Secrets

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions

Jackson discovers that his wife has returned to Abydos, and is about to give birth to Apophis's son. O'Neill is approached by a reporter who threatens to expose the Stargate program to the world.

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OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 9.15 
EPISODE #209
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 08.21.98
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 11.08.99
DVD DISC: Season 2, Disc 2
WRITTEN BY: Terry Curtis Fox
DIRECTED BY: Duane Clark
GUEST STARS:

Carmen Argenziano (Jacob Carter), Vaitiare Bandera (Sha’re), Peter Williams (Apophis), Douglas H. Arthurs (Heru’ur), Chris Owens (Armen Selig), Erick Avari (Kasuf), Michael Tiernan (Ryn’tak)

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The S.G.C. has sent a M.A.L.P. probe through the Stargate to the planet Abydos, and is receiving a video transmission from it. On the small, fuzzy display screen is Kasuf, Daniel Jackson’s father-in-law, father of Sha’re and Skaara and the leader of the Abydonians.

It has been one year since he left Abydos, and Kasuf has followed Daniel’s instructions and unburied the gate. If Daniel does not return to Abydos soon, Kasuf has been told to bury the Stargate forever (“Children of the Gods”). Hammond is convinced to send Jackson and Teal’c to Abydos to inform Kasuf that his daughter, kidnapped by Apophis and taken as his Goa’uld bride,has not yet been found. Colonel O’Neill and Captain Carter, though, are to fly to Washington, D.C. to receive medals for destroying the two Goa’uld ships in Earth’s orbit (“The Serpent’s Lair”).

Dr. Jackson and Teal’c depart for Abydos and meet Kasuf, only to soon discover that Sha’re has returned to Abydos herself. She is nine months pregnant with the child of Apophis — and the child is to become Apophis’s new host. Sha’re is temporarily free from the control of Amonet, the evil Goa’uld who lives within her. If Amonet were to come forth from hybernation, the child would be stillborn.

Meanwhile, in Washington, O’Neill is confronted by a young reporter — Armin Selig — who knows a lot more than he ought to about the Stargate program. Jack denies everything, but later speaks to General Hammond and Carter about the matter. They do not believe anyone at the S.G.C. would leak the top secret information, and suspect others outside the project, such as Senator Kinsey (“Politics”).

Also present in Washington is General Jacob Carter, Samantha’s father, retired from the Air Force. Their relationship is somewhat strained, though Jacob obviously wants only the best for his daughter. In fact, he is trying to make her dreams come true: he’s gotten her a shot at NASA, but Sam turns him down. Her work in “deep space radar telemetry,” as she tells him, is important.

But Jacob also has some terrible news: he has terminal cancer, and will probably only live a few more months. He and Sam do not part under the best of terms.

On Abydos, Teal’c convinces Jackson to take advantage of the opportunity and bring Sha’re back to Earth. Once she gives birth, Apophis will return and take her and the child away. Plus, Sha’re possesses the knowledge of the Goa’uld within her.

As the three move to dial the Stargate, the ground begins to shake. A Goa’uld ship is landing on the planet. Believing it is Apophis, Amonet emerges briefly and takes control of Sha’re. She goes into labor.

Teal’c and Daniel escape, taking Sha’re to the nearby caves — the same caves where they hid from Ra (“Stargate” the Movie). Teal’c leaves to try and keep the Jaffa guards away from them (he has discovered that it was Heru’ur, not Apophis, who had arrived). Jackson delivers a baby boy, promising Sha’re that he will one day save her. Upon the birth of the child, Amonet returns and Sha’re is lost.

Teal’c emerges disguised as a Horus guard, and tells Amonet that Heru’ur has taken her child. He stuns her with a zat gun, and the two take the child to Kasuf to be hidden away.

In Washington, O’Neill has warned the reporter that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he knows, and that he shouldn’t run the story. The reporter refuses, and is unexpectedly run down by a speeding car. “Bastards …” is his dying word, as he stares up at a shocked Colonel O’Neill. O’Neill wonders if Hammond was responsible for getting the young reporter killed, that their government secret might remain kept.

Still disguised as a Horus guard, Teal’c brings his “prisoner” Daniel to the Stargate room, where Heru’ur awaits. Before they can make a play for the gate, it begins dialing for an incoming traveller. Heru’ur’s guards stand ready to intercept, but as the Stargate activates, Teal’c pushes one into the engaging wormhole stream and kills him. O’Neill and Carter emerge through the gate, and engage in battle with Heru’ur and his soldiers. Heru’ur is defeated, and escapes through transport rings to his ship above.

The gate activates again. This time, it is Apophis. SG-1 hides in the shadows as Amonet emerges and rejoins him. She tells him that the child was taken by Heru’ur, and the two leave through the gate — after Amonet has looked straight at SG-1, but not revealed their position to Apophis. Perhaps there is still hope for Sha’re.

