Our Boy awakens on a hospital bed, under one
of those SPOTLIGHTS which is usually blocking a Russian villain
and a goon who hass vayss ov making you tock, and looks around
in bewilderment. He looks down at his forearms and makes an
open-handed gesture, as though he's restrained, but doesn't
appear to be. He's surrounded by monitors. He looks unhappy
Shortly afterwards, Dr. NotTheRealMcCoy is
testing Our Boy's vital signs, which all seem to be great. "You're
bouncing back quite nicely," he tells Our Boy, as two
more of the show's main characters appear. "Hello, Michael," says
the woman, kindly giving us Our Boy's character's name early
on. "Do you remember me?" He does not. (Which is
unsurprising, because all the humans on the show are fairly
bland.) She introduces herself as Dr. Elizabeth Weir, and
the Generic Handsome Fellow beside her as Lt. Colonel John
Sheppard. Sheppard tells Michael he served in Sheppard's
Status questions continue. Michael
says with a regretful chuckle that he doesn't even know who he
is, much less where. Lt. Michael Kenmore, Weir explains,
is in the infirmary in Atlantis, which jogs something in
his noggin. Sheppard says he was captured
by "the Wraith," SGA's main bad guys, which jogs something less pleasant.
"What did they do to me?" Michael
asks urgently. The main characters prevaricate vaguely, saying
Michael was injured in his rescue and has been unconscious
for days. Michael is concerned that he can't remember anything
at all. Dr. Scotty says they have a call in to House and
his team for a consult, and they'll let him know when they
get some answers. Michael swallows hard and doesn't look
convinced. I wouldn't be either, if everyone talking to me
was wired with those distracting little earpieces and mikes
Afterward, as Michael tries to sleep under
that SPOTLIGHT, Weir, Sheppard, and Dr. McNervous look down
at him behind glass from a second-story observers' balcony.
Weir orders them to keep an eye on Michael and to proceed
carefully -- "This may just be the start of our problems." (duhn-duhn-DUHHHHHN!)
don't I know that name in the credits? That guy is all over
the place lately.)
be later in the day, could be the next day -- the show is
indifferent at best about timekeeping
-- Dr. McPointy brings a hypo to Michael's bed. "What's
that for?" he asks reasonably, squinting against the
SPOTLIGHT. McPointy says he has diabetes, and this is his
insulin shot. (Mmm-hmm. Interstellar travel, interspecies
cooperation, underwater city with a cloak, but they haven't
cured diabetes, and they still need to inject insulin.
Hey Doc, I have this bridge I'm looking to unload -- great
architecture, lovely view of Brooklyn, just renovated. Call
Dr. McObfuscate tells Michael
he's suffering from Generalized Plot-Complication Amnesia,
usually brought on
by deus ex trauma. He says the group will try to feed Michael
back his memories in teaspoonsful, so as not to fry what
brain cells are managing to work. Michael grins wearily. "I'm
already completely overwhelmed; how much worse could it get?" (duhn-duhn-DUHHHHHN!)
Dr. McUhOh looks appropriately queasy after he turns away
from his patient.
The door to Michael's room opens. He's sitting
up for a change, and the SPOTLIGHT completely blows out the
back of his hospital gown and makes each individual gel-spike
of hair stand out. The Show's Babe comes in and introduces
herself as Teyla. He sits up a bit more and looks slightly
less despondent -- hey, even if his situation isn't improving
any, at least the view is.
A pleasant surprise: he thinks he knows her.
She smiles widely and assures him they've worked together
He thinks they might have been friends. "Yes," she
says, blinking A-R-E-Y-O-U-N-U-T-S? in Morse code. He laughs
in relief. "That's the best
news I've heard all day," he tells her. She asks after his health, which
he says is physically fine, but his mind hasn't checked in from the border yet.
He leans forward and lowers his voice a little conspiratorially."They said
I'm a lieutenant."
Teyla tells him he's new in town, but is an
excellent soldier. "Then how did I get captured by the
Wraith?" he points out very logically. She nods slowly
and spits out her clearly rehearsed story. Michael's team
was ambushed, and he covered for them so they could escape.
thinks about this a moment. "Were you part of the team
that rescued me?" She pauses again, as if debating what
to say. "Yes," she answers, packing a
world of "no" into her body language.
