This episode is part 2 of 2; it is preceded by "The Return, Part 1".
Gallery Episode Transcript

"The Return, Part 2" is the eleventh episode of the third season of Stargate: Atlantis.


Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team reunites to take out the Asurans, who have taken control of Atlantis, and plan to use Niam, who is drifting in space over Lantea. Meanwhile, Major General Jack O'Neill and Richard Woolsey do their best to avoid capture.

Previously on Stargate: Atlantis[]

Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team and Dr. Elizabeth Weir stop the Asurans from destroying Atlantis but Niam attacks Weir and Sheppard ejects him out the back of the Puddle Jumper. The Daedalus rescues Captain Helia and the crew of the Ancient ship Tria from the void between galaxies and returns them to Atlantis where Helia starts a lockdown and demands the expedition leave. A few months after the evacuation, the Asurans attack the city and capture Major General Jack O'Neill and Richard Woolsey. Sheppard and his team defy Major General Henry Landry's orders and steal a Jumper and head to New Athos to pick up Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex before heading to Atlantis.


Jumper shield

Puddle Jumper emerges through Stargate with activated shield

Richard Woolsey and Major General Jack O'Neill are hiding out in a section of the city where the sensors are not working when Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team comes through the Stargate, taking fire from the Asurans. Sheppard contacts the two and tells them to stay put, dropping an explosive device into Stargate Operations before piloting the Puddle Jumper through the window directly behind the Gate. The device detonates, damaging critical systems and all but destroying the upper section of the central spire. With the critical systems, including sensors, destroyed, the Asurans attempt to repair the damage. They are also aware of Sheppard's message, and because they had killed all of the Lanteans, suspect that there are humans hiding within Atlantis.

The team then take the Jumper to retrieve Niam, who is still floating in space where they left him ("Progeny"). Dr. Rodney McKay plans to use Niam to transmit a program that will make all the Asurans freeze, allowing them to finish them off with the Anti-Replicator guns. Niam has been damaged by his long exposure to vacuum and solar radiation, and is unconscious. McKay begins uploading the program but notes that they need to be very close to the city in order to make it work. Any attempts to extend the program's range would mean increasing Niam's power levels, which risks reactivating him.


Drone weapon grazes Jumper shield

When the Jumper returns to Atlantis, it is attacked by drone weapons. Sheppard maneuvers the Jumper between the city buildings but cannot shake them. He takes the Jumper into the ocean, heading for an underwater Jumper bay. However, the bay will not repressurize, and due to the damage taken earlier, the Jumper is taking on water. They radio O'Neill for help, and he swims down to the docking bay control room, holding down a dead man's switch to drain the docking bay while Woolsey keeps a lookout. O'Neill succeeds, but an Asuran search party finds and captures both him and Woolsey.

McKay continues to work on Niam, as the others discover that O'Neill and Woolsey have been taken, possibly to be mind-probed. This is indeed the case, and having discovered Sheppard's plan, the Asurans reactivate Niam, forcing McKay to destroy him with an ARG. With "Plan A" gone, Ronon suggests they simply go on a killing spree with the ARGs but McKay warns them that eventually the Asurans will determine the frequency the disruptors use and develop an immunity. McKay comes up with another plan and asks Sheppard how much C-4 they have.

The team splits into three groups, each going to different shield control units around the city. Sheppard and McKay go to the Atlantis brig where O'Neill and Woolsey are being kept. McKay tells the two captives that the plan is to disable the city's shield emitters with C-4, allowing the Daedalus to beam Nuclear warheads directly into the city and vaporize it after they get away. However, McKay is apparently unable to override the coded lock to free them, and he and Sheppard are forced to leave.

City ship Chair Room

Dr. Beckett runs into Chair room

The Asurans finish repairs to Stargate Operations and, with the city now being powered by Zero Point Modules, activate the city's Stardrive. Dr. Carson Beckett and Teyla Emmagan head to the chair room where Beckett launches drones to damage the Stardrive. The Asurans, however, have extracted information about the plan from Woolsey's mind, and capture Sheppard's team just as the last of the C-4 is planted. The Asurans remove the C-4 and gloat to Sheppard that the humans' plan has failed. Detecting the Daedalus entering orbit, the Asurans raise the shield…


Asurans' disruption after shield activation

…and, in flashback, McKay describes his plan to Sheppard: to insert the disruptor crystals from the ARGs into the shield control units, turning the Atlantis shield into a giant disruptor weapon. A fake plan is told to Woolsey and O'Neill to feed disinformation to the Asurans and the C-4 left as misdirection. When the Asurans activate the shield, they are destroyed in one fell swoop. At the last second, the team contacts the Daedalus and convinces Colonel Steven Caldwell not to destroy the city.

