Stargate Atlantis

Season 4 Episode 13

Quarantine

2
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 18, 2008 on Syfy
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
328 votes
17

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When Atlantis is put under quarantine, everyone gets stuck in a room with another person. While dealing with personal issues, they also try to figure out why there's a quarantine, and how to get out.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • There's only one thing that makes this episode worth watching…

    5.0
    There's only one thing that makes this episode worth watching…





    That is Sheppard climbing the outside of one of the towers. It's a great visual.



    The rest of the story is boring. The city goes into (a false) lockdown mode. This strands several characters allowing them to have "character moments." Carter is stranded with Zelenka. Sheppard with Teyla. McKay with Katy Brown. We get the expected character interaction. Teyla may or may not go into labor. McKay may or may not propose to Brown. We really don't learn that much more about them.





    Cut the episode from the series and you're no worse off. It really adds nothing.moreless
  • See Summary

    8.0
    Quarantine was an episode steeped in characters personal drama and dilemas. This episode was an insight into characters and ties up some loose ends in certain relationships that seemed to be headed some where. When Atlantis goes into Quarantine mode, and locks down the city, everyone is trapped along with some one else. Carter is with Zelenka, and McKay with Katie whom he was going to propose to, and Teyla with Sheppard who continues to look out for her, and Ronin was trapped with Dr. Keller. It seems that these two have some chemistry that we may see develop further down the road. This episode was a little slow, but good.moreless
  • good episode...

    7.9
    The story in this episode was pretty boring and was nothing special. I've seen it all done before; they were all just trapped in Atlantis and couldn't get out because of a malfunction with the quarantine. I thought McKay's little story was annoying, predictable, and boring. Yes, his character was developed and I'm glad he's not engaged, but it was just boreing. I really like Ronon and the doctor. They are so cute together! I hope more comes out with that relationship. Teyla is getting more annoying with her pregnancy...Zelenka was halarious! Overall, this episode's story sucked, but there were plenty of great funny moments and great character development.moreless
  • Taking time off to give room for character development...

    8.0
    So, this episode was really about characters and some of those who do not have their star moments so often, got some attention. Like Zelenka who has always been there and this time, instead Sheppard or McKay he is the one saving the day. And this was great.



    And all other things. Teyla sharing her confused feelings about the future and what will become of her and her child. McKay dealing with marriage and it was so sure at the beginning of the episode, that he will not ask but... and of course, the best part - doc and Ronon. That was somehow surprising but the best pearl of this episode.moreless
  • A "computer goes berserk" episode... It's been done better on Trek.

    5.6
    A computer medical quarantine program, either an Atlantean one or something written by Rodney, activates out of the blue and locks people into different parts of the city: Rodney and Katie in a bio lab, Carter and Zelenka in an elevator/transporter, Ronon and Keller in sickbay, and Sheppard and Teyla in Rodney's computer lab. The self-destruct sequence and a distress beacon that can alert the Wraith are activated.



    Needless to say, Team Atlantis manages to save the city and shut down the beacon to keep the Wraith and Pegasus galaxy at large from learning Atlantis' new location. It's Zelenka rather than the usual hero Sheppard, who shuts down the power to the computer system to save the day.



    The Atlantis producers have said they wanted to avoid reusing old plots, but they've already done it a few times this season and this week's installment was another retread. The premise of an old program coming out of nowhere to take control and wreak havoc is one of SF TV's overused standard plots. At least two others I can think of are: Trek TNG Season 5 episode "Disaster" and Trek DS9 Season 3 episode "Civil Defense." "Quarantine" by comparison to those episodes strikes me as less dramatic. One tech bug I wasn't certain on was how the city's computer system shut down the Atlantis expedition's wireless communications, which I believe is Earth-based technology. I will pass on a plot recap detailing the various situations. The main thing that went on in this installment was relationships: the likely start of a couple (Ronon and Keller), the ending of another (Rodney and Katie), a nonevent (Sheppard and Teyla), and a crush that'll likely go nowhere (Zelenka on Carter). I'm not necessarily against Ronon and Keller coming together, but I feel that there could've been a lot more setup over several episodes to this relationship to help build up fan investment as in the case of Kira and Odo on DS9. I don't see at this point what those two have in the way of chemistry. For example, Ronon makes Keller feel safe and Keller makes Ronon feel like smiling for the first time in years because of a quirky sense of humor...



