|Original air date|
|SG-1 Season 10|
The Odyssey travels to Orilla upon the request of the Asgard who then offer to upgrade the Odyssey before their mass suicide. However, three Ori warships soon arrive. After jumping through hyperspace attempting to lose the Ori warships their shields eventually fail, and their only chance to save the ship is to activate a Time dilation field, where SG-1 gets stuck for 50 years.
The Asgard contact Stargate Command to tell them to rendezvous at the Asgard homeworld because they have news of great importance to share. During the boring journey Vala Mal Doran arranges a surprise birthday party for Dr. Daniel Jackson, to which he responds with annoyance—since it is not his birthday (and she is only trying to alleviate her own boredom).
When they arrive at the Asgard home world of Orilla they are greeted by Thor who announces that the Odyssey will be given a complete copy of the Asgard's latest technology. Thor explains that the Asgard's final attempt to fix their inherent gene degradation was a failure, and as a result the entire Asgard race has contracted a terminal illness. The damage from years of such experiments is so severe that they are unable to ascend. However, rather than allowing themselves to slowly die out and have their technology plundered, the Asgard people have decided to give their most sophisticated technology and their entire knowledge base to the Tau'ri, whom Thor finally calls the "fifth race", before they will commit an act of mass suicide.
As the final installations are completed, three Ori warships exit hyperspace and attack Odyssey. The Asgard beam off the ship, and Odyssey flees. One Ori ship follows, the others turning on the Asgard. However, the Asgard destroy their own planet, wiping themselves out. With the Odyssey's shields damaged and the hyperdrive temporarily unusable because of the planet's destruction, Landry orders that they come about and use the new, untested Asgard plasma beam weapons. This succeeds in penetrating the shields of the Ori warship and destroying it.
After entering hyperspace, Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter discovers some strange readings from the new hyperdrive system, and suggests that they stop using it. Immediately after exiting hyperspace, two more Ori warships emerge. After quickly re-entering hyperspace, Carter realizes that the Ori warships are tracking the energy signature of the Asgard-modified propulsion system. With no alternative, Landry orders them to head for the nearest planet with an active Stargate and off-load Odyssey's crew.
SG-1 and Landry remain on board as Carter tries to disconnect the hyperdrive from the Asgard computer core, which she hoped would prevent the Ori from tracking the ship. The process is time-consuming, and the Ori ships quickly catch up to resume the attack. Odyssey takes several beam shots to the shields causing increasing reflexive damage, and Landry orders that Odyssey's fire be concentrated on only one target. The Asgard energy weapons penetrate the Ori warship's shields, inflicting serious damage. Odyssey's shields fail as a final beam is sent out by the remaining Ori ship. However, before the beam makes contact, Carter activates a time dilation field around the ship—one of the new features of the Asgard technology.
Within the time dilation field, time passes in such a way that years may go by while fractions of a second pass by outside the field. Safe for the time being, Carter is able to work on several theories to allow the team to leave Odyssey before the beam hits, or to jump the ship out of phase before the beam makes contact. However, all of her simulations produce the same result: the destruction of the ship, the death of all on board, and the loss of all of the Asgard's knowledge. Stuck until they are able to figure out a new solution, SG-1 prepares for a long wait. With a Zero Point Module and the Asgard power core to power the time dilation field and the new Asgard technology synthesizing food, supplies and oxygen, they are able to live on the ship indefinitely.
During their initial months on board, Vala repeatedly tries to seduce Daniel, while he continues to repel her advances. Finally, after three months, Daniel angrily confronts Vala for what he believes to be her insincerity, teasing, and mocking of him. He says they could never have a serious romantic relationship, that he couldn't even imagine them having one, and did not believe she ever thought of them seriously having a relationship. Vala is greatly upset by his words, making him realize that she really does care for him and was sincere. They share a passionate embrace. The next scene sees a somewhat disheveled Vala leaving Daniel's cabin as Mitchell jogs past, seemingly nonplussed at the sight.
Vala volunteers to help Carter, hypothesizing that they could reverse time in the field up to the point they left the Asgard home world, and then disable the hyperdrive—but Sam rules this out as impossible.
Years pass, as each member of the team attempts to deal with their isolation. Landry develops a gardening hobby; Carter learns how to play the cello; Daniel continues to work on translating information in the database; Teal'c and Mitchell spar; and Daniel and Vala develop their relationship. Mitchell also spends much time jogging throughout the ship, growing more frustrated and angry as the years pass. Scenes show him wrecking his cabin, and sitting in a F-302 fighter-interceptor, contemplating escape (which would be followed by quick death). In another scene, Daniel holds a crying Vala. After many years, Landry succumbs to old age and dies. Teal'c changes very little, except for a small gray streak in his hair.
After fifty years, with everybody besides Teal'c aging greatly, Carter finally figures out how to reverse time within a localized field. By reversing time back to slightly before the point of dilation, they can stop the program being activated and use a new program Carter has written onto a crystal to quickly disconnect the Asgard computer core from the hyperdrive in seconds. Unfortunately, in a last, cruel irony, the ship's power supplies no longer have enough energy to complete the plan, due to the constant drain of maintaining the time dilation field over decades.
However, Mitchell directs Carter's attention to the Ori energy beam weapon; he theorizes that by deactivating the dilation field and allowing the beam to hit, they can channel the beam's power to the core. The dilation field would reverse, and they would go back in time; everything would be undone. However, there are two problems. First, the ship will be destroyed by the blast, and if the time reversal does not activate quickly enough, the destruction will not be reversed. Second, the reversal of the time field will mean the loss of any memories of what happened over the past fifty years. One person will have to remain behind, protected within a separate field, staying aged so as to retain the memories necessary to perform the rescue. Teal'c, who as a Jaffa has a much longer lifespan than the other members of the team, volunteers. As the group prepares their plan, Vala and Daniel exchange a last embrace, assuring each other of their love. When everything is in place, they deactivate the time dilation field.
