Stargate Atlantis

Season 3 Episode 7

Common Ground

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 25, 2006 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (34)

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out of 10
476 votes
  • interesting fact about the wraith... or convenient plot whole being exploited ?


    Interesting fact about the wraith... or convenient plot whole being exploited ?

    What else is there ? :) The Jenai are back with a vengenance.

    Seems like the wraith are more than just driven by hunger.

    Why did shepard risk bringing the wraith to a planet with other wraith on it ?

    Did the wraith learn/figure out that Atlantis is still there?

    Other than that, rodney was funny, Talaya was SOOO silent and almost did'nt need to be there... Ronin was usual.. loud and voilent.

    Elizabeth showed courage... Hopefully there will conclude soon... there's still the wraith, [A]Replicators AND now the Jenai dude to worry about...
  • hating all the night scenes hre too.

    I really am hating all the dark scenes where the lighting is Crap, and you can't see what is maybe it's not worth seeing and that is why they hide small rant. The premise is cool, I like that much. I enjoy the ark scenes a bit more at the moment.
  • See Summary

    We learned a lot in Common Ground, and perhaps just how much Common Ground there really is with not only the Genii, but the Wraith as well. The story unfolded in a natural and steady flow. It was interesting to see old enemies pop up again, as they always do in the Stargate Universe. The Genii are definiately taking on a big role in the series, and the Wraith seem to be fading to the background, as did the Goa'uld in SG1. Given what we learned about the Wraith in this episode I am sure they will continue to be an intricate part of the series, however the direction with them may be unexpected. A great episode with action and surprise!!!
  • John and a wraith must join forces to escape the Jenaï.

    I was riveted. It was good, it was bad, it was tragic and terrible... One thing though, Ronon was the only one to refer to John as his "firend" and seem really distressed at the whole situation. I found Eliabeth and Teyla a little too calm for my taste... Too professionnal...
    But still the best episode of all 3 season so far!
  • Combine a captured sheppard by a complaining kolya mixed together with a starving wraith!

    This is exactly why I watch the show.

    The characters were great especially Ronon. This episode shows us how much he actually cares about the people he now lives with. Sheppard is as optimistic as always and he doesn't let you down.

    Kolya is a great bad guy - he really doesn't have any empathy for anyone (and that's what makes his character so great).

    Well done!
  • great episode....

    Kolya demands that the leader of the genii is given to him and Dr. Weir refuses to give in to his demands because she does not negotiate with terrorists, even if it costs John his life. Sheppard is in the hands of Kolya and is being slowly eaten by a wraith. Effective way of torture...anyways, in the end, the wraith and Sheppard team up to escape. The wraith is allowed to go on his way and Sheppard is given his years back. Overall, great story. I love Kolya and his role in it. Learning more about the wraith was very interesting. This episode made them seem like the victums. They can't help that they need to eat. Also, they can give life back to people. Interesting. Overall, great episodes and one of my favorite of Atlantis.
  • Sheppard taken hostage has to team up with a wraith to survive.

    Sheppard gets taken prisoner by Kolya, a nice returning role for Robert Davi. Kolya wants to use Sheppard as a hostage to get his revenge on Landon, the new leader of the Genii.

    To convice the Atlantis team to turn over Landon the use a wraith prisoner to torture Sheppard. The wraith sucks the life out of Sheppard every few hours. Until now we were to believe that once being "touched" by a wraith you are as good as dead. It turns out that some of the wraith are able of the 'gift of life'. But seems only reserved for their most loyal worshippers and brothers. Hinting that in the end the wraith saw Sheppard as a brother.

    A brother, since they had to rely on eachother to make an escape. Somewhere in this gift of life probably will be the clue for a cure. The wraith and Sheppard departed vowing that the next time they meet all bets are of. Will the meet again? Would be nice to see what would happen then.

    Kolya get away again making a return very likely.

    A very good episode with a good story and acting and new twists and turns that will make for even better stories later this series.
  • The plot thickens… This is the second time the Humans and Wrath have worked together. I guess this is the building blocks too defeat the Replicators.

