Last Stand

Summary | Production | Review

Dr. Jackson's undercover mission to a Goa'uld summit is complicated by the arrival of a surprise guest. Meanwhile, the rest of the team is buried under the surface of the Tok'ra homeworld after a Goa'uld attack.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 8.46 
EPISODE #516
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 03.29.02
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 02.03.03
DVD DISC: Season 5, Disc 4
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Martin Wood
GUEST STARS:

Carmen Argenziano (Jacob Carter), Anna-Louise Plowman (Osiris/Sarah), Cliff Simon, Courtenay J. Stevens (Elliott/Lantash), Vince Crestejo (Yu), Kwesi Ameyaw (Olokun), Suleka Mathew (Kali), Paul Anthony (Slave), Andrew Kavadas (Zipacna’s Jaffa), Natasha Khadr (Bastet), Bonnie Kilroe (Morrigan)

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The Goa’uld Osiris has arrived on the space station where the System Lords are negotiating an alliance, and has recognized Daniel Jackson — undercover on a mission to wipe them out with a Goa’uld-killing poison. But Osiris (who has taken Daniel’s ex-girlfriend Sarah as his host [“The Curse”]) does not tip her hand to the other System Lords, and confronts Jackson privately.

Osiris demands to know what Jackson is planning, but he manages to prick her with his ring, delivering a dose of the memory-altering chemical developed by the Tok’ra. He convinces her that he is Yu’s servant, and she leaves, somewhat confused.

On the planet Revanna, the Goa’uld Zipacna and his army of Jaffa (representing Anubis) viciously assault the secret Tok’ra base. Many Tok’ra have been killed, and the rest of SG-1 — along with Lieutenant Elliot, who has been critically injured and taken by the Tok’ra symbiote Lantash — are trapped in the underground tunnels.

Jack O’Neill and Teal’c return to the laboratory to find the crystals used by the Tok’ra to grow the tunnels, while Major Samantha Carter tries to help Elliot stay alive. Elliot tells her that Lantash loves her, forcing Sam to face her unfinished business with Martouf — Lantash’s previous host, who Sam was forced to kill (“Divide and Conquer”).

Dr. Jackson listens as Osiris makes her case before the System Lords. She represents an infamous Goa’uld called Anubis, who was believed to have been killed a thousand years ago, but who has returned with a vengeance. Anubis has amassed a powerful army, and dealt blows to each of the seven System Lords in attendance. She asks that they reinstate Anubis as a System Lord, and allow her to represent him at the summit.

Daniel reports this to Jacob Carter, who is waiting for him near the station in a Goa’uld cargo ship. They agree that the plan must be aborted — they cannot wipe out the seven most powerful System Lords now, or Anubis will be free to conquer the galaxy. Jacob tells Daniel to learn all he can before he leaves. Daniel, meanwhile, is worried about what the Goa’uld will do to their human slaves after the summit, now that they have learned so much about their plans.

SG-1 and Elliot make it to the surface of Revanna using the Tok’ra crystals, but must avoid the Jaffa army that is searching for them. Knowing that Jacob and Daniel will soon return, they begin the 25-mile walk to a Tok’ra beacon, to send a signal for help. Elliot remains near death.

The Goa’uld vote to allow Anubis to rejoin them, and to allow Osiris to represent his vote at the summit. Only Yu votes against Anubis’ reinstatement. The System Lords then each pull a live symbiote out of a holding container. Daniel fears that they plan to infest their human slaves, but is shocked to see them bite into and devour their own kind.

The rest of the team finally makes it to the beacon, and Carter modifies it to signal Jacob and Daniel once they return. Lantash, though, no longer believes he has the strength to save Elliot’s life. They will both die soon.

Jacob demands that Daniel prepare to escape the space station, but Dr. Jackson has a new plan. He invites Osiris to Yu’s docked ship for a personal meeting with the System Lord. When she arrives, he locks her up and moves to steal the ship — knowing the Tok’ra have the ability to forcibly remove a symbiote from its host (“Pretense”).

