Past and Present

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Characters | Questions | Review

SG-1 discovers a planet of people with amnesia, and a familiar enemy returns to the S.G.C. wearing an unfamiliar face.

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EPISODE #311
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10.15.99
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 01.08.01
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Tor Alexander Valenza
DIRECTED BY: William Gereghty
GUEST STARS:

Megan Leitch (Ke’ra), Marya Delver (Layale), Jason Gray-Stanford (Orner), Teryl Rothery (Dr. Janet Fraiser), Luisa Cianni (Woman)

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SG-1 journeys to the planet Vyus, where they find a society in chaos. Their elders and children are missing, and the entire population has amnesia. They have no memories beyond the past year, when “the Vorlix” occurred.

A leader among the people is Ke’ra, a beautiful young woman with intuitive abilities in science and medicine. She volunteers to return to Earth, along with two other citizens, in the hopes of finding a cure for the people and restoring their memories.

On Earth, a DNA-matching test confirms Major Carter’s suspicion: Ke’ra is Linea, an older woman whom SG-1 helped escape from the alien prison colony Hadante (“Prisoners”), and who was known as “the Destroyer of Worlds.” Linea had escaped the S.G.C. to Vyus, and it was her experiments in longevity that caused the mass amnesia. Aside from this gross side effect, her experiment worked: she and the people were made instantly young. The town elders were not missing — the people were the elders.

Meanwhile, Daniel has begun to take a special interest in Ke’ra, and does not want to believe that she is the Destroyer of Worlds. The group decides not to tell her who she is, but uses her skills and knowledge to find a cure for the amnesia. A chemical once used as a pesticide on Vyus, called Dargol, has built up in the brains of the people.

When a cure is found and the Dargol can be dissolved, Ke’ra smuggles a dose back to her quarters and uses it. She refused to believe that she had been Linea, and wanted to prove that it wasn’t true. But it was.

Linea remembers everything, and knows of the monster she truly is. She wants to kill herself, but Daniel has a better idea: she agrees to take the youth treatment again, and again loses her memory. She is now Ke’ra, and is sent back to Vyus with her friends.

ANALYSIS

  • After Linea escaped through the Earth Stargate (“Prisoners”), she ended up on Vyus. It is likely that this choice was deliberate on her part, since she had full access to the S.G.C. database, and a random combination of gate symbols is highly unlikely to produce a valid address. Why did she choose this planet? It was one that the S.G.C. had not visited before, but would probably get around to eventually.
  • Linea began her experiments on Vyus immediately upon her arrival there. She was studying longevity — attempting to discover a fountain of youth. She may have been motivated by the desire to disguise herself with youth, from SG-1 and other enemies.
  • One tip of Ke’ra’s possible true identity came when she traveled through the Stargate to Earth. She almost seemed familiar with it: she did not instinctively take a deep breath,as most are prone to do their first time through the gate (“Prisoners”). She also did not stumble out the other side, and was not as affected by the journey as her two Vyus companions.
  • The S.G.C. may have an MRI or CAT scanner at its disposal. Dr. Fraiser quickly obtained detailed brain scans of the three Vyus visitors, without them leaving the complex. In fact,Fraiser has mentioned giving all personnel who travel through the gate an MRI scan before (“In the Line of Duty”).
  • There were no children found on Vyus because of their previous use of Dargol, a pesticide. The chemical adversely affected the population’s fertility rate, but had not been used on Vyus for some 20 years.
  • Daniel was tipped off to the fact that Ke’ra had taken the cure and regained her memory when she said to him, “All debts have now been paid” — the same statement Linea left on the S.G.C.’s computer screen when she escaped. She may have said this out of habit, not knowing he would recognize the phrase. But, more likely, Ke’ra was trying to let him know who she was, hoping (at least subconsciously) that he might rescue her from what she was about to do.
  • The Dargol given to Ke’ra to restore her amnesia was synthesized, based on information provided by Ke’ra / Linea. It is quite conceivable that the chemical did not have the desired affect, and was used by Linea as a ploy to escape the S.G.C. again.
  • Assuming that the Dargol did work and Ke’ra did lose her memory again, how long will it take her to find the cure again for herself? She is brilliant, inquisitive and a scientist. Surely she can find a cure on her own eventually, and would not buy and advice along the lines of “you’re better of this way.”

NOTES

  • Carter states that a person could stand at the dial-home device (D.H.D.) pushing buttons literally for months and never come across a valid address to establish a wormhole. Though there are potentially thousands of gates in the Stargate system (“Prisoners”), the number of symbols on the D.H.D. and Stargate makes the number of possible permutations somewhere around 10.3 billion (calculating based on approximately 30 symbols shown on the Stargate).
  • The actress who played Ke’ra, Megan Leitch, will be familiar to science fiction fans who have seen her play the part of Mulder’s missing sister in several episodes of The X-Files.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Daniel JacksonDaniel Jackson – Daniel is struggling with having very recently lost his wife Sha’re, who was possessed by a Goa’uld parasite (“Children of the Gods”) and recently shot dead by Teal’c (“Forever In a Day”). His relationship with Ke’ra show that he does seem to be either overcoming her death in some ways, or emotionally ignoring the fact.
  • Teal'cTeal’c – Teal’c’s name means “strength.” It was given to him by his father.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

  • Did the synthesized Dargol really restore Ke’ra’s amnesia?
  • Will Ke’ra’s amnesia hold out, or will Linea again surface? Is she a homicidal maniac because of her past experiences, now forgotten, or because of her personality?
  • Can the people of Vyus have children again, now that they are young, considering their exposure to Dargol?