|Original air date|
Frank Collison as Keturah
|Atlantis Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
- "I once fed from the humans of your homeworld. That is where I will watch you die."
- ―Wraith Leader[src]
Ronon Dex is recognized by the villagers he once visited during his time as a runner. After getting turned in by the villagers to the Wraith, he is implanted with another Wraith tracker and dropped off on his abandoned homeworld, Sateda, where he is forced to become a runner again.
While Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team are on an off-world reconnaisance mission on a planet, Ronon Dex appears troubled as they venture through the forest, and admits to the team that he has a bad feeling. Sheppard asks if he recognises the planet, as Teyla Emmagan points out he must have visited countless worlds during his time as a runner. Ronon says he did not count.
The team manage to find a village resided by several primative humans, who initially pay no notice. One of the villagers suddenly panics when he sees Ronon and shout "Wraithbringer!", causing the others to flee. As Ronon tells his team they should leave, one of the villagers, brandishing a crossbow, fires an arrow at Dr. Rodney McKay's posterior. The rest of the team respond by firing warning shots, as they retreat to the Stargate. Sheppard helps McKay into the woods, as Ronon and Teyla take cover to fire more warning shots at the pursuing villagers. McKay and Sheppard make it to the Stargate. Sheppard leaves McKay to dial the gate as he runs back for the others. Teyla and Ronon continue to hold the villagers off, until they are both hit by tranquiliser darts. McKay finishes dialing and limps quickly while firing at another villager, also with a crossbow, until he crosses the event horizon. Sheppard meanwhile, sees Ronon and Teyla unconscious, before he too is hit with a dart.
McKay makes it back to Atlantis. Dr. Elizabeth Weir, noticing McKay's injury, calls for a medical team. McKay tells her that the rest of his team should be behind him. However, the Stargate closes without them.
Sheppard awakens in an open-air cage, with Ronon and Teyla. Sheppard attempts to console Ronon (even though Teyla previously tried, and failed), telling him they were inevitably bound to come across a planet he visited as a runner. Ronon eventually admits that it was night the last time he went to this planet. In flashback, Ronon was near death and was being cared for by the villagers. In the present, the village leader, Keturah, confronts Ronon about his last visit there. In another flashback it is revealed that after Ronon left, because of his Wraith tracker, the Wraith attacked the village and culled several villagers, including Keturah's daughter Linor. Keturah is convinced the Wraith were looking for Ronon. Sheppard and Teyla try to convince Keturah that the Wraith are no longer looking for Ronon, as his tracker was removed, but Keturah refuses to listen. Furthermore, Teyla is disturbed to learn from the leader that the Wraith promised to leave his people alone if they hand over Ronon to them. Keturah reveals a contact device, which is already activated; the Wraith are on their way.
In the Atlantis infirmary, Dr. Carson Beckett is working to remove the arrow. Weir notices that McKay is doped. Beckett admits that he dosed McKay with "wee too much" morphine because he was making it impossible for Beckett to treat him. Meanwhile, a Major Elliot Rutherford attempts to extract information about the villagers, namely their location, numbers and weaponry. However, the morphine in his system makes it impossible for McKay to give out a coherant answer.
Back on Keturah's planet, Ronon demands to speak with Keturah. One of the villagers mistakingly walks too close to Ronon, giving him the advantage to take the villager's knife and hold him hostage. Keturah appears and orders Ronon to let the man go, even going as far as to threaten to kill Sheppard and Teyla if he does not. Ronon, realising that the villagers need him alive, decides to release the villager and holds the knife against his own throat, demanding that Sheppard and Teyla be released. He apoligises for bringing the Wraith to the village, but warns them that if the Wraith see Ronon dead, they will not hold their end of the bargain. The other villagers manage to convince Keturah to release Sheppard and Teyla, but he warns them that they will be killed if they try to free Ronon. With his companions now released, Ronon drops the knife, and is tranquilised again.
