|Original air date|
Julia Benson as Lt. Vanessa James
|Universe Season 1|
When the crew suffers from vivid hallucinations that tap into their personal fears, Lt. Tamara Johansen isolates the affected from the rest and then tries to seek out the cause of the affliction as it spreads and becomes life-threatening.
A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base, and are now trapped there. During the time on Destiny, tensions rise between Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young, eventually causing a mutiny between the civilians and military. After a Nakai attack, the two groups must work together to prepare themselves for the next attack, for the crew's sake. During the first day on Destiny, Senator Alan Armstrong, father of Chloe Armstrong kills himself to buy the rest of the crew time. Lt. Matthew Scott learns he has a son, Matthew Balic. Rush recalls that during his abduction by the Nakai, they attempted to probe his mind. Lt. Vanessa James discovers that Scott is having an affair with Chloe, and tries to confront him.
Lt. Matthew Scott and Lt. Vanessa James are having sex in James' quarters. When they finish, Scott quickly dresses up to leave, citing that he can't be doing this. Scott is behaving uncharacteristically rude to James and walks to the door to leave. James blocks his path, demanding him to choose between her and Chloe Armstrong. Scott pushes her aside, and a struggle ensues between the two. Eventually, Scott pushes James to the floor. Angrily, she quickly gets up, picks up a lamp and strikes him on the head with it. To her horror, once on the ground, blood starts pooling from the back of his head. James is shocked to realise she has murdered him.
Elsewhere, Dr. Dale Volker gets ready to start his shift. However, as he leaves, the door to his quarters will not open. He decides to radio someone in the Control interface hub, but receives no reply. No one else replies either, so he resorts to banging on the door to get some attention, eventually yelling for anybody. The door is opened by Sgt. Hunter Riley, who wonders what is happening. Volker explains the door isn't working. Riley enters the room and is able to close it and open it again without trouble. Volker passes it off as a malfunction.
Meanwhile, MSgt. Ronald Greer walks along a corridor, where he comes across Camile Wray working on a console in the empty gate room. Suspicious, Greer asks her what she is doing. Reluctantly, Wray says she is working on updating some personnel files, and claims Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young authorised her to, encouraging Greer to confirm this with them. Greer promises to do so. As he leaves, Eli Wallace enters, asking if he has seen Scott; Greer has not.
James is sitting still on her bed, staring at Scott's dead body. Young radios her, informing her she is late to her shift for the ammunition count, and asks what she is doing. Vanessa claims she just lost track of time, and is on her way now. In the Mess Hall, Airman Darren Becker, Airman Dunning, Cpl. Marsden and other Airmen are at a table. Becker hears that Young called off the search for Dr. Jeremy Franklin. Dunning notes he is not surprised, since Franklin just vanished. As the other Airmen leave the table, Dunning looks at his arm and starts scratching it as if something is inside, until the others snap him out of it.
While walking along a corridor, Volker apparently comes to a dead end. Annoyed, he turns around, only to find another wall is blocking his path back. Realising he is boxed in, he starts to panic. Suddenly, Scott calls him over. Volker turns around to see the walls have mysteriously disappeared. Scott is looking very much alive, and asks Volker what happened, before recommending he should take a rest. As Volker leaves to adhere to his advice, Scott notices a small boy run down a corridor. Scott quickly realises it is his son, Matthew Balic, and starts chasing him. Rush comes to visit Wray in her quarters. Young is with them and tells the two about what Greer just told him. Wray insists Greer is lying. When Young says there is no reason for him to, she iterates that Greer has been going after her since arriving on Destiny.
Scott continues to pursue his son. He runs into Chloe, and asks if she saw somebody pass her; she didn't. Before Scott can explain what he believed he saw, a panicked Dr. Lisa Park yells for help on the radio, urging anyone nearby to help in the workout room. The two quickly run to the room to find Park covered in blood. The blood is Dunning's, who is frantically clawing into his arm in an attempt to remove a snake he believes is under the skin. As Scott and others move to restrain him, Scott sees Matthew from across the room again. Dunning is taken to the infirmary, where he is restrained and sedated. Lt. Tamara Johansen hears about what Dunning thought he saw. Young asks Lisa if she's seen any unusual behavior from him, but as far as she knows he's been acting normally. Young orders T.J. to call for him when Dunning wakes up, as he wants to talk to him.
