BATES!!!!! I was totally unspoilered for that ... and thrilled to death to see him, and find out what he's been doing over the last couple of years.
I liked the episode a lot. Sheppard's early life ... REVEALED! *g* I was a little bit spoilered for this, to the extent that I knew he had an older brother and that his dad was (probably) dead -- but I really loved those bits, and I ended up liking his brother a lot more than I was expecting to at first. The plot was pretty good this time -- Terminator, not exactly a new idea, but I didn't expect the twist with the female scientist and I loved how they solved the problem, in the end, using actual science! Score! (I'm really fond of clever uses of the technology they have. The whole thing with the knife-beacon and beaming an enemy into re-entry -- that was smart!)
I did really love that we got a little scene at the beginning with Rodney making a stab at being comforting and wanting to go along for moral support; I think I would've been very disappointed if the episode hadn't had anything along those lines. Having said that, I do like the way that they've been mixing up the characters this season into different combinations -- last week, we had a ton of Rodney/John interaction, so it was nice to get Ronon/John this week, for balance.
And I do love, love, love how we're getting a deeper understanding this year of who John is. Last season basically did that for Rodney, and this season is doing it for John. One thing I find really interesting, after this episode, is how much of his isolation pre-Atlantis is apparently self-imposed. What I mean is, it's not that he didn't have people who liked him and cared about him -- it's that he pushed them away. It wasn't just John, of course; it takes two to have a fight -- but I really liked that aspect of this episode, that we saw it was at least as much him walking away from them, as them walking away from him. It makes him much more human, and less of a woobie victim than he's often written in fic that deals with his past.
Yep, liked the episode very much. Want tags now. :D