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Stargate Atlantis

Season 2 Episode 17

Coup D'etat

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 17, 2006 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
391 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When the Atlantis team finds out that the Genii have grown into a new menace, they realize that the armistice with their old enemy may soon come to an end.

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  • See Summary

    This episode was a pleasant surprise. The writers did a fantastic job of keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat, and switching things up after making us feel comfortable with whats happening. The Genii mastermind a plan to obtain jumpers from the Atlantis Team, and capture most of the team members who possess the Ancient Gene. The Genii who was leading a Coup was very convincing in his roles as a Genii Coup leader, and then as a loyal Genii, it was a great twist that he really was planning a coup after all. Luckily Atlantis had something of value to offer him in exchange for the prisoners lives.moreless
  • When Major Lorne's team is found dead and then it is discovered their bodies have been swapped for people who died of radiation poisoning the threat of the Genii seems to be imminent. Word comes that a coup is in the works to relieve Cowen as leader.moreless

    Another filler type episode and not an improvement on the recent episodes from season two. We must deal with the Genii again and despite the supposed death of Commander Kolya I feel we will see him again.

    So Major Lorne's team is ambushed and Dr. Lindsey rushes back to the gate for help. The only problem is she is not of any help at all. Teyla and Ronon manage to discover that someone has put out flyers of people from away teams from Atlantis.

    Meantime Ladon supposedly formerly of the Genii and a part of Koyla's team has contacted Weir and offered a ZPM for weapons and supplies. He is forming a coup to take over Genii. Sheppard and McKay go to Cowen and as good allies informs him of the coup. He does not seem upset at all.

    Now a ZPM is pretty important so Weir and Sheppard decide to trade Ladon but keep his people as bargaining chips in case something is amiss. Of course everything is a ruse and Sheppard, McKay, about a dozen men and as it turns out Lorne's team are now prisoners of the Genii.

    It seems the Genii really don't understand anything except force. They actually believe that Weir will trade jumpers for men when that's just not going to happen. Cowen has not been a very smart or effective leader.

    In the end Ladon lets the prisoners go, blows up Cowen and his battalion of loyal followers, and takes over just as he said he would. He spares Sheppard and his men as Beckett has started to treat and cure the people that had come to be hostages from Genii who were all dying of radiation poisoning. Of course a lot of what they have wrong could be cured with modern medicine and Ladon seems like he is grateful as one of them is his sister and so he might be a much more reasonable leader. Neither Weir or Sheppard seem to have much hope though.

    Not a bad episode compared with the last two but really just another filler episode. The writers try to create intrigue where there just isn't any. The truth is in most of these cases the people who are lost or captured would never have been where they were in a properly run operation. These people send three or four people off to different worlds where who knows what is going on. There is going to be collateral damage and the constant idea of kidnapping or extortion just does not cut it anymore. Let's hope we have some more interesting stories coming up. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Never say never

    I would have said that so far almost all genii storylines - they were never my favorites but this one really made it better - all the plan inside plan and the way storylines what did not sounded so much to be together, was later merged. And the aftermath of the atomic bombs made by genii is starting to effect them.

    Loved that there was action, there was mystery (like what happened with Lorenz team - I was so sure they were dead), the tension and worries that maybe they do not work it out (as genii have skills to make Atlantis people position bad). Sad they did not get new ZPM but.. it was great episode.moreless
  • Excellent!

    This episode marks the return of my favorite group of people in this series the Genii. They are sometimes not the brightest bunch but this time they manage to outsmart the Atlantis team. Ladon is a great and smart character. His banter with Sheppard in the beginning was funny most of all was what he wanted for the ZPM.

    LADON: I need about a hundred machine guns, a couple of dozen grenades and any C4 that you have to spare.

    SHEPPARD: Sounds like you're having a party.

    This was a very smart script with great twists and made it one of my favorite episodes of the season.

  • good episode

    this was a good installment and I hope this means we have an Ally and not a enemy in the Genii now,I like how the coup actually happened, I truely think saving his sister was the Catylyst to change, not for the revolution.. but to accept Atlantis as a friend, maybe they can unite against the wraith now
Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa

Ronon Dex

Paul McGillion

Paul McGillion

Dr. Carson Beckett

Torri Higginson

Torri Higginson

Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney


Guest Star

Meg Roe

Meg Roe

Young Bar Keeper

Guest Star

Sonja Bennett

Sonja Bennett

Dahlia Radim

Guest Star

Kavan Smith

Kavan Smith

Major Evan Lorne

Recurring Role

Ryan Robbins

Ryan Robbins

Ladon Radim

Recurring Role

Chuck Campbell

Chuck Campbell


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Sheppard: Well, I look at it this way: the Genii have tried to kidnap you on numerous occasions to mine that big old brain of yours.

      This is a reference to the episodes "Underground," "The Storm," and "The Eye."