The main characters quibble about how he's
doing and whether to let him out of his cage; the answer
is yes over Sheppard's objections. Teyla walks Michael around
-- all the doors are two stories tall, and glass; I can't imagine how
expensive those were or how much their janitorial bill is
every month -- and brings him to what she says are his quarters.
Airy, but spartanly decorated. (Did I mention he's out of
hospital whites and wearing a tight black T-shirt and comfy
jeans?) In a control room somewhere, they're being monitored
by several cameras. None of the room is familiar to him,
but would you remember any given Best
Western room you'd ever been in?
To the audience's amusement, Michael picks
up a cowboy
hat from the dresser. Teyla says he comes from "a
place called Texas." He's blanked that out too, but
she doesn't particularly encourage him to remember it. He
doesn't recall the people in the photo on the table, either,
and Teyla says they're his parents. That distresses him.
He's worried that his name might really be Bobby.
The Real McKay finds Michael at lunch. (Food
Chain inta-- no wait, wrong show.) Michael gets the vibe
that he's supposed to be holding up his end of the conversation
but left it in his other brain, and apologizes. McKay is
unaccountably nervous, to the point of stuttering and babbling.
(Actually, that's apparently a pattern with this guy, so
maybe his nervousness isn't "unaccountable" after
all.) Michael acknowledges the two goons standing over him
like glowering salt and pepper shakers. While making much
smoother chitchat than Dr. Dangerfield, the laptop McKay
is clutching suddenly catches his eye. "Wraith TECH
schematics?" he asks, surprising them both.
the most adorable snickpiddled moue and asks, "How did
I know that?" McKay thinks as fast as he can, which
isn't very, and makes up something stumbling about Michael's
team being on an intelligence mission.
"And our mission was successful," Michael
says. "Oh, yes, very successful," McKay agrees. "Except
for... getting captured," Michael adds. These folks did
not spend nearly enough time working on their cover
story. McKay continues to babble. Michael makes another self-deprecating
joke about being safe but not quite sound, and finally flees
rather than watch Dr. Dangerfield continue to struggle to speak
After lunch (a while after lunch, I hope,
or he'll get cramps), Michael and Teyla are sparring. She
starts by calling the moves, but then spins a few times,
knees him in the stomach, and puts him flat on his back on
He groans and ouches and gets to his feet. "Now
you try," she says. "I can't do that move," he
chuckles, still trying to catch his breath. "Oh, yes
you can," she disagrees. (duhn-duhn-DUHHHHHN!) They
recommence the punching and slapping, and he starts to remember
the counters in time. He laughs, delighted in his own skill.
The second time she knees him, he spins instead, and
puts her on the mat.
And Ronon abruptly charges in, yanks Michael
off Teyla, and slams him against the wall, two feet off the
Ronon growls something about today being a
good day to die while choking Michael. Teyla yells about
physical therapy. Ronon eventually lets Michael down. Michael
gasps an apology as Ronon snarls "Qa'pla!" and
Atlantis seems to be a holistic kind of place,
believing in both physical and mental therapy, so once he's
sluiced off from gym class he goes to the guidance counselor's
office. Dr. Taffy makes culture-shock excuses for Ronon.
Michael says he'd probably be better off just steering clear
of the big guy altogether -- historically, he's never gotten
along well with Klingons. Michael expresses his frustrations,
saying in a quiet, mournful voice, "I just want to get
back to normal."
Long-haired Wraith wander around to Psycho saxophones
in smoky, blue-lit tunnels. Michael gasps and awakens --
a nightmare. He gets up for a drink, showing off his still-nicely-defined
shoulders in a black tank top. He looks over at the mirror
suddenly and a Wraith screeches at him from it. Michael gasps
and awakens for real this time.
Back in gym class, Michael is telling Teyla
about the disturbingly real images. "They did something
to me, didn't they?" he asks her softly. "They
did something to my mind, planted something in my brain..." Teyla
looks away; she can't think any faster or lie any better
than McKay, but at least she knows how to keep her mouth
shut. Michael correctly interprets her silence. "Tell
me!" he pleads. "We do not know," she says
at last, semaphoring Y-O-U-A-R-E-A-W-R-A-I-T-H with her eyebrows.