Back in Atlantis, the Expedition receives an incoming wormhole, with Chuck recognising Sheppard's IDC. Sheppard and Teyla return to see another team gearing up for a rescue mission. Sheppard explains that Ronon is still on the planet, and they must return to rescue him, even if they are to encounter the Wraith, which could be swarming the planet as they speak. However, unknown to them, Ronon is already onboard a Wraith Hive Ship, and is taken to the Wraith Leader.
A re-armed Sheppard and Teyla, along with Rutherford's team, arrive at the village by nightfall. They see the village in ruins, with several corpses scattered around; the Wraith came and went, and it appeared that the Wraith fell back on their "promise" to leave Keturah's people alone. Teyla believes the remaining villagers were culled. The Major finds Ronon's weapon, but no sign of Ronon.
The Hive Ship exists hyperspace above Sateda, Ronon's homeworld. The Wraith Leader explains that he fed on the humans from his homeworld, and that is where he will die. Ronon is being restrained, as the Wraith implant him with another tracker. Later, a dart flies over the ruins of Sateda's capital city, and beams Ronon down on the streets. As Ronon quickly starts to run through the abandoned streets, he starts getting flashbacks of the Wraith invasion of Sateda. In the present, Ronon climbs up a ladder to the roof of a building, to look for Sateda's Stargate. He locates it, and starts to head towards it, only to see the Hive fire a shot at it, destroying the Dial Home Device. Meanwhile, a dart beams down a young Wraith into one of the streets, who immediately starts to search for Ronon.
In Atlantis, Sheppard is confident that Ronon is still alive, and Teyla believes that since the Wraith previously made a sport from tracking him, they will likely do it again. Weir believes since Ronon was the one who escaped, they will not give him a fair chance this time. With an idea that the Wraith has implanted another tracker on him, Sheppard asks McKay, who is now lucid and recovering from his injury, albeit still fidgeting from it, says it is possible to tune the long range sensors from Ronon's original tracker they kept to pick up any similar devices, assuming Ronon was implanted with another. Sheppard says he will take whatever odds they can get.
Ronon meanwhile, makes his way inside an abandoned home and finds an assortment of broken objects. He has flashbacks about Melena, Ronon's lover who died in an explosion during the Wraith invasion. Ronon uses a torn bedsheet to tie a metal shard to a stick to make a primitive knife. When he hears a nearby door open, he moves down to the cellar, as the Wraith tracks him. Using his tracking system, he too follows Ronon down to the cellar, where the room is completely dark. The Wraith is able to see in the dark though, and as he begins the search, Ronon quickly emerges from behind and attacks him. Moments later, Ronon kills the Wraith and storms out of the building.
Sheppard enters McKay's lab to see McKay lying on his stomach, since his injury has prevented him from sitting comfortably. McKay has activated the device, albeit at only a fraction of the power so that the Wraith cannot track it, and determines it's subspace frequency it broadcasts on to find seven similar devices being transmitted across the Pegasus Galaxy, possibly all of them runners. McKay is confident he has located Ronon, as one of the tracking devices comes from Sateda.
Later in the conference room, Weir has summoned Colonel Steven Caldwell to send the Daedalus to rescue Ronon, as they have been unable to dial Sateda's Stargate. Caldwell believes that there is a Hive Ship in orbit over the planet, and he is not confident to deal with one, especially since their last time dealing with them, just to rescue one man. Sheppard is angered by Caldwell's response, believing he was saying this because Ronon is not a member of the United States military. He tells Caldwell Ronon is a member of his team, and deserves the same respect as anyobody else in the expedition. Caldwell merely explains that rescuing Ronon while going against a Hive Ship has a bad risk/reward scenario. Sheppard and Caldwell then settle on a compromise; the Daedalus will arrive away from the Hive Ship sensors, and Sheppard's team will take a cloaked Puddle Jumper the rest of the way. Beckett will join the team to remove the tracker from Ronon.
Ronon, now walking through underground tunnels, is being followed by a Wraith tracking drone. He finds a Satedan corpse and takes his armour and weapons, before finding an armoury to stock up on ammunition. He is being followed by another Wraith. Ronon manages to hide from the ceiling. When the Wraith looks up, he sees a ready Ronon shooting him with a pistol. After he notices the drone, he apporaches and tells the Wraith Leader, who is watching the hunt, that he has to do better than that. He later walks away, while throwing a live grenade behind him, which destroys the drone.
