season four, episode twenty -


Don't expect this one to be mature.

Dialing in one of the addresses found in the repository of the ancients, the SGC send through a MALP. The image transmitted back through the Stargate shows nothing that looks anything like the ancient's technology. The members of the SGC are quite surprised when it appears that the MALP starts flying. The image becomes lost in static but the signal is still strong, when an EM surge comes in through the outgoing wormhole. Computer systems begin to overload, one member is badly injured and Carter gets a small burn on her hand. Jack and Teal'c initiate the emergency shutdown and the complex is thrust into darkness.

In the control room the injured man is wheeled away with first and second degree burns, mostly superficial. Fraiser orders Sam to the infirmary despite her objections, then orders Jack, Teal'c and Daniel to also show up there later - they may not be injured, but some kind of energy source came through an outgoing wormhole and they were there. She wants to check over them.

In the infirmary the injured man is recovering, Sam's hand is treated by Fraiser, and when she leaves Teal'c turns up, as requested. As Fraiser looks over the injured man someone or something starts accessing information in the medical database…

Sam and Daniel go over the telemetry sent back by the MALP and the stills confirm it - the technology is nothing like the ancients, and resembles nothing ever seen on Earth. Sam manages to isolate a small signal between all the static and it looks as if whatever it was may have been trying to communicate. They discover that whatever came through the gate read a large percentage of their files. They are unaware that something is studying them through the security camera, or that it does so again when they report their findings to the General.

After the General orders a shutdown of the mountain until they know for sure there's nothing dangerous in the SGC, they hold a briefing. Daniel sees the signal as a 'probe'; that whoever lives on that planet was only doing what they do at the SGC with a MALP. The lights suddenly go out, and Jack sees an image of himself projected on the blast doors. Realising the image is the one that can be seen through the security camera Jack walks towards it, then the image changes to pictures of all the personnel who work at the SGC until it comes to Jack's records. The camera changes angle and does the same to Sam and Daniel. It's learning.

Hammond orders it shut down. Sam and Daniel want to try to communicate with it, but Hammond is insistent: an alien signal and/or entity is now in their computer systems. He wants it gone. Sam says it can be done but it means shutting everything down completely and relying on emergency lighting. They do so and after everything is re-booted their checks confirm it: the entity is gone from their systems.

However, there does seem to be an anomaly in the MALP room. Jack and Sam go down there, discover the doors have been welded from the inside, then set about burning in themselves with a blow torch. They get in and discover that the entity slipped into one of the MALP's before the shutdown, survived on battery power and power from the emergency lighting and began to build itself a 'nest' - which Sam dubs the memory mainframe. It's growing.

It's completely confined to that area but Jack wants to blow it up. Sam and Daniel argue passionately that it's clearly just trying to survive and that they should try to communicate. Hammond allows it, but Jack rests a pair of wire cutters on the entity's only link to power. The entity has a keyboard as an interface so Sam starts typing in questions. A camera on top of the entity nest sees Jack with wire cutters and doesn't take it well. Sam types in another question but her finger stays pressed on the 'S' key. Seeing that something is wrong - and the tendrils of electricity passing into her fingers - Jack cuts the power source.

Sam is wheeled into the infirmary. Her readings vanish completely, then return with astounding results. Fraiser delivers the bad news to an anxious Jack: her brain waves are now exactly the same as the computer signal that was sent through the Stargate. The entity is inside her.

Hammond asks Fraiser how she's going to get rid of it - Fraiser doesn't even think it's possible. Sam's own brain waves are still there but they are much smaller and she's not sure if they're being re-written or just erased entirely. Jack tells her that Sam's awake, but she's unable to speak as her PET scan looks the same as it would as if she'd had a stroke.

Back in the MALP room technicians are going over the now-powerless nest. Jack is sure that it was a trap. The entity had been watching them, knew that Sam and Daniel wanted to communicate with it, and set this nest up as a transfer method. It's growing, and the MALP wasn't enough for it anymore. Teal'c agrees with him. Daniel argues that it's not necessarily what happened, but more importantly it doesn't matter how this ends and what happens: Sam wasn't wrong to try and communicate with it.