ANALYSIS

  • Sha’re had been on Abydos for “more than a season.” Presumably, Apophis sent her there to be cared for during her final trimester, and not her entire pregnancy. The risk of the child being stillborn was apparently not great until later in the pregnancy. But, why would Apophis risk sending her there at all? He could have kept her close to him, simply keeping Sha’re under close guard when Amonet was forced into hibernation.
  • Goa’uld reproduce when a queen creates larva to be incubated within a Jaffa (“Hathor”). It seems unusual that a Goa’uld would father offspring through human, sexual means. Indeed, Teal’c says that he has never known a Goa’uld to father a human child.
  • Apophis’s place among the System Lords is no more, in part because of Teal’c (in turning against him in “Children of the Gods”). Moreso, it is because SG-1 destroyed two of his ships and armies in Earth’s orbit (“The Serpent’s Lair,” “Family”).
  • Carter stated that she was in Washington, D.C. for two years trying to make the Stargate program a reality. But when? Two years immediately preceding her joining the S.G.C.? Scientists worked on deciphering the Stargate for two years before Daniel Jackson first made it work (“Stargate” the Movie). Then, after the first mission, he lived on Abydos for more than a year before SG-1 was formed. Presumably, then, Carter know about the gate and what it could do during at least one of the two years before the gate was first activated.
  • Sha’re retained some of the memories of Amonet while the Goa’uld slept within her. This causes us to wonder if she would retain knowledge of the Goa’uld after being freed from Amonet’s control completely, or if a host could have the willpower to control his symbiote. (Skaara seemed to nearly defeat his Goa’uld, Klorel, in “The Serpent’s Lair”).
  • There is an information leak, possibly within the S.G.C. itself. Only a few other individuals have the sort of knowledge that the reporter possessed, including the President and joint chiefs, Senator Kinsey, Lieutenant Colonel Samuels and Colonel Maybourne.
  • In considering his opportunity to finally save Sha’re, Daniel failed to remember that a new version of “Thor’s Hammer” has been very recently placed on Cimmeria by the Asgard (“Thor’s Chariot”). The device is capable of purging the Goa’uld and leaving the human host free, and is only a Stargate’s jump away.
  • Heru’ur did indeed come to Abydos with the intention of taking Apophis’s child. (It is not explained how he knew Sha’re was there.) It is ironic that, although he failed, he has been blamed for the deed.
  • O’Neill penetrated Heru’ur’s energy barrier with a slow-moving weapon (a thrown knife). The shield’s deflection capability, according to Carter, is directly proportional to the amount of kinetic energy that is directed at it. Carter theorized this after SG-1’s failed attack on Apophis, who also possesses a personal energy barrier device (“The Nox”).
  • Sha’re, under the control of Amonet, looked directly at the hiding SG-1 before leaving through the Stargate, but did not reveal their position to Apophis. This may indicate that Amonet’s loyalties to Apophis are questionable, or that she did not want him to find the child and knew that Heru’ur hadn’t taken him, or that Sha’re still exercises some control. If the latter, this may be a temporary side-effect of the birth.

  • Apophis arrived through the Stargate with minimal guard. It seems strange that SG-1 would not take the opportunity to launch a surprise attack and capture Sha’re/Amonet. Perhaps they remembered all-too-well their last attempt to ambush Apophis (“The Nox”). They also may have considered that, had they lost the battle, Apophis would not have believed that Heru’ur took the child.

NOTES

  • Civilians with access to the Stargate program must sign nondisclosure statements, making them susceptible to prosecution under the Espionage Act.
  • The Stargate program presently costs the United States government some $7 billion per year. It is included as part of the national defense budget.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Sha'reSha’re / Amonet – Amonet is the name of Apophis’s queen, the Goa’uld that possesses Sha’re. Sha’re gave birth to Apophis’s son, who has been hidden away on Abydos. Though Amonet and Sha’re returned to Apophis, Amonet’s loyalties to the System Lord is in question. Sha’re wondered if Daniel still loves her in spite of what she has become, but has been reassured of his commitment to her.
  • Samantha CarterSamantha Carter – Carter spent two years at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., trying to make the Stargate program a reality. Before the program, her dream was to become a part of NASA and go into space.
  • Jacob CarterJacob Carter – The father of Samantha Carter, Jacob is a U.S. Air Force general near retirement. He has terminal cancer (lymphoma), and has only a few months to live. He is a proud man, but loves his daughter and wants the best for her.
  • KasufKasuf – Kasuf has gone into hiding on Abydos with the son of Sha’re and Apophis.
  • ApophisApophis – Apophis’s new son has been taken, and he believes his enemy Heru’ur has done it.
  • Heru'urHeru’ur – Heru’ur is an enemy of Apophis. Like Apophis, he also possesses a device that can generate an energy shield around his body.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • Who leaked information about the Stargate program to the reporter? Did he or she tell anyone else of the top secret program?
  • Was General Hammond, or anyone else at the S.G.C., responsible for the death of the reporter? How might this incident affect Jack’s confidence in his superiors?
  • Will Heru’ur hold a personal vendetta against SG-1?
  • Will Sha’re ever be rescued?