Season 4, Episode 6 - Tabula Rasa

A word from Management: Oh my god, the stupid...


McKay [waking up]: Huh? What? What's going on? Why can't I remember my name? Why am I ziptied to a chair with an iPad in front of me? And why is there a Post-It note on the iPad that says 'push here'?

Management: Wow, nice expository infodump, especially for someone with total retrograde amnesia.

McKay: Thanks, strange directionless voice. I don't even remember my own name, but I probably practice.

[pushes iPad button]

McKay-on-iPad: Hi, Rodney. I'm yourself from a few hours ago. There's not a lot of time, so you need to listen closely: I ziptied myself to the chair to make sure that I'd see the iPad when I woke up. There's a knife duct-taped to the bottom of the chair so you can cut yourself loose. This is Atlantis and all of the people in it are your friends. Unfortunately, we all caught a disease which makes you forget absolutely everything. Major Lorne and some soldiers are out in the halls trying to corral people into the mess hall; I don't think they know why they're doing it anymore so you probably can't argue with them. Teyla and Ronon are both immune to the disease because reasons. Ronon and Sheppard went to the mainland to get a plant they need to make the cure. Here are the pictures of all three of them. Here's a map with your lab marked. Go there, finish the program that will override the safety protocols so you can aerosolize the cure and pump it through the air system. As soon as Teyla and Ronon show up you can cure everyone. Good luck!

McKay: What? How in the world am I supposed to finish that program?! I don't remember my own name, much less the inner workings of some complicated computer system!

McKay-on-iPad: Oh, one more thing: your name is Rodney McKay, and to finish the program all need to do is push 'Return' on the keyboard. I'm not sure why I didn't do that before leaving the room, but I didn't. Okay, good luck!

McKay: That was two more things. And what about the cure? Even if this Teyla and Ronon come back with the plant, who's going to turn it into a cure and then aerosolize it?

Management: Sssshh. Just sing the MST3K theme song and get moving.

[A few hours later]

Teyla: Well, that was surprisingly easy.

Ronon: Seriously. Can you imagine if McKay had left himself some ridiculously cryptic message like 'This is Teyla, you need to find her' with no further explanation?

Sheppard: Well, it probably would have been more exciting. I mean, just think about it—there might have been dramatic running through hallways, hiding from Lorne, being captured, breaking out of the brig. It would have been great!

McKay: It would have been stupid. I'm smarter than everyone else on this base put together, Sheppard—do you really think I'd be that much of an idiot?

Sheppard, Teyla, and Ronon: [trade significant glances]

Ronon: Well, there was that one time, when you blew up a planet.

Teyla: And that other time, when you almost destroyed the universe.

Sheppard: And that other other time, when you—

McKay: All right, all right. Still, any idiot would have realized that he could take ninety seconds to leave clear directions. I mean, what do you think I am—some stupid TV character who picks up the idiot ball just to create dramatic tension for forty-one minutes?

Sheppard, Teyla, and Ronon: [trade significant glances]