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"Stargate: Atlantis" Vegas (2008)

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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Different angle is fresh and cool.

Author: Jakewobegon from United States
4 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm one of those new fans just getting into "The Best Season of Atlantis" only to find out the show is being canceled. Granted, I've enjoyed some episodes of SG-1 and liked the few episodes of Atlantis I've seen including the pilot. With the Stargate: Atlantis marathons and some help from my brother, I was able to catch up a bit with the series.

So, like I said, I find out there's just a few episodes left of the series. To make it worse, I groan over the fact that this one is an alternate reality episode. I've hated alternate reality television episodes since the dream sequences of Gilligan's Island, and I figured this episode was a sign that the show had run its course since they would waste one of the final few on what always seemed to be filler.

I was wrong.

This episode blew me away! Like looking through a different colored lens, this episode showed just how cool John Sheppard is; why McKay is so likable while being such a pompous ass; and best of all, why the Wraith are one of the coolest villains ever.

I'll leave the details for the spoiler comments. Just know that this is NOT a wasted filler episode and well worth its entry as last episode before the big finale.

Trust me.

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

The one where we see SGA: Else-world...

Author: Mel J from Dundee, Scotland
21 March 2009

'Vegas'~ Season five, episode nineteen

In the penultimate episode to SGA, we explore an alternate reality where Sheppard left the Air Force after his incident in Afghanistan and is now a world-weary detective in Las Vegas leading a rather bleak life wrought by addictive gambling and isolation from any friends or family. However, his life is set to change when he finds himself investigating a series of murders involving people who seem to have had the life sucked out of them (a la Wraith-style).

This is a unique episode because it moves so far away from the SGA that is featured in every other storyline and it is far more than a homage to 'CSI'. It grimly explores how the characters we have come to know and love could easily have walked a different path and become so unlike the people we see in the show, and how each have come to influence the others for the better. Just as we witness the emotionally dark depths Sheppard could have descended to without a team and the camaraderie he so enjoys, we also reflect on how pragmatic and cold McKay could have been if he had not learned the meaning of friendship.

It was a shame 'Vegas' came so late, as the show was about to end. It would have been nice to re-explore this else-world again. It was an adventurous piece of script-writing and this episode will definitely be a favourite among sci-fi fans like myself who appreciate insights into alternate realities.

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:


Author: Mykaella from United States
4 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a really great episode -- very possibly the best ever. Unlike most episodes, my eyes were glued on the TV the entire time because I wasn't sure what to expect next.

It had the gritty feel of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" -- one of my favorite shows of all time -- complete with appropriate and enhancing use of modern popular music. (Some of the music sounded familiar but without clicking with a particular song -- was some of it composed for the show?) That made it really fun for me.

It was really nice to see Rodney being a stronger, more confident version of himself, rather than just an arrogant tool. The callbacks to the first episode(s) were also very well placed and amusing.

I was slightly disappointed that there was no cross back to the "real" reality we've come to know, but I'm not sure how well it would have played anyway.

It's a crying shame that this should come as the second-to-last episode of the series, since I could definitely see this new scenario going somewhere. As a spin-off or movie, it could draw a new kind of audience. A crime drama based in real modern society like "CSI" but with the twist of a single alien race hiding and wreaking havoc among us could be really compelling if done right.

And, WOW, was John Sheppard attractive as a heart-breaking loner rogue with a conscience. Pardon me while I drool. ;)

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23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

THE best episode of Atlantis to date.

Author: info-17849 from United Kingdom
22 January 2009

I think this is THE best episode of Atlantis to date. Caught me by total surprise.

On reading other comments on thew web you'll either love it or hate it. I think it is fantastic!!!

The setting, the music (and im not even a rock fan) People say it is like CSI. hmmm, maybe but very very loosely based but this isn't about forensic science at all. This is a different john shepherd who hasn't had as much luck as he has in the Atlantis reality.Its nice to see how the star of the show may react given that we all owe half our chances to luck anyhow.

Shame there wont be another part to it. In fact shame they don't make a series around it.

As said, you'll love or hate it. Right up my street. I have now watched it 15 times and counting!!

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:


Author: artana from London, UK
3 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was awesome!

I love SGA from the very first time, and now, this is a really UNIQUE directing and plot, what gives more freshness than the previous years' efforts.

It was really good to see the respect of the X-files, and using the recent, fashionable crime series' equipments, with BRILLIANT acting!

Yes, the series is over (who cares what fans and viewers wants and say, if the decision makers are deaf and blind, only good series are stopped on their top, like SGA), and they tried to fit into the decreased time possibility what they could.

And they made it.

Maybe, because of SGA's last days, they could be enough courageous to do it as it is, like an INDEPENDENT SGA episode.

This was worthy to wait for, and really bad that this kind of talent can not be visible any more in this format (no matter they promised SGA DVDs, it is simply just not the same).

And one more: FOREVER JOHN SHEPPARD! (no matter in what galaxy he is)

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

One of the best Stargate episodes ever.

Author: David Fairbrother from Australia
16 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I spoke about this episode, Vegas, with the friend who got me hooked onto Stargate Atlantis in the first place, he simply couldn't understand why it was one of my favourites. This is my best attempt to put into words what I believe made Vegas so great.

The episode begins with a crime scene in the middle of the desert, a reporter buzzing around, trying to get the best photo or a key tidbit for her story. A red car rolls toward the scene, stops, and the driver's door opens. Det. John Sheppard steps from it. We don't know it for sure yet, but this is the alternate-reality version of the Lt. Col. John Sheppard we know from the series. This is completely held from the viewers until around halfway through - though of course many will figure it out before then.

