This episode is a clip show: it is largely composed of clips of previous episodes.
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"Inquisition" is the thirteenth episode of the fifth season of Stargate: Atlantis.


Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team is invited by the Coalition of Planets in order to form an alliance. However, the team is misled and is forced to stand trial, for their alleged crimes against the Pegasus galaxy. Their best chance of freedom is the experience of Richard Woolsey.


Atlantis is asked to attend a meeting hosted by the Coalition of Planets, a group of humans from many different worlds. They now feel with the Wraith at war with each other, an alliance is more feasible to help combat them. They have asked specifically for Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and his team -- who have gained a bit of notoriety in the Pegasus Galaxy over the past few years -- to visit one of their worlds.

Sheppard's team awaits trial.

But soon after the team arrives, they find that they have not been asked there to join the alliance. Instead, the room is gassed and the Coalition has other plans for the team after they are transported to another world. They are made to stand trial for the Atlantis expedition's crimes against the Pegasus Galaxy.

Sheppard is made to explain things such as the waking of the Wraith, their betrayal of the Genii, the existence of Michael Kenmore and his Human-Wraith Hybrids, and the unleashing of the catastrophic Hoffan plague that recently swept through the galaxy. Sheppard also speaks to their defense on the matter of destroying several Hive ships, their elimination of the Wraith cloning facility and their believed elimination of Michael several months prior, although Sheppard does admit there is a chance he is still alive.

The Council of the Coalition.

Meanwhile, Major Evan Lorne's team returns with word the team is missing. Richard Woolsey sends teams back out to check planetary addresses dialed recently, nearly clearing out the city doing so. Eventually, Lorne's team returns with Myrus, a messenger who relays to them what has transpired. Woolsey argues with Myrus and imprisons him, at which point Myrus informs Woolsey that he is prepared not to return home.

Woolsey decides to travel to the planet himself after deliberating their options and considering the long term possibilities if the trial ended in a loss. His prestigious, extensive and practical background in law makes him ideal to take over the team's public defense in hopes of winning after they were unable to track the location of the trial down. (They even attempted to acquire a Wraith tracker from Todd but received no response.) He stands in for Sheppard, answering for further charges. After concluding that the Genii have a stake in the Coalition as part of the military agenda, Woolsey formulates a plan.

He manages to bribe one of the guards to let him see one of the councilors, Kelore. He has concluded that Kelore is the only one up in the air. Dimas will see the logic and reason of their defense, while Shiana will vote against them in retaliation for her family being killed by the Asurans. He knows that Kelore is being bribed by the Genii to vote against them, and instead proposes that Atlantis, a far superior military force, could join instead, which would be to both their advantage. Woolsey also says Atlantis cannot be seen to be too involved, they will need someone to represent their interests on the Council--Kelore. This gives Kelore power that the Genii would keep for themselves. They return separately to the courtroom.

There is but one charge left. They confront Woolsey on the dealings with Todd, to which he says without Todd's help the Asurans would still be out there, and by now, almost everybody in the galaxy would most likely be dead. Woolsey makes one last statement. He says the Wraith are fighting each other now, but eventually one faction will win, and then they will come after the Council. He says if, on that day, they want the Atlantis forces with them, fighting side by side, vote not guilty. Otherwise, find them guilty now. Dimas says they should take time to consider, but Shiana says she is ready to vote immediately, and votes Guilty on all charges. Dimas votes Not Guilty on all charges. The camera cuts away before we hear Kelore's vote.

The next scene shows a guard unlocking the cell and leaving the door open as Woolsey enters to tell them they can go, they were found Not Guilty. Shepard shakes Woolsey's hand and says he never doubted him for a moment.

Sheppard and Woolsey celebrate back in Atlantis

Upon their return to Atlantis, Woolsey and Sheppard are on the city balcony, sharing brandy and cigars as Woolsey explains the winning tactics to Sheppard. Eloquence, logic--and a bribe to Kelore. He also admits now they will have to put forward more military action in the galaxy, something that will take some explaining to the International Oversight Advisory.


Appearances for Inquisition





Sentient Species



Notable quotes

Sheppard: You know, if you wanted to keep your location a secret you could have blindfolded us. I wouldn't have peeked. I swear.

Sheppard: Well, what's next on the agenda? Did we step on the rose bushes on our last trip to Vidina?

Sheppard: Let's see, what else did I leave out? There's been so many over the years, you know, it's hard to keep track…
Shiana: Enough! You spin a colorful tale, Colonel. That much is obvious. Yet for all these fantastic claims, we have no evidence but your word.
Sheppard: This trial is evidence! None of this would be happening, your precious little coalition wouldn't even exist, if we hadn't have pushed the Wraith so far back that you got an opportunity you haven't had in ten thousand years!
Kelore: Your responsibility in this has already been determined. You woke the Wraith early, before the population of this galaxy had sufficient time to recover, which eventually led to the Wraith going to war with each other over feeding grounds. That war is what has given us this opportunity, not some imagined victory on your part.