Returning to the infirmary, 'Sam' (now known as Entity) is sitting up. Jack walks in and - using the speech synthesiser - the Entity greets him as "O'Neill." He says that's right as asks who Entity is:

"I am within. You are O'Neill."

"Yeah. We've established that."

Entity tells him that 'this one' has memories of him, but Jack points out that 'this one' is a person called Major Samantha Carter. Entity starts to say then that it is Major Samantha Carter but Jack cuts it off, telling Entity it isn't. Entity says it had no choice but to go into 'this one' as Jack wanted to terminate it. It knows now that he won't kill it because he values the life of one - especially this one which is important to him. There's no way to get Entity out of Sam's body without killing the body.

In the briefing Fraiser tells them that there is less and less and Sam left in her brain. Even if she did somehow manage to get rid of Entity, Sam would be brain dead. Daniel suggests that they volunteer to send it home but Hammond won't let it happen. The original transmission came back through an OUTGOING wormhole. He won't risk that happening again. Daniel then suggests that they let him talk to Entity. Maybe he can convince it to leave voluntarily.

As everyone leaves Hammond pulls Jack to one side and tells him that they may have to make some difficult choices, and that he knows how much Carter means to him.

Jack: "She's a very valuable member of my team, sir."
Hammond: "Yes she is."

Daniel talks with Entity and we discover that the radio waves from the MALP actually damaged Entity's people. Daniel insists that it was an accident but Entity points out that nonetheless it happened, and that it came through the Stargate to 'preserve' its people. Of course, its way of doing this was to destroy everyone here. Unfortunately for Entity its signal was cut off before it could finish, so it couldn't destroy them, but it still wishes to preserve its people.

Daniel tells Entity that it can do this now - they will never dial that planet again, and they certainly won't send any more probes through so no one will get hurt.

Jack doesn't agree.

"Yes we will. We'll send dozens. I don't care what it does."

He wants Sam back, and he's willing to do anything. He insists that if Entity doesn't leave Sam's body right now, he'll start sending probes through. Daniel objects but Hammond backs Jack up.

The Entity begs that he doesn't. Again Jack tells it that if it wants to preserve its world it has to leave Carter's body. Now.

Entity gets out of bed. They follow it into a corridor where it raises its arms and huge crackles of energy start to emanate from its hands. Jack shoots it with a zat gun once.

Nothing happens. Entity continues defiantly, no doubt knowing that he won't shoot a second time because a second shot kills.

Jack shoots it a second time.

Entity collapses to the floor, unmoving.

Jack stares down at Sam's still form.

Back in the infirmary, Sam is only being kept alive on life support. She's not breathing by herself and there's no brain activity of any kind. Janet tells Jack that Sam made a living will stating that she doesn't want to be kept alive in this condition, and suggests that perhaps it's time to let her die.

Daniel and Teal'c enter, telling Jack that Hammond's ordered the destruction of the 'memory mainframe' the entity built.

In the MALP room they're getting ready when the power suddenly comes back on and the mainframe device springs to life. SG-1 are called to the MALP room where Jack declares that they should blow it anyway. Then Daniel sees something on the mainframe's computer screen. A message.


He theorizes that it's Sam but Jack says it can't be - after all, he shot her twice. Daniel argues that he did shoot her *after* the entity transferred Sam's consciousness into the mainframe - that's what it was doing in the corridor. Jack contacts Hammond who reports that the same message is appearing on all of the base computers.

Janet brings Sam to the MALP room and connects her to the mainframe with a 'conduit' that should allow her to travel back into her own body. Janet flips the switch: Sam jerks as if being electrocuted, and then stills.

Sensor readings now pick up brain activity, and Fraiser confirms that it is Sam - she's back in her own body.

"I was shouting," She murmurs to Jack. "But you didn't hear."

"We heard," He replies.


If you're looking for Sam/Jack episodes, this is definitely one to watch. Sure, it has plot-holes the size of the Stargate itself and the plot isn't in the least bit original, but 95% of the last half of the episode is ship, ship, and nothing but ship. And 95% of *that* is Jack angst. Which is never a bad thing.

