This article is about the episode. For the location on Earth, see Babylon.

"Babylon" is the eighth episode of the ninth season of Stargate SG-1.


Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell is ambushed and captured by a group of legendary rebel Jaffa known as the Sodan. However, because he supposedly killed one of their own before he was captured, he is challenged to Kel shak lo, a Sodan battle to the death.




SG-1 goes in search of the Sodan, a lost tribe of rebel Jaffa predating Teal'c's defection by thousands of years. In an ambush by cloaked Sodan warriors, Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell manages to shoot one Sodan warrior who also wounds him. Mitchell is taken captive for killing the warrior while the fallen Sodan warrior, Volnek, is taken to Stargate Command so that he may recover and be interrogated as to the location of Mitchell.

Mitchell later awakens in the Sodan camp. They have tended to his wounds and work to restore him to health and prepare him for a match to the death. In the process, Mitchell learns that the Sodan regard the Ancients as their gods. One of his captors, Jolan, trains Mitchell in the Sodan fighting technique of Kel shak lo in preparation for the match, but, during his training, Mitchell witnesses a Prior visiting the Sodan, and learns that the Sodan leader, Lord Haikon, is considering converting to the way of Origin. Mitchell and the man come to respect one another during the training, and the warrior listens to Mitchell's warnings that the Ori should not be worshiped because of their power; it is what they would do with their power that makes them worthy of worship.

Meanwhile, at the SGC, Dr. Carolyn Lam and her team save Volnek's life after a long operation. He recovers thanks to Tretonin, but refuses to tell them anything, even when interrogated by Teal'c. He refuses to believe the Ori are not true gods, even in front of evidence.



Back on the Sodan planet, Mitchell and Jolan end up fighting in the match because Jolan is Volnek's brother. Jolan apparently kills Mitchell, but it turns out to be a ruse. The two of them fake Mitchell's death with a powerful elixir made by Jolan, who vows that he will tell his fellow Sodan of the threat the Ori pose to their people. Mitchell returns to Earth and a still unconvinced and resentful Volnek is allowed to return to his planet.


Appearances for Babylon



  • Battle of P9G-844



Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Mitchell: I'm getting that "grasping at straws" feeling.
Jackson: Yeah, just don't tell Teal'c.
Mitchell: I already did.
Jackson: Yeah, what'd he say?
Mitchell: (imitating Teal'c) "The warriors of the Sodan exist, Colonel Mitchell. I am certain of it."
Jackson: He's more bass.

Jolan: Your questions can wait. Now that your strength has returned we should begin jomo sel talak immediately.
Mitchell: If that's breakfast, I could eat.

Jackson: This is Tass'an. One of the founders of a free Jaffa settlement on a planet called Sartorus.
Teal'c: Many families came to live there to enjoy the freedom that they fought so hard to achieve.
Tass'an: He is Sodan?
Teal'c: Indeed.
Jackson: Tell him what happened.
Tass'an: A month ago, a man came through the Chappa'ai. He called himself a Prior. He told us of powerful gods called the Ori, who he claimed would give us protection and show us the path to enlightenment. Then he left. He later returned. Told us we had to make a choice. Follow the Ori, or be destroyed. We chose to resist.
(He becomes upset. Teal'c pats him on the arm.)
Teal'c: Continue, brother.
Tass'an: He dialed the Chappa'ai and merely placed his staff in the ground in front of it. Then the earth shook with a fierceness I have never seen nor heard of before. In moments, our city was leveled. Hundreds of our people wiped out in an instant.
Volnek: Enough of these lies! You expect me to take the word of this sorry excuse for a Jaffa?
Tass'an: I witnessed the destruction with my own eyes! Heed my words, brother. If a Prior visits your world ... leave.

(Jolan shoots the staff weapon at Mitchell during the training)
Jolan: Faster!
Mitchell: Bastard.

Mitchell: (to Jolan) You know, a bag of sand with a hole in it is not an accurate timing device.

