Paradise LostEPISODE #615
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 01.31.03
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 02.23.04
DVD DISC: Season 6, Disc 4
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: William Gereghty
Colonel Jack O’Neill receives an unwelcome visitor to his back-porch barbecue: Harry Maybourne, who formerly ran an illegal N.I.D. operation to steal alien technologies from other worlds, and who is now on the run from the law as a convicted traitor. Maybourne has used his connections to help out O’Neill over the past two years, and now has an enticing offer.
Maybourne tells Jack that he knows about the Prometheus incident — Frank Simmons stole the ship to find a repository of the Ancients’ weapons and technology, which an N.I.D. team learned about after discovering a tablet written in the language of the Ancients on another world (“Prometheus”). Maybourne says that this planet has a Stargate, but hijacking the X-303 ultimately proved easier for Simmons than taking and holding the S.G.C. to use the gate. He tells Jack that he has the address to this planet, and the key that will unlock the energy barrier guarding the cache.
In exchange, he wants a full presidential pardon. O’Neill reluctantly agrees, for now, and Harry turns himself in to the S.G.C. The team visits the world without him, and his story checks out — it’s a deserted world with signs of highly advanced technology. But the arch discovered in a small, stone structure is not Ancient in origin; the writing indicates that the technology it conceals is that of the Furlings, another member of the old alliance of advanced alien races (“The Fifth Race”).
Maybourne delivers the key to O’Neill, but tells him that only he knows the combination to make it work. General Hammond and O’Neill are reluctant to allow him to go along on the mission, but the promise of finding a stash of advanced technology convinces them. Harry suits up and joins SG-1 on the trip.
But once they arrive at the ruins, he double-crosses them. Maybourne pretends that the key does not work, and when Samantha Carter steps over to look at it, he takes her zat and stuns her — then fires at Jack. Maybourne activates the arch, and an energy field appears. Then he removes the key and leaps into the field — but Jack tries to grab him, and they both disappear. Sam is left alone.
She returns to the S.G.C., and brings back a team of scientists to study the technology and try to find O’Neill and Maybourne. Carter correctly theorizes that it is a transportation device, which could have sent them anywhere on the planet. A U.A.V. is sent up to survey several kilometers around the gate, but the search comes up empty.
Maybourne and O’Neill find themselves in the middle of a field. As they hike into a beautiful valley, Harry explains himself. There is no weapons cache, at least not on this planet. He used it as a ploy to convince them to let him come here. The key device was found on Earth, wrapped in a scroll telling of an alien paradise and inviting others to join. Maybourne is here to find this colony, and retire there.
He and Jack do find the village spoken of — but it appears that no one has been there for centuries. All the inhabitants of the alien paradise are dead, and their skeletons litter the run-down buildings. With no way to return (or to even find out where they are), they set up camp and do their best to survive until they are rescued. O’Neill tries to get along with Maybourne, though his old nemesis doesn’t make it easy.
After a week of studying the Furling arch, Dr. Lee and the scientists are ready to pack it up and go home. Carter is insistent that they stay, but they refuse. The S.G.C. also contacts the Tok’ra, who fly over the planet in a ship. The Tok’ra Jollen reports that he scanned the entire planet and found no human life signs present.
Back at the deserted village, Maybourne has begun to behave more and more paranoid. He claims to hear things in the night, and demands that Jack give him his pistol. O’Neill refuses, and Maybourne storms off.
After a few days, Maybourne disappears altogether. O’Neill begins to theorize about what happened to this paradise, and starts counting the bodies. In one, he finds a dead, dried-up Goa’uld symbiote. Growing more nervous and paranoid himself, Jack looks for his hidden P-90 — and discovers that it’s been taken. Pistol in hand, he goes looking for Maybourne.
On Earth, Teal’c finds Major Carter alone in the dark, weeping. She feels responsible for Jack’s disappearance, having allowed Maybourne to take her weapon. She’s also powerless to do anything to find him, and tells Teal’c that it feels just like when they lost Daniel (“Meridian”).
O’Neill hunts for Maybourne, and steps into a booby trap. A grenade explodes as he leaps for cover, and shrapnel stabs into his leg. Jack turns to see a wild boar charging him, and shoots at it. It squeals and runs away … but when Jack follows it, he finds Maybourne instead — shot in the side. Harry claims that he set the trap for the pig, and the two train their weapons on each other.
Believing Maybourne to be out of his mind, O’Neill returns to the village. But Harry soon attacks him, believing that Jack is trying to kill him. As bullets rain down from the P-90, Jack shouts an explanation to try to get through to Harry. The plant they’ve been eating to survive is messing with their heads; everyone here killed each other. One of them was a Goa’uld, and probably brought the plant to try and enslave the utopians, since the Furling transporter screens out Goa’uld weapons.