Sheppard: Woolsey, what the hell are you doing here?
Woolsey: I've made an arrangement with your captors. I'm taking over your defense.
Sheppard: Don't suppose you managed to bring along a subspace locator beacon, did you?
Woolsey: That's Wraith technology. It's not like we have one just lying around. I even tried to contact Todd to see if we could borrow one, but he never responded.
McKay: Well, what about the DHD on the planet where we were ambushed? I mean, you could pull the most recent addresses that were dialed from that.
Woolsey: Already done. There were over fifty addresses in the buffer. I almost cleaned out the entire city sending people to investigate all of them, but…they turned up nothing.
Teyla: (realizing) They took us through more than one 'gate.
Woolsey: So it would seem. This was obviously very well thought out.
(Sheppard smiles grimly and nods.)
McKay: All right, well they had a very clever plan, but we're-we're smarter and better armed. There's got to be a way around this.
Woolsey: They took advantage of one significant weakness—we trusted them. Look, I came here because I have a plan to get you out of here.
McKay: Well, what is it?
Woolsey: (as if obvious) Win the trial.
(The team exchange looks and dubious sighs.)
Sheppard: Look, we were just playing along to buy us enough time to figure out a way out of here.
Woolsey: And how's that coming along?
Sheppard: (sheepishly) Well… we're… we're working on it.
Woolsey: I was Harvard Law Review. I was chief counsel of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to that, I was an appellate advocate for Hartshorne & Slaughter, one of the most prestigious litigation boutiques in all New York City. (he looks at Ronon who stares back unimpressed).  Believe me, I can handle three tribal elders with a stack of papyrus.

Sheppard: Ooh, nice suit!
Woolsey: Being back in the courtroom made me miss my old uniform.
Sheppard: You're kidding.
Woolsey: Not the job, just the uniform.
(They both sip their drinks.)
Sheppard: Oh, that's nice.
Woolsey: Well, it seemed appropriate.
Sheppard: So, are you going to tell me how you managed to pull this one of?
Woolsey: Well, I would say it was a combination of things: my legal skills, my eloquence, the indisputable logic of my arguments and the bribe I offered Kelore.
Sheppard: Mmm.
(Woolsey pulls out a lighter and lights Sheppard's and his own cigars.)
Woolsey: On top of that, I had to commit Atlantis to a much larger day-to-day participation in the politics of the Pegasus Galaxy. Can't wait to explain that in my report.
Sheppard: Yeah. Well, what's the point in being out here if we're not going to try to make a difference, right?
Woolsey: Let's hope the IOA agrees with you.
Sheppard: We'll worry about that later. For now, congratulations.
(They clink glasses in a toast.)
Woolsey: Thanks.
(They both look out across Atlantis smoking their cigars and sipping their drinks)


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • At least twelve Hive ships were destroyed during the Asuran-Tau'ri-Wraith war, bringing the number of Hive ships confirmed destroyed to 27. Earlier in the series it was confirmed that there were around 60 hive ships.
  • According to basic calculations, there have been at least two million human deaths in the five years since the Wraith awoke.
  • The closing scene, with Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Woolsey are celebrating their victory in court with drinks and cigars on a balcony overlooking a cityscape, is intensely reminiscent of the end of a typical episode of Boston Legal, which served as an inspiration for the episode. That show which stars as one of the two characters in question James Spader who played Dr. Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate film. It's worth noting that the other character in Boston Legal's scenario is played by Star Trek's William Shatner.
  • This is the last of three episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis written by Alex Levine. He was the Assistant to the Executive Producers (Season 1) before becoming Script Coordinator (Season 2 on). Levine is also the author of the Stargate Blog.


  • Its stated that Atlantis does not have any Wraith trackers around to track the team with so Woolsey had to contact Todd. However, they should still possess the trackers removed from Ronon Dex in "Runner" and "Sateda". In the latter, they were shown to still possess the tracker from the former over a year later.
  • During the flashback to "The Hive", Major Evan Lorne states "Sheppard's actually getting them to fire at each other" at a different point in time than it actually happened. As well, in the flashback to "Spoils of War", the team's Hive ship is firing upon the other before Todd moves to the weapons console to return fire.
  • In the flashback to the attack on Athos in "Rising", there are lines of dialogue not heard in the episode itself. For example, after Sgt. Bates shoots down the Wraith Dart, Colonel Marshall Sumner can be heard to say "that's one down." That line was not present in "Rising."

Other languages

  • Hungarian: Inkvizíció (Inquisition)
  • German: Inquisition (Inquisition)

External links

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