In a flashback, Ronon returns home to see Melena listen to the Chieftain's speech on the radio, calling for the Satedans to defend their home against the upcoming Wraith attack. Ronon wonders why Melena has not packed, as he sold his posessions in order to make her a part of Kell's staff, who get to go through the Stargate. Melena intends to turn it down, as she feels she would be needed at the hospital where she works. Angry, Ronon explains there will no longer be hospitals, and the Chieftain's speech is a hopeless attempt to assure the people they have a fighting chance. Ronon however, has no choice but to stay behind. Melena tries to convince Ronon to believe in the fight and show the Wraith they should leave Sateda alone to pick on another world, before warning him that they cannot run forever if they leave.
Back in the present, this time five Wraith are grouped in search for Ronon, eventually leading to an empty warehouse. Ronon emerges out of hiding to kill one of the soldiers, before taking cover again. As the remaining Wraith return fire, Ronon has another flashback, during the Wraith attack, where one by one his fellow squade members are being shot down while attempting to hold off the darts, until Ronon is the last soldier remaining. Enraged by that thought in the present, Ronon jumps out of hiding and, using the weapons he strategically placed over the warehouse, kills the other Wraith, finishing off by firing his rifle at the last Wraith under the ceiling. As the last Wraith falls, it activates the self-destruct device on its armour. Ronon quickly runs out of the warehouse, as it explodes.
The Daedalus is in hyperspace towards Sateda. Teyla walks in on Sheppard, who is sitting in the mess hall. She has come to thank him for wanting to go after Ronon, even if he is an outsider. As they converse, Sheppard admits that he cannot express his feeling very well (that sentence was finished by Teyla as Sheppard struggled to say it), and even though he lacks social skills, he regards Ronon, as well as the rest of the expedition, even McKay, as family, and he would do anything for anyone, even going as far as to admit he would sacrifice himself the same way Ronon would have before they were released by Keturah.
Meanwhile, Beckett is checking McKay's wound albeit without much cooperation from the latter. After they are finished Beckett wonders why McKay would go off on a mission to rescue Ronon, since McKay often refers to him as "the caveman" behind his back. McKay claims that although they do not talk to each other much, he claims they have an "unspoken bond", and further claims that Beckett does not understand.
Back on Sateda, Ronon manages to get himself out of the rubble, and limps towards his local hospital, and into a ward, where he works to remove a piece of shrapnel from his leg. As he does so, he gets another flashback where Ronon walks into the crowded hospital to find Melena, who is busy working inside a ward. After they reunite, Ronon explains his fellow squad members are all dead, and Kell used them to ensure his own escape. He wants to bring Melena to the Stargate while they can, or find a place to hide. Melena stops him, telling him about a little girl who is wounded and has lost both her parents. Ronon decides to carry her to bring her with them. However, Melena does not want to leave everybody behind. Later, Ronon is helpless to see an explosion envelop Melena from behind.
Returning to the present, Ronon sees several more Wraith, a far larger group, approaching the hospital. He spots another drone. Knowing that the Wraith Leader is watching again, Ronon brands him a coward. Moments later, the familiar sound of P90 fire strikes the device, and it is destroyed. It is Sheppard and Teyla; they have come to rescue him. But they have to act fast, as 25 Wraith soldiers are closing in. Ronon however, raises a pistol, explaining that he does not want to go anywhere, citing the Wraith's deal with Keturah's people. He hears from Teyla that the Wraith did not honour the deal, but he still does not want to leave yet, as he wants to kill the Wraith responsible "for all this", believing that if they kill the 25 Wraith after him now, he can get the Wraith Leader to come to the planet and fight him personally. While McKay thinks its a terrible idea, Sheppard decides to support Ronon, though Ronon wants Sheppard and Teyla to stay out of his way. Before they part again, Sheppard gives Ronon back his weapon.
