Stargate SG-1

Season 4 Episode 10

Beneath the Surface

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 01, 2000 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
245 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

SG-1 are brainwashed and given memories of new lives and put to work as mining slaves on an alien world. While Hammond tries to find out if they're still alive, the SG-1 must struggle with their returning memories and plot their escape.

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  • Take the red pill!

    Problem: America today = The Matrix = Stargate SG-1 "Beneath the Surface" prison planet

    Solution: Take the red pill.

    Kudos to the writers for this episode.
  • Save for the one big joke and the audio commentary, this is one of the biggest disappointments from season 4.

    I think it's accurate to say that this is one of my least favourite episodes ever. I doubt I'll ever watch this one again (or at the very least, definitely not in the next year or so), and for very good reason.

    There are only a few good things about this episode. The first one is the big joke I mentioned in my summary. Every fan is, or at least should be, familiar with the "Homer" joke, and it is a classic SG-1 joke for sure. It's possible to justify this episode's existence purely for the joke, but the package the joke comes in could have been a lot better.

    There was one sequence I liked in particular, where O'Neill is staring at the upside-down bowl and it morphs into the dome. There were also some other little humorous bits I liked, and the audio commentary by Peter DeLuise is (as always) hilarious, but really that's about it.

    Now on to the bad things. For one, I didn't like the story, and it's hardly original. Secondly the performances of the brainwashed team were at times quite painful to watch (hence the classification), as was some of the dialogue between them (and in particular those between Daniel and I think it's Kegan). There were also some sequences that were very badly executed, such as when Caulder shoots Brenna in the arm rather than killing her.

    In conclusion, this is one of my least favourite episodes ever. It has a few good elements, but on the whole this episode is just one big misfire.moreless
  • Lost memories...

    This was kind of nice departure from the normal, with nearly the whole episode taking place in this dreary underground power plant. Personally I loved seeing the team members at first just completely accept the lie, and then gradually work to remember their own lives. The 'shippers have got to like this episode for the smattering of Jack and Sam moments, as they are together when they have no memory of their past lives. The concept is not extremely unique, but was well executed nonetheless. Other than that there was nothing too remarkable about this episode. There were some pretty humorous one-liners, from Jack as usual, but all in all a pretty average episode.moreless
  • SG-1 is captured, their memories wiped, and forced to work in an underground factory.

    I usually wouldn't care if an episode of Stargate was unoriginal as long as it was entertaining or well-done. Unfortunately, this episode is neither.

    I didn't think much of the story or the progression of it. If you skipped this episode you would pretty much miss nothing. The setting was rather dull, and this episode just exudes the feeling of a filler. But for all this criticism it isn't terrible.

    I enjoyed Jack's description of a bald man who wore a short-sleeve shirt and who is very important to him. It isn't General Hammond, it's Homer Simpson! Also, Janet's in it and that's always a good thing.

    Overall, a mediocre episode.moreless
  • Brainwashed...

    It was ... I do not know.. not too bad, I most say. It was a simple storyline, little off the usual thing but quite good to enjoy. There was that kind of mystery for a little what really happened, why they do not remember anything? And tho see how they from pieces to pieces started to put together the story - I think it really was worth it. All those jokes about things they used to remember but no did not.. Like Carter saying "Yes sir".. she always does that... but on that contest where they had no idea what that meant, it was funny. And I most really say, I love that there is more and more emotions. It really adds something.moreless
Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson

Colonel/Brigadier General Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill

Christopher Judge

Christopher Judge


Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Captain/Major/ Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter

Don S. Davis

Don S. Davis

Major General George S. Hammond

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Dr. Daniel Jackson

Kim Hawthorne

Kim Hawthorne


Guest Star

Alison Matthews

Alison Matthews


Guest Star

Russell Ferrier

Russell Ferrier


Guest Star

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery

Dr. Janet Fraiser

Recurring Role

Gary Jones

Gary Jones

Technician/Sergeant Walter Davis

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Jack shoots the ceiling window, the window appears to be almost directly above them. However, after the glass shatters and it is shown falling, the camera returns to the slaves, and there are no sounds of the glass fragments landing on the floor.

    • Wouldn't the SG-rescue team wear something of color (like bright red) just in case someone stumbles and gets lost? White just...blends in.

    • When Teal'c is trying to open the valve to relieve the pressure, before he faints, he is having trouble turning it. Then as he falls, the wheel turns quite easily.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Therra (Sam): How do you stay so calm?
      Jonah (Jack): (shrugs) I think in another life I handled dangerous explosives.

    • Carlin (Daniel): Look, I don't know how to explain this, but I had this dream. You were in it.
      Jonah (Jack): Me?
      Carlin (Daniel): There was this big, glowing puddle.
      Jonah (Jack): Okay, stop talking. Right now.

    • Caulder: You've accomplished nothing! These people will never be accepted in the city.
      Jack: I think you're right about that.
      Daniel: That's why we're gonna offer them a better place.
      Jack: There's this nice little tropical planet out there. Where the beaches go on - forever. This I remember clearly. You and your people can do your own shoveling for a while.

    • Jonah (Jack): You know, you could take a few minutes off.
      Therra (Sam): Please! You work just as hard as I do.
      Jonah (Jack): That's different. It's called "stamina."

    • Carlin (Daniel): What did you do in the mines?
      Jonah (Jack): I mined.
      Carlin (Daniel): No, What did you do?
      Jonah (Jack): I remember shoveling ore into a cart.
      Carlin (Daniel): And?
      Jonah (Jack): I did that a lot.

    • Jack: I dreamed of mining...naked.

    • Jack: Well, I certainly understand what you're talking about.
      Daniel: You do?
      Jack: No.

    • Jack: I remember something. There's a man. He's bald and he wears a short sleeved shirt and somehow he's very important to me. I think his name is ... Homer.
      Sam: Doesn't ring a bell.

    • Brenna: Colonel O'Neill is correct. As you've begun to suspect, all of you have had your memories altered. You are Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and you friend here is named Teal'c.
      Jack: Where does Homer fit in?

    • Carlin (Daniel): You know, the big nightsick guy with the uh...
      Therra (Sam): Tor (Teal'c).
      Carlin (Daniel): He said we were part of something called "SG-1"...
      Jonah (Jack): Yeah, what is that?
      Therra (Sam): A team?
      Jonah (Jack): What kinda name is that for a team?

    • Jona (Jack): Would it mean anything if I told you I remember something else?
      Therra (Sam): What?
      Jona (Jack): Feelings.
      Therra (Sam): Feelings?
      Jona (Jack): I remember feeling ... feelings.
      Therra (Sam): For me?
      Jona (Jack): No ... for Tor. (Teal'c)

  • NOTES (4)


    • Metropolis:
      The building behind Jack when he is in the administrator's office is a replica of the futuristic cityscape in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927).

    • Jack: That means something.
      The scene when Jack places the white bowl upside down bears a resemblance to the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind by Steven Spielberg in which Richard Dreyfuss' character sculptures the shape of a mountain out of his mashed potatoes exlaiming "This means something".

    • Jack: Homer Simpson
      Another among many Simpsons references. Here we have Jack confusing Hammond with Homer.