    This is one of the shows I had to watch several times. I am already puzzling over how the Kolia will fit into the story line when the Replicators are back and how the Wrath will assist. But why should the Wrath be involved. They cannot feed on the Replicators. Excellent show. Atlantis has raised the bar once more.
  • Definately my favourite episode from all the series!

    I've watched this episode more than once and I've yet to get bored of it. Definately 5 stars to the writers for this one. We found out so much about the wraith. I had to look at the credits to figure out who played the wraith. I knew he was familiar ;). I loved watching the dynamic between Sheppard and the Wraith (Todd). We'd never realy seen the feeding process close up before either. Loving the CGI folks. I thought the emotion of the episode was captured very well. It was nerve-wracking watching Sheppard being fed upon. Loved the ending though. All in all.... 10/10!
  • Outro otimo episodio de Stargate Atlantis

    O episodio começa com Cel. Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon e Rodney correndo para um stargate tentando sairem do planeta onde estavam. McKay assiona o stargate e eles o atravessam ele, mas John Sheppard não consegue pois leva um tiro de Kolya! Que esta de volta e faz John prisioreiro.
    Esse foi um episodio de suspense, pois apos um tempo de john ser preso, Koyla faz contato com Atlantis por video mostrando John preso em uma cadeira e varios guardas ao seu lado, Kolya tenta negociar com Dr. Weir, mais ela não aceita. Então, o episodio tem seu ponto de terror. Kolya ordena aos guardas trazerem outro prisoneiro, um Wraith !!! E então Kolya faz o Wraith se alimentar de john. Kolya da um certo tempo para Dr. Weir se decidir em fazer negocio com ele. Bem, o episodio tambem nos trouxe ação pois john consegue escapar de onde estava com a ajuda do Wraith que se alimentou dele. Ao mesmo tempo em atlantis, Dr Weir descobre a localização do planeta onde John esta preso. Ela manda uma equipe de resgate mas quando eles chegam uma coisa muito interessante acontece. Na ultima cena em que aparece John, ele esta a beira da morte, mais quando ele aparece novamente ele esta mais novo, como era antes, isso significa que um Wraith pode tanto tirar a vida da pessoa como tambem pode dar vida para um pessoa.
    Esse foi sem duvidas um dos melhores episodios dessa terceira temporada, teve suspense, ação e teve uma das maiores revelações de sua historia !!!
  • A great episode

    I loved this episode. The mere idea of Shepard working with a Wraith is exciting. I think this episode was really meant to show us a side of the wraith that we had not seen. When i saw Col. Shepard aging i started imagining what they would come up with to explain him going back to normal but i never imagined it would be the wraith who would give him his life back, it was good finding out. I always love how Elizabeth confronts these type of situations, and even the rebellius Ronon goes by what she says. She knows when to stand her ground and when to trust, even when it seems stupid to us. In general a great episode, and of course McKay made his usual comments but an Atlantis episode without him is not a good episode.
  • This episode is about when Sheppard was captured by Kolya, and had to work with a Wraith that was feeding on him to escape.

    As I watched this episode, I wasn't sure it was going to be 'Above Average'. But as the show progressed I got more interested and I kept getting more excited up until the very end of the show. It was a little predictable, but I have nothing against that every once in awhile. I like the fact that Wraith can give life, not just take it. I also like that good and bad can work together if they really try. I really like this episode and will love to watch it again in reruns. And it ended on a good note, right after alot of action, which is always good. This season of Atlantis is so far the best. It's really showing great morals, plus lots of action and excitement. How do you beat that? And it's always great to have good role models, which this show provides. All in all this was just a great episode.
  • Too much common ground

    This episode is at the same time awesome and awful.

    The plot is good, although there are some boring parts, and it is odd that Elizabeth and Rodney are so passive; they could have thought of more to do, like trying to trick Kolys. The last ten minutes are fast-paced and have some surprising twists.

    Then there are the recurring characters of Todd and Kolya who are doing great jobs in this series.


