Stargate Atlantis

Season 3 Episode 18


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jun 08, 2007 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
285 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The team goes searching for an alternate power source beneath the surface of the Lantean ocean. When arriving at the power plant, Teyla senses a Wraith nearby.

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  • An episode that could have been a lot more

    First, there was the “SGA” version of “Flowers for Algernon”. That was quickly followed by the “SGA” version of “Ender’s Game” meets “Civilization”. Now, we have this series’ version of “The Abyss”. Even Sheppard points that out early in the episode! Thankfully, that’s not an automatic negative, since the purpose of the episode is exploration of the Wraith. Or, at the very least, a reminder of how creepifying the Wraith can be, even after being sidelined for what seems like ages.

    At the end of the day, this is a “bottle show”, which means the order of the day should be psychological character exploration, brought out by the insanity of the situation. Previous “bottle shows” in the Stargate franchise have been hit or miss. This episode seems to fall somewhere in the middle. It gives the writers a chance to focus on Teyla for once, but in the end, there’s the unfortunate feeling that an opportunity has been wasted.

    Teyla ultimately gets to vanquish an enemy that is otherwise nearly impossible to beat, all based on her connection to the Wraith hivemind, granted to her in a first season episode by an infusion of Wraith DNA. The struggle of wills is the highlight of her plot thread, revealing her inner strength in a way that hasn’t been evident in quite some time. That makes the resolution of the episode too simple and pat in comparison; it also serves to put Sheppard and McKay in position, once again, to save the day.

    Speaking of McKay, after the previous episode, it’s hard to imagine him displaying his trademark sarcasm in quite the same way. This has become an ongoing concern, because it’s another sign that the writers struggle with the concept of letting characters grow and evolve. If the movements are too subtle, then they easily fall into the range of variation from writer to writer, and seem less like planned character evolution than planned stagnation.

    As entertaining as the episode is as an underwater struggle against the most powerful Wraith yet, it fails to deliver as a solid Teyla episode, which is what I had hoped it would be. The character has massive potential, but for it to be realized, she needs a strong and non-relationship-driven arc. Perhaps something that emphasizes her role as the leader of her people in contrast to her role with Team Atlantis, as a follow-up to her arc in the first season, would be the right direction.moreless
  • See Summary

    This was a very interesting episode where Sheppard along with his Team and Weir explore an underwater compound thought to have energy generation capabilities. Along the way Teyla claims to feel a Wraith presence. The set was really cool, very spooky, and makes you feel for the characters in the situation. Eventually the team dertermines that a most powerful Wraith Queen is down there with them. She had been dormant for years since the Great Battle for Atlantis, when her ship sunk, and she fed upon her own to survive. Teylas presence alerted her that she had a chance to escape, but in the end Teyla fooled her, and the Team saves the day again. Very entertaining episode.moreless
  • At the bottom of the ocean...

    It was great variety for a while - this season they have not had many wraith episodes and now they found one - on the most unexpected place - at the bottom of the ocean of Atlantis. And it was great - all the excitement, when they are blocked out, Teyla is controlled by the wraith... And that one - being able to swim there and not giving up - again one very defiant wraith.

    And the ending. The spirit and strength it most have been taken from Teyla to make the plan work - well done.

    In overall, very exciting episode. Good one, an motion and action episode.moreless
  • pretty good episode...

    The team goes to an underwater station and Teyla senses a wraith. It turns out that a wraith queen has lived underwater for a millenia, unable to reach the surface. I liked the idea of the episode, but Teyla was a little annoying. Honestly, I don't really like her character, so when they do a show about her, I naturally don't like it. I really liked the wraith queen and the random scientist. McKay was prety funny. It was weird seeing Weir out of Atlantis, but it wasn't that bad. Overall, this episode had a good story, good humor, and was generally pretty good.moreless
  • This episode is about an underwater adventure with a Queen Wraith.

    This episode was good, but not great like most of the episodes this season. I think the ending could have told a little better - I found it a little confusing. It was good to have a Wraith on an episode again. It's been a long time since there was one on. I liked the part with Sheppard and the Wraith queen. I forgot the Wraith could control bodies like that. Overall it was a good episode, much better than the week before it. It was, however, okay for Atlantis, which is much better than any currently running series on television.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

Torri Higginson

Torri Higginson

Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Michael Tayles

Michael Tayles

Dr. Graydon

Guest Star

Noel Johansen

Noel Johansen

Dr. Dickenson

Guest Star

Donna Soares

Donna Soares

Dr. Coleman

Guest Star

David Nykl

David Nykl

Dr. Radek Zelenka

Recurring Role

Andee Frizzell

Andee Frizzell

Wraith Queen

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Teyla: Have we not been down this hallway before?
      Ronon: Every corridor looks the same.
      Sheppard: Don't worry I have an uncanny sense of direction.
      Ronon: I think she's right. We've been down this way before.
      Sheppard: That's impossible; we took a left, and then a left, and then a right.