Jack manages to sneak up on Maybourne from behind, and orders him to drop his weapon. When Maybourne turns to shoot instead, Jack shoots him.
On Earth, Jonas shows Sam and Teal’c a photograph of the alien key device. As they review video footage from the planet, Carter spots the planet’s giant moon hanging in the sky. It wasn’t visible after the first day, so she’d forgotten about it. Based on the engravings on the device, she surmises that O’Neill and Maybourne weren’t transported to another place on the planet — they were sent to that moon.
Maybourne wakes up to find Jack sitting near him, tending a camp fire. The effects of the plant have worn off, but Maybourne won’t survive his injuries if they don’t get out of there soon. Jack isn’t worried — a Tok’ra ship flies overhead, coming to their rescue. But Harry tells him that he’d rather die there than go back to Earth and live out his life in prison. Jack, however, offers to have the Tok’ra find him a nice planet on which he can settle down and retire.
- In response to a fan question about whether or not we’d be seeing the Furlings: “The Furlings — yes and no. Check out this season’s ‘Paradise Lost’ for more on those adorable little Care Bears of sci-fi.” (Writer / supervising producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an Q&A at GateWorld Forums)
- Actress Amanda Tapping (“Samantha Carter”) gave fans a hint about this episode during a stage appearance at September, 2002’s Gatecon convention: “Maybourne goes along with SG-1 offworld on a mission, and Maybourne and Jack end up getting stuck on the planet, and it’s kind of … my fault,” Tapping said, “because Maybourne ended up getting my zat.”
“And at first, I said to the writers: ‘No way, I would never let him get it, and catch me off guard like that! Your making me look stupid!’ But they assured me, ‘Oh, no, we did it in a way that it wasn’t your fault.’ So, anyways, it was my fault, and I couldn’t figure out how to solve it, and get rid of the force shield thingy. So I start getting really frustrated, and being mean to everyone, so I’m kind of a nasty bitch the whole episode and I’m just so mean and cruel to everyone, because I can’t help them. But, in the end, she breaks. She just loses it and completely breaks down and starts crying and everything.
“Now, during the filming, we were going to do the scene were she breaks, and starts crying and everything, and she goes to Teal’c, who’s there, and he comforts her, and hugs her and everything. And I think that this was really important, because they don’t really show all that much of the friendship between her and Teal’c. There was this scene from ‘Meridian’ were she goes into the hall after her goodbye and she’s crying, and her and Teal’c hug. And it was just a nano-second scene and they cut it out.
“So I thought it was absolutely necessary that they have this scene, and we kept running out of time. We were supposed to do it one day, and we ran out of time, so they’re like, ‘Oh, well, we’ll do it tomorrow.’ And we ran out of time again, and they said, ‘Oh, well, we’ll do it tomorrow.’ And they kept putting it off, so I actually went up to them, and was like, ‘We have to do this scene! It’s important!’
“And it was one of the few things that I actually fought my heart out for. It was really needed, so we got to do it in the end. And I think that all her meanness and cruelness to all the scientists and everything was justified in the end, by her breaking down like that.” (Amanda Tapping at Gatecon 2002, via Gaters.net)
- “In ‘Paradise Lost,’ for example, Jack is lost off-world. As the days pass, Sam grows increasingly agitated. The prospect of losing Jack becomes too much for her and, in a very touching scene, she breaks down and opens up to Teal’c. The feelings are there. They’re professionals and can’t give in to them for the time being, but they’re definitely still there.
“‘Paradise Lost’ was a fitting send-off for the Maybourne character. Of course, at the time, we were operating under the assumption that Season Six was it. Initially, Maybourne was supposed to die at episode’s end but he has a lot of fans on staff and we managed to save him. The door is open for his return and we do have an idea for how we’d like to bring him back …” (Joseph Mallozzi, in an interview with About.com’s Sci-Fi / Fantasy site)
- “Robert Cooper’s long-standing distaste for arugula is finally revealed. The mysterious plant Jack and Maybourne eat in order to survive apparently tastes horrible — not unlike arugula. Not only that but, at episode’s end, we realize it’s the cause of the frightening hallucinations that almost get them killed.
“Rob’s aversion to spicy leaf plants isn’t restricted to arugula alone. Back in the day, we used do our annual trips to Vegas to celebrate our respective birthdays that all used to fall in the same month (Rob, Chris Judge, John G. Lenic, and myself). I remember going to The Cheesecake Factory with him once and, when our two orders of corn tamales arrived, having him look down at the heavily cilantro-topped tamale he’d received and lamenting: ‘Hey, why do I get to have all the cilantro?’ as if to imply I’d been left out because my tamale was relatively cilantro-less. A clever bit of reverse psychology.” (Writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)