|Original air date|
|Atlantis Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team travels to a planet to meet a "hero", only to find Lucius Lavin, who play-fights off Genii mercenaries to win the hearts of the villagers. However, the mercenaries soon contact Commander Acastus Kolya in order to capture Sheppard's team.
Atlantis receives news that a village on M65-PL8 is protected by a hero with superhuman strength. Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and his team visit the planet, only to realize that this hero is really Lucius Lavin. The team suspects that he is using the same drug he used on Atlantis that caused everyone near him to obsessively like him. Lucius says that he doesn't need the drug because he has a Personal shield emitter which makes him invincible, and won the hearts of the villagers after taking out some troublemakers; he maintains their devotion by claiming credit for some of the heroics that he read about in Atlantis's mission reports.
While Lucius is hiking in the nearby woods, a small group of thugs with rifles invade the village, asking for the "hero." With weapons raised, the gang's leader, Haemon, asks Sheppard whether he is the rumored hero who will stop them from robbing the town and burning it to the ground. Lucius Lavin arrives with an air of triumph, declaring that he is the hero and will protect the village. The thugs' blows bounce off his shield, and he makes quick work of them.
The team visits with Lucius in his new home, but after saying goodbye, they decide to stick around and see if they can learn what Lucius is up to this time. They follow him to a secret meeting with Haemon and his men, learning that Lucius hired them to stage the attack, and that he is paying them less than what they agreed to, despite having legitimately injured two of them. The men are furious - they are proud soldiers of the Genii, former members of Cowen's personal guard, who were forced to work for hire after Ladon Radim's coup ("Coup D'etat").
When Lucius returns to the village, the team tries to expose Lucius's con to the villagers, but the villagers do not believe them. Later, Commander Acastus Kolya and some of his soldiers arrive, looking for Sheppard. The team realizes that they can't fight Kolya without risking the lives of the villagers, so with the help of Lucius, they hide in a closet until Kolya leaves. Lucius confronts Kolya and orders him to leave; Kolya's shots bounce off the shield, but Kolya soon realizes that he can torture Lucius by trying to drown him. Lucius gives away the team's location, but they have relocated.
Kolya ties Lucius to a chair and tries to get more information from him. Lucius repeats his false heroics to Kolya and his men, who prove uninterested. Kolya leaves Lucius to deal with some other work. Sheppard's team sneak in and try to break Lucius free, but make a desperate premature exit when a bomb strapped to Lucius's chair goes off. The team is immediately captured by Kolya, except for Sheppard who manages to escape.
While Kolya and his men search for Sheppard, Lucius sneaks away and finds him first. Kolya radios Sheppard to tell him that the Stargate is heavily guarded, and that he will kill members of the team unless Sheppard surrenders. Sheppard agrees to return and Lucius decides to help him. Together Sheppard and Lucius are able to come up with a plan that has Lucius rally the villagers to protect themselves rather than rely on one man to do it.
As Kolya prepares to kill McKay, Sheppard shows up and after agreeing they should've killed each other the first time they met, Kolya has his men shoot Sheppard. However, Sheppard is wearing Lucius' personal shield and the Genii attack has no effect on him. As Sheppard taunts Kolya, the shield's power source is suddenly depleted, leaving Sheppard vulnerable. Before Kolya's men can reload, Lucius arrives with the armed villagers who surround Kolya and his men. After Kolya acknowledges that he wouldn't accept an offer to surrender, he and Sheppard enter an impromptu duel. Sheppard proves to be the faster shot, hitting Kolya in the heart and killing him. With their leader dead, Kolya's men surrender.
After the situation is over, the team departs the village. Sheppard returns the personal shield to Lucius as he had promised to do, but doesn't inform Lucius that its power source is now depleted. As a result, Lucius finds out painfully as the team walks out of the village.
Ancient; Ancient Technology Activation gene; Dougy Angus; Athosian; Back to the Future; Batman; Blood; Colt M1911A1 pistol; Cowen; Fishing; FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon; Genii; Genii communicator; Genii pistol; Genii semi-automatic machine gun; Genii shotgun; Iratus bug; Evel Knievel; Lanko; Lucius' herb; M65-PL8; Namakaeha Towrik; Particle magnum; People of M65-PL8; Personal shield emitter; The Princess Bride; Ladon Radim; Skirmish on Lucius' second homeworld; Scotland; Schnitzel; Suppressor; Tavern; Wraith
Sheppard: My childhood hero was Evel Knievel.
Teyla: Was he not evil?
Sheppard: No, that was just his name. He was a daredevil... which isn't a kind of a devil, he just jumped motorcycles over things.
Sheppard: Just because. Didn't always make it, either.
Teyla: And you greatly admired this behavior?
Sheppard: No, I just... Look, at least my hero is human. McKay's is Batman!
McKay: Mmm. Misunderstood and unappreciated by many, his most formidable weapon was the power of his brilliant mind. Not just a hero -- a superhero.
Lucius: (a pallet of flour sacks breaks over his head without harming him) See? Invincible. I can't be vinced!
Lucius: Oh. Well, I guess the only thing left to do is for you to thank me.
Ronon: What for?
Lucius: For saving your lives.
Sheppard: Thank you.
Lucius: Please, it was nothing.
Sheppard: Yeah, it was nothing!
Lucius: (angrily) What are you talking about, it was nothing? These people had you on your knees.
Sheppard: Yes, they did.
Lucius: Well? You're welcome.
Sheppard: What are we gonna do?! Well, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get by Kolya's men so I can get to the Gate and call for reinforcements.
Lucius: Reinforcements? What d'you say we just get off this planet?
Sheppard: My team is back there!
Lucius: Yeah, so is the guy who wants to bury me alive.