As the three kill all the Wraith in the hospital, which angers the Wraith Leader, McKay and Beckett, who are onboard the Puddle Jumper, decide to do something about it. Beckett gets out a machine gun to help Sheppard, but finds himself struggling with McKay over it. Beckett eventually reasons that they can both go as there are other guns, though by that time, Sheppard radios back that all the Wraith are dead. Ronon gets a hold of the Wraith Leader, and goads him to go down and kill Ronon himself, which the leader obliges to. Ronon later passes Sheppard, and warns him; "you kill him before I do, I kill you", but gives Sheppard permission to kill him should Ronon die.
The Wraith Leader beams down to the planet from a dart. Ronon pulls out a knife and charges at the Wraith, only for the Wraith to throw Ronon onto a wall. The Wraith beats Ronon with ease, as Ronon can barely land a punch on him. Sheppard and Teyla are on the rooftops observing the fight, with Sheppard contemplating shooting the Wraith, although Teyla warns him if the Wraith dies, Ronon might not really kill him, but more likely wouldn't forgive him, and the Hive will blast them all from space. Despite Ronon's best efforts, the Wraith Leader defeats him and prepares to feed as Sheppard continues to hesitate. Suddenly, the Puddle Jumper decloaks in front of them, surprising everyone. Ronon tells the Wraith Leader "I win" while Beckett quips "if he doesn't like it he can sue me" before firing a drone weapon at the Wraith Leader. The drone picks up the Wraith and pushes him to the end of the street, where the drone, and the Wraith, explode. Sheppard and Teyla quickly help Ronon to the back of Jumper, and it flies quickly away as the Hive Ship tries, and fails, to shoot it down.
Later, the Jumper is in orbit, where McKay and Beckett go to the back to check on the rest of the team. When Ronon asks who killed the Wraith, Beckett takes the credit for the kill while McKay tells him it was his idea. Ronon quickly stands up, where Sheppard tells Beckett that he vowed to kill whoever killed the Wraith first causing McKay to quickly blame the whole thing on Beckett. However, to everyone's surprise, Ronon grabs Beckett to embrace the doctor instead, and thanks him, as well as the rest for their effort in rescuing him. He sits back down to rest as Beckett prepares to remove the second tracker. He asks Ronon if he does not mind a sedative this time. However, instead Ronon passes out. McKay then returns to the cockpit to fly the Jumper back to the Daedalus, cloaking over Sateda enroute.
Arrow; Asgard transporter; Atlantis conference room; Atlantis expedition; Atlantis infirmary; Battle of the Void; Chieftain; Crossbow; Daedalus; Ronon Dex's capture on Sateda; Drone weapon; FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon; Glute; Hive ship; Hyperspace; Iris Deactivation Code; Keturah's people; Keturah's planet; Kell; Long range sensors; McKay's lab; Morphine; Particle magnum; Puddle Jumper; Rambo; Ronon's Knife; Runner; Sateda; Satedan; Satedan Grenade; Sateda military rifle; Sateda warrior armor; Satedan pistol; Satedan Planetary Forces; Satedan radio; Sedative; Wraith; Wraith combat goggles; Wraith handblaster; Wraith spear gun; Wraith tracker; Wraith tracking drone; Wraith tracking system
Sheppard: Something wrong?
Ronon: I have a bad feeling.
McKay: Yeah, I always feel like that. Like something horrible's about to happen.
Teyla: How do you live?
McKay: I get used to it. Thing is, when someone else also has that feeling, mine gets worse.
(After McKay gets shot with an arrow)
McKay: AAAA!! That did not just happen!
McKay: (Sedated) Excuse me, why am I lying here?
Beckett: You have an arrow, Rodney, in your gluteus maximus.
McKay: (Sedated) Oh. Well, that sounds painful. Gluteus maximus. Glueteus ... maximus. Oh my god. That's my ass, isn't it?
McKay: You know, you really don't appreciate the simple things in life like... sitting.
Sheppard: I don't envy you. Must be a real pain in the ass...
McKay: Ohhh. how long did you work on that?
