What makes Stargate Atlantis and its sibling series, worth watching is the characters. Even in its young age this show has done wonders with characterizations and the fine and funny writing that kept Stargate SG-1 on the air for so long. Universally the characters on Atlantis are as well developed as DollyRParton's bust line, and almost as likeable.
The last episode before the Sci Fi Channel's mid-season break (the words "Season Finale" are a mere wormed hook in the ratings pond) is no exception to this rule. Taking a page from Peter Pan, Atlantis' "The Lost Boys" details the return (again) of deserter extraordinaire Lieutenant (ret.) Aiden Ford (Rainbow Sun Francks), now practically half-wraith after months of shooting up "The Wraith Enzyme" like discounted China White! In this incarnation Ford's apparently quite the Pied Piper, especially when he's got super-strength dope to deal. Pretty soon he's got a small militia of followers running around dressed almost as well as Jason Voorhees!
In a further endeavor to make Atlantis' wussiest character into a tough guy, Ford's "Lost Boys" fast-captures David Hewlett's Rodney McKay (which isn't that hard), along with Jason Momoa's Ronon, Rachel Luttrell's Teyla and the chairman of the board, Joe Flanigan's Lt. Colonel John Sheppard (all of whom... should've been a lot harder to nab). After regaling his old team ('cept Ronon) about how he escaped his intentional capture by the wraith (by combining Rambo with Nosferatu), he pulls a "Madge" and tells the gang "you're soaking in it!" Yep, ol' Aiden whipped up a Thanksgivin' din-din that couldn't be beat... especially as it was all laced with Enzyme. I'm sure Sheppard would've kicked his ass if he could've... unfortunately (or fortunately, when you consider Wraith Bile just sounds grody-to-the-max) Sheppard was the only homey without laced Munchies.
Quicker than you can say Jack O'Neill, the gang realizes they're stuck there and Teyla and Ronon (tougher than undercooked gristle anyway) are getting even tougher (and striking even sexier poses), while Sheppard waxes whiny wisecracks and Rodney... well, pretty much remains as annoying as ever. Seriously, if you were on the Aggression-Amplifying Enzyme, wouldn't kicking his ass be pretty high on your list? Guess not. Ford's really out to prove that an army dosed on insect-juice is a good thing, and he's having a George W. Bush of a time proving it! Forcing a team up with Sheppard, invading a Hive Ship with a custom made "Dart" fighter and blowing the damned thing to Kingdom Frelling Come might just do the trick.
Sheppard puts on his best Caspar Weinberger impression and tries his hand at playing Ford... but we wouldn't have a cliffhanger if that would work, now would we? Needless to say our Stargate Troopers soon find themselves surrounded by our Dreadlocked, MarilynfManson-looking Wraitharinos! One interesting thing here is watching Aiden's Army hitting withdrawals in spite of the fact that they're practically surrounded by the very opiate they're jonesing for.
Although the episode ends (and the 3.5 month hiatus begins) just about where they ran out of story (meaning this cliff isn't hung), the joy here is enjoying the characters doing their thing. Regardless of what happened to Aiden Ford to turn him into the illogical dumbass with the bad plans we see today, the conflict between him and the Atlantean Rock Stars is a treat to watch. Joe Flanigan makes the whole thing work with his mix of military duty and sci-fi comedy. This guy is one of the most likeable and watchable leading men in primetime today. The show is practically worth watching just for him.
During the September to January break, one can't help but wonder if a bigger cliffhanger was warranted. Others might just wonder if one wasn't needed anyway. After all, fans of the show are going to watch it no matter what, and those who would avoid shows like this, probably aren't going to tune in now. That would be a shame though, because although this is a purely unashamed Science Fiction show (much more than even SG-1 is), the characters and their well-written interactions deliver the goods. Three Stars out of Five for Stargate Atlantis episode 2.10: "The Lost Boys". The backdrop before which the characters do their thing might not be the most original thing in the world, but the writing makes up for it. Hell, I'll take a show about a worm hole over a movie by Uwe Boll any day. Oh yes, that's right, I said it... I went there.
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