    This episode marks a turning point in the general story line. Up to now the Wraith are horrible monsters and very different from Men. Here the writers decided to change this. From now on they are driven by very much the same instincts as Men. They are no longer different. That takes away a lot of their menace; in fact, the Wraith seemed pretty harmless to me in all the following episodes.

    Giving them some 'Common Ground' was an excellent idea, but the writers gave them way too much of it.
  • Guess what? It was another good episode!

    I’ve had my issues with “SGA” over the past season or so, in large part because of a lack of strong continuity. I’ve seen apparent arc elements fall apart and fragment so badly that the eventual resolution doesn’t feel like the culmination of anything at all, and I’ve seen character arcs bungled to the point of absurdity. But every so often, the writers have managed to deliver. The past few episodes have been a step in the right direction.

    If this had been an episode about the Genii, with nothing else but their politics as the driving force of the story, then it might have been disappointing. The Genii have come to enjoy using Team Atlantis as pawns in their reindeer games, and it has gotten a bit old. Kolya is a fun villain, and you can never tell what his next move might be, but the stakes need to be more even. If it’s all a question of suffering at the whim of the Genii, it’s not as interesting. Team Atlantis needs to have more of a stake in the situation.

    Putting Sheppard in the middle of the fight wasn’t a bad idea, and his “relationship” to the Wraith was the key to the episode’s success. It is a little predictable for them to work together and gain a measure of mutual respect, but they took the familiar elements and gave them a particular “SGA” twist. Specifically, they used the situation to suggest that the Wraith are more complex than given credit for, especially in terms of what they can do and the meaning behind it.

    I saw the whole “Wraith restores Sheppard” thing coming, but they took me by surprise by explaining that the ability had been hidden for reasons that could be seen as spiritual. In fact, it’s possible to understand the Wraith as more than predators now, which is a step in the right direction. After all, if the Wraith can be understood, it possible for Team Atlantis to get some Wraith to see them as worthy allies (even if uncomfortable ones).

    My suspicion is that this plot element will be critical to plans for the Asurans later in the season. Granted, I may be completely off the mark, considering how the writers for “SGA” can go off the rails pretty damn fast, but there had to be a reason for the writers to make such a concerted effort to expose that ability and give the audience a reason to wonder about Wraith society. All I can say is that I’d be damned disappointed if all this character development and additional detail went by the wayside.

    If I have one minor quibble, it must be the fighting scenes in this episode. Take a look at the first time that Sheppard takes a shot at one of the Genii, when he’s just outside of his cell. He turns to throw a punch, and his fist is easily a foot away from the other actor’s face. Usually I’ll give them a pass for that sort of thing, given the budget and time restraints, but that was just bad! Thankfully, the rest of the episode made up for it.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. Recent episodes cover the “Stargate: Atlantis”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)
  • John Sheppard is captured by a rouge Genii group. Together with a Wraith he escapes. His friends back in Atlantis searches for him.

    I really love this episode. It´s the story that have an impact at me. Two enemies that have to work together to escape and not just that. The Wraith has lost all hope and the arrival of John Sheppard makes him hope again. He clings to Sheppard like a drowning man. Although he doesn´t trust Sheppard he still follows him. Perhaps the Wraith is drawn to Sheppards strength, his hope and his compassion.
    It´s also the idea that 2 enemies can feel compassion for each other that makes this story good, in my eyes. John Sheppard won´t leave the Wraith behind, in the prison to the mercy on the Genii or when they are on the run.

    In the end the Wraith says that the breath of life is only given to followers and then he pauses and adds brothers. Since clearly Sheppard isn´t a follower is the Wraith seeing him as a brother?
  • This was different, good not bad!

    I always had a feeling there's more to the wraith than meets the eye. Usually when anything or anyone has the ability to take something it also has the ability to give it back. This is a whole new page regarding the wraith. While this is just me wishful thinking that someday, soon apparently a possible twisted alliance might be doable, or then again maybe not, it doesn't matter, it doesn't change the fact that the wraith are able to show honor and respect provided they receive the same treatment. It was obvious that a race so advanced were definitely not the mindless monsters they appear to be...looking forward to seeing more episodes on this idea in the future. Kickass episode worth every minute. Enjoy!!
  • A disgruntled exiled revolutionary of the Jinai ambushes and kidnaps Shepherd. He's held captive with a Wraith and this sets the stage for meeting the enemy in a new light.