Sheppard: Longer than I'll care to admit.
McKay: What is going on down there? You have at least twenty-five Wraith closing in on your position from ground level.
Sheppard: It seems Ronon doesn't want to leave.
McKay: Well, too bad! You tell that ungrateful example of unevolved humanity that we came all this way to rescue him, so he'd better get off his a...
Sheppard: (to Ronon) McKay says he's very hurt you won't come with us.
Sheppard: Hey, thought you might want this. (Pulls out Ronon's Particle Magnum and hands it to him, Ronon takes it without saying anything) You're welcome!
McKay: That is the stupidest plan I have ever heard!
Sheppard: I don't know, killing a bunch of Wraith really seems like a good idea to me!
McKay: They outnumber you twenty-five to three!
Beckett: It's actually twenty-two to three... twenty-one...
Teyla: And Ronon appears to be quite angry...
McKay: (Sarcastically) Oh, that evens it out!
Sheppard:That's it, we got 'em all. McKay?
McKay: Yeah, it's just you guys left! Well, that was quick!,
Sheppard: Well I got six, Teyla got...
Sheppard I got nine, Teyla got eight, Ronon got the rest...
(Teyla looks at Sheppard in disbelief)
Ronon: (About to fight the Wraith Commander) You kill him before I do, I kill you.
Sheppard: What if he kills you first?
Ronon: Then you kill him.
Sheppard: Got it. (Exchanges worried looks with Teyla)
(Ronon gets beaten down and is about to be fed upon when the Jumper de-cloaks in front of him surprising everyone)
Beckett: If he doesn't like it he can sue me. (closes his eyes and concentrates)
Ronon: I win!
(Beckett fires a drone into the Wraith, killing it)
Ronon: (to McKay and Beckett) Which one of you killed that Wraith?
(McKay and Beckett smile, unaware that Ronon threatened to kill anyone who killed that particular Wraith before him)
Beckett: That would be me.
McKay: My idea.
(Ronon gets up and approaches the two in a threatening manner, worrying them)
Beckett: What, don't tell me you're not happy that he's dead?!
Sheppard: I had him in my sights but Ronon said he'd kill me if I shot him.
McKay: (Extremely nervous) It was all Beckett's idea!
(For a second Ronon looks like he's going to pound Beckett for killing the Wraith, he then surprises everyone by simply hugging him.)
Ronon: Thanks, Doc.
McKay: (Incredulous) What, him you thank?
Sheppard: I could have killed him at any time but Teyla wouldn't let me!
Ronon: Thank you, all of you.
McKay: Eh, don't mention it.
Sheppard It was nothing really. We only killed eleven... twelve Wraith...
(Teyla looks at Sheppard in the same way as before)
Beckett: How bout you sit down and I'll get that tracking device out of ya and deactivated before the hive ship gets a bead on us.
(Ronon sits down)
Beckett: I figure this time you wont mind if I give you a sedative.
(Ronon falls unconscious)
Beckett: Or not.
- This is the first episode to comprehensively explain the backstory of Ronon Dex, depicting his life before becoming a Runner.
- This is the first time we see a planet that Ronon visited and, as a result, brought the Wraith. In "Runner", Ronon mentioned that he had stayed in a village for a brief time, and the Wraith had attacked it, but it is never stated if that village is the one shown in this episode.
- The Hive ship in this episode appears to have a male leader instead of a Queen, the first occurrence of such a being. It is unknown if this Hive was an anomaly or if the leadership of a Wraith Hive is unconnected to gender.
- Various Wraith technology is revealed within this episode, including Wraith combat goggles that possibly allow the Wraith to see better in the daylight, a Wraith tracking system designed to track the homing beacon within a Wraith Runner, and a Wraith tracking drone.
- In a flashback, Ronon and Melena argue about how he wants her to go offworld with Kell, who was Ronon's task master and was seen in "Trinity".
- This is the first episode where Dr. Carson Beckett kills someone: he shoots the Wraith Leader with a Drone weapon to save Ronon's life.
