Upon exploring the planet M5S-224, Dr. Rodney McKay discovers that the Stargate draws its energy from the atmosphere, and believes that this would be enough energy to power up a wormhole to Earth. After consulting Dr. Elizabeth Weir, the team decides to dismantle the Control crystal in Atlantis and transport it to the planet in order to dial an eight chevron to the Milky Way galaxy. The wormhole connects, and Stargate Command tells them that it is alright to travel back to Earth since the Prometheus is capable of reaching the Pegasus Galaxy in a couple of months thanks to the installation of Asgard hyperdrives. Upon returning to Earth, they find out that the Prometheus has had an accident and is not capable of transporting them back to Atlantis.
Each team member slowly begins to realize that things are not as they seem. Major John Sheppard sees friends that had previously died in Afghanistan when he was serving with them, Weir is told by Major General George S. Hammond that Atlantis will now become a full military and Sheppard is strangely in support of this. In his own reality, McKay notices that his scientific results are coming out as gibberish. As each team member comes to the realization that this Earth is not real, they find themselves in the Embarkation room at Stargate Command with Hammond. But it is not the real Hammond, but rather a being of the original planet, which McKay mistook for highly charged mist.
Mist-Hammond tells them that he had to create hallucinations for each team member to stop them from dialing the Stargate and currently they are unconscious. Since Teyla Emmagan had no memories of Earth, she had to share Sheppard's memory. For many years, travelers had come through the Stargate and the use of the gate killed mist beings, Mist-Hammond explains that a connection to earth would kill millions, implying that the power the gate could draw from the mist was the hazard to these beings, rather than the vortex, which would be to physical beings. McKay realizes if they are unconscious, without food or water, they would eventually die. Mist-Hammond suggested that they return to their fantasies. Weir convinces him that they will not dial Earth, but head back to Atlantis instead and they are released from the hallucinations.
|Appearances for Home|
Ford: I've never seen so much nothing.
Sheppard: And I've never walked so far to see it.
Sheppard: How much power are we talking about here?
McKay: In terms of joules or ergs?
Sheppard: In terms of lots.
McKay: Well, lots and lots. Enough to dial back to Earth.
McKay: Let me see if I can make you understand, okay? These results don't just say the ZPM won't work, they say this reality isn't governed by any natural laws. It's like looking through a microscope at a cell culture and seeing a thousand dancing hamsters. It's impossible!
Weir: Rodney, you need to calm down.
McKay: No, no, what I need to do now is get very agitated because what I'm realizing is all this is a lie!
McKay: Atlantis can't afford to lose me. I'm their foremost expert in gate theory and wormhole physics, and a myriad of other sciences too numerous to mention yet too important to ignore.
Ford: So what you're saying is you're invaluable everywhere.
McKay: So none of this is real? (truth dawns) The cute brunette, of course! I should have known! How do you go from, "You're a pig, but I like your cat," to "I missed you"?
McKay: An hour ago it hit me. Like Archimedes in the bathtub, Eureka! Except, I wasn't in the bathtub. I was on the couch watching a very strange 'Outer Limits' episode...
(Sheppard has figured out that his welcome-home party is just a figment of his imagination)
Sheppard :You guys have been dead for years. Now, don't get me wrong, it's really nice seeing you. (points to a middle-aged woman) You too, Miss Watson.
Sheppard: (to Ford) She was my sixth grade teacher. (points to a young blonde) And I don't even remember your name, but I remember you wouldn't even date me!
Weir: War and Peace. Mmm some heavy reading.
Sheppard: Yeah. Well back on Earth when I was getting ready for this mission I realized there was a good chance I might be here for a while so I figured 'why not bring along a book that takes a while to read.'
Weir: Page 17.
Sheppard: I'm right on schedule.
Alien Lifeform: Major Sheppard seemed uniquely capable of manipulating his own fabricated reality.
Sheppard: If I think about the scenarios I could've thought up, I'd kick myself... The dead people were a dead giveaway.
McKay: Dead people? What were you doing?!
- In this episode, the traditional wormhole effect is replaced by an odd "squeeze" effect lacking the green "outside" and a continuous wall of the wormhole. This is possibly to denote that the members are already inside the hallucination, although the wormhole may have been changed by the fact that the mist was powering the gate.
- The dog (Sedgewick) that appears in Dr. Elizabeth Weir's illusion is actually owned by actress Torri Higginson.
- George S. Hammond is only wearing two stars on his uniform (Major General). However, Weir previously mentioned that he had been promoted to Lt. General and thus should be wearing three stars. It is unclear whether this is an error due to reusing his Stargate: SG-1 wardrobe or a deliberate clue that something is not as it seems.
- Likely, this is just a costuming error, as none of the Atlantis team notices his rank. Sheppard, Ford, and McKay not noticing can be excused since they may not have known about Hammond's promotion, but Weir should have taken notice since she replaced Hammond as head of the SGC. As Teyla is from the Pegasus Galaxy, she obviously wouldn't know (unless she was told by the others).
