Friday night was the final episode of Stargate Atlantis, one of my favorite shows—great cast chemistry and often humorous writing combined with some solid science fiction made it fun for casual viewers, and a commitment to character development and continuity rewarded long-term fans (a commitment to continuity not shared by certain, other, science fiction shows). Unfortunately, the series ended just as new show regulars Robert Picardo and Jewel Staite were really hitting their stride, moving their characters in interesting directions, and their presence gave the established cast something new to bounce off as well. The show’s resident villains, the Wraith, were also beginning to display considerably more depth and complexity than the previous bad guys in the franchise’s history.
Friday night’s episode of Stargate Atlantis featured the show’s resident genius physicist, Rodney McKay, making a visit to an elaborate scientific presentation conducted by an old rival. Because McKay is, well, McKay, he thinks this is the ideal setting for a first date with Atlantis’s doctor Jennifer Keller (Firefly fans will recognize Jewel Staite in the role). McKay runs into a whole bunch of frenemies at the presentation, including hilarious cameos by the American Museum of Natural History’s Neil de Grasse Tyson (who has been name checked before on Atlantis) and Bill “The Science Guy” Nye.
Things take a turn for the worse when McKay’s rival (played by Kids in the Hall alum Dave Foley) demonstrates his latest invention, a machine intended to solve global warming by sucking heat through a transdimensional bridge to another universe. Of course, Things Go Wrong, and the entire facility and everyone in it is threatened with death by freezing. But hey, we’ve got a room full of top scientists! They’ll put their heads together and figure it out, right?