Let's see...generates interest right from the start. A MALP taking off? (I can visualise the promo stuff they *should* have done for this - "You'll believe a MALP can fly!"). The world the entity came from looked very cool technologically, and even if they never actually go there it's still nice to look at. Have to wonder though...who built it? I suppose if all the life forms on that planet are like the entity, they can control electrical components and build from there.

Jack seems a little bit dumber than usual for even him in this episode - until the second half, at least. This of course, does lead to some amusing lines ("Shouldn't there be a memo about this stuff?", "I'm not getting all my memos!" "Do I look fat?") although the seriousness of the second half more than makes up for him going a little too far at times.

When they discover the memory mainframe device, we do get to see the usual but understandable arguments: Jack and Teal'c wanna blow it up, Sam and Daniel wanna chat with it. Of course, Hammond sides with Sam...and for once, she's wrong.

Anyone ever notice how Janet always charges up the paddles but never has to use them? Specific occurrences I remember are this episode, 'In The Line of Duty' and 'Past and Present'. There are probably more. I don't think I've ever seen them actually be used on anyone.

Okay, for shippers:

* Jack standing next to Sam's bed in the background while Fraiser, Hammond, Daniel and Teal'c discuss the situation.

* While the entity is inside Sam, it spends almost all of its time staring at Jack - even when Daniel's talking to it, it still looks to Jack at key moments.

* Jack's obvious annoyance that they can't contact their allies for help.

* Jack telling Janet to get the entity out of Sam, only for her to rebut that she doesn't know how.

* Jack's eyes at the end of the second MALP room scene. How *dark* are they?

* The entity telling Jack that it is now Major Samantha Carter, and him interrupting and insisting that it isn't.

* The entity's claim that Jack won't kill/hurt Sam to get rid of it, because "This one is important." That gorgeous music that follows. Definitely a keeper.

* Jack admitting that Sam *is* important. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

* At the beginning of the briefing room scene as the camera zooms in towards everyone, look at Jack on the left-hand side. He rubs his face and his eyes several times, clearly finding it hard to deal with.

* Hammond's 'chat' with Jack at the end of the briefing room scene. Aww! He even calls him Jack, and it's followed by that gorgeous S/J music again. "I know that Major Carter means a great deal to you." Sniff...sniff...waaaah!

* Jack's 'dark side' coming out when he threatens to attack the entity's entire race if it doesn't leave Sam's body. He'd do it, too. "You've read my file; think again." Brrr. That angry smile. Wouldn't wanna annoy *him*!

* Jack being forced to shoot Sam with the zat gun.

* Jack being forced to shoot Sam with the zat gun, twice!

* The expression on his face afterwards.

* When Janet walks into the infirmary to discover Jack once again by Sam's side, fiddling with something and keeping his head down. Her footsteps slow for a moment, but she's not surprised to see him.

* Jack asking Janet to just "wait a minute, huh?" when she suggests they should let Sam die, as if he believes that if he waits long enough Sam will just come back. The music. Again!

* Throughout most of the scene - even when people are talking to him - he's always looking at Sam.

* In the entire scene he only meets someone's gaze once, and even then it's a very, very quick glance at Janet.

* Being forced to say: "Daniel, I shot her. Twice."

* Asking Carter where she's been (how cute!). It's the whole "I'm fine, really. I didn't feel like my world was about to end," Jack O'Neill thing.

* He *so* wants to hold her hand at the end. You can see him fidgeting to do it.

* And this may or may not mean anything, but once reassured that Carter's okay, Hammond looks at Jack...

Can I just say that Teryl Rothery (Janet Fraiser) rocks? Because she does. Great actress, especially when she tells Jack that they should let Sam go. I love the way her voice catches.

Big round of applause to Amanda Tapping, for managing to be menacing without saying a word.

