8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Season two holds strong at 80%,
This review is from: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Second Season [DVD] (DVD)
`Stargate: Atlantis' season one not only established this show as a unique rival to its fellow series `Stargate: SG-1', but also set the bar very high for a second season with this new breed of adventurers continuing to battle Wraith and other foe in the far-removed Pegasus Galaxy. Consequently for me this season did not quite live up to that impressive debut.
Just as with its sister series, `Atlantis' is adept at balancing a large season story-arc while at the same time providing its audience with inventive one-off stories that act both to attract new viewers to the show and also give the loyal fan-base a break from the on-going threat of the Wraith. This second season is no exception. However, with many of the episodes it seemed to me that the plots were simply too similar in style and set-up to many from the first season. Episodes like 11- `The Hive' (6/10) and 14- `Grace Under Pressure' (7/10) felt like carbon-copies of episodes 2- `Rising, Part 2' and 4- `Thirty-Eight Minutes' from the first season- obviously mixing up ideas and going in slightly different directions, but still- simply too reminiscent of those season one stories. This season works slightly differently compared to the first in that many episodes (even those that aren't strongly Wraith-based) tend to bleed into one another, even though they're not described as `to be continued', which means that many episodes here end quite abruptly and in an unsatisfying way for the viewer. Episode 7- `Instinct' (6/10) (guest-starring the unrecognisable Jewel Staite of `Firefly'/'Serenity' fame) was one that left me particularly at a loss and wondering `is that it?' only to begin episode 8- `Conversion' to discover that the closure awarded the character was particularly brutal and baffling. Even in episode 17- `Coup D'etat' (7/10), which sees the long-awaited return of the Genii- the plot feels stretched and doesn't come close to rivalling the twists and character intricacies that were so engrossing with the Genii episodes of season one i.e. `Underground', `The Storm' and `The Eye'. Of course it's great to see Colm Meaney return as the villainous leader of the Genii people, but throughout the episode I was willing the pace to quicken and for events to take off the way they never failed to during season one.
Yet still, there are some especially engrossing and original stories to enjoy in season two. Some of my favourite episodes would be episode 4- `Duet' (8/10), which has some great chemistry between McKay and Beckett (hilarious), episode 12- `Epiphany' (9/10) that steps into SG-1 territory somewhat by exploring the ancients and their process of ascension, and episode 18- `Michael' (10/10) guest-starring Enterprise's Connor Trinneer, which is easily the best episode of the season- absolutely original, suspenseful and emotional. All fans of `Stargate: Atlantis' should be reassured because season two definitely maintains the high-quality of this show, although frustratingly- doesn't quite manage to up the anti after a rollercoaster first season. Anticipation rating for season three- 4 stars.