Gallery Episode Transcript

"Trinity" is the sixth episode of the second season of Stargate: Atlantis.


The team find an outpost on an uninhabited planet, and find that the Ancients were researching a power source which would render Zero Point Modules obsolete. Meanwhile, Ronon Dex learns that not all Satedans were killed during the Wraith attack.


The abandoned Ancient outpost.

When Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team finds a planet with a destroyed Wraith fleet in orbit, they decide to investigate. They find a devastated planet, and on it an intact Ancient outpost. Dr. Rodney McKay discovers that it is a Lantean science lab conducting experiments, as part of Project Arcturus, to create the successor to the Zero Point Module. While in the lab several Lantean bodies are found, and questions about the safety of the experiment are asked. McKay in his usual bravado believes he can succeed where the Lanteans failed. McKay's rationale was that the scientists were under stress from the ongoing Lantean-Wraith war and were pushed to failure.

However, on the first test of the experiment, Dr. Collins, a technician, is killed by a burst of Hard radiation.The safety of the experiment is reevaluated. However, McKay believes that the formulas used by the Ancients were wrong, effectively causing to the accident. He convinces Sheppard to talk Dr. Elizabeth Weir into allowing him one more chance to test the device. Colonel Steven Caldwell backs him up, citing that this power source can not only eliminate the Wraith, but run Atlantis' shield constantly at full power, and possibly even eliminate fossil fuels [which would also help Earth's ecosystem].

While they are gone, Dr. Radek Zelenka realizes why the hard radiation is being created, thus why the experiment can't work: attempting to withdraw vacuum energy from our space creates exotic particles that interact with the energy field unpredictably. He attempts to convey this to McKay who retorts back that Zelenka is jealous of his brilliance, and charges forward. McKay starts up the experiment, correcting what he believes were the Lanteans mistakes, when the experiment begins building energy faster than Dr McKay can manage, dissipate, or accept it. By the time Sheppard manages to convince McKay to shut it down, it won't shut down. McKay's continued efforts to compensate finally prompt Sheppard to quip that he's seen this behavior before when fighter pilots who tried to fix a crippled plane instead of ejecting and end up flying straight into the ground. This anecdote seems to get through to McKay; he finally admits that it's beyond his control or affect, and that they need to leave immediately.

The Daedalus flees the Doranda system as Project Arcturus goes critical.

Sheppard and McKay quickly flee in the Puddle Jumper. McKay warns Sheppard not to fly predictably to avoid the weapon locking onto them- something the already agitated Sheppard needs no reminding of. Sheppard flies the Puddle Jumper erratically through the debris field with the weapons fire growing ever closer and destroying much of the debris. While Sheppard suggests flying away and coming back after the overload, McKay tells him the explosion will take out 3/4 of the solar system and they have no choice but to head for the Stargate. McKay dials the Stargate and wonders how they will avoid getting hit by the weapon on the final approach, but Sheppard doesn't have an answer. As the weapons fire closes in on the Jumper and it flies into clear space, the Daedalus suddenly rises up between the weapon and the Jumper. To Sheppard and McKay's surprise, Colonel Caldwell contacts them over the radio stating that they had dropped by to check on their progress on the way back to Earth. Caldwell orders the Daedalus to run interference so Sheppard and McKay can make it through the Stargate. With the Daedalus protecting them, Sheppard and McKay make it through the Stargate. The Daedalus then jumps to hyperspace mere moments before the planet explodes and the explosion engulfs 5/6 of the solar system.

The Belkan city.

Meanwhile, Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex have been on a diplomatic mission to a Belkan city to foster a trading relationship. At the local tavern, Ronon runs into Solen Sincha, an old comrade and discovers that not all the people of his planet Sateda had been captured or destroyed by the Wraith. The remaining people of his planet, three hundred or so, are scattered across several different worlds. He also learns that Kell, his old mentor, is also in the city and arranges to meet him. The meeting is over rather quickly when Ronon, upon seeing his old mentor, kills him instantly with a shot to the chest. Teyla, livid & seething, furiously accuses Ronon of making her an unwitting accessory to murder at knifepoint. Ronon explains that during their stand against the Wraith, Kell acted with traitorous cowardice, ordering several infantry divisions - thousands of Satedans - to their deaths, to save himself. Upon hearing his explanation Teyla agrees that she would probably have done the same thing if she were in his shoes, that Weir and the others would not be so understanding of his actions, they should keep this incident a secret, and to never misuse or betray Teyla's friendship again.

After the events on Doranda, McKay is read the riot act by Weir, seen briefly by a returning Teyla and Ronon. McKay later approaches Sheppard near a transporter to apologize, having already apologized to Weir, and thanked Caldwell for the rescue. Sheppard admits that while it may take some time for him to trust McKay again, he's sure McKay can do it - if he really wants to.


Appearances for Trinity





Sentient Species



Notable quotes

McKay: This is definitely Ancient design. Their latest stuff. (blows a large amount of dust off the console) Their latest stuff being ten thousand years old.

Sheppard: Best case scenario?
McKay: I win a Nobel Prize.
Sheppard: Worst-case scenario?
McKay: We tear a hole in the fabric of the universe. (Sheppard looks horrified) Which is much less likely to happen than the Nobel Prize. I mean, look, the risks are nothing compared to the potential benefits. Elizabeth will listen to you. I have never asked this of you before, but I think I've earned it. Trust me.

Caldwell: A weapon that could effectively eliminate the Wraith threat is very attractive to me, and to the people that I work for. I'm not hiding that fact. But there's more to it, isn't there? No more hunting for ZPMs; the shield at full strength; faster, more powerful ships. How 'bout a power source that could provide the energy needs for an entire planet? No more fossil fuels.
Weir: I get it! And if it worked as advertised, it would be wonderful. I'm trying to tell you I know Rodney McKay and there are times when I have to protect him from himself.
Sheppard: I can do that. Let me go back with him - just him and me. You can activate the Stargate any time you want to contact us by radio.
Weir: He really sold you.
Sheppard: He asked me to trust him.