      This is reminiscent of the conversation between Sheppard and Captin Holland in Sheppard's flashback in the early Season 3 episode "Phantoms" during which Holland continually questioned, and Sheppard defended, his choice of direction, which was, ultimately, proven to be the wrong one. Sheppard's bad sense of direction was also touched on in the Season 1 episode "Underground" when McKay accused him of being lost on their way back to the settlement from the Stargate.

    • In the 18th episode of each season ("The Gift (1-18)"; "Michael (2-18)"; and now this episode), Teyla has been telepathically controlled by a Wraith, and these have been the only episodes so far where this has occurred.

    • The team finds a underwater drilling station used by the Lanteans during the War with the Wraith. It was used to drill the floor of the oceans of Lantea, to provide geothermal energy to Atlantis.

    • Nitpick: It seems off that the Wraith Queen who commanded the fleet that attacked Atlantis would travel aboard a relatively small ship, such as the cruiser. Normally fleet commanders (and Wraith Queens) would be found aboard the biggest ships, such as Hive Ships.

    • The city of Atlantis does not appear in this episode, except in one very brief long-range exterior shot at the very beginning, as the camera starts to drop underwater.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • (Sheppard and McKay are walking slowly across the ocean floor in water suits.)
      Sheppard: You're breathing too hard.
      McKay: Oh, forgive me for being aware of exactly how much pressure is being exerted on this suit right now.
      Sheppard: Just think of it as a walk on the beach -- a beach that's about to explode.
      McKay: That's supposed to make me feel better!?
      Sheppard: No, it's supposed to make you walk faster. We're on the clock here.

    • (after walking underwater to a Wraith hive ship in water suits)
      Sheppard: That took too long.
      McKay: Yeah, well, I probably won't be able to disarm the self-destruct in time anyway, so we're really not in a rush.
      Sheppard: Why don't we find it first, and then you can be negative.

    • (After the Wraith Queen has been shot)
      Sheppard: I thought you'd forgotten about me.
      McKay: Course not. I just had to wait for her to disable the device. Hey, you should be thankful she didn't feed on you before she entered the command code.
      Sheppard: Oh, that's why you didn't want to be bait.
      McKay: No, no, no, no, you had to be the bait 'cause you were who she was expecting to be the one trying to fly the ship...She is dead right?
      Sheppard: Let's get outta here.

    • Sheppard: A Wraith cruiser.
      McKay: It seems completely buried in the silt.
      Zelenka: Which means it's been here a very, very, very long time.
      McKay: Yes, give or take a very.

    • (Sheppard wakes up after the Jumper window breaks and floods the room. McKay is shouting over the radio)
      McKay: Sheppard this is McKay please respond. Sheppard come in.
      Sheppard: I'm here.
      Zelenka: We had to throw the emergency force fields up. The section you were in was flooding.
      Sheppard: I noticed.

    • (Ronon touches the force field holding back the water from when he shot the Jumper window)
      Ronon: I missed.
      Sheppard: I noticed that too.

    • Sheppard: Rodney, what's going on?
      McKay: What do you mean what's going on?
      Sheppard: We just lost the lights.
      McKay: What? Huh, you're right.
      Weir: Yes, we can see that.
      McKay: We just lost power to 40% of the station. Sensors are currently off-line. Zelenka what are you doing?
      Zelenka: Uh, what do you mean what am I doing?
      McKay: Have you lost power where you are?
      Zelenka: No, have you?
      McKay: No.
      Sheppard: We have.

    • Weir: Well, we have a lot of exploring to do.
      Sheppard: We?
      Weir: Until Rodney delivers the preliminary status report I'm all yours. Put me to work Colonel.
      Sheppard: Fine, let's make up some time, break into teams. Ronon you're with Teyla, Elizabeth you're with me, or, I'm with you, however you want to put it.
      (Weir uses different pronunciations of the word either, one with a long e and one with i)
      Weir: Either way...or either way.

    • Teyla: Have we not been down this hallway before?
      Ronon: Every corridor looks the same.
      Sheppard: Don't worry I have an uncanny sense of direction.
      Ronon: I think she's right. We've been down this way before.
      Sheppard: That's impossible; we took a left, and then a left, and then a right.

    • Teyla: I believe this Wraith is a Queen.
      Sheppard: I hate Queens.

    • Teyla: And there are no other Wraiths onboard?
      Sheppard: There's no way to know for sure, our prisoner isn't talking... other than (imitating Queen mannerism) "You're all about to die."

    • Wraith Queen: You are all about to die!
      Sheppard: Care to elaborate on that one?

    • McKay:(After unloading a full magazine from his P90 on the Wraith)She's not dying according to plan here!!

