In the penultimate episode, Jonas develops precognitive abilities that take a toll on his health.
Last time on Stargate SG-1: The Prometheus’ crew and the team encountered a fairly advanced society.
First Things First
SG-1 is meeting with two men of the latest culture they’ve encountered- the elder Ellori and the younger brunet Chazen. Jack tries to reassure Ellori about the food’s quality. This village works to obtain naquadah for Baal, except Sam thought that Baal left the planet behind over a hundred years ago. Jonas feels hot. According to the villagers, their tribute is given to Baal via Lord Mot, who’ll show up in twelve days around the time of the full moon. Jonas has a vision of the younger man not wanting to defy Lord Mot.
It seems that Ellori has his doubts about the gods being gods, but Chazen counters that they know all they need to, given their great powers. The locals have an ancient prophecy about the circumstances of the gods’ overthrow, which Ellori at least hopes is about to happen as SG-1’s arrival seems to herald it. Chazen’s counterargument is what Jonas ‘saw’ before. Sluggishly getting to his feet, Jonas then collapses, with Sam going to him.
After the credits, it’s time to get Janet’s input as she did a MRI and it turns out that Jonas has some unusual brain activity going on. She doesn’t want to take chances with Jonas’ health, given his past research with naquadria.
In the briefing, Sam got information from the Tok’ra- the planet’s naquadah isn’t going to Baal, so it’s probable that Lord Mot is keeping it for himself. In mythology, Mot was a Canaanite god of death who had to live in the underworld after being defeated by Baal. Teal’c and Jack discuss Mot’s possible tactics. Sam wants to free the locals as the Goa’uld might view the planet as worthless. She and Jack acknowledge that the locals did imply they want to free, but the latter wants more intel before acting.
Jonas has a vision of looking at his open journal in his study when Sam shows up, mentioning how lunch today is Mexican. After the briefing, he’s gone to his study and finds the open journal just as Sam shows up to make her statement. Opening up about his experience, Sam tries to dismiss it as déjà vu until Jonas points out it also happened on the planet to the blonde’s concern.
Hammond has Janet enter his office. As far as she can tell, it’s not related to Jonas’ naquadria exposure but she has found a spot on his MRI that might be a possible tumor. She strongly suggests taking Jonas off active duty.
In his study, Jonas is annoyed while the other three are lined up nearby. Yeah, this might be a deliberate blocking to showcase Jonas isn’t quite wholly integrated into the team yet. He reminds them of the events of “Sight Unseen” and how he turned out to be right then as well. However, he cannot control his visions and sits down slowly. Teal’c admits that for all their adventures, someone actually seeing the future is a first for them. Sam is worried as such a thing would break the known laws of physics but Jonas isn’t hearing them. Slowly Jonas states that the Tok’ra are coming just as the alarm blares and the intercom sounds about an unscheduled activation. Jonas mentions that the visitor is named Sina.
Hammond and a Tok’ra lady are in the briefing room, waiting for the quartet. The general introduces her as Sina. Although weirded out, the team evidently didn’t bring up Jonas’ weirdness as the show cuts to their meeting. The commentary highlights that Richard (and Jack) were briefly upset by Sina taking ‘his’ seat at the table. It turns out that Yu is holding his own against Anubis. Baal’s attempt to take out Yu essentially backfired, according to Sina.
Jack observes, “So he screwed up, and now his boss is pissed at him now, huh?”
“If I understand you correctly, yes,” replies Sina. “That would be a fair assessment.”
Clearly, SGC needs to help the planet before Mot can act openly if Baal ends up dead.
Confusion Over Visions
Jonas has a headache when a confused Sam finds him. But he’s unsure what’s going on with him as well. He does point out that SG-1 has seen similar abilities, usually due to Nirrti’s experiments and he was in her gene-splicing machine for over an hour (this was an event in the ‘missing’ episode “Metamorphosis”).
Janet and Hammond are in the infirmary. It’s not a cancerous tumor, but it’s already grown by fifty percent and they need to act before the pressure on Jonas’ skull kills him. There’s a shot of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex entrance before cutting to a briefing.
Janet has called in a neurosurgeon, Doctor Sandy van Densen. Jonas is hesitant to have the surgery as it’s possible that it could be a good thing. Yeah, I’m getting déjà vu myself- to how Cassandra reacted to her own budding powers back in “Rite of Passage”.
Sam reveals their concern that Jonas has been turned into another hok’tar experiment of Nirrti’s. Janet points out that the tumor will kill him if it’s not removed soon.
“It may stabilize,” Jonas claims.
Jack counters, “Nirrti never did anything to anyone that didn’t turn out badly.”
“Colonel, you of all people should realize what an advantage this could be,” Jonas appeals. “Imagine if we could know in advance when and where the next Goa’uld attack would come from.”
“You have yet to provide such valuable information,” Teal’c points out.
