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"Irresponsible" is the thirteenth episode of the third season of Stargate: Atlantis.


Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team travels to a planet to meet a "hero", only to find Lucius Lavin, who play-fights off Genii mercenaries to win the hearts of the villagers. However, the mercenaries soon contact Commander Acastus Kolya in order to capture Sheppard's team.



Atlantis receives news that a village on M65-PL8 is protected by a hero with superhuman strength. Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and his team visit the planet, only to realize that this hero is really Lucius Lavin. The team suspects that he is using the same drug he used on Atlantis that caused everyone near him to obsessively like him. Lucius says that he doesn't need the drug because he has a Personal shield emitter which makes him invincible, and won the hearts of the villagers after taking out some troublemakers; he maintains their devotion by claiming credit for some of the heroics that he read about in Atlantis's mission reports.

While Lucius is hiking in the nearby woods, a small group of thugs with rifles invade the village, asking for the "hero." With weapons raised, the gang's leader, Haemon, asks Sheppard whether he is the rumored hero who will stop them from robbing the town and burning it to the ground. Lucius Lavin arrives with an air of triumph, declaring that he is the hero and will protect the village. The thugs' blows bounce off his shield, and he makes quick work of them.

The team visits with Lucius in his new home, but after saying goodbye, they decide to stick around and see if they can learn what Lucius is up to this time. They follow him to a secret meeting with Haemon and his men, learning that Lucius hired them to stage the attack, and that he is paying them less than what they agreed to, despite having legitimately injured two of them. The men are furious - they are proud soldiers of the Genii, former members of Cowen's personal guard, who were forced to work for hire after Ladon Radim's coup ("Coup D'etat").

Genii striker

When Lucius returns to the village, the team tries to expose Lucius's con to the villagers, but the villagers do not believe them. Later, Commander Acastus Kolya and some of his soldiers arrive, looking for Sheppard. The team realizes that they can't fight Kolya without risking the lives of the villagers, so with the help of Lucius, they hide in a closet until Kolya leaves. Lucius confronts Kolya and orders him to leave; Kolya's shots bounce off the shield, but Kolya soon realizes that he can torture Lucius by trying to drown him. Lucius gives away the team's location, but they have relocated.

Kolya ties Lucius to a chair and tries to get more information from him. Lucius repeats his false heroics to Kolya and his men, who prove uninterested. Kolya leaves Lucius to deal with some other work. Sheppard's team sneak in and try to break Lucius free, but make a desperate premature exit when a bomb strapped to Lucius's chair goes off. The team is immediately captured by Kolya, except for Sheppard who manages to escape.

While Kolya and his men search for Sheppard, Lucius sneaks away and finds him first. Kolya radios Sheppard to tell him that the Stargate is heavily guarded, and that he will kill members of the team unless Sheppard surrenders. Lucius returns to the village and secretly meets up with the villagers, convincing them that they should fend for themselves: if they always depend on one person to protect them, then they are giving up their freedoms.

Sheppard shows himself to Kolya. Kolya immediately orders his men to open fire; Sheppard is wearing Lucius's personal shield, but it runs out of power after the first barrage. Lucius shows up with the villagers, who overwhelm Kolya and his men (who were reloading their weapons). Kolya, not wanting to surrender, duels with Sheppard and is killed.


Ancient; Ancient Technology Activation gene; Dougy Angus; Athosian; Back to the Future; Batman; Blood; Colt M1911A1 pistol; Cowen; Fishing; FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon; Genii; Genii communicator; Genii pistol; Genii semi-automatic machine gun; Genii shotgun; Iratus bug; Evel Knievel; Lanko; Lucius' herb; M65-PL8; Namakaeha Towrik; Particle magnum; People of M65-PL8; Personal shield emitter; The Princess Bride; Ladon Radim; Scotland; Schnitzel; Tavern; Wraith

Notable Quotes

Sheppard: My childhood hero was Evel Knievel.
Teyla: Was he not evil?
Sheppard: No, that was just his name. He was a daredevil... which isn't a kind of a devil, he just jumped motorcycles over things.
Ronon: Why?
Sheppard: Just because. Didn't always make it, either.
Teyla: And you greatly admired this behaviour?
Sheppard: No, I just... Look, at least my hero is human. McKay's is Batman!
McKay: Mmm. Misunderstood and un-appreciated by many, his most formidable weapon was the power of his brilliant mind. Not just a hero -- a superhero.

