Episode 5EPISODE #105
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 02.22.18
WRITTEN BY: Mark Ilvedson & Justin Michael Terry
DIRECTED BY: Mercedes Bryce Morgan
STARRING: Ellie Gall (Catherine Langford), Aylam Orian (Wilhelm Brücke), Salome Azizi (Aset), Philip Alexander (James Beal), Daniel Rashid (Kasuf), Sarah Navratil (Eva Reinhardt), Shvan Aladdin (Wasif), Tonatiuh Elizarraraz (Motawk), Derek Chariton (Heinrich), Lincoln Hoppe (Stefan), Catherine Salazar (Aset's Child), Ghadir Mounib (Renisenb), Esteban Cueto (Nubai), Connor Trinneer (Professor Langford)
Catherine Langford and her friends James Beal and Wasif wander the desert of an alien planet, as their native guide eagerly pushes them onward. Catherine manages to stop the young man just long enough for a round of introductions, and through their language barrier manages to learn his name: Kasuf. He takes them to a small encampment, where he excitedly yells a greeting to his people. They follow Kasuf down the sandy dune and into the heart of the settlement, but cannot keep up. Kasuf has disappeared. Catherine begins calling out for her father, Professor Paul Langford, hoping that he is hear -- but there is no response. Instead the trio of off-worlders is quickly surrounded by Abydonian natives, with spears drawn, who take them into custody and tie them together around a post inside a tent. Elsewhere on the planet, the alien warrior Serqet informs her master Aset of her encounter with the three strangers. Cradling her infant child, Aset finds it surprising that this second group of humans to come through the Stargate did not quickly surrender as the last ones did -- implying that this is Serqet's own failure. The two women are clearly at odds: Serqet warns her queen that Ra is going to return and punish them, especially because Aset's child is a Harcesis -- a thing forbidden among their kind. Aset knows well of Ra's power, and has a plan: she intends to gather enough resources to rise up against him. And she seems to believe that the humans she has received -- the Nazi Wilhelm Brücke and his people -- may be able to help. Dr. Brücke has been given a place to stay (or perhaps a cell to be held in) along with Eva Reinhardt, Stefan, and their captive Dr. Langford. Stefan is worried about their fate, and as Eva tries to soothe his nerves Brücke discovers that Aset has allowed them to keep the equipment they brought from Earth (if not their weapons). It includes a film projector. Back in the Abydonian encampment, Catherine and Beal argue. Wasif manages to get a hand free from his bonds, and soon frees the others. But before they can escape from the tent a guard (Motawk) enters. A struggle ensues, and Wasif is stabbed in the abdomen -- quite by accident -- by the guard's spear. He falls unconscious, bleeding out on the floor. Kasuf rushes in, calling (in Egyptian) for something called the "Wand of Horus." The device is brought in and Motawk mutters a quiet prayer as he waves it over Wasif's wound -- which miraculously closes up in only seconds. The man's life has been spared.
- Aset's child is a Harcesis -- the human offspring of two Goa'ulded hosts. The procreation of such children is strictly forbidden by the Goa'uld, since these children are born with the Goa'uld's genetic memory (but no symbiote controlling it). Thus Serqet is concerned about what will happen when Ra returns and learns of the child's existence.
The first time SG-1 learned of Harcesis and their threat to the Goa'uld was a year after the birth of Sha're's child, fathered by Apophis. Sha're herself used the hand device to telepathically communicate the child's significance to Daniel Jackson ("Forever In a Day"), sending SG-1 on a months-long mission to find the child, Shifu ("Maternal Instinct").
- Serqet refers to Aset as her "queen," which might simply be an honorific signifying Aset's place as ruler of Abydos (on Ra's behalf). But it is also possible that she is in fact a Goa'uld queen -- a rare sort of creature capable of birthing new prim'tah, the larval form of a Goa'uld symbiote.
- There are already footprints in the sand ahead of where Kasuf and Catherine are walking. While this could be a production goof, it's entirely possible that the path is one commonly traveled by Abydonians traveling between the encampment and Aset's temple -- and that Kasuf himself came that way only recently.
- This is cleary only a small encampment and not the large, walled city where Daniel and Jack were taken after meeting Kasuf and his son Skaara in the feature film. (In production documents that city is called "Nagada.") Seeing as how the Stargate appears to be in a different location in Stargate Origins, it is unknown just how far from the city they are.
- After Wasif is stabbed in the struggle the Abydonians' temperament quickly turns. They clearly do not wish their prisoners dead, and hurry to try and heal Wasif. But more than this, the young soldier responsible (named "Motawk," or "Motahk") is emotionally stunned by what he has accidentally done. They are clearly not accustomed to taking (and holding) prisoners and are in over their head.
