SGA 4.16 "Trio" Episode Guide

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Précis

On a diplomatic mission together, Carter, McKay and Keller fall into a subterranean mining facility left by the Genii. Every attempt to escape seems to put them in further jeopardy, and the constant tremors that shake their prison mean time is running out.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/SciFi.com Official Summary

On M5V-801, a group of villagers once employed as mining labor by the Genii are now endangered by steadily worsening earthquakes and terrible air quality. Wary of being exploited again, however, they're reluctant to let the team from Atlantis move them to a safer location. Samantha Carter joins Rodney McKay and Jennifer Keller to negotiate with them in person.

As the trio hikes to the village through deserted fields, however, a cave-in suddenly drops them belowground, into an abandoned Genii workroom. They're unhurt, but the hole in the ceiling is far too high for them to reach.

Worse, when they open a door in the workroom's wall, they discover that the structure they're in is perched on the edge of a vast underground chasm. The workroom was already unstable due to the frequent earthquakes. Now, with the added weight of the team and the dirt from the cave-in, it might slide into the depths at any moment.

Carter and McKay brainstorm ideas to escape. Plans involving a carefully engineered tower of crates and a jury-rigged grappling hook both end in failure. McKay (being McKay) also accidentally ruptures a gas line and ignites a firestorm that Carter must risk her life to quell.

As the team continues to work and small tremors periodically shake the chamber, they chat to keep their minds off the danger they're in. Carter and Keller end up advising McKay about his break-up with Katie Brown. Eventually, inspired by a bar trick that Keller knows, they build an ingenious bridge out of planks suspended on pipes halfway up to the roof of the chamber. Carter nearly climbs out, but then the structure collapses, sending her plummeting to the floor. Her leg is badly broken.

As a last resort, McKay designs a homemade cannon, with which he and Keller launch a metal rod out of the hole, hoping it can serve as an anchor for the climbing rope. As he and Keller pull the rope taut, more dirt cascades into the room. Between the earthquakes and this added weight, the supports beneath the chamber reach their limit. They buckle.

The chamber lists horribly to one side, the door to the abyss swings open, and Keller loses her footing and slides through. Luckily, she's still holding one end of the rope, and McKay has a grip on the other. Keller's life is literally in his hands as she dangles over the chasm's edge — but other than holding on tight, McKay has no idea how to save the day.

Cast

Guest Stars

Production

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Production Notes

  • "We start the spinning. There’s the other Earth-based episode Joe F. pitched out. The return-of-that-character two-parter with its Fargo-esque first part, the big team-up eppy, and the puzzle piece." (Joseph Mallozzi's June 1 blog)
  • "Today, we gave Alan notes on his outline, discussed Midway, and had a very brief discussion of Martin’s next episode which we should start breaking tomorrow. That will leave three scripts to be written when we get back: the Joe F. story, Paul’s season finale idea, and the empty slot." (Joseph Mallozzi' June 18 blog)
  • "Well, I’m pleased to report that we made some headway on Martin’s script, Foxy Loxy with Floppy Socksies (Think about it! All the clues you need are right in the title!), hashing out some of the major beats and act breaks in an episode that promises to be a lot of fun." (Joseph Mallozzi's June 21 blog)
  • "Marty G. has taken his birthday festivities on the road - Vegas to be precise, where he reports he is 15 pages into his next script which still has no title, but does have Rodney driving Carter and Keller absolutely crazy." (Joseph Mallozzi's July 12 blog)
  • "We spent the better part of the morning spinning Joe F.’s notion into the actual beginnings of a story. Due to a schedule sleight-of-hand, Marty G. will be taking a break from that troubled trio script to tackle this one." (Joseph Mallozzi's July 21 blog) "...Marty G. is finding out that his little Three’s Company episode aint gonna be as little as he thought." (Joseph Mallozzi's July 25 blog)
  • "To all of you Sam fans dying for a hint of what’s going on with Carter’s love life, you’ll have to wait until Trio for a not-so-subtle tip-off." (Joseph Mallozzi's August 2 blog)
  • "Martin was writing the Sheppard on Earth story but, having finished Trio (formerly Three’s Company), he will start on Harmony while Alan McCullough assumes writing duties on the JF-inspired eppy. [...] We will not be dealing with Sam’s love life on Atlantis. However, a passing mention of her personal life during a candid moment is another matter." (Joseph Mallozzi's August 3 blog)
  • "Stages 1-3 (the puddle jumper, a section of new Midway set, the gimbled set for Trio, the Daedalus/Apollo bridge and its various corridors)." (Joseph Mallozzi's August 6 blog)
  • "Marty G. promises to have Trio (formerly Full Tilt) done for next week after which he’ll no doubt sleep for three straight days." (Joseph Mallozzi's August 15 blog)
  • "Outcast is being re-written as we speak and there’s a first draft out of the season finale, The Last Man. We are partway through filming Harmony and will be moving on to Trio next. Outcast will follow Trio and then we’ll be finishing up with season finale." (Joseph Mallozzi's September 2 blog)
  • "Still, we did manage to squeeze in a viewing of Trio. Great, great episode. Unfortunately, the director’s cut was running long and certain things ended up not making the cut - the chiefest being Carter’s discussion about “that guy in Washington”. Nevertheless, the exchange will make the deleted footage compilation Ivon Bartok is in the process of putting together for the season four dvd release - or, perhaps, find its way into a future episode." (Joseph Mallozzi's October 2 blog)

Further Reading


--DeeKayP 19:49, 13 August 2007 (PDT)