SG-1 arrives on a planet in the midst of a religious war.
Last time on Stargate SG-1: Jack went undercover to find some Earth-based interplanetary thieves.
A trio of archeologists off-world has unburied their planet’s Stargate when its chevrons begin to light up. In the control room, Sam explains the “cold address program” has gotten a hit for P2X-416 when it previously did not. They get out of the way just in time to avoid the ‘woosh’. Nyan, the man, is curious while the woman Mallin is more timid. Their third member apparently fled prior to the ‘woosh’.
Both are startled by the MALP coming through. Daniel and Teal’c join Sam, Hammond, and Jack in the control room. Sam explains how the program works, primarily to Jack. The MALP’s visual shows them Nyan, and turning the camera means they’re able to see Mallin as well.
Daniel suspects from their appearance and gear they’re close to Earth-level technology (as it turns out, their culture is a bit more advanced than Earth’s) but the team is concerned by the lack of a dial-home device. Mallin and Nyan are concerned that if they’re found “the gateway” then their society is wrong and the Optricians are correct. Nyan tells them it’s okay to visit but Mallin runs off despite his calling after her that the visitors will be killed if these events are spread.
The quartet comes through the wormhole, complete with a device within a box that will enable them to manually dial the Gate. Daniel makes introductions and a brief explanation. Nyan explains that their continent Bedrosia believes that life formed on their planet without alien influence whereas the rival continent Optricia believes aliens brought them here eons ago, but after the upheaval two thousand years ago consisting of terrible earthquakes, the aliens could no longer reach this planet. Apparently the dig was to see if they could find a settlement that predates the time Optricians claim aliens brought them here. Over this split in belief the two continents have been at war for decades. I’m a little baffled by the idea that it’s such an even split- but maybe anybody on one side who concurs with the other defects.
What’s interesting is that the show has already laid down the fact that human life did originate on Earth and the Goa’uld simply spread them across the galaxy. So where on Earth those who think like the Optricians are roundly mocked, within this show any humans off-world who has that theory are right. I like this twist on religious warfare.
Faith versus Science
Teal’c spots incoming drones. Nyan tells them to hide and run, especially as their device takes a few minutes to work. Only he and Teal’c manage to escape, however. The three humans end up held captive by members of the Bedrosian military, led by Commander Rigar.
Mallin is the one who told them about what happened, but they’re suspicious whether or not she’s telling the truth. Rigar refuses to consider that she and the three strangers might be telling the truth, since that would render the war pointless and put the Bedrosians in the wrong.
Teal’c encounters a scout; they each get in a blast. The scout dies, and both Teal’c and his symbiote get injured. Nyan finds the Jaffa as he awakens; the brunet quickly realizes that the other man has been blinded despite Teal’c trying to act as if matters are normal.
They hide out in a nearby cave where it starts to sink in for Nyan, creating an understandable crisis of faith. Teal’c reveals their supposed god Nefertum is in fact “the blue lotus blossom of Ra” and confirms the Optricians’ belief is true. Nyan wants to show Teal’c to his fellow scientists as proof that the Bedrosian theory is wrong; Teal’c isn’t happy about the idea of being used as a guinea pig, considering how at the start of the show he narrowly escaped that fate on Earth. Nyan leaves, stating he’s getting something to help Teal’c.
Meanwhile, the trio are trapped in electrified cages as if they’re dogs. Rigar starts to interrogate the trio, but he zaps Daniel when he argues for what Rigar deems the “Optrician fallacy”. Still unable to properly explain the wormhole, Jack states at one point that it’s “magic”.
Nyan returns to see a shirtless Teal’c, ergo seeing his symbiote pouch. Rigar’s female second-in-command has already confirmed to her boss that they’re ninety-eight percent match as humans; Rigar wants to believe they’re Optrician spies. Teal’c admits he didn’t think Nyan would return. He explains that even if he doesn’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing yet, he does know that this is the “most important thing” to happen on his planet.
Teal’c explains he is a Jaffa but his friends are indeed human as well as that the blast severely injured his symbiote and therefore it must heal itself before healing Teal’c. When Nyan asks what will happen if the symbiote dies, Teal’c admits that he will as well.
Daniel is brought outside the tent to see Rigar standing before the body of the dead scout. I wonder why Rigar picked Daniel, since Jack has already claimed he’s the leader. Maybe Rigar thinks Daniel will be the weak link of the trio? Rigar knows the fourth member they’ve been denying committed the death and then brings Daniel to see the hole the military finished digging as the scientists didn’t: it contains the dial-home device.