    • Ladon: Kolya often spoke about the Brotherhood of the Fifteen. The last mission you encountered him, no?

      After their first encounter in the Season 1 two-parter "The Storm" and "The Eye", Sheppard and Kolya met again that season in the episode "The Brotherhood."

    • The planet that Ladon used to lure the team was designated M6R-867.

    • Goof: When Weir and Sheppard enter her office to question Ladon [twelve minutes into the episode], we see there is a guard at the door. They walk in and face Ladon, who has two other guards behind him. When the camera focuses on the leaders again, over Ladon's shoulder, we can just make out the shoulder of Guard #1 in the far left corner, but not directly beside the leaders. As the camera tightens on Weir, when she asks what Ladon wants in exchange for the ZPM, we see that Sheppard is no longer at her side, and Guard #1 is now standing directly beside and a little behind her. Yet in the next wider shot, he has vanished and Sheppard is again at her elbow. During the conversation between Weir and Ladon, Guard #1 moves from the corner, then to behind Sheppard and ends up on the right side of the room. It is not mere angle change, his position has changed. We flash to a quick shot of Atlantis with ominous music for a moment; upon our return to the room, Guard #1 is no longer on the right side next to the door, where we saw him last, he is standing near the middle of the glass wall. The camera zooms in on Ladon for a moment; when it returns to Weir and Sheppard, the same guard has once again hopped to the right, near the door once more.

    • This episode marks the beginning of an alliance with the Genii.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Ladon: I needed Cowen and his elite guard together in one place. I knew the chance of some Puddle Jumpers would get him here.
      Sheppard: Good one.
      Ladon: Most of my men are waiting for me on our homeworld. Tonight, the leadership of our people changes hands.
      Sheppard: You were just gonna leave us here to be vaporized with the others?
      Ladon: Yes, I was... but things have changed. Let's go.

    • Cowen: I fully expect to have to kill you.
      Sheppard: Looking forward to it that much, huh?

    • Weir: Good thinking
      Sheppard: Could have been Mensa.

    • Sheppard: So I say we call it a win.
      Weir: Who's spinning now?!
      Sheppard: Alright. Then I say we call it a night.
      Weir: That we can do!

    • Weir: Well, historically, most coups end up with the new government being about as bad as the old one.
      Sheppard: I don't know. He seemed pretty grateful we saved his sister.
      Weir: There's that.
      Sheppard: He did save me and my team.
      Weir: There's that too.

    • Sheppard: Beckett's the best doctor in two galaxies. If there's a cure, he's got it.

    • Sheppard: (in cell) Major. Boys.
      Lorne: Colonel.
      Sheppard: Way to be alive.
      Lorne: Thanks, sir. So, have you come to rescue us?
      Sheppard: Well, until about a moment ago I thought you were dead, but now that I see you speaking and breathing... yeah, I'm thinking about it.
      Lorne: Well, good. Let me know if there's anything we can do to help, huh?

    • Sheppard: What do you want with the Jumpers?
      Cowen: What do I want with invisible spaceships that could fly to other worlds and even deliver our atomic weapons?
      Sheppard: Well, since you put it that way ...

    • Sheppard: Where are my men?
      Ladon: Oh, they'll wake up in an hour or so with a pretty big headache, but they're fine. Just like you.
      Sheppard: I'm a lot of things right now, fine isn't one of them.

    • Ladon: How'd you feel?
      Sheppard: Like I've been gassed.

    • Sheppard: Drop it.
      Ladon: (dropping a small knife) Alright. Feel safer?
      Sheppard: A little bit.

    • McKay: One tango, middle of the room. (After John stares at him blankly) What, isn't that right?

    • Ronon: (about a 'wanted' list) And why aren't we on it?
      Weir: Excuse me?
      Ronon: Sheppard's on the list; McKay is on the list. Why aren't Teyla and me?
      Weir: What, you're feeling left out?!
      Ronon: I just wanna know who thinks I'm not a threat and give 'em a chance to change their mind.

    • McKay: See how I almost stunned that guy?
      Sheppard: I must have missed it.
      McKay: Yeah, but if he was, like, a step to the right, I would've stunned him for sure.
      Sheppard: Good for you!

    • Weir: A raid?
      Sheppard: Hell, yes, a raid! If this is their main base of operations, I'm willing to bet the ZPM is there.
      Weir: And, what? Just steal it?
      McKay: Well, the Brotherhood stole it from us. Ladon stole it from the Brotherhood. It's not really stealing, it's, um ...
      Sheppard: ... recovery!

    • Cowen: My men will see you to the Gate.
      McKay: (after Cowen leaves) Well, that was refreshing! He didn't try to kill us even once!

    • Sheppard: Well, if you, uh, wanna contact us, we have a new number.

    • Sheppard: (to McKay) Don't worry: if you survive, I'll mount some sort of rescue mission ... eventually.