    The Jinai are not my favorite story lines - I find them incredibly annnoying and amoral in their 1940's get up. I wasn't looking forward to watching this episode when I saw up front who was involved but of course hung in there. It was a great opportunity to see the Wraith as a culture in a different light. They are portrayed solely as parasites, culling the worlds for their survival. Basically the universe they're in is their great big hunting ground and they keep the population in check by their culling. Very much like how we survive - except we are a little (!!) guilty of not saving anything for tomorrow. I almost admire the concept of the Wraith who keeps burgeoning population down and thus there's no fear of depleting natural resources etc etc. I would just hate to be part of that universe.

    I digress - I really enjoyed this show because the Wraith have only ever been portrayed as ravenous beings incapable of considering anything other than a full belly and hunting the odd tagged prisoner. This episode actually gave the Wraith a personality and the viewer the ability to see there's more to them than we were first led to believe. I'm eager to find out more about them, devout believers, brotherhood - how did they develop into what they are as so far we have supposition from the Atlanteans. I find them more intriguing than the ancients whom I classify as bored and boring super beings who hang out in cafes and leave all their nasty toys all over the universe for people to find. Why do the Atlantis and SG1 crew continue to be fascinated by such a group of ascended fruitcakes is beyond me.

    After this episode my 'take it or leave it' thoughts about the wraith are over - I hope we get to see them getting more fleshed out as the series goes... after all Season 4 has been given the go ahead.
  • After a runin with the Geni, Sheppard gets a whole new perspective on the Wraith.

    When I saw the beginning of this episode I thought it would another one of those episodes dealing with the Geni (spelling?)/Atlantian friction which wouldn't be such a bad thing in it self but it is a issue that I find to have been going on to long. However this episode surprised me in many ways, we saw a very, very new side of the wraith. They aren't actually a one minded species that goes around killing humans for food. In this episode we see more of their human side and it almost makes you feel sorry for them because they are in a way prisoners of their instinct. They must feed in order not to starve and humans are the only thing that can satisfie their hunger. To make them stop feeding on humans would be like stopping us from eating beef. The writing in this episode is superb and I'm glad to finally see the Wraith again but they have been asent for quite a while now.
  • Sheppard - the way I love to see him.

    I must admit I was waiting for more background info on Sheppard's background, based on the episode recap. Can't say I found any of that in this episode, really - but that's just nitpicking.
    Being a sucker for stoically suffering heroes, I really liked what they did to Sheppard. Getting drained by a Wraith, aging before his time, must be one of his worst nightmares. Yet he still insisted Weir and the others in Atlantis not make a deal with his kidnappers. The second time he's tortured, they made this nicely subtle - he's in the background of the shot, gagged, but still managed a slight shake of the head when Kolya makes his threat. As Dr. Weir refuses the demands, Sheppard nods, apparently relieved. My hero.
    I'm also pleasantly surprised by the Wraith. After the Michael-plotline (which may or may not be over), I was afraid they'd settled for confirming once and for all that no Wraith can be trusted, they'll always doublecross you, etc. Here, we found an "honourable" Wraith, who despite appearances to the contrary actually kept his word, finding common ground with his enemy.
    The problem with the Wraith is the same that's been plagueing vampire stories for decades:
    How can a creature respect what is essentially just cattle to them? It will take extraordinary circumstances to make a Wraith see a human as something other than lunch - and this episode provided just that. I'd be very interested in seeing more of this particular Wraith, as long as it's not just as canonfodder.

    In conclusion, I'd like to add that I liked the fact that Dr. Weir didn't give in to the demands - it's the only way to deal with this sort of threat, but it is so often dealt with on a "just this once, honest" basis that it's refreshing to see it done "right" for once.

