Sacrifices

Summary | Analysis | Production | Transcript | Review

The impending wedding of his son is the least of Teal'c's worries when the Hak'tyl plan an uprising against the Goa'uld Moloc, driving a wedge between Teal'c and Ishta.

RATINGS SCORECARD
OUR RATING -
FAN RATING - 7.49 
NIELSEN - 1.7 
EPISODE #809
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 09.10.04
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 11.14.05
DVD DISC: Season 8, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Judge
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Jolene Blalock (Ishta), Tony Amendola (Bra’tac), Neil Denis (Rya’c), Mercedes de la Zerda (Kar’yn), Royston Innes (Moloc), Gary Jones (Walter Harriman), Jeff Judge (Aron), Noah Danby (Cha’ra), Steve Lawlor (Cor’ak), Dan Payne (Jaffa), Simone Bailly (Ka’lel), Dan Shea (Sergeant Siler)

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Teal’c and Bra’tac return from a visit with the Hak’tyl resistance, the former in a foul mood. He has just discovered that Rya’c is in love and has pledged to marry a young Hak’tyl woman in three days time. Teal’c not only believes that he is far too young, but that Rya’c did not consult his father makes him angrier.

Ishta arrives through the Stargate with urgent news: Hak’tyl may be compromised. She requests that haste be made to locate a new world for her people before Moloc finds out about the resistance. In the interim, General O’Neill agrees for their entire population to take up temporary residence at the S.G.C.

Rya’c and Kar’yn, his bride-to-be, arrive with the scores of Hak’tyl, announcing to Colonel Carter and Dr. Daniel Jackson that relocation will not change their wedding plans: they intend to marry among friends at the base.

Teal’c believes Ishta has been avoiding her, but she says that he must have no respect for her because Rya’c is marrying a warrior that is not worthy of his father’s respect. Teal’c makes it clear that he simply believes he has too much life ahead to make such a rash decision so early, but Ishta argues that as Teal’c had no choice but to break away from his family to serve, he should not have authority for Rya’c not to do the same. Their opinions also differ on how to proceed in the war against the Goa’uld.

Carter reports that they have scouted a planet Ishta may be comfortable with, but that it will take about a week to set up a livable camp, meaning the wedding will still proceed on-base. Therefore, Bra’tac begins preparations, including a practice session of the ceremony. It is then that Rya’c and Kar’yn’s beliefs are revealed to differ considerably. Kar’yn refuses to kneel before her would-be husband, and Rya’c is unable to put up with her aversions from the old ways.

Ishta receives a communication from Jaffa resistant to Moloc to convene in a summit on the new home world, as it will be the most secure location from the Goa’uld. In preparation for this meeting, she speaks to Kar’yn about the importance of the Jaffa men to make the war their priority above all other things. Bra’tac does the same with Rya’c.

At the summit the Jaffa soldiers report that the numbers of loyalists to their cause are growing too large to conceal. In order to prevent the risk of exposure prior to the fact, Moloc must be defeated soon. As Teal’c attempts to dissuade them from acting prematurely, their tent is swarmed with dozens of plasma blasts. Moloc’s Imperial Guard have been alerted. Only Teal’c, Ishta and a Jaffa named Aron manage to escape in time.

As night falls, the three warriors spy Moloc’s encampment. It is not yet known if he has joined his troops, but it is clear that survivors are being tortured for information, their cries piercing the darkness. They move off to a safe distance to rest. While alone, Teal’c and Ishta discuss the possibility that Aron might be the infiltrator who told Moloc of the meeting. Teal’c encourages her to rest and takes first watch.

When daylight comes Aron wakes Teal’c and asks where Ishta has gone. But it is too late. She has been captured and now faces Moloc. Aron believes Teal’c is weak for carrying feelings for Ishta and wants to take Moloc immediately. To insure that he cannot betray him, Teal’c zats him and takes his staff weapon.

While Ishta is tortured by Moloc’s hand device, S.G.C. makes plans to send a U.A.V. to the planet to drop tretonin for Teal’c and target the Jaffa back at the Stargate. However, it is shot from the sky, five hundred meters from his location. When he arrives he gathers the tretonin, but it is soon obvious that he has been tracked by the Imperial Guard. After a failed attempt to prove to them their freedom, Aron arrives as a distraction, enabling Teal’c to free himself. Teal’c thanks him, and they continue toward the Stargate.

Ishta is now too week to stand. Moloc learns that 2,000 Jaffa have gathered against his temple on Gor’mek. When he prepares to depart, Earth makes contact with the planet, sending missiles through. Aron, possessing a targeting device for the missiles, aims the weapons straight at Moloc, killing him and his battalion. Meanwhile, Teal’c saves Ishta from Moloc’s First Prime, Cha’ra.

At their ceremony, Rya’c and Kar’yn give their vows and Bra’tac completes the joining. Later, Teal’c tells Rya’c that he could not have made a better decision for a companion, and that Drey’auc would have been equally proud. He wishes both of them well as they depart to another planet that the S.G.C. has managed to locate. Unfortunately, Moloc’s defeat has opened his dominion to Baal. Eager to meet again, Teal’c and Ishta embrace before she and the rest of her people depart.

