Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 16

Brain Storm

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 21, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Recap

Sheppard and Ronon are discussing the fact Sheppard isn't going back to Earth for leave with the others. They notice McKay and Keller talking and wonder if McKay is ever going to make his move. McKay asks Keller to come with him to a presentation that an old friend of his is having. Since the scientific community thinks he's a washout, he'd like to show up with a beautiful woman to convince them he's not a complete loser. She tells him to just ask her out on a date and agrees. He admits he doesn't know the presentation is but figures it'll be a first-class presentation of second-class work.

On Earth, Dr. Malcolm Tunney is working when his boss, Terrence Kramer, comes in to tell him that his staff thinks his presentation is reckless. Tunney doesn't believe it, dismissing their concerns. Kramer notices the cause has a lot riding on it and Tunney says that nothing could go wrong.

McKay and Keller arrive on Earth and fly first-class to the presentation site, wearing evening attire. McKay explains that Tunney is trying to show him up. Keller tells him to cheer up and he reluctantly agrees to try and get along. They arrive at the Kramer facility and have to sign a two-hundred page confidentiality agreement. McKay refuses unless Tunney is doing something with dinosaurs but Keller tells him to sign it and he agrees. They mingle at the soiree and TV scientists Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson come over. They're impressed by Keller and explain that McKay always used to claim he was just about to come up with other people's ideas, and note he hasn't' published in a while.

Everyone take a seat in the auditorium while McKay wonders if the whole thing was a bad idea. She suggests he don't take everything as a competition and he says he'll give it a try. The overblown presentation begins and Tunney explains that global warming will destroy the planet. Even Keller has to admit Tunney's a little egotistical. Tunney continues and explains he's combined all of his projects and with Kramer's funding, he has found a way to cool Earth in a safe and controlled way. Even McKay is interested as Tunney describes the use of heat-sinks… and he has created space-time bridge to focus the heat elsewhere. McKay recognizes it as the research he and his sister did. Tunney has surrounded the facility with an electromagnetic containment field that will transfer the heat of the facility, lowering the temperature by 10 degrees. McKay gets up and says it's a bad idea, but Tunney notes he has his consent on the document he signed. McKay explains he's been doing similar work and the bridges are unstable, but he has nothing to back up his claim. McKay is forced to sit down Tunney begins the demonstration.

Everyone goes out to the lobby for hot chocolate and McKay goes over the brief. He claims the work is his and takes Keller to Tunney's office to hack into his computer. The temperature drops to the target number but an assistant tells Tunney that they can't shut down the device… and the temperature continues to drop. He goes to the control room and warns that the system self-generates its own power. Kramer tells him to shut down the containment field but it's tied into the device. Tunney claims someone has messed with the system.

McKay is talking to Bill Nye when Tunney calls him and Keller over. Tunney and Kramer accuse him of sabotaging the project and have him on security breaking into Tunney's office. McKay says he was looking for the paper he published and accuses Tunney of working for the government and seeing McKay's paper on the bridge but it was unsafe. Tunney made a few changes and built the bridge, but ignored the warnings. Tunney admits that McKay might be able to help them. He points out that the bridge is wavering and a regular bridge shouldn't. He suggests they wait for the bridge to peak and then overload it.

In the lobby there's a burst of energy and one man is flash-frozen on his left side. The bridge draws heat from the heat-sink, releasing a burst of "freeze lightning." They wonder if the same thing has been happening all over the facility, and how it will hamper their attempts to shut down the device.

Back in the control room, McKay suggests they call in the military but Kramer refuses. He doesn't want the project to be discredited and tells them to figure it out. They can't use cell phones due to the containment field but Tunney has a land phone in his office. However, Kramer has shut off the phone lines. Keller suggests they work with all the visiting scientists and Tunney explains the situation. They ask for suggestions to shut down the matter bridge. If they drop the containment field, the heat-sink will draw heat from outside the facility. The scientists go to work and arguing breaks out until Keller gets them to calm down and work together. McKay has an idea and they agree to review his work. Keller approaches Kramer and points out that Earth will survive no matter what and his work is about saving lives… including the people trapped in the containment facility. She asks him to let her call the government for help and he agrees. As they go to the communications room, they find that it's been destroyed by freeze lightning.

As the temperature continues to drop, Tunney discovers that the cold temperatures are weakening the containment field generators. When they drop, a huge vortex storm will be created and the heat-sink would cause it to expand. McKay suggests that since the field is weakening they might be able to get a cell phone call through. Keller tells Tunney to stay and continue their work and she'll go to the weakest emitters to make the call. They go back to McKay's plan but it will involve feeding more energy to the heat-sink and generating more freeze lightning. The furnace burns out and McKay concludes they have no choice but to dial up the heat-sink.

Keller makes her way through the corridors and gets a signal. She ends up contacting SGC but is unable to communicate through the static. McKay, Tunney, and Bill Nye are read to go and freeze lightning sweeps through the facility. One beam shatters a water pipe in Keller's section of corridor. McKay tries to maintain the power but Tunney shuts it off, saying it was too dangerous. Keller is trapped by frozen doors and contacts McKay on the portable radio. She explains that her phone was damaged by the water and she's trapped with her body temperature dropping and the water rising. Tunney calls security and she tells McKay to hurry. The containment field fails and a huge vortex starts to form.

McKay comes up with a new plan: they suck power from the matter bridge's generator creating another space-time bridge. If they open another bridge, the system will collapse. As he goes to work, Keller contacts him and security is unable to get to her location in time as she goes into hypothermic shock. There's a straight shot to her through the lab but the security team is cut off from the lab. McKay goes to get her and tells Tunney to finish the work: Tunney is forced to admit McKay is smarter than him.

McKay grabs an axe and starts chopping through the door. Keller is unconscious on the other side. Tunney has completed the work and with Bill Nye assisting, he activates the second space-time bridge. McKay gets in and tries to revive Keller, administering CPR. The power supply blows out and the bridges collapse, and the vortexes dissipate. Keller revives and, realizing he saved her, kisses him. She says that she's loved him for some time.

Later, McKay and Keller are flying back and McKay is unhappy that Tunney is getting credit for saving the day. He admits he does care and it's something she should know about him. She suggests he should get and he notes it might be time for him to leave the SGC and move on. She points out he loves his current work and McKay insists they all have to do their part to solve global warning. Keller suggests they take advantage of the private plane and they either have sex or she has to listen to him boast about saving the day. McKay goes with humility… and sex.