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Season 9

"The Road Not Taken" is the thirteenth episode of the tenth season of Stargate SG-1.

SynopsisEdit

While experimenting on Arthur's Mantle, a freak accident sends Carter into an alternate reality where her alternate self is still a Major and the Ori are planning on invading Earth. Carter attempts to get back to her own reality but soon learns that it may not be possible.

PlotEdit

Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter is experimenting with Merlin's Arthur's Mantle in one of Stargate Command's isolation rooms in hopes of creating a larger phase-shifted field. Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell enters and informs her that a recent sighting of the MIA Dr. Daniel Jackson was a false alarm. Mitchell asks her to go to lunch with Teal'c and himself so they can discuss the mission report. Carter wants to run one more test, and tells Mitchell that he can watch from the observation room.

Carter activates the device and phases. While phase-shifted, she hears a strange sound. The device emits a strange glow which quickly encompasses the phase-shifted isolation room. As the glow subsides Carter reappears to the sound of blaring sirens. Mitchell is not in the observation room, which now looks a bit different, and there are signs of an explosion on the floor. Carter lowers the force field as Dr. Bill Lee enters. He asks "Major Carter" if she is all right. Carter is further puzzled when Major Evan Lorne enters the room. Upon asking him why he is here and not on Atlantis, he says he has no idea what she's talking about, and mentions that he is the "leader of SG-1."

Carter suspects she has somehow entered an Alternate reality. She asks to see the footage of the incident in the lab. Major General George S. Hammond, watching through video link, tells Lee to show her the footage. The video depicts Major Carter's power capacitor experiment. A sudden power spike in the experiment leads to an explosion and results in loss of the video feed. It is at that point that Lee entered the room and found Carter. Lee explains that Major Carter was drawing energy from parallel universes and storing them in power capacitors in order to power the Ancient Control chair. The explosion resulted in the death of Major Carter and, combined with Carter's phase-shifting experiment, resulted in her transfer to this parallel universe.

In the universe Carter is now in, when Anubis attacked Earth three years earlier, the President of the United States was forced to reveal the existence of the Stargate Program to the world. A month ago the Ori attacked. The lone Ori warship was destroyed by the Antarctic outpost in Antarctica, but the Zero Point Module was depleted. Reports indicate five Ori warships are on course to reach Earth in five days. They need Carter's help to finish Major Carter's work in order to power the Chair.

Carter also discovers that the Carter of the other universe used to be married to Dr. Rodney McKay, who is a dot com millionaire. Vala Mal Doran is imprisoned at Area 51. Atlantis has never been discovered. Daniel is missing still, and Lorne doesn't know where "former 302 pilot" Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell is. Also in this reality, the Tau'ri have cut ties with the Jaffa and other allies, and become isolationist.

Realizing Major Carter's work is incomplete and she is unable to catch up in time, Carter decides to work on extending the range of her phase device. Carter tells them she was working on the device in her world to hide Earth from the Ori. Without the ZPM, she needs an alternate source of power. Henry Landry, the President of the United States, whose office is now part of the Cheyenne Mountain facilities, promises Carter that she will get all the power she needs. Carter estimates her needs are about 80% of the entire United States' power grid. Landry already worked up a system to draw power from the entire U.S. power grid.

After a few days of feverishly working on Earth’s defense, the Ori ships appear. Energy is redirected to the device and the United States plunges into darkness as a result. The power level increases to 93% before time runs out, and Carter activates the phase-cloak. Earth vanishes in a flash of light. The Ori ships, assuming Earth is just cloaked, open fire but hit nothing, while the SGC folks watch the Ori weapons' rays cascading through them harmlessly. Landry congratulates Carter on a job well done, and then, with no warning, ushers her into a press room, where her victory is publicized and celebrated.

Shortly thereafter, Carter attends a celebratory party given by the President. But it is interrupted by a protester chanting “No security without freedom.” Security guards armed with a Rod of Anguish neutralize him. Landry and Carter are beamed onto Prometheus, which the president has commandeered as "Air Force One". Carter learns the President instituted martial law and is disliked by many people.

Later, at the SGC, Carter watches the news and sees an F-302 fighter-interceptor bombing an Irish village. Hammond asserts that they were bombing terrorists. Angry, Carter accuses him of using the 302’s against political enemies. Hammond replies that the “threat is still out there” to which Carter replies “that’s the problem; it always will be”.

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Alternate Rodney McKay.

