Maternal Instinct

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions

SG-1 discovers the mystical planet Kheb, and must find the Harcesis child of Apophis and Sha're before Apophis's army does.

FAN RATING - 8.81 
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 5
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Peter F. Woeste
GUEST STARS: Tony Amendola (Bra'tac), Terry Chen (Monk), Teryl Rothery (Dr. Janet Fraiser), Aaron Douglas (Moac), Steve Bacic (Major Coburn), D. Harlan Cutshall (Jaffa Commander), Carla Boudreau (Oma Desala)
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Bra'tac, Teal'c's friend and former Jaffa master, arrives on Earth with an injured comrade and some very disturbing news: Apophis is still alive, and now commands the great army of the Goa'uld Sokar. Apophis has invaded Chulak, homeworld of the Jaffa who formerly worshiped and served him.

Bra'tac tells SG-1 that Apophis didn't just destroy the planet from space, but went through the cities methodically, as if he were looking for something. Indeed, he must have been looking for the Harcesis child, a baby whom he fathered with Sha're, Daniel Jackson's wife who was recently killed ("Forever In a Day"). Amonet, Apophis's Goa'uld queen who possessed Sha're's body, sent the baby to the planet Kheb before her death.

In the months since, SG-1 has tried to find Kheb, but unsuccessfully. The infant holds great value for Earth: as the human child of two Goa'uld he holds all of the Goa'uld's knowledge. SG-1 must find the child before Apophis, who will probably either kill his son or use him as his new host ("Secrets").

Bra'tac has in fact heard of Kheb – the planet is mythical in Jaffa legend. And with Bra'tac's help, Daniel discovers the location of the planet. His only reference in Earth mythology is that Osiris once hid there from Seth. The Jaffa also have this story, but Kheb is not a part of it – though Bra'tac knows the star system where Osiris was said to have hidden. They check the S.G.C database of Stargate addresses, and find one in that system not listed on the Goa'uld's map of gates ("Children of the Gods").

SG-1 and Bra'tac journey to Kheb, along with SG-2, who guard the Stargate. They track Jaffa soldier footprints through the woods, and find the charred remains of eight Jaffa – along with a woman who had been shot and killed by a Jaffa staff weapon. She is the priestess whom Amonet sent to Kheb with the child. But where is the boy?

The team continues on, and finds a Buddhist-like temple deep within the woods. Here they meet a young monk, who trains Daniel in using his mind to do miraculous things. Daniel spends hours learning from the man, and begins to listen to "Oma Desala" – Mother Nature, the basis of the monk's religion.

O'Neill and Carter are impatient, knowing that Apophis will soon send many more Jaffa, but Daniel believes that the Harcesis is there and insists that he is gaining the man's trust. He believes that Oma Desala will not let him take the child until he knows how to protect him.

A great Jaffa army arrives to take the child, and SG-1 sets up a defensive position at the temple. There they wait for the advancing army, while Daniel has gone missing. He has seen a vision of an ethereal woman, dressed in all white. It is Oma Desala, and Daniel believes that she is an alien who stayed behind when the rest of her people left Kheb for a higher plane of existence.

Oma Desala leads Jackson straight through the wall and into an adjoining room, where he finds the Harcesis baby. He picks up the child and thanks her, and turns to leave. But Daniel remembers the promise he made to Sha're – that the child would always be safe. Though the child possesses knowledge that can help Earth defeat the Goa'uld, Jackson decides the boy would be safer here.

Oma Desala was trying to show him that all along, and the things Daniel learned to do with his mind – lighting a candle, causing flames to grow from the ground or manipulating objects with his thoughts – were never really his work at all. They were the work of the alien, who was trying to communicate with him.

Daniel emerges from the temple as Apophis's army arrives. The monk is shot dead, and tensions are high. But Daniel knows that the alien has great powers, and convinces SG-1 to put down their weapons.

The Jaffa fire on them, but Oma Desala rescues them from the blasts. Clouds roll in suddenly, and the army is violently struck down by lightening. Oma Desala reappears with the baby, and Daniel knows that she is leaving with him. Kheb will no longer be safe for the boy, now that Apophis knows he is there.


