that particular rank to 'Colonel' and, as besyd was complaining about during "Avalon I", no one on SG-1 seems to be able to manage it. Shirtless Guy introduces himself as "Specialist Ronon Dex, name and rank." Sheppard: "Military?" Ronon used to be.
It appears that Ronon also suffers from Cameron Mitchell Flashback Syndrome, because the dramatic music of Shit Is Blowing Up whooshes us back to a quick shot of Shirtless Guy (still wearing a shirt, dammit!) shooting at Wraith darts, and a glimpse of an industrial-era city. That's all well and good, but Shep wants to know what he and his shirt are up to now. "Now I'm deciding whether to kill you and your friends." How nice. Shep thinks, "I could totally threaten someone more convincingly than that." Teyla just shoots him a dirty look.
Puddle-jumper. Lorne commands the search teams to spread out and report "anything unusual. I mean anything unusual at all." Oddly, McKay in a bright orange jumpsuit doesn't count as unusual in my world anymore, either, so nobody mentions it. Of course, he's the only one to don protectivewear, because all the others are protected by their machismo, SPF 1000. McKay seems genuinely concerned for their health as he tries to convince them otherwise, but Lorne is all dense brush, rough terrain, possible combat, etc., which is consistent with his stance from the teaser that global warming is totally boring and unimportant since it can't actually stick its hand into your chest and suck the life out of you in a literal way. McKay is all, millisieverts! Radiation! OMG! He has been keeping a "running tally" of his lifetime exposure to radiation: "X-rays, cell phones, plane rides, that whole unfortunate Genii nuclear reactor thing." Continuity! He also mentions the whole Corona Of Death thing of last week, when Hermiod totally declared him and Shep dead of radiation. He fails to mention the two nuclear bombs detonated over Atlantis in the past six months, but I suppose those are negligible in the face of cell phones and X-rays. In short: "As it is, I may have to forego reproducing!" Lorne, who is also short (I can't help it! It's distracting me!), thinks this is an excellent idea. He does not, however, mention that there is a female component to reproduction anyway which McKay might not have considered, so I point it out on his behalf.
Cave set. Shirtless guy is slathering... something... over his pecs, and my brain is kinda melting, so I can only assume it's got something to do with the sun. It might just be gratuitous, though. You never can tell. Also: Ronon? Why are you still fully dressed? I can't keep calling you Shirtless Guy if you're not going to take your shirt off! Shep is not as impressed by this little muscle display as the viewers at home, and proceeds to try his hand at some threatening, warning Ronon about all the soldiers and guns and whatnot between him and the Stargate. Bargaining. Shep will tell the others to stand down if Ronon unties them. Ronon asks, in the SLOWEST. VOICE. IMAGINABLE., why he should trust them. "That's a good question," says Shep, who then proceeds to defer it to the brains of the operation. Teyla repeats that they mean Ronon no harm (see, Shep, it wasn't that hard!), but she says it with big trust meeeee, my Ford is crazy and missing! but if we don't find him I'll totally have lots of unresolved sexual tension and stickfights with you! eyes, and adds that they're only here looking for "a friend."
Flash back! Ronon running, Wraith chasing. FOOOORD! Ford kills the Dead Wraith from the teaser and evilly whips out a knife to divest him of his enzyme sac. That does sound dirty.
Cave. Ronon repeats what we just saw, and adds that the Wraith was "hunting" him. Ronon's all, "Why are you looking for him?" Teyla: "His name is Aiden Ford and our love totally never had a chance! Also, he is sick. He needs our help." She will cure him with sex! She will! Ronon flashes back to Ford's creepy crack!eye and wonders whether Teyla has a thing for scars. "I thought he'd been in the sun too long." Well, if he declared himself God and started killing off villagers to build him a monument, Ronon might have a good case going. There's a bit of back-and-forth with Sheppard giving really vague unhelpful answers to direct questions, until Ronon is all "dude, what the heck is going on, EXACTLY." Sheppard: "It's complicated." No, it isn't! Ford got messed up by the Wraith and is confused, so they want to bring him back home! Can we let Teyla talk again, please?
