|Universe Season 1|
While they are stranded on board the Destiny, the new reluctant crew discover that their life support system is worn out, and they have to repair it fast or they will all suffocate in a matter of hours.
A group of around 80 unprepared soldiers, scientists and civilians evacuate Icarus Base to the Ancient spaceship Destiny, located several billion light years from Earth, and are trapped there; the ship doesn't have enough power to dial such distances...
On board the Destiny, Lt. Matthew Scott enters the ship's Gate room and announces to everyone that they are going to split into teams and search the ship top to bottom. MSgt. Ronald Greer reports that all together, they only have 23 weapons, which includes handguns. Scott takes Sgt. Hunter Riley and Lt. Vanessa James with him. He introduces himself to her as if they never met, but Greer knows they were having a secret relationship, and finds his attempts of subtlety funny. As the groups split off to look, Dr. Nicholas Rush picks up the bag Colonel Everett Young brought with him, and leaves the room seemingly unnoticed. He walks over to the Control interface room, but hears that not a lot of progress has been made. Dr. Lisa Park and Dr. Adam Brody do find that the life support is only on reserve and at present consumption, they have around six to eight hours of air left. Rush later leaves with the bag, making an excuse that he is going to the bathroom.
He continues to somewhere more private, where he opens the bag, revealing a briefcase. Inside the case is an Ancient Long-range communication device. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Dr. Bill Lee is working in a lab, when he and Rush apparently swap bodies. He gets up and moves out of the lab.
CMSgt. Walter Harriman reports to Lt. General Jack O'Neill to tell him that they made a communication link to the eighty people that left Icarus Base. O'Neill approaches the lab with Rush, inhabiting Lee's body. Rush explains to him their situation and that they are on an Ancient ship. Rush also explains that the planet Icarus Base resided on was P4X-351 and staunchly defends his reasoning for dialing the ninth chevron and not "dialing up any one of a number of other planets" in the Milky Way. During the conversation, O'Neill becomes quite infuriated with Rush for "taking a bunch of unqualified people halfway across the universe!" O'Neill also tells Rush to "get those people home".
Back on the ship, the groups explore the vast vessel. In Greer's group, Dr. Jeremy Franklin questions if they are really alone on the ship or if another race (possibly one that doesn't breath air) is also aboard. Meanwhile, Scott attempts to apologize to James for earlier, but she doesn't want to talk about it now. Later, they encounter a locked door. Scott decides to call Rush, only to have Eli Wallace answer instead, as he has no idea where Rush went. Scott wants Eli to open a door for him. However, Eli, who later finds out where they are, points out that the door he is located at is red, and notes that red isn't good news. Regardless, he opens it anyway. After seconds, Eli sees the screen flash red. On the other side is a large room with a dome shaped-glass, and there is a massive breach in the section, and it seems shoddily patched up with a forcefield. Eli quickly has the door closed, and Scott marks the door with a piece of chalk, meaning the area is out of bounds. Rush soon arrives where Eli is, and tells everyone on the ship via radio to get back to the Gate room, as he has an announcement.
In the Gate room, Rush shows them the device he was carrying; it has five communication stones, which are capable for the users to make contact with Earth by taking control of another person's body. He tells them that he spoke with O'Neill, and that he has been placed in charge. However, none of them believe him. As Senator Alan Armstrong demands to talk to O'Neill himself, he collapses. Lt. Tamara Johansen tends to him, and after lifting his shirt up, reveals a large bruise, and that any blood thinners, such as the Warfarin from his heart medication can cause him to bleed to death internally. Rush tells TJ to find accommodation for Armstrong, and that they should all find some while they can. Camile Wray however, challenges his authority, since she is a member of the International Oversight Advisory. Scott breaks up the argument, and tells them that Young put him in charge, and although Rush is right, they should continue searching the ship.
