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Recap / Stargate Atlantis S01 E08 "Underground"

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Allies? You just said these people were ready to string you up. How can you trust them?
Dr. Weir

Teyla introduces the team to the Genii, a group of peaceful but iconoclastic Space Amish, with whom they hope to be able to trade for needed food supplies. And then promptly discover they aren't actually Space Amish at all, but a desperate, technologically advanced society that seems to have read 1940s Russia's playbook. This causes some problems.



  • Actor Allusion: Cowen, played by Colm Meaney, tells the team that the Genii once led "a great confederation of planets." If you watch closely, you can see Meaney give a barely-perceptible Aside Glance before continuing.
  • Broken Masquerade: The ease in which this happened is lampshaded.
    McKay: You know, if people could just learn to keep their secret underground hatches locked...
  • Elaborate Underground Base
  • Must Have Caffeine: McKay, apparently.
    McKay: It's getting desperate. I'm almost out of coffee.
    Sheppard: Well, maybe you should stop drinking eleven cups a day.
  • Never My Fault: The Genii screw the pooch during their mission, so naturally, all of the deaths that result are somehow the Atlantis team's fault.
  • No OSHA Compliance: As McKay points out, their radiation shielding is woefully inadequate and the Genii that live in the bunker are most likely suffering some degree of radiation poisoning. When their leader tells him that his scientists told him otherwise and that many people spend their entire lives in the bunker;
    McKay: Their entire short lives.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A mutual example. Mistrust on both sides makes enemies of the Genii for the better part of two seasons. All because they were trying to trade C4 as "farming tools"...
    • The Genii invoke this towards Atlantis, when they discover they woke the Wraith early, causing them to not have the 50 year they thought they'd have to finish their atomic bomb project, allowing them to blow the Wraith up while they sleep.
    • When Teyla tries to rescue the cocooned humans on board the hive ship, the Genii she's with objects that this is an overly emotional response and could endanger the mission. To prove his point, he shoots the captive with an unsilenced firearm - alerting the Wraith and compromising the mission.
  • Superweapon Surprise
  • Nuclear Option
  • Space Amish: Invoked by McKay, who frequently refers to their planet as "Amish World". Subverted with The Reveal that they're simply masquerading as a low-tech society.
  • Stock Episode Titles: 19 uses.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The Genii underground bunkers.

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