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Recap / Stargate SG 1 S 7 E 18 Heroes Part 2

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"The fact is that this mission was botched from the beginning to the end."
— Richard Woolsey

The filming of a documentary into the running of the SGC is interrupted when a rescue operation goes badly wrong, with rumors indicating that somebody important to the program has been killed in action. As Bregman and his crew attempt to find out the identity of the casualty, the NID launches an inquiry into the decisions made by those involved with the mission, including Carter, Daniel and Hammond.

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This episode is notable for its now-infamous twist involving the unexpected death of Dr. Janet Fraiser.

First appearance of Richard Woolsey.


"Heroes, Part 2" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Bregman wanted to see some action; it's probably fair to say that he ends up seeing more than he really bargained for.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: O'Neill and Dixon do this while under heavy fire near the beginning of the episode.
    Dixon: Hi, Jack! Thanks for coming.
    O'Neill: I was told you said there were six Jaffa. Where'd you learn to count?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Two set up in the previous episode end up going off in this one:
    • One of the new ceramic vest inserts designed by Dr. Lee to absorb staff weapon blasts ends up saving O'Neill's life when he gets shot.
    • Daniel's camera, which Bregman had asked him to direct towards some of the "action" becomes important when it turns out he inadvertently recorded what went down during the mission.
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  • Combat Medic: Bregman points out that Wells must be pretty seriously injured if Hammond is willing to risk deploying Fraiser in the middle of a war zone.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Corner of Woe: Bregman finds Daniel crying alone in the corner of an abandoned isolation room some time after Fraiser's death. Daniel explains that it's the room where he "died" two years previous.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Airman Wells names his newborn daughter "Janet" to pay tribute to Fraiser after she died saving his life.
  • The Dead Have Names: Gets inverted, with Carter reading a list of all the people who are still alive thanks to Fraiser at her memorial service, starting with all the members of SG-1.
    Carter: While words alone may not be enough, there are some names that might do. We often talk about those that give their lives in the service of their country, and while Janet Fraiser did just that, that's not what her life was about. The following are the names of the men and women who did not die in service, but who are in fact alive today, thanks to Janet: Major Samantha Carter. Dr. Daniel Jackson. Colonel Jack O'Neill. Teal'c. Sergeant Connie Smith. Major Ian Hughes. Senior Airman Simon Wells...
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  • Dies Wide Open: While Bregman and his crew are watching the footage from Daniel's camera, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot after Fraiser gets hit of her body on the ground with her eyes staring sightlessly ahead.
  • The Dragon: Woolsey is this for Kinsey, though it's explicitly stated that he's a whole lot smarter than Kinsey will ever be.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: With all the focus on O'Neill and Wells, Fraiser's death pretty much comes out of nowhere, with the audience not even aware that she's been hit until she dies onscreen.
  • Famous Last Words:
    Fraiser: Look at me! You are not going to die, okay? I did not come all the way out here for nothing. Now I've stemmed the bleeding, we're gonna get you on a stretcher, we're gonna get you home with your family in no time, okay? Now you hang in there, airman.
  • A Father to His Men: Hammond comforts Carter in the aftermath of Fraiser's death and is clearly struggling with it himself, saying that no matter how hard he tries to remain impartial and value all those under his command equally, there are always some deaths that hit harder than others.
  • First-Name Basis: Col. Rundell finally gives into Bregman's requests that he address him by first name at the very end of the episode.
  • Friendship Moment: Teal'c hugs Carter and gives her the idea to recite the names of everybody Fraiser has saved when she's struggling to come up with a eulogy.
  • Heroic BSoD: Carter and Daniel both shut down pretty hard in the aftermath of Fraiser's death, though they go about it in completely different ways, with Carter becoming an emotional wreck who keeps bursting into tears while Daniel gets all closed-off and scary.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Wells tells Fraiser and Daniel to leave him behind at one point, convinced that he's going to die. Fraiser points out that that would make it kind of a wasted trip through the stargate for her.
  • Interrogation Montage: When Woolsey is questioning Carter, Daniel and Teal'c about the mission.
  • It's What I Do: Played for drama when Woolsey is questioning the wisdom of sending a full rescue team into a hostile situation for the sake of one wounded airman; Daniel kind of looks at him uncomprehendingly and replies that "this is what we do".