In the mess hall, Eli, Chloe, Riley, and Greer discuss the recent accident, and they assume that stress is the cause. Riley is surprised nothing like this happened sooner. As the conversation continues, Greer watches Rush and Wray intently. Rush gives Wray some instructions. Greer is snapped out of it by Chloe and Riley, then excuses himself. Riley comments that he always assumed Greer would snap first.
In the control interface room, Rush sees a shadow moving from a distance. Believing it is Greer, he walks out and tells him just to directly accuse him of doing something rather than hide. However, Greer is not present. Dr. Adam Brody asks Rush who he was talking to; Rush says it was apparently no-one. Meanwhile, Volker wakes up on his bed, but finds himself trapped in a box, and cannot get out. He panics and yells out for anybody to help. Scott sees his son again. When he opens the door, the boy wonders off again. Scott follows.
Young is in the armoury, and finds James has still not reported for duty. Frustrated, he radios her, but receives no reply. Since nobody saw her today, he realises she is in her living quarters, and goes to retrieve her. When she fails to answer the door, Young enters her quarters, and finds James sitting in the same position she had been for a while. She looks up to Young and apologises for supposedly killing Scott.
On the Observation deck, Scott finally catches up to Matthew and slowly approaches him. He cannot believe Matthew is real, but is able to touch him. Matthew finally speaks and asks why his father left him. Before Scott can answer, Young radios him; he needs him in the infirmary. He complies, and once there he sees James, who is shocked to see he is alive and well. T.J. informs them that James and Dunning have been hallucinating, but finds nothing physically wrong with them. Scott then reports that he too is hallucinating. This leads Young to conclude that the one similarity the three of them had recently was participating in an off-world mission. Knowing Volker and Cpl. Barnes took part also, Young decides to gather the other two.
Riley approaches Volker's quarters, where he hears screaming. After they bring him in, Volker is restrained and given sedatives to calm him down. Young questions Barnes, and is surprised to hear she has experienced no hallucinations. T.J. suspects she could be immune to what afflicted the team. While T.J. works on figuring out the cause of the affliction, Young has a talk with Chloe, informing her that he is going to quarantine the away team until the hallucinations pass. If they don't, T.J. will find out why. Just then, T.J. radios Young, telling him she has found the cause.
T.J. presents Young with what she has found; an Alien tick is embedded in Scott's scalp, just above the back of the neck. She passed it over on her first examination because it is so small. T.J. speculates that the ticks inject a venom causing the hallucinations, and believes that removing them is the way to solve the problem. Scott volunteers to be first, so T.J. puts up a magnifying glass over the tick and starts to remove it with tweezers. However, as soon as she touches it, Scott starts to have breathing difficulties, before collapsing. T.J. is able to save him by administering CPR. Young tells her to try and pull it out again, but the tick has dug deeper into Scott's head. She needs to find another way to remove it without jeopardising Scott's life.
Greer is spying on Wray, by hiding around a corner and seeing through a small mirror. He then starts to follow her when she leaves. Chloe passes the entrance to the Ancient shuttle, and notices someone sitting there. She slowly approaches the individual to find out it is her father, Senator Alan Armstrong, who happily says hello to her. Chloe, however, points out he is not real. Her father simply tells her, "real or not, aren't you at least happy to see your old man again?" Greer walks in on Rush and Wray at the control interface room talking. Frustrated, Rush tells Greer to just confess why he is following them. Greer admits he will not let the two take over the ship again. Wray passes his accusation as paranoia, and tells him he has no proof of this. As she leaves, she turns back and smiles smugly at him. Meanwhile, Chloe gives in and talks with her father, telling him about how her mother took his death. The Senator changes the subject after looking at the view of the FTL vortex from the observation deck, and tells her she is living his dream to explore the universe.
