Stargate Atlantis

Season 5 Episode 8

The Queen

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 12, 2008 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
279 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sheppard's team accompanies Todd the Wraith on a mission to negotiate an alliance with another Hive with Teyla playing a key role when she's surgically altered to be a Wraith Queen.

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  • Imperfection makes for a strong episode

    If there's one seldom-spoken truth about Team Atlantis, it's that they repeatedly underestimate their enemies. They operate with the questionable confidence of those who have survived on a combination of luck and determination. Success often breeds contempt, after all. But when one looks back on the series as a whole, the victories have been surrounded by vast fields of defeat.

    Whether it's the Genii, or the Asurans, or the Wraith, Team Atlantis has been more than willing to ignore the intelligence of their enemy, even after they've been fooled in the past! Todd has been a worthy strange bedfellow since he first arrived on the scene, and he has been quite good at turning situations to his own advantage.

    Granted, the usual suspects were wary, and they knew something wasn't quite right. But this is in part due to a very Western trait: dismissing the importance of understanding the enemy's culture and perspective. Quite frankly, Team Atlantis has a rather poor track record when it comes to intelligence gathering. They rely on convenient allies for key information, and this has come back to haunt them on more than one occasion. (Similar to how often the worst situations are a product of their own mistakes.)

    It might sound like this is a complaint; it's not. If anything, it has been the mantra of the Stargate franchise from the beginning. The reason why the IOA is so potent a force in the Stargate universe is the simple truth behind their oppositional stance. The Stargate program has initiated a number of problems since its inception. On the other hand, they've also been the solution to those problems, and the end result has generally been positive.

    The allure is watching the team get out of each and every new mess. Too often, in the past, this was left to Sheppard and McKay. In a nice twist, their best intentions are actually more dangerous than helpful. They do manage to help Teyla pull a victory out of her suicidal battle plan, but on the whole, their assumptions come very close to getting them all killed. It's Teyla and her decision to take matters into her own hands (and Todd's timely rescue) that saves the day.

    Even with all that being true, did they actually gain anything? It seems obvious, about halfway through the episode, that Todd has been using Teyla and the others in a power play. There's little reason to think that Todd will even honor the agreement to spread the genetic treatment around his alliance. Teyla would have to be willing to make good on her threats, and while she pulled it off in this situation, who's to say that it would be successful in the future? Especially after Todd has been given time to consolidate power in her name?

    It's hard to argue that Atlantis is in any better position when the operation is over, and I think that's part of the appeal. The team survived, but things could have easily gone the other way. Even if that is just the "reset button" kicking in again, and even if the tension was resolved a bit too quickly in the final act, it was still a solid outing. One can only hope this is just the setup for something bigger.moreless
  • See Summary

    The Queen was an exciting episode to watch. This episode gave us more insight into the Wraith and they played a major role in this episode. It was nice to not only learn more about them, but to see them on screen for more than a few minutes. I think that this episode was great. I wonder how Teyla must feel after undergoing all those procedures, then circumstances, and then back to normal. I also wonder how that was all possible as it wasn't fully explained in the show. I think that the Wraith are finally on their last legs and will not be around much longer, or at least they will not be a galactic threat as they once were.moreless
  • Queen, the hive, mothership

    SG-A 5th season was the start point for me to handle all the "new" Atlantis work. SG-1 was so much better in all aspects so I really couldnt start watching those when they were toe-to-toe. I felt like Atlantis was 2nd class show with 2nd class talent onboard.

    All this changed when I watched Season 5 Episode 8, "Queen". Really felt that the acting was nice and clean, alliances come and go but this was convincing to me atleast.

    Drama, action, plot, turn of twists. Thats how you do an great episode, just take a look at the SG-1 eps ;)moreless
  • Exciting and different

    oh, Wraiths have been around from the moment one but they always manage to come up with fantastic new ideas what to do with them - we have had friendly Wraiths, Michael.. deficient one.. all kind wraiths and now Teyla becomes one.

    The episode is really good on her point of view - to see her on totally different atmosphere, doing totally different things and being so "wraith like" - it was even little scary but she really was like a Queen and played her part so well.

    I am only little sad what they did with the opening titles. I loved the longer one..moreless
  • Not a believable plot line, when did the Wraith become so timid?