  • Killed Off for Real: Dr. Janet Fraiser.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Fraiser is given a full military service in the gate room, with Carter delivering a heartfelt eulogy.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first half of the two-parter was mostly a silly filler episode about a documentary crew, making the sudden shift to the aftermath of a major character death in the second half rather jarring, to say the least.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast/Number of the Beast: The planet where Fraiser dies has the military designation "P3X-666".
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Gets deconstructed, with the rescue operation to save one would-be Red Shirt resulting in a heavy financial cost, a near-fatal injury to the SGC's second-in-command and the death of their chief medical officer, by all accounts an irreplaceable member of the program.
  • Nothing Personal: Woolsey makes it clear that though he doesn't approve of the way the SGC is run, he differs from Kinsey in that he's not out to get anybody personally and just wants to get to the truth of what happened.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Woolsey.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Carter returns from the planet in floods of tears, Bregman points out that she's a seasoned military officer and something serious must have happened to make her lose her cool that way.
  • Out of Focus: O'Neill doesn't get much screentime in order to keep up the suspense surrounding his injury.
  • Promotion to Parent: There are a few lines that seem to indicate Carter has taken responsibility for Cassie following Fraiser's death.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bregman, of all people, gives one of these to his crew and the press officers when they show a reluctance to continue filming.
    Bregman: Why is that camera off?! You don't know what you're doing here? Maybe I know what I'm doing here. These people are risking their lives for us. I wanna see what they're going through, even if they don't want us to, and I want other people to see it. What do you think they're doing out there, protecting and defending secrecy? That's the world of Mao, the world of Stalin, the world of — of secret police, secret trials, secret deaths. You force the press into the cold, and all you will get is lies and innuendo, and nothing, nothing is worse for a free society than a press that is in the service to the military and the politicians. Nothing! You turn that camera off, when I tell you to turn it off! What, you think I give a damn what you think about me? You serve the people? So do I.
  • Red Shirt: Subverted; much of the episode is set up with the expectation that Wells will die, since he's a never-before-seen character with a low rank, but he survives his injury and makes a full recovery while Fraiser is the one who dies.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: Bregman does this with Carter's interview while trying to cut together some usable footage at the beginning of the episode.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Fraiser's death is arguably the most shocking of the entire series, and she dies in a combat situation while saving the life of a wounded airman.
  • Secret War: Gets lampshaded during the footage of Carter's interview, when Bregman asks her how the American public would feel to know the military has been fighting a secret intergalactic war for the last six years.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: In-universe, Fraiser's death is viewed as this by Woolsey and his ilk despite the fact that she succeeded in saving Wells's life, since her status as the highest-ranking medical officer made her far more valuable to the program.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: Occurs briefly after O'Neill is shot, with the ongoing sounds of the battle becoming muffled and Carter rushing to his aid in slow motion.
  • Ship Tease: Carter goes to visit O'Neill after he wakes up in the infirmary, tearfully admitting that she's "really glad he's alive" before the two of them hug it out.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Fraiser is the only casualty of the battle, though several others are wounded and it's unknown whether the Jaffa who shot her was deliberately aiming to do so.
  • Snuff Film: Daniel accidentally captures Fraiser's death on camera after Wells asks him to film a goodbye message for his wife in case he doesn't make it. He's pretty messed up about it afterwards, but eventually gives Bregman permission to use the footage in his documentary so that people can see the kind of person Fraiser was if the program ever goes public.
  • Survivor Guilt: Wells gets hit by this pretty bad once he pulls through, believing Fraiser's death to be his fault. Daniel talks him out of it.
    Wells: She's dead because of me.
    Daniel: No. No, she's dead because a Jaffa shot her. She was doing her job, the same way you were doing yours when a Jaffa shot you.
    Wells: I can't make it feel right.
    Daniel: It wasn't right. Nothing about it was right. But it also wasn't your fault.
  • Tranquil Fury: Daniel embodies this trope during the inquiry into Fraiser's death, calmly stating that Woolsey can fire or arrest him for all he cares before walking out of the interrogation. Later, when Bregman starts asking about the tape, Daniel starts slowly advancing on him and repeatedly telling him to get out of his office with the disturbingly calm air of a man on the verge of snapping.
  • Wham Episode: Probably the biggest example in the entire series, with the unexpected death of an important secondary character who'd been with the show since the very beginning and could practically be considered a Fake Guest Star as well as being an Honorary True Companion to the main team.
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