    Ronon simply sniffs her hair, then the two lean in for a kiss as power cuts out, then comes back on line, and sickbay unseals as the city's computer system reboots.



    Rodney goes through a major panic attack when he's locked into the botany lab with Katie just before he proposes to her. Katie finds the ring Rodney was going to give her and is thrilled, but Rodney is too preoccupied with predicting they'll both die. Needless to say, Katie realizes Rodney isn't marriage material and Rodney says it aloud at the end when the two wordlessly break off their relationship. Unfortunate. It seemed to me that Rodney was overreacting at the behest of the writer.



    Sheppard and Teyla talk a little bit about how he came down hard on her when she finally came clean about being pregnant. Is Sheppard jealous? I'm not sure. He doesn't seem to be either. The writers don't seem to be clear on this either. A funny bit was Sheppard worrying about Teyla going into premature labor, seeing her react when the baby kicks, then climbing out of the lab to reach the control room just four stories up the spire they're trapped in. There was a tense moment when it looked like Sheppard would fall, but it was just a moment. This episode needed more.



    Zelenka gave Carter a self conscious look in the elevator when she took off her jacket because of the apparently rising temperature. Is the elevator air tight and overheating from carbon dioxide buildup? Is Atlantis located on a humid ocean? Something else? We learn that Zelenka has pet pigeons (on Earth?), which contributes what? For the main storyline of Season 4, would it have been a bad thing for the Wraith and the rest of the Pegasus galaxy to learn where Atlantis was roosting? With Carter having been absent during episodes where more major things happen, it was dissatisfying to have her appear in a filler episode where nothing really happened.



    Season 4 of Atlantis is really striking me as hit or miss and in need of a direction with the premature demise of the Pegasus Replicators.



    Boris

    http://www.borislayupan.com/moreless
David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa

Ronon Dex

Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Colonel Samantha Carter

David Nykl

David Nykl

Dr. Radek Zelenka

Recurring Role

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite

Dr. Jennifer Keller

Recurring Role

Brenda James

Brenda James

Dr. Katie Brown

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (7)

    • In this episode Zelenka speaks Czech: "I'll have the power off in no time. Ježiš, to je neuvěřitelný, já jsem takovej debil! Si bude myslet, že jsem naprostej idiot. Nó, tak co mně zbejvá, no... Tohleto né...(groaning) Se sem nevejdu...fuj to smrdí! (looks down) Ježišmarija... (looks around) Jéžiš, to snad né..." which translates to "I'll have the power off in no time. Jesus, that's unbelievable, I'm SUCH a moron! She'll think I'm a total idiot. Well, what else should I do? No, not this again...(groaning) Don't fit here...ugh, this place stinks! (looks down) Jesus [and] Mary... (looks around) Oh tell me it's not happening!"

    • Goof: In the opening scene when Colonel Sheppard opens the ring box, the camera shot of the box shows the ring and the stone clearly. In the next close up of the ring, the stone is missing from the setting.

    • At 120 beats per minute even in deep sleep, Rodney has Tachycardia (a heart rate over 100 bpm at rest), although his is not life-threatening.

    • Dr. Keller graduated high school at the age of fifteen, and gained a bachelor's degree before she was eighteen. She admits that she concentrated too hard and missed out some of the most important moments of her teenage life.

    • This episode plants the seed for a possible future relationship between Ronon and Doctor Keller. Up until this point, there had only been vague hints as to the attraction between the two.

