Stargate Atlantis

Season 2 Episode 13

Critical Mass

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 20, 2006 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
487 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

SGC discover that The Trust has placed a bomb in Atlantis that will go off when Atlantis dials Earth. Daedalus must warn Atlantis and the team must find the traitor in their midst.

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  • The Trust have planted a bomb somewhere on atlantis!

    Enjoyable cross over episode with some (minor) characters from Stargate SG-1 appearing. The epsiode is let down in my opinion by the Teyla sub- plot, but the reveal of Caldwell as a Goa'uld is a masterstroke. If Caldwell is a Goa'uld and Trust member, then it raises the possibility that anyone on Atlantis could also be compromised. This adds an additional danger into the mix for the team. Solid acting from all involved and my favourite scene had to be Dr. Lee explaining to Landry and the others the 101 Dalmatins reference! Great stuff.

    The show is starting to find its feet somewhat at this point of the second season. Good episode overall.moreless
  • See Summary

    This episode was a pleasant surprise. Atlantis was due to check in with Earth, a regular occurance made possible by the ZPM, but luckily Earth was able to relay Atlantis a message through Daedelus to not Dial Earths stargate or a catastrophic explosion would occur. Apparently the Trust on Earth which is now run by the Goa'uld had an operative that reached Atlantis and they want to destroy the city before the Wraith can make it to the Milky Way Galaxy. It was cool to see the Goa'uld in the Pegasus Galaxy, perhaps we will again. I couldn't believe who the Goa'uld was, it makes me wonder when it happened, and also in relation to Caldwell's relationship with Weir. The day was saved, enemy neutralized, over all a great entertaining episode!!!!moreless
  • This might have made a good season finale! The Central Command realizes that a Gou'ald agent has setup some kind of bomb so when Atlantis contacts Earth the city explodes. They must figure out a way to contact Atlantis and stop this from happening.moreless

    Excellent episode with some good action and plot twists. I don't buy the final one but sometimes that's the way it goes.

    Using another stargate and the fact that the Daedalus is halfway back to Earth, Central Command can send a signal letting Atlantis know they should not send anything thru the Stargate to Earth. Unfortunately the problem is not only tied to the Stargate and eventually a rescue signal is sent out alerting two Wraith Cruisers to the planet. Jaime Rae Newman is back as Captain Cadman (she got a promotion at the beginning but I noticed they made the mistake of calling her Lieutenant later) and one of her areas of expertise is bombs and incendiary devices. So she is asked to work with Dr. McKay who still is not over their little run in a few episodes before. I really like her on Eureka and now she will star in her own series Eastwick this fall.

    We get to see Teyla saying goodbye to her one and only personal relative in the ring ceremony which occurs during the crucial moments on Atlantis. Rachel Luttrell has a beautiful voice. From personal experience it takes hours of practice to maintain an instrument like that. I have a degree in voice and teach it as well. She must have some experience otherwise in her career. It would have been nice if they integrated that into her character before we had the big performance in this episode. I suspected Dr. Kavanagh myself right from the beginning. The only reason not too is the person would have to been exposed to the Gou'ald at one point and I believe Kavanagh has really not been away from working that much. I do admit that Colonel Caldwell being the traitor was a bit of a stretch and I didn't buy it at all but it was necessary to move the story forward and it is what it is. Still a great episode with a good idea and execution of the storyline. Very nicely done! Thanks for reading...moreless
  • The Trust is bent on destroying Atlantis

    Absolutely love this episode it combines elements from both Stargate series (Atlantis and SG-1). We have the Gou'ald, NID Agent Barett, General Landry, Dr. Lee and more. This episode gets better as it goes on. It is discovered that The Trust plans to destroy Atlantis by overloading their zero-point module, to make matters worse the Wraith have ships in the Lantean system.

    Dr. McKay and Lt. Cadman work furiously to stop the destruction of Atlantis, identify the saboteur and obtain the code to prevent the overload. I don't want to spoil the ending you'll have to watch it for yourself.

    Also Rachel Luttrell sings at then end and her voice is amazing.moreless
  • Wow!

    I just finished watching this episode on the DVD & this could quite possibly be my most favorite episode of Stargate Atlantis. It kept me guessing at every turn. The highligh? Teyla's song that she sang at the Ring ceremony for her friend. It was beautiful & amazed to find out (thanks to this site & this site alone) that Rachel Luttrel actually sang not dubbed. I am quite impressed. I rewatched that part again to listen to it with the words popping up in the screen so that I could know what she was saying. It was very moving & having it being sung over the mass panic by the other characters was fitting.