Lucius: Oh. Well, I guess the only thing left to do is for you to thank me.
Ronon: What for?
Lucius: For saving your lives.
Sheppard: Thank you.
Lucius: Please, it was nothing.
Sheppard: Yeah, it was nothing!
Lucius: (angrily) What are you talking about, it was nothing? These people had you on your knees.
Sheppard: Yes, they did.
Lucius: Well? You're welcome.

Sheppard: What are we gonna do?! Well, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get by Kolya's men so I can get to the Gate and call for reinforcements.
Lucius: Reinforcements? What d'you say we just get off this planet?
Sheppard: My team is back there!
Lucius: Yeah, so is the guy who wants to bury me alive.
Sheppard: Oh, you're done playing hero now, are you? Fine, you can leave as soon as we get to the Gate. Just keep up.
Lucius: You're angry, aren't you?
Sheppard: Shut up.
Lucius: See, that's anger.

Lucius: Okay, okay: what if I swung from a clock tower on a long rope right into town?
Sheppard: And?
Lucius: I dunno. That's all I have. I could set myself on fire.
Sheppard: I like that.
Lucius: Okay. Um, I could run naked? Oh, I know, I know, I have one! What if I got on your shoulders and we have a cloak that they... it's some religious thing... they could be afraid of giants. Okay, what if we build a tunnel, okay? We could tunnel... or a boulder, a huge boulder. I'm camouflaged, I'm protected, now the boulder protects you... or, um, a magnifying glass and some tape...
Sheppard: I have an idea, Lucius.
Lucius: ...some poison tape!

McKay: I thought that personal shield was depleted.
Sheppard: Oh, yeah.
Teyla: Then it is worthless?
Sheppard: Pretty much.
Beckett: You're not gonna tell Lucius?
Sheppard: No.
Lucius: (in background) Kick me as hard as you can! Ow! Ow! Ow!
Sheppard: He´ll figure it out.


Stargate Wiki has 22 images related to Irresponsible.
  • The type of personal shield emitter seen in this episode was first featured in the Season 1 episode "Hide and Seek", where McKay depleted his shield while saving the city from an energy-draining creature.
  • The Personal shield emitter was said previously in "Hide and Seek" that it imprints on the wearer, therefore Lt. Colonel John Sheppard could not have been able to use it.
  • In the Season 1 episode "Hide and Seek" Dr. Rodney McKay could not eat nor drink, however Dr. Carson Beckett could take some of Lucius Lavin's blood while he was carrying the Personal shield emitter. Lucius, however, was seen to be able to turn the device on and off at will, perhaps demonstrating a greater control over it.
  • This episode reveals that all the military officers who supported Cowen have since been expelled or driven out of Genii territories, and several have become mercenaries following the Coup d'etat.
  • This episode marks the first ever use of the suppressor attachment for the FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon in both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. Though the gun is not fired while the suppressor is attached, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard still intends to use it before he takes it off.
  • There are two references to Batman in this episode: when McKay says that he is his favorite superhero and later when Lucius hides Sheppard's team in a secret room with an entrance hidden by a pendulum; the entry of the batcave is hidden by a pendulum in the Wayne Manor too.
  • The village set in the episode is the same set used in Stargate SG-1 episode "Revisions", Fantasy Garden World which is located near Richmond, BC Canada. Director Martin Wood found the location difficult and restrictive, with little variety or space. Originally, the set from the television series Bordertown that aired from 1989 to 1991 was to be used and the script was written as such, but the set was in such disrepair that the shoot had to be moved. The episodes "A Hundred Days" and "Beast of Burden" were previously shoot there.
  • This episode marks the death of Commander Acastus Kolya which is confirmed in "Remnants" when Sheppard says to a hallucination of Kolya caused by an alien AI that Beckett confirmed his death after Sheppard shot him.
  • At the point when the gunmen enter the scene, a closeup shot clearly shows that one of the men has a revolver with no bullets in it, although it is clearly stated by Lucius later on that this was intended.
  • The climax bears a strong resemblance to the climax of A Fistful of Dollars.
  • Carson Beckett, who does not usually go on offworld missions accompanies Sheppard and his team on this mission for unknown reasons. Director Martin Wood notes in his commentary that Beckett was included simply for pacing reasons as he did not want to slow down the story by having a scene where someone asks for Beckett to join them.
  • Lucius references The Princess Bride by suggesting he and Sheppard both wear a cloak in order to appear like a giant which is feared (religiously) by the people.
  • The Iratus bug Lucius mentions is from "Thirty-Eight Minutes" and being seduced by a beautiful Ancient is from "Sanctuary". Both happened to Sheppard.
  • Jon Cuthbert (Fortnum) previously played Agent Mark Devlin in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Smoke and Mirrors".



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