Wanting to return home, Carter seeks out McKay for help with Major Carter’s inter-universe bridge, since he and his sister worked on it in her universe. They have a humorous conversation, in which Rodney thinks she's there to tell him that she is a lesbian. Meanwhile, Hammond and Landry have a brief discussion, agree they cannot afford to lose Carter, nor can they let her knowledge of advanced technology disappear. During the discussion, Landry indicates he has always hated politicians, but Hammond adds that he had to do it (possibly means that US was pushed into a military rule under threat of anarchy).

Lee finds the device she described, in the same cave in Glastonbury that it was in Carter's universe, and tells Landry. Lee informs him they don’t know anything about it, but Carter would. Carter returns to the SGC to find her equipment has not returned. Landry tells her the timing is not good for her to go back, and she learns that Landry has suspended all democratic elections and replaced them with a plebiscite. Carter realizes that Landry may never let her go.

Carter visits Mitchell, now in a wheelchair and living in a dilapidated building; he is a depressed, bitter alcoholic and his apartment is strewn with garbage. After the dogfight over Antarctica, the wounded Mitchell was used as a tool to boost national morale. When he became troubled by the policies of the government and would no longer play along with their propaganda, they punished him by dropping him, and, no longer with access to good medical care, his condition worsened. He warns Carter about the price of non-compliance with the government. Carter spots a black car with tinted windows on the street outside Mitchell's building. She calls Landry’s chief of staff, Charlie, and tells him she’ll play ball. Landry arranges for Carter to deliver a live televised interview. During her speech, Carter states that as Presidential advisor she will push for the restoration of civil liberties. Charlie orders the broadcaster to cut the transmission, and mention of her appearance is censored in print.

Afterwards, Carter is attacked and rendered unconscious by Secret Service Agents. She awakens on Air Force One with Landry. In a talk with her he says that public relations and the phase technology are important, that her world still has freedom and the Stargate program is one of the greatest secrets that the government has ever known. She then talks about General Hank Landry and how he would not allow the rest of the galaxy to fall to the Ori.

Carter returns to the SGC to discover that McKay is now working on the device discovered at Glastonbury, with an implication that he was forced to do so, and that Landry has realized he'll have more control over McKay, but that Carter will be too much trouble to control. McKay has also replaced Carter as special adviser to the President. McKay informs her that they are going to be allowed to build the inter-universe bridge to send her home. Carter tells McKay to nudge the president about galactic threat.

Back in Carter's world, Dr. Bill Lee uses a sound device to scan the isolation room. Carter suddenly reappears behind him in a flash of light and goes unnoticed until she says his name. Back in her lab, Carter talks with Vala, Teal’c and Mitchell. She has been gone for two weeks and no information about Daniel has surfaced. The others embarrassingly say that, thinking she was stuck while phased, they had been taking turns keeping her company, talking with what turned out to be an empty room, for hours at a time. Vala gives her a hug.

ReferencesEdit

Air Force One; Alpha Site; Alternate reality; Ancient; Ancient crystal power cell; Antarctica; Antarctic outpost; Anubis; Area 51; Arthur's Mantle; Atlantis; Avalon; Champagne; Cigarette; Coffee; Control chair; Daedalus; F-302 fighter-interceptor; Fort Knox; General's Office; Glastonbury; Goa'uld; Idaho; !nside Access; Invisibility device; Ireland; Daniel Jackson; M Theory; Martial law; Matter bridge; Jeannie Miller; Nevada; Ori; Ori energy beam weapon; Ori warship; Pegasus; Prometheus; Rod of Anguish; Russia; Secret Service; MSgt. Sylvester Siler; Sodan; Sparring; System Lord; United States Congress; Washington D.C.; Zat'nik'tel; Zero Point Module

Notable QuotesEdit

Lorne: I'm not quite sure how to explain this, sir, but there's been an accident. It's Sam. She claims she's not the Major Carter we know.
Hammond: What's that supposed to mean?
Lorne: She says she's from a parallel universe.

Carter: There must be some reason why I was brought here, of all places. I need to know what was happening in that lab.
Lorne: I'm not authorized to give you that information.
Carter: Maybe I could talk to Daniel. Is he here?
Lorne: Dr. Jackson was captured by the forces of the Ori several weeks ago.
Carter: Okay. What about Colonel Mitchell? Cameron Mitchell.
Lorne: The 302 pilot, went down over Antarctica?
Carter: That's right. Is he here?
Lorne: I have no idea where he is. The last I heard he quit the military.
Carter: Teal'c? Vala?
Lorne: Teal'c went back to the Jaffa several years ago, and if you're talking about Vala Mal Doran, I hate to break it to you but she is currently occupying a cell at Area 51. Care to take a stab at anyone else?

