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|Original air date|
Victor Garber as Ambassador Ovirda
|Universe Season 2|
Homeworld Command tries to convince an ally they suspect might be infiltrated by the Lucian Alliance to let them use their planet to dial Destiny. Meanwhile, Dr. Nicholas Rush is trapped in a simulation created by Dr. Amanda Perry.
A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base by the Lucian Alliance, and are now trapped there. Dr. Nicholas Rush breaks the master code and discovers the Bridge. After the rest of the crew discovers the bridge, Rush asks Colonel Everett Young to embrace Destiny's mission. After a failed Alliance invasion, Homeworld Command believes an attack on Earth is being planned. Young is grief-stricken over the death of Sgt. Hunter Riley. Simeon kills Dr. Amanda Perry and Ginn. While using the Long-range communication device, Chloe Armstrong is connected to Ginn and Perry. Rush uses the Destiny interface chair to upload their consciousnesses into Destiny's computer.
In a meeting at Homeworld Command, Richard Woolsey is trying to bargain with Ambassador Ovirda of Langara for use of their Stargate facility as a lifeline for Destiny since their facility has already been set up to draw energy from the planet's Naquadria core. Ovirda is understandably reluctant to authorize such a venture as the two previous attempts to dial Destiny destroyed the planets used to do so. Colonel David Telford points out that there were outside factors that contributed to the destabilization of each planet, but he counters that the Langaran scientists have determined Rush's solution to be inherently dangerous. Woolsey, however, tells him of a new solution, which Dr. Rodney McKay is brought in to explain
Dr. Nicholas Rush and Dr. Amanda Perry are playing chess in his quarters. Rush is losing, and jokingly complains that he couldn't beat her when she was a flesh and blood person, much less now. She insists that she's still a person, so Rush amends his statement, describing her as something more. Perry still isn't convinced, but Rush gets her to admit that in addition to their chess game she is monitoring the sensors and analyzing the pattern in the Cosmic microwave background radiation. She accepts his point, but still wishes she were flesh and blood, a sentiment Rush echoes. Perry seems distracted for a moment, then reveals she has a way to realize that dream.
Before McKay can even begin explaining his new solution, Ovirda stops him. He is not willing to dial Destiny if there's even the slightest chance it could end in disaster, but he says that he will agree only if their scientists can confirm McKay's findings. Telford warns them that the Lucian Alliance knows of their planet and its ability to dial Destiny, and would not be so cautious or diplomatic if they decided to use it to reach Destiny. Ovirda believes this is a problem Earth should help defend them against, and doesn't believe they should be required to put their planet at risk in exchange. He remains steadfast in his decision to have Langaran scientists confirm the data.
Woolsey understands their position, believing that in their shoes Earth would do the same. Telford, however, is convinced that they must have already made a deal with the Alliance, and claims to have proof to that effect. Telford brings him and McKay to meet with Colonel Everett Young, who is using the Long-range communication device. Young shows Woolsey and McKay evidence of talks between the Alliance and Langara, collected using listening satellites orbiting the planet. The contents are encrypted, but the volume seems to suggest an ongoing negotiation. Lt. General Jack O'Neill has informed the International Oversight Advisory and President Henry Hayes of these findings. Young is concerned that the Alliance could attack Destiny again if they've made a deal with Langara. Furthermore, without McKay's new solution, they could destroy the planet in the attempt. Woolsey is skeptical of their motives. O'Neill has signed off on a "proof of concept" mission to Langara. The first order of business is to bring McKay to Destiny.
McKay uses the communication device, but is switched with Dr. Adam Brody instead of Rush. Young, having returned with McKay, questions Lt. Vanessa James about the change. She simply explains that Rush sent Brody in his place, assuming Young wouldn't care. Young doesn't, but is still annoyed that he wasn't informed. He explains to McKay that he was supposed to switch with Rush so Rush could check his findings on Earth, while Eli Wallace reviews it on Destiny. James takes McKay to see Eli while Young goes looking for Rush. She has to draw McKay's attention away from her breasts, then escorts him out.
