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Recap / Stargate SG-1 S2 E10 "Bane"

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Teal'c is stung by an alien insect and begins to undergo a startling transformation upon returning to earth. The rest of the team is caught in a frantic race against time to save him, but their efforts are hindered by Colonel Maybourne, who views Teal'c's transformation as an opportunity for study.


"Bane" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Admiring the Abomination: Dr. Harlow does this with the insects on occasion.
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  • All Webbed Up: During the final stages of the transformation, the victim ends up wrapped in some kind of web-like cocoon.
  • Apocalypse How: Somewhere between local to planetary scope where the bugs have taken over the human civilization. The city where the stargate is located had no humans, but their technology and architecture was still around.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: O'Neill says it best:
    O'Neill: Carter, there are bugs on that planet! Big, huge, ugly, honkin' bugs!!
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The bugs reproduce by stinging a human host to inject them with venom which then somehow re-writes their DNA until they transform into more bugs.
  • Body Horror: Teal'c spends most of the episode slowly mutating into giant space bugs. Plural.
  • Bring It Back Alive: O'Neill, Daniel and Carter return to the planet to try and catch one of the bugs alive in the hopes it will help them find a cure for Teal'c's condition.
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  • Chest Burster: The footage brought back from the planet shows several bugs exploding from the body of one of the unlucky victims.
  • Does That Sound Like Fun to You?: When Teal'c runs into a group of young street punks:
    Teal'c: Remove yourself from my path.
    Punk: Listen to this guy. I'll "remove myself" when you tell me how they do tattoos like that on Chulak.
    Teal'c: The skin is cut with an Orak knife. Molten gold is then poured into the wound.
    Punk: Ow, man, don't that hurt when they do that?
    Teal'c: Tremendously.
  • Eureka Moment: Fraiser and Carter realize that the tank they're keeping Teal'c's symbiote in is missing an electrical charge off the back of O'Neill making a flippant remark about about trying to defibrillate it.
  • For Science!: Harlow's primary motivation, though he proves himself to be a fairly decent guy by the end.
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  • Heel Realization: Harlow has one of these mid-sentence when he realizes that Maybourne intends to let the transformation run its course so that the creatures can be studied.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Teal'c asks O'Neill to kill him if the transformation progresses too far.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Teal'c forms a bond with a young-but-streetwise girl named Ally who assumes he is a fugitive and helps him to hide from the cops.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: O'Neill and Maybourne both have their search teams in a race to find Teal'c before the other when he runs.
  • LEGO Genetics: The alien bug venom is said to re-writing Teal'c's DNA to turn him into not just one but several bugs. There is some small attempt to justify this when Harlow says that DNA cannot alter DNA and there must be some kind of retrovirus involved, but still, biology does not work that way.
  • Literal-Minded: Many instances when Teal'c is talking to Ally, given her use of street slang.
    Ally: Don't sweat it.
    Teal'c: I cannot help it.
  • The Movie Buff: Ally appears to be one, as she makes references in conversation to The Godfather, The Fugitive, and James Bond.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted; Fraiser specifically says that genetics isn't her field and she's out of her depth, so Carter calls in Dr. Timothy Harlow as a renowned geneticist she worked with at the Pentagon.
  • Painful Transformation: You know it must be painful if it can reduce Teal'c to agonized screams.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Ally is introduced this way, complete with Compressed Hair.
  • Shout-Out: The scene where near the end of the episode where Teal'c is wrapped in a cocoon and muttering "kill... me..." is very reminiscent of the infamous scene from Aliens.
  • Sophisticated as Hell:
    O'Neill: [about Maybourne] General, permission to beat the crap out of this man?
  • The Swarm: Leads to a very big Oh, Crap! moment for the team at the start of the episode, when Teal'c has just been stung and they still think they're only dealing with the one bug:
    Daniel: Uhhhh, I think we should probably get going now.
    O'Neill: No, really?
    [A massive swarm of bugs appears over the horizon.]
    Daniel: No, really.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Carter is furious when she realizes that Harlow must have told Maybourne what was going on, although he insists that he didn't know about Maybourne's ulterior motives and he's probably right about the SGC lacking the resources to deal with the situation.
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