The other day, our friend and fellow foodie (oh, and culinary apprentice) Simon invited Akemi and I out for dinner.  We ended up meeting him (and his friend Sean) at Bao Bei in Chinatown for inspired modern Chinese cuisine.

Simon psyches himself up for the big feast.
Sean does his best Louis Ferreira imitation.
Akemi prepares to exercise her shoveling hand.

It’s a tapas-style menu offering a plates of varying sizes, from the tiny couple-of-bites appetizers to the bigger entries – perfect for sharing. Some of the highlights included –

Bean curd skin with king oyster mushrooms and truffle vinaigrette.  Love the texture of bean curd skin.
Steamed truffled pork dumplings.  The truffle was subtle, the dumpling delicious.
Kick Ass House Fried Rice.  Yep, that’s what it says on the menu.  And it was.
Chinese Donut (Youtiao) with condensed milk caramel, ginger, and palm sugar soy milk.  Probably the most popular dish of the night.  Surprised?

We ended up doing double desserts on the night (actually, triple dessert because we also ordered some ice cream).  Simon works at Cin Cin, one of Vancouver’s premiere Italian restaurants, and the kitchen there has been producing some phenomenal  macarons and chocolates – both of which we were fortunate enough to sample.

Cin Cin chocolates.  Despite the fact that they were fruit-based, I thought they were excellent.  Akemi, a chocolate expert in her own right, agreed.
Cin Cin macarons.  A terrific assortment.  It’s too bad they don’t have a shop.

Continuing our reminiscences of Stargate: Atlantis’s third season…


The Ancients are back!  Hurray!  And they’re taking back Atlantis! Uh…okay.  And kicking us back to Earth!  Boo!  It’s no secret.  I’ve never been a fan of the Ancient storylines, mainly because I find them a tad esoteric.  But here we have a bunch of real, live, grounded, unascended Ancients – and they’re still not very likable.  In fact, they’re utter douchebags, thanking us for taking care of the place before patting us on the head and sending us on our way.  “Off you go.  Don’t let the puddle demolecularize your ass on the way out.”  It’s not wonder they got their asses kicked by the wraith.

This is the first episode we really see the gate bridge in action.  It seemed like such an obvious idea, I was surprised no one had thought of it before.  Of course, coming up with the idea is one thing, finding all those stargates and putting them in position is another thing entirely. Still, the convenience of speedy intergalactic travel between Atlantis and Earth is certainly worth the effort.  For about a year until the midway station gets blown up, after which it’s really not that worthwhile in retrospect.

Ah, once again we are treated to the comedy stylings of Anderson and Picardo.  It’s real treat to watch these two veteran thespians play off each other.  They’re two naturally funny guys so it’s not at all surprising that their scenes worked so well – or that they had a blast shooting them.

So, honestly, what are your thoughts on the Ancients?  Impressive intergalactic elder statesmen?  Or entitled jerks?

A reminder that our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes on Monday.  Cookie Monster will be dropping by to offer his review of Spiderman (2002).

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular mysticode!

29 thoughts on “August 11, 2012: Bao Bei! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! The Return I!

  1. Every time i watch this episode i have the same question. what happened to their ship the tria, should’nt it still be floating out in space. if the only thing wrong with it was the hyper drive couldnt McKay have fixed in in like 5 or 10 minutes and we could have had ancient warship?
    My other question, when the ancients came back to atlantis they reactivated a lot of dormant systems how did they have the power for that since McKay burned out their ZPM. Did they have one on their ship?

  2. Food looks good as always. One of my co-workers is passing through Vancouver, and I may text him with a suggestion or two based on your eating posts.
    Re Return. Great episode. One thing that this episode established for me was that the Ancient of the Wraith wars are a pale shadow of the original ancients. In millions of years we see no significant technological advances. The few advances made, like the Replicators, we’re a disaster. Presumably the best and brightest managed to Ascend, leaving poorer genetic material behind. Which explains why the later Ancients were driven to seek mechanical aids in Ascending. So yes, these Ancients are jerks, unable even in the face of reality to accept altered circumstances. A pity, since we have seen in an earlier season that while not the brightest, that even the later Ancients were capable of nobility and sacrifice. Though to be fair, we only see the leaders involved. Perhaps the majority had misgivings but deferred to their unfortunately incompetent leaders. Great script and great acting by all parties.

  3. Just a quickie about the Ancients…’entitled jerks’ is an understatement. I absolutely hated them. Humorless, self-righteous, and arrogant, with a horrible sense of fashion, to boot. One reason this (along with the next) is a favorite of mine is not just because of the brilliant Woolsey/O’Neill moments, but because these obnoxious idiots get their comeuppance.

    And that’s all I have the energy for tonight. Nites, sir – have a good one!


  4. Deborah Rose — You make excellent points. Those hadn’t occurred to me. It makes sense that what we are seeing are not the cream of the crop, not the true gate-builders.

