Fair Game

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The Asgard aid Earth in negotiating a non-aggression treaty with the Goa'uld System Lords.

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EPISODE #303
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 07.09.99
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 10.16.00
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 1
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Martin Wood
GUEST STARS:

Michael David Simms (Arthur Simms), Ron Halder (Cronus), Jacqueline Samuda (Nirrti), Vince Crestejo (Yu), Teryl Rothery (Dr. Janet Fraiser), T.M. Sandulak (Sergeant Ziplinski), Laara Sadiq (Technician)

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Arthur Simms, arrives at the S.G.C. to commend the team, especially in rescuing SG-1 from Hathor (“Into the Fire”). To conclude the ceremony, to the surprise of Samantha Carter, she is promoted to the rank of Major. Colonel Jack O’Neill begins a speech to the assembled group, and is suddenly teleported away.

It is the Asgard, a benevolent and highly advanced race from another galaxy. Thor, the Asgard representative, tells O’Neill that the Goa’uld System Lords have turned their eye to Earth. They believe that in killing Hathor, Earth has again demonstrated itself to be a threat to the Goa’uld. The Asgard are there to mediate a non-aggression treaty between the humans and the System Lords, to include Earth in the Asgard’s Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa’uld.

Three powerful and influential System Lords arrive on Earth for the negotiations: Cronus, against whom Teal’c has declared a revenge oath for the murder of his father; Nirrti, who wiped out a planet and an S.G.C. team and tried to destroy Earth’s Stargate (“Singularity”); and Yu, who may have been one of China’s earliest emperors but whose interests no longer reside in Earth’s part of the galaxy.

The negotiations eventually begin, with O’Neill as the Asgard’s chosen representative for Earth. He begins by accidentally insulting the Goa’uld, causing a minor incident and a temporary halt to the negotiations.

When they resume, O’Neill learns the heavy price of protection from a System Lord attack on Earth: they will not be allowed to advance technologically to a point where they may become a threat to the Goa’uld; and, they must give up Stargate travel.

After much debate and a phone call to the president, the group agrees to the terms. But before the representatives can be recalled, Cronus and Teal’c are mysteriously attacked, and are taken to the infirmary in critical condition. Teal’c eventually recovers, but Cronus cannot be saved without a sarcophagus — even after Nirrti attempts to use a Goa’uld healing device on him.

Damned if they let the Systems Lords leave and damned if they hold them against their will,General Hammond chooses to break the terms of the negotiation and restrains Yu and Nirrti. The group believes that one of them must have attacked Cronus, but must prove which one. Carter then discovers that Nirrti lied when she said she could not heal Cronus: Carter uses the healing device and saves the System Lord’s life.

O’Neill, taking a page out of the Asgard book of strategy, decides to bluff Nirrti. He and Jackson tell Yu that she has been experimenting with phase technology in order to battle the Re’tu (“Show and Tell”); she has the ability to become invisible. The gamble pays off, as Yu turns on Nirrti and she tries to escape with her stealth technology. Nirrti is captured, and taken back by Cronus and Yu.

In return, the System Lords agree to include Earth in the Protected Planets Treaty — the planet will not be attacked by the Goa’uld again. In addition, the humans do not have to give up the most important object on the planet: the Stargate.

ANALYSIS

  • Thor states that Asgard ships have never been detected in Earth’s orbit before. This adds an interesting detail to his confession that his species has visited Earth many times (“Thor’s Chariot”), and also indicates that they have advanced stealth technology.
  • The Goa’uld are a relatively minor concern to the Asgard. According to Thor, the Asgard have an enemy in their home galaxy that is far worse than the Goa’uld. Most of their fleet is currently detained in fighting this war, so it is unlikely that the Asgard could enforce their treaties with the Goa’uld if they had to. The Asgard rely on the Goa’uld’s fear of them, as well as the Goa’uld’s feudal relationships with one another.
  • This seems to contradict Gairwyn’s statement that the Asgard are at war with the Goa’uld (“Thor’s Chariot”). Either this was an exaggerated statement (the Asgard oppose the Goa’uld, but are not actively at war with them), or the war has come to an end in the past year. The latter is supported by the fact that the Asgard and Goa’uld have at least one treaty with one another.
  • Earth is now included in the Asgard-Goa’uld Protected Planets Treaty. Earth is still susceptible, however, to attack from other Goa’uld who rebel against the System Lords — such as Sokar, who was banished by Cronus and the System Lords. Thor stated that if a rogue Goa’uld were to attack Earth, the Asgard may not have sufficient resources to stop him. As for most Goa’uld, they fear the System Lords, who would move against them in order to maintain the fragile treaty relationship with the Asgard. In addition, any member of the S.G.C. found offworld by a System Lord “will be shown no mercy.”
  • A possible continuity error: when the System Lords gated to Earth, the seventh chevron dialed on Earth’s Stargate was the symbol for Earth. According to the way in which the address system has been explained so far, this should be the point of origin. It should appear as the seventh symbol only when dialing out from Earth.
  • Teal’c’s last line to Cronus in the corridor during their initial confrontation is “kelmar’tokim.” It is an oath of revenge meaning approximately “revenge by the wearer of horns.” It is the same oath that Bra’tac warned Teal’c not to declare on Fro’tac for marrying Teal’c’s wife (“Family”).
  • The System Lords are aware of the existence of Earth’s second Stargate (“Solitudes”).
  • It is ironic that Carter is the one who ends up saving Cronus’ life, because she was once joined with the Tok’ra Jolinar (“In the Line of Duty”). It was Cronus, Carter believes, from whom Jolinar was fleeing and who sent the assassin to kill her. Only because of this was Carter able to be in a position to use the Goa’uld healing device now and save Cronus’s life.
  • The gun used by Nirrti became invisible as soon as she picked it up. However her stealth technology works, it is advanced enough to incorporate inanimate objects held by the user. The device used by Nirrti may generate a small field around her body that refracts light (“Show and Tell”).

