Well, this is an interesting time of year. All the scripts have been written so we know where the season and story arcs are going, and there's no more pitching or spinning to be done. Paul is collecting notes on the final episode of the season, entitled "Enemy at the Gate". Joe is editing episode 515 "Remnants", Alan's episode 517 "Infection" is shooting, there's a day 2 mix of episode 509 "Tracker" to watch, and we've been casting and prepping for episode 518 "Identity" and episode 519 "Vegas". But for the script coordinator (me!), much of the work on prepping scripts has already been done. So I'm taking the opportunity to help coordinate some of the aspects of the Vegas shoot, which will be heavy on legal clearance issues.
So, back to “The Shrine”. Brad came up with the concept while all the writers were in the room spinning ideas. He wanted to do a 'reverse Flowers for Algernon' where McKay starts to lose his mind. In fact, the working title for the episode for a long time was “Flowers for McKay”. And at the start, Brad only had a couple of beats - the one I just mentioned, and the realization that Teyla or Ronon, being native to the Pegasus galaxy, might have a non-scientific remedy for McKay’s ailment. Okay, that's all I'm going to tell you about the episode (because that's all that Brad told me). Except that just before shooting, I ran into director Andy Mikita in the lunch room and he told me the cast was really excited about the episode, especially David Hewlett, who gets to flex his acting muscles in this one.