Overall Rating: 7.2
Well it was certainly an interesting episode...not sure quite what to make of it yet, but there were definitely interesting elements that deserve some discussion.
A full summary can be found at the Stargate Wiki - impressive how fast they are, no?
First, regarding Telford's plan to infiltrate the Langarans with the ancient stones to "prove it's safe to dial the ninth chevron" while secretly nosing around for proof of their supposed allegience to the Lucian Alliance...I knew Telford was no good from episode one. He always seemed like the kind of guy most likely to be assasinated by his own troops or to get his platoon killed on some idiotic mission not approved by command staff. Young didn't start out the ideal leader either, but there was just no comparison even on day one. Young wanted nothing to do with personal glorification or power...he was simply responding to the situation. Telford was a control freak from the start...he insisted on taking command via the communication stones and nearly got Young killed in the process, e.g.
There's a reason that control freaks like Telford always wind up in the hands of diplomatic pencil pushers with no real feel for leadership. Those civilian bodies deal in power and control without the ability to actually make tough decisions on their own or the credibility to back up those decisions with their troops. They need someone on the inside who wants power and control and will bend his ethics to get it. They need someone who so fundamentally dislikes human nature that he will be convinced by half-arguments and poor intelligence operations that their disingenuous plans are necessary. And it's pretty easy to find someone like that AWAY from the front lines who knows nothing about actual leadership. You can understand why Young and McKay went along with the plan at first...supposedly the Alliance has become a real threat to Earth (though how they went from a gaggle of rival factions hiding out in derelict Goa'uld Hatak vessels to a power almost as effective as the Goa'uld System Lords is beyond me) and Destiny does need a supply line. Defending Earth (and Destiny) from the Alliance and getting a supply line to Earth from East Jesus is certainly appealing. But people who do not desperately seek power and control are more able to read the writing on the wall when their intelligence turns out to be flawed.
Now, about Rush's story line...it was an interesting twist they threw in at the end there...that Rush had to actually be in love with Perry to come and go from the simulation as he pleased, and that in reality...he was in an exclusive relationship with his mission and not her. That is very much in keeping with his obsessive nature and a nice way to put an end to the Perry/Rush romance, forced as it always seemed from the get go. Here's the thing...when you're in a desperate situation like they are on Destiny...it is easy to be fooled into believing you're in love with someone when the reality of the situation is far different. I've gone through periods of my life when I felt isolated and it was veyr easy during those times to convince myself that I was "in love" with someone when all it was was a love for the idea of someday being in love. I think that's what happened to Rush. An interesting story for sure...and forcing Eli to, for all intents and purposes, kill his girlfriend to save Rush...ugh...poor Eli! They sure do love to torture him.
One other minor thought - Greer needs to quit being a hero every second he's awake and learn to be human. He strength is truly admirable and his positive attitude really does make for a great change of pace in a show full of people barely holding onto hoope, but he's going to wind up dead if he doesn't quit taking insane risks to prove himself to everyone in the room.
Interesting and fairly suspenseful storytelling, but I think more could have been done with the romantic plot...hopefully more WILL be done between Eli and Rush at a future time.
VERY good scene work by Carlyle, Blue and the triumphant cameo return of David Hewlett as Dr. McKay (who we love!). And of course, every time I see Robert Picardo, I feel obliged to compliment him...because he is awesome. Even as Richard Woolsey (who has thankfully seen his character go from snake in the grass to actual human being to good guy thanks to a significant boost in field experience brought on by his tenure administering Atlantis).
But all that said...I sense a little bit of elitism in the A plot (with the Langarans)...I do have to wonder whether it's fair to portray Telford's side as entirely dubious complete with ominous music from second one of the introduction of his plan. Sovereign nations ARE charged with doing whatever they have to do to defend their people and there WAS some good evidence that the Langarans were buddy-buddy with our sworn enemies...it's not like we ever intended them any harm. We just wanted to prove the viability of dialing the ninth chevron...it's not too bad...because I do think Telford hung on too llong to his plan after it became clear that the Langarans were in fact truly our allies and we, as a nation, should aspire to truthful diplomatic conduct whenever possible...but it was just offputting enough to keep the message score down below par.