- Weir: You just said the Ancients experienced these storms every twenty to thirty years. Atlantis must have some sort of precautions put in place.McKay: In the past, the Ancients have been protected by the shield or submerged deep enough in the water not to be affected.Sheppard: Okay, strike those options. What else have we got?
A pair of giant hurricanes bears down on Atlantis, unprotected on the ocean's surface. With little time to evacuate, Sheppard is forced to try and find a planet that won't mind having two hundred Atlantis personnel and Athosians squatting with them for two days and grudgingly comes to an arrangement with the Manarians. Unfortunately, as a result of either Sheppard's abrasiveness during negotiations or the Manarian leader's apparently untrustworthy nature, their "ally" immediately calls up the Genii and tell them that Atlantis will be virtually undefended for the next couple of days.
Meanwhile McKay and Dr. Zelenka are working on a plan to possibly save the city. They realize that they can harness the lightning from the storm itself to power the shields — IF they turn off the mechanisms that allow lightning strikes to ground themselves harmlessly in the ocean. Sheppard, Weir, and McKay run around turning off grounding stations, while Teyla, Ford, and Beckett finish evacuating the Athosians from the mainland. Weir and McKay return finish their stations and return to the gateroom just in time to hear an Athosian distress call. They open the iris to let them in — but instead it is a Genii task force, led by
Robert Davi Colonel Badass Acastus Kolya. The task force makes short work of the gateroom guards and take Weir and McKay hostage.
What they want is simple: All the C4, all the medical supplies, the interface device that Sheppard stole from them, and a Puddlejumper. McKay is clever enough to lean on a communications panel while this is going on, so Sheppard knows firstly to stay away and secondly to get to the armory ahead of them and hide all the relevant supplies. The message also gets back to Beckett, Teyla, and Ford, who have been grounded due to the storm, but they can't immediately rush back to help because, well, they've been grounded due to the storm.
Rather than playing games with Sheppard, Kolya sends two of his men to kill him, since, for one, they can track him via the Atlantis systems, and for two, they know where he's going. He still has to turn off the last grounding station (which Kolya persuaded McKay to reveal to him). Sheppard can also track lifesigns and manages to take out his pursuers, but not before they've damaged the grounding station control panel. Sheppard declares that they're now even (and, incidentally, doomed), but Kolya responds that "I don't like even" and points his gun at Dr. Weir, threatening to kill her.
To be continued...
- Big Storm Episode: The name kinda gives it away.
- Chekhov's Gunmen: The fact that Ford, Beckett, and Teyla are stranded on the mainland has to be significant eventually.
- The Manarians were mentioned in passing in "Underground", the episode that introduced the Genii. This episode reveals they are secretly allies with each other, leading them to betray the Atlantis expedition.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The reason McKay reveals the plan to save the city. All we see is a Genii knife, but in the next scene McKay's arm is visibly bleeding, and the implication is pretty clear.
- "Die Hard" on an X: The end of the episode sets up this situation. The bad guys have taken Atlantis and everybody except Sheppard is a hostage, putting Sheppard in the McClain position.
- Fake Kill Scare: Though the shot isn't heard, the fact that Kolya threatens Weir, and then Sheppard doesn't hear any response is enough to garner this reaction from him.
- Guns Akimbo: Kolya
- Hostile Weather
- Lightning Can Do Anything: In this case, power the shields so Atlantis doesn't get blown away.
- Although, given that the Ancients loved building things to run with various forms of energy and that the planet suffers periodic storms every couple centuries, the fact they outfitted the city with lightning rods just shows how Crazy-Prepared they often were.
- Mission Creep: The Genii's original plan is straightforward: a small strike team infiltrates Atlantis, takes the main character's stuff (primarily C4 for the Genii nuclear weapons program and a Wraith data device), and gets out. It's simple and doable, and their initial capture of the control room goes well. But then they decide that they might as well keep the city (possibly because Weir's statement that only the Earth crew can effectively use the city gets under their skin), which means they have to keep Weir and McKay alive to get the shields up- and thus can't use them as hostages to stop Sheppard's rampage, resulting in him killing a big chunk of the initial Genii team along with 55 out of 60 of their reinforcements and rendering the city unholdable.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Zelenka noticeably slips out of a Czech accent a few times.
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: When Koyla threatens to kill Elizabeth, Sheppard abruptly switches from baiting Koyla to begging him not to hurt her. The episode ends with him screaming that he'll give him whatever he wants.Sheppard: "Kolya? Kolya? I'll give you a ship! I'll fly it out of here for you myself! KOLYA!"
- Stock Episode Titles: 27 uses
- Too Dumb to Live: The soldier guarding the gate that decided to raise the shield without authorisation from Weir, despite the suspicious nature of the transmission, which his colleague even points out. Both men end up getting murdered by Koyla, as a result of his impulsiveness.
- Not to mention the stupidity of Weir not having placed a blanket "no incoming travelers" rule due to their imminent evacuation.
- What Would X Do?: Sheppard, wandering around the city, asks himself "What would McKay do?"