    Atlantis rocks! Which I already knew.moreless
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

Jaime Ray Newman

Jaime Ray Newman

Lt. Laura Cadman

Guest Star

Ellie Harvie

Ellie Harvie

Dr. Lindsey Novak

Guest Star

Brenda McDonald

Brenda McDonald


Guest Star

Gary Jones

Gary Jones

Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman

Recurring Role

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Colonel Steven Caldwell

Recurring Role

Beau Bridges

Beau Bridges

Major General Hank Landry

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Goof: Teyla says that it is rare for anyone to die of natural causes among her people because of the Wraith. However, in the two-part series premiere, she explained that the Wraith had not attacked her people for a few generations. Even though some small groups of Wraith had attacked, no large-scale cullings had taken place in that time. Thus, it would not be correct to say that the Wraith were responsible for most deaths among her people over the past few generations.

    • Sheppard: When did the Goa'uld get involved in this?
      Weir: Several months ago. They successfully infiltrated the upper leadership of The Trust, gaining a stronghold on Earth accessing government agencies from many countries.

      Weir is referring to the Stargate SG-1 episodes "Full Alert" and "Ex Deus Machina."

    • This is the first appearances for Agent Malcolm Barrett (Peter Flemming) and Dr. Bill Lee (Bill Dow) on the series.

    • McKay: (Referring to Lt. Cadman) She just has a way of getting under my skin.
      Sheppard: Literally.

      Sheppard's comment is a reference to the Season 2 episode "Duet" in which McKay and Lt. Cadman shared McKay's body after being beamed out of a damaged Wraith Dart.

    • Sheppard: What about another planet? There's one nearby in this solar system, remember, the one we found the crashed Wraith cruiser. That took us 15 hours by puddle jumper. It's a blink of the eye for the Daedalus.

      This refers to the first season episode "The Defiant One."

    • M7G-677 is the planet from "Childhood's End." The small planet on the outskirts of the Milky Way Galaxy that Dr. Lee sent a science team to set up and transmit a subspace message to the starship Daedalus was designated P4M-399.

    • In this episode Zelenka speaks Czech: "Ty vole. Say hi to the kids for me. Já ti dám. Ty seš takovou vùl" which translates to "You idiot. Say `hi' to the kids for me. You'll catch it from me. You are such an idiot."

    • This is the first appearance of a Goa'uld on the series.

    • Lt. Cadman is in the Marines, so her hair should either be cut (like Sam Carter's) or tied up at the back rather than left hanging down when she is on duty.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Sheppard: Did you see Zelenka?
      Weir: No.
      Sheppard: You should take a quick look before he washes his face. The kids did a real number on him.

    • (Zelenka returns covered in paint)
      McKay: Hey! Look who's back. It's Mr. Mom. Fun with the kids?
      Zelenka: Do not even speak to me.

    • Weir: How many offworld teams do we have out there?
      McKay: Just Zelenka and his team, on M7G677.
      Weir: Well, unfortunately, he's gonna hve to sit tight until we sort this thing out.
      Sheppard: Stuck with all those kids.

    • Charin: Teyla?
      Teyla: Yes, Charin?
      Charin: The journey begins.
      (Charin passes away)

    • Teyla: Beyond the night, a rising sun.
      Beyond the night, the battle's won.
      The battle is won.

      Fear and shame now in the past.
      Pain and sorrow gone at last.
      Gone at last.

      Circle renewed,
      Peace will be found,
      Beyond the night
      On sacred ground.

      River flows led by the wind
      First new breath
      Our journey begins
      Our journey begins.

    • Weir: Here we are, gloating about the in-fighting among the Wraith. How are we any different?

    • Teyla: I have been practicing. Hopefully, someday, I will be able to cook as well as you. (feeds Charin some soup)
      Charin: Oh, I'm afraid that day is far into the future, my dear.

    • Kavanagh: You don't have the…strength to be leading the fight against the Wraith.
      Weir: If I'm remembering correctly, you're the one who wanted to, what was it? Run and hide?
      Kavanagh: And at the time, I was right! If the Daedelus hadn't arrived at the eleventh hour, this city and everyone in it would have been wiped out, because of your recklessness. There's no need for the Trust to blow it up when Dr. Weir is at the helm.

    • Weir: Our list of suspects is not open for discussion. But off the record,. Zelenka went against his will and I couldn't picture him working for the Trust.
      Kavanagh: Oh, but you could picture me?
      Weir: In a heartbeat.

    • McKay: I physically disabled the DHD, it won't be able to dial so it won't be a problem. Now the Zed-PM however will be. Now as you know the Zero Point Module controls the flow of massive amounts of power.
      Sheppard: Like a dam.
      McKay: No, it's not like a dam. It's more like a...actually, yes it's like a dam. If you overload the dam, it breaks, which is why the ancients put in failsafes to prevent such a thing from happening.
      Sheppard: Like a spillway.
      McKay: Can we just stick with failsafes?

