ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 02.01.08
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 03.02.09
DVD DISC: Season 4, Disc 4
WRITTEN BY: Alan McCullough
STORY BY: Joe Flanigan
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS: Kari Wuhrer (Nancy), Emma Lahana (Ava Dixon), Stephen E. Miller (Richard Poole), Dylan Neal (Dave Sheppard), Bill Dow (Bill Lee), Dean Marshall (Bates), Adrian Hein (Replicator), Kwesi Ameyaw (Tactical Sergeant), Ayesha Shiva (Woman)
John Sheppard returns home to Earth upon the news of his father's death, and brings along his friend Ronon to accompany him. They attend a wake for John's father, with whom the Colonel had a rocky relationship. There John tells his ex-wife, Nancy, that his dad had thought marrying her was one of the few things he did right. But John's brother tells him that their father regretted what had happened between them.
Sheppard and Ronon are surprised when a woman approaches them at the wake and knows much more than she should. She introduces herself as Ava Dixon, a research scientist who worked for Henry Wallace – the man who recently kidnapped Rodney McKay and his sister (Season Four's "Miller's Crossing"). Wallace's company was used by the U.S. government to develop technologies acquired off-world, including nanite technology.
The two men quietly excuse themselves and take Dixon to debrief her at a quiet café. She explains that she and her colleague, Dr. Richard Poole, were working on a secret project code-named "Archetype," which sought to develop nanite technology and increase the nanites' level of interaction with each other. Instead of being injected into a biological organism for medical purposes, they created an artificial organism using nanites as building blocks.
Humans have engineered their very own human-form Replicator.
Ava explains that, though she trusted her superiors, she soon learned that what they were doing was not legal and not being funded by the government. The I.O.A. was investigating the research company and closing in on them fast. Dr. Poole had attempted to destroy the Replicator in the lab – but it revolted, threw him across the room, and broke out of the high-security facility.
There is a Replicator loose on Earth. And it has been on the move for three weeks.
- The fact that John is divorced was first hinted at in the Season Three episode "Sunday."
- Actor Dean Marshall returns in this episode as Bates, a recurring character not seen since the first season. Bates was a Sergeant and head of Atlantis's internal security – and someone who repeatedly questioned Teyla's loyalty – until a tangle with a Wraith infiltrator left him seriously injured ("The Siege, Part 1"). He hadn't been seen on the show since, leaving many fans wondering about the character's fate.
Upon his return to Earth Bates was honorably discharged by the U.S. Air Force. He then signed up for the I.O.A.'s new field division that is focused on operational threats on Earth.
- In an early draft of the script, Ava Dixon's name was Ava Granger.
- "Delving into Sheppard's backstory was one of the things on our To-Do list at the beginning of the season, and Joe's idea gives us the perfect scenario in which to do it." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
- "Still looking for a title for the Sheppard on Earth story we finished breaking yesterday. To those of you who are using the bio on the SCI FI Web site as a guide, stand advised – the reference to his father being a Cold War Colonel is not canon. I'm not even sure where it came from. So, expect some insight into Shep's past relationships late in Season Four." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
- "We're spinning Sheppard's backstory, specifically the fact that in 'Letters From Pegasus' he didn't really seem to have anyone out there. And the question is 'Why?' And we've got something really cool planned. ... Joe came up with a great springboard for a story. We're going back to Earth." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, at the 2007 Stargate Atlantis Comic-Con panel)