    While this wasn't a bad episode it was definitely an odd one. The story moved too quickly and seemed rushed. Rachel didn't do a very good job of convincing me she was a wraith let alone a queen.

    I was also under the impression that the wraith were untrustworthy and dangerous to deal with. Shepard didn't seem to be worried enough about being on a wraith ship without Todd present. Once again the writing seemed to ignore previous behavior of a character type and made the wraith a lot less menacing. I'm starting to agree with Sci-Fi choice to cancel the series.moreless
Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major/Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa

Ronon Dex

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite

Dr. Jennifer Keller

David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Apollonia Vanova

Apollonia Vanova

Wraith Queen

Guest Star

Richard Zeman

Richard Zeman

Commander Wraith

Guest Star

James Chutter

James Chutter

Bridge Officer Wraith

Guest Star

Tyler McClendon

Tyler McClendon

Kenny the Wraith

Recurring Role

Christopher Heyerdahl

Christopher Heyerdahl

Todd the Wraith

Recurring Role

Sharon Taylor (II)

Sharon Taylor (II)

Technician/Amelia Banks

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Sheppard and the team are on the way to meet with Todd on the Hive Ship. The Puddle Jumper docks and a knock can be heard on the rear hatch. Sheppard walks into the rear compartment and opens the hatch to reveal several Wraith drones with weapons
      Sheppard: This looks a little familiar.

      Sheppard and the team were faced with a similar situation in the season four episode, "Be All My Sins Remember'd".

    • Todd's Wraith Alliance includes many Queens but they fall under the command of a Primary Queen. This Queen also had a yet unseen piece of technology, a pendant to be used in case of emergency to sound an alarm throughout the ship.

    • Dr. Keller has found the formula Michael used to alter his DNA so he no longer needs to feed. It was discovered in the database obtained on M2S-445 in the episode "Search and Rescue."

    • McKay: Seriously, the next time we have to name one of these guys, we should take a vote.

      McKay is referring to the fact that Sheppard has named many Wraith without conferring with anyone first. In "Poisoning the Well" he named the captured wraith Steve, in "The Siege (1)" he named the Wraith intruder Bob, in "Michael" he named the Wraith "guinea pig" Mike, in "Spoils of War (3)" he named the Wraith ally Todd, and in this episode he named the second in command Kenny.

    • In this episode another Hive ship is destroyed by Teyla. This brings the total to fifteen since the expedition arrived in the galaxy.

    • Todd: She will only speak with another Queen.
      Teyla: And your Queen was killed last year in the skies above Atlantis.

      Teyla is referring to the events of the season 4 episode "The Seer."

  • QUOTES (17)

    • (after Teyla talks with a Wraith queen)
      Sheppard: How'd it go?
      Teyla: Apparently quite well. They are preparing the shuttle to take me over to the other Hive.
      Sheppard: Hell, we can pull the plug any time you want. You just give us the word.
      Teyla (shaking her head): No. We've come this far. I intend to go through with this.
      McKay: Well, we'll be right here. Anything goes wrong...we'll get you out.
      Sheppard: But nothing's going to.
      McKay: Well, of course not, but I'm just saying, if it does ...
      Sheppard: (firmly) Rodney.
      McKay: ...which it won't.

    • Todd: Word of your success against him spread rapidly among my kind. We are very grateful.
      Sheppard: Trust me, we didn't do it for you.

    • McKay: Apparently. I'm receiving a transmission.
      Sheppard: Docking instructions.
      McKay: What, no "Hello, greetings weary travelers"?!
      Sheppard: Guess not. So much for the red carpet.
      (the Jumper heads into the docking bay and lands.)
      Keller:: So, what happens now?
      McKay: If history's taught us anything, this is the part where we get double crossed and taken prisoner.

    • (a Wraith hive ship comes into view.)
      Keller: My God! How big is that thing?
      Sheppard: Never seen a hive in space, huh?
      Keller: I've never seen one, period. I mean, I've seen video logs but never in person.
      McKay: Ah, you never forget your first.