    • Caldwell/Goa'uld: I warn you - as a Goa'uld I now possess the strength of many men.
      Ronon: Won't be a fair fight then.

    • Caldwell: We don't have time to debate morality. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do unpleasant things to save lives.

    • McKay: Explosives expert, huh?
      Cadman: High temperature and energetic materials technology. And I can tap dance, too.

    • Barrett: One of our teams has raided a Trust compound: discovered computers containing further intel on Atlantis. It's not much, the Goa'uld are being very cryptic about this.
      Landry: Cut to the chase. Do we know what kind of bomb it is?
      Barrett: Not yet.
      Landry: Do we know where in the city it was planted?
      Barrett: No.
      Landry: I'm sorry? You said "further intel".

    • Ronon: What's a Goa'uld?
      Sheppard: It's a slimy, snake-like alien creature: burrows into people's heads and takes control of their bodies.
      Ronon: That doesn't sound pleasant.

    • Hermiod: Colonel Caldwell. I believe I can make modifications to the hyperdrive in order to achieve the speed necessary to reach a distance capable of relaying the transmission within the allotted time. The hyperdrive will be operating at a level that can only be sustained for a short duration before damage is incurred.
      Caldwell: What kind of damage?
      Hermiod: It could burn out the drive.
      Kavanagh: Meaning we'd be stuck between galaxies.
      Caldwell: Yeah, I know what it means, Doctor.

    • Lee: What about the Daedalus? It's on a return voyage to the Milky Way. We could use them to relay the trans... Ah, no, I mean, wait. God, there's no way they're close enough, even with their long-range transmitters.
      Landry: You'll find another way to get the message to them.
      Lee: I will?
      Landry: Course you will. It's what I pay you for.

    • Sheppard: Hey, don't worry. They're a great group of kids, you're gonna love them.
      Zelenka: My sister has a child. He breaks things. He throws things. He smears things onto furniture.

    • Landry: I thought you said the Daedalus was too far away for our transmitter to reach.
      Lee: It is, which is why we have to get closer. P4M-399, it's a, it's a tiny little planet right on the very outskirts of our galaxy, but if we can send a science team there through the Gate, they should be close enough to relay the information to the Daedalus and then they can -- it's, it's, it's like the Twilight Bark... (blank stares from the rest of the room)... Twilight Bark? Hundred and One Dalmations? Didn't you guys see that movie? My kids love it. Any-- well ok, so there's all these dogs and one barks here, one barks here, one -- they, they, they send a message across the countryside...(silence)... Lord of the Rings. (everyone begins to nod in collective understanding) Lord of the Rings, you know when they light all those signal fires on the mountaintops. You saw that, right? So okay.

    • Sheppard: Stop! (sees Kavanaugh on floor)
      Sheppard: What did you do to him?
      Ronon: Nothing, he fainted before I could touch him.

    • Hermiod: Dr. Kavanagh.
      Kavanagh: Yes?
      Hermiod: Stop talking, please. (silence) Thank you.

    • Ronon: I'll get it out of him.
      Sheppard: Might not be a bad idea. Maybe it is time to take his interrogation to the next level.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The interrogation room is a redress of the briefing room set.

    • When Teyla sings for the ring ceremony that is actually Rachel Luttrell singing. In the audio commentary with Martin Wood and Rachel Luttrell they explain that she flew to L.A. to record the song but had to redo it because it sounded like it was recorded.

    • International Airdates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on December 5, 2005 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
      -This episode aired in the UK on January 25, 2006 on Sky One.
      -This episode aired in Australia on April 26, 2007 on Channel 7.
      -Syndication Premiere: February 3-4, 2007.


    • Lee: It's-it's-it's like the Twilight Bark. (Everyone looks at him blankly.) Twilight Bark? "Hundred and One Dalmatians?

      In Dr. Lee's first attempt to explain his communications solution, he references the "Twilight Bark" (from the Walt Disney animated film 101 Dalmatians from the book of the same name). The "Twilight Bark", used toward the climax of the film to rescue the puppies from Cruella de Vil, essentially was a message relay from one dog to another to spread word across a great distance very quickly. Realizing that his analogy garnered blank stares from the room full of adults, Dr. Lee found greater success with his second analogy (Lord of the Rings).

    • McKay: It's Mr. Mom!

      This is a reference to the 1983 movie Mr. Mom starring Micheal Keaton as a stay-at-home-dad.

    • Lee: Lord of the Rings! You know, when they light all those signal fires on the mountain tops?

      He is referring to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In the movie, they light a series of fires to send a message from one city to another.