Young runs into Chloe Armstrong, who has found Rush sitting in the interface chair. Lt. Tamara Johansen has examined him, but her only conclusion that he seems to be dreaming. Young, familiar with the chain of events that usually follows the device, has already guessed removing him isn't an option. Young just asks them to figure out what he's doing.
Rush is currently in an immersive simulation program, similar to the one which generated the battle scenario in Young's mind. Perry has adapted it into a simulation they can share, one which allows them to have a physical relationship. Rush deduces that she must have programmed some kind of condition so the scenario could play out, but she insists that the conditions are simple enough to allow him to come and go at will.
Young finds MSgt. Ronald Greer wandering the halls despite the fact that he should still be resting from the surgery. Greer insists that he just needs some exercise. Dr. Lisa Park comes by, having been looking for him ever since he snuck out. Young orders Greer to return to the infirmary, since he's no good to him dead.
Eli and McKay are busy arguing over an equation scribbled on the walls. Young comes in, assuming they have some issue over McKay's new dialing solution. They clarify that they have already gotten past that, and Eli admits that he wished he had thought of it. Eli's confirmation is good enough for Young to sign off on the plan. McKay tries to explain where Rush went wrong, but Young only concern is that it works, not why. With Eli's confirmation, he wants to return to Earth. McKay protests having to leave so soon, but Young assures him that he can always come back later, maybe even in person if they can connect to Destiny. As they leave, McKay insists that he'll continue his argument with Eli later, which Eli is all too happy to do.
On Earth, McKay is worried that Brody may have eaten something with citrus while using his body. Woolsey is still against any mission to Langara, instead suggesting that they make a larger offer to counter whatever the Alliance might have offered. Telford explains that the Alliance may move on Langara within a few days regardless of the situation, and that Langara would rather side with Earth given the chance. Young adds that the goal of their mission is to give them some incentive by proving the ninth chevron can be dialed safely. Secondary to this would be determining if Langara has already decided to side with the Alliance. Woolsey refuses to take part in any military action against the Langarans, but Young has a different idea: they'll give them a peace offering.
Young and Eli come to check on Rush, who TJ has now diagnosed as being in a coma. Young and Scott need to go on a mission, so he leaves TJ in charge with orders to keep the gate under guard. He also mentions Greer's escape to her, which she immediately protests as dangerous. Eli asks if anyone has a hint as to why he's using the chair. Young speculates that Rush did it to avoid being proven wrong by McKay, but Eli believes that Rush would forsake his ego if it meant getting supplies from Earth. Young merely tells Eli to find a way to get Rush up so he can knock him down later for the trouble.
TJ visits Greer in the infirmary. He has developed a second infection and is running a fever. He resolves to fight harder, though TJ claims that it doesn't work that way. Dr. Dale Volker, on the other hand, is fine, even though she thought him more likely to have complications from the surgery. Greer is glad he's the one suffering and not Volker, since he believes he's strong enough to fight it off. She orders him to get some sleep and stop walking around.
Brody has joined Eli and Chloe in examining Rush, but is just as stumped. Seeing Rush's low brain activity, Eli has an epiphany. Going through the logs, they discover that Rush's mind has been uploaded into the ship.
In the simulation, Rush finds the lack of people strange, and wonders if Perry feels the same. She explains that, at times, she is oblivious to the people on the ship, while at other times she reads through parts of the database in fractions of a second. She prefers being in the simulation with Rush, as her non-corporeal existence is lonely. He assures her that she'll never be lonely again. In fact, were the program not isolated from the ship's systems, he'd stay even longer. At the moment, however, he needs to get back since Young is probably mad at him and he has work to do. She asks him to keep the program a secret for now. Perry leads him to the interface chair in the simulation, which should return him to the real world. She hopes he'll come back soon, though he points out she can still appear to him on the outside. He sits in the chair, but it doesn't send him back.
