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"The Brotherhood" is the sixteenth episode of the first season of Stargate: Atlantis.


On Dagan, the team find a series of clues leading to a Zero Point Module to defend Atlantis and contact Earth. However, a group of Genii led by Commander Acastus Kolya also wishes to find the ZPM.


Ruins of an ancient castle on Dagan

According to the note left by the alternate timeline version of Dr. Elizabeth Weir, a valuable Zero Point Module is hidden on the planet Dagan. Major John Sheppard's team searches for it.

When they arrive at the planet, they learn that there was an ancient group, called "The Brotherhood" that was charged by the Ancients to protect a valuable object that when they (the Ancients) returned for it sometime in future, they'd be rewarded for guarding the object. The team suspects this object is indeed the missing ZPM.

Back at Atlantis, Dr. Radek Zelenka has discovered new Long range sensors, which can track objects into deep space. It has suddenly activated because, they eventually work out, of a Wraith Dart inbound for the planet, and arriving in about 27 minutes.

Acastus Kolya with his new team

When, after they excavate a few areas and find a few stones, they finally locate the place where the object is hiding in an underground chamber, an old Genii enemy, Commander Acastus Kolya appears on the scene to sabotage their plans. They realize that one stone (out of a complete set of nine) is missing for them to be able to activate the release mechanism.

They get back to a previous location where Dr. Rodney McKay finds the missing stone hidden in a secret compartment within a mural. In the meantime, Sheppard, Lt. Aiden Ford and Teyla Emmagan had managed to prepare a little bit, so when Kolya and his team arrive, they are ready. After Pranos, a member of Kolya's team, dies by placing his hands in the device that would release the ZPM, Sheppard pressed for a solution lest he too die the same way when forced to go next, realizes that the stones need to be arranged in a particular pattern (a Magic Square), so that they add up to 15. This all much to McKay's surprise, who can hardly believe that Sheppard came up with the magic-square solution due to a Mensa test that Sheppard had previously passed.

On Atlantis, three Puddle Jumpers have been scrambled. One is destroyed, while the Dart begins to scan the city. After completing its mission, it self-destructs.

Back on the planet and back in the underground chamber, once the stones are rearranged in the correct order, they are able to release the ZPM from within a large mandala-like wall carving. Taking advantage of Kolya's distraction, Teyla, Sheppard and Ford get control of the situation by releasing a flash-grenade they had prepared earlier, enabling them to overpower Kolya and his team. Once defeated, Kolya tells Sheppard that the sensible thing to do was to kill him. Sheppard tells him that he's right, and if he ever interferes again, he will kill him.

Allina, the leader of the new Brotherhood.

They leave the place all elated with their eventual find of a ZPM, but when they're halfway to the Jumper, a group of armed locals surround them and demand they hand over what they call 'The Potentia' (i.e. the ZPM): Allina, the woman that had been helping them, reveals herself to actually be the leader of the New Brotherhood. They try to reason with her, but since McKay had already commented before that they were not from Atlantis but from Earth, the locals believe that the Ancients are still going to return in the future.

Until that time, they're going to hide the ZPM on another world and wait for the Ancients to return, the New Brotherhood still believing that they will be greatly rewarded for their loyalty and dedication when the Ancients return, despite the group itself not knowing that the Ancients are never going to return to the Pegasus galaxy.

Back at Atlantis, the team updates Dr. Elizabeth Weir, who tells them about the scanning Wraith dart. Zelenka also reveals the dart sent its information into deep space to three Wraith Hive ships, which could arrive at Atlantis in approximately two weeks...


