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Stargate Atlantis

Season 3 Episode 11

The Return (2)

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 13, 2007 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Major General Jack O'Neill's mission to defend Atlantis fails as he and Richard Woolsey are taken prisoner during a Replicator assault on the city. Sheppard's team, Dr. Weir and Dr. Carson steal a Jumper from Stargate Command on Earth and come back to Pegasus galaxy with a plan to retake Atlantis.moreless

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  • Return 1 and 2 were great, until ...

    Return 1 and 2 were great ... until the Ancients simply vanished, off camera, during the span of a single episode, never to be mentioned again.

    Pardon me, but that is absurd.

    After ten years of SG-1, plus three years of SGA, the legendary, nay mythical Ancients finally make their appearance.

    Then they're gone, never to be mentioned again, within the space of a single episode, as if they were victims of a traffic accident along the side of the highway as we drive by.

    Were the series writers out of their minds? The Ancients' sudden appearance and even more sudden disappearance wasn't even "lampshaded" with a passing comment.

    Example: "I can't believe after all that time, we never even got to know them."

    Shouldn't the relationship between earthlings and the Ancients been explored in painstaking detail? Shouldn't it have been given at least as much attention as the relationship between us and the Asgard?moreless
  • See Summary

    The Return part 2 was a good episode which more or less concludes this story line to a degree, unless the replicators pop up again, which they most likely will. With Sheppards team now in Atlantis they try to find a way into the city after Oneil and Woolsey are captured. They feed Woolsey a false plan, but make it seem real to fool the replicators. In the end their true plan succeeds, and all of the replicators are destroyed. However some questions remain, such as, what happened to the Ancients who were in Atlantis? Did the replicators kill them all? How is it that Oneil and Woolsey survived, but the Ancients couldn't think of a way to save themselves. I felt that this was a weak link in the episode. Other than that, it was action packed and very entertaining. Nice to see that Atlantis is back in Action!!!!moreless
  • Good, but not great.

    Part 2 was OK, but not great. One problem I had was that video rewind bit when the Replicator pressed the button. I would have preferred to see them disintegrate first, Woolsey look shocked, and THEN have the flashback on their plan. This would have played out better considering McKay would be so full of himself explaining everything, acting all smart and crap that they would nearly forget to warn the Dadealus not to fire on the city, which would have another close call for sure. Another problem was with the opening when they played clips from the previous episodes. Like the situation with "Allies" and "No Man's Land", the second part starts by replaying the last scene from Part 1 when they activate the stargate. That should have been among the previous episode clips and the continuation begin at the gate control room as the Replicators began firing on the Jumper after it enters. This was done much better between "The Siege" Parts 2 and 3 as the former ends with Sheppard making his suicide run toward the Wraith ship (that clip being shown before Part 3 begins) and the latter starting when Ford and the soldiers are in a shootout with the Wraith. Let's hope for future 2-parters they more follow this example then what they're been doing recently.moreless
  • O'Neill's back...

    This episode is in my opinon the best one of the season. I liked this better than part 1. What made this episode so much more likable was the fact that it had Richard Dean Anderson returning as General Jack O'Neill. Sure he was in the last episode but in this episode it was classic O'Neill. The under water scene getting captured by the bad guys, that is all old school O'Neill. When you have O'Neill you have to have his famous lines like "I like to close my eyes and think of England." and then "That sounds more like a plan F to me you know as in we're totally...." But this was a thrilling conclusion and everyone had something to do even Woolsey. I hope RDA comes back to Atlantis he has great chemestry with all those actors.moreless
  • Plan D... or was it...?

    This was lovely episode. First O'Neill in is very natural environment - saving the day, doing all the heroic things. And it was so great to see - that problem with underwater controls and the way they fooled that Woolsey. It was genial. And he was not the only one, saving the day. Beckett got little of that as everyone else - they managed to make a false plan and built a trap for those nasty replicators. And I think they will have their city back in not too many damages.