Not long after this, a series of CSI-style re-enactments take place. I've disliked the vast majority CSI episodes that I see since I was 14, yet the urge as a viewer to scream at an unknowing Det. Sheppard - "IT'S A WRAITH ATTACK!" is overwhelming, which makes these cut-scenes quite bearable. This is one of the first things I loved about this episode. The filming style was truly unique, completely different to what we're used to on Atlantis - and it worked wonderfully.

Next up is the soundtrack. Who'd have thought that Wraith would enjoy rocking to Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People"? The show's main theme for Sheppard, "Solitary Man" by Johnny Cash, really fits Joe Flanigan's character both in this episode's reality and in the series' reality. There's also the untitled chase and Western instrumentals, which really added to their respective scenes.

My favourite part of this episode is where the alternate universe Dr. Rodney McKay tells Det. Sheppard of the "other Sheppard" - a truly thought-provoking and touching exchange between the two men. The unspoken moment in this scene really makes it perfect, with Hewlett and Flanigan playing it beautifully.

Of course, the finale - which I won't reveal - is, to my mind, open-ended. We, the audience, get to choose the fate of this alt-universe Sheppard. It's in our hands.

All up, "Vegas" was a wondrously crafted story with a lot of things done very differently. It's one of my personal favourite Atlantis episodes. If Joe Flanigan were to resume his role of the detective from this episode, in the form of a police procedural series with a scifi twist, I would without a doubt watch it. Any series like that would be truly amazing, just like this episode.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Breath of Fresh Air - Woderful1

Author: Mark Tyler from Bartlett, TN
9 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This the next to last episode in the series to date is a trip to a parallel universe, that will at first leave you wondering what on Earth the franchise is up to, but the answer to that lies at the end of one of the best episodes the series ever fielded.

The story revolves around Detective Shepard in Las Vegas, and we soon realize that this isn't our Shepard, but one in a parallel reality where things happened just a bit differently. However, all the characters are familiar. The episode is filled with irony and pathos, and wonderfully sets up the finale episode.

Joe Flannigan should have won an Emmy for his performance as a Shepard who is basically the same person we know, but who's life took a tragic turn.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:


Author: john-3701 from United States
10 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i for one thought that this episode was one of the best made. honestly, till i read this forum, i never saw any connection to csi. it seemed to me to be more of an homage to cowboy bebop. the driving music throughout(granted, it wasn't jazz, but music driving the story was a main element of cb) not to mention that the tension and the hunter/hunted interplay was also reminiscent of cb.

over all i thought this was a great way to usher in the final episode. the main scenes that reminded me of cowboy bebop were the motel scene(with the wraith donning his disguise), the poker scene including the chase, and the final gunfight and consequential death of john shepperd.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Showcases the characters that were carefully crafted one last time, from an unusual angle.

Author: maya-maya from United Kingdom
3 September 2013

Vegas is actually my favourite SGA episode, for many reasons.

First off, AU is a lovely trope that just isn't explored often enough even in sci-fi where it can almost be considered a canon trope. And using it so late in the show's run, when we already know the characters pretty well, makes it all the more powerful.

Second, the production is beautiful. You can tell that every shot has been considered carefully, and it shows because the cinematography - the editing, the colours, everything you never notice when it's there is wonderfully done. Every shot builds on the atmosphere - which is apparently supposed to be CSI Las Vegas meets The X-Files - and the stark contrast to the usual look of SGA delivers an even greater impact. This isn't just a nice, weird niche episode, this is the whole team that works on the show and loves the show going, "see what we can do".

Third, the score is just excellent, not just because after five seasons we finally got a Johnny Cash song and it fit.

Fourth, it works because it's the penultimate episode and as we get to see tiny details to the characters we haven't seen, we're forced to face that fact that this is it. You can let a show run out in the rush of an action-packed three-part finale, or you can take the opportunity to showcase the characters you've crafted one last time, from an unusual angle and without the adrenaline rush and dramatic plot twists.

(Fifth, this is truly John Sheppard's episode, and after five years he kind of deserves it.)

And finally, it's kind of crazy that a story that could very well be used as an introduction to the series is used in the penultimate episode, but it also makes a lot of sense to draw the viewer's attention to the fact that the main story, the story they've been watching for five years, is just one of many. The concept of alternate universes has been thoroughly explored before in the show, so it's a very smart, very meta idea to say "yes, this show is ending, and look, we're even giving you the normal kind of show finale that you expect, but consider what could have been, what could yet be."

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

There, right HERE, is the reason...

Author: Talia Perez from Israel
8 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There, right HERE, is the reason I began watching SGA back in 2004. Why I stuck with it through great episodes and trough bad ones. Because I knew it would have to get better near the end. And it doesn't, just doesn't, get any better than THIS!

Forget about "Vegas" being the best SGA episode I ever saw - it was the best thing I ever saw on TV, period.

I heard a lot about it being like the CSI shows. I never watched any of them (except a couple of minutes from that episode with Joe Flanigan and sort of see their point), but I loved the styling and the pace and it just confirmed for me the reason why I don't watch CSI - it's all about the characters. I love Sheppard and Zelenka and Rodney and would (and have) watch them in any setting, but placing it in the desert, with the Casinos and the secret military facilities and the Goth Wraith and Todd being more wonderful than he normally is, all that is just...perfect.

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