- Hammond's appearance at Stargate Command might imply he is still be the commander of the facility (which would be another clue to the illusion), but Hammond's role is never stated and he does not use his former office. It is possible that he is visiting in his capacity of director of Homeworld Security as established at the end of SG-1's seventh season, and the incorrect rank really is just a costume error.
- The mist aliens have the timeline of the illusion very accurate. CMSgt. Walter Harriman says that the Asgard have installed a hyperdrive on Prometheus and they were about to send a rescue mission. In the previous weeks episode of Stargate SG-1 "Covenant" O'Neill asks Thor for a hyperdrive for Prometheus but is told it has to be approved by the Asgard High Council. Several weeks later after the hyperdrive installation, they do send a rescue mission in the episode "Prometheus Unbound" but is cut short by Vala Mal Doran.
- The plot in this episode is very similar to that of the Farscape episode "A Human Reaction" in which future Stargate SG-1 regulars Ben Browder and Claudia Black appeared.
- This is the first time that the Goa'uld are mentioned on the series. They were later be referenced in the episode "Critical Mass".
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Ripple Effect", a version of Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell from an alternate reality referred to this episode, indicating that these events likewise occurred in his reality.
- This is the only episode of Stargate: Atlantis directed by Holly Dale.
- This is the only Stargate: Atlantis appearance of Don S. Davis, who starred in Stargate SG-1 for seven seasons.
- This is the first appearance of Stargate Command since the series pilot, although it is an illusion.
- Upon "arrival" at Stargate Command, the musical theme of Stargate: SG-1 is heard. It is one of the few instances where David Arnold's themes from the original Stargate movie are heard on Stargate: Atlantis.
- Nicole Rudell (Doctor) previously played Rita in the Stargate SG-1 episode "In the Line of Duty".
- Noah Beggs (Dex) previously played S.F. Officer in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Fragile Balance".
- Mist-Hammond refers to the events of the Stargate SG-1 pilot "Children of the Gods".
- Gary Jones (Sgt. Walter Harriman) also guest starred in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Sacrifices", which was originally broadcast on the same day (September 10, 2004).
- The manner through which the illusion is revealed to Sheppard (dead friends starting to turn up alive) is similar to the first plot twist in Philip K. Dick's classic science fiction novel Ubik, where the characters find out they are in the half-life (a kind of suspended animation), critically injured (or perhaps closer to dead), and their friend, whom they believed dead as the sole casualty in the same incident that actually injured/killed them, is alive and attempting to revive them. In Ubik though, the 'live' character started appearing as an engraving on the reverse of coins, rather than as an actual living person.
- Weir drives a red BMW convertible, while Simon drives a black Maserati convertible
- McKay lives in a house in this episode, contrary to the fact that he left his cat with a neighbor in his apartment building (which we see in "Rising" and is later confirmed in "Letters from Pegasus")
- In Shepherd's house, we see the "Multi-circle" center-piece on prominent display. This is the first time this prop appears on Stargate Atlantis. This particular prop has been reused many times previously on SG-1 and would appear many more times on Atlantis, and other shows.
- When Ford arrives at Shepherd's house, he is carrying a huge stack of pizzas. Upon close inspection, the pizza is from Pizza Hut (As indicated by their phone number 310-1010).
- The opening monologue of The Outer Limits, which is heard in part as McKay watches television, is particularly apt for this episode: "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. [...]"
- When Lt. Ford dials the DHD at the beginning of the episode, the same glyph File:A07.svg|20px is seen being used twice.
- When McKay is discussing the additional control crystal which allows the 8th chevron to lock, Sheppard states that it would take them 840 years to come get him is he disables the Stargate on M5S-224. This makes no sense as the puddle jumpers themselves have DHDs built right in so the risk is near non-existent.
- When McKay dials Earth, if you listen carefully to the DHD, the symbol keys can only be heard being pressed seven times, when Earth would require eight symbols since it is in the Milky Way Galaxy, and M5S-224 is in the Pegasus Galaxy.
- Illusion or not, it's highly unlikely that McKay would be allowed out of Cheyenne Mountain, let alone Stargate Command, wearing his Atlantis uniform complete with mission patches.
- Though this is possibly another clue that it is not real.
- Usually, aliens like Teyla are not allowed off-base on a whim. Teal'c had to live in Cheyenne Mountain for years before being allowed an apartment.
- When Hammond and Shepherd are in the elevator, the indicator jumps from 28, to 25; shortly counts down, then gets stuck at 21 until the two get off.
In Other Languages
- German: Zurück auf die Erde (Back to Earth)
- Polish: Dom
- Portuguese: Casa
- French: Retour sur Terre (Back on Earth)
- Italian: Casa (Home)
- Spanish: Casa (Home)
- Czech: Domov (Home)
- Hungarian: Hazatérés (Homecoming)
- Russian: Дом (Home)