Yu is there waiting. He attacks Jackson, believing only that his servant Jarren has betrayed him, and lets Osiris out. Believing that Yu was plotting to kidnap her, Osiris reveals a hidden knife and stabs him. She attacks Jackson, who reveals his true identity in the hope that Sarah will be able to influence Osiris. Yu pulls her off of Daniel, and he rushes to an escape pod.

Jacob picks him up, and they return to Revanna to find that the Tok’ra base has been annihilated. When they attempt to land their cloaked ship and pick up the rest of SG-1, Zipacna’s forces discover them and shoot them down. Their ship won’t fly — the only way home is through the Stargate, now heavily-guarded.

Elliot and Lantash volunteer to sacrifice their lives — now lost anyway — to save the others. Elliot takes the Goa’uld toxin from Jackson, knowing that the Jaffa will find him and take him back to the base camp at the Stargate before transporting him up to Zipacna’s ship. When he reaches the base camp, he will release the poison — killing himself and all the Jaffa in the area, and allowing SG-1 to escape.

O’Neill hates to leave his man behind, but sees that there is no other choice. Carter bids Elliot and Lantash goodbye, and the team goes into hiding. Elliot places the poison in his pocket, and listens as the footfalls of the approaching Jaffa army loom ever closer.

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • Fans returning from the second annual Gatecon convention report a statement made by actor JR Bourne (whose character Martouf died in the Season Four shocker “Divide and Conquer:” the actor was invited back to resurrect Martouf in “Summit” and “Last Stand,” but was prevented from doing so by a prior commitment. (It’s not known whether the episode would have originally brought the character back from the dead, or if the actor would have appeared in flashbacks or by another method.) The part was rewritten so that Carter’s tearful goodbye happens only with Lantash, Martouf’s symbiote (who now has a new host).
  • “If JR is / was Martouf and, unfortunately, the events of ‘Summit’ / ‘Last Stand’ pretty much ensure the character won’t be returning.” (GateWorld chat with writer / supervising producer Joseph Mallozzi)
  • “Elliot … sadly, I think we’ve seen the last of Elliot.” (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an online chat with the Sam/Jack Horsewomen)
  • “Goa’uld normally exist in the form off a rubber prop or CGI (computer generated image), but we had to have our actors actually eating something. So we had the eight of them standing around a big vat of bubbling water. As they reached into the vat a props guy would hand them a burrito. These burritos were filled with noodles, beans and all sorts of tings, so as you bit off the ‘head’ of a Goa’uld its innards would be hanging out. The CGI wizards later worked their digital magic on the burrito and turned it into a symbiote.”

    “I had to shoot coverage of this scene for an hour. The actors kept pulling burrito after burrito out of the vat and biting into them with gusto. The only thing was they couldn’t swallow any of this stuff because it was rather unappealing. So after every take I’d yell, ‘Cut,’ and two of our props people, Evil Kenny and his pal Evil Curtis, would rush in with buckets for the System Lords to spit into. Thank God our actors were good sports.” (Director Martin Wood, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [#152])

  • “Back in the old days, SG-1 used to kill Jaffa with gay abandon. They were little more than cannon fodder for our team, nondescript bad guys who deserved everything that was coming to them. Except, as time wore on, knocking off the Goa’uld’s foot soldiers wasn’t as easy as it used to be because we started to explore an aspect of the Jaffa that had been glossed over in previous years: the fact that they were essentially pawns. Unlike the ruthless Goa’uld who were motivated by a thirst for power, the Jaffa were misguided and knocking them off grew increasingly problematic.

    “At the end of this episode, we massacre a slew of them with the deadly toxin that targets their symbiotes and, while it may have seemed a smart strategic move at the time, like the food pyramid, asthma cigarettes, and Coca-Cola for kids print ads, it was the sort of thing that eventually went out of style.” (Writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)