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Recap / Stargate SG 1 S 10 E 10 The Quest Part 1

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"Another band of stalwart heroes come to tempt fate at the hopes of claiming a legendary prize!"
— Osric

The team travel to the planet where they hope the Sangraal can be found after Vala learns of its location in a dream, only to be informed that they must pass a series of tests in order to claim their prize. Along the way they encounter Ba'al and Adria, both seeking the Sangraal for their own purposes, and the three parties form a reluctant if temporary truce, working together to complete the tests.


"The Quest, Part 1" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The team immediately and consistently dismiss the possibility that the Sangraal could be guarded by an actual dragon, despite everything else they've encountered so far. This turns out to be a mistake at the end of the episode.
    Vala: We agreed there's no such thing as a dragon, right?
    Mitchell: Yeah.
    Vala: Hmm... 'Cause that looks pretty real to me.
  • Archer Archetype: The village barmaid kills one of the Ori soldiers with a crossbow.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Ba'al and Adria, which Carter lampshades by telling them to get a room already.
  • Blunt "Yes": After Daniel calls Adria's bluff about using her powers:
    Adria: Do you really want to test me?
    Daniel: ...Yeah.
  • Book Burning: The Ori soldiers burn the contents of the village library while the team look on.
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  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Mitchell uses O'Neill's "Oh, for cryin' out loud!" when the group keep encountering more riddles as the cavern collapses around them.
  • Bottomless Pit: When the group finally reach what appears to be the Sangraal, they find it on a dais accessible only by crossing a thin ledge over a deep pit. Mitchell tosses a stone over the edge to test how far down it goes, and they never hear it hit the bottom.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Adria repeatedly threatens to kill various members of the team (and Ba'al) with her powers but never actually uses them even when it would be more convenient for her to do. Daniel eventually calls her on this, deducing that Morgan Le Fay left safeguards in place to drain her powers and that she had previously been bluffing to ensure the team's cooperation.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • It's mentioned that Ba'al has had the list of potential locations for the Sangraal for weeks.
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    • Ba'al is forced to give up a knife he claims holds sentimental value to him. It's the one he used to repeatedly torture/kill O'Neill when they first met.
    • Carter suggests that maybe the dragon is a hologram, to which Mitchell replies that "holograms can be dangerous", referencing the events of "Avalon, Part 2" and "Camelot".
  • Contrived Coincidence: Invoked in-story by Carter when the encounter Ba'al. He's had the coordinates he stole during "Insiders" for months, yet he's only come to the Sangraal's world now (let alone at the exact same time as SG-1)? Ba'al (reluctantly) explains he only possessed 2 of the 3 addresses and thus had significantly more addresses to investigate and discard by process of elimination. Even once he had the Sangraal address, all attempts to reach the planet by ship failed (a safeguard set by Morgan to prevent the Sangraal from getting nuked from orbit). With no other recourse, Ba'al finally came in person by Stargate (and in an in-story coincidence, mere days ahead of SG-1).
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: One of the tests involves freeing a small child from a cell to demonstrate kindness, leading to this exchange:
    Ba'al: He's tiny. Have him squeeze through the bars.
    Teal'c: Assist us, or I will squeeze you through these bars.
  • Death by Materialism: The second test uses this. The chest gets people to approach under the guise of a reward, but it's empty and a one-way force field prevents escape. The test is to see if those present will give something up, at which point they may continue on.
  • Devil in Disguise: Adria initially disguises herself as the keeper of the village archives, an elderly man, in order to gain the team's trust and lead them to the Sangraal, and implies that she would have kept up the act until they achieved their goal if they hadn't managed to see through her.
  • Enemy Mine: The episode features a three-way version with SG-1, Ba'al and Adria all seeking the Sangraal for their own purposes and agreeing to temporarily pool their resources and team up until they find it. None of them make any attempt to disguise their loathing for the others, and they're all quite clear about the fact that they intend to stab each other in the back as soon as they've completed the puzzles and claimed their prize.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Vala has one at the beginning of the episode, realizing in a dream that the address of the planet where the Sangraal is located is a combination of symbols from the three planets given to the team on Camelot. It's eventually revealed that Adria purposely sent her the information, as she was growing frustrated with the team taking so long to figure it out.