Young walks in on T.J. again. She may have found a safer way to remove the ticks; by using the squiggler venom previously used to sedate Rush, the tick should be paralyzed and unable to dig in as it previously did. Just then, Scott wakes up, a little drowsy. After being updated of the situation, Scott again agrees to be the first human trial. However, as T.J. is about to apply the venom, she notices the tick has disappeared. The other patients still have theirs, making Scott believe his tick may have jumped to another host. Meanwhile, Eli is walking alone in the corridors and hears Chloe talking in the observation room. When he enters, he discovers Chloe is talking to herself. He suggests that she go to the infirmary, but Chloe is already aware that she is under the influence of the tick, informing Eli of its existence. She claims it doesn't hurt, and just wants some time to talk to her father. She pleads with Eli not to tell anybody for the time being.
Rush is walking in a corridor, and hears more noises. He believes it is Greer again, and is fed up. However, nobody is with him. He then continues walking, only to bump into a solid glass pane in front of him. He turns around to find he is stuck in a small glass tank. Rush starts panicking when the tank quickly fills up with water, and tries to break himself free. All of a sudden, the tank disappears. Meanwhile, Young checks T.J. and finds she is clear of the tick, but as a precaution, he tells her to stay in her quarters. She insists she must stay. After a moment, Scott realises Chloe was in the infirmary earlier and sets off to find her, believing she also has a tick on her head. Rush retreats to his quarters, and hears more noises coming from outside. He opens the doors to realize a Nakai is stalking him. He quickly closes the door.
In the infirmary, T.J. finds the tick on James' head. She places some venom on it and is able to safely remove the tick. To prevent it from jumping to another host, Young crushes it with the butt of his sidearm. Rush attempts to radio Young, but just receives static. Reluctantly, Rush opens the door again, and sees the alien has gone. He moves out. Scott finds Eli, and asks if he saw Chloe. Reluctantly, Eli says he has and takes him to her. When they arrive, Chloe denies seeing anything, but Eli tells Scott she is talking to her dead father. Chloe refuses to abandon her hallucination, so they resort to dragging her to the infirmary. Senator Armstrong tells Chloe not to leave him.
Rush wanders around the ship and hears the Stargate activate. He witnesses a group of blue aliens entering the ship through the event horizon. As he runs away, Wray leaves her quarters and finds Greer, who tells her to wipe the smile off her face, but Wray has not been smiling. Rush walks towards the two, but from his perspective, he sees two aliens, not Greer and Wray, and runs away. Greer gives chase.
In the infirmary, Chloe still tries to make the point that the tick is not hurting her at all, but Young overrules her. He orders T.J. to remove the tick. Chloe tells her father that she loves him, at which point, her father tells her she is living their dream. After he kisses her on the forehead, T.J. removes the tick, and her father disappears. Scott then kills the tick. As Chloe tearfully accepts that her father is gone again, Greer radios Young, informing him the civilians are trying to take over the ship again, and is in pursuit of Rush. Young tells him to stand down, but hears the reply from Greer; "Permission to use deadly force?" Young again tells him to stop. However, from Greer's perspective, Young authorises him to do so if necessary, and orders him to go to radio silence. At this point, Eli believes Greer is also hallucinating, but all the ticks are accounted for. T.J. believes some of the offworld team members may have brought more than one tick with them. Young orders everyone to find and stop Greer, and orders T.J. to examine the crew.
Rush runs to a supply room, and after rummaging through the crates, he arms himself with a screwdriver. He takes cover as Greer enters the room also, telling Rush to show himself. Rush sees an alien walk towards him, and stabs it with the screwdriver. However, unknown to him, he just stabbed Wray. Greer knocks Rush out and then shoots the door panel, preventing anybody from entering the room to stop him. He holds Wray at gunpoint and tells her she is not going to take over the ship. Meanwhile, Young mobilises additional teams to find them, leaving T.J. to examine the crew. Eli wonders why some hallucinations were more vivid than others. Volker suggests that the ticks affect the limbic system, enhancing negative emotions such as guilt, fear, and anger, which is why so many hallucinations manifested personal fears. Chloe, Scott, Volker, and Dunning each reveal the issues behind their hallucinations, but James does not.
