Stargate Atlantis/Recap/S01/E12 The Defiant One

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

I have fed upon countless thousands of humans and Lanteans, and even my own crew, and I will feed upon you before this day is done.
Ancient Wraith

Sheppard, McKay, and a couple of Red Shirts up and coming young scientists take a romp around their local solar system. This serves the dual purposes of checking out an Ancient defense satellite discovered by Dr. Gaul and giving McKay some driving lessons out in space where there's nothing much to hit. When they get to the satellite, which is huge but apparently burnt out, they pick up a faint Wraith distress signal from the planet's surface, and manage to extract permission from Weir to go and investigate.

It turns out to be a Wraith supply ship, shot down by the satellite in the last days of the war. Finding no life signs except some ubiquitous glowy bug things, they decide to split the party: Gaul and Abrams catalogue the hold full of cocooned dead people while Sheppard and McKay head off to find the bridge and any information stored in the computers. And so the solitary Wraith survivor comes out of hibernation to take advantage of this snack that has been dropped in his lap.

The Wraith eats Abrams immediately, but cocoons Gaul and starts dragging him off to another part of the ship, with Sheppard and McKay in hot pursuit. He feeds off of Gaul but leaves him alive, thereby discovering the location of the cloaked Puddle Jumper. When Sheppard and McKay catch up, he's already gone. McKay stays behind with Gaul, who is still mostly paralyzed, while Sheppard takes off after the Wraith, hoping to beat him to the Jumper.

He's too late. The Wraith has captured the Jumper, and its weapons, but cannot fly it because he lacks the Ancient gene. The two of them begin a sort of cat and mouse game of dueling strategy and trading trash talk. Unfortunately for Sheppard, this ancient Wraith seems to be able to take a lot more punishment than his modern counterparts, including all of the rounds in Sheppard's P-90 and a grenade to the face. Sheppard is wounded, out of ammo, and continually harassed by the glowy bug things, who seem inordinately interested in his chocolate.

When it seems that the Wraith is about to get him, he is unexpectedly rescued by McKay, who has uncharacteristically leapt into the fight. Having two targets momentarily confuses the Wraith, long enough for Ford to suddenly appear in a second Puddle Jumper. Sheppard sticks his last chocolate bar to the Wraith, attracting a horde of glowy space bugs, and tells Ford to "shoot at the target with the biggest life-sign!" This, at last, seems to finally put the Wraith down for good, and McKay is able to fix the Puddle Jumper and drive them home.


Wraith: I will savor the taste of your defiance!

Sheppard: He’s aboard my ship.
McKay: What are you, Captain Kirk?

McKay: All you need is a good meal, a pot of tea, and to stop talking.

  • The Cavalry: Ford and his team in the second Puddle Jumper.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gall points out that McKay has done this, that he has stopped being a coward since he arrived in Atlantis.