    • McKay: There must be some kind of a command code that needs to be entered first.
      Sheppard: Can you figure it out?
      McKay: Yes, well command codes are usually quite simple like the number one or the letter A, like in Wraith... which could be...
      Sheppard: Can you figure out the code or not?
      McKay: No, not if I stood here and tried for a million years and we have... (looks at watch) just a million years less than that.

    • Teyla: The briefest contact will determine whether or not I am right.
      Sheppard: That's all we need, so don't stick around any longer.
      Weir: And we will bring you out of it at the first sign of trouble.
      Sheppard: (whispers to Ronon) Just to be sure.
      Ronon: It's already set to stun.
      (Teyla glares)
      Sheppard: Sorry.

    • (shooting)
      Weir: Weapon's fire.
      Sheppard: 9 mil, this way.
      McKay: Oh yes, let's race towards the gunfire.

    • McKay: Okay, Davidson
      Dickinson: It's, uh, Dickinson.
      McKay: Yeah, well I was in the ballpark. Just give me a break here.

    • McKay: What?
      Zelenka: Nobody said anything.
      McKay: You don't have to. Look, it's not my fault things are hard to find on the bottom of the ocean.
      Zelenka: Rodney, you said you knew where it was.
      McKay: I said I knew its last known location. It is a mobile drilling station, remember? Obviously that's gonna take a few hours.
      Ronon: We don't find it soon, this is gonna be your last known location.
      McKay: Oh, zing!
      Sheppard: Okay, kids, do I have to pull this thing over? It's hard enough being in this damn thing for hours without listening to you guys.

    • Graydon: One of these days I'm just going to call him Doctor McCoy.
      Dickinson: I'd like to be there for that.
      Graydon: Well the next time he calls me Grayson.
      Dickinson: Actually I know a Grayson.
      Graydon: There really is a Grayson?
      Dickinson: Yeah, he's a damn good scientist too. I'm surprised McKay didn't hire him.

    • Teyla: Your friendship is very important to me. I would hate to do anything that made you uncomfortable.
      Ronon: Well, okay, I'm good.
      (Teyla knees him in the groin)

    • McKay: I don't hear Grayson complaining.
      Graydon: It's, uh, Graydon with a 'd'.
      McKay: What? You sure?
      Graydon: It's my name.
      McKay: No, no, 'cause I could've sworn the guy I wanted for your department was Grayson, because I remember thinking 'Dick Grayson', Bruce Wayne's ward.
      Graydon: Well, it's Graydon.
      McKay: Huh, that means I hired the wrong guy.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Torri Higginson read the "Previously on Stargate Atlantis" line.

    • Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett) is in the opening credits for this episode but does not appear.

    • International Air Dates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on January 22, 2007 on Movie Central and February 26, 2007 on The Movie Network.
      -This episode aired in the UK on February 28, 2007 on Sky One.
      -Syndication Premiere: May 3-4, 2008.
      -This episode aired in Australia on June 26, 2008 on Channel 7.
      -This episode aired in the Czech Republic on June 17, 2009 on AXN Sci-fi.


    • Sheppard: We may need Teyla to do her Kreskin act again.

      The Amazing Kreskin is a mentalist who became popular on North American television in the 1970s.

    • The Abyss:

      Sheppard alludes to the Navy Seal character who succumbs to compression sickness in the 1989 James Cameron film The Abyss.

    • Stingray:

      In this episode, the Wraith queen looks different to how queens are usually portrayed. In keeping with the underwater theme of the story, the queen appears to have been made up to look like an Aquaphibian from Gerry Anderson's Stingray.

    • Alien:

      There are a number of film references in this episode. Sheppard kept referring to their situation as being similar to that in The Abyss. However, the episode itself was very reminiscent of Alien. The underwater drilling rig looked very similar to the refinery in Alien and the incidental music was almost identical. There was a scene where Graydon notices pools of water on the floor, which was very similar to the scene in Alien where Brett is tracking the cat. The scene where Graydon finds goo on the Jumper ramp was a direct lift from Aliens where Spunkmeyer finds a similar pool of goo on the drop ship ramp.

    • Graydon: One of these days I'm just going to call him Doctor McCoy.

      This is an allusion to the famous doctor of the original Star Trek series (1966-69). It is also a reference to McKay's habit of getting names close but not quite right.

    • McKay: Teyla's Spidey sense works for miles.

      This is a reference to Spider-Man and his ability to sense danger near by, known as his Spider Sense.

    • Dick Grayson:

      Dick Grayson is Bruce Wayne's adopted son, and the original Robin, The Boy Wonder in the DC Comics Universe. He first appears as Robin in Detective Comics #38 (May 1940). The youngest family member of the "Flying Graysons", Dick witnesses his parents murder by a mafia boss to extort money from the circus that employs them.

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