Stargate Atlantis continues to map out new territory without completely losing its connection to the series that spawned it.
This seasons introduces some new characters to go along with the old ones. Most notable is Ronon Dexx who joins the team as the mostly silent, "beat the opposition into submission" type of personality. He plays a straight man and is good for some laughs.
The Goa'uld make their presence felt even in the Pegasus galaxy hosting Atlantis. This could provide some interesting story lines in the future but is just getting started this season.
While still darker in tone than the original, it is lighter than the first season. It is entertaining and fund to watch.
Episode synopses appear below:
The Siege Part III - As last season closed, the cliffhanger had Atlantis under siege by the Wraiths and things were not going well. Atlantis was ready to self destruct and Maj. Shephard was on the way to a suicide mission. As is customary in such situations, the cavalry arrives just in the nick of time in the form of the Earth Ship Daedelus. It has some advanced Asgard technology on board which saves Shepherd and helps to destroy the hive ships attacking Atlantis. Some manage to get away and they are heading back with reinforcements. While the cleanup is going on, a lieutenant is rescued but he has been severely damaged by the wraith. He is irrational and jumpy about the others who do not fully trust him. As the enlarged wraith fleet arrives, Atlantis decides to gamble on deceiving them that a self destruct has really taken place. This occurs just as the damaged lieutenant steals a puddle jumper and flees through the gate.
The Intruder - The Daedelus has made a trip back to Earth to let SGC know what's going on. Shepherd has been promoted to LTC and given command of the military contingent against the wishes of the commander of the Daedelus who wanted the job for himself. As the ship heads back for Atlantis, they become aware of a Wraith computer virus which has infected the ship. The virus is intelligent and self modifying. The is actively trying to sabotage the ship, kill off those who would try to fix the problem and summon the Wraith.
Runner - A team from Atlantis is investigating a planet with extremely high solar radiation. While there, they find a dead Wraith. There is evidence that he was killed by Lt. Ford, the guy who fled in the first episode of the season. The team heads back to try and get him to come back. They find a surprise. There is another human on the planet who has had a transmitter mounted in his back so that he can be the guest of honor in a sort of trophy hunt. He has managed to elude the Wraith for 7 years before being captured. He is set free by Lt. Ford who is deranged. Now it is a 3 way manhunt with nobody trusting anyone else.
Duet - While investigating a world, a Wraith Dart comes through and scoops up Dr. Rodney (the megalomaniac) and a female officer assigned to security. The others manage to shoot it down before it can get away and let Atlantis's secret out. Now the team is stuck with trying to figure out get them both out of the dematerializer they do not understand. They have only enough power to get one person out and Rodney is the one they get, in the hope that he will be able to help get the other out. It doesn't work out like that though. He gets out but the consciousness of the woman gets stuck in his body along with his own. Now he has a voice stuck in his head that everyone finds uncomfortable. Its also a bit amusing since she takes control while he is asleep and uses the opportunity to arrange his and her own love life to suit. An second story involves Ronon Dexx who was rescued in the last episode. His people are all dead now and Shepherd is trying to get him integrated into the community with a few social hitches.
Condemned - The Atlantis team is exploring a new planet and find something strange. At first, the locals seem like savages but, as they are being attacked, they are saved by another group of locals with advanced technology. It turns out that the area with the stargate, an island, is the local prison. The Atlantis population would like to arrange trade with the locals but they become aware of an ugly secret. The prison is successful because they prisoners are used by the Wraith for feeding. It is an easy source of food for the Wraith and keeps down the undesirables for the locals. The problem is that the Wraith have hearty appetites and even Jaywalking is a capital crime. When the exploring team is captured by convicts, everyone is working at cross purposes.
Trinity - While exploring, an Atlantis team finds evidence of a huge battle in which lots of Wraiths were destroyed. Unfortunately, the weapon did not come in time to save the Ancients. Now, the tech guys think they can finish the development work. If it works, Atlantis will have a power source that makes the ZPM crystals look like alkaline batteries. It's dangerous and there is a reason the Ancients abandoned it.
Instinct - While investigating a new planet, the Atlantis team comes across a village that is intermittently plagued by a Wraith. The team agrees to hunt it down but finds something unexpected. They find a local "scientist" who has been raising a juvenile female Wraith as his daughter. He swears that it is not her who is terrorizing the village. He also maintains that there is another Wraith out there. The science types at Atlantis think they might be able to use the girl to develop a vaccine to fight the virus that causes humans to become Wraiths. It might even turn Wraiths back into humans. The research is promising until the young Wraith girl jumps the gun causing no end of problems.
Conversion - At the close of the previous episode, LTC Shepherd was injured by the Wraith girl who had tried the experimental virus. Some of their blood mingled. Now he is infected with the parasitic virus that produces Wraiths. Now the race is one to capture an alien bug, get some stem cells and find a cure. The col. is going stir crazy while this happens and is getting more and more volatile.