Woods of Sunny Damnation. Lorne bitches at McKay to speed up, while McKay michelin-mans that he can't walk any faster in the radiation suit and complains about the heat. Lorne's all "I'm nice and cool, yo, but I'm totally going to die horribly of all kinds of cancer!" He doesn't actually say that. It probably isn't true, either, because this show will find another painful death for him before that can happen. ["You did NOT just jinx Lorne." -- Pooh] Anyway. McKay ends up taking off his helmet. No, really, that's the entire point of the scene.
Cave. Shep explains how the Wraith crack works, and Ronon flashes back to getting fed on by a Wraith and glaring really hard at it instead of the usual screaming. Because Ronon is hardcore. Back in the cave, the radios crackle. Ronon: "?" Sheppard: "Radios." Teyla: "Communication devices." I love the subtle things about Teyla's rather neither-fish-nor-fowl relationship between the Earthlings and the rest of the Pegasus galaxy. I also love that, after a year with the Athosians, John "Hail Mary" Sheppard still hasn't learned to footnote Earth lingo for his alien friends. Ronon goes outside with the radio, and Teyla grabs Shep's ass. No, really. Shep: "What the hell are you doing?" Ah, the voice of true love. Although the fact that he seems to prefer being tied up next to Teyla than, say, try to escape like the military man he is does make a compelling argument. Teyla's all, "Getting my hand free, you dork." Shep: "Doesn't feel like that." After getting randomly jumped by Elizabeth in the control tower in "Seige III," I suppose it's understandable that he expects to be fondled by his female coworkers at random intervals.
Woods of Newfound Slashy Romance. The snarky honeymoon appears to be in full swing. McKay can't tell time. Lorne teases him for being a genius. McKay's all excited about the possibility to share the details of his IQ scores, and then realizes he's being set up just in time for Lorne's "Something must've kept Colonel Sheppard from shooting you all this time." I'm sure the ten thousand McKay/Sheppard slashers might have a few answers for that. McKay waves it off all "pshaw!", but before all my het-ness ebbs away, Lorne gets shot with a Wraith stun blast. Rodney freaks out, but our culprit turns out to be... FOOOORD!! Ford and his do-rag of evil calmly request that McKay put his gun down before he accidentally shoots someone, and then walks up and takes McKay's gun anyway. Then he buddy-pats McKay on the arm and is all Ford-giddy: "Good! Now you and me'll have the chance to catch up!" I've got to say, Ford being Ford in this episode is WAY, WAY creepier than the moments when he's being all cracked out.
Ford disarms Lorne and takes away McKay's radio. McKay's all, "we can't leave my new boyfriend!" Ford's all "it's cool, he'll be fine," in a nice and rational way but when McKay tries to disagree with him again he goes all EVIL and sticks a gun in his chest. NOOOO! FOOOOORD!! Judged solely on how many times I shout noooooo! at my TV screen in a single episode, I'd say that Ford is the new Boomer. He's my boy! This is hard to watch! *deep breath* His face, aside from being EVIL, is sun-blistered, which makes McKay point out that they are being oven-toasted by the Evil Death Sun. Ford SuperFords that he's immune to it, and goes on to explain that he's "not just fine, [he's] better than fine. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me!" Er... that's sad. Rainbow Sun Francks is both a very good actor and scaring the HELL out of me in this scene, because he's toning the evil up and down from line to line, so it's really impossible to predict. He's one part puppy!Ford and two parts paranoid schizophrenic. Ford wants to prove that things are better this way so that McKay can go and tell the rest of the Atlanteans and then they'll "let [him] come back." McKay's all, "dude, what the hell, come back NOW!", but SuperFord won't go until they save Shep and Teyla. Because he loves her, even though he's evil now. Or he wants to prove himself. Or something.
This is the perfect time to catch up on the gossip that Ford missed while he was being a crazy-eyed Wraith enzyme junkie. "Major Sheppard got promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard," is the only piece of news McKay has to report. Puppy!Ford is totally pleased with this, and I sit here wondering how that can POSSIBLY be more important than the fact that they have a ZPM now, went back to Earth, and acquired both the Daedalus and a cranky pet Asgard, especially when McKay could barely remember or care about this last week. Shep's been promoted! We get it! Somewhere in the Milky Way, Sam Carter is totally fuming. "It took me eight seasons! I saved the world seven times! I blew up a freaking SUN! And they only mentioned my promotion, like, ONCE!" Clearly she should have slept with Elizabeth Weir.
