“Ripple Effect” is the thirteenth episode of the ninth season of Stargate SG-1.
SG-1 returns early from a routine mission, believing differently than Major General Henry Landry key details about their mission. Then the real SG-1 returns at their correctly scheduled time. Soon, other SG-1s from alternate realities begin arriving and the real SG-1 must find a way to get them back to their own realities, but not all is as it seems when the first alternate team have plans of their own.
An unscheduled offworld activation has summoned Major General Henry Landry and Dr. Carolyn Lam to the control room. As the Stargate prepares to open, there is a brief, blinding flash of light and an odd noise. SG-1, dressed in their black uniforms, comes through the gate. Landry notes that they are early.
A briefing follows, during which a number of discrepancies come to light. Before they can be resolved, there is an offworld activation. SG-1 (in green uniforms) arrives right on schedule. Landry orders Lam to investigate. They conclude that both teams are really SG-1, but that the facts indicate that the green SG-1 is ours. (The black team, for example, believes that the Tok’ra Selmak is still alive.) Back in the conference room, Landry and the green team discuss the situation.
In need of more information, a series of interviews takes place. Black team Jackson is interviewed by green team Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell; Landry speaks with the black team Mitchell; green team Dr. Daniel Jackson takes notes in his discussion with the black team Teal’c. Meanwhile, green team Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter and black team Carter talk science as they try to sort out what caused this problem.
As the green team Carter briefs Landry and the rest of the green team SG-1 — she suggests the beachhead black hole the Ori tried to create is involved in bringing another SG-1 here from an alternate reality—there is another unscheduled offworld activation. Assembled in the control room, the green team and Landry watch as another SG-1 team, taking fire and dressed in blue tiger camo, rush through the gate. Landry orders all gate travel restricted.
While Dr. Bill Lee discusses the situation with the green team Carter, the black team Carter joins them. As they work, more SG-1 teams arrive. Eventually, Landry takes the green team Jackson and Teal’c to a room where Dr. Janet Fraiser awaits them. They are stunned, as our universe’s Fraiser was killed two years ago. She reveals that her Earth is suffering from the Ori plague. Also on this team is Martouf, who Landry takes to see the green team Carter, now working on the problem with at least 16 other Carters. As green team Carter sits talking to Martouf—who she was forced to kill several years ago, black team Carter approaches and delineates the problem and a potential solution.
The green SG-1 and Landry confer with Kvasir, who comes in Thor’s place, about a risky plan that involves using Prometheus to close the breach in space that has diverted so many SG-1 teams. Unfortunately, all of the teams will then be stranded permanently.
Fraiser visits Landry to ask for more time to find a better solution. Landry feels sympathetic but at the same time believes that he must act first and foremost to protect his own reality.
The Prometheus at a Black hole
Staffed only by the green and black SG-1s, the Prometheus heads off. But the black team soon launches a plot to take command of the ship by breaking into the armory. Armed with Zat’nik’tels, they capture the green team Mitchell and take him to the bridge just as the Prometheus is in position to launch its Asgard-primed weapon to close the breach.
The green team is taken to a brig while the black team re-routes the Prometheus to Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy. Their intent is to steal Atlantis’ Zero Point Module and drop off the green team on a habitable planet. As soon as Teal’c destroys the camera in the cell, the green team hatches a counterplot.
Green team Mitchell then asks to speak with the black team’s Mitchell with the two men meeting each other. Black Mitchell reveals to the original Mitchell that Black Mitchell himself and his own team feels that the Atlantis ZPM is only being used to power the Stargate for one-way travel to the Pegasus Galaxy and reveals that the billions of lives he and his team save in their reality will be well worth the inconvenience of traveling back and forth on the Daedalus. He also reveals that the ZPM in their reality is depleted and they’re planning on taking the ZPM in Atlantis so that they can use it to power the Ancients’ Antarctic outpost. Green Mitchell strongly disagrees, stating that the ZPM the black SG-1 are planning on stealing is needed in this reality to cloak Atlantis itself and that if the Wraith discover the city wasn’t destroyed during the Battle of Atlantis, then the Wraith will return and launch another attack. Worse, if Atlantis falls, then the Milky Way Galaxy will be next. Green team Mitchell suddenly realizes that the black team created the entire situation to come to our universe deliberately—and that they already have a way home.
Once the green team Mitchell is back in the cell with the green team, Carter hotwires the door and she and Jackson set off for the engine room, while Mitchell and Teal’c head for an armory. As they try to open the armory door, the black team Jackson and black team Teal’c show up and prepare to take green team Teal’c captive once more. It’s a trap: the green team Mitchell is really the black team Mitchell.
But before they can touch Teal’c, green team Carter and green team Jackson arrive and Zat black team Jackson and Teal’c. Our SG-1 anticipated the trap from their other selves, and set one of their own. The black team is taken to a holding cell where the door cannot be hotwired; black team Mitchell is dressed only in T-shirt, underwear and boots. Green team Mitchell, similarly clad, locks the door on them.
Green team Carter works out a plan for returning the many SG-1s to their respective universes, and upon the return of the Prometheus to Earth orbit she requests the use of an Asgard directed energy weapon. They fire it into the open Stargate, recreating the conditions the black team used to cause the breach.
Starting with the black team, the teams are sent back to their realities. On the ramp, the black team Mitchell stops and enigmatically tells the green team Mitchell, “When the time comes, cut the green one.”
Finally, the last team assembles. After Carter, Jackson, and Teal’c share an emotional goodbye with Martouf and Janet, Landry provides them with the cure to the Ori plague and the team heads home to save its Earth.
Carter: Me and myself, I suppose. Me and the other Samantha Carter.
Mitchell: Right, finally someone who can keep up with you, huh?