  5. The Return Part I was very good. It had memorable moments like all the goodbyes. Shep, Ronon, Teyla and the big hug from that hugging machine Ronon to Sheppard. Zelenka, McKay, and a misty eyed Beckett (until McKay made fun of him). Then later the fish-out-of-water team back on earth. Everyone meeting for dinner then getting the call simutaneously. Beckett and his turtles. (poor turtles) I think the Ancients biggest flaw is they are boring. Their wardrobe reflects their personality . . . dull. They only wear tanish, whitish, brownish colors. Always neat and tidy. Boooring.

    Your friend Simon aka jys is a cutie. Looks like Akemi is getting better. Hope so anyway.

  6. I like this two parter a lot! Only real problem I had with the first part was the fact not much earlier in the season we had discovered the Asurans (which emulated the appearance and technology of the Ancients), yet everyone seemed perfectly content to accept instantly that these stranded ancients were who they claimed to be! Presumably they could detect their lifelines, but still!

  7. Hmmmmm, WordPress should really know better than to leave HTML tags dangling from previous comments!

  8. I agree with Az.

    I always wondered if this episode was originally planned to have been Replicators rather than real-life Ancients and the writers changed their mind halfway through writing the episode haha.

    The passive aggressiveness of the replicators was just because they’re machines with aggression programmed in, but they take after their creators 🙁

    I really do love Ancient storylines. Such great technology. I would love a Stargate spinoff/story arc completely revolving around the Ancients, Kind of like Before I Sleep but for more than 1 episode. Maybe a movie. Regardless, there’s still some decent story left in them. Though much less since they’re so flawed.

    I loved them before we met real-life Ancients and they sucked.

  9. Jerks. We can see that during the show; SG1 and SGA. Their arrogance make them lose wars and countless lives. I think it’s a miracle that some of them reached the ascension before desappearing. We also have exceptions like Janus or the Aurora captain

  10. I have always liked the story behind the ancients, after all if it wasn’t for them where would we all be? But, come to think of it, did they ever leave any positive behind after they visit? ok now I gotta watch this ep.

  11. The Ancients? They were very human. I mean, we are complicated. We all have our jerky moments, so you can’t judge a whole race by just a small group.

    The food looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. Have you made any decisions about L. A.? It’s a lot of trouble moving that far but …’ve moved before and had little regrets. You’d have to provide your own insurance in America. On the plus side, you could tour eateries in L. A..

    JeffW: My son’s band website is sure a lot of work! Hubby has been traveling, so I had to help out a bit in training some of the board members on “how to send an email blast”. I live with a “computer expert” (compared to myself), so I had no idea how much I actually knew about computers until the questions came pouring in. Even with the step by step directions I sent out, (“type the email address in the “To” box and separate each person’s address with a semi-colon”). There are people having problems sending e-mail through his e-mail blast page. They will type a JUST person’s name or they will copy & paste it from Outlook with all the html code in it. Thankfully, these have all been nice people, so it hasn’t been nasty. Just frustrating. I just keep repleating the mantra “Two more years”…..

  12. Greetings from Vancouver!

    Sorry I’ve been MIA…been travelling and getting lectured by a certain stuntman every time I’m on the Internet & not outside LOL…

    I’ve had 8 days on Vancouver Island do whales and bear watching… OMG bucket list stuff. I went looking for the place I broke my wrist last year… Just read what happened to Akemi…I feel for you… Was what happened to me… I came down like a ton of bricks… I had two people stop to pick me up and check on me and multiple people help me at the hospital and travelling with a cast afterwards. I really hope you’re going to be OK Akemi.. *hugs* … With regard to apologising why don’t perhaps you’ll start a trend… because I’m at a lot of touristy places I wonder if a lot of the rude, pushy people are tourists… They were on Grouse Mountain.

    This is an awesome season of SGA… Love all these episodes…particularly Common Ground and The Real World hehe (awesome orderly). Very clever script.

    I’m currently reading the latest Stephen King, 11.22.63… Loving it…actually bought a physical book which shocked everyone… It probably looks like a 5 year old library book now.

    Cheers, Chev

  13. PS Yes the Ancients are arrogant jerks but I wonder how we appear to other civilisations that we are visiting. With the exception of Daniel Jackson the SG teams assume a certain superiority most times.

    Cheers, Chev

  14. I just watched this again last night, and in asking about the Ancients I think many have come to the same conclusion. What a bunch of arrogant jerks who can’t even fix their own ship. By the way if their mission was to get to Earth why did they not just use the Stargate? Or at least in some stages. But I guess, there is no place like home. And Capt. Helia seemed to have a face that was about to explode in a Maj Hochstetter like manner as “What are these people still doing here?!” I guess she was channeling her Ke’ra side because Daniel was not there. She did age well over the last 10,000 yrs. The ancients seemed to have something in common with the Taylons in their attitude toward “our people.” After all ancients are people McKay could appreciate.

