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Recap / Stargate SG 1 S 9 E 1 Avalon Part 1

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"Well, Walter, it doesn't look like we're getting the band back together."
— Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell

Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell is given command of SG-1 after recovering from near-fatal injuries sustained during the battle of Antarctica, but is dismayed to learn that the original team has disbanded and its members have since moved onto other projects. Meanwhile, Vala Mal Doran arrives at the SGC claiming to have important information for Daniel about a secret cache of Ancient treasure that may be hidden somewhere on Earth.

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First appearance of Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell and General Hank Landry, as well as the beginning of the series' Retool.


"Avalon, Part 1" provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: When Vala is introduced to Mitchell, she comments that she knows she hasn't met him before, as she's sure she would remember, referencing the fact that Ben Browder and Claudia Black previously co-starred on Farscape together.
  • And Then What?: Teal'c notes that the Jaffa didn't quite think ahead to what they would do if they actually succeeded in overthrowing the Goa'uld.
    Teal'c: We are attempting to build a whole new system of government that will span Jaffa worlds throughout the galaxy.
    Mitchell: Yeah, how's that goin'?
    Teal'c: Not well.
  • Artistic License – Awards: The episode makes the common mistake of misnaming the Medal of Honor, which Mitchell earned flying an F-302 in "Lost City, Part 2," as the "Congressional" Medal of Honor.
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  • Ascended Fanboy: Mitchell is quite the fan of the original SG-1, stating that he wanted to join the team so that he could learn from the best. Naturally, he's quite disheartened to learn that they've all since moved onto other projects.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    Mitchell: Merlin? King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Merlin?
    Daniel: Yes.
    Mitchell: Was an Ancient?
    Daniel: I think so.
    Mitchell: See? That is what I'm talkin' about!
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Daniel and Vala pick up right where they left off and spend the entire episode trading barbs, which are often laden with innuendo on Vala's end.
  • Between My Legs: Mitchell and Landry are framed between Vala's leather-clad legs as she steps through the Earth stargate.
  • Career-Ending Injury: It's implied that the injuries Mitchell sustained from his crash in Antarctica should have been this, but he manages to make a full recovery.
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  • Chained Heat: Vala invokes this by slapping a pair of linked Goa'uld bracelets on herself and Daniel that cause them both to pass out if they move anything more than a short distance away from each other, with potentially fatal consequences if the separation goes on too long. She claims that she does this in order to ensure she gets her share of the treasure, though she didn't anticipate that she would be adversely affected.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Descending Ceiling: At the end of the episode, Daniel and Vala are trapped in one room with an Ancient puzzle while Mitchell and Teal'c are trapped in another; both pairs get their puzzles wrong, causing the ceiling to begin steadily descending.
  • Determinator: Mitchell's Establishing Character Moment is possible the fact that he managed to overcome what should have been a devastating injury with months of physical training and sheer force of will.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: Vala chastises Daniel for doing this on their reunion.
    Daniel: Okay, where is it?
    Vala: Nice to see you too, how have you been...?
    Daniel: Tablet.
  • Fatal Flaw: Referenced by General Landry when he first meets Mitchell and states that he's too perfect, he must have some hidden flaw.
    Landry: Your service record's impeccable, Mitchell. What's wrong with ya?
    Mitchell: Sir?
    Landry: Nobody's perfect. Everybody's got some sort of character flaw. What's yours?
    Mitchell: Sometimes I can be impatient, sir.
    Landry: All pilots have Type A personalities. I'm talking about your kryptonite.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: The original SG-1 has officially disbanded, with Carter heading up R&D at Area 51, Daniel preparing to leave for Atlantis and Teal'c sitting on the newly-established Jaffa High Council, while O'Neill has been reassigned to Washington and is no longer heading up the SGC.
  • Foreshadowing: Vala claims she's pregnant when she first arrives on Earth; of course, she's lying to wind Daniel up and no one takes her particularly seriously, but guess what happens towards the end of the season...