Jackson: Okay, say for example, we accept this is an alternate SG-1 from a parallel universe … how did they get here?
Carter: I got nothing.
(Everyone looks at her, amazed she doesn’t have a theory)Carter: Yet.
Landry: But we’ve had teams gate in from locations on the other side of that black hole in our universe, why weren’t they affected?
Mitchell: One more stupid question – oh, Sir, yours was fine, mine is stupid.
Landry: I’m willing to make the occasional exception, but I’m not planning to turn this base into the Grand Central Station of the multiverse.
Mitchell: You know, I read all the mission reports on the Asgard. They’re not what I expected.
Carter: What were you expecting?
Mitchell: Well, pants for one.
Alternate Jackson: Where’s the crew?
Mitchell: You’re looking at it.
Teal’c: Given the dangers we may face, it was decided that we would proceed alone.
Alternate Mitchell: So if this plan goes FUBAR we’re the only ones that go down with the ship?
Jackson: Well, there’s plenty more where we came from, right?
Alternate Mitchell: How did you know I wasn’t your Mitchell?
Carter: Easy. If we were in your position, we would have done the same thing.
Alternate Mitchell: Now let me get this straight. We figured you guys would try to escape and set this trap for you, not realizing that you’d figure out that we’d figure you out and you set your own?
(Long pause as everyone contemplates)Teal’c: Indeed.
- This episode was originally entitled “Convergence”, but it was changed because it sounded too similar to a Stargate: Atlantis episode entitled “Conversion”.
- This episode was overly long, so many scenes had to be edited and even cut for time. Joseph Mallozzi posted script sections of all cut scenes in his producer installment on Gateworld.
- Dr. Daniel Jackson mentions that he misses Thor. This is most likely a reference to Michael Shanks’ voicing of Thor.
- The Black SG-1’s Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell refers to the events of “Out of Mind” and the Stargate: Atlantis episode “Home”, the Black SG-1’s Teal’c refers to those of “Reckoning, Part 1”, “Reckoning, Part 2” and “Threads”, the Black SG-1’s Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter refers to those of “A Matter of Time” and “Red Sky” and the alternate Dr. Janet Fraiser refers to those of “Heroes, Part 2”, “The Fourth Horseman, Part 1” and “The Fourth Horseman, Part 2”. This indicates that the events of all of those episodes also occurred in their respective realities. However, in the case of the latter three episodes, the relevant events proceeded differently.
- One of the deleted scenes shows Black SG-1’s Dr. Daniel Jackson having second thoughts on stealing the Zero Point Module. This is important as this indicated that Black SG-1 aren’t evil, just driven to desperation.
- Mitchell makes a reference to Bizarro at the start of the episode, “Why didn’t we end up on an alternate PX7 when we gated through to check on Bizarro SG-1’s…” Bizarro was a DC Comics villain and the “mirror image” of Superman.
- This episode is the second episode with SG-1 members from multiple realities in the same reality. In the first episode, “Point of View”, the Dr. Samantha Carter from the other reality suffers from Entropic cascade failure—the result of two Carters in one universe. However, in “Ripple Effect”, it doesn’t seem to affect any of the SG-1 members from the other realities. It is speculated by Dr. Bill Lee that the reason for this is that all the SG-1 teams are from realities that are relatively “close” to ours.
- On the Prometheus, Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell mentions that the black SG-1 don’t have beards so they’re not evil, which is a reference to the Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror”.
- This is the first and only episode of the series to feature a version of Dr. Daniel Jackson from an alternate reality. However, versions of the character from different alternate timelines had previously appeared in the Season Four episode “2010” and the Season Eight finale “Moebius, Part 1” and “Moebius, Part 2”.
- At the end of the episode, when alternate Martouf and alternate Dr. Janet Fraiser’s team is departing, Carter asks, out of curiosity, why she isn’t on their SG-1. To which Fraiser answers that she was on maternity leave. This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Vala Mal Doran’s temporary membership of SG-1 while Amanda Tapping herself was on maternity leave from the show.
- This episode marks the second time of a human expecting the Asgard to wear pants. The other was “The Siege, Part 3” where Lt. Colonel John Sheppard saw Hermiod for the first time.
- This episode marks the final appearances of Teryl Rothery (Janet Fraiser) and J. R. Bourne (Martouf/Lantash) on the series.
- In the 41st minute of the episode, when the gate is being dialed for the last alternate team to leave, the 6th chevron lights up while the inner ring is still rotating and the 7th chevron is already lit.
- Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter states in this episode that, normally, the travel between two gates takes only a fraction of a second. Most other episodes show that objects take up to 5 seconds to reach their destination. However, she may not be including the time needed for the demolecularization/reconstruction process.
- In the 12th minute, just before the third SG-1 team comes through the gate, their shadows can be seen on the wall on the far left of the screen, cast from the on-set gate lighting effect.
- During the conversation between Black Daniel and Green Mitchell, Daniel suggested a third option whereby the green team aren’t who they say they are. He made no reference to a fourth option whereby the Green team could be outside their own timeline.
- Since the first team returned with a different uniform, the SGC should have noticed it.
In other languagesEdit
- French: Effet Domino (Domino Effect)
- Italian: Universi Paralleli (Parallel Universes)
- Spanish: Efecto Onda (Ripple Effect)
- Czech: Rezonanční efekt (Resonance Effect)
- Hungarian: Hullámhatás (Ripple Effect)
- German (DVD/TV): Der Ripple-Effekt (The Ripple Effect) / Parallelwelten (Parallel Worlds)
- Ripple Effect on the official Syfy website.
- Ripple Effect on the official MGM website.
- Ripple Effect on GateWorld.
- Stargate SG-1 Solutions’ article on Ripple Effect in The StargateWiki