Appearances for The Brotherhood





Sentient Species




Notable quotes

Chuck: (drinking coffee) I don't know what happened, it just stopped working. I got some little functionality back, it's still isn't doing everything it used to.
Zelenka: Yes, well, maybe if people stop insisting on having food and liquid in such close proximity to the TEN THOUSAND YEAR OLD EQUIPMENT!
Chuck: Hey! We're very careful! We're not the problem here!
Zelenka: (sarcastically) Ah, yes. Uh-huh!
(while Zelenka isn't looking, Chuck touches the laptop, causing the Ancient screen to flash)
Zelenka: What did you touch?
Chuck: Nothing! I didn't touch anything.
Zelenka: Ježiši, já s těma hercema nemůžu dělat! (meaning "Jesus, I can't work with these actors" in Czech)

McKay: Suddenly I feel so tired.
Allina: You're a scientist. Are you not used to this by now?
McKay: Ah, but my kind of science is the good kind of science. The kind you can do sitting on a chair or... laying on a couch.

Allina: It's a layout of the Sudarian villages. The walls of this monastery have protected it for ten thousand years.
McKay: It's beautiful.
Allina: It is. (looks at him) And yet my eye is drawn elsewhere.
(clueless and not getting the hint, Rodney looks around to see what she is referring to.)
McKay: Elsewhere?

McKay: (to John, Aiden and Teyla) I'm heading to bed.
Sheppard: Ah, which bed might that be?
McKay: Huh, what?
Ford: Think Allina might have a little crush on you, Doc.
McKay: She does?
Teyla: It is very clear to us all.
McKay: It is?
Sheppard: To everyone but you, apparently.

Beckett: I can barely make it to the main land and back without crashing. For the last time, I'm a doctor, not a bloody fighter pilot!

McKay: Look, someone get me a knife. (Genii just stand there) You all have guns, someone get me a knife.

Sheppard: (the team are being forced to try to solve a puzzle one after another and an incorrect answer kills the one solving it) Two heads think better than one.
McKay: That's a common misconception.
Sheppard: (to Kolya) Give me a gun and I'll shoot him myself.

Sheppard: I got it!
McKay: What!?
Sheppard: The brotherhood of fifteen.
McKay: What about it?
Sheppard: The numbers one to nine can be put in a three by three grid so they add up to fifteen in every direction.
McKay: Oh you're right! How did you know that!?
Sheppard: It was on a Mensa test.
McKay: You're a member of Mensa!?
Sheppard: No... but I took the test.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode marks the first mention of the fact that Major John Sheppard once took the entry exam for Mensa and passed, but that he did not apply for membership. This fact sometimes comes up in discussions in later episodes, especially between Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay, who can hardly believe Sheppard actually passed the Mensa entry exam. This is also one of the many repeated indications throughout the series that, much like Brigadier General Jack O'Neill, Sheppard is smarter than he lets people know.
  • When Sheppard figures out how to arrange the stones on the lock the "brotherhood of fifteen" used to protect the Zero Point Module and keep it locked away, he is talking about what we here on Earth call a "Magic Square". It's unknown exactly when the first magic squares were found on Earth, but we do know that simple three by three magic squares have been found to date back over four thousand years. They have captivated humanity so far as to become a part of both ancient mysticism as well as modern culture, even making an appearance in a recent novel by Dan Brown, not to mention this episode.
  • Ford was shot by a dart gun. One of the men with the Genii was carrying a Crosman 2289G ‘Backpacker’ air rifle.
  • Sgt. Bates says that "Our only real fighter pilot is off-world." It is established that Sheppard is the only fighter pilot with combat experience on Atlantis until the arrival of Colonel Dillon Everett and the reinforcements under his command.
  • Despite the alternate Dr. Elizabeth Weir giving them a note with five addresses with ZPMs on it, this is the only episode where they search one of the planets for a ZPM and it is never mentioned again nor what happened to the other ZPMs or if the expedition ever found any other ones.
  • The two monks in the opening teaser are named Astrum and Porta, possibly as a reference to the Ancient term for the Stargate, "astria porta."


  • Nominated Gemini for "Best Writing in a Dramatic Series" (Martin Gero)

Other languages

  • French: La Communauté des quinze (The community of the fifteen)
  • Russian: Братство (The Brotherhood)
  • Hungarian: A testvériség (The Brotherhood)
  • German: Bruderschaft (Brotherhood)

External links

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