Cure

Summary | Notes | Production | Review

An alien world offers Earth a medicine with the power to cure any illness -- but the hidden price may be too high to pay.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 8.06 
NIELSEN - 1.9 
EPISODE #610
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 08.16.02
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 11.24.03
DVD DISC: Season 6, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Damian Kindler
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Peter Stebbings (Malek), Malcolm Stewart (Dollen), Gwynyth Walsh (Kelmaa), Allison Hossack (Zenna Valk), Daryl Shuttleworth (Tagar), Teryl Rothery (Dr. Janet Fraiser), Trever Havixbeck (Pangar Sentry), Andrew Moxham (Pangar Sentry)

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SG-1 arrives on the planet Pangar to negotiate with the peaceful inhabitants. The eager and nervous Pangarans have uncovered their Stargate within the last few decades, but haven’t been able to connect to any other worlds. Earth offers to teach them how to use it, and provides them with the addresses to 10 peaceful worlds with whom they can make contact.

In exchange, their leader, Dollen, offers them tretonin — a medicine they have developed that makes their immune systems impervious to attack. The Pangarans — or rather the 20 percent of the population that takes regular injections of tretonin — live in perfect health.

The team sends a sample of the drug back to Earth for study, while they continue to get to know the Pangarans. Teal’c and Jonas visit the dig site where the Stargate was found — near an ancient Goa’uld temple — and meet one of the project’s lead archeologists, Zenna Valk. She and Jonas get along well, but Quinn takes notice when she whispers a vague warning about the tretonin.

When he confronts her about it later, she denies having said anything. Taking tretonin is a rare privilege, she tells him — one that can be revoked.

With Teal’c standing guard, Jonas sneaks a look at Zenna’s research material and finds a map of the city. He and Teal’c head for the facility where the tretonin is processed, and find a huge pool full of Goa’uld symbiotes. They are chased by security officers, and Jonas and one of the men fall into the pool. Teal’c pulls Jonas out of the water, but one of the Goa’uld enters the security guard. When they pull him out, though, he is comatose.

With the results back from Earth, O’Neill confronts the Pangarans. They are raising and harvesting Goa’uld symbiotes, using the species’ natural healing abilities to create tretonin. Dollen admits to it, and tells SG-1 that they had planned on informing them of the process when the time was right. But if the Pangarans aren’t yet capable of gate travel, from where did they get so many Goa’uld?

Dollen consents to show them their big secret. He leads SG-1 to the processing facility, and brings them into a dark room — where they have a Goa’uld queen captive in a tank of water. The queen was found alive in an ancient, sealed container inside the Goa’uld temple some 50 years ago, and they have been studying her since.

SG-1 contacts the Tok’ra for help with the delicate situation, and Malek and Kelmaa arrive on the planet. They examine the queen and learn that she is very old, and will soon die. But they have no ethical qualms with the Pangarans destroying Goa’uld symbiotes to create tretonin. The Goa’uld, Malek says, have been doing far worse to humans for many thousands of years.

Back at the dig site, Teal’c, Jonas and Zenna make an unsettling discovery. The ancient tomb was for Egeria, betrayer of the Goa’uld, whom Ra sentenced to eternal suffering 2,000 years ago (“Crossroads”). The queen is not Goa’uld, but the founder and mother of the Tok’ra.

Malek and Kelmaa are stunned by the news, and the Pangarans sincerely repent. But they are unwilling to let Egeria go free. They have learned that without tretonin, their immune systems will be left ruined and defenseless, and they will quickly die. They have become dependent on it, and need the symbiotes she creates in order to survive.

The Tok’ra demand her release, and Kelmaa makes a sacrifice to help bring it about. She enters Egeria’s room alone, and her Tok’ra symbiote leaves the host body and dies. Kelmaa sacrificed herself so that Egeria could have a host and escape.

Egeria is implanted, and soon wakes up. But she will soon die anyway, and tells Malek how proud she is of what the Tok’ra have become. The Pangarans apologize for what they have done to her, and Egeria apologizes for what she has done: she sabotaged her offspring by making the larva genetically unstable, and did not pass on the Tok’ra genetic memory. The symbiotes are essentially “blank slates.”

Egeria hoped to force the Pangarans to abandon their tretonin project, and it was her sabotage that has compromised their immune systems and made them dependent on the drug. As her final act before dying, she tells them how to compensate for the drug’s damage and save their people. But there will be no more tretonin.

The Tok’ra carry Egeria’s body through the Stargate in a funeral procession, and SG-1 expresses hope for future relations with the Pangarans.

NOTES

  • According to the Tok’ra Anise, the official Tok’ra history recorded that Egeria spawned the Tok’ra movement 2,000 years ago. She broke from the Goa’uld and went to Earth to stop them from taking humans through the Stargate as slaves. She was an advisor to the Roman leader Numa Pompilius before she was found and killed by Ra (“Crossroads”). But over the years, some have questioned whether or not Ra actually killed her.
  • The Goa’uld or Jaffa word for “child” is “kalmah,” phonetically similar to the name of the Tok’ra who gave its life for Egeria, her mother. (“Kelmah” means “sanctuary.”)

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • “The thing that drove me nuts about this episode was the big Egeria reveal near episode’s end that comes about as a result of Jonas FINALLY and conveniently coming across the text in the underground chamber. Whenever I watched that scene in dailies, all I could think was: ‘Man, if you could’ve just started with that particular section instead of saving it for later, things would’ve gone a whole lot easier.'” (Writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)