On Langara, Woolsey comes through the gate unannounced, claiming to have some Ancient relics as gifts for Chief Administrator Halpren and Ambassador Ovirda. The captain of the guard insists on examining the relics, not realizing that the items are two long-range communication stones. By touching one stone, his body is inhabited by Lt. Matthew Scott. Scott takes on the guise of the captain and allows Woolsey to visit the administrator. Woolsey tricks him into touching the stone, allowing Young to take over his body. On Destiny, James assures the captain and Halpren that they will not be harmed and should be returned to their bodies soon. Having successfully infiltrated the facility, they prepare to receive the incoming teams from Earth.
Perry is worried about Rush's inability to return, but Rush assures her that there's no reason to panic yet. She fruitlessly tries to correct the problem, but Rush points out the simulation is self-contained and thus can't be used to affect any change. He encourages her to leave so she can correct the problem from the outside, assuring her that he'll be fine.
On the outside, Eli is calling for Ginn to no effect. When Brody wonders why he's calling for her, Eli admits that he had a similar idea, and believes that Ginn might have passed it on to Perry. Chloe is confused as to why Rush would upload his consciousness, so Eli reluctantly explains that it would allow for a physical relationship. Ginn refused the idea because it would be too dangerous to attempt to upload a human consciousness and then download it again. When he attempted to press the issue, it upset her and she left. He hasn't seen her since.
Young briefs the Langaran personnel on their plan to dial the ninth chevron, assuring them that there is no risk involved. Scott rallies the troops, making sure they don't impede the incoming SG teams. One soldier is confused about their sudden willingness to help, given Halpren's previous reluctance, but Scott just claims it was posturing so they could get a better deal from Earth in exchange for their cooperation.
In the simulation, Perry returns, apologizing for her absence. Rush has been busy trying to find any differences between the simulation and the real world, but has had no luck. She believes she has corrected the error that prevented Rush from leaving, blaming it on subconscious disapproval from Ginn.
Young greets Telford and McKay as they come through the gate with the SG teams. McKay is initially confused, but Woolsey wordlessly indicates that Young is controlling Halpren. As McKay gets to work, Young orders guards to be put on every entrance, even if the SG teams must be used to supplement the Langaran guards.
Rush once again attempts to leave the simulation, this time successfully. He is immediately annoyed by Brody, who loudly confirms that Rush has returned. Eli points out the danger of what Rush did, but all Rush cares about is getting something to eat, offering to explain himself to Eli there. Once there, Eli doubts Rush's story that Ginn would hold him there on purpose. Rush passes it off as unimportant since he's out. Eli wants more details about the simulation, but Rush will only describe it as a personal experience.
Concerned that they won't be able to maintain the ruse for very long, Young asks McKay for a deadline. Despite much posturing, he believes that he can do it in an hour. Young offhandedly mentions that "Sheppard [was] right," and doesn't clarify his meaning despite McKay's annoyance. Woolsey believes that, in the meantime, they should investigate the suspicion of Langara making a deal with the Alliance. Their conversation is overhead by the soldier who questioned Scott earlier.
As McKay continues his work, the Langaran scientists are skeptical of his ability to control the system from a simple handheld computer. McKay rudely dismisses the concern by claiming that, technologically, he might as well be from the future. Telford steps in to smooth out the difficulties, commenting on the parallel between genius and lack of social skills. Telford approaches him to join the team that will travel to Destiny, believing he would be an asset that could restore the ship to its former glory. McKay is reluctant due to the fact that there wouldn't be any foreseeable way home. He also calls attention to Telford referring to himself as if he would be in charge, when Young is the one running the mission. Telford is quick to correct himself.
Perry appears to Rush as he's going over his notes, checking up on him. As they talk, she unexpectedly vanishes. In reality, Rush is still in the simulation. The ship suddenly jolts out of FTL, much rougher than it should. Ginn appears to Eli, explaining that she initiated an emergency shut down and is confident there will be no damage. She initiated the shut down as a distraction so she could warn Eli that Rush has no way to leave the simulation. She would have done so sooner, but Perry was preventing her from doing so. Perry is trying to correct the problem herself, but Ginn knows she won't be able to. Eli will have to do it from the outside. Eli isn't sure what she means, but she is cut off before she can explain. Perry appears to Rush in the simulation once more, claiming that she had to avert a potential overload in one of the FTL units. She asks if he can talk, but Rush needs to work. She kisses him on the cheek before leaving, which seems to unsettle Rush.
