Michael Kenmore has infiltrated Atlantis with an army of his Hybrids, and closes off Stargate Operations and the surrounding levels to prevent anyone from taking it back. His plan: take Teyla Emmagan and her child to perfect his Hybrids once and for all, and to destroy the base when they're done. Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, Dr. Rodney McKay and a team try to take back the city before Michael leaves with what he wants.
In an ordinary night in Atlantis, Ronon Dex is in the Commander's office, seeing Richard Woolsey, who tells him that Ronon has not filed a single mission report despite Woolsey's expectations, which were announced to everyone on the fourth day after he took command. He tells Ronon he knows he saw him there, when Ronon tells him that he doesn't remember being in the mandatory announcement. Anticipating that Ronon may not be good at writing, he gives Ronon a recording device on which he is to dictate his mission reports, although Ronon says he is not good at talking, either.
Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay are racing Remote-controlled cars in an isolated part of the East Pier. In the process, a passing Teyla Emmagan almost trips on one of the cars. She tells the men that she is walking her son, Torren John Emmagan to sleep, since this is the only way he could sleep. The men tell her that they will stop racing cars. However, as she leaves, they continue. Teyla goes to her quarters, and puts Torren in his cradle to let him sleep. As McKay examines his car, the lights on their corridor turn off. Thinking it is just a power glitch, they radio the control room, but there is no reply. They try contacting other people, but get no response either. The two walk over to a balcony, where they see that the entire city is blacked out, except for lights in the control room.
Sheppard and McKay enter a section where other Atlantis expedition members are gathering. Sheppard grabs a handful of flashlights and radios, since radios are offline. Some of the Sheppard's men split up to cover more ground, when Dr. Radek Zelenka arrives, and informs them that everything is offline, they cannot connect the Zero Point Module or Naquadah generators to any of the systems, they're completely dead. They plan to reboot the power in the main power room. Meanwhile, Teyla can't open her door, and tries to radio for help, not knowing everything is down. Eventually, the door opens, and Teyla wonders who it is. However, the two darkened figures raise their Wraith handblasters, and stun Teyla.
Zelenka cannot reboot the power, and tells Sheppard and an exhausted McKay, who has to use the stairs because the transporters aren't operational. McKay believes that if the entire city is dead, an external power source of some kind is powering the control room. The two proceed toward the control room and eventually arrive there, while Zelenka works on the transporters. McKay and Sheppard notice that the door to the stairwell leading to the control room are sealed off. They believe someone has infiltrated the base. Zelenka calls McKay and tells him that he has initiated a temporary patch and rerouted it into his lab. McKay goes to his lab, while Sheppard and Major Evan Lorne and his team are planning to blow the doors open.
McKay and Zelenka, who are both in McKay's lab cannot access the control room. However, they do have access to the CCTV cameras, to give them a better understanding as to what is going on. Immediately, they find out that there is a Puddle Jumper in the embarkation area, and that the control room is being operated by non-familiar people. They see Teyla awakening in the office, where a familiar face walks in; Michael Kenmore.
In a flashback, Woolsey finishes debriefing Ronon, when the Atlantis' Stargate activates. They pick up Major Nelson's IDC. A Jumper arrives instead, and it initializes an energy field of somekind. Ronon suspects a trap, and urges everyone to run out. However, the field expands, stunning everyone. Michael and his squad of Hybrids begin working right away. The Hybrids close off all power and use their Jumper as their power source. Michael plans to bring Torren to perfect his Hybrid research, and then destroy the city, as retribution to what Atlantis has done to him. However, eventually he wants Teyla to join him, as he feels she is special to him. But when she refuses to come with him, he angrily tells her that he will get what he came for, and she will be killed.
Sheppard and Lorne plan to storm the control room, where Sheppard tells the team that if they have a shot at Michael, they must take it, not risking to keep him alive. They blow the doors open with C-4, and climbs up the stairs to the control room. However, McKay picks up an energy reading, and tells the team to stop. Lorne is struck by a stun field of some sort. With that plan gone, they have to think of a new strategy.