Teyla tells him other people have had dreams where Commander
CameraHog is hiding in their mirror, so he shouldn't worry
too much. She then promptly rats him out to the other main
characters, who then quibble about whether to up his meds
or just come clean with him.
For the next nightmare he's changed to a gray
T-shirt (so has the guy in the mirror).
Dr. Taffy says it's PTSD, and says Dr. FeelGood
could give him some pills to help him sleep. ("But don't
worry, neuropressure is not an AMA-approved treatment for
insomnia, and our HMO says acupressure is
quack medicine, so we don't prescribe it," she adds.)
Michael shrugs that off. He insists there's something wrong
with him, even if he can't put his finger on what. He's also
suspicious that people know something they aren't telling
him. Dr. Taffy hesitates before speaking, and he calls her
Strolling through the halls with Salt and Pepper,
Michael meets up with Sheppard and Ronon. He says Dr. NotPhloxEither
did indeed give him a medically sound way to get some rest.
As everyone starts to go their separate ways, Michael attempts
to make nice with Ronon and apologize for whatever might
have happened between them in the past. Ronon gives him the
Smirk Of Doom and leaves him standing there with his hand out.
When Michael tries again, Ronon slugs him in
the jaw. They exchange brief fisticuffs before Sheppard and
Salt and Pepper break it up.
Back in hospital whites, Michael can't sleep
even with the pills. He leaves his quarters, where Salt and
Pepper are standing guard (don't these two ever get to switch
off with Bread and Butter or Peas and Carrots for a shift?),
and heads for the infirmary. But it appears that the good
doctor is the kind who licks
his own fingers, and is snoozing himself. Michael looks
around the room and notices a calendar of Scotland... with
a photograph of the village of Kenmore. (duhn-duhn-DUHHHHHN!)
Salt and Pepper are talking with Nurse Spice
in the other room. Michael tries poking into things, but
the laptops are password-protected, since Atlantis is more
security-conscious than Archer. There are plenty of CDs lying
around, however, helpfully marked "Day Four" and
the like in a folder labeled "Lt. Michael Kenmore." (duhn-duhn-DUHHHHHN!)
Michael returns to his quarters, leaving Salt
and Pepper outside. He notes the MagnusFraterVision and takes
his laptop to the Winston
Smith corner of the room. The goon in the control room
immediately gets nervous and runs to tattle.
He starts at the end, Day 12 or 13, and sees
video of himself on a biobed. Dr. McMorpheus is telling Dr.
Weir that Michael may wake up soon. Day 10 shows Michael
growling and spasming, and Dr. McPanic running around yelling
for stuff. Day 7 is more disturbing: Michael is strapped
to the bed, howling "Release me!" in a voice which
sounds distorted and deeper. Watching the video, Michael
is growing increasingly horrified.
Now he puts in Day One. A deep, snarling voice
shouts "You will die for this!" and other imprecations.
Ronon is heard pooh-poohing the snarler. On the video, Sheppard
and Ronon are holding somebody down. "You're gonna need
a name," Sheppard quips. "How does Mike sound?" The
figure which lunges up from the biobed is the Wraith from
Michael's mirror, and his worst nightmare.
The door bursts open, and Dr. McMengele runs
in with guards in tow. Michael looks up with a truly Emmy-worthy
expression of mingled horror, denial, and betrayal.
He spins the laptop around, defying McFrankenstein
to deny the evidence. He doesn't. He can't.
The rest of the team arrives in short order. "You lied to
me," Michael spits, voice shaking and filled with self-loathing. "I'm
"You were a Wraith," Weir
tries to correct him. She tries to call him Michael, and
he shouts that it isn't his name. (The Wraith
don't have them? Do they all just address each other as "hey
you" or point?) She asks him to let her explain. "Go
ahead," he says with a bitter half-grin.
Weir says the Wraith evolved from the Iratus
bug, which "began
taking on characteristics of the humans it was feeding on." (You
know how Mom used to nag "You are what you eat"?