Several members, including Greer, Riley, Wray, and Dr. Dale Volker search the inventory of the supplies they brought on board. In the process, Greer notices Wray staring at him, since he was in detention, and for "good reason", and wants him detained somewhere on the ship. In response, Greer attempts to walk up to her, but Riley stops him. Before the situation escalates, he is called by Scott to another section of the ship. Rush also directs Scott to an elevator on the ship, but en route, he is alarmed to see a tiny ball floating around, and starts following it.
In one room, TJ is looking after Young, who finally regains consciousness, and wants to know what has happened; they are on an Ancient ship, with no immediate solution to return to Earth, and on top of that, the ship's life support is failing. After hearing that Rush claimed O'Neill put him in charge, Young decides to get up and talk to Rush himself, but discovers he has no feelings in his legs, and lies back down. He does however, tell TJ to tell Rush he needs to talk to him.
Scott continues to pursue the flying ball, and enters a room where Eli is. He says he has discovered the flying ball, and tells Scott that it is a "flying camera", which is perfect to search through the ship. He also plans on calling it the Kino, which he names after the Russian word for "cinema". After demonstrating its use, Scott wants to know what else he found. Eli tells him to give him a break, since it is his second spaceship, though Scott admits he is also new to the Stargate Program. They both make it to Rush with the Kino, who finds the device fascinating. He diverts attention back to the situation; he has found that a series of CO2 scrubbers are malfunctioning, and others are also failing. Scott and Greer walk up to one, and opens a panel, revealing a ruptured scrubber, leaking a substantial amount of a black oily substance.
In one sleeping quarter, Senator Armstrong awakens with Chloe Armstrong at his side. She admits to not knowing what has transpired, because she was with him the entire time. Her father tells her to find out what is going on. As she leaves, she takes the pills with her, to prevent him from taking some, which would make him bleed internally. Meanwhile, Greer, Franklin, and James enter the Destiny's Mess hall and discover that there isn't food and that water only barely trickles out of the faucets.
In the Gate room, Rush believes the next priority is to seal off any leaks. Soon enough, Wallace and Rush find two Ancient shuttles on the ship. One of the search teams, comprising of Franklin and Greer finds one of those shuttles, and find that the door to it cannot be closed. As they investigate further, they feel air gushing into the shuttle; the shuttle has a leak, and as earlier, the forcefield is not 100% effective; the shuttle is the culprit for the leaking air problem. By the time Rush and Eli make it to the shuttle, Rush comes to the conclusion that the forcefield isn't working due to the fact there are several hull breaches, far too many for the forcefield to take proper effect. They discover that one of the doors can be closed from inside the shuttle. When they do, air immediately gushes out of the shuttle, and Rush is forced to open the door again.
Chloe reports back to her father, while TJ returns to Young, who is making a recovery. Chloe and TJ tells the Senator and Young respectively that the C02 scrubbers are malfunctioning, and that there is a leak on one of the shuttles, and the door to it cannot be closed off from outside the shuttle. However, Franklin is working on finding a way to close it. However, if it cannot be closed off by just over one hour, they will run out of air. Afterward, Eli documents everything with the Kino, which Scott finds annoying. The team come to the conclusion that someone should sacrifice his or herself to close the door. TJ comprises a list of those seriously injured, and that they should choose someone with no immediate value to the expedition. Scott explains that everybody wants Rush dead, implying he should do it. Chloe also argues that no one should be asked to sacrifice themselves, but Rush retorts, saying that if no one will, everybody will die.
When Scott reports to Young, he volunteers to close off the door, since he feels that "this isn't the kind of thing I can ask somebody else to volunteer for." However, Scott and TJ does not help him stand, despite being ordered to do so, and slowly gives up. Chloe then reports that her father is missing after she told him the situation. Scott radios Franklin and Greer, believing the Senator is coming their way. Greer reports back that he is already here, and that he has somehow obtained a side arm and holds the two at gunpoint, with the intention of getting in there, despite Franklin saying he can close the door. However, it becomes apparent that he can't, since the ship is too old, and not everything works anymore. Senator Armstrong wants to know what to do.