Meanwhile, Ronon awakens in a room, full of personnel, who were stunned. Ronon tries to open the door to escape. However, he cannot do so. Eventually, Amelia Banks wakes up. Ronon tells her that someone has taken over Atlantis, and wants her to open the door. Banks manages to get the door open. However, the door is guarded by a Hybrid, which Ronon tries to fend off. However, the Hybrid eventually manages to get the upper hand, when Banks surprisingly fights him until Ronon is able to get a stunner and shoots him. Banks explains that she has learned kickboxing for five years. The rest of the imprisoned teams start to come round, where Ronon tells them they must arm themselves and take back the city.
Zelenka and McKay discover that the "stun bubble" (named by Zelenka) is made from Wraith stunner technology integrated with the cloak. They decide to destroy Michael's Jumper with a Drone weapon. However, powering the control chair is out of the question, and the Jumper bay is out of reach. However, there are two Jumpers in the underwater bay. However, they're both not operational, so McKay has to fix them.
Ronon overhears Michael's plans to blow up the city, and they armed the self-destruct. Ronon thinks of a new plan instead, and tells the team to return to the room. There, he charges up to the control room, stunning a couple of Hybrids, and encounters Michael. They engage in hand-to-hand combat. Teyla takes the opportunity to run with Torren, where she sees Woolsey, who guides her to safety. However, as they run down some stairs, Woolsey steps on the stun bubble, where he hurtles to the lower floor. Teyla is cornered, but uses the stun field to her advantage, as she pushes a Hybrid down, where he too is stunned. Ronon continues fighting with Michael, but despite having the upper hand, Michael catches him off guard, and Ronon falls down to the floor below, knocking him unconscious. Teyla tries to find a location to hide. However, with Hybrids after her, she is cornered. She eventually finds a hidden door and hides with her son.
McKay and Sheppard arrive at one of the Jumpers, where McKay learns that the Jumper can't fire drones. Sheppard plans on ramming Michael's Jumper, but there is another problem, the Inertial dampeners are out, meaning Sheppard has to under go the on a tenth suicide mission. However, McKay has to finish fixing soon, as Michael activates the self-destruct to lure Teyla out of hiding. They have 10 minutes left. Michael talks to Teyla over the comm system, and tells her she has 10 minutes to show herself, or they will all die, including Torren. If she surrenders, he promises not to harm her in any way. Eventually Teyla talks back, telling him to deactivate the self-destruct, then she'll surrender, so he can trust her.
McKay finds out that Zelenka can deactivate the Stargate shield. This means that if they can, Sheppard would be close enough to dial a random planet, so the unstable vortex could disable the Jumper, so they can retake the control room. Sheppard decides McKay should pilot the Jumper, so he can be a member in his strike team. McKay flies the Jumper to outside the control tower.
With two minutes left, Teyla urges Michael to deactivate the self-destruct. However, Michael's mood swings gets the better of him, and tells her that he has Torren's DNA to work with, so he plans to leave Atlantis, so it can be destroyed. Before they enter, Michael decides to get his prize, Ronon's head, and is about to cut it off, when Zelenka deactivates the Gate shield. McKay quickly dials a planet, where the unstable vortex destroys a good portion of Michael's ship, which deactivates the stun bubble and self-destruct, and power to the entire city is restored.
Sheppard heads a strike team to the control room, where they kill all the Hybrids. Sheppard takes cover as Michael fires at him, but Sheppard is able to wound him, forcing him to flee. Sheppard follows Michael, who is heading to the Jumper bay to escape. Zelenka manages to close the roof, preventing his escape. With nowhere to go, Michael runs up a set of stairs, where he ends up at a dead end on the top of the tower. However, he is still able to surprise Sheppard, and almost throws him over. Sheppard gets back up and starts engaging Michael in hand-to-hand combat. Meanwhile, Teyla learns what Sheppard is doing and hands Torren to Amelia.
Michael is quickly able to gain the upper hand and is about to beat Sheppard to death when Teyla joins in on the fight. The two are able to push Michael over the edge, where he desperately holds on for his life. Struggling to get up, he begs Teyla to help him up. However, for a moment, Teyla gazes down on him, and ultimately kicks both of his hands off the ledge, where Michael falls hundreds of feet to his death.
