SG-1 head off to a planet looking for a stealth animal to use against the Goa'ulds. They spot a Jaffa patrol and Apophis while there, so they decide to ambush the guy.
It goes very wrong. O'Neill, Carter and Daniel Jackson end up being fatally introduced to staff weapons. Teal'c gets transported away before it becomes a Total Party Kill.
O'Neill, Carter and Jackson wake up being not dead and with holes in their clothing. Enter the local Space Elves, the Nox, who brought them back from the dead.
"The Nox" includes examples of the following tropes:
- Aliens Speaking English: The Nox at first didn't speak English, but learned very quickly (within a few minutes).
- Bold Explorer: Daniel's opinion of what the Stargate should be used for. The visiting secretary of state doesn't seem to agree.
- Buffy Speak: O'Neill attempting to describe the team's weapons to the Nox:O'Neill: Those things you found on us. The things you took from us... The big things.
- Can't Argue with Elves: At the end of the episode, SG-1 starts to agree with the Nox ways after the latter reveals the presence of their floating city and their own highly advanced technology with it.
- Clothing Damage: All three human members of the team have holes in their clothing from the staff weapon blasts after they are resurrected by the Nox.
- Combat Pragmatist: O'Neill instructs the others to carve wooden bows and arrows with which to fight Apophis after their guns are confiscated.
- Death Is Cheap: Three quarters of the team are killed off and promptly brought back to life again. Lya and Nafrayu are also killed off by Shak'l and Apophis, respectively, and brought back to life. Justified since the Nox have the power to bring back the dead.
- Early Installment Weirdness: All the Jaffa in this episode have Gold marks. Later in the series this will only denote those with the rank of First Prime.
- Fantastic Aesop: The Nox strongly disapprove of violence and encourage the main cast to embrace a more pacifistic way of life, but they have access to highly advanced technology and abilities, including the ability to resurrect the dead and hide entire civilizations, that make such pacifism a more viable option.
- Hero Killer: Apophis single-handedly kills O'Neill, Carter, and Daniel in quick succession, and would have gotten Teal'c too if the Nox hadn't teleported him away.
- I Die Free: This episode marks the first time the catchphrase is uttered on the show.
- Invisibility: The Nox possess this ability via their advanced cloaking technology. They use this on the Fenri to protect it from the Goa'uld and on themselves to keep themselves from being attacked.
- Meaningful Echo: "The very young often do not do as they are told." This is repeated at the end of the episode and in a later episode.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The actions of SG-1 alert Apophis to the existence of the Nox. Another example is discussed near the end when they realize that the Nox are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and were going to bury their Stargate. At their own request, no less.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The Nox pretend to be weak and helpless to put SG-1 through a Secret Test of Character. At the end, they reveal their ruse when they show SG-1 their floating city and just how advanced they really were.
- Perfect Pacifist People: The Nox won't resort to violence even in self-defense.
- Really 700 Years Old: Downplayed. Ohper is 432 years old by Earth standards, based on his calculations. The wikia confirms that Nox can live to be about 500 years old.
- The Reveal: When the Nox's hidden floating city is uncloaked, revealing them to be far more technologically advanced than they appear.
- Save the Villain: The Nox teleport Apophis away right before O'Neill could hit him with a tranquilizer arrow.
- Secret Test of Character: The Nox do a remarkable job of testing SG-1 out. They made themselves seem weak and helpless so as to see if SG-1 could see through the ruse and to see how they act around such beings. Afterward, the Nox revealed the truth and deemed the Tau'ri to be "too young" for their knowledge and technology.
- Spanner in the Works: Apophis shows up and disrupts what was supposed to be a mission to catch an invisible creature to please the higher-ups.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Nox eventually reveal themselves to be this; before then, everything they did could be mistaken for powerful magic or supernatural effects.
- Whole Plot Reference: Has a lot in common with the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Errand of Mercy", where the Enterprise crew attempt to protect an apparently low-tech and pacifistic species of aliens from being oppressed by the Klingons, only to discover that the aliens don't need (or want) their help.
- Would Hurt a Child: Apophis, naturally. He murders Nafrayu so as to set a trap to kill the Nox while they're trying to bring him back from the dead.
- You Are Not Ready: The reason that the Nox refuse to share their knowledge or technology."Perhaps one day, you will see that your way is not the only way."