    • Rodney McKay was born in 1968. The same year as David Hewlett who is the actor who plays him.

    • McKay's password is 16431879196842. The numbers 1643 was the birth year of Isaac Newton, 1879 was the birth year of Albert Einstein, and 1968 is Rodney's birth year. The 42 is "the ultimate answer to the Great question of life, the universe and everything" in Douglas Adam's 5 book trilogy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Sheppard: Never underestimate the size of that man's ego.

    • Sheppard: They would have to know Rodney's password. (pause) Fortunately, I do.
      Teyla: He told you his password.
      Sheppard: No, he didn't think I would remember it. 16431879196842. See, doesn't take a genius.
      Teyla: It doesn't?
      Sheppard: 1643, the year Isaac Newton was born. 1879, Einstein. 1968…
      Teyla: The year Rodney was born.
      Sheppard: Never underestimate the size of that man's ego.

    • (After trying unsuccessfully to break the door open by exploding the oxygen tank)
      Keller: You gotta be kidding me!
      Ronon: It's a lot stronger than a shark.

    • Teyla: What is Category 5?
      Sheppard: I'm guessing it's a lot worse then Categories 1 through 4.

    • Keller: You tore your stitches. Honestly, I've never met anyone with such reckless aggression. (Ronon smirks) That's not a compliment.
      Ronon: If you say so.

    • (After Sheppard puts in Rodney's password he is explaining what the numbers mean.)
      Teyla: Wait, what are the other numbers?
      Sheppard: 42.
      Teyla: What is that?
      Sheppard: It's the ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything.

    • (After the self-destruct alarm was shut down.)
      Technician: Finally!
      Sheppard: You shut it down.
      Technician: No, just the alarm.

    • (Doctor Keller and Ronon are in the Infirmary. Keller is tending to Ronon's cut)
      Keller: ...Well, maybe we could pass the time getting to know each other better?
      Ronon: What do you have in mind?
      Keller: Oh, I, I, I mean, I didn't, you know, I meant just, like, talk! I didn't mean...yeah so, anyway, erm, let's talk!
      (Dr. Keller and Ronon stare at each other for a minute)

    • (McKay and Katie are trapped in the botany lab)
      Katie: ...It's gonna be OK. Dr. Keller and Zelenka-
      McKay: We don't know that, we have no idea if it's gonna be OK. For all we know, Zelenka and Keller could already be infected. We don't even know how much of the city is in quarantine! If this is serious - and we have no reason to believe otherwise - we could be looking at a city-wide lockdown!
      Katie: You are thinking the worst case scenario.
      Rodney: Hello, this is what I do! Someone needs to think ahead to the worst possible outcome to any situation, in order to properly defend against it!
      Katie: Any situation? Even the good ones?
      Rodney: Hey, it doesn't take much for a, a, good situation, to, to, turn ugly! One minute you're happily riding your bicycle back from acing your geo-mechanics mid-term, warm breeze in your face, next thing you know, you're flying through the air 'cos you just hit a pothole!
      Katie: (Walks over and pats Rodney on the shoulder) Oh, Rodney! Did that happen to you?!
      Rodney: The point is, one must always be on guard! You know, always looking out for the potholes. Now, you can call me a catastrophist, but it's a necessary burden I bear.
      Katie: A mindset like that, and a person would live in a constant state of worry and fear.
      Rodney: You forgot despair.

    • (Sheppard and Teyla are trapped in a computer room. Sheppard is looking for anything that can help them get out)
      Sheppard: ..Start searching for any explosives Rodney might have left.
      Teyla: Well, I doubt that he would...
      (Teyla holds her stomach. Sheppard turns around to see what is the matter)
      Sheppard: Don't tell me the..er..
      Teyla: The baby just kicked!
      Sheppard: Really?
      Teyla: There it is again, here.
      (Teyla puts Sheppard's hand on her stomach)
      Sheppard: (Smiles) That guy wants to get out of here as much as we do.
      (Teyla looks unsettled)
      Sheppard: Teyla, you OK?
      Teyla: (Nods)
      Sheppard: Just hang in there, I'll get everybody out of here.