Chloe and Scott run down to the airlock, but by the time they arrive, the Senator is already in the shuttle, and closes the airlock before Chloe can get to him. As she urges him not to do it, Greer remarks that the man was already "dead on his feet". Chloe asks Franklin to open it, but he can't. Chloe is forced to watch helplessly as the shuttle becomes void of all air. Senator Armstrong says that he loves her, before he dies from asphyxiation. As Scott tries to comfort her over her loss, she quickly gets up and runs to the control room, where she attacks Rush, blaming him for her father's death. Scott and TJ manage to break it off. Rush then approaches her and apologizes for what happened to her father, but then diverts attention again, saying that this could be the greatest discovery made by man kind since the Stargate itself, something her father would believe in. He then promises her that no one else will die in vein.
In the store room, Young is on his feet again and informs Wray that Senator Armstrong is dead, but his actions have brought the rest of expedition a day at most, before the carbon dioxide poisoning can kill everyone on board. He also tells her that she should tell everyone the situation and keep things as positive as possible. Meanwhile, Chloe is with Scott in the Observation deck, where Chloe says she watched her father die, and now he is gone. Scott wants her to talk about him, as he didn't get to know him very well. She answers that no matter how busy he was with the work, he always found time to talk to her. She also remembers her mother, who believes that she and her father are both dead. Scott decides to leave her in the observation room, to get back to search the ship.
Back in the control room, Eli notices Rush is still working, and wonders if he even cared about what happened to Armstrong. Rush says that he does, but at the same time, he is trying to learn as much and as quickly as possible, including trying to find the solution to the life support issues. When Eli asks if he found anything yet, Rush says he has found the ship's name translated from Ancient, Destiny. He also discovered that the ship was sent out unmanned, and that the Ancients planned to use the Stargate to get to the ship when it was far enough away, but they probably learned to ascend before then. He explains what ascension is to Eli.
In the Gate room, Riley looks through the Dial Home Device and has found what he believes to be a Gate address back to Earth. Young orders Riley to dial the Gate. Meanwhile, Eli asks Rush about the Lucian Alliance. Rush explains the history of the Alliance and how they, like most people in the galaxy, have taken a keen interest in the purpose of the ninth chevron. Rush explains that many believe the ninth chevron to lead to a source of great power ("Some say it was a key to the universe itself and, once unlocked, you could gain untold power.") However, as they continue, he notices the Stargate is being dialed, and runs to the Gate room to tell them it won't work, since Earth is out of range and dialing it would waste most of what little power they have left.
Just then, everyone sees everything blurred around them for a second. Young radios anyone near the observation room to go there. TJ is in the area, and enters the room where Chloe is already observing. They see space, meaning the ship has dropped out of FTL. Rush believes that any minute, the Stargate will automatically dial to another planet, which it does. He says that he told the ship they were in trouble, and the ship is possibly giving them the solution; whatever is on the other end of the wormhole is what they need to solve the air problem. Not knowing what is on the other side, Eli suggests they use the Kino, which Rush believed was its purpose. After it is through, Riley and Park read an atmosphere, temperature, and most important of all, it has oxygen and nitrogen, with little carbon dioxide; the planet is habitable, but they do notice that the area around the gate is desert. Brody finds four other addresses nearby, but Rush says that they're locked out, and the ship chose this planet. There is also a problem; Rush finds a clock, and is counting down from 12 hours; when time runs out, the ship will go back into FTL.
With little time, Rush and Young decide on who should go through. Rush proposes Andrea Palmer should go, since she's a geologist. Franklin is also going, as will Eli; Young wants him to experience an offworld mission first hand. Rush also says he knows what to look for, so he's going. Scott and Greer will also go; Scott will be in charge of the operation. Young is also keeping several personnel on the ship to fix life support. Before the team leave to go to the planet, Young orders Scott to keep an eye on Rush.
Scott: So you've figured out where they keep the Kinos. What else have you figured out?
Eli: Give me a break, man. This is my second spaceship, and my first was yesterday!
