The Defiant One

| Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions | Transcript | Review

Sheppard's team investigates a downed Wraith ship, and find themselves stuck on a planet with a lone Wraith survivor.

FAN RATING - 8.27 
NIELSEN - 2.4 
DVD DISC: Season 1, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Peter DeLuise
DIRECTED BY: Peter DeLuise
GUEST STARS: Richard Cox (Dr. Brendan Gaul), Paul Magel (Dr. Abrams), James Lafazanos (Wraith), Joseph May (Markham)
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  • The Ancients constructed a massive weapons platform on the other side of Atlantis's solar system, approximately the size of a Goa'uld mothership. It is almost 15 hours away from Atlantis's planet by Puddle Jumper – likely a last line of defense before an attacker reaches the city itself. It is a Lagrangian point satellite, likely orbiting the sun in a synchronous orbit to Atlantis.

    It is not clear why the satellite wasn't destroyed when the Wraith attacked 10,000 years ago; if it lost power, it may have been ignored.
  • The supply ship was probably on its way to bring human food to the Wraith laying siege to Atlantis in the war 10,000 years ago. It was brought down by the Ancients' defense satellite – implying that the Wraith may have simply entered the system by another route when they first arrived.
  • The Wraith use very large supply ships to ferry hundreds of human bodies in suspended animation wherever they need. The ships are much smaller than hive ships, but still impressive.
  • The Wraith can feed on other Wraith, cannibalizing their own to survive as a last resort. This is the first indication that the creatures can feed on beings other than humans.
  • The tiny light "bugs" encountered by the team are similar to those encountered by O'Neill, Teal'c, and a scientific expedition four years ago ("Prodigy"). They are likely not the same species, however; aside from residing in a different galaxy, they do not appear to be able to pass through solid matter (such as when the Wraith grabs them with his hand).
  • The Wraith literally age their victims by draining their life energy. This can be done gradually and in stages, leaving a victim progressively older with each feeding.
  • A Wraith feeding renders a victim (if he survives) paralyzed from the shoulders down. This is probably an effect of the chemical exchange that takes place through the Wraith's palm and fingertips – a sort of venom deposited into a victim to render him immobile. It also allows the Wraith to leave a victim alive for more feeding later, without risk of its prey escaping.
  • The Wraith refer to the Ancients as "Lanteans," perhaps a misunderstanding of or slang for the name "Atlantean." It is not clear if the Ancients themselves used this term of those who inhabited Atlantis.
  • Wraith can recover from multiple gunshot wounds incredibly quickly – in as little as a few seconds. Dr. Beckett has theorized that a Wraith's ability to heal itself is directly proportional to how recently it has fed.
  • The Puddle Jumper's energy shield may be equipped when the ship is on the ground, and activated by remote.
  • Sheppard's comment "Let's remember where we parked" as the Puddle Jumper cloaks is probably an homage to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Captain Kirk made a similar comment to the crew when they parked a cloaked Klingon ship in the middle of a twentieth century park. McKay later asks Sheppard, "What are you, Captain Kirk?"



  • Rodney McKayRodney McKay - McKay's time on Major Sheppard's team has changed him. He is less cowardly, and more willing to go into danger to help his teammates, even standing in the face of a murderous Wraith with no apparent hope of victory. While eager to help Major Sheppard, Rodney was forced to watch a friend and colleague die – even end his own life so that Rodney could leave him and help Sheppard.


  • Will the team find anything of value on the downed Wraith ship?
  • What of the weapons platform? Is it still in working condition? Can it be re-powered? Could it be controlled remotely from Atlantis?