Jonas pleads for more time, so Hammond agrees to twenty-four hours under observation on the base. In other words, Jonas has to sit out the mission. The rest of SG-1 will be accompanied by SG-15 to the planet to see if they can free the locals from Lord Mot.
In the infirmary, Jonas admits to his bad headache. Janet calls him out on continually trying to prove himself and tries to reassure him that he’s already valuable enough, no extras needed. He’s zoning out when she moves away to speak with a nurse. However, she soon realizes he’s out of it. He has a vision of Janet and other medical personnel dealing with a badly injured Sam. When he snaps out of it, he’s worried to hear the alarm blaring.
Jack, Teal’c, and Sam are about to go through the wormhole when Jonas arrives to warn them. Hammond and Walter are up in the control room.
Up in the briefing room, a stressed Jonas has told the others about his latest vision, as the injury looked like a staff weapon injury. The others are dubious, but Hammond wants to err on the side of caution. Jack decides to just have Sam sit this mission out as she was evidently the only one hurt on the mission.
There’s the wormhole effect before cutting to Jack and Teal’c in the village. Ellori is there and recounts how last winter, there was a sickness so they couldn’t gather the demanded amount of naquadah. Ten sick people were executed as a result, including his son-in-low. His brunette daughter is briefly seen; the credits give her name as Natania.
However, not all of them feel that way. Chazen heads out into the woods and gets out a silvery orb, the Goa’uld handheld communication device.
Causing the Problem?
After another shot of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, the camera cuts to Jonas in his study, where a lamp’s bright light hurts his eyes as he tries to read a book on precognition. Behind him, there’s an aquarium with fish. He gets up when he hears about a medical emergency on level twenty-five.
In a hallway, Jonas finds a mildly hurt Siler. He and Sam were doing an overhaul of the Gate generators and there was a power spike which got her hurt. Jonas’ vision takes place- it was an electric burn, not a staff weapon blast. He just stands there helplessly.
It’s now nighttime at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex’s entrance. He heads to the infirmary to visit the now awake Sam and apologize for his self-fulfilling prophecy. Jonas thinks that this ability is an extension of his always acute observation skills. Sam doubts it and the two of them try to grapple with the ‘science’ of precognition to no avail. The closest they get is that maybe Jonas is just seeing the most probable future, Sam emphasizing that just because his visions have come true so far that there’s no certainty that they will continue to do so. The commentary praises Amanda Tapping for wanting to do as believable technobabble as possible.
Ellori, Jack, Teal’c, and Major Pierce (SG-15’s leader) are plotting when a smug Chazen shows up. A ship is heard flying overhead before a ‘flash bomb’ is used by him.
Janet goes to Jonas’ study to find him flopped over, eyes open. There’s blood- probably from a nose bleed- on the floor before him.
Jack is grumpy in the cell, Teal’c already at the bars. SG-15 is also there. Lord Mot shows up and Jack is his snarky self. It’s possible that Mot accurately calls out Jack’s bluff, but it’s not impossible that Jack wasn’t bluffing. Mot has found their gizmos for their iris codes. He wants to destroy Stargate Command in order to gain praise from Anubis. But first, he wants to ‘deal’ with the villagers, upsetting Jack. Lord Mot is a malicious jerk and walks off. This leaves Jack and Teal’c understandably uneasy.
Jonas wakes up in the infirmary. Janet reveals that he had a seizure and the tumor needs out. However, Jonas has another vision. Walter and Hammond open the iris due to receiving SG-15’s code, but then a Jaffa attack ensues in which ends in a massive explosion due to a Goa’uld bomb. Snapping back to normal, Jonas insists on speaking with Hammond.
Sam has an arm in a cast; she, Hammond, and Janet are at Jonas’ bedside. He’s now afraid that taking any action is what causes the vision’s events.
Natania shows up to give the guards some drinks. Jack initially wants some… until, to his incredulity, the guards flop over, unconscious. She gets them free of their cell and hands over SG-15’s iris code gizmo to their leader.
Janet watches on as Jonas lights up red candles, as they work for Teal’c. She’s very worried for Jonas. Sitting on his bed, Jonas tries to focus. He briefly sees people in SGC uniforms going through a field. There’s the Gate in daylight, Jack and Major Pierce at the DHD, dialing. Then there’s a Jaffa ambush in which Pierce gets injured, Teal’c gets killed, and Jack ends up cornered. He returns to the present, sweaty. A very worried Janet insists that they have to do the surgery as Jonas is very much out of it.
Leading the SGC personnel through the woods, Natania is afraid for her father as Mot intends to make an example out of her father. She points out the path to the Chappa’i. Jack wants her to hide until they return.
The Future is Malleable (Mostly)
Jonas is being wheeled in a hallway, Sam approaching the gurney. Evidently, he got her the information, as the show cuts to her having passed it on to Hammond and Walter in the control room. The planet is dialed.