    All the motion, the plan things.. the little humor they had always around. Action. Super episode.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

John O'Callaghan

John O'Callaghan


Guest Star

David MacInnis

David MacInnis


Guest Star




Guest Star

Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo

Richard Woolsey

Recurring Role

Beau Bridges

Beau Bridges

Major General Hank Landry

Recurring Role

Bill Dow

Bill Dow

Dr. Bill Lee

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (18)

    • Goof: McKay said that for the massive anti-replicator wave to work they needed to modify all 10 of the shield emitters. However, as none of them were carrying a spare ARG, they only had one each, which means they only had 6 anti-replicator crystals, and as Teyla's ARG was still working when she entered the chair room, only 5 of the shield emitters could have been modified with anti-replicator crystals. Therefore, the plan shouldn't have worked.

    • Nitpick: Sheppard surmises that the chair is "active and powered" because the replicators fired drones at them when they approached the city. However, being replicators, they wouldn't use the chair to fire drones as they lack the ancient gene required to use it, so the drones would have to have been fired another way.

    • Goof: After the water is drained from the underwater jumper bay, the Puddle Jumper ramp is wet before Sheppard lowers it, presumably from previous takes.

    • Goof: Throughout both this episode and "The Return, Part I", O'Neill wears the rank insignia of a Brigadier General (1-star) when his actual rank is Major General (2-stars).

    • While the Replicators are repairing the tower, one of them make reference to the Puddle Jumper by calling it "the gateship." Even though the name was said by a replicator, it is more likely that 'gateship' is the original name. Also in the pilot episode, McKay wants to name them 'gateships' but Sheppard disagrees with them and names them 'Puddle Jumpers'.

    • Goof: When Sheppard and McKay are thrown into the holding cell with the others a yellow T mark is clearly visible behind the bench. The T mark indicates where an actor is supposed to stop; in this case it was where O'Neill stands when he is put in the cell later in the scene.

    • O'Neill: What'cha doing
      Talus: Probing your mind.
      O'Neill: Kinda roomy ain't it?
      Talus: Your ability to resist is quite remarkable, General O'Neill.
      O'Neill: It's not the first time I've had a hand in my head, as it were.

      Then Colonel O'Neill and his team encountered the first five human-form Replicators -- and had their minds probed by same -- in the Stargate SG-1 sixth season episode "Unnatural Selection".

    • Teyla: Will we not be vulnerable to the same nanovirus with which Niam infected Elizabeth?

      The Asuran Replicator Niam infected Dr. Elizabeth Weir with nanites at the end of the episode "Progeny". The nanites were rendered inactive in the next episode, "The Real World".

    • O'Neill: Oh! Dr. Beckett, is it? Well I'm comforted.

      This is a possible reference to the Stargate SG-1 Season 5 episode, "The Sentinel". Major Kershaw, who was working on an off-world device for much of the episode, said much the same thing when she discovered that the archaeologist Daniel Jackson would be watching her back. This may also be an allusion to the fact that the first time the two met on screen (in the Atlantis pilot episode, "Rising 1") Beckett nearly killed O'Neill and Major Sheppard by accident.

    • McKay: Oh no. Not again!

      McKay says this when the team realizes that water is seeping into the Jumper. This is a reference to the SGA Season 2 episode "Grace under Pressure" where McKay is trapped in a sinking Puddle Jumper which is continually filling with water.

    • Sheppard: Good old Plan D. Works every time.

      This is very similar to Colonel O'Neill's statement in the Stargate SG-1 Season 5 episode "Fail Safe" in which he said "Yep, Plan 3 works every time" after several failed attempts to stop an Asteroid from hitting Earth.

    • Goof: When Sheppard calls O'Neill on his radio he gives the authentication code Alpha Six Delta Charlie Niner. Later this episode however, he tells Colonel Caldwell his authentication code is Alpha Delta Charlie Niner Six.

    • O'Neill: Yeah. 'Course next time, consider bringing Carter with you.

      This is an apparent reference to how Wright and Cooper have been trying to have Amanda Tapping who plays Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 appear on the show a number of times, but couldn't because of the continued production of SG-1.

    • Goof: The case in the flooded control room that Jack dives into changes positions between Jack's dives.

    • Goof: We can see 5 drones start to chase Shepard and the Jumper. We can then see/hear 3 drones hit the city and explode. In the next drone/Jumper chase scene there are three drones, when there should only be 2.

