Beware of spoilers below!
SG-1 establishes diplomatic relations with a moderately advanced civilization that has enjoyed generations of peace under Asgard protection. The people of this world have recently unlocked the secrets of a Goa’uld memory device, and from it created technology that allows a user to record memories and have them experienced by others. The new memory is spliced into the recipient’s mind like a transplanted organ. They believe that as an educational tool it may revolutionize their society, with the knowledge of one generation quickly and easily passed on to the next.
Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell experiences the astonishing technology first-hand. The project lead is Dr. Reya Varrick, a young woman with whom Mitchell quickly strikes up a relationship. But the High Emissary, Varta, informs her that the military is taking over the project, and Reya is incensed. Mitchell walks her home, but the Colonel considers it inappropriate to stay. But when he wakes up, he finds himself on the floor of her house. There is pounding at the door. Mitchell’s hands are covered in dried blood. Reya is dead.
The Colonel tries to work through his memories of the previous night, and remembers chasing her down and bludgeoning her to death.
After the initial shock of the situation, it becomes clear to SG-1 and the other scientists on the project that someone has framed Mitchell and used the memory technology to implicate him. Reya intended to oppose the militarization of her project and they wanted her out of the way, and those responsible believed Mitchell would simply claim diplomatic immunity and leave rather than risk his life to press for an investigation. They were wrong.
Drs. Amuro and Marell reattach Colonel Mitchell to the memory device, and with Carter observing begin the painstaking process of examining his mind to look for proof that his murderous memory was implanted — revealing key moments from his past. He must also endure the disturbing memory of Reya’s murder over and over.
Guest characters include Dr. Reya Varrick, High Emissary Varta, Dr. Amuro, and Dr. Marell. Lexa Doig will also appear in the episode as the S.G.C.’s Dr. Carolyn Lam.
Also of note to those interested in how the new SG-1’s dynamic will shape up: Colonel Mitchell addresses Colonel Carter as “Sam,” implying a certain level of familiarity.
“Collateral Damage” is expected to air in January, early in the second half of the upcoming season. Season Nine premieres July 15 on The SCI FI Channel!