In the infirmary, Woolsey, who has a sprained arm, checks up on Ronon, who is recovering from his fall. He tells Ronon that his actions continues to amaze, and inspire him. As he leaves, Ronon tells Woolsey that he has finished a mission report on the Michael event. As Woolsey leaves, he listens to the digital recorder, where he hears Ronon say "Mission report. Michael invaded Atlantis, tried to blow it up. We stopped him. End of report."
McKay and Sheppard continue to race remote-controlled cars, where they stumble into Teyla again, she tells them that Torren has actually slept through the whole ordeal, which he hasn't done since ever. She also says that even though Michael's dead, she knows that someone else has taken charge of his reign. But for now, they decide to have some time off, where she agrees to see the men race each other, where Sheppard cheats, by ignoring the countdown.
|Appearances for The Prodigal|
Woolsey: May I ask why you have not filed a single mission report since I have assumed command of this base?
Ronon: 'Cause I haven't given you any?
Woolsey: As you know, one of the changes I made around here is to require every team member to file mission reports, as opposed to only team leaders and science officers.
Ronon: Really. I didn't… I didn't know that.
Woolsey: I announced it my fourth day here. At an away-team orientation meeting detailing changes to mission protocol.
Ronon: Was I there?
Woolsey: Yes. It was mandatory.
Ronon: Because I don't remember…
Woolsey: I saw you there. It's kind of hard to miss you.
Ronon: I'm not good at writing.
Woolsey: I figured you might say that. Use this.
(He hands him a small device.)
Woolsey: It's a digital voice recorder. Speak into it – we'll plug it in and your report will be automatically transcribed and filed with the others.
(Ronon looks uncomfortable.)
Ronon: I'm not good at talking either.
Lorne: I thought Michael was dead.
Zelenka: As did I.
Lorne: I mean we blew up his ship, right?
McKay: He's the one who stole our jumper, used it to escape from his cruiser before we could destroy it. He's like a cockroach. You know, every time you step on him he just skitters away.
McKay: I've been examining the energy reading we picked up and it appears that Michael has somehow managed to modify the Wraith stun pulse technology and integrate it with the Puddle Jumper cloaking mechanism.
Zelenka: Yeah, creating a kind of a stun bubble.
McKay: (grimacing) No, a force field – around the Control Room and the Gate room. Look, while it's in place, we're not getting in there.
Sheppard: Well, I know that. What you haven't told me is how we're gonna turn it off.
McKay: That's because we haven't figured that part out yet. Look, it's gonna be very tricky.
Zelenka: Yeah, you see, Michael is using the Puddle Jumper as an external power source, not only for the Control Room and the Gate room, but also using it to power the...the stun bubble.
McKay: (rolling his eyes) OK, enough with the "stun bubble."
Zelenka: Well, that's an accurate description.
McKay: It's a stupid description.
Zelenka: It's a stun bubble!
Ronon: You can fight?
Banks: Five years of kickboxing.
Ronon: Good to know.
Woolsey: How's Dr. Keller's most cantankerous patient.
Ronon: You gotta be kidding me. You get released and I've gotta stay here another day?
Woolsey: Because I only fell down a flight of stairs. You, my friend, were hurled from a much greater height. You're lucky you only suffered a concussion and didn't break your neck.
Ronon's recorded mission report: Mission report: Michael invaded Atlantis, tried to blow it up, we stopped him. End of report.
- Joe Flanigan as Lt. Colonel John Sheppard
- Rachel Luttrell as Teyla Emmagan
- Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex
- Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey
- David Hewlett as Dr. Rodney McKay
- Connor Trinneer as Michael Kenmore
- David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka
- Kavan Smith as Major Evan Lorne
- Sharon Taylor as Amelia Banks
- Brad Dryborough as Lead Hybrid
- Brandon Blue as Hybrid
- Colin Corrigan as Lt. Rivers
- Annalise MacCulloch as Torren John Emmagan (Uncredited)
- Tony Baretta as Smitty (Uncredited)
- Colin Decker as Marine (Uncredited)
- David Neale as Technician (Uncredited)
- Paul Lazenby as Human-Wraith Hybrid Guard (Uncredited)
- Kory Grim as Human-Wraith Hybrid (Uncredited)
- ? as Marine
- The working titles of this episode included "The Red Shirt Diaries", "First Day", and then just "Prodigal", until "The" was added.