    • Talus refers to the Puddle Jumper as a "Gateship", the name McKay and Lt. Aiden Ford originally wished to give the craft in the Season 1 episode "Rising 2". This may imply that Gateship was the term used by the Ancients for the vessel.

    • It is revealed by the Asuran Talus that all the Ancients who occupied the city following the human withdrawal were killed.

    • Atlantis is revealed to have an underwater Jumper bay.

  • QUOTES (53)

    • Weir: Well, I think I speak for all of us when I say thank you very much.
      O'Neill: Hey, you came back to rescue me.
      Weir: Hmm! Yes, we did.
      O'Neill: Of course, next time, consider bringing Carter with you.

    • O'Neill: You can stay.
      Weir: Really?
      O'Neill: You're probably still gonna have to get the rubber stamp from the IOA, but since you saved Woolsey's ass and you did a fair job on mine, I don't think that'll be a problem.

    • O'Neill: Gettin' all settled in?
      Weir: Easily. Although their decorating? Little bit spartan for my liking. But the Replicators did do a fine job on rebuilding Stargate Operations back to its original state. How about yourself? Do you check out OK?
      O'Neill: Apparently I don't have any little tiny robots floating in my bloodstream, which is always nice to hear.
      Weir: Huh! That it is.

    • McKay: We turned the shield into a giant Replicator weapon.
      O'Neill: I knew that!
      Woolsey: You knew?
      O'Neill: Well, I've seen Carter crack enough codes to know that McKay was faking the door thing.
      Woolsey: He was? I bought it completely.
      Teyla: I believe that was the point.
      Woolsey: Wait a minute… You... You used me?
      Beckett: You're alive, and you're welcome.

    • McKay: Ha! It worked! I can't believe it worked!
      Weir: Rodney… Amazing.
      McKay: Well, it was a group effort.
      Sheppard: Good old Plan D. Works every time.

    • Sheppard: Everyone okay?
      Weir: So far.
      Beckett: I'll be fine.
      Ronon: Why aren't we dead yet?
      Sheppard: Probably saving us for a little recreational mind-probing.

    • Sheppard(after several Replicators point their stunners at him and Rodney): And I was so sure we were gonna survive this one.
      McKay: Me too.

    • O'Neill: Sheppard, get out of here while you still can. That's an order.
      Sheppard: Sorry it has to be this way.
      O'Neill: Yeah, I get it. Go.
      Woolsey(after Rodney and John leave): So... We're back to being vapourised.

    • Sheppard: We got company. (to Jack) Sorry, sir, we're gonna have to come back for you.
      McKay: No, no, no, no, no, no, we can't leave them here. They know too much.
      Sheppard: What'd you tell 'em?
      McKay: Uh, uh, I mean, they guessed most of it.
      Sheppard(smacking Rodney on the head): What, and you filled in the rest?!

    • O'Neill: So, I guess that frozen Replicator plan didn't pan out?
      McKay: Yeah, not so much.
      O'Neill: How's that Plan B working for ya? Good?
      McKay: Actually, it's more like Plan C. C as in C4, if you catch my drift.
      O'Neill: No.

    • O'Neill: Well, it's about time!
      Woolsey: Oh, thank God!
      Sheppard(to Rodney): Alright, get them out of here. I'll stand guard.
      O'Neill(while Rodney is working on the controls): Hey! Thanks for the rescue!
      McKay: Oh, hey! No problem.
      O'Neill: No! You should be saying, "Thanks for the rescue"!
      McKay: Oh! Uh, right. Thanks.

    • Weir: OK, so what are our options?
      Ronon: I just gave you one.
      Sheppard: We'll call that... Plan B.
      Weir: Anyone for a Plan C?

    • Weir: Alright, so that plan's out the window. We need another one.
      Ronon(holding up his ARG): Well, these weapons blow them apart, right? I say we just start killing them.
      McKay: Well, normally I would share your run-and-gun enthusiasm, but these weapons are only gonna work for so long before they manage to identify the frequency they use to disrupt the bonds that hold the Replicators together.
      Ronon: What'd he say?
      Sheppard: They build up an immunity.