  • Bra'tac has a G.D.O. device to signal the S.G.C. to open the iris, designated "Special Code Two." Special Code One probably belongs to the Tok'ra, who were given a G.D.O. in "Serpent's Song".
  • Apophis is alive, and controls the powerful army of Sokar. SG-1 believed him to be dead after he transported from the moon of Ne'tu to Sokar's mothership, which was later destroyed when Ne'tu exploded ("The Devil You Know"). In fact, Apophis used the ship's transport rings to transport to Sokar's homeworld. Sokar is presumed dead, killed by the explosion of his vessel.
  • Apophis attacked Chulak to find the Harcesis child, and also perhaps in response to the fact that some of his former followers there had decided to oppose the Goa'uld along with Teal'c and Bra'tac ("Into the Fire"). Bra'tac has never seen anything like it, where a Goa'uld has turned on those who carry his own kind.
  • The planet Kheb is mythical in Jaffa legend, though the Goa'uld despise it. Many generations ago, a few Jaffa discovered the planet and never returned. When a Jaffa grew too old to carry a Goa'uld symbiote, he would go to Kheb, where his soul would find a path into the next life. Some Goa'uld eventually found out about the planet and went there, but did not return. After that, the Goa'uld forbade anyone to speak of the planet.
  • According to Earth mythology, Osiris hid from Seth on the planet Kheb. The planet is in a system called "Locnakoh" by Jaffa, a system where natural resources have been depleted by mining. (Kheb itself was never touched, though.)
  • It seems odd that Teal'c and Daniel would not have made the same discovery about Kheb long ago. Teal'c must not have known of the Jaffa legend regarding Osiris and Seth, since it seems unlikely that Daniel would have never approached him about Earth's legend of Kheb.
  • It appears that there can be more than one Stargate in the same solar system, contrary to what was previously believed ("Stargate" the Movie). Indeed, a single glyph on the Stargate may be able to represent a single planet, and not an entire system (or an entire star constellation).
  • Why did the priestess not realize she was in danger until she and her two Jaffa escorts met up with the other six Jaffa? Perhaps she was willing to go along with Sokar's soldiers (when forced to), but panicked and fled upon learning that the Jaffa now followed Apophis – the child's father, from whom Amonet was apparently hiding the baby ("Forever In a Day").
  • The theology of the monk on Kheb may have been an original basis for Buddhism on Earth. The beliefs are similar, such as the idea of anger leading to death and destruction.
  • The temple on Kheb was built by an alien race millennia ago. The aliens found a way to a higher, ethereal plane of existence, and went there. They left cryptic instructions on the walls of the temple for the benefit of anyone who wanted to follow them. Daniel surmised that the aliens may have even visited Earth at one time, and inspired various religions based around the idea of Mother Nature.
  • The alien, Oma Desala, can apparently read minds to some degree. Daniel believed he was lighting the candle, raising flames from the ground and lifting Jack's gun into the air – though he never had any power at all. The alien apparently sensed his desire to do these things, and did them for him.
  • Oma Desala and the child left Kheb through the Stargate. They most likely did not ascend to the higher plane of existence, but traveled to a different world where the Harcesis – still mortal – will be safe from Apophis.



  • Daniel JacksonDaniel Jackson - Daniel struggled with his hatred for the Goa'uld, which the monk said would lead to the child's death, and with his promise to Sha're that he would find the boy and keep him safe. Only when he got what he wanted (the child) did Daniel realize that he had never really been enlightened by the monk's teaching. He never learned any tricks, never possessed any mystical power.

    Now, the Harcesis child has been taken away into safety by the alien woman. Daniel may be left without a purpose. He quit the S.G.C. after Sha're's death, and the only reason he continued to be a part of SG-1 was because he had to find the boy. Will he leave the S.G.C. now, or find new purpose in his journeys?
  • Bra'tacBra'tac - Bra'tac has begun to feel his age. He was unsure of whether he wanted to go on, or whether it was up to others to continue the fight against the Goa'uld false gods. After his experience with the monk on Kheb, Bra'tac has found his passion again. He is not ready to die, but takes comfort in the knowledge that the journey to the next world lies ahead of him.

    Bra'tac's father was also opposed to the Goa'uld, and believed them to be false gods. His father once told him the story of Kheb, wondering aloud why "gods" would fear anything.
  • ApophisApophis - Apophis is alive and well, and has taken control of Sokar's vast and powerful forces. Sokar's Jaffa worship him as a god, and Apophis has dedicated much of his forces to finding his child.

    Sokar was so powerful that, before his presumed death, he was preparing to strike against the System Lords. The Tok'ra considered, too, that he would have had a good chance of defeating them. Apophis's new army is powerful indeed.


  • How extensive is the devastation on Chulak? How much of the population was killed by Apophis's new army?
  • What did Teal'c see in the pond?
  • Was the monk himself an alien? Or was he Oma Desala in disguise?
  • Where did Oma Desala take the Harcesis child?
  • Will Daniel ever see the baby again?
  • Will Apophis continue his relentless and violent search for his son, or give up looking?
  • Was the entire army of Jaffa on Kheb – hundreds or even thousands of them – killed by the alien? What affect might this have on Apophis's new base of power?
  • Will Daniel leave the S.G.C. now that he knows Sha're's child is safe? What is his driving purpose now?