Back in the cave, Nyan agrees with Teal’c that it’s very likely that the military will kill the trio and destroy all of the day’s evidence that the Optricians were right. Nyan tells Teal’c that as a scientist, he accepts that evidence in either proving or disproving a theory is advancement both ways. Commenting that he sounds like Daniel Jackson, Teal’c permits Nyan to use the device to help his eyes on him. I love how by realizing Nyan is like his teammate that Teal’c begins to truly trust the other man.
On his way back, Nyan spied on the military camp and tells Teal’c that a smaller device has been uncovered; rightfully suspecting what it is, Teal’c feels more hopeful particularly as he can now see a degree of light. Nyan warns him that there must be time between treatments else the device will do more harm than good.
Rigar uses the zat gun once on each Jack and Sam, victim-blaming Daniel for his teammates’ future deaths if he doesn’t tell him what he wants to know. Daniel honestly is stating that he doesn’t know how that man was killed (even if he suspects) and that they’re not Optrician spies. Luckily, the Stargate is activated again from SGC and therefore Rigar leaves the tent.
A second MALP is sent through. Rigar is confrontational towards Hammond and eventually zats the MALP. Meanwhile, Teal’c and Nyan have formulated a plan to rescue the trio even though the former’s vision is still blurry. Nyan has been armed with a zat gun, which he ultimately only uses to stun.
As the military camp is shielded by a quanrantine field (a yellowish force field), Teal’c shoots down an approaching shuttle (which Rigar had ordered to transport the trio to “a more secure facility”). They take out the two personnel, Nyan wanting to “stun, [not] kill” since he’s acutely aware that they’re misguided and not evil. Crashing the shuttle into the camp, Nyan rushes out in a faked panic to ‘tell’ Rigar about the fourth ‘spy’. I wonder if the crash was deliberate to make Nyan’s fear more plausible or if Teal’c simply can’t land well yet.
Teal’c and Nyan hold their own against the military personnel; the latter manages to get into the tent and free the trio, giving them brief instructions on how to use the Bedrosian electric weapon. Three of them join Teal’c in fighting while Daniel goes to dial in Earth’s address. Once the wormhole has been activated, Teal’c sends in SG-1’s code so the iris will be open.
First Daniel goes through, then Sam. Nyan covers Jack when the older man goes to the shuttle from which Teal’c is attacking. Teal’c nearly takes out Jack before the other man affirms his identity. More drones are approaching, so they’re running out of time. The trio rushes towards the wormhole but Rigar uses the electric weapon on Nyan. Jack zats him and then the other men help Nyan through the wormhole.
They arrive back safely, with Janet and her underlings at the ready to help. Later, they’re both still in the infirmary due to their injuries. Daniel offers Nyan a position as his “research assistant” since the fellow brown-haired scientist has shown himself to be intelligent, brave, moral, and curious. Once the others have left, Nyan and Teal’c exchange thanks. Nyan admits he’s still a bit sad that he can’t show Teal’c to his fellow Bedrosian scientists to change their worldview and Teal’c tells him to have hope that maybe someday he’ll have that opportunity.
I do hope Nyan will return in a future episode- for that matter, I want a sequel episode where SGC gets to meet the Optricians so that society can have a collective ‘I knew it’ moment and the Bedrosians can learn the truth about their god. Although inhumane in his handling of prisoners, Rigar isn’t a terrible person, especially I suspect his treatment of them is standard for the Bedrosian military. Yes, he can’t acknowledge his beliefs might be wrong… but to do so would admit that the war, with all its losses of life, was pointless and that the enemy was right all along. His second-in-command is a bit more open-minded, so I hope she shows up if there is a sequel episode.
Of course, the Bedrosian military probably destroyed their Stargate after this episode, or at least reburied it. Still, at least Nyan gets a relatively happy ending where he gets to study the galaxy and possibly end up on an SG team someday- he’s certainly proven his mettle already. I do wonder what will happen to his colleague Mallin after this debacle for the Bedrosian military. And if any word gets back via actual Optrician spies… the war will only intensify. Actually, maybe SGC will involve their allies who can do interplanetary flight to go back and sort matters out.
Next time on Stargate SG-1: Bra’tac and the team go to Keb.