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Recap / Stargate SG 1 S 4 E 8 The First Ones

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"In case anybody finds this, I met a wonderful new friend and he's taking me on a long journey to see his planet."
— Dr. Daniel Jackson

Daniel is kidnapped by an Unas while on an archaeological excavation of the primordial Goa'uld homeworld. As the rest of the team organize a search-and-rescue effort, Daniel begins learning to communicate with his captor, whom he dubs "Chaka".

"The First Ones" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alien Blood: Comes in two varieties; the Goa'uld symbiotes have blue blood while the Unas bleed bright green.
  • Alien Sky: P3X-888 has two moons.
  • Androcles' Lion: Daniel references the trope by name when he helps Chaka by digging a bullet out of his shoulder.
  • Blood Is the New Black: After saving Daniel from a symbiote that tries to take him as a host, Chaka promptly rips it in half and smears its blood across Daniel's face.
  • Challenging the Chief: At the end of the episode, Chaka is able to finish off the alpha male of the Unas clan after O'Neill and Carter riddle it with bullets, prompting the other clan members to accept him as their new leader.
  • Distressed Dude: Daniel is once again in need of rescue, though he manages to handle himself pretty well for the most part.
  • Due to the Dead: After Rothman and Hawkins are killed, Carter states that they deserve a proper burial and one of the other officers promises to see to it that their bodies make it back through the gate.
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  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Teal'c has just killed Hawkins and explains he knew anyone who was a Goa'uld would be able to free himself. He goes to free Rothman...and sees that he'd been about to break free. He has just enough time to process this before Rothman attacks.
  • Hazardous Water: The planet has a large body of water that turns out to be infested with Goa'uld symbiotes, resulting in Rothman and Hawkins both getting snaked.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Daniel initially speculates that this must be the reason for Chaka taking him. He's half-right — it turns out that Chaka actually intends to present him as a human sacrifice to the alpha male.
  • I'm Not Hungry: Daniel apparently draws the line at eating roasted symbiote heads.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: Teal'c comes up with a variation on this to determine which members of the rescue team are Goa'ulds; he zip-ties their hands and pretends to leave, knowing that a Goa'uld would be strong enough to eventually break free from the restraints.
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  • Interspecies Friendship: A very tentative one develops between Daniel and Chaka by the end of the episode.
  • The Load: Rothman. O'Neill didn't even want to bring him along, and he doesn't have anything particularly constructive to offer when he does join the search party.
  • Marked to Die: Daniel speculates that he has been marked for death when Chaka slashes his face and uses his blood to draw on the wall of the cave.
  • Mauve Shirt: Robert Rothman is killed off with little fanfare on his third appearance.
  • Not Good with People: Rothman, by his own admission.
    Rothman: It's not my thing.
    O'Neill: What isn't?
    Rothman: People. I mean, give me a million-year-old fossil and I'll tell you what it had for breakfast, but I'm not too good at people. They're too recent.
  • Not Himself: Hawkins starts acting distinctly oddly after the search team finds him wandering the forest on his own, an early indicator that he's been taken over by a Goa'uld. To his credit, O'Neill does seem to realize this, but since they aren't aware of any living Goa'uld on the planet they seem to be acting on the assumption that the guy is just suffering from PTSD after losing his whole team.
  • Offhand Backhand: Teal'c very casually takes out a symbiote that leaps out of the water to attack him by firing his staff weapon over his shoulder.
  • Oh, Crap!: This gem when the team is restrained
    O'Neil: All right, anybody with a snake in their head raise their hands!
    Hawkins: (Eyes glow. Breaks his restraints, raising his hand)
    O'Neill: Damn!
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: A fairly minor example, but since Daniel's field of archaeological expertise is in ancient human civilizations, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for him to be digging up prehistoric Goa'uld fossils.
  • P.O.V. Cam: From Chaka's perspective when he attacks the camp in The Teaser.
  • Red Shirt: SG-11 is wiped out in its entirety.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Teal'c is able to accurately track the Unas through the forest. This is also parodied at the end of the episode, once the team reaches the caves where Daniel has been taken:
    Teal'c: This way.
    [O'Neill shines his flashlight on the cave wall, revealing that Daniel has left a message for them that literally reads "THIS WAY" with an arrow pointing in the right direction.]
    O'Neill: ...You're good.
  • Sensor Character: Averted; Carter and Teal'c should be able to sense the presence of a symbiote, but since the ones on this particular planet are of a less-evolved form that don't contain any naquadah, they're flying blind and the team has no way to determine who is a Goa'uld and who isn't.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Daniel demonstrates his considerable skill in this area, winning Chaka over to such an extent that he ends up pleading with the alpha male to spare Daniel's life, when he originally set out to offer him as a sacrifice.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Daniel begins to gain Chaka's trust by giving him a candy bar.
  • Theme Naming: Rothman names the Goa'uld fossils he finds Cleopatra, Brutus and Julius.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Daniel uses a rock to leave markings for the others to follow on the walls of the cave.
  • Wham Episode: The SGC now knows the location of the Goa'uld homeworld, and the SGC's backup archaeologist for Daniel is dead.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: At first Daniel seems to be operating under the assumption that the Unas are wild animals, but he quickly deduces that they must possess some degree of sentience as Chaka is wearing clothes that he made himself, and once they learn how to communicate on a basic level they develop some degree of respect for each other. At one point Daniel considers smashing Chaka's head with a rock while he's sleeping in order to escape, but he can't bring himself to do it and ultimately ends up telling the others to hold their fire when they arrive to rescue him.

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