Cave of Totally Professional Ass-Groping. Teyla apparently managed to fondle them to freedom after all, because they emerge from the caves with P-90s. Ronon drops his cell phone (I don't make these things up) into a backpack and repeats that he has to get through the Ring/Stargate because the Wraith are hunting him. Shep's all "Join the club!" Teyla shoots him a dirty look. One quick roll in a cave and their love is totally over. Then, to Ronon, "You are a runner." (episode title! drink!) She has "heard stories." Shep, sensing that the new guy is honing in on the Teyla hero-worship territory, is all "whu?" Jason Momoa stares straight ahead for a long time until the director starts frantically waving off-camera that the flashback doesn't start until later.
It's the usual story: Wraith came, saw, culled. Ronon was taken onto a Wraith hive ship. "A Wraith started to feed on me. Something made him stop." So Jason Momoa's naked chest can apparently be used for defensive purposes as well! More flashbacks, this time of unanesthetized surgery and Jason Momoa's naked back, which is pretty hot too, at least until there are gruesome sounds of a Wraith slicing into it. Ew! Ewww! The Wraith tagged him with a tracking device in that one annoying place in your back that you just can't scratch and let him go. "They hunted me. I hunted them back." Flashback of a Wraith getting strung up in a tree by a foot trap and killed all dead by Ronon. "I've been running ever since." After having told this touching story, he decides this would be a good time to chuck a backpack at Shep's head. Huh? Then he shoots them again. Er... okay.
Woods of OMFG, Little Red is Scared of SuperFord. McKay wants to know the deal with the dude holding Shep and Teyla hostage. Instead, Ford retells how he was hanging around near a hive ship in search of his next hit of enzyme, and then sidetracks to declare that the Wraith Crack is the key to defeating the Wraith with a "whole army of supermen like me!" He reminds me of a boyfriend I had in high school who got crazily doped up on bodybuilding steroids and started... well, being really paranoid and thinking he was Superman, so you see the connection. Long story short: Ford stalked Dead Wraith to this planet, and concluded that Dead Wraith was also stalking Ronon. McKay: "So what does 'the guy' want with Sheppard and Teyla?" ... I'm not sure we ever actually find that out, to be honest, but I think we can assume it has something to do with Teyla being hot. Ford puts on creepy junkie face and promises to find out after he saves his girl.
Ronon's Lair of Random Target Practice. It appears there really was absolutely no purpose to shooting Shep and Teyla, because Ronon didn't even tie them up again. You know, I'm not entirely sure that Ronon's all that bright. ["But honestly, does he need to be? He can just take off his shirt and everyone would be blinded by the glare off that perfect chest!" -- Pooh] Teyla looks woozy and more than a little irked that she keeps getting shot for no damned reason. John offers to get Beckett to remove the tracking device "because I'm a nice guy." And, presumably, so Ronon stops shooting them. Ronon continues to give Sheppard long, lingering stares. I'm really not sure how I feel about this particular potential slash pairing, but I'm pretty sure Jason Momoa's naked chest would have chemistry with a block of wood, so he's welcome to join the Atlantis Orgy. (Ronon/Sheppard/block of wood ot3!) Yay! In the face of being slashed and 'shipped with so many people if Ronon joins the regular cast, he promises to find Ford if the Atlanteans can remove the tracking device.
Death is not an option:
Puddle-jumper. Lorne somehow made it back. Shep comes running in and totally doesn't even care that McKay is missing. There goes that OTP. They head back to Atlantis to tell Weir about the new Teyla/Ronon lovefest. It's really sad and pathetic that I get a little bit shippily squeeeful when John mentions her. On the one hand, I totally need professional help. On the other hand, we don't actually get to see him report to her -- or really any other scene with the two of them -- so I'll take what I can get.
'lantis. Elizabeth is having way too much fun tormenting Beckett with his new assignment. "You want me to go to an alien planet and perform surgery on an armed man holding Teyla hostage?" Mmm. Ronon's arms. ["You know what Ronon's arms are attached to? Ronon's chest." -- Pooh] Elizabeth agrees that Beckett's assessment is accurate, and then chirps that oh, the Wraith might also show up any minute. Hee. She adds that there's no news on Ford and "I haven't told you about McKay yet, either." That's a good point -- shouldn't they be more worried about him? I mean, there's nothing to say that Dead Wraith was the only Wraith on the planet. The last anyone heard was McKay shrieking over the radio about a Wraith attack. The fact that Lorne is still alive suggests that the shooter was Ford, even with a Wraith weapon, but they really have no idea. Elizabeth tells him to pack up what he needs. Beckett: "I don't think an operating room and a bloody army will fit through the 'gate." SO MUCH BECKETT LOVE.
