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Recap / Stargate Atlantis S03 E04 "Sateda"

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Have you seen a guy around? He looks like you, but he's got messy hair. I think I lost him somewhere, and a pretty girl and a caveman.
McKay discovers the joys of morphine

The team is tromping through redwood forests, and come across a settlement of friendly villagers - who immediately shoot McKay. It turns out that this is a planet Ronon visited in his days as a runner...thereby bringing the Wraith down upon them. McKay makes it back to Atlantis, but the others are captured and held. The Wraith have promised to spare the villagers future cullings in return for Ronon. Ronon convinces them to release Sheppard and Teyla by holding a knife to his own throat, and they race back to Atlantis for reinforcements. By the time they get back, however, the village has been utterly destroyed and Ronon is gone.

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Ronon is taken back to a Wraith hive ship and implanted with a Runner tracking device. The Wraith General laughs at him and then releases him in the ruins of his home planet of Sateda (after disabling the Stargate somehow). The rest of the team has happily inferred that this might be the case, and manage to calibrate the long-range scanners to detect Runners. There are seven; they guess that Ronon is the one on Sateda and give no thought to possibly rescuing the other six. It's too dangerous for the Daedalus to mount a direct rescue, but they can get close enough to send in a cloaked puddlejumper. Beckett comes along to remove the tracking device, should an opportunity arise.

Meanwhile, Ronon undergoes a series of painful flashbacks, while the Wraith send wave after wave of hunters after him. He draws on every bad action cliche at his disposal in order to deafeat each one in turn. A new wave is sent down from the hive ship, 26 strong - but fortunately Sheppard and Teyla turn up and are able to help him out. After they kill all the Wraith, Ronon calls the General down for a one-on-one fight, warning Sheppard and Teyla that he'll kill them if they interfere.

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So Teyla and Sheppard sit passively by while Ronon gets thoroughly pounded by the Wraith General. That is, until Beckett decides to blast the General in the face with a drone from the jumper. That does the trick, and Ronon is so grateful that Beckett escapes with no more than a hug.

Tropes

  • Bear Hug: Ronon to Beckett. The latter is justifiably a little terrified.
  • Conflict Ball: Sheppard calls Caldwell out for his reluctance to rescue Ronon, since it sounds like he doesn't care about the non-Terran or non-US military personnel on Atlantis. Whether Caldwell actually thinks so is left ambiguous, as he never actually says as much, he doesn't exactly deny Sheppard's accusation either.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: As Caldwell points out, it's a very high-risk to reward scenario. Sheppard wants him to take on a Wraith Hive and risk the hundreds of lives aboard the Daedalus just to rescue one man, who might not even be the Runner present on Sateda.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: After all the pain he's been dishing out to the other Wraith, Ronon doesn't stand up against the General at all.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: The first Wraith to come after Ronon is wearing nifty shades for some reason. Subverted when he removes them just as he enters a building, showing that his eyes glow in the dark. Apparently, hunters have eyes modified for Innate Night Vision, and the goggles protect their eyes in bright light.
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  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Wraith General drops Ronon off on Sateda so his men can hunt him down.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the flashback, Melena refuses to evacuate Sateda to help the sick and injured. Seconds later, she's killed in an explosion.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Subverted.
    Beckett: (grabbing a gun) I'm going to help them.
    McKay: What, are you crazy? You're a doctor!
    Beckett: What does that have to do with it?
  • Improvised Weapon: Before he's able to find a stockpile of weapons to fight the Wraith with, Ronon begins his assault by making a knife out of a shard of metal and a pot handle.
  • Inflationary Dialogue: Sheppard. He, Teyla, and Ronon kill a strike force of 25 Wraith. Sheppard initially claims to have killed six of them, but when he learns that Teyla killed eight he quickly ups his claim to nine. By the end of the episode...
    Sheppard: It's nothing, really. I only killed eleven... twelve Wraith.
  • Innate Night Vision: The Wraith hunters can see in the dark.
  • Insult of Endearment: McKay claim that "Caveman" is his Affectionate Nickname for Ronon... behind his back. Beckett's not entirely convinced.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Sheppard's "pain in the ass" joke.
    McKay: Oh, how much time did you spend thinking that up?
    Sheppard: More than I'd care to admit...
  • Leave Him to Me
  • The Lost Lenore: Ronon's fiancee, Melena.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Sheppard's entire motive for rescuing Ronon.
  • One-Man Army: Ronon versus dozens of Wraith hunters.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Ronon to the Wraith General, just before Beckett fires a drone at him.
    Ronon: I win!
  • Post-Victory Collapse: At the end of the episode, Ronon collapses just as Dr. Beckett offer him a tranquillizer before removing the Wraith tracker. No surprise, since he received a severe beating from the Wraith general. Any lesser man would be dead.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The villagers think they can buy their freedom by trading Ronon to the Wraith. It doesn't work.
  • Shot in the Ass: Summed up beautifully by McKay
    Beckett: You have an arrow, Rodney, in your gluteus maximus!
    McKay: (on morphine) Gluteus maximus... Gluuuteus maaaximus... Oh my god! That's my ass isn't it?
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Ronon manages to barter the liberation of Sheppard and Teyla by threatening to slit his own throat. The villagers gives in, as they know the Wraiths want him alive.
  • Super Strength: The Wraith general can toss Ronon like a rag doll.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Ronon vs. the Wraith General. Of course, he proceeds to get his ass handed to him and is actually (and unexpectedly) relieved when Beckett saves his life.
  • Tracking Device: Ronon has a Wraith subspace tracking device implanted anew. That's how his friend locate him on Sateda. The Wraith hunters have a device on their wrists to detect the tracking signal.
  • True Companions: Ronon is willing to offer up his life to the villagers (knowing they'll send him back to the Wraith) in exchange for his teammates' freedom. Later, in a private moment aboard the Daedalus, Sheppard tells Teyla that he would do the same thing for any of them, if it ever came to that.
  • Who Is Driving?: Turns out it was McKay — Sheppard makes him return to the pilot's seat when he figures it out.

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