    • (Dr. Keller and Sheppard walk into the Infirmary.)
      Sheppard: (with a shocked look on his face) What have you done to her, Doc?
      (Teyla is in bed, restored to her human look, rolls her eyes and smiles at him.)
      Teyla: Very funny!
      Keller: How are you feeling?
      Teyla: Better. There's still some soreness, but for the most part it's gone.
      Keller: Good. Well, I have rounds but I'll come and check on you later. Make sure he doesn't give you a hard time.
      (Teyla laughs as Dr. Keller walks away. Sheppard frowns after her, then strolls to Teyla's bedside.)
      Sheppard: Sure you're feeling OK?
      Teyla: Yes, thank you.
      Sheppard: No lingering desires to feed on anything?
      Teyla: Only on solid food. The blended concoctions given to me by Doctor Keller are not very satisfying.

    • (Teyla is in sitting position on the floor. Wraith leader kneels down behind her, wraps one arm around her neck and holds the edge of the sword against her throat.)
      Wraith leader: I'm afraid your reign is over, my Queen.
      (Two stunner blasts hit him in the back, which knock him unconscious on the floor. Teyla scrambles to her feet as Todd walks in, kneels down to the Wraith leader, snaps his neck and gets up.)
      Todd: He will not be bothering you any further.
      Teyla: (sighing in relief) Thank you.

    • Teyla: (smiles at them) John, Ronon, Rodney. It is good to see you, but you should not have come for me.
      Sheppard: Why? What's going on?
      Teyla: I will explain later, but you must not attempt to escape. You are in no danger. I am now Queen of this Hive.
      McKay: Wait, what?!
      Teyla: It is a long story.

    • (Sheppard, McKay and Ronon have been put into a cell. McKay is standing at the door staring out anxiously.)
      McKay: Now what?
      Sheppard: Well, if I had to guess, I'd say we'll be taken in front of the Queen who will demand answers and threaten to feed on us…at which time, I hope to have a plan to get us out of here.
      McKay: Very reassuring.
      (A door opens a short distance away.)

    • (Sheppard, McKay and Ronon are on board of the Primary Hive and lurking around a corner as guards walk past. McKay is checking a life signs detector.)
      Sheppard: Where do we go?
      McKay: (plaintively) I don't know.
      Sheppard: What do you mean, you don't know?
      McKay: It's hard to tell. I think we're on the wrong level, plus the signal keeps moving around.
      Sheppard: That's a good sign Todd survived.
      Ronon: Still doesn't tell us anything about Teyla.
      McKay: All right. (points a direction) It's this way...I think.
      (They reach a corridor blocked by two Wraith guards. Sheppard ducks back into cover and whispers to the other two.)
      Sheppard: Whoa. We're gonna have to circle back.
      McKay: Oh great! (looks down at the detector) I've gotta figure this out all over again!
      (Ronon turns to go back the way they came, but sees two more guards approaching.)
      Ronon: Another patrol coming this way.
      McKay: So what are we gonna do?

    • Sheppard: All right. Everybody hold on. We're going in.
      McKay: What are you doing?
      Sheppard: Trying to tip the scales a little.
      (The Jumper races towards the enemy Hive and decloaks as it reaches its underside.)
      McKay: Are you nuts?! They can see us!
      (As the Jumper soars underneath the Hive, Sheppard fires four drones which impact with the ship. He fires another volley for good measure before racing away, recloaking the Jumper as he goes.)
      Ronon: Think that did it?
      Sheppard: We're about to find out.
      (Behind them, as another barrage of shots from the Primary Hive impacts the ship, it explodes. Darts soar in all directions to get away from the shock wave. On the Primary Hive, the Wraith Leader stares in disbelief.)

    • McKay: You know, just last week I was talking to Zelenka about trying to reverse-engineer a Daedalus beaming system for the Jumpers.
      Sheppard: (hopefully) And?
      McKay: Oh, well, no. No, we're nowhere near close.
      (Sheppard closes his eyes and grimaces.)
      McKay: I mean, the Asgard technology's incredibly complicated.
      Sheppard: Well, what the hell are you bringing this up for now?
      McKay: I'm just saying that this would be the perfect situation for something...
      (Sheppard groans in annoyance.)

    • (Sheppard, McKay and Ronon are talking just outside the Bridge.)
      Ronon: I still say this was a setup.
      Sheppard: I don't know. Kenny seemed pretty surprised when that ship disappeared.
      McKay: Who?
      Sheppard: Kenny...the second in command.
      McKay: Well, since when did we start calling him that?
      Ronon: Maybe he wasn't in on it.
      Sheppard: I don't know. If Todd wanted to kidnap Teyla, he would have done it the second we arrived. Doesn't add up.
      McKay: Seriously, the next time we have to name one of these guys, we should take a vote.