As the ship explodes around Teal'c, time begins to slow, stop and finally reverses. The ship re-forms, the beam withdraws, and time is re-set. Teal'c prevents Carter from activating the time dilation field and gives her the control crystal that disconnects the Asgard computer core from the hyperdrive. They leave before they are destroyed, saving themselves and the Asgard's legacy.
Back at the SGC, Teal'c refuses to reveal any of the events on the ship to the others, much to Vala's disappointment. However, Daniel jokes that Teal'c revealed to him several bits of good advice that Daniel read in the Asgard database in the alternate timeline, but they're really just common aphorisms. SG-1 contemplates these words of wisdom—among them "life is too short"—as they prepare for another mission. As the episode—and the series—comes to a close, the team says "indeed" all at once, Landry wishes the team God-speed, and SG-1 steps through the gate on their next mission.
Alliance of Four Great Races; Arthur's Mantle; Ascension; Asgard; Asgard computer core; Asgard High Council; Asgard plasma beam weapon; Asgard power core; Asgard stone; Asgard transporter; Battle of the Asgard Legacy; Cello; Cellular degradation; Christmas; F-302 fighter-interceptor; President Henry Hayes; Hologram; Hyperdrive; Hyperspace; Korolev; Life support; Loveboat; Merlin; Odyssey; Orilla; Ori; Ori energy beam weapon; Ori staff weapon; Ori warship; Othalla; P3X-474; Planet (Unending); Prior; Sha're; Sparring; Suicide; Superman; Time dilation; Time dilation device; Time dilation field; Zero Point Module
Jackson: I told you to bring something to amuse yourself. I didn't mean me. Or the crew.
Vala: They won't believe that it's my birthday. Again.
Jackson: Not my problem.
Vala: Being stuck on this ship is worse than being stuck at SGC. I tell you last time I was this bored I took hostages.
Jackson: I was there.
Thor: As a race, we are dying. Very soon, we will all be gone.
Carter: I promise we will do our very best not to let you down.
Thor: You are the Fifth Race. Your role is clear. If there is any hope in preserving the future, it lies with you and your people.
Carter: No pressure, huh?
Thor: You have earned my respect and my friendship.
Carter: The feeling's mutual.
Jackson: I mean, all they wanted to do was live a little longer. We're no different. Sequence DNA. Cure diseases. One fatal mistake, and they doom their entire race. I guess no matter what you do, at the end of the day…life is too short.
Thor: My only regret is that our physical weakness have left us not being able to help you any further.
(Sam hugs Thor)
Vala: (To Daniel, about the prospect of being stuck on the ship) I'm going to go crazy.. and I'm taking you with me.
Landry: (To Crew, about the possibility of spending a long time in the time dialation field) Bottom line is, none of you are going to have any excuse for being behind on your paperwork.
Jackson: Yes, you've proven yourself to be trustworthy on a professional level, and for that, I am very proud of you, but on a, on a personal level? Vala, come on, give me a break! I mean, at best, you're an emotional, unstable wreck. I'm not saying I'm much better. I'm not saying I'm much better.
Jackson: Beggars can't be choosers. Better late than never. Look before you leap.
Mitchell: The best things in life are free.
Vala: Let me guess, beauty is only skin deep.
Jackson: Silence is golden.
Mitchell: Jack of all trades, master of none.
Carter: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Vala: Life is too short.
Teal'c: Good things come to those who wait.
Mitchell: Just another everyday mission to save the galaxy sir.
- When Thor beams aboard the Odyssey, Vala Mal Doran asks Dr. Daniel Jackson how they can distinguish him from the other Asgard. Daniel replies: "It's the voice". Thor is voiced by Michael Shanks, who also plays Daniel Jackson in the series.
- On the commentary, Amanda Tapping states that she and Christopher Judge suggested that their characters become romantically involved during the 50 years.
- The song that played during the montage sequence was Have You Ever Seen the Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- At the end of the original airing of this episode on Sci Fi Channel, a "Good Bye" commercial aired "Thanking Stargate SG-1 for ten amazing seasons".
- After the events of this episode, Teal'c is now 158 years old, 15 years older than Bra'tac, his mentor and father figure.
- When Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter is showing everybody the simulation of the Odyssey being destroyed, the screen showed the scene when the Korolev was destroyed by the first wave of Ori warships in the episode "Camelot".
- In the making-of feature on the DVD, the director reveals that they originally intended for the crew to be stuck on the ship for far less than fifty years. He first saw the actors in their oldest makeup literally as they walked onto the set to film their scenes. The director was unhappy that the makeup made them look too old, "like prunes", but at this point it was too late to redo the makeup. It was decided to just change the script to increase the number of years they were on the ship.
- Dr. Daniel Jackson, Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, Teal'c and CMSgt. Walter Harriman are the only characters to appear in both the pilot and finale of the series.
- Dr. Daniel Jackson is the only character to appear in the pilot, finale and all three Stargate films.
- Richard Dean Anderson, Corin Nemec and Don S. Davis are the only SG-1 regulars to not appear in this episode.
In other languagesEdit
- French: Le Temps d’une Vie (The Time of a Life)
- Hebrew: Nitzchi (Unending)
- Italian: Senza Fine (Unending)
- Spanish: Interminable (Unending)
- Czech: Bez konce (Without End)
- German: Endlosigkeit (Endlessness)