    Also - nice special effects on Sheppard. The final feeding was niiiiice! (Or rather horrid, but that's kind of the idea... ;) )
  • A lot of things we do not know, yet...

    This was amazing episode. First it looked like another genii trouble episode, but the outcome, the shocking events on this episode and the way it was worked out - surprising. First the thing, that it looked first time, geniis really did and said the truth. Then, the events on that prison. The unexpected prison mate for Sheppard and the way he become older and older - and their escape plan. That was the best wraith after Steve. The friendship they had, it looks like impossible but they did managed to work together for common enemy and the angle that part of this episode opened to us - to show us that somepart, the wraith are just like humans - they have their code of honor, they too want to survive. They just have different perspective and different menu.

    I adored this episode.
  • shephard and a wraith joined forces to escape. one of the best episodes of SGA.

    as usuall, an SGA filled with the combination of comedy, action, and thrill.

    mckay providing comedy. i dont know about you guys but i find rodney extreamly funny under fire or under preasure. although his remarks and comments are ordinary, it's probaly in the way he says it, and the facial expressions are classic mckay.

    wier on the other hand is back in the crazy genii negotiation but this time it looks serious. as colonel shephard's life is suck out of him every time kolya checks-in to check the progress of the negotiation.

    this epesode gives us another knowlege about the wraith. not only do they suck life. the can also give life.
  • Sheppard is captured by the Genii and befriending a Wraith is is only hope of escape

    Col. Sheppard and team are on a planet and ambushed by an unknown force. On their way to running back to the gate, Sheppard is capture by none other then the genii commandar Kolya.

    Sheppard is the main focus of this episode as he is held hostage by Kolya. Kolya tries to use Sheppard as a bargaining chip to get Laden (new leader of the Genii). Kolya want to kill Laden and take his "rightfull" place as leader of the Genii people. When Atlantis doesn't sucome to Kolya's demands, he bring out the prisoner that was beside Sheppards cell..a wraith. All of Atlantis is shocked that Kolya is feeding Sheppard to a Wraith and they have to slowly watch him die repeatedly.
    Throughout the episode, Sheppard and the Wraith develop a mutal friendship of a sorts as they try to escape the compound. During this time, we get an insight into the wraith themselves and learn that they can not only take life, but also give it back.
  • Great episosde....spoliers.!

    This was a well written episode. Its not perfect, nothing is. For that I say that the action is overiden by the continued storyline. Wraith and human work together to discover more about eachother. A bond is created and alot is learned about both Sheperd and a befriended wraith. I'm no reviewer but I cast my vote for a perfect episode that I'd like to see more of. Watching it a second time now just because I liked it so much. Better than last week thats for sure...
  • Sheppard is captured by Genii arch-enemy Koyla and tortured by a wraith, whilst Elizabeth and the rest of the team must decide who to trust and how far they're willing to go to get their guy back....

    This was a great episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Having Koyla return was a neat idea and good continuity from the writers, whilst having to watch poor Sheppard - our hero - drained slowly of his life-force by a wraith was genuinely uncomfortable to see. The scenes where the rest of the characters watch helplessly as sheppard is tortured and in particular Ronan's reaction to seeing his friend going through this ordeal, once again emphasises the creators' decision to focus on the closeness of the Atlantis team in Season 3.
    The final twist involving the wraith, at the end of the episode, was unexpected and very clever,as the characters and the audience learn that there is more to the Wraith than meets the eye.
    All in all, Season 3 is so far shaping up to be a very impressive Season indeed and continues to go from strength to strength.
  • Recovery from last week's disaster episode

    Fantastic stuff. The Wraith prisoner works with Shepherd to escape prison and he reveals some of the inner workings of the Wraith in the process. I was hoping for the wraith prisoner to be given the treatment that the doctor had created that cured them from being wraith but I assume that Shepherd will meet that Wraith again and his generousity will not go unappreciated. I think that the wraith will react collectively towards this instance, much like the Borg in Star Trek. Help one and the others learn from it and realize that perhaps there is a better way. This may be the key to defeating the Wraith. I just hope Sci-Fi doesn't pull another "Too Much Money" trick and try to cancel Atlantis like they did with Sg-1
  • "Common Ground" is easily one of the best episodes yet seen on Stargate Atlantis. The drama of the draining of Sheppard's life was exceptional, and viewers were granted the rare opportunity to see a new light in the Wraith. All in all a great episode.

