|McKay and Mrs. Miller|
|Original air date|
Amanda Tapping as Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter
|Atlantis Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Jeannie Miller, Dr. Rodney McKay's sister has thought up a theory to bridge two realities together. Stargate Command, and McKay convince her to come to Atlantis to reform Project Arcturus but everyone's left stunned when another Rodney from an alternate reality named Rod McKay arrives.
Jeannie Miller, Dr. Rodney McKay's sister, is seen playing with her daughter Madison Miller. While watching her daughter push a toy train across a bridge, Jeannie is suddenly hit with a moment of inspiration, and begins writing down mathematical formulas using fingerpaint and Madison's easel. She submits her work to Professor Graeme Peel of the California Institute of Technology, and catches the eye of the US Government, more specifically, the Stargate Program. The next thing she knows, Jeannie is approached by Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, who appears on her doorstep flanked by a couple of Mounties with an offer to work for Stargate Command.
Jeannie, however, refuses to work for the US Government because she believes her physics calculations serve no practical purpose and vehemently opposes the commercial exploitation of theoretical science. McKay is brought back to Earth in an effort to convince his sister to work for the SGC. McKay visits Jeannie and her husband Kaleb Miller and daughter. They don't really know what to think of him, and McKay and his sister bicker about the past. McKay wants her to come with him and help out for a few months because she's almost as brilliant as he is and would be a great help to the Stargate Program. Jeannie balks until McKay beams her aboard the Daedalus. McKay then reveals that Jeannie's calculations can help solve the problems that plagued Project Arcturus. Instead of trying to draw zero point energy from our own universe and release hazardous exotic particles, McKay plans to draw energy from a parallel universe via a Matter bridge so the exotic particles would be vented into the hopefully uninhabited parallel universe instead. Working together, McKay and Jeannie managed to resurrect Project Arcturus and successfully activate it without releasing exotic particles. While being tested, a foreign object suddenly materializes inside the containment chamber. When the scientists arrive to investigate, they are shocked to discover McKay, or an alternate version of him. The alternate McKay demands to see the person in charge of the project – McKay.
Meanwhile, the friction and differences between McKay and Jeannie becomes more evident as their bickering and sibling rivalry become more intense. Matters aren't helped when they first meet the alternate McKay. Alternate McKay explains to the Atlantis team that he was sent to this universe in order to warn them that his universe is slowly being destroyed by the exotic particles being created by Project Arcturus. The project is immediately shut down to prevent any more damage. However, the alternate McKay admits that the trip through the matter bridge is one-way only, so he will be staying in Atlantis permanently.
Already, there are major contrasts between McKay and alternate McKay, who is soon called "Rod". Rod is more outgoing and social than McKay, and is more comfortable in engaging with personal relationships. Much to McKay's dismay, Rod quickly befriends most of the Atlantis team, including Jeannie. McKay slowly realizes to his horror that he is actually jealous of Rod and his ability to socialize, as well as being able to get along well with Jeannie. Meanwhile, more problems begin to arise. Even though Project Arcturus had been shut down, the matter bridge is still open and Rod's universe is still being destroyed. The Atlantis team in Rod's universe devises a way to stop the process but it would involve destroying McKay's.
Suddenly, McKay realizes that there is an alternate way to close the matter bridge without having to destroy either universe. The plan involves using massive amounts of energy to forcibly close the matter bridge. Unfortunately, they only have one energy source powerful enough to use, the Zero Point Module. While preparations are being made, Rod approaches McKay, telling him that he is going to attempt to beam himself back through the matter bridge and return to his own universe. McKay tries to dissuade Rod, pointing out that everybody in Atlantis likes him. Rod however is adamant, stating that even though his teammates in his universe have their faults, they are still his team. Rod even admits that he is slightly jealous of McKay's self-confidence in his own talents and ability to say what is on his mind without hesitation.
The plan continues, and the alternate McKay begins to draw energy from the ZPM to close the matter bridge. They successfully close the bridge, but McKay keeps the energy running in order to give Rod time to beam back to his own universe. Once the power is cut however, McKay realizes in horror that the ZPM has been drained of all power as Atlantis is plunged into darkness.
With her job done, Jeannie begins to pack up and prepare to return to Earth, but not before Sheppard shows her the video McKay recorded two years previously before the Wraith siege. McKay comes to see her one last time, and the siblings reconcile their differences. After a tearful farewell, McKay goes to the mess hall, where he finds Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagan, and Ronon Dex just hanging out, talking and joking with each other. McKay joins them, and is surprised as his teammates admit that they didn't quite like Rod all that much, stating that he was "creepy". They also wonder if Rod ever made it back to his own universe. Then, in a surprising move, McKay begins to hang out with the trio, talking and joking along with them.
Alternate reality; Ancient; Artificial gravity; Asgard transporter; Athosian; California Institute of Technology; Canada; Christmas; Containment chamber room; Daedalus; E-mail; Golf; Locator beacon; Matter bridge; McKay/Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge; Meredith Rodney McKay's father; Mensa; Mess hall; Non-disclosure agreement; Graeme Peel; The Pentagon; Personal shield emitter; Project Arcturus; Puddle Jumper; Sparring; Star Trek; Terminator; Time travel; Tofurkey; Vancouver; Wraith; The Wizard of Oz; Zero point energy; Zero Point Module
Jeannie: What have you got yourself involved in here, Meredith?
McKay: Ouf... long story.
Jeannie: It's his name.
Carter: Your name is Meredith McKay?
McKay: Meredith Rodney McKay, yes, but I prefer to go by Rodney. (to Jeannie) Stick to the point here, look out the window, much more interesting than my name.
