The episode begins In Medias Res on another planet — somewhat unusual for a season premiere — as O'Neill, supporting a wounded previously-unseen fourth member, orders Carter to dial the Stargate. SG-1 is attacked by a disorganized crowd of extras with spears.
Establishing Shot of Cheyenne Mountain. Inside the control room, Walter and Hammond are alerted by SG-1's premature arrival. As Hammond requests for guards and medics in the gate room, Walter orders to open the iris (to whom, himself?). SG-1 emerges from the Stargate and a spear flies after them, which Hammond picks up and then looks at it in surprise, as O'Neill casually orders, "Next!" It's not hard to see why: the new guy, who's clearly seen as a Red Shirt now, is also a Captain Obvious: after pulling a dart out of his leg, he drowsily declares "I've been shot!" before passing out, causing Hammond to drop the spear. (Why did he waste time looking at the spear while there was a wounded soldier right in front of him?)
A new opening. Well, after two seasons worth of the recycled featureless "Children of the Gods" opening, which was in turn recycled from the movie, it's nice to see something new. And of course, it's spoilerific, showing Corin Nemec's name and thus foreshadowing Jonas Quinn joining SG-1. Also the presence of Sun-over-Pyramid can mean only one thing: yet another impending Stargate switcheroo.
For the time being, waiting for that pre-scripted event to happen, Jonas is amused by the Tau'ri's ability to predict weather as he watches a forecast (which is somewhat strange for a member of a mid-20th century level culture). Carter takes him to an airbase, where he is introduced to a new marvel of United States engineering — the X-302, the first Earth miniaturized hybrid plane/spaceship with artificial gravity and a naquadriah-powered hyperdrive. (Meanwhile, Space Shuttle Columbia crashes.)
Chekov, a stereotypically-Russian colonel with a Trekish surname, demands the presence of a Russian within SG-1 as a replacement for Daniel. O'Neill, of course, refuses, displaying blatant insubordination that he once again gets away with. "Over my dead body, sir." Apparently, in O'Neill's mind, the Cold War never ended.
Jonas expresses to Carter his idea to join SG-1. Carter says she doesn't know how to do it. Hello? The same way as with Teal'c, of course!
Speaking of Teal'c, this is whom Jonas goes to next, to do boxing. Of course, he doesn't stand a chance and repeatedly gets knocked down. Teal'c promises to talk to O'Neill about him if Jonas manages to win... and the scene abruptly cuts to Teal'c dining with O'Neill and we never know how the fight ended. "He wants to join SG-1." — "He's an alien!" Teal'c, of course, refutes this inane argument with his trademark single-eyebrow-raise, which basically says, "Are you high/stupid? Shut up before you make an even bigger fool of yourself."
The speech is interrupted as the Stargate unexpectedly activates. It is Bra'tac, and of course, he carries plot-relevant news. Except they're not plot-relevant in the long term. Teal'c's wife is ill. They leave through the Stargate, and just as Colonel Chekov accuses Hammond of hiding the X-302 from the Russians, the Stargate activates again, but nothing is coming through. O'Neill speedily leaves before Carter can deliver another portion of Technobabble.
At the Jaffa camp, Rya'c gets out of his tent, delivers another one of his "I hate you, father!" speeches, pushes Teal'c and runs away.
Back at the SGC, Carter calmly waits for the Stargate to close. A timer with Viewer-Friendly Interface reaches 38 minutes, but nothing happens. Carter begins to panic.
Back at the Jaffa camp, Teal'c silently kneels before the dead Drey'auc (this should be a trope). When he finally goes outside (to a forest, of course) to find his son, Rya'c delivers another unconvincing (and too intelligent for a child) portion of angst and beats Teal'c with a staff weapon. This assault on his coolness is so shocking to Teal'c that he doesn't fight back.
Meanwhile, the Stargate begins accumulating energy, and Carter arrives to an astonishing conclusion: the plan is essentially an Overclocking Attack. Whatever Goa'uld (who else?) is behind it, they for some reason preferred this slow and unreliable method instead of just blasting the iris with Sokar's particle weapon and assaulting Earth with raw force, or attacking in ships again.
At the Jaffa camp, night comes (and Carter sits by the Stargate all this time?) and Teal'c ritually burns his wife's body. The Jaffa have much to learn from the Tok'ra in terms of ceremonial burial, as we'll later learn in "Allegiance" — let's just say for now that the Jaffa method does not involve a Stargate... Then Teal'c absolutely inexplicably bothers to make peace with the little ungrateful bugger. He must have inhuman patience.
At the SGC, the slow and steady progress is interrupted by the sudden arrival of McKay, who once again makes an effort to annoy the bedaniel out of Carter, and succeeds. Chekov scolds SG-1 for wrecking the Tok'ra ship in "Fail Safe", and Carter comes up with an obvious solution: to send the X-302 into hyperspace to contact the Asgard.
A replica of that Tok'ra ship lands in the Jaffa camp. (Now, how handy would it be on Earth!) But Teal'c and Bra'tac don't think of trying to reach Earth by ship — it's not their job to think. So, after dialing the Earth Stargate fails, instead of flying there and offering the ship, Bra'tac proposes a truly insane plan: to dial planets controlled by Anubis at random, and the one that fails must be the one with the "Stargate buster". Because obviously, Anubis can't have more than one Stargate active at a time, and can't deliberately leave some more Stargates as false targets in case someone attempts exactly this. Amazingly, the Unspoken Plan Guarantee is averted, and this strategy works.