- Unlike the last time Dr. Rodney McKay was involved in the search for a missing teammate -- when he accompanied Major Evan Lorne to search for the missing Lt. Aiden Ford in "Runner" -- here he demonstrates a greater determination to find Ronon despite the pain from his injury, stating that, despite their limited off-duty interaction, he considers Ronon a brother (albeit a brother who got all the genes that McKay didn't get himself).
- While the full extent of Ronon's relationship with Melena is never revealed, when Dr. Jennifer Keller asks him if he was ever married, he says "close enough" indicating they were probably at least engaged or were very close. In the Legacy series book Homecoming, Ronon tells Radek Zelenka they were betrothed.
- More of Ronon's history as a Runner is explored in Stargate Atlantis: Hunt and Run, a novel taking place in the 5th season. There, the team encounters a group of Runners who fight back against the Wraith, but have begun targeting humans as well. The Runner's leader was the one who trained Ronon to fight back but he left when the group started going too far. He also confirms the Wraith Leader is the one responsible for him become a Runner in the first place, telling his former friend that he got revenge and did it with the help of his friends while remembering Beckett killing the Wraith Leader to save him. Ronon's former friends are left without their ship after McKay destroys it as a distraction and as the team leaves, an entire hive ship comes after them, making it likely that they are gone now.
- This episode had an unusually large budget, making it the most expensive episode of Stargate: Atlantis since the 2-hour pilot "Rising".
- One of the blips seen on the scanner will later be identified as Kiryk from the episode Tracker.
- The set of Sateda when Ronon is first dropped off is quite a popular set for various shows over recent years. It has been used in Stargate SG-1 and was used for outside the bar in Dark Angel.
- This is the first episode in which Sheppard is seen wearing a leather jacket.
- Dan Payne (Big Wraith) previously played Anubis' Ashrak in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Allegiance", Nirrti's Jaffa Commander in episode "Metamorphosis", SF Officer in the episode "Fragile Balance", Kull Warriors in several episodes, Vala Mal Doran in the episode "Prometheus Unbound", Wraith warrior in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Rising", Jaffa in the episode "Sacrifices" and Lt. Reed in the episode "Runner".
- 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" and Athosian in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "The Siege, Part 2".
- This episode takes place approximately one year after the events of "Runner".
- The Weapons used by the Wraith in this episode are the same that the Bedrosian military uses in the Stargate SG-1 episode New Ground.
- During a flashback, Ronon Dex refers to the Stargate as "the gate," even though in "Runner" he claims to have only ever known it as the "ring of the ancestors". Though this can be explained away as a mistake in Ronon's memory, as he has been calling the Stargates gates for over a year.
- When Dr. Rodney McKay is dialing the gate in the opening sequence, as he activates the gate one of the panels of the Dial Home Device can be seen lifting at the edge closest to the central panel.
- When Ronon lands after leaping across a hallway while firing, one of his guns falls out of its holster and ends up against the wall.
- When Sheppard and Teyla say they killed 6 and 8 Wraith respectively, there isn't enough wraith to account for that. We are given evidence of Ronon killing 12, Sheppard 5, and Teyla 3. With only 5 left one of them has to have miscounted right away, before Sheppard adjusts his score higher than Teyla's.
- This could be explained by more Wraith coming down after.
- At one point Sheppard shoots a Wraith, only for it to begin to get up - he shoots it again. He may be counting this one twice.
- There is clearly functioning electric lighting in the underground tunnels. Since Sateda was abandoned years ago, that shouldn't be the case anymore.
- When the Wraith explodes inside the warehouse, the explosion is massive. In the next warehouse scene where Ronon pulls himself from the rubble, there are spot fires everywhere. One of these is next to a blue plastic barrel. Given the size of the explosion, this barrel should have been melted or warped, however it appears undamaged, albeit on its side.
- When McKay dials Atlantis he heads straight for the gate shooting backwards and does not transmit his IDC first.
- When the Big Wraith is about to feed on Ronon, his hand is raised in the air. When the puddle jumper decloaks however, his hand is down by his side.
- GateWorld. on