Jolan: You may provide a challenge to your opponent after all, Mitchell.
Mitchell: Followed by my violent death, of course.
Jolan: Of course.
Mitchell: To my inevitable demise.
(Mitchell walks over to the rack and takes the bag of tea, holding it up for a toast.)
Jolan: Why do you do this?
Mitchell: Do what?
Jolan: Train this hard. These are the last days of your life. I would think you would spend more time in reflection.
Mitchell: Well, all I know is, the moment you accept your fate, that's when you're as good as dead. Till then, all bets are off.
Jolan: You cannot survive Kel shak lo.
Mitchell: Well, no offense, but I've endured things I wasn't supposed to survive before, and I'm still here.
Jolan: How can you be certain the Prior speaks falsely?
Mitchell: Because I've seen entire planets wiped out because they refused to follow the Ori. Look, I'm not trying to tell you what to think, but if everything I believed was being threatened, I'd want to know. Jolan, your people shouldn't suffer for their faith.

(After waking from a drug induced state)
Mitchell: So, did it work?
Jolan: The ruse was most effective. They believe you are dead.
Mitchell: Well done, Bones.

Harriman: Receiving an IDC code, Sir. It's Colonel Mitchell.
Jackson: You're kidding!
Harriman: I would never do that, Sir.

Volnek: You shot me!
Mitchell: You shot me first!
Volnek: But I will have vengeance!

Volnek: You are fortunate my brother drugged you. You would never have survived a true Kel shak lo.
Mitchell: Dunno. Took you down pretty good.
Volnek: You were lucky.
Mitchell: Lucky is good.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • The plot of this episode is almost identical to the 2003 Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai. Both the film's character Nathan (Cruise) and Mitchell kill, or nearly kill, an important figure from their respective warrior communities before they are captured in their first skirmish. They're then taken to remote villages where they must remain for a long period of time, observing and learning their ways and forming a friendship with the leader and ultimately adopted into the communities.
  • General Landry mentions having the Prometheus sweep other moons in the system for Mitchell because its a possibility that he was transported off of the planet. This is likely a reference to "Paradise Lost" where such a thing happened to Jack O'Neill and Harold Maybourne.
  • Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell makes reference to Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from Star Trek after recovering from his "death." He is talking about the Star Trek episode "Amok Time" in which two crew members of the Enterprise must battle to the death. One of them is injected with a substance that makes him appear temporarily dead, as happened in this episode.
  • Though Mitchell is depicted as having little success with his Sodan training, he later mentions it helping to shape the warrior he has become in "Camelot." After seeing Mitchell as the First Prime of Qetesh in an alternate timeline, Teal'c states that Mitchell's Sodan training would've given him the skills he needed to rise quickly in the ranks of Jaffa to reach First Prime.
  • Mitchell also makes a reference to his airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. In the episode he claims airborne training to be six weeks, when in reality it is only three.
  • This episode takes place over the course of two weeks.
  • Ben Browder insisted on performing his own stunts in this episode. After watching one alarming set of dailies, the producers made the executive decision to revoke the lionshare of Ben's stunting privileges.


  • During the opening scene where Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell fights Volnek, he shoots him twice with a Staff weapon (once in the abdomen and once slightly above the left of his hip), yet there is only a single wound on his body.
  • Mitchell says "We haven't found so much as a snapped twig on this planet" while the team is walking past a tree stump that has obviously been cut with a chain saw.
  • When Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter explains the defense mechanism of the Ancient transporter, she says Dr. Bill Lee received some nasty "volts" while working on it, but volts are just a unit of voltage, and as such can't really be nasty, but she should probably have said "jolts" - those can be nasty.

Other languages[]

  • French: Pour l'Honneur (For Honor)
  • Italian: Il Vero Nemico (The True Enemy)
  • Spanish: Babilonia (Babylon)
  • Czech: Babylon (dubbed in English)
  • Hungarian: Babylon (dubbed in English)
  • German: Babylon (dubbed in English)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Babylon (Stargate SG-1). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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