    • (After Atlantis has been saved, McKay visits Katie in the Botany Lab)
      Rodney: Katie?
      Katie: Hello, Rodney. I see you're feeling better.
      Rodney: Yes...er...I...er...I mean probably just allergic thing...I'm fine.
      Katie: And the...er...quarantine? Is it true there was no outbreak?
      Rodney: Er, no, malfunction. Planetary anomaly, ionospheric disturbance - I've... Actually we calibrated the system so it'll take into effect future activity. So, er, so we should be fine.
      Katie: Someone said it was Dr. Zelenka that finally turned off the self-destruct?
      Rodney: Technically yes, but it was actually more of a group effort - but that's, thats not why I came here. I, erm, here's the thing. Over the last year and a half, I have become aware that I have certain - I don't wanna use the word flaws - er... shortcomings, perhaps? For example, on occasion, I can be negative... and demanding, and a tad arrogant, but, er, I'm also finding that just being aware of your er... shortcomings, is just the first minute step on the road to betterment, and that the real trick seems to be to actually do something about it.
      Katie: I know, it's difficult.
      Rodney: The point is, I came here earlier today to propose marriage to you, but after what happened, I realise I may have been rushing things. I just don't think I'm ready for this.
      Katie: (With slight tears in her eyes) I know.
      Rodney: You do?
      Katie: I don't think I'm ready either.
      Rodney: Oh, ok, that's good. It's not that my feelings have changed or diminished-
      Katie: No, of course not.
      Rodney: I mean, if we got married now, I would make your life miserable and you are far too good a person for that.
      Katie: Don't be so hard on yourself.
      Rodney: (Smiles) Easier said than done, right?
      (Katie and Rodney look at each other for a moment)
      Rodney: Ok, so, rain check on lunch?
      Katie: Absolutely!
      (Rodney walks away)
      Katie: Rodney?
      Rodney: Hmm?
      Katie: Bye.
      Rodney: Bye.
      (Rodney turns and leaves)

    • (Rodney and Katie are in the Botany Lab talking)
      Katie: What is it?
      Rodney: It's nothing...er...oh, hey, isn't that the, erm...
      Katie: The Rodneyanavolosa. The plant I named for you.
      Rodney: Right...er...it's grown.
      Katie: Yes, it's really flourished here. I've been kinda doting on it, giving it a little extra TLC (Starts moving her hands up and down it) and it just, just gets bigger and bigger...
      (Rodney starts coughing uncontrollably)

    • (Sheppard smashed a window to climb out of the computer room he and Teyla are trapped in)
      Teyla: John, what are you doing?
      Sheppard: The control room is only four floors above us. All I have to do is climb up and I'm in.
      Teyla: Climb the tower? Is that even possible?
      Sheppard: Sure! Batman did it all the time...(Looks at the big drop to the ocean)...piece of cake. (To Teyla) Don't worry, I'll be fine. Gotta a turn off that beacon.

    • (The self-destruct alarm has gone off. Ronon and Doctor Keller are in the Infirmary. Ronon is trying to get the door open)
      Keller: Ronon, we've already tried. It's not gonna open!
      Ronon: We'll just have to blast a hole in it!
      Keller: With what? You don't have your gun.
      Ronon: Got any C4 in here?
      Keller: In the Infirmary?
      Ronon: Anything we can use to act as an explosive?
      Keller: I don't know, I...er...the oxygen tanks, maybe?
      Ronon: Right...like Sheriff Brody did in that movie...Jaws!
      Keller: Yeah, I know, I've seen it. What are you...?
      (Picks up an oxygen tank)
      Ronon: Alright, all we need is a gun to shoot it with. You got one in here?
      Keller: Again, Infirmary, not armory.

