SG-1 goes offworld looking for a group of legendary Jaffa warriors who supposedly won their freedom thousands of years ago. Teal’c’s intelligence is sound, and the Sodan introduce themselves by ambushing the team. Mitchell guards the group’s retreat to the Stargate and gets wounded and captured for his trouble, but not before he critically injures one of the Sodan. The other warriors take Mitchell away using a type of Ancient beaming technology; the rest of SG-1 finds only the wounded Jaffa. They bring him back to Earth, hoping Dr. Lam can save his life and that they can learn of Mitchell’s fate. Their search of the planet reveals only a single obelisk with a line of Ancient writing – not nearly enough for Daniel to determine how to activate the device. And the international committee overseeing the Stargate program is not willing to fund an indefinite search mission with little chance of success.
In the Sodan village, Mitchell learns that he will have to engage in ritual combat as punishment for killing a Sodan warrior. A Sodan named Jolan begins to train him. Even as he tries to learn enough to survive the Kel Shak Lo ritual, Mitchell is concerned by the arrival of a Prior in the village. The Sodan leader, Haikon, explains that the Ancients helped the Sodan overcome the Goa’uld 5000 years ago, and gave them technology to help them stay hidden. The Sodan have worshipped the Ancients as gods ever since, but they have heard nothing for thousands of years. The Ori’s power and offer of enlightenment is a tempting offer – more tempting than the opportunity to ally themselves with Jaffa who served the Goa’uld until recently. Jolan is concerned by Haikon’s ready acceptance of the Ori; the Sodan’s traditions are important to him, especially Kel Shak Lo. It was his brother that Mitchell killed, and Jolan is determined to carry through with the battle. But his respect for Mitchell has also grown, and he may be willing to find a creative way to satisfy his honor.
written by Damian Kindler
directed by Peter DeLuise
music by Joel Goldsmith
Guest Cast: Lexa Doig (Dr. Lam), Jason George (Jolan), Tony Todd (Haikon), Jarvis George (Volnek), William B. Davis (Prior), Gary Jones (Sgt. Walter Harriman), Bryan Elliot (Col. Raimi – SG-22), Darcy Laurie (Kassan)
Notes: Mitchell called Jolan “Bones” at the end of the episode, no doubt because their solution to their fight-to-the-death problem closely resembles Dr. McCoy’s in the original Star Trek episode Amok Time. The international oversight committee was first mentioned in this season’s The Ties That Bind, although in that episode it was unclear whether Landry and the SGC would accept the tradeoff.
LogBook entry by Dave Thomer