-D. Read

ANALYSIS

  • Ishta and the Hak’tyl have been given a G.D.O. and a unique identification code by Stargate Command. They are only the third ally to receive such trust, following the Tok’ra (“Serpent’s Song”) and Bra’tac.
  • Before they find a new planet on which to settle, the Hak’tyl resistance moves their entire population to Earth (including a generous number of horses).
  • Rya’c and Kar’yn wish a goat for a ritual sacrifice during their wedding. O’Neill offers a piñata. Other items in the ceremony include a “ring (wreath) of fidelity” and a “totem (necklace) of bravery.”
  • Kar’yn is a student of Ishta.
  • Ishta and, apparently, the entire Hak’tyl resistance are now on tretonin.
  • Rya’c’s skills with a staff (used as a blunt physical weapon) have improved since training with Bra’tac.
  • The second Hak’tyl homeworld, compromised by Moloc’s forces, is a week’s flight from Earth by a hyperdrive-capable ship.
  • Sergeant Harriman uses the palm scanner to initialize Gate dialing. Apparently the scanner is no longer used only to open and close the iris.
  • Rya’c takes Kar’yn to the same honeymoon location where Teal’c took Drey’auc.
  • Following Moloc’s defeat, Baal takes his remaining armies and territory.

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • “I’m pitching kind of a three-episode arc for next year where Teal’c will undergo further changes. Again, it’s a chance to see Carmen [Argenziano, Jacob Carter] and Tony [Amendola, Bra’tac], and it’s like when the family all gets together, you know?” The story may well see the return of actress Jolene Blalock as the Jaffa warrior Ishta (“Birthright”). “We talked about it, and she said, any time. So, I’m going to hold her to it! It’s part of the three-part arc. I haven’t fully pitched it, so I can’t really go into too many details, but it would probably be for multiple episodes that she’d be back. So we’ll see. I really think it’s going to be hard, because I think her feature career is probably going to really take off, so it might be difficult to get her for any length of time.” (Actor Christopher Judge, in an interview with the Stargate SG-1 Explorer Unit official fan club)
  • “I am definitely writing one episode in Season Eight, and in it you will see someone get married and someone die — but don’t tell anyone!” (“Teal’c” actor Christopher Judge, in an online chat at Wolf Events)
  • “‘Sacrifices’ is otherwise known as ‘My Big Fat Jaffa Wedding.’ That was the original premise of it. And it is Rya’c who is going to get married. One of the Amazon Jaffa women and he have hit it off. He’s been spending time on Hak’tyl with Bra’tac, trying to get them into the rebel movement. And in so doing, he fell in love with this girl.

    “And Ishta wants to stop Moloc. Moloc, as you know, has a crappy attitude, and he has all the women killed because he needs male warriors. And a lot of the priestesses are spiriting the young female Jaffa away, and they’ve formed their band of Amazon Jaffa. But they have to continuously raid male Jaffa to get the symbiotes, otherwise they’ll die. And so Bra’tac and Rya’c are trying to get them into the rebel movement, but Ishta would like to assassinate Moloc because he continues to kill female Jaffa at birth, which she thinks is reprehensible. But they’re saying, for the bigger picture, for the rebel movement, if you kill Moloc, you’re just going to get another guy to come in and take over all his troops. What you have to do is, you have to surgically assassinate a bunch of Goa’uld at the same time and create a gigantic power vacuum. That’s the only way to really beat them.

    “And so they’re at odds with how to properly deal with their problems. She’s too close to the Moloc problem to see the bigger picture.” (Director Peter DeLuise, in an interview with the Richard Dean Anderson Web Site)

  • “Because ‘Birthright’ went over so well, we started talking immediately about doing a sequel to it, a follow-up episode to it. And so I had this idea for kind of what I thought would be a more comical episode, involving a wedding. And in fact the original title of the episode was ‘My Big Fat Jaffa Wedding.’

    “But as I started writing it, it didn’t turn out as funny as I thought it was going to be, because there were serious issues that needed to be addressed as far as their freedom, their goal, the whole Jaffa movement — and as far as the whole Jaffa movement of freedom, and how the Hak’tyl don’t necessarily see eye to eye with the bigger movement. And they’re going to go about their liberation differently.

    “So I remember giving the draft to Coop [Robert Cooper, executive producer], and he said, ‘Well, how is it?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. It’s not funny.’ And he said, ‘You know, a lot of times these start out in our minds as what’s going to be kind of a lighter episode. But when there are issues that you have to deal with because of an on-going storyline, a lot of times it doesn’t end up the way you envisioned it because you have to address certain issues.’ So I’m happy with the way it turned out, but it’s so different from how I envisioned it. I envisioned it just as the power of laughter … and it’s not!” (Writer and “Teal’c” actor Christopher Judge, in an interview with GateWorld)

  • “What actor and, in this case, writer Christopher Judge planned as a raucous episode (tentatively titled ‘My Big Fat Jaffa Wedding’) ended up being a fairly serious and touching affair. Onscreen anyway. Behind the scenes, we were busy regretting the decision to write horses into this script. I mean, it looked like a good idea on paper with the potential for plenty of humor, but we forgot to take one thing into account. Horse ****. Turns out nothing kills comedy like one of your four-legged guest stars dropping a steaming pile in the middle of your gate room. Lesson learned!” (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)