She wasn't kidding.) Dr. McQuack developed a retrovirus which
all the Wraith/Iratus
genetic code, leaving a human with
a cute dimple behind. (It doesn't do anything for hair, however;
cutting and restyling his long locks into something more
fashionable had to be done manually.) Michael wanders around
scrubbing his hands over his face, hanging his head, looking
generally being distraught. McQuack acknowledges that the "insulin
injections" were actually an anti-Wraith cocktail.
"So what are you saying, that being a
Wraith is some kind of disease, something you think you can
cure?" Michael asks. The team squirms and looks uncomfortable. "What
gives you the right to do this to me?" he says, anguished.
Sheppard says they're at war to prevent genocide. "You
made up everything," Michael retorts, his voice
thick. "My name...the photograph of my parents..." That
particularly seems to piss him off. Weir takes responsibility
for the experiment and the lies, and Sheppard explains the
point was to completely deWraithify him, even mentally. They've
de-somethinged him, all right.
main characters quibble about whether this was a good idea.
Ronon growls that once a Wraith, always
a Wraith. Teyla comes to visit Michael the next day, to apologize
and try to reach out. He's sitting on his bed, out of the
range of the SPOTLIGHT they installed. "Were you part
of the team that captured me?" he asks in a low,
bitter voice, fully aware of the symmetry and irony in the
question. Silence is assent. He rubs his face again. "And
you have the nerve to tell me you're my friend." She
tries to protest. "Making you human could make your
life better," she says.
"From what I was told,
you made me human in order to make... your lives better," he
zings back. He gives her an opening to make her case. The
Wraith are evil, killing and feeding on people, she says,
and have no mercy or compassion. "So what you did to
me... that was done out of compassion?" She has
no answer. (On Trek there would have been a whole speech
here about quality of life and pursuit of happiness and live
and let live, and I'm a little disappointed not to hear one.)
Taffy tries to pile on the psychobabble, but Michael's gone
over to the Dark Side mentally, so it all slides off the tight
black T-shirt. (I have to commend the camerawork and lighting
done in this room throughout -- as Michael slowly loses his
innocence, the stripes of light are positioned so he slips
farther and farther into shadow each time, ending with a shot
of him nearly in complete silhouette.) He admits that one thing
has been cleared up: that lingering feeling he's been carrying
around is hunger.
The main characters quibble again about whether
to up his meds and rewipe his memory. Salt comes into
Michael's quarters to escort him to the infirmary for his
next shot. He appears to come quietly, glancing behind him
to see that Pepper has finally been relieved by Sugar and
Ronon is rear-guard. This gives him an idea.
He turns and
thanks Ronon for being the only one in the credits who
didn't lie to him about what he was. Salt nudges him to get
again. Michael slowly turns, and then explodes, hurtling
Salt down the steps into Ronon and slamming Sugar against
wall so he can steal the guard's weapon. Ronon draws his
blaster and runs after Michael.
They race through lots of glass and steel corridors.
Michael ambushes Salt and tells him to drop his weapon. Salt
starts to comply but then turns to shoot, and Michael kills
him. He actually looks shocked at himself. He crouches to
touch the blood seeping out of Salt's vest, and lifts his
hand to his nose to sniff it. He stands slowly, and turns
-- right into the barrel of Ronon's gun. Sheppard, coming from
the other direction, is just a little faster (Ronon must
have skipped his K'Wheaties that morning) and stuns Michael
into oblivion. Connor's had plenty of practice making that particular
in the brig, a surprisingly spacious cell dimly lit in green
(is that supposed to make him calmer?).
The main characters quibble about what to do with him. Ronon
votes to kill him. The others decide to find a remote colony
to stick him on and continue with the cocktail at increased
dosage. Teyla come to his cell and dismisses Bread and Butter.
(They actually don't leave, but instead turn to watch her
and the prisoner, which is amusing but tactically sound.)
Michael asks her what's
going to move him to the Outer Mongolian Cluster. He acknowledges
the tactical risk he poses, and that he could potentially
tell the Wraith where Atlantis is.