- Michael Kenmore was able to combine the Puddle Jumper's cloak generator with Wraith stunner technology to create a "Stun bubble" much in the same way Dr. Rodney McKay did with the Anti-Replicator gun crystal in the episode "Lifeline".
- This episode features the end of Michael's crusade and the death of Michael.
- During scenes where McKay is using a scanner, such as when he notices the energy of the "stun bubble", instead of using an Ancient scanner as he usually does, he has a small handheld computer/scanner of some sort. This is more prominently seen and used in the next episode "Remnants". This later reappears in "Enemy at the Gate" on the Super-hive, most notably as the remote detonator McKay rigged up for the nuclear warhead Sheppard uses to destroy the Hive ship.
- When McKay flies the Puddle Jumper up to the Atlantis control tower, the damage to the tower from the Stargate explosion in "The Lost Tribe" is still visible.
- Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's Remote-controlled car is a Dodge Charger stock car, while McKay's is a Nissan 350Z.
- Carl Binder directed several scenes in this episode.
- Brad Dryborough (Lead Hybrid) previously played Outta Control Driver in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Sight Unseen". He is best known for playing Lt. Louis Hoshi in Battlestar Galactica.
- Paul Lazenby (Human-Wraith Hybrid Guard) previously played Genii Commander in the Stargate: Atlantis episodes "The Brotherhood" and "Common Ground" and Jaffa in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Dominion".
- Near the beginning of the episode, after Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard attempt to climb up to the Atlantis control tower, McKay has sweat dripping from his hair and a sweat stained shirt. Shortly thereafter in his lab, his shirt is completely dry and his hair is dry and styled.
- When Dr. Radek Zelenka turns off the Stargate shield, there's a noise played of the shield being lowered. However, when Ronon Dex was scouting Stargate Operations, the Stargate was shown without the shield being activated. The part with Ronon was most likely the goof as when the Hybrids take over, one of the Hybrids tells Michael that he has activated the Stargate shield.
- After Ronon is defeated by Michael, he falls on to stairs with ancient writings, apart from being upside down, given the alphabet created by the writers, the symbols behind Ronon's arm say: "rygbhwonvxnmjiyohmn..." with one symbol being meaningless, but on the next step behind Ronon, the symbols aren't upside down.
- In the first shot of Ronon Dex in the Atlantis infirmary, he's sitting on top of his sheet. But in the next shot (facing him, rather than from his side) his legs are under the sheet.
- Richard Woolsey says hes made changes so that all team members have to file a mission report instead of just team leaders and science officers but in "Sunday" Teyla Emmagan excuses herself from hanging out with Sheppard by saying "Yes, true. However, I am afraid I have been quite delinquent in filing my mission reports. I had hoped to get caught up before I met with Elizabeth." and Ronan then tries to get out of playing golf by saying "You know, uh, John, I've got mission reports too." This would imply Ronan already had to file them.
- Near the end, Teyla states that her Torren John Emmagan had slept through "...the entire ordeal." However, when she is hiding in the hallway cubby area while hybrids search for them the baby is both seen eyes open and alert and heard cooing and crying to be awake. His noises even nearly draw the attention of a Hybrid at one point while Teyla is hiding in the power conduits.
- After searching for Teyla one of the hybrids informs Michael they have searched every room and corridor within the stun field. No mention is made of the room they were holding people, which is shown later with its door open.
- If you look at the end (37:10) you will see one of New Lantea's moons in the upper left hand corner of the shot. It is not the visual effect of an alien moon like in previous episodes but an insert of Earth's Moon.
- Teyla's baby at the end of the episode is much larger than the one that she was carrying around for most of the episode.
- Hungarian: A tékozló fiú (The Prodigal Son)
- German: Mutterliebe (Motherly Love)
- French: Le fils prodigue (The Prodigal Son)
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