    One question I have is why was Gen. O’Neill’s character demoted? While he was in his blues on Earth he was a two star general, but on Atlantis he in his greens he was only an one star? I think this happened in SG1 as well.

    Of all the animal pets Beckett chose, he chose the non-emotional non requitable turtle. I think it was Martin in the commentary who said he had turtles as a pet, and they stank. It was moments like that which continued for me to not like this wimpish character. Could he not have had at least a scottish terrier? But then the joke would not have been as funny.

    Speaking of Martin Gero, does he alway speak that fast? I can see where he is a lot of fun at parties. I love the C.G. of the midway station. Martin said it was one of the longest clips and beautifully rendered.

    Why did it take so long to come up with the Midway bridge idea? Because McKay in his greatness had not finished all “possible permutations.” But as per the DVD commentary I guess you are the only one who can only answer that question. Besides the SGC would have needed a ship with hyper drive for the long task.

  15. I believe the Ancients are a mirror of humankind, as depicted in SG, some of the military and the politicians are very arrogants, the same as the ancients, but also the Ancients are the Gate Builders, the main species in the Alliance and the only ones to evolve to a higher plane of existence. They also have a good side. I think SG-1 and SG-Atlantis should have investigate the reasons the Ancients seeded Pegasus Galaxy with humans. I believe the Ancients as the humans are explorers. Also what happened with Tria?

  16. Y’know…Joe…you’re so mean waving all that scrumptious food! 😉 All of that looks soooo delicious! Love love Chinese dumplings! 🙂 Though…I prefer them fried with that soy sauce…oh man! My stomach’s rumblin’. :p That fried rice looks mighty yummy. Then…of course…those chocolate are settin’ off my chocoholic radar. I’m sooo craving for some dark chocolate right now. 🙂

    The Return. Such a fun episode! Love EVERYTHING! Love the whole expedition team working together…including Weir and Beckett. 🙂 Plus…the best was Woolsey and O’Neill together! Soooooo funny! LOL! 😀 It was like watching Abbot and Costello! They make a good comedy team. 🙂 Of couse…love Beckett’s…”My tuttles!” LOL! 😀 I’ll forever remember that line. Everytime I see turtles…I gotta say…”My tuttles!” 😀

  17. Really odd lately, was walking out a store towards a car park after shopping, a few people saw this, then more noticed unsure how things turned out but we all saw a baby bunny navigating its way through a bunch of moving cars and into a bush, couldn’t of been bigger than a normal adult hand.

    Didn’t look wild, more like someones unwanted pet, abandoned by some heartless monster, scared to death no doubt on its own.

    Regardless it looked like kind members of the public went after it once noticed. Poor thing.

  18. Couldn’t blame the Ancients in this episode, Atlantis belongs to them, no one asked them if they could stay there prior, in reality the team there was trespassing.

    They thanked them and sent on their way, couldn’t ask for more.

  19. Regarding The Return, I was always sorry that at least one of the Lanteans didn’t survive the Replicators to answer a few questions. And where did their ship go?

  20. Actually I think the Ancients are sort of the ultimate bad guys of the entire Stargate television franchise. Please let me explain, you start with the Ori, basically bad guy Ancient only ascended (yeah, like that makes a real big difference). Then you go to the Wraith and that perhaps the Ancients actually created their greatest enemy. Next there’s the Asurans, the original (at least chronologically speaking in term of the series, i.e. they came presummably before the Asgard replicators because they were created in the Pegasus by the Ancients) Replicators, so gee, big thanks on that one Ancients. And then finally you have the Ancients themselves, people so frankly self-righteous (so their more Buddhist than Televangelist (Ori!)) self-serving that when they die and the Goa’uld start using their crap, people apparently couldn’t tell the difference between the two. And just an afterthought, the Athosians as well as many others in the Pegasus worship the Ancients and look at them as saviors and yet it was these same “saviors” that abandoned their asses to the Wraith during the evacuation of Atlantis anyway. I don’t recall any of the living Ancients in the entire run of Atlantis mentioning that they warned humans or took them with them when the Wraith started laying a beat down on the galaxy, in fact Chaya said that it was her punishment to actually protect humans from the Wraith. Gee with all that Ancient (douche-y) goodness going around to all us inferior beings, I’d root for the plague that finally wiped the Ancients out or at least Ascension that got them the hell out of our plain of existence. And in that case, yes, instead of the puddle demolecularizing your butts on the way out, please by all meanse Ancients let you white light energy beams sting your asses like the tentacles of a jellyfish on your way to another plain of existence.

  21. I’m okay with the choices these ancients made. They didn’t know just how reckless the humans had been. They’re what Russians were to SG-1. Showing up long enough to die.

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