    • McKay: You know, I'm not sure that you've sufficiently trained me in actual combat. I don't know how much use I'd be in a fight-our-way-out kind of scenario.
      Sheppard: Well, I look at it this way: the Genii have tried to kidnap you on numerous occasions to mine that big old brain of yours.
      McKay: Yes.
      Sheppard: Well, if we get into trouble, I'll just trade your life for mine.
      McKay: Oh, funny.

    • Sheppard: Get to the part where you find the ZPM.
      Ladon: Kolya often spoke about the Brotherhood of the Fifteen, the last mission you encountered him, no?
      Sheppard: The last time he tried to kill me, yes.

    • Ladon: He's become obsessed with uniting the galaxy under a single ruler.
      Sheppard: And that would be him.
      Ladon: He thinks it's the only chance we have of defeating the Wraith.
      Weir: Whether the galaxy likes it or not.

    • Weir: What do you want for it?
      Ladon: I need about a hundred machine guns, a couple of dozen grenades and any C4 that you have to spare.
      Sheppard: Sounds like you're havin' a party.

    • Sheppard: Doctor Weir, we have Ladon.
      Weir: What has he said?
      Sheppard: Not much, apparently he doesn't like me.

    • Sheppard: What do you want for it?
      Ladon: I'll only talk with Weir.
      Sheppard: Do I make you nervous?
      Ladon: Not at all, Major. I'm just not interested in talking to the errand boy.
      Sheppard: That's Lieutenant Colonel Errand Boy to you.

    • Sheppard: What, no ZPM?
      Ladon: I sent it to another planet for safekeeping, how stupid do you think I am?
      Sheppard: What I remember, I gave you a pretty good crack on the head last time we met. So, I was kinda hoping it made you simple.
      Ladon: No, it didn't, but ever since then I've been plagued with headaches.
      Sheppard: You're just saying that to be nice.

    • McKay: Look, we all know that eventually the Wraith are going to discover we're still here. Having more power means that we have more options. We might even be able to light up those engines and get the city to fly.
      Sheppard: Really?
      McKay: No, but we still need it.

    • McKay: A ZPM is a ZPM. Who cares where it comes from?
      Sheppard: We've already got one.
      McKay: Yes, one.
      Ronon: Two is better than one.
      McKay: And three is better than two.

    • Weir: Why would we want to do business with you?
      Ladon: Because I have defected from the Genii.
      Weir: Well, good luck with that.

    • Sheppard: (to Mckay) You stay here with Lindsay.
      McKay: Right, sure. Oh and hey, if you hear gunfire just know that's me holding back our attackers all on my own, huh?!

    • McKay: What the hell happened?
      Sheppard: We got gassed.
      McKay: Are we in some sort of trouble?
      Sheppard: Was it the gas or the prison cell that was your first clue?

  • NOTES (7)

    • The scene near the end of this episode with Radim, Weir and Beckett was actually filmed during production of the episode "Allies" as "Coup D'Etat" ran short by 45 seconds.

    • The shot of the village, before Ronon and Teyla question the bartender, is a reuse from the Stargate SG-1 episode "Demons."

    • Rachel Luttrell read the "Previously on Stargate Atlantis" line.

    • This episode was originally written for Genii Commander Acastus Kolya. When actor Robert Davi was unavailable, it was rewritten for Ladon Radim (Ryan Robbins).

    • Penelope Corrin reprises the role of Dr. Lindsey from the Stargate SG-1 episode "Origin".

    • At just over 6 minutes (up until the beginning of the opening title sequence and including the "Previously on...") this episode has the longest teaser of any episode of either Stargate Atlantis or Stargate SG-1 so far.

    • International Airdates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on January 9, 2006 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
      -This episode aired in the UK on February 22, 2006 on Sky One.
      -This episode aired in Australia on May 24, 2007 on Channel 7.
      -Syndication Premiere: April 28-29, 2007.


    • Title:

      Coup d'état is literally "stroke of the State" in French. It's when someone takes down the head of a government.

    • Ladon: The reports of your demise have been exaggerated.

      This is a variation on a famous quote from Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). In 1897, Twain was living in London. His cousin there, Dr. James Clemens, fell seriously ill, and the New York Journal ran a premature obituary for the author. A reporter for the New York Evening Sun tracked Twain down on 2 June 1897, told him about the obituary and asked what he should tell his editors. Twain's reply was, "Say the report is exaggerated". Twain's death finally occurred on 2 April 1910. A Twain biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, gave the quote as, "Just say the report of my death has been grossly exaggerated." Most people use the words demise and greatly when misquoting this remark.

    • Sheppard: Could have been Mensa.

      Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. It is a society for bright people: the principal qualification for membership is a high IQ, although high scores on other tests, such as SAT, GRE and LSAT are accepted. It was established in the Season 1 episode "The Brotherhood" that Sheppard had tested and qualified for Mensa but never joined.