After the overstuffed "Lost Tribe", this episode feels almost decompressed. It's ostensibly connected to the overall season arc in terms of the post-Michael status quo for the Wraith, but it's scope is relatively small. I suppose that's not much of a surprise. Thankfully, there was an update on the beloved Dr. Beckett and some clarification on the Wraith situation.
I'll address the Wraith situation first. During "The Queen" and "First Contact", I couldn't figure out why the Wraith would actually want to lose their ability to feed on humans. Was the line from McKay in the recap for this episode cut from "The Queen"? Because I don't remember the "spoiling of the food supply" issue coming up in that episode at all, despite the fact that it's probably the most important element of the debate. Without mentioning the potential cost to the Wraith if they don't change their ways, their motivation to do so is completely nebulous. (If it was mentioned in "The Queen", then I take full responsibility for missing the point!)
Whatever the case, this episode did remind me of that rather important detail, and I imagine it did the same for a number of other fans. I can only hope that it has something to do with subsequent events in the rest of the fifth season, because otherwise, it would be a waste of valuable time. I like the fact that Todd is not the only Wraith looking for a way to resolve challenges and gain advantage; it's far better to show us that fact than tell us in passing. It also underscores the reality that the Wraith are not just sitting back and allowing their species to fall into ruin. Michael, the Asurans, and the rogue Asgard may have dealt them serious setbacks, but they are still a threat.
Dr. Beckett is also working on Michael's plague, which shouldn't be surprising. It makes sense for Earth to dispatch him to research and resolve some of the issues that Michael set in motion in the Pegasus Galaxy, since he was involved in their creation. It touches on the sense of responsibility that Team Atlantis and the SGC must take in terms of the Pegasus Galaxy state of play.
Much of the episode is a meditation on trust, and we've seen it before. When things are good and there are no perceived threats, everyone gets along. Apply a little jeopardy, and the divisions begin. It's not surprising that some of the villagers would turn on the Balarans, but it is surprising that the Balarans would turn on Team Atlantis. It's all about survival in the end, even in terms of defeating the Wraith.
Thanks to some nice Rodney/Carson interaction (which is sorely missed), this episode manages to find some distinctiveness, despite the relatively bland and familiar story. Unfortunately, I doubt many fans will point to this as one of the best episodes of the season, and it's the kind of episode you easily skip when skimming through the DVDs.