There’s a very sweaty Jonas and it’s time for the brain surgery. Janet tries to reassure the frazzled man.
Chazen hears the radio activate in his tent and hears Hammond’s warning to SG-15. He tells another guy to check on the prisoners.
Sam, Hammond, and Walter are worried, the latter admitting that they can’t get any data from the MALP. SG-3 is ready to go but the ambush might be already in place. Hammond hopes that Jack gets the message.
Jack, Teal’c, and SG-15 are nearing the Gate.
The other guy tells Chazen that the prisoners have escaped so Chazen orders the alarm to be sounded.
The Gate has been activated just as the horn sounds. This puts the group on alert enough that Jack can keep Pierce from being hurt and Teal’c can better hold his ground against the enemies.
Mot shows up to yell at Chazen, as the plan was to let the girl free the prisoners in order to ambush them at the Gate. As he uses the hand device to torture Chazen, Natania shows up to repeatedly shoot the Goa’uld. I missed when and how she got one of the SGC personnel’s guns- maybe she got it from the taken weapons?
Janet and the female neurosurgeon are working together to get out the tumor, but it’s tricky. A more even firefight is taking place at the Gate. Jonas isn’t doing well and it seems that his blood type is O-Neg. The two female doctors are working to save Jonas.
There are a LOT of soldiers in the Gate room, some with metal riot shields. Sam, Walter, and Hammond are in the control room. No code has been sent through yet. There are even more soldiers in the hallway adjacent to the Gate room. SG-15’s signal is heard and Hammond can’t contact them. It’s a riskier gamble than usual, but Hammond and Sam refuse to risk the teams’ lives.
Jack, Teal’c, and SG-15 do come through, with just one (mildly) injured guy. The commentary lamp-shades that there wasn’t really any doubt who’ll actually come through the wormhole. Jack wants to return to finish things up on the planet. He and Teal’c then notice just how many soldiers are present in the Gate room.
“Expecting someone else, sir?” Jack asks the general.
But it’s Sam that replies, “We’ll explain later.”
A confused Jack follows them. Once again, there’s a shot of the entrance to Cheyenne Mountain Complex. I suspect that this episode was running a little short and that’s the reason for them all.
In the infirmary, Jonas is reading a book, his head bandaged up. Sam, Teal’c, and Jack drop by to check on him. The blonde does a bit of technobabble. Nirrti was definitely involved and Jonas assures them that he hasn’t had any visions since the surgery. Jack tries to be flippant about things to the amusement of both Sam and Jonas.
The planet will be hosting a large celebration in honor of SG-1 and SG-15. Jack wants them to bring the food this time, in a callback to the first scene. Jonas approves, in a minor hint to his original love of food (which was mostly stopped by the directors not wanting Corin eating on-screen in every episode). Janet shoos the others away as Jonas needs his rest. Sam lingers a moment to reassure Jonas that Jack has warmed up to him.
Jonas brings up that culture’s ancient prophecy, as it has come true. Sam tries to dismiss it as a “lucky guess” but it’s entirely probable that Jonas isn’t unique in having precognitive abilities, as it’s a big galaxy out there.
At this point, I’m not sure why this episode and the next aired on the same day, as things felt fairly self-contained and there certainly wasn’t a ‘to be continued’ cliffhanger. I suppose I’ll find out either in the commentary or when I watch the season finale. Clearly, things would have been a bit clearer if I had been able to properly watch “Metamorphosis”. However, the episode does stand on its own as a good, solid plot although it clearly relies heavily on past events: Anubis’ rise to power, Yu’s resistance, Baal’s existence, Jonas’ past exposure to naquadria, and Nirrti’s experiments. It’s a tricky balance that this show manages wonderfully.
Ellori and Natania are good one-off characters, although they’re unlikely to return. I do hope that SGC is correct in that other Goa’uld have dismissed the planet as worthless and therefore this culture will be left alone. Chazen’s fate isn’t brought up, but I suspect he’ll be either imprisoned or exiled. Ellori probably survived, as it’d be brought up had Mot killed him before his own death.
This was a largely straightforward episode. Mot’s plan did almost work, except he didn’t fill in Chazen on it, so that the man thought that the alarm needed to be sounded when he heard Hammond’s message and about the prisoners’ escape.
It was great that Janet had a large role to play here and that a female neurosurgeon was the one to save Jonas (yay). I’m not going to cope well with her death next season. Nope, not at all. Obviously, Jonas was the central figure, but Sam, Jack, Teal’c, and Hammond all got moments to shine, as did the heroic one-off characters. This show is generally pretty good about being ensemble piece instead of letting one character get the entire spotlight per episode.
I hope the team gets some rest before the next episode’s events (even if the viewers originally didn’t…).
Next time on Stargate SG-1: Daniel shows up and it’s back to Abydos!