The city recaptured, the Atlantis expedition moves back in, and with O'Neill and Woolsey's approval, Weir will once again be in command.


Appearances for The Return, Part 2





Sentient Species



Notable quotes[]

Woolsey: (Staring at the ample food O'Neill gave him) Is this all you could find?
O'Neill: No, actually there was a lovely buffet.

Woolsey: That sounded like an explosion.
O'Neill: Because it was.

Sheppard: We've got a plan, sir.... A good one.
O'Neill: Yes, Colonel, I'm sure you do. But in the unlikely event you don't fail miserably, you're fired.
Sheppard: Yes, sir. look forward to that.

Lee: I realize I was duped, General, but they were incredible. It was like a scene out of The Sting.
Landry: Calm down, Bill. That's not why I brought you in here.
Lee: In my defense, this was obviously something they had planned for a long time ....
Landry: (sternly) Forget about it.

Woolsey: That sounded like another explosion.
O'Neill: Yes, yes it did.
Woolsey: What does that mean?
O'Neill: Something exploded.
Woolsey: But is it Sheppard attacking the Replicators, or the Replicators attacking Sheppard?
O'Neill: We'll find out!
Woolsey: How did they even get here? Through the gate?
O'Neill: I’ve been sitting next to you through the whole thing. Why do you think I have more information?
Woolsey: Look, I told you I wasn't good at this.
O'Neill: He said he'd be back in a couple hours. That gives him a good...11 seconds.
(large explosion)
Woolsey: What was that?

Woolsey: They are overdue.
O'Neill: Not yet.
Woolsey: It's been well over 11 seconds.
O'Neill: Yes, but you've been ignoring the dramatic element of...... suspense.

Sheppard: Sorry, sir. Had to go into space and pick up some ... frozen goods.
O'Neill: ...whatever.

O'Neill: If you hear something, don't call out to it. Shoot it.
Woolsey: Understood.
O'Neill: Anything that's not me is a Replicator, so don't hesitate.
Woolsey: (Nervously) You won't be gone long, will you?
O'Neill: Uh, kinda depends on the temperature of the water (He lowers one foot into the water, then instantly snatches it out again, wincing, and looks at Woolsey.) Not long.

McKay: We need a new plan.
Ronon: Well, these weapons blow them apart, right? I say we just start killing ‘em.
McKay: Well, normally I would share your run-and-gun enthusiasm, but these weapons are only gonna work for so long before they manage to identify the frequency they use to disrupt the bonds that hold the Replicators together..
Ronon: What’d he say?
Sheppard: They build up an immunity.
McKay: Exactly. Look, the freezing plan would have worked because they would be unable to communicate with each other while we were blasting them, but the more we shoot, the greater the likelihood these weapons are gonna become ineffective.
Weir: OK, so what are our options?
Ronon: I just gave you one.
Sheppard: We'll call that...plan B.

Sheppard: Use your A.R.G. sparingly. They may build up an immunity. You may have to go to Plan ... B.
Beckett: Ok...Which one’s that, again?
Sheppard: Never mind. Just go.

O'Neill: So I guess that frozen Replicator plan didn’t pan out?
McKay: Yeah, not so much.
O'Neill: How’s that Plan B working for ya? Good?
McKay: Well, its more of a plan in C4...catch my drift? You see, we've placed C4 in all the shield emitters so when the Daedalus arrives, and the Replicators activate the shield...
Woolsey: ...the C4 detonates, the Daedalus beams a warhead into the city, and we all get vaporized!
O'Neill: Sounds more like a Plan F, doesn’t it? As in, “We are totally ...?”