Woods of... er... Ford and McKay walking around in circles "for hours." McKay refuses to go further, and Ford flips out, but in a puppy!Ford way, not a SuperFord way. "That's what you do! You give up on your friends when they need you MOST!" McKay swears that no one has given up on Ford, but Ford insists he's "talking about Major Sheppard and Teyla." McKay: "Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard." Me: "STOP IT!" Ford gets just as upset about this hammering in of the new rank as me, but because he thinks McKay is insinuating that he's "lost it" because he can't remember simple details. I suspect that's not the first symptom anyone would point to, SuperFord. To wit, repressed season one schoolyard angst totally gets aired here, as Ford accuses Rodney of "not even knowing what a friend is," and threatens to pay him back for picking on him all the time by shooting him and leaving him there to die. NOOO! FOOOOORD!! McKay gets up in Ford's face all "Fine! Shoot me! I'm doomed from radiation ANYWAY!" Ten bucks says no one on this show actually ever comes down with any of the horribly painful radiation-induced diseases McKay alludes to. Ford looks like he's about to cry as McKay starts to walk away, and then fires a few rounds above McKay's head.
McKay is all, you could have KILLED ME!, and Ford starts to wibble and apologize. "You don't know what it's like! Almost dying like I did, having your friends turn on you, no one trusts you! I'm out here all alone." I hate you, Stargate: Atlantis! You're making me cry! McKay, having recovered from near death, promises that Ford doesn't have to be alone, and, showing both unusual perception and sweetness, suggests that Beckett can fix the bad parts of the drug but leave the superpowers. Puppy!Ford: "You think?" Awww! Ford refuses to leave without Sheppard and Teyla, though, insisting that saving them will prove he's okay. This is breaking my heart here, people. This is totally harder to watch than your average Goa'uld-ing. This scene is scary good, and I worship these actors a lot.
Commercials. For some reason, the closed captioning over the entire Enterprise Season Two commercial reads "No Spoons Required."
Cave of Hot New Alien OTP. Teyla is awfully sweet and sympathetic for having just been shot twice by this guy, especially considering that she hasn't seen him shirtless yet. Their love is so alien and chronically underdressed! Ronon has been on the run and alone for seven years. The grand reason why the Wraith have runners seems to be basically "er... we're not sure, really, but who knows why those pesky Wraith do anything?" I suppose it's nice they have interests besides culling -- all work and no play, etc. Turns out that Ronon's presence resulted in an entire village being wiped out once, which suggests some serious intimacy issues for our shiny new OTP. But squeee! This pairing could work just on the basis of the combat-ready infants these two would produce, but they're also very, very cute on top of that! All right, I admit it, I'm easy. Shared screen time = love 4eva! Shep radios that he and Beckett are there, and Teyla bats her eyelashes at Ronon reassuringly.
Outside, Shep gives Beckett the least reassuring pep talk in the history of the universe. "He could probably kill you in the blink of an eye," but, you know, Shep doesn't really think he will. Much like Elizabeth, he seems to enjoy watching Beckett squirm in fear. Those two should really stop antagonizing the man who administers their birth control. Although... well, after all the irradiating that Shep has gone through in the past three episodes, that might not be so much of a concern anymore. To Beckett, Sheppard is all, "Remember Androcles and the lion?" I feel like they should have saved this analogy for a future episode in which Carson befriends a Wraith instead, because I think I recall that parable involving the threat of Androcles actually being eaten by the lion. "Who are you in this retelling, the Romans?" Heh. Shep in this scene? Adorable.