"I didn't mean to kill him," he says
softly of Salt. "I just wanted to escape." "We
would like to continue the drug treatments," she answers,
as though he hadn't spoken. Michael closes his eyes in quiet
despair. "The alternative is death." That gets
The main characters quibble about the logistics
of moving materials and the ultimate moral responsibility
for Salt's murder. Michael is sitting quietly in the corner
of his cell, which has also acquired a SPOTLIGHT. Sheppard
comes in and opens the cell door. Michael rises to greet
him. "Colonel," he begins. Sheppard says "Time
to go" and stuns him again. Connor's had plenty of practice
making that particular face. The rest of the medical
team runs in with a stretcher and loads him up.
wormhole later, at Camp Wanamakabisai, Michael wakes up strapped
to a stretcher in a vaguely M*A*S*H-like
tent. Teyla is with him again. She reassures him that he's
safe, and was "sedated" for the move. The straps
are merely "a precaution," which even she doesn't
buy. He says he's hungry, so she brings him soup. He looks
up at her mournfully and rattles his straps in a gesture
of futility. She offers to spoon-feed him. One bite is quite
enough. He wasn't hungry for that.
He starts murmuring
how she's different from the others (Teyla's ancestors
were experimented on by Wraith gene-splicers back in the
day, so she has some "bug juice" [™ Sandy] in her DNA).
blinks slowly. It seems the Wraith acquired
some basilisk genome
along the way, because he continues to sweet-talk with
an echo-echo-echo and she starts removing his restraints.
he's free, he thanks her -- then spins her around and
gets her into a standing full nelson.
The main characters discover Michael's escape
with Teyla, and surprisingly don't quibble about going
after them. Michael binds Teyla's hands ("a precaution")
and insists he won't let them experiment on him any more.
(I think he's just upset that they put blond highlights in
his hair while he was sedated.) Ronon and Sheppard are tracking
them through the woods -- I'm not sure how Ronon's sword is
supposed to help against an ex-Wraith armed with a pistol
-- but Michael finds the local gate first. Teyla scratches
his control panel pattern on the rock where she's sitting.
They run through the gate and it closes just in time for
Ronon to fling himself at it and land in a sprawl on the
On the other side, Michael herds Teyla along.
She gripes about the hike. They come to a clearing. Michael
bends over and leans against a tree, panting, conveniently
out of camera range. Teyla's Spidey senses start to tingle. "I
am sensing something... there are Wraith nearby." The
camera pans back to Michael, who is struggling to stand up,
now sporting the ghoul look. Apparently it hurts to have
there are," he confirms.
"It's not too late!" she
tells him -- they can still go back to the camp and he can
get another injection. He refuses. "This is how it's
supposed to be," he grates, his eyes gone yellow and
Somehow Teyla is able to fall asleep with
this clown running around, because the next shot is her
waking up, by herself, with her restraints removed. She looks
out over the edge of the cliff and sees a Wraith hive ship,
crawling with Wraiths, busily doing whatever it is they do
when they're not screeching and eating people. "This...
is what I was drawn to," says a husky, computer-distorted
voice to her side. She whips around to see Michael mostly
Wraithified, looking down at the hive ship.
He tells her he will return to them. "Then
we shall be enemies again," she says. They never stopped,
he answers, circling her like a wary dieter around a buffet.
She challenges him: is he going to feed on her? "I'd
be lying if I said I didn't feel the urge," he admits,
twisting his head around like he just put it back on his
neck and hasn't worked out all the kinks quite yet.
Teyla dares him to go ahead. He looks reluctant
and somewhat pained. She stands her ground, mostly, until it
looks like he's changed his mind.
Abruptly he rears back to give her the ol'
Indy Jones heart plunge. Sheppard stops him by shooting him
from the bushes. He jerks and falls so fast I couldn't get
a screencap. Sheppard and Ronon provide cover for Teyla to
Wraith soldiers come from the other side of the clearing
and surround Michael. "He's alive!" one growls. "Yeah,
but lookit what they did to his hair!" another
one sneers, and they have a good laugh while they cart him
back to the hive. The main characters reassemble at Atlantis
to quibble about what the Wraith now know and just how screwed
the Atlantis team is.