The Tau'ri are not so lucky. As O'Neill and Carter take off in the X-302 and McKay continues to annoy everyone around, including Jonas, the latter suddenly remembers that naquadriah can't be reliably used in a hyperdrive. Too bad he forgot to tell this before the X-302 was completed. Naturally, they ignore the warning but fail to enter hyperspace anyway, and Hammond aborts the mission.
A blackout occurs at the SGC. A huge hologram of Anubis, powered by stolen Asgard technology, appears in front of the Stargate to declare that "All your Gates are belong to us" and brag how badass he is. It doesn't work and O'Neill, as customary, mocks him. But sincerely, when a villain says "you will bow to my awesome power", it's sort of hard to take him seriously.
"Redemption, Part 1" provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Atoner: Jonas wants to try and make up for the part he played in what happened to Daniel, and laments the fact that O'Neill is not even giving him the opportunity to try.
- Blatant Lies:O'Neill: I can be as diplomatic and open-minded as anyone.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Rya'c gives a pretty harsh one to Teal'c after Drey'auc's death, though he eventually comes around after the two have a heart-to-heart.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Lampshaded when Teal'c suggests that O'Neill consider adding Jonas to the team:O'Neill: Now, I know you've been practicing, but I still can't tell. Was that a joke?
- Cassandra Truth: Jonas and McKay both warn that the naquadria is too unstable to be successfully used in hyperspace flight, but Hammond and Carter insist on going ahead with the test flight anyway since it's the best option they have at this point.
- Chekhov's Gun: The X-302 gets used later in the episode after the team goes to see it at Area 51.
- Continuity Nod:
- O'Neill is initially somewhat uneasy about testing the X-302 after his experiences with its predecessor.
- Bra'tac tells Teal'c that Rya'c is plagued by self-doubt after being brainwashed by Apophis, prompting Teal'c to tell his son that he been through a similar experience.
- Rodney McKay returns from his reassignment to Siberia.
- Anubis can now use Asgard technology after uploading Thor's brain to his ship.
- Digging Yourself Deeper:O'Neill: [to Carter] Hey. How come you're not downstairs with the rest of the eggheads. Not that you're... an egghead. Well, you are, actually... but in a good way.
- The Face: Hammond lampshades Daniel's previous function on the team as this, stating that although there's no official rule about SG teams having four members, the role is valuable enough that they need to find someone to full the niche.
- Fauxdian Slip: O'Neill's response when he finds out that Chekov is pushing for a Russian team member on SG-1.O'Neill: Over my rotting corpse, sir.Hammond: Colonel.O'Neill: I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?
- Hologram: Anubis appears as a giant hologram in the gate room in order to deliver some portents of doom.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: Jonas is absolutely fascinated by watching the Weather Channel and likens it to predicting the future, despite Carter pointing out that there are hundreds of other channels to choose from.
- Inertial Dampening: The X-302 has this, much to O'Neill's delight.Carter: Navigation?O'Neill: Check.Carter: Oxygen pressure, temperature control?O'Neill: All check.Carter: Inertial dampeners?O'Neill: Cool... And check.
- Insufferable Genius: Despite the fact that it means the planet is still doomed, McKay actually seems happy when the X-302 flight fails, as he gets to rub Carter's face in the fact that he was right.
- Insult Friendly Fire: O'Neill loudly objects to Jonas' presence on SG-1 because he's an alien, then realises he is talking to Teal'c.
- Large Ham: Anubis
- Killed Offscreen: Bra'tac brings word to Teal'c that Drey'auc is extremely ill, but by the time Teal'c arrives she is apparently already dead.
- Made of Explodium: Anubis utilizes the fact that the stargate is made of naquadah by keeping a wormhole to Earth open and sending almost undetectable amounts of energy through. Carter speculates that if the attack is sustained for more than a day or so, it could excite the naquadah enough for it to explode, with a blast big enough to destroy Colorado Springs and the resulting fallout capable of wiping out all life on Earth.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: You'd think the Air Force would have a team of test pilots assigned to the X-302 program, but as in "Tangent", O'Neill is in the driver's seat.
- Mission Control: The briefing room is effectively transformed into this, with McKay and the other scientists setting up shop with their laptops.
- Noodle Incident: The episode opens with SG-1 and a potential new team member running for the stargate on an apparent mission gone wrong, giving us this:Capt. Hagman: I swear, sir, I thought they wanted to smoke the peace pipe.[Cue a horde of angry natives appearing over the horizon in pursuit of the team.]
- Not So Stoic: Teal'c breaks down in tears following Drey'auc's death.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Carter is notably disconcerted when the stargate first activates and nothing comes through, not even a signal.
- Photographic Memory: Jonas claims that he has been able to memorize all of Daniel's notes, and that Fraiser's tests on him indicate he has a much higher capacity for memory than the average human.
- Proud Warrior Race: Bra'tac tells Rya'c that a "true Jaffa warrior" would not allow his emotions to cloud his judgement. Though this is blatantly untrue, given the amount of times Teal'c has embarked on an ill-conceived Roaring Rampage of Revenge, to the point that "it's a Jaffa revenge thing" has become a running gag. However, it is also worth noting that Bra'tac doesn't generally lose control of his emotions, and Teal'c is not perfect.
- Time Skip: Carter mentions that around three months have passed since the events of "Meridian".
- Viking Funeral: Drey'auc's body is burned on a funeral pyre following her death.
- You Know I'm Black, Right?: Teal'c suggests letting Jonas become a member of SG-1 to O'Neill, and the latter responds by saying he doesn't consider Jonas trustworthy because "he's an alien", before realizing how offensive such a pronouncement is to Teal'c.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Teal'c to Rya'c, when the latter pulls his staff weapon on him. Rya'c doesn't shoot, but he does beat the crap out of him with it.