  • Evil Is Petty: It's a testament to how much Ba'al despises O'Neill that he still has, and carries around, the knife he used to repeatedly kill Jack back during "Abyss". He even remarks it has 'sentimental value'.
  • Gilligan Cut: Vala tells Osric that they wouldn't dream of trying to steal the map to the Sangraal. Immediately cut to Vala saying "we have to steal it".
  • In the Hood: The team disguise themselves in hooded robes when the Ori soldiers arrive at the village.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: The archive keeper is reluctant to let the team see Morgan Le Fay's map after Ba'al tried to steal it, leading to this:
    Vala: We wouldn't dream of trying to steal it!
    (Cut to the team sat inside a bar)
    Vala: We have to steal it.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Adria threatens to kill Daniel's friends to force his cooperation. It works up until they believe they've found the Sangraal, by which point he's deduced she's bluffing and can't access her powers.
  • Madness Mantra: The team first find Ba'al trapped inside a force shield where he's apparently been for three days, muttering under his breath about "making them pay".
  • Magic Versus Science: Daniel and the "archive keeper" (actually Adria in disguise) get into a debate about this, with Daniel taking the position of science and the archive keeper insisting that magic — or more accurately, the power of the Ori — is responsible.
  • Mundane Solution: After Carter's instruments stop working and the team get trapped in the time dilation maze, Vala points out that Arthur and co. wouldn't have had such technology so there must be a simpler way of figuring out the correct path through the maze. Cue Carter picking up stones from the ground and tossing them ahead of her until they get stuck, marking the boundaries of the dilation field.
  • Not Worth Killing: Adria uses this excuse to avoid killing Ba'al, who is both mocking her powers and daring her to make him stop. Daniel uses this as proof later on that she can't presently use her powers, as she definitely would have murdered Ba'al for mouthing off if she could.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everybody gets one when the dragon appears at the end of the episode.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: Adria states that the Sangraal can only be claimed by somebody possessing "truth of spirit"; being smart enough to realize that she doesn't quite meet that criteria, she intends to use Daniel, as a former ascended being, to do it for her. This doesn't quite go the way she'd hoped, since when he tries to take the stone his hand just passes straight through it.
    Daniel: Well, I guess I'm not as "true of spirit" as you thought I was.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The “dragon” is actually a wyvern.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: Carter's instruments stop working just as the team are in the center of the time dilation maze, leaving them flying blind.
  • The Quest: The clue is in the title.
  • Riddle Me This: One of the tests involves a series of Ancient riddles that the team have to work out the answers to in order to progress while the cavern they're in collapses around them.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: Reaching the Sangraal requires that the team display five separate virtues clearly inspired by the seven heavenly ones in order to pass each test and progress on their quest. In order, these include: patience (taking their time to work out and navigate the correct path through the time dilation field rather than charging ahead and getting stuck), charity (sacrificing a personal item each in order to escape a forcefield trap), kindness (rescuing a "child" from a cell rather than ignoring his plight), wisdom (working out the correct answers to the riddles) and faith (Daniel walks through a wall of fire unharmed).
  • Sleep Mask: Vala is shown wearing one in bed at the beginning of the episode, and forgets to take it off in her excitement when she races to Daniel's office after her prophetic dream.
  • Some Kind Of Forcefield: The second test involves a domed, one-way force shield that traps the person inside using an empty treasure chest to lure them. The only way to escape the trap is to place a personal possession inside the chest.
  • Spotting the Thread: Daniel realizes that the archive keeper is actually Adria when he says something that's actually a paraphrased quote from the Book of Origin. He also gives up a ring that is definitely Ori in origin, rather than Celtic as the planet's culture would suggest.
  • Stupid Evil: Downplayed, if still minor example with Adria. Even when maintaining her disguise as the Village Archivist is paramount, Adria just can't stop herself from getting into a theological debate with Daniel and quoting (or at least paraphrasing) Ori scripture. It's part of what blows her cover.
  • Super Strength: Adria may not be able to use her powers, but she still manages to effortlessly lift the door to a cell that the entire team plus Ba'al had been straining at before she decided to help. However, it's equally likely that, as with the chest puzzle, the combined effort of the group was required and Adria merely hung back so her assistance would seem greater than it actually was.
  • Time Dilation: Used to create a maze, with a winding path of "real time" cutting through the dilation field, causing anyone who takes a wrong turn to become "stuck".
  • Volleying Insults: Most of the interaction between Ba'al and Adria.