Aurora - With the new power supply, Atlantis's sensors pickup indications of an Ancient ship on the other side of the galaxy. The Daedelus manages to find it and a Wraith ship at the same time. The Wraiths are driven off and the team decides to investigate the newly found technological treasure trove. When aboard, they find the complete crew in functioning stasis units and indications that their minds are active in a virtual environment. Sheppard decides to enter a pod in order to contact the crew. The problem is that the crew on the Ancient ship does not believe they are stuck in a simulation. They do not realize that 10,000 years has past. Sheppard admittedly has a fantastic story but he is having an even more difficult time than expected making himself believed. He is being sabotaged by the Wraith who have an interest in the ship.
The Lost Boys - The team is following up on a tip and is captured. They are quickly taken to another planet where they find that they have been captured by a force led by the AWOL Lt. Ford. He has been on a rampage and has been taking Wraith "enzyme" from all of his victims. He feeds the enzyme to his followers to give them super strength. He thinks that is the way for humanity to defeat the Wraith. The enzyme prevents him from thinking straight. And, by the way, this one is a cliffhanger.
The Hive - Lt. Ford's plan to prove the worth of the enzyme is simple. They use a stolen dart and use it to blow up a hive ship. That's what they were doing at the end of the last episode when they got captured. Remember, Ford doesn't think all that well under the influence of the enzyme. After the capture, all grow through withdrawal from the enzyme. The longer it has been used, the worse the withdrawal. Help comes from an unexpected source from the least likely hero.
Epiphany - While looking for an Ancient treasure trove, the team finds a cave protected by some sort of barrier. Camera images from the other side show nothing dangerous and they have no trouble pulling their probe back. People are another matter. When Shepherd touches it, he is sucked in and cannot withdraw. Things get stranger when McKay realizes that time is passing much faster on the other side of the barrier. Shepherd spends his time on the wrong side of the barrier meeting the ancestors of the Ancients. It is a sanctuary for people to prepare themselves for Ascension. It is also inhabited by a monster that only Shepherd is brave enough to face.
Critical Mass - Stargate Command on Earth and Atlantis are plunged into chaos when it is revealed that a Goa'uld operative is hidden in Atlantis. The operative has orders to set a bomb to blow up Atlantis when the Stargate is used to dial Earth. They apparently want to destroy Atlantis to keep the Wraith from getting anywhere near them. The mole is very highly placed.
Grace under Pressure - McKay is on a test flight of a refurbished puddle jumper when there is a problem and it crashes into the ocean. It quickly begins to sink and faces the prospect of being crushed by the pressure as it heads down. The clock is running as Atlantis tries to find him. Does anyone remember that McKay is claustrophobic? There is a nice cameo by LTC Sam Carter from SG1.
The Tower - The team is away visiting what seems to be a backward planet. It turns out, however, that the people they see are just the peons. The nobility live in a great tower which bears a striking resemblance to the central tower of Atlantis. In fact, it turns out to be a copy of Atlantis, complete with weapons systems. There is a strict separation between the nobility and the serfs and the latter are treated very badly. A dynastic succession controversy makes things that much worse.
The Long Goodbye - This is a confusing one. The Atlantis Team finds two derelict ships, each with a life support system. When the first is rescued, an alien consciousness takes over Dr. Weir. She says that she and her husband were ambushed. Her imprint will only last a little while and she asks that LTC. Shepherd allow himself to be imprinted as well for a final goodbye. He agrees but things go south right away. They are a couple but they are trying to kill each other. They know their way around Atlantis and they are intent on killing each other no matter what.
Coup D'Etat - The Genii are up to their old tricks. Through double dealing, they try to convince Atlantis that a coup is planned. It is all a plan to take Shepherd and some others as prisoners in exchange for some Atlantis technology. The plotters have their own plots, however, and there are coups under way. It is a convoluted plot that fits well with the Genii.
Michael - Something is not quite right. The episode begins with a man in sick bay. As he is awoken, all of the command staff is notified to be there. He has amnesia and cannot remember anything. He is told that he was a member of a team captured by the Wraith and recaptured by Atlantis. That is not quite the truth which is quite a bit uglier. He was a Wraith upon whom an experimental retrovirus had been tried. The experiment threatens the existence of Atlantis itself.
Inferno - Atlantic gets a message from a planet that is seeking help. They are having trouble with the shield left by the Ancients. It turns out that the local planet has a shield left by the Ancients and powered by a gigantic volcano. Since the locals have been running their shield on overtime, the power draw has awoken the volcano which threatens the entire planet. The evacuation just gets started when lava swallows the stargate. That means using the Daedelus to ferry people...a slow process. There is one ace in the hole. The planet has an Ancient battleship big enough to ferry everyone. Unfortunately it is not in working order. Dr. McKay is doing his best to figure it out and fix it but suspicions are slowing things down. Those suspicions are fueled by the observation that Atlantic would like to claim the ship.
Allies - A Wraith hive ship arrives. Instead of opening fire, the Wraith ship opens communication. It is being led by Michael, the Wraith upon whom experiments were conducted. He is offering all sorts of Wraith military secrets...for a price. They want the retrovirus used to create Michael. They believe that will give them supremacy over other Wraith. They are a slimy group though and hidden agendas are not beyond the realm of possibility. The alliance is not what it seems. Earth is in trouble in this season ending cliffhanger.