In the supply room, Rush regains consciousness, but Greer does not notice; he is still holding Wray at gunpoint, as she pleads with him to get medical attention for her wound. Greer instead talks with Young on the radio, not knowing it is turned off, and Young is not talking to him. Wray tells Greer nobody is talking to him, but he does not listen. Outside the supply room, Scott's team cannot open the door, but they can hear Wray. After she tells Scott what is happening, Scott tries to tell Greer to stop, but he won't listen. Scott resorts to using C-4 to blow open the door. Inside the room, Rush is looking for something to defend himself with. Greer is prepared to execute Wray, but hesitates. His father appears to him, and tells him to do it. As Greer is about to shoot, Rush finds a metal pipe and strikes him with it. Greer quickly recovers and is about to shoot Rush instead, but they are knocked to the ground by an explosion from the door. The team enters and are able to subdue Greer. As Scott is about to report to Young, Rush, who believes more aliens have arrived, attacks Scott and the others with the pipe, until he is subdued also. Scott recovers and tells Young they stopped Greer, but Wray is wounded.
Sometime later, T.J. has cleared the crew of the ticks, and has stitched Wray's wound in the infirmary. She believes things will return to normal soon. Destiny soon drops out of FTL and dials to a planet that seems habitable. Young decides to send out a team, not letting the tick incident deter him. He radios Scott and orders him to ready his team.
Alien ticks; Ancient shuttle; Patricia Armstrong; C-4; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Claustrophobia; Cole; Control interface room; Destiny Gate room; Destiny infirmary; Destiny lamp; Event horizon; Faster-Than-Light engine; Jeremy Franklin; Hallucinations; Jungle planet; M9 pistol; Magnifying glass; Mess hall; Mutiny on Destiny; Nakai; Nakai holding tank; Observation deck; Planet (Pain); Screwdriver; Sex; Snake; Squiggler; Stargate; Tick; Tick planet; Tweezer; Universe; Workout room; Venom
Riley: You OK?
Volker: Yeah, the door control doesn't work. (Riley enters his room) No, you don't have to... (Riley is able to close the door and opens it again) Stupid ship.
Riley: Hello? Earth to Greer?
Greer: (looks away from Rush and Wray) I'm fine. (He stands up to leave the room)
Riley: I always figured he'd be the first to snap.
Barnes: Feeling pretty much the way I always do; hungry, tired, but I'm not seeing things.
T.J.: Maybe she's immune to whatever it is the others picked up.
Volker: Maybe her symptoms are just taking longer to show up.
Young: (to Wray) How you doing?
T.J.: I was able to stop the bleeding and stitch the wound so we'll watch for infection, but she should be ok.
Young: Rest of the crew?
T.J.: I checked everyone. It looks like we got them all, so hopefully things will get back to normal around here.
Wray: Whatever that is.
Young: What have we got?
Rush: Well the atmoshere is good, ten hours on the countdown. Should we send a team?
Young: Yeah, our lucks gotta change at some point.
Riley: Just remember the bug spray.
- The episode aired on the Ukrainian television station K1 TV before the English version aired in the U.S. and Canada.
- The episode takes place sometime after Destiny arrives in the new galaxy.
- The song playing at the beginning of the episode is "What Do You Want Me To Do?" by The Heavy.
- The song playing at the end is "Agony" by Eels.
- The episode was originally slated to be the 18th episode of season one. However writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi wrote the season one finale as a two-parter; "Pain" became the 17th episode and the episode that was slated as 17th will air sometime in season two.
- Leanne Adachi (Cpl. Barnes) previously played Rebel Aide in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Icon" and Lia in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Ghost in the Machine".
- Won Leo for "Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series" (Julia Benson)
- Nominated Leo for "Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Series" (Brad Rines)
- Nominated Leo for "Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series" (Patrick Gilmore)