The Real World

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The Real World
O'Neill talking to Elizabeth.

Stargate: Atlantis



Production #


Original air date

August 18, 2006

Written by

Carl Binder

Directed by

Paul Ziller

Guest stars

Richard Dean Anderson as Major General Jack O'Neill
Alan Ruck as Dr. Adam Fletcher
John O'Callaghan as Niam
Christina Jastrzembska as Katherine Weir
Gina Stockdale as Enid
Michelle Brezinski as Nurse (The Real World)
Christian Lattman as Shadowy Figure
James Bamford as Orderly (The Real World

Preceded by


Followed by

"Common Ground"

Atlantis season 3
Atlantis Season 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20
Season 2 Season 4
This episode is part 2 of 2; it is preceded by "Progeny".

"The Real World" is the sixth episode in the third season of Stargate: Atlantis.


Dr. Elizabeth Weir awakens in a psychiatric hospital outside Washington D.C. where she is told that she never left Earth, and the entire Stargate Program, and Atlantis never existed but all is not what it seems..



Waking up in Willoughby State Hospital outside Washington D.C., Dr. Elizabeth Weir is shocked to discover that her entire experience in Atlantis over the last two years was solely a figment of her imagination. Through the help of her psychiatrist Dr. Adam Fletcher, she learns that a car accident that killed her fiance left her in a near catatonic state and suffering from delusional psychosis.


Forced to come to terms with this new reality, Weir is visited by her mother Katherine Weir and Major General Jack O'Neill, who assures her that he has never heard of a Stargate Program, let alone the lost city of Atlantis. Yet as she starts to pick up the pieces of her life, she continues to have unsettling visions warning her that she must return to Atlantis.

Medical scanner

Back on Atlantis — which is not the product of a deranged imagination — the team holds a vigil for the comatose Weir, who in reality has been infected by Asuran nanites, which were passed on to her by Niam's attack ("Progeny"), that are quickly taking over her body and mind. Dr. Carson Beckett tries to eliminate the nanites by injecting Weir with Wraith cells. The nanites will then fulfill their programming and destroy the Wraith cells, breaking up into their individual forms and leaving them susceptible to an Electromagnetic pulse. The attempt is partially successful, destroying most of the nanites. Unfortunately, some nanites have survived. Ultimately, Weir's fate is now in her own hands.


In Weir's head, the destruction of the majority of the nanites results in her believing that she must return to Atlantis. However, the nanite-induced visions attempt to stop her. Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, risking a nanite infection himself, enters Elizabeth's isolation chamber, gripping her hand and arm in the belief that physical contact may help him to get through to her, and urges her to fight the nanites. In her nanite-induced delusion, Weir then sees Sheppard lead the way to the Stargate, which will take her back to Atlantis. Again, the nanites try to stop Weir, but she ignores them and walks through the gate. Weir then wakes up in Atlantis' infirmary, breaking the hold the nanites had over her.


Africa; Atlantis infirmary; Atlantis Medical Scanner; Cheyenne Mountain; Colorado; Daedalus; EEG; Electromagnetic pulse; Football; Georgetown; Hockey; Homeworld Security; Immune system; Nanite; North American Aerospace Defense Command; The Pentagon; Pocket watch; Puddle Jumper; Saturn; Sedgewick; Simon Wallis; Stargate Command; United Nations; Washington D.C.; Elizabeth Weir's father; Willoughby State Hospital; Wraith

Notable QuotesEdit

Weir: It is a relief to see a friendly face.
O'Neill: Yeah... I was going for friendly.

O'Neill: I don't know anything about Atlantis! Except that it was a fairly mediocre Donovan song... not one of my favorites...

O'Neill: And so...we're the fantasy?
Weir: Yes.
O'Neill: You know I don't mind being fantasized about occasionally...

O'Neill: Have you given any thought to coming back to the negotiating table? That non-proliferation kind of left us hanging mid-sentence there. It'd sure be nice to hear the punchline someday.
Weir: And the U.N. would be okay with that?
O'Neill: Not just okay. They're insisting.
Weir: Really?
O'Neill: When you're the best, you're the best. Even if you've had a little...setback, so to speak...he said awkwardly.

O'Neill: Well maybe you've got to work your way up into playing shape. Spend a little time doing short shifts before you work your way up to the front line.
Weir: I know nothing about football.
O'Neill: Nor hockey apparently.

O'Neill: Now, just to be sure we're on the same page, we're against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, right?
Weir: Got it...

McKay: What?
Beckett: What?
McKay: It's that look. That's the same look I get when I have a brilliant idea.
Sheppard: How would you know how you looked?
McKay: Cause it's happened more than once in front of a mirror, ok?

McKay: Okay. We think we've found a way to uncouple the nanite cells from Elizabeth's cells.
Beckett: We?
Teyla: How?
McKay: We create a distraction.
Beckett: It finally occurred to me why I wasn't having any success.
McKay: What were the nanites originally designed to do?
Ronon: Fight the Wraith.
McKay: Exactly. So, that's what we'll get them to do now.
Beckett: We think by implanting a small amount of Wraith tissue into Dr. Weir's body...
McKay: It's like a tumor.
Beckett: Aye, a small tumor, yes. The nanite cells will essentially...
McKay: Will attack it. They have to. It's what they are programmed to do. Which will draw them away from Elizabeth's cells, effectively unbinding them.
Beckett: It will only last a few seconds or so, mind you, before the nanites attack the Wraith tissue and return their focus to Dr. Weir's cells.
McKay: But that's all we need. Momentary distraction to draw them away from her so we can zap them with the EM pulse.
Sheppard: Okay, let's do it.

Sheppard: You know, if Carson's right, and you can hear me, I suppose I should say something profound. (slight pause) Okay, I'm not so good at profound, but you should know, we're doing everything we can to get you through this. These...these nanites, I don't know what they're putting you through. I don't know what they're doing to you, but don't let them get to you. We're doing everything we can to bring you back, but you've got to do your part. You've gotta fight this.


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  • The Atlantis Stargate address that Dr. Elizabeth Weir gets on her playing cards doesn't match the one Dr. Daniel Jackson established in "Rising". The symbols themselves are correct (though symbols 1 and 4 are at different orientations) but symbols 5 and 6 are switched from Jackson's address. However, the symbols Weir writes on the pad later are correct in relation to Jackson's.
  • When Dr. Adam Fletcher is telling Dr. Elizabeth Weir about the car crash that killed Simon Wallace, he states that a car ran a red light and impacted the driver's side door. Later, when Elizabeth is using the computer to view the news headline, it is accompanied by a picture of a car on its left side (driver's side). The driver's side looks relatively undamaged, whereas the passenger's door is severely dented. It is possible that it is the vehicle which struck theirs, but unlikely due to the lack of damage to the nose and hood.

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