NOTES

  • The System Lords are capable of launching an attack approximately 100 times greater than Apophis’ attack (“Serpent’s Lair”).
  • In keeping with the treaty, the Asgard have allowed the Goa’uld access to the passage of Nylor. It is apparently a strategically valuable sector of space.
  • There is a limit to the extent to which a Goa’uld can heal injuries to the host on its own.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Samantha CarterSamantha Carter – Sam Carter has been promoted to the rank of major in the United States Air Force. She has also identified the System Lord Cronus as the one who sent the ashrak assassin to kill Jolinar, the Tok’ra Goa’uld with whom she was briefly joined (“In the Line of Duty”).
  • CronusCronus – The most influential of the System Lords, Cronus probably posed as a Greek god on Earth, one of twelve Titans who ascended to supreme domination. Called the “god of fate,” Cronus became father to Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and Hades. This last relationship may indicate that Cronus is the father of Sokar, a powerful Goa’uld whom he and the System Lords banished.

    Cronus was the sworn enemy of Apophis, a Goa’uld System Lord who died months ago at the S.G.C. (“Serpent’s Song”). Teal’c’s father was once First Prime of Cronus, but was executed for failing a mission. For this reason, Teal’c vowed as a child to one day become First Prime of Apophis.

  • NirrtiNirrti – Nirrti is identified with an ancient Hindu goddess of darkness. She is the one responsible for the death of all but one of the inhabitants of P8X-987, plus four members of the S.G.C. “Singularity”). Like Hathor, Nirrti has also developed stealth technology, giving her the ability to become invisible.
  • Teal'cTeal’c – Teal’c’s father was first prime to Cronus. When Teal’c was a child, Cronus ordered his father to attack a rival Goa’uld who was more powerful at the time. When the attack failed, Cronus killed Teal’c’s father as punishment, and exiled Teal’c and his mother. They fled to Chulak, where Teal’c became a Jaffa with the goal of one day becoming first prime of Apophis, sworn enemy of Cronus.
  • ThorThor – Thor has revealed that the Asgard are at war with an enemy in their home galaxy whom they consider to be a much greater threat than the Goa’uld. They do not currently have the resources to enforce their treaties with the Goa’uld, and are banking on the System Lords’ fear of them (as well as the System Lords’ fragile, feudal nature) to maintain order.
  • YuYu – Historically on Earth, Yu likely did not impersonate a god per se, but may have been one of China’s earliest emperors. He also founded the first dynasty. Legend says that Yu sprang forth into the world from a dragon’s body, and possessed great mythic powers. His interests do not currently reside in the of the galaxy where Earth resides, though he did appear to be the designated spokesman for the System Lords in the negotiations with Earth.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • Who are the Asgard’s great enemy? Do they, like the Asgard, have a presence in our own galaxy?
  • Why did the choice of Earth’s representative to the negotiations belong to the Asgard?
  • What other worlds are part of the Asgard-Goa’uld Protected Planet’s Treaty? Is Cimmeria on the list, since it is kept safe from the Goa’uld by the Asgard (“Thor’s Hammer”)?
  • Just where is Teal’c originally from, if not Chulak?
  • Does the S.G.C. still possess the Asgard communications device given by Thor to O’Neill?
  • What will become of Nirrti? Will she be banished by the System Lords, or killed?
  • Though Earth was finally allowed to keep its Stargate, no mention was made of the treaty provision stipulating that Earth could not advance technologically to a point where they may become a threat to the Goa’uld (with the definition of “threat” resting solely with the Goa’uld). Is this stipulation now in effect?