Sheppard: Oh, you're done playing hero now, are you? Fine, you can leave as soon as we get to the Gate. Just keep up.
Lucius: You're angry, aren't you?
Sheppard: Shut up.
Lucius: See, that's anger.
Lucius: Okay, okay: what if I swung from a clock tower on a long rope right into town?
Lucius: I dunno. That's all I have. I could set myself on fire.
Sheppard: I like that.
Lucius: Okay. Um, I could run naked? Oh, I know, I know, I have one! What if I got on your shoulders and we have a cloak that they... it's some religious thing... they could be afraid of giants. Okay, what if we build a tunnel, okay? We could tunnel... or a boulder, a huge boulder. I'm camouflaged, I'm protected, now the boulder protects you... or, um, a magnifying glass and some tape...
Sheppard: I have an idea, Lucius.
Lucius: ...some poison tape!
McKay: I thought that personal shield was depleted.
Sheppard: Oh, yeah.
Teyla: Then it is worthless?
Sheppard: Pretty much.
Beckett: You're not gonna tell Lucius?
Lucius: (in background) Kick me as hard as you can! Ow! Ow! Ow!
Sheppard: He´ll figure it out.
- The type of personal shield emitter seen in this episode was first featured in the Season 1 episode "Hide and Seek", where McKay depleted his shield while saving the city from an energy-draining creature.
- Sheppard says that Lucius' shield won't stop the Genii from simply burning down the village around him, and Lucius is later shown to be completely at the mercy of the Genii. Yet in the staged bandit ambush earlier, he used the shield to enhance the force of his blows, so he could have just taken out the Genii with his fists.
- It was later established they were acting.
- This episode reveals that all the military officers who supported Cowen have since been expelled or driven out of Genii territories, and several have become mercenaries following Ladon Radim's coup d'etat in "Coup D'etat".
- This episode marks the first ever use of the suppressor attachment for the FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon in both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. Though the gun is not fired while the suppressor is attached, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard still intends to use it before he takes it off.
- There are two references to Batman in this episode: when McKay says that he is his favorite superhero and later when Lucius hides Sheppard's team in a secret room hidden behind a grandfather clock that is accessible by turning the hands on the clock face to a specific time; one of the secret entrances to the batcave is hidden in a very similar manner in Wayne Manor as well.
- The village set in the episode is the same set used in Stargate SG-1 episode "Revisions", Fantasy Garden World which is located near Richmond, BC Canada. Director Martin Wood found the location difficult and restrictive, with little variety or space. Originally, the set from the television series Bordertown that aired from 1989 to 1991 was to be used and the script was written as such, but the set was in such disrepair that the shoot had to be moved. The episodes "A Hundred Days" and "Beast of Burden" were previously shot there.
- This episode marks the death of Commander Acastus Kolya which is confirmed in "Remnants" when Sheppard says to a hallucination of Kolya caused by an alien AI that Beckett confirmed his death after Sheppard shot him.
- The climax bears a strong resemblance to the climax of A Fistful of Dollars.
- Carson Beckett, who does not usually go on offworld missions accompanies Sheppard and his team on this mission for unknown reasons. Director Martin Wood notes in his commentary that Beckett was included simply for pacing reasons as he did not want to slow down the story by having a scene where someone asks for Beckett to join them.
- Lucius suggests he and Sheppard both wear a cloak in order to appear like a giant which he thinks could be feared (religiously or superstitiously) by the people. This is a reference to the The Princess Bride.
- This episode has a similar plot to the Stargate SG-1 episode "It's Good to Be King" where Harold Maybourne becomes king of a village by pretending to know the future when in fact he just read an ancient prophecy. The Goa'uld arrive and he works with SG-1 to expel them from the village where the leader of the Goa'uld, Ares, is killed.
- The Iratus bug which Lucius mentions is from "Thirty-Eight Minutes" and being seduced by a beautiful Ancient is from "Sanctuary". Both happened to Sheppard.
- Jon Cuthbert (Fortnum) previously played Agent Mark Devlin in the Stargate SG-1 Season 6 episode "Smoke and Mirrors".
- This episode takes place several months after the events of "Irresistible".
- Kolya gets around Lucius' invulnerability by submerging him in water, cutting off his air supply. The shield can pass air for breathing, but cannot do so while it is surrounded by nothing but water. However, Lucius' lower body is above water. If the shield can pass air over all of its surface (rather than just, say, a small area around the head), Lucius should still have been able to get air inside the shield from the un-submerged part of his body.
- However, it may be that the shield is fully skin-tight, and that there is thus no inner envelope between the shield and body that air could redistribute itself around. This would mean that the only part of the shield that can be effectively used for breathing is the part directly over the nostrils and / or mouth, even if the shield were theoretically able to pass air through any part of itself.
- The Personal shield emitter was said previously in "Hide and Seek" that it imprints on the wearer, therefore Lt. Colonel John Sheppard could not have been able to use it or Lucius as he had to have someone activate it for him. The wearer also couldn't eat through the shield. However, this may simply be a more advanced or different variant of the emitter than the one McKay used.
- At around 12:23 mark, the close-up of the revolver reveals that all the chambers are empty (of course the actors must not be in any danger, but they could have used inert ammunition, just for looks, but it would be just as safe).
- This is because the thugs were hired by Lucius so that he could appear to be a hero. The mercenaries did not load their weapons because they did not intend to use them. This was confirmed when Lucius said as much to Sheppard.
- When Lucius is fighting the thugs, his shield emitter is not lit and therefore it should be turned off.
- Despite having witnessed the Wraith feed on Sheppard and age him considerably in "Common Ground" Kolya is not surprised to see Sheppard young again.
- It's quite possible they encountered each other again in an untelevised adventure prior to this episode.
- GateWorld. on