    • Woolsey: That was the worst thing I've ever experienced.
      O'Neill(putting a comforting hand on his shoulder): It gets worse.

    • O'Neill: I'll tell you what: you look around and I'll tell you if you're gettin' warmer or colder, alright?
      Talus: Ah, there it is.
      O'Neill: So... hot, I guess.

    • Sheppard(over the radio): McKay. Fire up that virus.
      McKay: I am working as fast as I can.
      Sheppard: The Replicators have O'Neill and Woolsey.
      McKay: Unfortunately, that information can't make me work any faster.

    • Woolsey: God, you can hold your breath a long time! You almost gave me a heart attack!
      O'Neill(coughing and sounding very weak): Me too.

    • McKay(over the radio): General. It sounded like you had the right control. Why did you stop?
      O'Neill: It's a dead man's switch. I have to hold it in place.
      McKay: I had no idea.
      O'Neill(sarcastically): Really?

    • O'Neill: If you hear something, don't call out to it. Shoot it.
      Woolsey: Understood.
      O'Neill: Anything that's not me, is a Replicator, so don't hesitate.

    • O'Neill: Okay, slight problem here.
      McKay: What's that?
      O'Neill: Well, the level below is completely flooded too.
      McKay: Ah. I, uh, couldn't convince you to take a swim today, could I?

    • Weir: There must be a manual override somewhere.
      McKay: In the Bay's Control Room, yes…
      Sheppard: OK, I'll swim to it.
      McKay: ... which is sealed from the other side.
      Sheppard: Of course it is!

    • McKay: Ohhh... dear.
      Weir: What?
      McKay: I don't think I'm gonna be able to open the outer door.
      Weir: Why not?
      McKay: I think it might be jammed.
      Sheppard(scowling): Might?
      McKay: Okay, is.
      Sheppard(sarcastically): Well, that's unfortunate.
      McKay: Yeah, I'd have to agree with you on that.
      Sheppard: This part of the plan isn't going so well.

    • Sheppard: Well, I guess we took some damage.
      McKay: I just wanna point out that this was not my idea.
      Sheppard: You said, "Get us close to the city". This is pretty damned close!
      McKay: And yet, no cigar!

    • Beckett: The water's not draining out.
      McKay: Yeah, excellent observation, thank you.
      Weir: It is, however, draining in.
      McKay: Oh, not again.

    • O'Neill: Please, don't be offended as I express my... surprise that Landry would send you on a mission like this.
      Weir: Well, sir, General Landry didn't sanction this mission.
      O'Neill: So, am I to assume you are not surrounded by heavily-armed SG teams and young strapping Marines?
      Weir: You've got Col. Sheppard, Ronan, Teyla, McKay, myself and Dr. Beckett.
      O'Neill (sarcastically): Oh! Dr. Beckett, is it? Well I'm comforted.
      Beckett: What's that supposed to mean?

    • O'Neill: Is that Doctor Weir I hear?
      Weir: Yes, General. It's good to hear your voice too.
      O'Neill: I didn't say it was good, Elizabeth.

    • McKay: Because I've gotta keep Niam at nominal power levels, otherwise we risk him waking up. Look, low power means short range. Short range means we need to get closer.
      Teyla: How much closer?
      McKay: Much.
      Ronon: With no cloak?
      McKay: No cloak.
      Sheppard: Good to be back home, huh?
      Weir: Hmm! There's no place like it.

    • McKay: Do what from here?
      Weir: Render the Replicators helpless, Rodney? Remember the plan?
      McKay: Of course I remember the plan. It's my plan.
      Sheppard: Uh, actually, using Niam was Elizabeth's plan.
      Weir: Thank you!
      McKay: It was mostly my plan. (quietly to himself) It was my freezing program.

    • McKay: Okay. This is good. His power levels are minimal but not too minimal. I'm fairly sure he doesn't have the juice to regain consciousness... (Just then Niam's fingers twitch) Whoa… I was fairly sure.

