Collateral Damage

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"Collateral Damage" is the twelfth episode of the ninth season of Stargate SG-1.


The Galarans have the technology to implant memories into people's minds. When Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell wakes up with the memory of murdering one of the scientists behind its development, SG-1 must help prove that it is not really his memory and that he is innocent.


SG-1 establishes diplomatic relations with the Galarans, a moderately advanced human civilization that has enjoyed generations of peace under the Asgard Protected Planets Treaty. SG-1 discovers that the scientists of this world have recently built a device based on Goa'uld technology that can implant the memories of one person into another, remove memories, or even create new ones. They believe that the device could revolutionize their society with the knowledge of one generation quickly and easily passed on to the next, reducing the time and cost of educating a new generation of people.

Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell experiences the astonishing technology first-hand as a demonstration to the rest of SG-1. Mitchell strikes up a relationship with the head of the project, Dr. Reya Varrick. This platonic relationship quickly becomes a romantic one when Cameron consoles her after she discovers that the military plans on taking over the project. She invites him back to her apartment, where they share a drink and she comes on to him. When he wakes up in the morning, he finds himself in her apartment with blood on his hands and apparently remembers committing the murder.

The authorities arrest Mitchell, but he's pardoned by Emissary Varta, in an attempt to maintain negotiations between this world and Earth. Mitchell turns down the pardon and pushes for an investigation, believing that his memory of the murder is false and probably implanted in his mind with the memory device. This puts him in a dangerous position, as the penalty for murder, if convicted, would be death. With the aid of two scientists involved in the project, Amuro and Marell, Cameron is hooked up to the machine and is prepared to scan the suspect memory to determine if it's false. Before they begin, the scientists use two important real memories from Mitchell's past to establish a baseline. It is here that a part of his life is revealed. It's revealed that his father, Frank Mitchell, was a test pilot for the United States Air Force until he lost both legs in an accident, and we also learn that he was ten when the first Space shuttle was launched (STS-1 April 12, 1981 - April 14, 1981). After enduring the process of watching the memory of the murder repeatedly, it's discovered that the memory looks real. This angers Marell, who is revealed to be married but separated from Reya.

Teal'c and Dr. Daniel Jackson, meanwhile, are searching for clues in Dr. Varrick's records, but are frustrated that parts of it are censored. When Varta reveals the results of the memory scans and suggests the possibility of sending Mitchell back to Earth and covering up the murder, Daniel responds by threatening to prevent an alliance between Earth and Varta's world.

Back in the lab, Mitchell undergoes the memory scan again, this time using a memory with similar emotional content to the murder so as to compare the results. They use a memory of him using a F-16 Fighting Falcon to bomb targets which had at the time been identified as enemy targets, only to learn that they were innocent refugees immediately after launching his missiles. With the comparison of two occasions where Mitchell has killed innocent people available to them, the scans are able to discover an inaccuracy in the memory, proving that Mitchell is indeed innocent. At Mitchell's insistence, Marell scans deeper to try and uncover the identity of the real killer. In the memory, Cameron sees his reflection in a mirror, but the face is blurry, an indication that his mind is having trouble processing seeing a face that isn't his in the mirror. Going even deeper, the face is soon revealed - it's Marell's. Disconnecting from the memory device, Mitchell reveals his discovery, but he, Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, and Amuro find that Marell erased his own memory of killing Reya after implanting it in Cameron's mind.

Later, the memory is removed from Mitchell's mind and the team discovers that Marell's memory has been altered and he now believes Reya was killed in an accident.

At the SGC, Mitchell talks with Major General Henry Landry who knows about his past because he has read Mitchell's service record. It's revealed that Mitchell nearly resigned as a result, but his father convinced him not to.


Asgard; F-16 Fighting Falcon; Galar; Galarans; Galaran Cabinet; Galaran data crystal; Galaran memory device; Galaran memory project; Galaran rifle; Goa'uld; Godfrey; Hyperdrive; Joint Chiefs of Staff; Carolyn Lam; Memory recall device; New York City; Protected Planets Treaty; Ring Project; Space shuttle; Stargate Command locker rooms; Washington D.C.; Zat'nik'tel

Notable QuotesEdit

Landry: We need to set up a meeting.
Carter: No need, sir. We've already been invited back for a reception in honor of the scientists who developed the implant technology.
Mitchell: I'm hoping there'll be dancing. Sir.

Carter: How's it going?
Mitchell: I don't think diplomacy's my thing.
Jackson: Oh. That's what you're doing.

Mitchell: So, do you... live here on your own?
Varrick: Why do you ask?
Mitchell: It's a big place. I don't know. Just curious, I guess.
Varrick: I thought that was your clever way of asking if I was married.
Mitchell: I'm not that clever.

Varta: I understand Dr. Marell and Dr. Amuro were able to determine that the memory was an implant. I must say, I'm relieved. A trial could have been extremely detrimental to relations between our worlds.
Teal'c: Not to mention inconvenient for Colonel Mitchell.

Jackson: Colonel Mitchell was assaulted. His memories were manipulated against his will, and an innocent woman was murdered. Now I've only worked with the guy a short period of time, but I'm pretty sure he's not gonna let this one go.

Landry: I read your report. Not sure I've seen language like that used in an official Air Force document before.
Mitchell: Sorry about that, sir.
Landry: Oh, you should have seen what Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson wrote.


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  • In the beginning of the episode (murder scene), the blood on Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell's hands was fully dried. Only the blood near the corpse of Reya Varrick was still fully in its liquid state with no discolorations. Also the blood spatter patterns are inconsistent with blunt force trauma.
  • During the memory, Varrick was attacked next to a breakfast bar or counter in what could be a kitchen. The body was found next to a dining table in the dining room.
  • In the scene where the scientists are establishing a baseline for Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell's memories, he sits in the chair wearing a black top. When the camera cuts back to him recounting the second part of his first memory to Amuro, Marell and Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, he is wearing his SG-1 uniform.

First appearanceEdit


In other languagesEdit

  • German: Kollateralschaden (Collateral Damage)
  • Czech: Paralelní vzpomínky (Parallel Memories)
  • French: Dommage Collatéral (Collateral Damage)
  • Italian: Danni Collaterali (Collateral Damage)
  • Spanish: Daño Colateral (Collateral Damage)
  • Portuguese: Efeito Colateral (Collateral Damage)

External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Collateral Damage (Stargate SG-1). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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