- When Wasif is wounded Kasuf calls for the Wand of Horus ("ways Heru"), evidently a piece of technology embued with powerful healing abilities. (It is based on real Egyptian mythology, where the "Wands of Horus" were held by the pharaohs and regarded as providing certain medical and spiritual benefits.) It's likely that the wand is Goa'uld technology: their scientists have already harnessed the power of Telchak's device to engineer the healing device and, still more powerful, the sarcophagus.
Unlike the handheld healing device, however, the Wand of Horus does not appear to depend upon the user having naquadah in their bloodstream -- as do Goa'uld -- in order to make use of it. (Either that, or the Abydonians are physiologically capable of using it only because they have mined naquadah for generations.)
- The Supreme System Lord Ra does indeed rule over Abydos in this era (and has for thousands of years -- "Stargate" the Movie), with the lesser Goa'uld Aset appointed to govern the planet in his absence. But it is only a matter of time before he returns.
- Serqet refers to the humans (translated "Earthlings" in the on-screen captions) as "Tau'ri." Though she pronounces it with three syllables, this is the same term long used by Goa'uld and Jaffa on the television series to refer to humans from the planet Earth -- the original home of humans, from which they were transplanted by the Goa'uld to worlds all over the galaxy.
- According to the official Web site's "Mission Files" for this episode the Wand of Horus is an invention of Aset herself, given to the Abydonian people in part because of her benevolence -- and in part to test what could be useful to her future army. "The end use for such a technology was actually for a new military force that Aset had been planning, but gifting a prototype to her tribespeople served the dual purpose of field testing while ensuring their continued loyalty without the aggression her fellow Goa'uld so enjoyed."
- Aset - Aset is ambitious and not the most faithful servant of Ra. Aset also reveals that she has been brought back from the dead, and tells Serqet that she does not plan to squander the "gift" of her resurrection. Instead, is appears that she is quietly planning an insurrection. She tells Serqet that they must be bold -- and evidently hopes to ally herself with the Nazis from Earth in the hopes that they might provide her with resources for a rebellion.
- Serqet - Serqet worries that her master Aset is being reckless -- and perhaps that she herself will be implicated in these subversive activities when Ra returns to Abydos.
- Kasuf - Despite his friendliness Kasuf may have perceived Catherine, Beal, and Wasif as hostiles from the very beginning. If he is a loyal servant of Aset, he would have been shocked to see non-Goa'uld arrive on his planet through the Stargate and then engage Aset's servant in combat. It is possible that he led them to the camp and then deliberately had them captured by his people. As they enter the village square Kasuf disappears around a corner, deliberately leaving them alone.
(The official Web site's "Mission Files" for this episode instead suggest that Kasuf was simply naive and that it was the rest of the tribe who, upon seeing the strangers, captured them for fear that they would bring down the wrath of Aset.)
- Catherine Langford - Their experience thus far seems to be straining Catherine's relationship with Beal. Their bickering reaches new levels here, and their inability to work together contributes to Wasif being stabbed and nearly losing his life.
- Who is the father of Aset's child? Will she be able to keep him hidden from Ra?
- Under what circumstances was Aset brought back from the dead? Is this something Ra did for her, and is it the reason she is now in his service?
- Are Catherine, Beal, and Wasif still prisoners of the Abydonians? What will the natives do with them?
- What does the Abydonian leadership structure look like? Is Kasuf a leader here, or is there someone else calling the shots with respect to their prisoners?
- Will Wasif fully recover from his wound?
- What do the Nazis plan to show Aset?
- Desert scenes were shot in the Mojave Desert near Baker, California, with full-day shoots under the sun.
- "The first time we shot in the desert, it was 115 degrees. We were out of the car for an hour and it felt like 10 hours. So you’re walking through it and it feels like burning hot snowdrift. You get sand in your shoes and your foot’s burning. It felt like we were dying. When we came back again, it wasn’t so hot but we were blasted by a sandstorm. It felt like sandpaper rubbing all over you. "The third time we came back, we walked out and we thought, my god, it’s not hot anymore and there’s no wind. But there were dune buggies everywhere, with tire track and footprints surrounding us. In the original Stargate, they tried to cover these footprints and tracks by blasting them with a jet engine. But that didn’t work. Then they tried giant fans and that didn’t work. So they finally got 50 PAs to sweep over the footprints. But we made it work, shooting in different directions and video effecting it all out. You never know what’s going to happen so you just work it out." (Director Mercedes Bryce Morgan, in an interview with Aced Magazine)
- "Abydos is something that’s already been established, but we’re seeing a different part of the planet than we’ve seen in the past. So we were able to explore new parts of that world we haven’t seen before. In prep, we created a map of Abydos to show the places we’ve already seen and where geographically we can fit in." (Director Mercedes Bryce Morgan, in an interview with Aced Magazine)