    • Beckett: He's been floating in space for over a month now. Existing in such a harsh environment, direct solar radiation has severely diminished his power levels. We're fairly certain he's almost completely incapacitated.
      Ronon: Is he dead?
      McKay: As in mostly dead.

    • Weir: Well, you said they could rebuild remarkably fast. How long before they restore critical systems?
      McKay: A couple of hours?
      Sheppard: Plus the painting and redecorating.

    • Teyla: Should we not have informed General O'Neill of our plan?
      Sheppard: He knows we're here. We'll contact him again as soon as we get closer to the city.
      McKay: Well, that is gonna be easier said than done. With all those hits we took, it's gonna be impossible for me to convert the shield back to a cloak.
      Sheppard: And by impossible, you mean ...
      McKay: I mean "not possible". What do you think I mean?

    • Beckett(not looking very good): I feel like I'm gonna be ill.
      Ronon: Don't be.

    • Woolsey: That sounded like an explosion.
      O'Neill: Because it was.
      Woolsey: Is Sheppard attacking the city?
      O'Neill: He'd better be.

    • Woolsey: Well, as long as the life signs detectors aren't working in these damaged areas, we should be able to hold out until they rescue us.
      O'Neill: Uh, Richard, there's not going to be a rescue.
      Woolsey: What?
      O'Neill: Landry has standing orders to nuke the city if there's any sign of a foothold situation.
      Woolsey: What kind of a standing order is that?!
      O'Neill(sighing defeatedly): Mine.

    • Woolsey: How did the recon go?
      O'Neill: Well, the Stargate Ops is crawlin' with [replicators]. There's no way we're gonna get across to the Jumper Bay.
      Woolsey: Are they looking for us?
      O'Neill: I plum forgot to ask.

    • O'Neill(offering Woolsey a energy bar): Here.
      Woolsey: Thank God! I'm starving! (he opens it, bites off a chunk and start chewing) Is this all you could find?
      O'Neill(sarcasticallly): No, actually there was a lovely buffet.

    • Woolsey(whispering): General? (whispering louder, after there is no reply) General?
      O'Neill(appearing suddenly): And if I'm a Replicator?
      Woolsey: Then I just exposed my position.
      O'Neill: Again.

    • Kleinman: Sir, I have an incoming message from Atlantis
      Caldwell: Atlantis, is it replicators?
      Kleinman: No sir, it has Sheppards authentication code on it
      Caldwell: Open a channel. Colonel, I'd like to believe this is you.
      Sheppard: Well it is, authentication code Alpha Delta Charlie Niner Six.
      Caldwell: That authentication code is no longer valid Colonel
      O'Neill(in a smart alec tone): Hey, Caldwell. General Jack O'Neill here, that valid enough for ya?

    • Sheppard: General O'Neill didn't buy it but I think Woolsey did.
      McKay: Well, I did win a Sears Drama fest award when I was a kid. Could have made it a career if I'd wanted to.
      Sheppard: Wish you would've.

    • O' Neill(after O' Neill has had great difficulty recognising McKay's "obvious" draining switch during his dive): McKay! You and I have very different ideas on what "obvious" is!
      McKay: Well, I've never seen it before!

    • (As O'Neill prepares to go into the water to drain the Jumper bay)
      Woolsey: You won't be gone long, will you?
      O'Neill: Uh, kinda depends on the temperature of the water.(Dips his toes in the water, then quickly retracts them because of the cold water) Not long.

    • Woolsey: But is it Sheppard attacking the replicators, or the replicators attacking Sheppard?
      O'Neill: We'll find out.
      Woolsey: How did they even get here? Through the Gate?
      O'Neill: I've been sitting next to you, through the whole thing. Why do you think I would have more information?

    • Weir: Hey, if we keep this up, there won´t be much of a city to save.
      Sheppard: Next time, I'll try to run the drones into your least favorite buildings!

    • O'Neill: Sounds more like a Plan F, doesn't it? As in, "We are totally..."
      McKay: If we can fight our way back to the bay, then we'll be able to fly the Jumper to a safe distance. (hesitating) That is, if we can get the underwater bay door open.
      O'Neill(indignantly): You can't even open this door!
      McKay: Hey, I'm workin' in it!
      O'Neill(sarcastically): Yes. I see that.