Sheppard: General O’Neill didn't buy it, but I think Woolsey did.
McKay: Well, I did win a Sears Drama Festival award when I was a kid. Could have made it a career if I wanted to.
Sheppard: Wish you would’ve.
McKay: What?

O'Neill: (Inside his mind) What you doin’?
Talus: Probing your mind.
O'Neill: (Proudly) Kinda roomy, ain't it?
Talus: Your ability to resist is quite remarkable, General O’Neill.
O'Neill: It's not the first time I’ve had a hand in my head, as it were.
Talus: If you do not give me what I am looking for, I'm sure Richard Woolsey will.
O'Neill: I'll Tell you what, you look around and I'll tell you if your gettin' warmer or colder, alright?
Talus: Ah there it is...
O'Neill: So, hot, I guess?

Talus: I'm afraid your plan has been discovered, Colonel Sheppard. It is over. (everyone looks at Woolsey menacingly)
Woolsey: He put his hand in my forehead. How can you resist that?
O'Neill: Well, I like to close my eyes and think of England.

Woolsey: Wait a minute, you used me?
Beckett: You're alive, and you're welcome.
O'Neill: See, were good for something.

Caldwell: I'm sorry, Colonel, but that security code is no longer valid.
O'Neill: Hey, Caldwell! General Jack O'Neill here! That valid enough for you?
Caldwell: You may have been compromised, sir.

Caldwell: (to Dave Klienman after learning Atlantis has been retaken and being promised an explanation) This should be an interesting explanation.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • Modifying the shield to emit a massive Anti-Replicator field that disrupts all of the Asuran occupiers simultaneously so they don't have to time to adapt to the technology follows the exact same strategy SG-1 employed in the Milky Way after the Replicators invasion in "Reckoning, Part 2", only on a smaller scale. Where the Atlantis team used the city's shield to neutralize only the replicators in the city, SG-1 combined the Ancient's Dakara superweapon and Ba'al's dialing program to disseminate an energy wave across the whole galaxy destroying the replicator bonds everywhere at the same time.
  • Sheppard's line "Good old Plan D. Works every time." is very similar to Colonel Jack O'Neill's statement in the Stargate SG-1 Season 5 episode "Fail Safe" in which he said "Yep, Plan 3 works every time" after several failed attempts to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth.
  • When McKay remarks "not again" when he sees the Jumper is flooding he is referring to when he was trapped in a flooding Jumper in "Grace Under Pressure".
  • McKay mentions winning a Sears Drama Festival award as a child. The Sears Drama Festival is a student event held annually in Ontario, suggesting McKay grew up in the province.
  • The scene when the Jumper starts back to the atmosphere is reused from "The Storm".
  • In "First Strike", it's revealed that the Asurans repaired the damage done to the Stardrive before they were destroyed.
  • This episode shows the Asuran's ability to construct the Atlantis DHD control crystal as they were able to fully repair the devastated Atlantis gateroom.
  • Even though they have knowledge of: Earth's existence, address (due to their access to Ancient knowledge and the combined information in every Tau'ri they've probed), and the power to dial any Milky Way Stargate, for unknown reasons they do not choose to retaliate against Earth in any future episode.


  • The shot of Atlantis's Stargate activating in the teaser is a reuse and a human guard can be seen in the lower right hand corner when it is supposed to be controlled by Asurans.
  • When Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay are thrown into the holding cell with the others, a yellow T mark is clearly visible behind the bench. The T mark indicates where an actor is supposed to stop; in this case it was where O'Neill stands when he is put in the cell later in the scene.
  • The case in the flooded control room that O'Neill dives into changes positions between his dives.
  • When Niam is collected he was not moving. When Niam was ejected he had momentum and as there is no friction in a vacuum he would have carried on at the same speed and trajectory -- This could be explained if the puddle jumper was at a forward velocity that matched or was close to the speed at which Niam was ejected.
  • When O'Neill enters the Underwater Jumper bay Control Room the last time, he can be seen to push down the switch before the camera switches angles and he can be seen pushing down the switch again.

Other languages[]

  • Russian: Возвращение, Часть 2 (The Return, Part 2)
  • Hungarian: A visszatérés 2/2. (The Return 2/2)
  • French: Exil forcé, Partie 2 (Forced Exile, Part 2)

External links[]

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