Carter: Your name is Meredith?
Carter: It was an attempt to generate zero point energy.
Jeannie: That would be virtually limitless power. What happened?
McKay: A slight problem. It was the creation of exotic particles in the containment field.
Carter: He destroyed a solar system.
Jeannie: Meredith! (She smacks his arm.)
McKay: It was uninhabited!
Jeannie: I solved your problem in my spare time... with finger paints.
McKay: Here we go.
Jeannie: I just can't imagine how you're surviving the humiliation.
McKay and Jeannie: Sorry.
(Carter, onscreen, is smiling.)
McKay and Jeannie: What?.
Carter: It's just that you both said "Sorry" in that cute, Canadian way. (pause) Sorry.
McKay: Now, I don't want to scare you, but you need to know the stakes. We are at war.
(Jeannie looks at him suspiciously.)
Jeannie: Did you start it?
McKay: (indignantly) What? No! Come on!
McKay: Back off Sheppard. She's married and she's my sister.
Sheppard: I was just saying hi.
McKay: Yeah, I've seen that look before... Kirk.
McKay: Where are we?
Zelenka: Simulations are all in the green, we're ready to try power-up.
Jeannie: Really? So soon, that's amazing! Excellent work Radek!
Zelenka: (surprised) Thank you!
McKay: Yes, we try not to encourage him. Little bit of an ego.
Ronon: (to McKay) Relax, we all have embarrassing childhood stories.
Sheppard: Of course we do.
Ronon: There was one time the school bullies made me eat lunch with my underwear on my head.
Ronon: Oh, wait, that was you.
Rod: I need to speak to whoever’s in charge of this project.
(Radek, confused, looks round briefly at the other scientists before turning back to Rod.)
Zelenka: But... that’s you.
Rod: (smiles and puts his hands on his hips.) Well, then... I guess I need to speak to me.
McKay: So, what else has been happening?
Sheppard: Well, Teyla's got the hots on one of the new marines...
(Teyla steps on his foot.)
Teyla: That is not true.
Ronon: You know it is.
- A similar plot, where a more charismatic version of a main character, from a parallel universe, is seen in the British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf in the episode "Dimension Jump"
- The Rodney from the alternative reality appears inside the testing chamber in the same pose as the Terminator.
- Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter) is credited as a Special Guest Star.
- This episode also reveals that McKay's full name is Meredith Rodney McKay.
- The outside shot of Jeannie's house is the same footage of the house Major Samantha Carter lived in.
- Some notable differences between the two universes:
- The alternate Lantea is in a different location, as the matter bridge exits into open space above the planet.
- The alternate Lt. Colonel John Sheppard is a member of Mensa. He constantly reminds Rod McKay of his intellect, making the Rodney McKay of our reality appear modest by comparison.
- The alternate Teyla Emmagan is not very social.
- The alternate Jeannie Miller has three children instead of one.
- Ronon Dex however is apparently the same in both universes.
- Jeannie Miller is portrayed by Kate Hewlett, who is the real-life younger sister of David Hewlett, who plays Dr. Rodney McKay on the show.
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a 1971 western, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and directed by Robert Altman. The episode borrows nothing from the film but its title.
- The bucket of golf balls Lt. Colonel John Sheppard uses says "Property of Daedalus. Do not remove."
- The two men that accompany Carter to Jeannie Miller's house are Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers as Jeannie's house is in Vancouver, Canada.
- When Sheppard says that Teyla has the hots for one of the new Marines, this may be a reference to the fact that Rachel Luttrell married stuntman Loyd Bateman who played a Marine in the episode "Duet".
- In the alternate universe, "Rod" mentions that Jeannie has three kids - Madison, Bradley and Robbie. The boys are probably a reference to series co-creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper.
- Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett) does not appear in this episode.
- This episode marks the final appearance of Hermiod on the series.
- Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter) also appeared in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Memento Mori", which was originally broadcast on the same day (September 8, 2006). This may be due to the fact that Tapping is a regular cast member on SG-1.
- Sam refers to the events of "Trinity", Rodney refers to those of "Hide and Seek" and John refers to those of "Letters from Pegasus".
- This is the 250th episode of the Stargate franchise.
- This episode marks the first time that David Hewlett is seen playing two characters at once as in addition to playing the main timeline Rodney McKay in this episode, Hewlett also portrays Rod McKay as well. Hewlett would later continue this trait in the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode, This Mortal Coil, playing the original Rodney McKay and also McKay's Asuran doppelganger.
- When Jeannie is first beamed up onto the Deadalus, she's told the ship is in geosynchronous orbit, but the Earth outside the view port is much too close for that to be true. Geosynchronous orbit around Earth is approximately 35,786 km above sea level. At that distance, the entire Earth should easily be seen through the view port.
- A geosynchronous orbit requires the satellite, or in this case the Daedalus, to have an orbital period that matches the earth's rotation period (approximately 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds.) It can be assumed that the Daedalus's thrusters and engines can maintain this orbital period at closer altitude than normal satellites.
- The "ZPM Module depleted" notice on the computer is incorrect. Because "ZPM" stands for "Zero Point Module," the word "Module" is redundant. It should instead be "ZPM depleted".
- When Rodney and Jeannie meet the parallel universe Rodney and he invites them to sit down it is very obvious he is not looking at them while speaking to them.
- When Jeannie on the Daedalus communicates with Carter, she says, "... so subspace is real", Carter replies, "you're flying in it." They were actually flying in Hyperspace, not subspace.
- Hyperspace is another name for subspace.
- Nominated Gemini for "Best Writing in a Dramatic Series" (Martin Gero)
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