    "Common Ground is easily one of the best episodes yet seen on Stargate Atlantis. Drama existed throughout the episode, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Joe Flanigan as Sheppard reached a new high with character depth, as he was able to work with the enemy in a difficult situation. The drama of the feeding process and the team's inability to do anything added to the overall suspense of the episode. Sheppard learned a few new new things about the Wraith, and the Wraith learned a few things about humans from Sheppard. As the Wraith said, "The gift of life is reserved for our most devout worshippers, and our brothers." Could this be foreshadowing to a future alliance between Sheppard and the Wraith against a greater enemy? No one knows yet, but this is exactly the reason why I watch this show. I can't wait for next season and what it may bring, keep up the good work Joe Flanigan.
  • A human and a wraith working together, even more, the wraith actually THINKING in other things than food, kolya returning to the show, the moral struggle of considering taking a human life... Well, what else can you ask for?

    After a struggling second season and a weak start of this one, maybe because they needed to make excuses for some bad previous decisions, the show started to regain that "I-dunno-how-to-call-it" that make the first season so good.

    They shouldn't waited until now to show that the wraith aren't as plain as we first thought. I think Kolya is a great human villain, and he's perfect for bringing up the whole moral struggle in the team. After the first time the wraith fed on Sheppard, we all wanted him dead. I thought it was only natural when Weir says to Ronon "and if you find Kolya... no promises".

    The ep could have been better if it wasn't been Sheppard the captured one. Don't get me wrong, I think Joe did a great job, but after the wraith fed the second time, you realize that somehow the wraith will do something to reverse the effects. The reason is simple, he can't die and he can't remain older either, so you know that all will end up well. Maybe if they would have brought some guest star (someone important), then I would have been more doubtful about the end.

    All that said, it was a great ep, very well written, and allowing some character development. If they continue this path all I can say is keep it up!
  • Best episode to date this season

    this episode is most definately the best episode to date this season, the use of actual action in this one as compared to some of the previous episodes was good. Very interesting to see that the wraith can actually give back the life that they take from their prey, however i find this one of the most unbelievable parts of this series so far for some reason.
  • John Sheppard shows his mettle as a soldier once again. (Spoilers)

    I must admit that I was slightly disappointed that ONCE AGAIN there was no back-story for Sheppard when I seem to recall that it was promised. Now we have to wait for Phantoms.

    Aside from that, I loved this episode so much that my brain cannot fully comprehend its awesomeness.

    The old!Shappard make-up kind of made Joe Flanigan look like Sam Waterston from Law & Order, but at least it was believable. Chris Heyerdahl was awesome as the captive wraith. But mostly Joe Flanigan brought out the awesome.

    He did exhausted and pained very well, and kudos to the writers for keeping Sheppard's little personality ticks consistant. I also loved that old!Sheppard was still able to PWN multiple Genii. I swear that he's more than just a pilot. Like a PJ or something. Not all of that can be from training with Teyla and Ronon.

    I wonder if we'll see Heyerdahl's wraith again? It would be interesting to see. Perhaps in the fourth season?
  • Very good episode!!! It finally gave some insight into the wraith. Not just lifesucking monsters anymore. :) Koyla is annoying tho, I hope he won't appear anymore. Well after getting killed that is. ;)

    Very good episode!!! It finally gave some insight into the wraith. Not just lifesucking monsters anymore. :)
    Koyla is annoying tho, I hope he won't appear anymore. Well after getting killed that is. ;)

    Overall, one of the better episodes. Just showing that the wraith will cooperate. After the deal they had with them which failed I lost my trust in them. Not anymore! But perhaps that's just indivually, maybe they will never help humans in general.

    It was really nice to see the wraith caring about sheppard and giving him back his lifeforce. That made me smile. :)

    Untill next time! See ya!
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