On Langara, Woolsey returns from having examined the administrator's files. He has discovered that Langara was approached by the Alliance on multiple occasions, and steadfastly refused each time, to preserve their relationship with Earth. Woolsey sees this as justification for his warnings of caution, but Telford believes they were justified given the intelligence they had to go on. Furthermore, he sees no reason not to continue. Matters are further complicated when Young receives a call from Ovirda, who is on his way to the facility.
In the simulation, Rush heads to the Control interface room, now convinced that he hasn't left at all. He dials back the shields so Destiny will tear itself apart in FTL. This, he believes, will end the simulation by taking it outside the established parameters. Perry tries to convince him that he'll kill the crew, but betrays her ruse by making physical contact. The simulated Destiny explodes.
As McKay makes his final preparations to dial Destiny, Young confronts Telford, believing they should call off the mission. Telford is of the opinion that they can always ask for forgiveness once they prove it works, though Young isn't sure they can get that far before being caught. McKay starts up the dialing sequence as Scott reports a sizable force is gathering outside the building. Young orders the Langaran personnel to leave. Woolsey echoes Young's desire to end the mission, but Telford insists that they only need to hold the gate long enough to prove it is safe, after which they can surrender peacefully.
Ovirda's forces converge on the gate, and Young orders everyone to hold fire. Telford is still set on finishing the dialing sequence, but Ovirda warns that his men will open fire if it is not stopped by the time the eighth chevron locks. Young tries to placate him, but Ovirda already knows Young is not who he is pretending to be. Young consults with McKay, who believes that the connection would have been successful. However, he advises that they should go no further; the mission has already failed, and it can only get worse if they proceed. Young orders him to discontinue dialing, and his group surrenders to the Langarans.
Eli has figured out how to remove Rush, though he seems reluctant to do so. Rush wakes up inside the simulation, which is still going. Perry admits that she's been keeping him there, hoping to correct the problem while the crew kept him alive. It doesn't matter now, though, because Eli knows knows how to end it from the outside. She reveals that her simulation was based on a simple assumption that proved to be incorrect: that she and Rush loved each other. She loves him, but the opposite must not be true, or else he could leave. He vehemently asserts that he does love her, and begs her not to believe a simple program over his own feelings. She explains that Eli is deleting the memory space where she and Ginn are being kept, so they don't have much time. Rush implores her to resist, but she cannot. She asks him not to blame himself for her death, as if she had not died they would never have had this opportunity. Rush reasserts that he loves her, but she just says goodbye before vanishing.
Young and Scott return to Destiny. Young explains that Earth has now agreed to protect Langara from the Alliance, while the Langarans have removed the Stargate from the facility, ending any hopes of dialing Destiny. Noticing that they have moved to the bridge, James explains that she took their guests on a tour in the hopes of garnering some sympathy. Given their performance on Langara, he believes James made the best decision of any of them.
Rush wakes up in the infirmary, having been unconscious for two days after being disconnected. Eli is there, waiting by the bed. Rush angrily demands an explanation, so Eli reveals that he transferred both Perry and Ginn into a quarantined section of the ship's memory, totally isolating them from both the ship's systems and the neural interface. He did so to save Rush, but clearly isn't happy about it. Eli leaves, ignoring Rush's further calls. TJ stops Rush from trying to press the issue, as he still needs to rest. Greer tells him to listen to her.
Ancient; Ascension; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff;Chess; Control interface room; Cosmic microwave background radiation; Destiny Bridge; Destiny Gate room; Destiny infirmary; Destiny interface chair; Destiny neural link; Destiny simulation program; Faster-Than-Light engine; Homeworld Command; Icarus Base; International Oversight Advisory; Langara; Langaran Stargate facility; Long-range communication device; Long-range communication stone; Lt. Colonel John Sheppard; Lt. General Jack O'Neill; Lucian Alliance; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mess hall; Naquadria; President Henry Hayes; SG-4; SG-5; The Wizard of Oz
(McKay is staring at James' chest)
James: I'm up here.