    • (Carter and Zelenka are trapped in one of the city's transporter chambers)
      Carter: (Sighs) We could really use one of your pigeons around now.
      Zelenka: Well, they're not for eating!
      Carter: Oh, no, I meant, you know, to get help.
      (Zelenka looks confused)
      Carter: Like homing pigeons, you attach a little SOS note to their feet and... (Gestures letting a pigeon go)
      Zelenka: But there's no window in here?
      Carter: I know, I was just...
      (Carter looks away)

    • (Carter and Zelenka are trapped in one of the city's transporter chamber. Carter picks up the computer tablet and tries to access the mainframe computer)
      Carter: I need to try and access the mainframe.
      Zelenka: Yes, well, unfortunately that's all you'll be able to do. This tablet has limited RAM. It's configured mainly for read-only field diagnostics.
      Carter: Well, we should at least be able to determine the extent of the lockdown.
      (Carter turns on the tablet. There is a picture of a pigeon on the screen)
      Zelenka: Oh, sorry. (Takes the tablet) It's one of my pigeons. I, I raise them as, as a hobby...back home.
      (Sam smiles. Zelenka turns to the tablet)
      Zelenka: Right, lets see what we have here.

    • (Ronon walks into the Infirmary with a cut on his arm)
      Keller: Another sparring accident?
      Ronon: Actually, I slipped in the shower.
      Keller: Oh, really?
      Ronon: No. Sparring accident.
      Keller: This is the third time this week I've had to patch you up. You know, there are a lot of other ways you could spend your free time.
      Ronon: (Smiling at Keller) Not as much fun though.

    • (Teyla and Sheppard are trapped in a computer room)
      Sheppard: We could be here a while.
      (Sheppard looks at Teyla and then back at the computer)
      Teyla: What?
      Sheppard: It's just that everytime one of these things happens in the movies, the pregnant woman goes into labor.
      Teyla: I'm still a long way from my due day.
      Sheppard: It's the same thing in the movies and then wham!
      Teyla: Relax John, I will be fine.
      Sheppard: I want you to sit down.
      Teyla: I'm alright.
      Sheppard: Yeah, yeah, you know, just be on the safe side and sit down.
      (Pulls up a chair)
      Sheppard: let's see what we can find out.
      (The two get back to work)

  • NOTES (4)

    • The steel bulkhead that is lowered in McKay's lab was created especially for this episode as the reason why Sheppard and Teyla would be trapped in the room.

    • Sharon Taylor (II) (Amelia Banks) previously played the Replicator Technician in the episode "Lifeline (3)."

    • David Nykl stated, in his July 8 blog, that this episode was the first to be filmed upon the cast and crew's return on July 16, following the summer break. This is the reason Teyla's pregnancy has advanced so far in between episodes.

    • International Air Dates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on January 21, 2008 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
      -This episode aired in the UK on January 22, 2008 on Sky One.
      -Syndication Premiere: February 21-22, 2009.
      -This episode aired in the Czech Republic on August 10, 2009 on AXN Sci-fi.
      -This episode aired in Australia on December 10, 2009 on 7TWO.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Jaws:

      Ronon gets the idea of blowing up the oxygen tanks from Jaws, a 1975 movie based on Peter Benchley's novel about a man-eating shark that wreaks havoc upon a small vacation island.

    • Sheppard: ...Sure! Batman did it all the time...

      This is an allusion to the comic book character of Batman, a crime-fighting superhero who flies around Gotham City saving the inhabitants from evil criminal's. Batman originally started as a comic book in May, 1939. Since then, it has has several movies and cartoon series made out of it. The first television incarnation, Batman (1966), is often referred to by Sheppard and McKay.

    • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

      The last two digits of McKay's password are an allusion to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which 42 is the answer to the ultimate question. This was also alluded to by Sheppard in the episode "Doppelganger".

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