Den of Alien Stockholm Syndrome. Beckett babbles about house calls and all the various drugs and equipment he brought with him. Ronon points a gun at Teyla and asks her to translate, but none of that is as important as Beckett... asking Ronon to take his shirt off! FINALLY! Because this show loves us and just regular shirtlessness isn't enough, Ronon asks Teyla to undress him! (Ostensibly so he can continue pointing a gun at her head, but whatever, I don't think we're about to start quibbling over what and what does not constitute genuine squeee now.) She toys with her hair for a minute, clearly fearing the lethal properties of Jason Momoa's naked chest, and then totally takes his shirt off, and dude, Shirtless Guy is completely as advertised! Can we just have him quiet and shirtless in every episode from now on? I really don't care too much about his actual character, but, damn, this man is built in beautiful ways. Teyla totally agrees with me, because her eyes get all wide as she checks him out. HA! Er... okay, Pooh and I have just watched this on freeze-frame (these are the things your recappers go through for you!), and... holy crap, Ronon is even hotter in slow-motion. What was I saying? Right. It's possible that Teyla is not ogling him, per se, but some random scarring in the middle of his chest (perhaps from aborted Wraith-feeding? Not sure). One of his necklaces looks like a Wraith finger-bone. Shirtless Guy is hardcore. And shirtless.
Back to watching the episode in regular speed, Carson is shocked by the Psi carved into Jason Momoa's naked back. That was some serious frat hazing this guy went through. Beckett tricorders him with what Ronon guesses is "Ancestor technology." Sheppard sets up a sniper position. Ronon refuses to either lie down or be sedated, much to Beckett's consternation. Teyla's all, "trust us," but this time the doe eyes have no effect. "I do," says Ronon, who has a strange definition of 'trust', and sticks the gun up in her face. "That's why he's here and you're still alive." Teyla does not look amused, and contemplates that her new boyfriend might be in need of some serious domestication.
Woods. It's nighttime again, and McKay and Ford are still tramping around, and, since Ronon had to carry both Shep and Teyla to wherever he is -- suggesting it can't be all that far, even if he is Jason Momoa -- I'm thinking this means Ford actually lied and has no clue where they are. That, or he forgot to bring his compass this time. The boy scouts would be ashamed. Ford hears someone coming, so shoves McKay down and gives him back his gun.
Cave of Unanesthetized Surgery, Take Two. Again, ewww. Teyla makes worried faces as Beckett warns about flinching and spinal columns and stuff. Teyla hands him instruments (helloooo, nurse). Slicing! Ew! I need to watch more X-Files reruns, because I have clearly lost my defenses against random cutting of human flesh on TV. Ronon's face: "OW!" His chest: still hot. Beckett pulls out what looks like a mechanical scorpion. Ronon passes out. Neither Teyla nor Beckett check to see whether he just died or anything, which would be the first thing I would do, but then, I've watched lots of shows with alien implants. In three years, that boy is totally developing an inoperable nose cancer.
Dark, dark woods. Two redshirts wander around. McKay hops out in his hunter orange all "don't shoot!", which inspires Ford to Wraith-zat the redshirts from higher ground and bitch McKay out. McKay bitches right back that those are our guys, Crazy McCrazyFord. Ford insists that they can't be trusted, presumably because these guys are all from the Daedalus and he hasn't met them before. It might have been wiser to send some season 1 redshirts that he had met before but, er, maybe they all died in the Seige. That's sad. Anyway, McKay loses his shit and declares that he's "taking Ford in". Ford totally laughs in the face of danger, all, "you're going to shoot me?" So McKay totally does, but in the arm. Ford looks shocked, betrayed, and kinda evil. McKay runs.
Lion's den. Ronon's still unconscious and shirtless and Teyla's fondling him in totally professional ways, as she does. Beckett tells Shep that he's disabled the transmitter, which seems stupid, since there's probably no way the Wraith would know it had been removed until it stopped transmitting. They hear gunfire.
It's McKay, who shoots all his ammo up in the air and then shrieks like a girl.
Because I was right and Beckett was wrong, three Wraith ships come through the Stargate. They're bigger than the darts, so I assume they're the people-scoopers from "Rising". I shriek like a girl.
Lion's den. Ronon has woken up and run away. Beckett awesomely picks up a rifle. Teyla tracks Ronon's direction.
Woods. McKay hits one of Ronon's traps, like from the flashback, and gets STRUNG UP IN A TREE by one foot! Oh no!!
Over the radio, Sheppard orders Teyla and Beckett to get back to the jumper.
Tree of Pain. Ford emerges and laughs at McKay's predicament, which would be cute and funny if Ford wasn't being EVIL. McKay resists the urge to yell at Ford and instead is all "ha ha ha, funny, yay! I'm glad we can still joke around together, like the best friends we are. Little help?" Ford thinks he'd still rather kill McKay, because McKay shot him. NOOOO! FOOOORD!! "It's a flesh wound! I knew it wasn't going to hurt you! You're... SuperFord, remember?" Doesn't matter. McKay's all freaking out about not dying upside-down, when Ford gets jumped. The shots go wild.