Carter: The General Hammond that I know is retired from service.
Hammond: Well then he's a lucky man.

Hammond: You weren't here for the riots. You didn't see American citizens shooting each other over food, water and gasoline. Hank Landry brought us back from the brink of chaos.
Carter: That was three years ago.
Hammond: The threat is still out there!
Carter: That's the problem. It always will be.

Vala: I'm bidding for a timeshare on eBay. (she rushes out, only to rush in a moment later) Welcome back, Samantha. We really did miss you.
Carter: Thank you. It's good to be home.

NotesEdit

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Stargate Wiki has 17 images related to The Road Not Taken.
  • The piano music playing at the reception for Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter and President Henry Landry, prior to the protester's invasion, is the Stargate SG-1 theme in a simple melody.
  • The Irish Prime Minister is mentioned. Technically, the Irish head of government is called "Taoiseach" (pronounced "TEE-shock"). His role is analogous to that of a Prime Minister in other countries that have a fused legislative and executive (such as the Westminster system) and he is often referred to as such in international media.
  • The title of this episode is the same as a poem by Robert Frost. It is one of two episodes in the Stargate canon with a title referring to a poem by Robert Frost, the other one being the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Before I Sleep". Rodney McKay appears in both episodes.
  • The title of this episode is also the same as the seventh episode of Season 2 of MacGyver.
  • This is the second and final appearance of Major Evan Lorne in Stargate SG-1, his first appearance being in the season 7 episode "Enemy Mine".
  • This is one of four Stargate episodes to feature a Dr. Rodney McKay from an alternate reality, the others being "McKay and Mrs. Miller", "The Daedalus Variations" (though only in the form of a corpse) and "Vegas".
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Major General George S. Hammond on the series; he had previously last appeared in "200".
  • Early drafts of the script had Henry Hayes as President of the United States, but William Devane was unavailable. Because it was felt that the President needed to be a darker version of a character familiar to Colonel Carter, Henry Landry took that role with General Hammond commanding the SGC in the final script.
  • This episode features the Prometheus functioning as Air Force One in the alternate reality. In the "prime" reality, it was destroyed in Season 9's "Ethon".
  • The project which the Major Carter of the alternate reality was working on to power the Ancient Control chair before being killed and being replaced by Colonel Carter is similar to "Project Arcturus" which the Ancients were working on in Pegasus ("Trinity") and the Zero point energy project being worked on by McKay, Jeannie Miller and the Atlantis team in "McKay and Mrs. Miller".
  • Based on the comments of the alternate Major General George S. Hammond, this reality apparently diverged from the one we know during the events of "Lost City, Part 2", with SG-1 being unable to discover the Zero Point Module in time to fight off Anubis' forces without alerting the rest of the world. Given the position that he was in at the time that "Lost City" took place, it would suggest that this world's Colonel Jack O'Neill either died from the Ancient knowledge or is still in stasis in the Antarctic outpost but this is uncertain.
    • As far as we know he could have never joined the program in the first place. Given that Hammond is still in charge of the SGC it is possible other events also turned out differently it could be that O'Neill retired after the events because they obviously were able to fight off Anubis. There is also the fact that he is not even mentioned because Lorne has the Ancient gene it is also possible he performed all the tasks done by O'Neill.
  • The episode takes place over the course of two weeks.
  • Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson) does not appear in this episode. This is the last of four episodes of Season 10 not to feature him. Shanks had recently become a father again, and wanted extra time off. This is also only the fifth and final episode - not to feature any characters from the original Stargate film either, the others being "Nightwalkers", "Insiders", "Uninvited" and the preceding episode of the tenth season, "Line in the Sand". Don S. Davis is reused for the Opening Credits.
  • Michael Chase (Charlie) previously played Ancient Med Tech in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Echoes".
  • Sam refers to the events of "Ethon", "Line in the Sand" and the Stargate: Atlantis episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller".
  • Given that Vala was imprisoned it was most likely done after the events of Avalon meaning that Adria never existed in this universe.
  • This episode is Amanda Tapping's 200th episode.

GoofsEdit

In other languagesEdit

  • French: Dimension Parallèle (Parallel Dimension)
  • Italian: La Via del non Ritorno (The Road of Non Return)
  • Spanish: El Otro Camino (The Other Road)
  • Czech: Cesta, po níž jsme se nevydali (The road, on which we had not strike out)
  • Hungarian: A járatlan út (The Road Not Taken)
  • German: Die Parallelwelt (The Parallel World)

External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Road Not Taken (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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