Okay, last part. Atlantis and Universe... *sigh*. Let's get it over with, okay?
Stargate Atlantis Seasons 4 and 5
I quite honestly don't know what to say anymore. How can a show that started so good become so... mediocre at best, often worse? That's what they call 'squandered potential'. Atlantis' biggest problem was probably, that it often treaded the same water, that SG-1 did for almost a decade at this point. Same enemies (Asurans, The Lost Tribe, the singular guy-that-is-different-from-his-people-and-therefore-the-only-one-that-is-still-a-threat anyone?), same basic plot lines in stand-alones and so on. It had some great ideas, but never developed them properly. Most of the cast were uninteresting at best and got on my nerves at the worst of times. At this point, the show had pretty much become the Shepard and McKay show, because those were the only really interesting characters and even those probably more for the yaoi fangirl-shippers than anyone else. It also didn't help that less and less episodes drove the Myth Arc forward and instead retold old SG-1 episodes but with less interesting characters. But I think I'm starting to repeat myself and with that, let's begin with season 4:SGA 4x01 Adrift (Part 2) - Myth Arc and Asuran Arc
SGA 4x02 Lifeline (Part 3) -Myth Arc and Asuran Arc
SGA 4x05 Travelers - ties into the mid-season multi parter
SGA 4x10 This Mortal Coil (Part 1) - Myth and Asuran Arcs
SGA 4x11 Be All My Sins Remember'd (Part 2) - Myth and Asuran Arcs
SGA 4x12 Spoils of War (Part 3) - Myth Arc
SGA 4x17 Midway - Ronon. Teal'c. They kick Wraith arse. Nuff said
SGA 4x18 The Kindred (Part 1) - Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 4x19 The Kindred (Part 2) - Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 4x20 The Last Man (Part 1) - Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 5x01 Search and Rescue (Part 2) - Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 5x02 The Seed - some set-up for the Myth Arc, but not really that important or even good
SGA 5x05 Ghost in the Machine - ties up some Weir(d) stuff. Sorry for the pun
SGA 5x08 The Queen - ties into the Myth Arc a bit
SGA 5x10 First Contact (Part 1) - And now for something completely different
SGA 5x11 The Lost Tribe (Part 2) - Still not a good idea, but... well, you'll see
SGA 5x14 The Prodigal - Michael Arc
SGA 5x15 Remnants - starts out looking like a Genii Arc episode, then turns out to be stupid instead
SGA 5x17 Infection - Myth Arc, kinda
SGA 5x19 Vegas - ties into the finale, otherwise, it's CSI: Atlantis
SGA 5x20 Enemy at the Gates - Myth Arc, but it's got the same problems as the SG-1 finale: rushed and stupid
Oh and you want resolution for Atlantis after the lack luster finale, that left plot holes open like nothing? Tough luck, the follow-up movie ala Ark of Truth will be forever stuck in Development Hell. Sad, really, considering that I would actually like to see some resolution for the hardcore Atlantis fans. When you take so much abuse over the years that's the least you deserve.
No, I'm not even going to acknowledge this series by writing up the important episodes, because there were none. This series is not really Stargate anymore, it's a soap opera in space, like they took the worst elements of Battlestar Galactica and Farscape and RTD-era Doctor Who (on second thoughts, pretty much the entirety of RTD-era Doctor Who) and the worst Stargate elements and blended them together in some sort of weird Frankensteinian monstrosity, which might be a bad simile as a matter of fact, considering that the monster was actually nice and misunderstood, something you can't say to SGU.
Apologists for this series say, that people only hate it for not being Atlantis, or that Atlantis was cancelled in favour for this, hell the producers said as much. To these people I say: no! This series got cancelled because it was stupid, boring, repetitive, non-stargate (is that even a word? it should be) soap opera disguised as military scifi and dressed up with some above average acting. Horrible scripts, unlikeable, whiny characters, endless cliches, slow episodes. Those are the reason this show was cancelled.
It's actually funny. Back then, I actually stuck up for this series in it's first season, even gave the pilot a 7/10. But now, looking back, it's just depressing. Don't watch it, in fact watch Caprica instead, a similarly cancelled spin-off, that was actually pretty good and just horribly treated by our old friend Syfy.
Final thoughts on Stargate as a whole
In conclusion, Stargate as we know it probably died after Season 10 of SG-1/Season 3 of Atlantis, everything afterwards was a franchise zombie and you can really see it in Seasons 4 and 5 or Atlantis, as if they were just there to make some money, not really interested anymore in making a quality show, considering the lack of innovation/development in those years. SGU could have revitalised the franchise for a new generation, but it failed horribly at that. But SG-1 as a whole and Atlantis up until season 3 are actually really, really watchable, maybe even season 4 and 5 if you just watch the arc stuff.
So, anyway I hope you enjoyed my little indulgence in talking about one of my favourite shows and it's off springs any maybe I made you interested in watching it for yourself.