Jolinar’s Memories

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions | Production | Review

When Major Carter's father Jacob is kidnapped by Sokar, the SG-1 team must infiltrate a prison moon designed to look like hell to rescue him.

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FAN RATING - 9.21 
EPISODE #312
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10.22.99
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 01.29.01
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Sonny Wareham & Daniel Stashower
DIRECTED BY: Peter DeLuise
GUEST STARS:

Carmen Argenziano (Jacob/Selmak), JR Bourne (Martouf), Bob Dawson (Bynarr), Dion Johnstone (Na’onak), Peter Williams (Apophis), Peter H. Kent (Kintac), David Palffy (Sokar), Daniel Bacon (Technician), Eli Gabay (Jumar), Tanya Reid (Jolinar), Christine Kennedy (Young Carter)

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The Tok’ra operative Martouf arrives through the Stargate with an urgent request for SG-1: Jacob Carter / Selmak has been taken captive by Sokar — a powerful, rogue Goa’uld who impersonates Satan. Sokar is holding Major Carter’s father on Ne’tu, a moon of his home planet. Sokar has simulated the conditions of hell on the prison moon by exposing the molten core.

This mission is of the utmost importance, not only because of Jacob Carter, but also because of what he knows. The Tok’ra have learned that Sokar is planning a major offensive to overthrow the feudal System Lords, from whom he has been outcast, and tip the balance of power in the galaxy. SG-1 must find Jacob to find out what he has discovered about Sokar’s attack plans, and relay the information back to the Tok’ra.

With authorization from General Hammond, the team — Colonel O’Neill, Major Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c — join Martouf in infiltrating the prison (with Teal’c piloting a Goa’uld cargo transport vessel into orbit) and locating Jacob. To learn how they might escape, they must rely on the memories of Jolinar — the Tok’ra who once possessed Major Carter, and the only one ever to escape from Ne’tu. Aided by the Tok’ra memory device (“Out of Mind”), Carter must discover Jolinar’s hidden past.

Along with Martouf, the team gates to the planet Vorash, where they board the same transport vessel stolen by Jolinar when she escaped Ne’tu years ago. Though badly damaged, the ship can take them to the moon (which has no Stargate). It is equipped with descent pods that allow O’Neill, Martouf, Jackson, and Carter to the moon’s surface, while Teal’c pilots the ship in orbit.

While en route, Sam uses the Tok’ra memory device to try and remember Jolinar’s experiences on Ne’tu. The process is physically and emotionally trying, but she learns of the terrible torture that Jolinar underwent at the hands of Sokar. She is hesitant to describe it to Martouf, who was Jolinar’s beloved mate before her death. But he presses her, telling her that he knows Jolinar kept much of her experience in the hellish prison from him, and that it is important that Samantha not do the same.

The team arrives in orbit and takes the ship’s descent pods to the planet’s surface, just as prisoners would, so that they may blend in. Martouf encourages SG-1 to leave their weapons behind, but O’Neill refuses to go down unarmed. Teal’c will stay with the ship, and Sam will continue to wear the memory device and use it on a low setting so that she can continue to work through Jolinar’s memories as they go.

Once on Ne’tu, Sam begins to recall more and more about how Jolinar escaped. She recalls a relationship that Jolinar had with the warden, Bynarr, and asks to see him. Sam recalls that after being horribly tortured, Jolinar escaped by becoming sexually involved with Bynarr and betraying him. She learned that there are transport rings hidden in his chamber, activated by a medallion he wears around his neck. The rings allow Bynarr to travel to the nearby planet Delmak, where he gives regular reports to his master Sokar — who enjoys hearing of the suffering of the damned. There Jolinar stole the cargo ship and escaped.

On one such trip, Bynarr thanks Sokar for sending the former host of Jolinar to him, so that he may take revenge. Sokar tells him that he did not send her; she and her team are intruders, and must be dealt with.

Bynarr initially hopes that he may learn where to find Jolinar. But when he discovers she is dead, he wishes to find some comfort in taking his revenge out on Sam, knowing that she once carried Jolinar.

They also encounter Na’onak, Bynarr’s mysterious, hooded First Prime. Bynarr possesses the only staff weapon on Ne’tu, and confronts SG-1. Jack’s hand is forced and he draws his weapon on the imposing denizens, but it isn’t enough. They are subdued and thrown into a holding cell.

There they find the wounded and tortured Jacob Carter, Sam’s father. He is not well, and needs immediate medical attention. But Jacob relays to Martouf the information he learned about Sokar’s plan of attack: he is even more powerful than the Tok’ra had believed, and is poised to launch a massive attack on the System Lords in a matter of days. With his strength, he will win. Martouf relays the information to Teal’c, who must evade Sokar’s attacking ships and take the information to the Tok’ra High Council immediately.

Before Bynarr can take his revenge on Carter, he is shot in the back. His assailant is none other than Na’onak. He promptly orders Carter returned to the holding cell, where she tells the others what happened. The denizens will riot.

The team packs loose rocks into a steam vent, using the pressure build-up to blow open their cell door. As SG-1, Martouf, and Jacob move to escape the moon by using the ring transporter Sam now knows is hidden in Bynarr’s chamber, they are stopped by Na’onak. They cannot activate the rings quickly enough, and the villain bursts into the room, flanked by some of the prisoners. Na’onak is now in charge, and he reveals his true face to them.

He is Apophis, the team’s greatest enemy, once thought dead but now alive again.

