|Original air date|
David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka
|Atlantis Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
During an off-world mission, Major Leonard's team is overdue for contact, and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard takes his team, Dr. Carson Beckett and three other Marines to find them. Upon arriving, they find four Genii corpses that are seriously decayed—and who appear to have killed each other. Finding a cave with strange energy readings, they discover a Wraith bunker, including a damaged generator. Nearby are the bodies of the missing team, minus their CO, Leonard. A video recording indicates that Leonard killed his men, but one of them mentions requesting evac by the Prometheus, a ship that had been destroyed more than a year earlier. Deciding they need more help, the team tries to get back to Atlantis, but someone has sabotaged the Dial Home Device to explode, which kills one of the marines. On top of that, they draw fire from Leonard, injuring the two other marines, Lt. Kagan and Sgt. Barroso. Sheppard decides to head back to the cave.
While there, Dr. Rodney McKay deduces that the device is a Mind manipulator designed to cause hallucinations in humans, increasing the Wraith's own hallucination producing ability. The Genii soldiers apparently found and activated it. Unaware of how to turn it off, they tried to destroy it, but only succeeded in damaging the device, and it will take McKay some time to turn it off. Ronon Dex soon follows the hallucinating Leonard, with Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan in pursuit, but Teyla is shot in the leg. Sheppard manages to get the wounded Teyla to Leonard's camp, and tries to dress her wounds. Leonard soon approaches but runs out of ammo. Sheppard tries to calm him down, but Leonard, thinking Sheppard is a Kull warrior, kills himself with a Fragmentation grenade.
Soon, the others are affected, and they start behaving unusually strange. Later even the team is experiencing weird things: Sheppard hallucinates that he is back in Afghanistan; Ronon believes there are Wraith nearby; Beckett believes that Barroso is still alive and that Kagan is dead, and McKay believes the generator is on the verge of exploding. Teyla alone is unaffected due to the Wraith DNA in her genetic makeup. Believing Teyla is Captain Lyle Holland, a soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan, Sheppard takes her back to the cave, with Ronon, who believes that Sheppard is a Wraith trying to feed off Teyla, in pursuit.
At the cave, Beckett, at the urging of a hallucination of a dead Barroso, takes Kagan to find help, while McKay realizes that he is affected by the machine, but is then shot by Sheppard. A wounded McKay tells Teyla how to deactivate the machine, and Teyla tells Sheppard what to do, saying it will allow them to be rescued. Sheppard deactivates the machine, and everyone immediately reverts to normal. Beckett is nearby, and Kagan is also alive. Later, with the Daedalus en route, Teyla asks if Sheppard saved Holland, but he failed. Teyla comments that at least they survived this time. While resting near the cave, McKay complains about how Sheppard shot him. So Sheppard tells him to get some rest. Ronon says that Sheppard shot him also. Sheppard says that he is sorry for shooting everyone. They tell Weir by radio that everyone will be OK, and wait for the Daedalus to come pick them up.
A-10 Thunderbolt II; Afghanistan; Ancient; Arabic; Arrow; Atlantis database; Camcorder; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Court-martial; Daedalus; DNA; Dog tag; Electromagnetic field; FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon; Fragmentation grenade; Genii; Genii pistol; H&K MP5A3 submachine gun; Hamburger; Hardy Boys; Kalashnikov AK-47; Kandahar; Kull; Leavenworth; M1B-129; MALP; Marijuana; Mind manipulator; Nuclear warhead; Operation Enduring Freedom; Particle magnum; Prometheus; Puddle Jumper; Russia; Sciatica; Skirmish on M1B-129; Taliban; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle; Wraith
McKay: I'm picking up that puzzling energy reading.
Beckett: What is it?
McKay: Did I not just use the word "puzzling"?
Teyla: Is that what made all these people kill each other?
McKay: I hope so.
Sheppard: You hope so?
McKay: Otherwise, there are two bizarre things going on, and one is more than enough for me, thank you very much.
Kagan: This frequency, can it hurt us?
McKay: Nah, it's doubtful apart from the obvious sterility issues.
Kagan: What? What?
Sheppard: He's kidding (pause) You're kidding, right?
(while carrying the bodies to the gate)
McKay: (panting) Can we stop for a second?
McKay: Look, I mean no disrespect but this guy's heavy, and ever since I was shot in the ass by an arrow, I've been prone to sciatica.
Sheppard: Got any ideas about killing me?
Sheppard: That's good to hear.
McKay: How is Kroger?
McKay: Kagan, Kagan. What is it with me and names?
McKay: You shot me!
Sheppard: Yes, Rodney, I shot you and I said I was sorry.
Ronon: You shot me too!
Sheppard: I'm sorry for shooting everyone! Just... the Daedalus will be here in a little while. Let's get some rest...
- This is the first episode to detail Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's "black mark" in Afghanistan that was first mentioned in "Rising".
- This is the only appearance of Kull Warriors on Stargate: Atlantis, though they are only hallucinations - and are referred to as "super soldiers".
- Dr. Rodney McKay references the movie This Is Spinal Tap in this episode when he states "Whoever turned it on, dialed it up to eleven, then just left it there". This is a reference to the scene in the rock-u-mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap when a bandmate shows the director the fact that their Marshall amplifiers are special and go up to eleven on all the knobs and not the standard ten. The director then asked if they were "any louder" as a result, to which the bandmate replied: "Well it's one louder isn't it?" (even though in this case the amp was the same as a standard amp just with a different knob scale).
- There were many obstacles involving the Stargate in this episode. The first being Major Leonard blowing up the Dial Home Device's power source making it impossible for McKay to dial it manually and the inability of Atlantis to make radio contact and send a power source. The second being the position of the gate in the forest surrounded by trees making it difficult to fit a Puddle Jumper.
- The footage of the Wraith Dart is a reuse from the episode "Rising."
- Director Martin Wood filmed the video camera footage and voiced the character of Largent.
- Colby Johannson (Lt. Kagan) previously played Sgt. Finney in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Prometheus".
- Nels Lennarson (Captain Lyle Holland) previously played Major Green in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Death Knell".
- Dan Payne (Kull Warrior) previously played Anubis' Ashrak in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Allegiance", Jaffa Commander in episode "Metamorphosis", S.F. Officer in the episode "Fragile Balance", Kull Warriors in several episodes, Wraith warrior in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Rising", Jaffa in the episode "Sacrifices", Lt. Reed in the episode "Runner" and the Wraith Leader in "Sateda".
- James Bamford (Wraith) is the fight coordinator for Stargate SG-1 and stunt coordinator for Stargate: Atlantis. He previously played Eighth in the Stargate SG-1 episode "New Order, Part 2", Athosian in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "The Siege, Part 2" and Wraith in the episode "Sateda".
- Rodney refers to the events of the Stargate SG-1 episode "Ethon" and the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Sateda (episode)".
- Throughout the episode the model of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan's FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon is changed in certain moments from the standard FN P90 to the P90 TR.
- When Sheppard shoots Dr. Rodney McKay he shoots him high on his left side yet when we see McKay's bandage it is low on his left side.
- The Fragmentation grenade that explodes less than 15 feet from Sheppard does no damage to him, despite being the equivalent of 6 sticks of dynamite and with multiple bits of metal flying in his unprotected direction.
- When the team is carrying their dead through the forest (about 10 minutes into the episode) on stretchers they come along a gravel road. Watch to the left of the screen and you can clearly see gaffers wires and ropes for the dolly track for several seconds.
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