    • Sheppard: (into walkie-talkie) We've got a plan sir… a good one.
      O'Neill: Yes Colonel, I'm sure you do. But in the unlikely event you don't fail miserably… you're fired!
      Sheppard: Yes sir, look forward to that.
      O'Neill: They have a plan.
      Woolsey: I heard.

    • O'Neill: What'cha doing?
      Talus: Probing your mind.
      O'Neill: Kinda roomy ain't it?
      Talus: Your ability to resist is quite remarkable, General O'Neill.
      O'Neill(smiling): It's not the first time I've had a hand in my head, as it were.

    • Woolsey: They're overdue.
      O'Neill: Not yet.
      Woolsey: It's been well over eleven seconds.
      O'Neill: Yes, but you're been ignoring the dramatic element of... suspense.

    • O'Neill: (into walkie-talkie) Yes, we're here. You're late.
      Sheppard: Sorry, sir. We had to go into space and pick up some... frozen goods.
      O'Neill: Whatever.

    • Woolsey: He put his hand in my forehead. How can you resist that?
      O'Neill: Well, I like to close my eyes and think of England.

    • Beckett: You want me to do what?
      Sheppard: Just do what I tell you to do.
      Beckett: Alright, I will give it a try. But no apologies if I end up destroying the entire bloody city.

    • Cetus: What were you doing in the flooded sections of the city?
      O'Neill: The backstroke, (in a low voice) I think.
      Talus: What are you planning?
      O'Neill (sarcastically): Well, I was planning to retire. But, man, is that overrated. I mean it's not like I am a workaholic or anything. But, you know, I need to stay active with the community. It's a health, um, maintenance sort of thing, you know.

    • Woolsey: That sounded like another explosion.
      O'Neill: Yes. Yes it did.
      Woolsey: What does that mean?
      O'Neill: Something exploded.

  • NOTES (6)

    • As he is about to get into the water, there is a sigh from O'Neill as he realizes what he is about to do. This sigh wasn't actually from Richard Dean Anderson, instead being added by Martin Gero in post production.

    • The shot of the puddle jumper underwater is a re-use from the season 2 episode, "Grace Under Pressure".

    • The shot of the puddle jumper heading towards the planet is a re-use from the season 1 episode, "The Storm".

    • David Hewlett voiced the "previously on Stargate Atlantis" line.

    • Richard Dean Anderson is billed with "Special Appearance By."

    • International Air Dates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on November 20, 2006 on Movie Central and January 8, 2007 on The Movie Network.
      -This episode aired in the UK on January 10, 2007 on Sky One.
      -Syndication Premiere: December 1-2, 2007.
      -This episode aired in Australia on May 8, 2008 on Channel 7.
      -This episode aired in the Czech Republic on May 25, 2009 on AXN Sci-fi.


    • O'Neill: Well, I like to close my eyes and think of England.

      During the Victorian Era mothers supposedly advised their daughters before the wedding night to just 'lie back and think of England', thereby remembering the duty towards their country.

    • Cetus: What were you doing in the flooded sections of the city?
      O'Neill: The backstroke...I think.

      Richard Dean Anderson had very similar dialogue in the the MacGyver Season 5 episode "Deep Cover".

    • Sheppard: Good to be back home, huh?
      Weir: There's no place like it.

      This is a reference to Dorothy's famous line from The Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."

    • Lee: It was like a scene out of The Sting.

      This is the comparison Lee uses for McKay and Weir's "covert operation" in his office. This is an allusion to the 1973 Oscar winning movie The Sting. The movie involves the two main characters conning a mob boss ("the mark") into giving away all his money by a series of "con games". If the con game is successful, the mark does not realize he has been "taken" (cheated), at least not until the con men are long gone - very like Lee's situation.

    • McKay: Well, I did win a Sears dramafest award when I was a kid. Could have made it a career if I wanted to.

      The Sears Ontario Drama Festival is a prestigious showcase of theatre performances by high school students, held annually since 1946. Winners are selected by district. Awards are given in the categories of acting, directing, writing, sound and lighting, set design, and music.