ANALYSIS

  • Although outcast from the System Lords, Sokar has built a powerful army. The Tok’ra have learned (likely through such operatives as Korra, rescued by SG-1 in “Deadman Switch”) that Sokar is planning a major offensive against the System Lords. His fleet is ten times larger than the Tok’ra had believed, and he is poised to attack six key System Lords within 10 days. A victory would tip the balance of power in the galaxy, since the tenuous, feudal nature of the System Lords is the only thing that keeps them in check. Sokar would have a force great enough to rule the galaxy.
  • The moon Ne’tu was once an industrialized colony of Delmak. When Sokar conquered the planet, he made it his home world and terraformed its moon to fit the biblical vision of hell. Sokar filled the atmosphere with barely-breathable toxins, then blasted holes in the surface to expose the molten core.
  • Clearly, Apophis has been restored and rebuilt, presumably by Sokar. SG-1 had delivered his corpse to Sokar (“Serpent’s Song”), who managed to resurrect both the original host and the Goa’uld parasite. But the host had suffered some decay, or perhaps torture at the hands of Sokar, as Apophis now has some sort of faceplate.
  • When the team returned to Bynarr’s quarters to escape, the key to the transportation rings was gone. Apophis likely knew about the rings and how they worked, and took the key after killing Bynarr to prevent SG-1’s escape.
  • Apophis was serving as First Prime of Bynarr, warden of Sokar’s hellish prison. Why,if Apophis was Sokar’s enemy? Perhaps it is his punishment — to spend eternity in hell not as an average prisoner, but in forced service to Sokar. He would have no means of escape until SG-1 came along (perhaps to utilize, perhaps to blame, perhaps because he just couldn’t resist “getting” them).

    Alternately, Apophis may have been condemned to Ne’tu as a prisoner, then killed Na’onak and taken his place as First Prime. Bynarr and Sokar may not have even known that Apophis was hiding under the hood.

    A third option comes from a clue in SG-1’s past: we know that Jolinar once tried to overthrow a System Lord, and was defeated only when Apophis joined the battle against her (“In the Line of Duty”). Could Sokar be the System Lord she was warring against? Likely, since she spent time in his prison. This implies that Apophis and Sokar were once allies. If their differences have been overcome and the two System Lords are working together, the capture of Jacob Carter could be a trap set for Sam and SG-1.

NOTES

  • The Goa’uld transport vessel (first seen in “Deadman Switch”) is called a Tel’tak. It is capable of faster-than-light travel, but not all Tel’tak are equipped with cloaking technology.
  • The range of Goa’uld transport rings can deliver a person at least as far as from the surface of a moon to the planet it orbits.
  • Transport rings operate as a sort of miniature Stargate. It stands to reason, then, that they open a very small wormhole — but between two fixed points.
  • The matter stream created by transport rings can be intercepted, such as by a ship equipped with transport rings.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Samantha CarterSamantha Carter – Sam’s mother died when she was a teenager. She has also gained new memories of Jolinar, including Jolinar’s torture by Sokar — something she has been forced to endure herself through the Tok’ra memory recall device.
  • MartoufMartouf – Jolinar, Martouf’s mate for more than 100 years, never told him what happened to her while she was imprisoned on Ne’tu, and never wanted him to find out. Martouf now knows that she was tortured, and that she managed to escape by having a sexual relationship with Bynarr, the prison warden. Jolinar betrayed Bynarr and escaped through his ring transport system to Sokar’s home world, where she stole a transport vessel.
  • ApophisApophis – The greatest enemy of SG-1 is alive again, after having died at the S.G.C. nearly a year ago. He is serving as First Prime to the warden of Sokar’s prison moon. Apophis is as bad as ever. He has been living under the name “Na’onak,” but has now reclaimed his true name. He is clearly planning something …
  • SokarSokar – Though this Goa’uld has been mentioned in multiple episodes and even attacked the iris protecting Earth’s Stargate (“Serpent’s Song”), he has not actually been seen until now. Sokar has chosen Satan as the religious figure he impersonates, and is one of the most powerful of the Goa’uld (though an outcast from the System Lords). His homeworld is the planet Delmak.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • How much of Jolinar’s past does Sam now know?
  • How did Sam’s mother die?
  • Where did Jolinar go when she left Martouf? Was she an operative inside Sokar’s forces?
  • Which six System Lords is Sokar planning to attack?
  • If Goa’uld transport rings operate like a miniature Stargate, how do they establish a wormhole on a very small scale (within a planet, or even within a building, such as seen in “Stargate” the Movie, “The Tok’ra, Part 1” and “Seth”)?
  • How is it that Apophis is alive again? If Sokar restored the corpse with a sarcophagus, shouldn’t that have revived the host human but not the Goa’uld Apophis? Does Sokar have some new, more advanced healing technology, or was Apophis (the Goa’uld symbiote) not in fact dead?
  • If Apophis and Sokar were mortal enemies, why is it that Apophis has been serving under Sokar? And even more strange, why as a First Prime, a role usually limited to Jaffa?

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • To keep the big surprise at the end of the episode, actor Peter Williams agreed to forgo his usual on-screen credit during the opening of the episode, and is listed in the end credits instead.

    Williams was also unavailable for the entire shoot, and so most of the scenes with the hooded Na’onak were played by actor Dion Johnstone — who previously played Captain Nelson in “Rules of Engagement” and who would go on to play several other alien roles on SG-1, including Cha’ka, Lt. Tyler, and Warrick.