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Recap / Stargate SG-1 S2 E18 "Serpent's Song"

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A mortally wounded Apophis seeks sanctuary on earth. The team decides to take him alive in the hopes that he may able to provide valuable information, but the situation is complicated when a rival Goa'uld by the name of Sokar comes launches an assault against the SGC to persuade them to turn over their prisoner.

First appearance of Sokar


"Serpent's Song" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • And I Must Scream: The fate of Apophis' host is explicitly referred to as a waking nightmare, having spent over 2000 years trapped inside his own body. And to make matters even worse, when he finally thinks it's all over he's sent back to Sokar to be resurrected and tortured some more.
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  • Badass Boast: When Daniel tells Apophis that he was the one who hid Apophis' child:
    Apophis: He was taken by Heru'ur.
    Daniel: No. By me.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Daniel convinces Hammond to let him interrogate Apophis on the grounds that he knows the most about Sokar, and uses the opportunity to very matter-of-factly tell Apophis that he will kill him on his deathbed if he doesn't give up Sha're's location. Apophis doesn't think he has it in him.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The team decide to take Apophis alive instead of killing him when he's completely at their mercy as they believe he may have valuable information. This turns out to be a mistake when Sokar comes looking for him.
    O'Neill: I should have shot him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Carter surmises that this is what Sokar wants with Apophis, having briefly suffered the same during her time with Jolinar. She even explicitly states that the device is not intended for use in interrogations; merely to cause extreme pain until the victim dies.
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  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Once they return Apophis's body to Sokar, Martouf points out that Sokar can bring him back to life and torture/kill Apophis over and over again for as long as he wants. The Tok'ra feel this is a just punishment for his many crimes, SG-1 (except Teal'c who is not shown) and Hammond don't say anything but the looks on their faces say they disagree.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Pretty much everyone takes a shot at Apophis while he's dying in the infirmary; Daniel mocks him for losing his child, Teal'c mocks the fact that he's lost his armies and is no longer worshipped by the Jaffa, and O'Neill mocks him purely for the sake of mocking him.
  • Dies Wide Open: Apophis, followed shortly after by his host.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The utter calm with which Daniel promises to kill Apophis is mildly disconcerting.
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  • Dying as Yourself: The host manages to cling to life for a few minutes after the symbiote dies, enough time for Daniel to read him the ancient Egyptian funerary rites.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Apophis claims that he genuinely does love Amaunet, even if it's a love that Daniel can't comprehend. The pathetic way he calls her name as he's dying would certainly seem to indicate there's some degree of truth.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Sokar invokes this by firing a particle beam through the wormhole in an attempt to melt through the iris, causing temperatures in the gateroom and control room to rise drastically.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Sokar;
    Daniel: Basically, he was the original Satan.
    O'Neill: Well, isn't that special?
  • Immortals Fear Death: Apophis plays this straight when faced with his own imminent demise.
    Apophis: I... am... afraid.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: Hammond insists that Apophis has some form of rights while he's at the SGC, as he's technically a prisoner of war. O'Neill is faintly incredulous at this.
  • Oh Wait!:
    O'Neill: That's between you and your god. Oh wait — you are your god! That's a problem.
  • Pet the Dog: Arguably, Apophis has a very brief moment of sympathy as he's calling out for his "queen".
  • Rapid Aging: Without the sarcophagus, the host body begins to age rapidly, compensating for the fact that it's been artificially sustained for millennia.
  • Taking You with Me: Apophis claims that he deliberately sought sanctuary on earth so that when Sokar came for him, he would destroy earth as well.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Apophis finally realizes that he really is going to die, he begins sobbing and pleading and admitting that he's afraid.
  • What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: Apophis claims that he will share all the knowledge of the Goa'uld in exchange for a new host. O'Neill isn't buying it.
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