Stargate SG-1

Season 2 Episode 16

A Matter of Time

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 29, 1999 on Syfy

Episode Recap

The show starts off with Jack catching a lesson about why a wormhole is called a wormhole. Carter tries to break it down for him simply, but in her usual way, the science becomes so exciting to her that she goes over board. Soon Jack is overwhelmed by the intelligence of Sam but they're soon interrupted by an unscheduled gate activation siren and an audio confirmation that it is incoming from P3W-451.

In SGC (Star Gate Command) the gate is open and they soon close the iris since they don't know what to expect. While they are waiting for something to come through they hear a strange noise in place of what usually is the SG team's gate signal. It's very slow, but Sam is able to pick up on the pattern (intermittent RF pulses), and suggests that they put it into the computer so they can manipulate it. Once in the computer, Carter tweaks it enough and determines that this signal is probably one of theirs, so she asks the person operating the computer to increase the speed by 200%. The signal sounds more familiar now, and she suggests they ramp the speed up 600%.

The computer recognizes it as SG-10's gate code and they open the iris but the wormhole immediately shuts off.

Jack suggests that they go through and check out the situation. Gen. Hammond doesn't feel comfortable with this situation, so he denies the suggestion and they decide to send a probe in to check everything out. They send in a M.A.L.P, and when it reaches its final destination they see a still shot image degraded until it's nothing more than a red blur. Carter knows that the image is there, so once again they enter the information into the computer to manipulate it, and raise it a few wavelengths until they see the SG team, seemingly frozen in motion. Everyone thinks that the M.A.L.P has malfunctioned because the faces of the team members are of fright, panic. Jack demands they send in a rescue team as soon as possible because it is clear they're in trouble. Hammond asks for the entire playback of the tape and he is informed that this (after about five minutes) is all they have received, six frames of footage. Carter theorizes and tells them to make the M.A.L.P gaze towards the sky. They put two and two together - the red shifting of the video, the slow motion radio signal - and they see a big black spot in the sky. Even Jack knows it's a black hole. He also knows there's nothing they can do to save SG-10.

Hammond orders the gate turned off, but Sam wants to leave the gate open and watch. This is a chance that they'll never have again, and she knows how rare it is to be able to witness this phenomenon. Jack has to remind her that what they'll be watching is good people dying in slow motion. Sam apologizes and relinquishes as they prepare to shut off the gate. For some reason the gate won't disengage. SGC tries to cut the power to the gate room but nothing happens. The gate is being powered by the black hole and has surpassed the time limit for how long it can be maintained. Hammond tries to call the President but is unable to get a dial tone. He goes topside and is confronted by members of the military, stating that a troubling situations has arisen and that they have been out of contact for upwards of five hours, but to Hammond the incident is fifteen minutes old. They realize that there is a time dilation and Hammond goes to Washington, and is able to return from his trip to Washington with new orders, all in twenty minutes from Jack's point of view, and everyone else's in SGC.

Everyone knows what has to be done - they must destroy the gate. But Sam believes that this won't work, and that the gate will remain, eating away at Earth. Sam argues her case, but Hammond tells her orders are orders, and everyone is ordered out, but two must remain to arm the self-destruct. Jack is forced to stay with Colonel Frank Cromwell, the officer who led the rescue down to SGC when contact was lost with SGC for five hours, and the same guy who left Jack for dead in Iraq. They spend five minutes in SGC trying to set up the bomb, while out on the surface of the base days are passing by due to the increased gravity and time dilations.

Sam tries to come up with a new plan and she finally gets inspiration when Hammond tries to comfort her, even though he knows she doesn't agree with the original plan to blow up SGC.

Two minutes before they self-destruct the base, Sam rushes in and tells them to stop, the self-destruct will not work. With her new plan they order a special bomb to be flown in and set off, overloading the gate with energy and causing the wormhole to jump. Jack and Colonel Frank Cromwell have the task of detonating the bomb. The time distortions are immense now, so are the gravity waves. They move into position to set off the bomb when something goes wrong. Glass shatters from the control room windows and causes Cromwell's rope to break, leaving him now hanging onto Jack's lower body for support. The gravity is too strong for Jack to support both, and Cromwell realizes this and sacrifices his life by letting go. Jack tries to grab him, but it's too late. Jack arms the bomb and makes an effort to give himself some distance from the explosion. There is a white flash and we see Jack waking up the next day battered and bruised. Everyone is happy and smiling. Jack has made it and Daniel, who has arrived from an off-planet dig, tells Jack that two weeks have passed since he came in for work "Yesterday." Jack says "I'll sleep in," and they all chuckle. The End.
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