McKay: Okay, we've been over this. I'm doing it manually, at half power. It's a cakewalk.
Zelenka: I don't think it matters how much cake you walk on.

Weir: ... putting your life and other people's lives at risk. You destroyed three-quarters of a solar system!
McKay: Five-sixths, but it's not an exact science.
Weir: Rodney, can you give your ego a rest for one second?!

Weir: (via radio) Rodney, I cannot afford to lose either one of you. Now tell me: can you do this?
McKay: Yes.
Sheppard: Are you sure?
McKay: Yes?
Sheppard: Are you sure you're sure?
McKay: I said yes!
Sheppard: Because if you're wrong...
McKay: I'm not!
Sheppard: (to his radio) I'll call you back after the test - how does that sound?
Weir: (via radio) You'd better.
McKay: (to John) I won't let you down.

Sheppard: Alright, that's it. We're outta here.
McKay: It's not safe! The weapon's firing at random targets above the planet. This is the safest place to be right now.
Sheppard: The place isn't gonna be safe for very much longer!
McKay: I can bring it back under control! Just give me a second!
Sheppard: No, you can't!
McKay: Just one second!
Sheppard: I've seen this before, Rodney: pilots who wouldn't eject when something went wrong - trying to fix their planes right until it hit the ground.
McKay: OK, we need to leave. I've waited too long - the weapon can't discharge enough power to avoid a catastrophic overload. This whole planet's gonna go up. Not that your speech wasn't working.

McKay: (to John) Don't you understand? This explosion is gonna take out three quarters of the solar system! There's no way we can fly far enough or fast enough! We have to head for the Gate.

McKay: How do you intend on avoiding getting hit on the final approach?
Sheppard: I haven't figured that part out yet.
(The Daedalus suddenly rises between the Puddle Jumper and the weapon)
Caldwell: Its a good thing we decided to drop by and check on your progress Colonel!

McKay: Oh, Colonel! Colonel! I've been looking all over for you.
Sheppard: I heard.
(folds with arms as he turns back to face Rodney)
McKay: I suppose I deserve that. Look, I just, um, I wanted to apologize about what happened. I was wrong - I'm sorry. And I wanted to assure you that, uh, I intend on being right again - about everything, effective immediately.
(John smiles slightly)
McKay: That was a joke.
Sheppard: Good one.
McKay: I've already apologized to Elizabeth... and Radek... and I thanked Colonel Caldwell for, uh, caring enough to spy on the experiment from orbit. I sent him a nice little email, actually. But I saved you 'til last 'cause, um, honestly, I would... I would hate to think that recent events might have permanently dimmed your faith in my abilities, or your trust. At the very least, I hope I can earn that back.
Sheppard: That may take a while.
McKay: I see.
Sheppard: But, I'm sure you can do it, if you really wanna try.

(explaining an energy weapon to Sheppard)
McKay: The sticking point is that, ah, there is no tie between the power generator and the primary capacitor.
Zelenka: Meaning that they would have to channel the power directly into the weapon.
McKay: Which I'm sure that means nothing to you.
Sheppard: It means they could fire multiple bursts without having to store more power for the next firing sequence.
McKay: (surprised) Yes... very good.
Sheppard: Which leads me back to 'cool'!

McKay: You need to avoid flying predictably to prevent the weapon from locking onto us.
Sheppard: I know what I'm doing.
McKay: I'm just saying: be sure not to fly in a straight line.
Sheppard: Rodney, shut up!
McKay: Can I just say there's no way the Jumper can take even one direct hit?
Sheppard: I'll keep that in mind.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • The title of this episode is a reference to the Trinity test where the U.S. first succeeded in detonating an atomic bomb in New Mexico on July 16, 1945.
  • According to Director Martin Wood on this episode's DVD commentary, actor Jason Momoa insisted that the knife Teyla Emmagan used on Ronon have a real blade as opposed to a fake, plastic one, so as to add to the realism to the scene.
  • Although he is referred to as Dr. Collins in the dialog, Mark Pawson is credited as Collinsworth in the episode credits. "Collins" could be a contraction/ nickname.


  • When Ronon Dex meets up with Solen Sincha he says "For years I believed I was the only survivor" But when he first got to Atlantis he was surprised at the images of Sateda destroyed, he was obviously expecting there to still be a civilization, with many survivors.
  • When Dr. Rodney McKay goes to Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's room to pitch the return visit, during the entire scene his com link mic oscillates from against his face to one inch or more away from it. Several times.
  • The act of extracting vacuum energy from our own universe to use as an energy source which is what Project Arcturus is an attempt to do is actually impossible as any energy "gained" would not only be undetectable, but would never last. This is because that for every virtual particle, there is a virtual antiparticle. Even if one did manage to "extract" energy through somehow (impossibly) harvesting virtual particles, the antiparticles would just neutralize it. Even in a hypothetical (and impossible) scenario where one could somehow "contain" the antiparticles, you wouldn't be able to draw any energy from it.
  • When Teyla Emmagan and Ronon arrive back to Atlantis, we see and hear Dr. Elizabeth Weir yelling at McKay. Their voices do not match their mouths nor do their supposed demeanor's reflect the mood of the scene. They instead seem to just be standing there.
  • On the screen when McKay is briefing Weir about Arcturus, only very basic physics equations are displayed (like F=MA).

Other languages

  • Russian: Троица (Trinity)
  • Hungarian: Szentháromság (Trinity)
  • German: Das Geheimnis der Antiker (The Secret of the Ancients)

External links

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