TV REVIEW Stargate Atlantis 4.10 "This Mortal Coil"

Original US airdate: 7/12/2007

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Written by: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Brad Wright

Directed by: William Waring


The One Where: A probe falls through the roof of the library and when McKay studies it, he sees Nanite code for a moment before the system crashes. Meanwhile, Ronon mentions to Sheppard that people have been acting strangely lately. As it turns out, Sheppard, Ronon, McKay, Teyla and Weir, who they find in a hidden room, are all duplicates, as is Atlantis, and they’re being observed by a faction of Replicators who still want to ascend. The other Replicators attack the city and destroy it, but the duplicates escape and make contact with Atlantis. They give them a Replicator tracking system so they can track all Aurora-class Replicator ships in the galaxy, and reveal that the real Weir is dead. When the Replicators attack again, the duplicates create a diversion to allow Sheppard’s team to escape. McKay gets the tracking device working, and it reveals hundreds of Replicator ships...

Verdict: You call this a mid-season finale?! No, it’s not the worst episode of anything ever, and it’s not the worst episode Atlantis has ever done, but it doesn’t have enough kick to be a mid-season finale. For one thing, it’s boring, with far too many “are we really human?” debates, while the big reveal takes place too soon and is just jarring. It all feels rather sloppily put together, especially the news that Weir was killed several months beforehand. Killing Beckett off was a terrible disservice to the character but at least he got an episode about it; Weir’s death gets reduced to a single line of dialogue. Honestly, I’d take a hundred generic life-or-death stand-offs against the Wraith as mid-season finales over this.

Speculation: We know that Beckett will be returning this season, and that it will really be him and not an alternate reality version or part of a flashback. Could this Nanite reconstruction thing be the method they’re planning to use?

Question: Where has Carter been for the last two episodes? Some major events have taken place, and you’d think she’d want to at least weigh in on them...

Continuity: Sheppard mentions “kicking his own ass”, which happened in “Doppelganger”, and the destruction of Atlantis seen here is the vision Davos had in “The Seer”.

References: The title is taken from the “To be, or not to be” speech from Hamlet.

Best Line:
Duplicate McKay (to McKay): "Oh, this is great. Finally someone in whom I can have 100% confidence! I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to working with you! And this is just the beginning! Humanity is about to benefit from one of the greatest living scientific minds, times two!"
McKay: "Can you imagine?"
Duplicate Sheppard: "I’m trying not to."

Leah Holmes

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