Awesome, awesome hand-to-hand fight between a (now shirted) Ronon and Ford. Holy crap. There's even knife-throwing! It's completely miraculous that neither of them breaks an arm, and if the circumstances were anything other than what they are, I'd be delighted that Ford now has someone at his level to roughhouse with, but instead I'm sitting here screaming about how Ford needs to stop being EVIL! Ronon gets kicked down, but it's unclear whether or not he's knocked out. Either way, Ford has the chance to reach for a Wraith zat. Sheppard shows up just in time to point his gun at SuperFord and order him to stand down.
Wraith ships zoom overhead, and Ford uses the distraction to run away. Shep chases. McKay hangs from a tree. Ronon stands up into the frame, and McKay's all "Hi," and sticks his hand out as he introduces himself. Hee! Nothing says funny like an upside-down handshake. *love* McKay asks to be cut down. Ronon The Lion bares his teeth at him. McKay looks duly afraid.
Sheppard catches up with Ford as Wraith people-scooping beams zoom around. Ford reaches for his handgun, and Shep shoots him in the leg. "You're not getting off this planet!" says Shep. Ford makes me cry AGAIN by going "I'll show you! You'll SEE!" in the sweetest little-boy-hopped-up-on-serious-Wraith-c
Ford is totally the new Sha're! This is disturbing on many levels. If Teal'c kills him, I'm going to be pissed.
'lantis. Shep is reporting. Teyla is wearing her cute new maroon shirt. Skinner's not quite done being a sleep-deprived bastard for this particular episode, so he snits, "You had him in your sights. You let him get away." Shep's all, dude, that's what I just said, isn't it? "I shot him once," he adds, and Teyla looks sad. McKay: "I shot him too!" Elizabeth asks if Ford actually wanted to be taken by the Wraith which, yeah, that doesn't happen too often. Skinner practically sing-songs that, thanks to Shep, Ford is in enemy hands with lots of compromising information -- the most obvious piece of which is, probably, that Atlantis is not in fact blown up. Despite all evidence pointing to Ford not being anywhere near his right mind, Shep doesn't think he'll give them away. "Well, thank you very much for your assurance, Colonel," snaps Skinner, who would like to remind us that you can't spell assurance without ass. "I'll be sure to include your feelings in my report. Now, I'm off to go have a secret meeting with a shifty guy and a pack of Morleys." He totally stomps out. Shep makes a cute glare-y face at Skinner's back, while Elizabeth and Teyla sigh sighs of That Daedalus Ship Is Really Keen, But This Is Totally Going To Be Trouble.
Shep wanders past some guards to visit Ronon. Ronon is impressed by Atlantis. Shep: "Those Ancestors sure could build 'em." Yes, their venetian blind decor is unparalleled. Ronon cooler-than-thous that he could totally waste the guards if he felt like it, and Shep's like "huh. Yeah, probably." This isn't just a social call, though.
Control tower. Ronon is looking at video footage of a seriously destroyed city. "I don't understand," says Ronon. Elizabeth goes on to explain about the wonders of MALP technology, which probably wasn't quite what he had in mind. This is "Sateda," Ronon's homeworld. Ronon stalks off, understandably pissed. After a respectful moment of Damn, That Guy's Life Totally Sucks, Elizabeth sends fuck-me eyes at Sheppard's neck. Aaaaaaand episode! I can't believe nobody died in this one. So many redshirts to choose from!
I had lots and lots of fun! I'm still rather high from the Sparky overload of the last two episodes, too, so I didn't even really mind that Elizabeth had a break -- I'm sure she had lots to do back on Atlantis what with undoing whatever alien filing system Teyla imposed on the city during "Intruder" and the continued sniping at Skinner. The McKay and Ford scenes were intense and awesome. Lorne is totally my new best friend. My favorite part about Atlantis continues to be the awesome secondary cast. I'm still kinda undecided about Ronon when he's fully dressed, but continue to hope for him to be shirtless in every episode.
Next week, on Stargate Atlantis: Ronon wears a sleeveless shirt, has mixed feelings about cutlery, and whups Teyla's ass at stickfighting. Wheee!
(Congratulations! You made it!)