Scott: I know. Icarus was my first SGC assignment after training. I haven't been at this much longer than you have.
Eli: Huh! Did they beam you out of your house?
Scott: No, you got me there.
(Scott is serching the ship and comes across a floating ball which he follows to Eli's location)
Scott: What is that thing?
Eli: Come here, I'll show you.
(They walk over to the consule and the image from the ball is displayed)
Scott: It's a... It's a camera.
Eli: It's a flying camera. I'm calling it a Kino, you know, after the Russian..
(Eli is documenting the air supply issue to the Kino in a rather dramatic point of view)
Eli: My head is pounding, heartbeat has accelerated. It's getting harder and harder to breathe... as if our very lives are being vented out into space.
Scott: That is gonna get old very fast!
Eli: This needs to be documented.
Scott: No one's gonna see that!
Eli: How do you know? We made it here; someone else could too. If we die, maybe this can help them to find out what happened to us.
Rush: Yeah, well, we're not dead yet.
Eli: (turns back to the Kino) I'm starting to have slightly blurred...
Chloe: You can't ask someone to sacrifice themselves, period.
Rush: Politicians ask military personnel to sacrifice themselves for the good of others all the time. If someone doesn't go in there and close that door, we're all gonna die. Period.
- This episode marks the death of Senator Alan Armstrong who becomes the first confirmed death in the series since arriving on board Destiny.
- Stargate Command has managed to create their own version of the Ancient Long-range communication device. This is not surprising as Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter was able to emulate the frequency sent and received by the stones using a Tok'ra subspace receiver in the Stargate SG-1 season 9 episode "Crusade". This technology was first discovered in Merlin's Avalon cave in Glastonbury, England in the SG-1 episodes "Avalon, Part 2" and "Origin." That terminal was destroyed when Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell and Teal'c threw it into the unstable vortex of a forming wormhole to disconnect it from Dr. Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran. In the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Identity," another terminal was discovered in the Pegasus galaxy when Dr. Jennifer Keller is unknowingly swapped with a thief named Neeva Casol. That terminal was destroyed by Ronon Dex.
- Destiny is equipped with two large shuttles that are approximately twice the size of Ancient Puddle Jumpers. One of them is now inaccessible due to a broken window.
- Eli names the Ancient self-levitating orb a Kino. Kino was one of the most famous Soviet rock groups of the 1980s. In German, Kino means "Movie Theater". In Russian, it means both "cinema" and "movie".
- The home video release includes an extended version of "Air, Part 2", running over 48 minutes. Approximately five minutes of extra footage includes some longer and added scenes early in the episode, including a conversation between Senator Alan Armstrong and Lt. Matthew Scott; Dr. Nicholas Rush checking in on Eli Wallace and the scientists (before he uses the communication stone); and a pivotal scene where Rush makes first contact with Earth and reports directly to Lt. General Jack O'Neill.
- Spoiler: The conversation between Eli and Rush concerning the Lucian Alliance almost confirms that it was, in fact, the Lucian Alliance that attacked Icarus Base. It also sets the scene for episodes later in season one - notably the episodes "Incursion, Part 1" and "Incursion, Part 2", in which a group from the Lucian Alliance lead by Commander Kiva and Colonel David Telford make it aboard the ship.
- Bill Dow reprises his role as Dr. Bill Lee, making him the third recurring character to appear in all three Stargate series following Martin Christopher (Major Kevin Marks) and Gary Jones (CMSgt. Walter Harriman).
- Richard Dean Anderson (Lt. General Jack O'Neill) and Gary Jones (CMSgt. Walter Harriman) only appear in this episode in a deleted scene that is only included in the extended version of "Air".
- Destiny was venting atmosphere through its damaged second shuttle. Unless the ship wasn't re-pressurized until the expedition arrived, then the atmosphere would've already been completely vented from the ship long before they came aboard, given the short amount of time they had once they recognized the problem.
In other languages
- Hungarian: Levegő, 2. rész (Air, part 2)
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