- This episode is a clip show: it is largely composed of clips of previous episodes.
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 faced to stand trial, for their alleged crimes against the Pegasus galaxy. Their best chance of freedom, is the experiences 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.
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.
Meanwhile, Major Evan Lorne's team returns with word the team is missing. Richard Woolsey sends the team 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. He takes 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 in both their interests.
There is but one charge left. They confront him on their dealings with Todd, to which he says without his help the Asurans would still be out there, and by now, almost everybody in the galaxy would most likely be dead. After a tenuous vote, the team is freed of charges. Upon their return to Atlantis, Woolsey 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.
Ancient; Ancient technology; Asurans; Atlantis conference room; Aurora-class battleship; Battle of Asuras; Battle of the Void; Cigar; Coalition of Planets; Daedalus; Dial Home Device; Genii; Hartshorn and Slaughter; Harvard; Hoffan drug; Human-Wraith Hybrid; International Oversight Advisory; Iratus bug retrovirus; Latira; Michael Kenmore; New York City; Particle magnum; Planet (Inquisition); Pocket watch; Riva; Santhal; Shiana's husband; Star Trek; Todd; United Nations; United States Army Corps of Engineers; Vedeena; Elizabeth Weir; Richard P. Woolsey's father; World (Inquisition); Wraith; Wraith tracker
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). Yes well, 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.
(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.)
(They both look out across Atlantis smoking their cigars and sipping their drinks)
- "Inquisition" is a clip show containing scenes from previous episodes, although one with a significant story behind it. It is the second clip show of Stargate: Atlantis following the season 1 episode "Letters from Pegasus". Clips from the following episodes were included:
- At the beginning of the episode, Richard Woolsey compares the Coalition of Planets (an interplanetary government) to a Federation. Dr. Rodney McKay notes that the "Federation" had ships, which is a reference to Star Trek, in which Earth is a part of the United Federation of Planets. Robert Picardo had a starring role on Star Trek: Voyager. In the Star Trek universe, the "Coalition of Planets" is also a precursor to the Federation.
- The Coalition now includes the Atlantis expedition, the Free Peoples of Riva, the Tribes of Santhal, Latira, and the Genii. There are possibly more but it is not known.
- At least twelve Hive ships were destroyed during the Asuran-Tau'ri-Wraith war, bringing the number of Hive ships confirmed destroyed to 27.
- 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 two people celebrating a 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, and ,given the nature of the episode, is most likely the inspiration for that scene. 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.
- The scene of the transforming Wraith was not of Michael Kenmore but a member of the Hive he brought to Atlantis in "Allies."
- This is writer Alex Levine's first Stargate: Atlantis episode. He was the Assistant to the Executive Producers (Season 1) before becoming Script Coordinator (Season 2 on). Levine is also the author of the SciFi.com Stargate Blog.
- Jewel Staite (Dr. Jennifer Keller) does not appear in this episode.
- David Lovgren (Kelore) previously played Va'lar in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Threshold" and Darrell Grimes in the episode "Bounty".
- Tobias Slezak (Myrus) previously played TSgt. Dale James in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Heroes, Part 1" and "Heroes, Part 2". He is also the brother of writer Alex Levine.
- This episode addresses a consistent criticism of the actions of the Atlantis Expedition, namely, that their decisions are ill-informed (killing the Queen in "Rising"), thoughtless (changing the Replicator base code), reckless (collaborating with Todd), or downright criminal (experimenting on Michael).