    • Todd: Our alliance has recently been dealt a number of setbacks.
      Ronon: (smiling smugly) You're getting your asses kicked.
      Todd: Indeed, although the Primary would never admit it out loud. But the one thing stronger than her pride is her instinct for survival.

    • (Sheppard, McKay and Ronon are waiting in a room next to the Isolation Room. Rodney is pacing anxiously.)
      McKay: When are we gonna get to see her?
      Sheppard: Give it some time. Just relax.
      McKay: I can't. I had like three cups of coffee and I'm completely wired.
      Ronon: (sarcastically) Really? I hadn't noticed.
      (The doors open and Jennifer comes out.)

    • McKay: Wait a minute. I thought you worked with a whole group of Hives.
      Todd: I do, but I may have...exaggerated my position within the alliance.
      Sheppard: He doesn't have the clout!
      Ronon: (smugly) Then he's no good to us.
      Todd: There is only one you need to convince. Among all the Queens in the alliance, one sits above the rest. We call her the Primary.
      McKay: The uber-Queen?
      Todd: Convince her, and the rest will fall into line.
      Sheppard: Then convince her.
      Todd: She will only speak with another Queen.
      Teyla: And your Queen was killed last year in the skies above Atlantis.
      Todd: Regrettably, yes. But the Primary does not know this.
      Sheppard: You bluffed your way into the alliance and convinced them you still have a Queen?!
      Todd: They would not have accepted me otherwise. Up 'til now I've been able to maintain this subterfuge, but a face-to-face meeting…that would be difficult. In fact, there is only one person who could help me.

    • Keller: We've come up with a gene therapy that alters Wraith D.N.A. in a small, but significant way. In a nutshell, we think we can make it so that you and any other Wraith we treat will never need to feed on humans again.
      (Todd and Kenny exchange a glance.)
      Kenny: This is absurd.

    • (The team walks into the room, with a wooden table with several chairs, candles, drinking cups and a couple of bowls of fruit.)
      Sheppard: Hmmm. Fruit bowl. Nice touch.
      (Sheppard and the others sit down. Rodney picks up a pear from one of the bowls.)
      Todd: Well, we picked them up on our travels. I thought it would make our discussions more comfortable. I hope they prove as delicious as the farmers who grew them.
      (Todd smiles wickedly at Rodney, who looks awkward and lowers the pear.)

  • NOTES (10)

    • The shot of the Puddle Jumper exiting the Stargate on the planet is a re-use from the season two episode, "Condemned".

    • After filming his first scene, Richard Zeman (Commander Wraith) discovered that he was allergic to the type of contact lense used for the Wraith eyes and so could not wear them for his remaining scenes. Instead, a visual effect was created for his eyes and was added in post production.

    • The first shot of "Kenny" the Wraith was actually flipped horizontally in editing as there wasn't a shot of him looking the right way. This is evidenced on screen with his tattoos being on the opposite side of his face for the rest of the episode.

    • This is the first time a Wraith queen is played by someone other than Andee Frizzell.

    • Robert Picardo does not appear in this episode.

    • As of this episode the opening credits are changed back to the way they were during the first half of season 2. Now the regular actors names are shown across the bottom one at a time during the teaser. The credits themselves are a brief ten-second wormhole effect that lists the show creators.

    • Joe Flanigan voiced the "previously on Stargate Atlantis" line.

    • International Air Dates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on September 15, 2008 on Movie Central and The Movie Network.
      -This episode aired in the UK on October 7, 2008 on Sky One.
      -This episode aired in Sweden on November 14, 2008 on TV6.
      -This episode aired in the Czech Republic on October 29, 2009 on AXN Sci-fi.
      -Syndication Premiere: November 7-8, 2009.
      -This episode aired in Australia on March 11, 2010 on 7TWO.

    • Richard Zeman (Wraith) previously played Lourdes Maylay in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Bad Guys."

    • Apollonia Vanova (Wraith Queen) previously played a Russian Weapons Officer on the Korolev in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Flesh and Blood."