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Daniel and Mitchell invite each other to use first names on being introduced, though this is quickly subverted as they remain exclusively Last-Name Basis for the rest of the series.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Vala is quite pleased when she arrives at the SGC to find herself facing a room full of uniformed airmen.
    Vala: Well, don't you all have me surrounded?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Non-lethal example, but Vala is none-too-happy to find that the kor mak bracelets have a physical effect on her as well as Daniel. Though she still doesn't take them off.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Vala: There's nothing I hate more than a bold-faced lie!
  • Impairment Shot: Used during Mitchell's flashbacks to his time in the hospital after his crash.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Landry's first line has him calling the Marines "cocky sons of bitches" and claiming that he never liked them.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Teal'c attempts to hold the ceiling up as it begins to descend on him and Mitchell, though he doesn't appear to be having much success with it.
  • Mr. Exposition: Walter explains Mitchell's backstory for the benefit of the audience (and his fellow technician) in the opening scene.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The team have to complete a series of tests in order to get to the treasure, which include Ancient logic puzzles.
  • Perma-Stubble: Daniel has cultivated some thick stubble since the end of the previous season that borders on a beard.
  • Playing Hard to Get: This is Vala's advice for Mitchell on getting the team back together.
    Mitchell: Yeah, look who's talking.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Holy Grail and the Sword In The Stone are both name-dropped.
  • Put on a Bus: O'Neill has been reassigned to Washington and Carter to Area 51, though both have cameos in this episode (and Carter is still a regular character, though she doesn't return until a quarter of the way through the season). Technically, Teal'c has also been put on a bus to Dakara, except he keeps hanging around for a break from all the politics, and Daniel ends up missing his bus to Atlantis thanks to Vala.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Mitchell considers it his goal to reunite SG-1, though he has limited success thus far.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: One of the flashbacks to Mitchell's recovery from his injuries in Antarctica has him being awarded the Medal of Honor.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Mitchell is inserted into scenes from "Lost City" and stated to have played an important role in the battle over Antarctica, despite the fact that he's never before been mentioned by any of the characters. This has lead some to speculate that he didn't actually exist at all until the timeline was changed at the end of the previous season.
  • Retool: The first episode of the "new" SG-1, with Mitchell and Landry in place of O'Neill, Vala as a recurring presence and the introduction of a new story arc after the final defeat of the Goa'uld and the replicators.
  • Running Gag: Once again, Daniel misses a chance to go to Atlantis. And for the second time in a row, it's Vala's fault.
  • Smart People Play Chess: O'Neill and Landry are shown playing chess at Landry's house; O'Neill wins.
  • Spanner in the Works: Vala's arrival effectively throws a wrench in Daniel's plans to move to Atlantis, triggering a chain of events that leads to the introduction of the Ori arc in the following episodes.
  • Stripperific: Vala's low-cut leather getup, which Mitchell lampshades as soon as he lays eyes on her.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Actually averted with Mitchell, who doesn't have much in common with O'Neill other than being a Deadpan Snarker. Played somewhat straighter with Landry as a replacement for Hammond, though even then he has enough personality quirks to be a distinct character.
  • Tempting Fate: Vala does this, with appropriate Lampshade Hanging:
    Vala: We're already trapped in here! How much worse can it get?
    (Cue the ceiling beginning to descend)
    Daniel: How about that much?
    Vala: I knew it was a mistake the moment I said it. The moment.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: When Mitchell is interviewing potential candidates for his new SG-1 team, including a linguist who insists on translating everything he says, an over-enthusiastic soldier who starts doing push-ups in the middle of the briefing room, and two random scientists who actually just want his support for a research grant.
  • You Are in Command Now: When Mitchell arrives at the SGC.
    Mitchell: I don't understand, sir. I thought I was here to join SG-1.
    Landry: You're here to lead SG-1.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Kor'mak bracelets are basically hi-tech Goa'uld handcuffs, used by Jaffa when escorting prisoners. If the prisoner tries to run away, the bracelet will weaken them to the point of death. And if the Jaffa can't catch them, they die too, invoking the trope.

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