The Ark - Recap
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The episode starts with Sheppard, surrounded by flames, piloting a space ship into a planet’s atmosphere.
Eight Hours Earlier
The Atlantis team is investigating a space station hidden inside of a moon, above a radioactive planet. The technology is an odd mix of 1960s Earth technology and more advanced designs. McKay senses an energy surge that matches Wraith transporter patterns, and they find a local lying unconscious in a compartment. When he wakes up, he reveals that he is Herick, who flew a shuttle containing a module that had the transporter patterns of half of the two thousand survivors of his planet. They were going to hide in the moon to survive their war with the Wraith, but the computers locked up and didn’t release them on schedule.
Herick discovers that the second module (which has his wife and son in it) is missing and brings his leader, Jamus, out of the first module. Jamus explains that the second shuttle never launched because the Wraith arrived ahead of schedule and the shuttle would have led them to the local’s secret moon base. Despondent, Herick goes to the remaining shuttle and uses it to blast a hole in the moon, killing himself and sending the Atlantis team’s Puddle Jumper out into space. The team are caught in various compartments as the station depressurizes, and the explosion sends the moon out of orbit and down into the planet’s atmosphere.
With time running out, McKay tries to coordinate and Weir sends a rescue team. However, the injured Jamus refuses to leave his people behind even after the Atlantis team realizes they can’t get the module out in time. He was trapped with Teyla, so teleports her into the module so that Sheppard has no choice but to preserve the module to save her. Jamus then teleports himself into the module as well.
With time running out, Sheppard has no choice but to order the others to leave in the rescue team’s Puddle Jumper. They load the module onto the shuttle to use its power supply and then he tries to take off, but the shuttle is locked in place and the explosive bolts aren’t working. Sheppard is forced to ride the moon down into the atmosphere. The moon explodes and Sheppard flies clear, and is forced to crash land in the desert below.
Later they get Teyla and the other thousand survivors out of the module, although Jamus didn’t survive reintegration due to his injuries. Sheppard tries to pass off the fact he risked his life to save Teyla, and notes he would have done it for anyone… except maybe McKay.