Here's one obvious plot-hole: before she 'talks' with the entity inside the mainframe, Carter points out that it's been sustaining itself on battery power from emergency lighting and is otherwise completely isolated from the base. After it attacks her Jack cuts the power (literally), severing the connection. Therefore, when the base computers reboot, how can the mainframe suddenly start up again? It doesn't have a power source, even if Sam's consciousness is inside it. And if that is true, how does Sam's consciousness stay in the mainframe? I presume you'd need some kind of electrical charge to keep it there...

But then this is a sci-fi show. The transferring of minds is probably never going to be possible. What do I care?

Let's face it: this episode isn't about the entity, it's about the fact that when it comes down to it, Jack can do what needs to be done. He won't let his feelings get in the way. Many anti-shippers argue otherwise - and frankly although I am a shipper, I do have my own doubts about them actually getting together - but if anything this episode proves anti-shippers wrong.

He can do it. I think that was the point of the entire episode.


Jack: "MALP's can't fly."
Daniel: "Well apparently they can."
Jack: "Shouldn't there be a memo about this?"

Jack (to Sam): "Do as the Doctor says."

Jack: "Who put her in charge?"
Hammond: "The US Air Force."
Teal'c: "In medical matters Dr Fraiser may overrule those of any rank."
Jack: "I'm not getting all my memos."

Jack: "So it's a probe?"
Daniel: "No, we're saying it's like a probe. We actually don't know what to call it."
Sam: "We do know that before we were able to cut it off a structured EM wave managed to navigate over half of our computer system."
Teal'c: "For what reason?"
Daniel: "Well we sent a probe to their world…"
Jack: "So we're calling it a probe?"

Jack: "Do I look fat?"

Jack: "Come here often?"

Jack: "I think it likes me."

Jack: "Forget to change the light bulb Siler?"
Siler: "It's not my job sir. Ahem. Yes sir. Light bulb. Very amusing." (watch Sam's face)

Daniel: "It's obviously fighting to survive."
Jack: "So do bacteria!"
Sam: "It's trying to communicate."
Jack: "So do bac..."

Jack: "For the record sir I wanna blow it to hell - these folks wanna chat with it."

Fraiser: "It might be able to use a speech synthesizer if I explain its operation."
Jack: "Just concentrate on getting it out of her will ya?"
Fraiser: "I don't know how, sir."

Daniel: "No matter what happens, no matter how this turns out…Sam wasn't wrong to try to communicate with it."

Entity: "This one has memory of you."
Jack: "The 'one' you're talking about is a person. Her name is Major Samantha Carter."
Entity: "Then, I am Major-"
Jack: "No. No you're not."

Entity: "You value the life of one."
Jack: "Yes we do."
Entity: "This one is important."
Jack: "She is."
Entity: "For this reason this one was chosen. You will not terminate this one in order to destroy me."

Hammond: "Jack…"
Jack: "Sir?"
Hammond: "We may have to make some difficult choices. I know that Major Carter means a great deal to you."
Jack: "She's a very valuable member of my team, sir."
Hammond: "Yes she is."

Daniel: "You can repair the damage we did and we won't send any more probes through."
Jack: "Yes we will."
Daniel: "Jack…"
Jack: "We'll send dozens of them. One after another. I don't care what it does."
Entity: "No."
Jack: "Leave her. Now."
Entity: "You won't."
Jack: "You've read my file - think again."
Entity: "I must preserve."
Jack: "Fine, stick to your guns then."
Daniel: "Jack…"
Jack: "Daniel! We're gonna do this my way!"
Entity: "You can't."
Jack: "General?"
Hammond: "You're damn right we can."
Entity: "No. Please."
Jack: "Leave her."
Entity: "I must preserve."
Jack: "If you wanna preserve your world, leave Major Carter right now."

Fraiser: "I don't know if she ever told you this Colonel, but Sam made a living will. No extraordinary means."
Jack: "Yeah. She told me."
Fraiser: "There's uh…there's no brain activity of any kind. No brain wave for either Sam or the entity. She's being kept alive entirely on life support. I think it's time to let her go, sir."
Jack: "Just…give it a minute, you know? Yeah."

Jack: "Daniel…I shot her, twice."

Sam: "I was shouting…but you didn't hear."
Jack: "We heard."


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