McKay: Right, of course. We met at Stargate Command, it's, ah, Vanessa, right?
James: After you.
McKay: No, ladies first. (James looks at him blankly.) I'll go.
McKay: No, no, no, no. See, this is where you are completely wrong. It is impossible to make that deduction because it falls outside of the boundary conditions.
Eli: This changes the boundary conditions!
McKay: It doesn't work that way!
Eli: If you make the change, yes it does! Read the writing on the wall, man.
McKay: Listen, kid, one semester at MIT does not make you—
(Young and James arrive.)
Young: Gentlemen! I take it there are problems with this?
Eli: He thinks we're talking about your nine-chevron dialing solution.
McKay: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, we've moved on. Very, very bright, this kid. I mean, in many ways he reminds me of, ah, me at that age. Of course I was carrying a lot less, um—
Eli: Uh, aside from taking the day off, did-did Rush say anything that might give us a clue as to why he did this?
Chloe: Not to me.
Young: Well, maybe he couldn't bring himself to see how McKay improved on his work.
Eli: Look, I'm not saying he doesn't have an ego the size of a bus, but Rush would kill to bring people and supplies from Earth.
Young: So, what was so important?
Eli: Uh, I'm sure he planned to tell me at our next heart-to-heart.
Young: Just do me a favor: get him on his feet so I can knock him on his ass when I'm back.
Young: We're not going to be able to keep up this charade forever. How long is this going to take?
McKay: I gave you my best guess in the briefing.
Young: You also said you'd reassess once we got here.
McKay: Well, the facility's already drawing power from the naquadria core, which speeds things up considerably. On the other hand, this is more or less 1940s technology, which can slow things down. Then again, there's the "they don't build things like they used to" factor.
Young: Well, one or two, McKay? Which is it?
McKay: If we end this conversation right now, I can still manage the former.
Young: Sheppard's right.
McKay: About what?
Worker: How can you possibly control the power flow from so small a device?
McKay: Because, technically speaking, as far as you're concerned, I'm from the future.
- The Long-range communication stones given to the Langarans rest on two small Long-range communication devices that hold one stone each. Technically, this would not be necessary. As seen in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Avalon, Part 2", it is possible to take over a body by using only one communication device. In that case, the other consciousness is merely suppressed instead of transferring into one's own body.
- Langara is the homeworld of Jonas Quinn, once a member of SG-1. His fate was put in question when it was mentioned in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Counterstrike" that his home planet had fallen to the Ori.
- The theme from Stargate: Atlantis is briefly heard when McKay is first seen.
- Ming-Na (Camile Wray) does not appear in this episode.
- John Shaw (Halpren) previously played Dr. Friesen in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Descent" and Garth in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "The Game".
- Jackie Blackmore (Worker) previously played Jackie in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Bounty".
- This episode marks the final appearances of David Hewlett (Rodney McKay) and Robert Picardo (Richard P. Woolsey) in the Stargate franchise.
- This is the last of two episodes of Stargate Universe written by Remi Aubuchon.
- This is the only episode of Stargate Universe directed by Helen Shaver.
- The Langaran Stargate is completely computer generated. As a result, there are several inconsistencies:
- The Langaran Stargate is depicted as having nearly double the amount of glyphs that a Milky Way-style gate should have. Furthermore, each glyph's segment on the inner ring is a square instead of a rectangle. The gate is also shown to have the point of origin of Earth, which is impossible.
- The chevrons on the Langaran Stargate are more reminiscent of those from the gate on the Stargate film than those from Stargate SG-1, as they don't protrude over the inner ring.
- In the establishing shot of Destiny, just after Colonel Everett Young declares that they'll give the Langarans a "peace offering", the ship is mirrored.
- On the posters in the Langaran gate area, Hebridan script was used instead of Langaran.
- SG-4 and SG-5 are sent as backup for Richard Woolsey, Colonel David Telford, Colonel Everett Young, Lt. Matthew Scott, and Dr. Rodney McKay. Woolsey mistakenly refers to them as "SG-1 teams 4 and 5".