"Between Two Fires" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Stargate SG-1.


The Tollans are suddenly willing to give away their Ion cannons to the Tau'ri to protect Earth. Omoc died, and Narim believes he was murdered, a crime which has not been committed in their society for years. SG-1 comes to the conclusion that those two events are connected somehow, and a conspiracy is brewing.

Previously on Stargate SG-1[]

SG-1 save several members of an advanced race called the Tollan. Their leader Omoc refused to share their technology with such a primitive society. Even after SG-1 saved Tollana from an attack from the Goa'uld Zipacna, the Tollan government refused to alter their policy.


Between Two Fires

Omoc's funeral.

On Tollana, SG-1 is attending the funeral of Omoc who died of a heart attack recently, and Narim is giving the eulogy. They were invited as his testament, the equivalent of a will, stated that he only wanted those he respected to be present. Afterwards Chancellor Travell invites them back to discuss Tollan policy of not sharing technology with less advanced cultures, much to their surprise. She asks that they return the next day, as the Tollan Curia, the ruling council, has recessed for a day of mourning. Before they leave through the Stargate, Narim secretly gives Samantha an object. Back at the SGC the object is revealed to be a hologram projector with a message from Narim. He's not sure of whom he can trust at home, and Omoc gave him a warning before he died: Earth is in grave danger.

The next day Jack and Daniel meet with Travell who tells them that the Tollan civilization is expanding quicker than anyone anticipated and the planet's reserves of trinium is becoming depleted. The issue of sharing technology with Earth was hotly contested in the Curia and Omoc was the swing vote: his passing means that the policy will change. When Jack asks why the Tollan doesn't just get more elsewhere, she first turns off the room's security recorders so she can talk off the record, and tells them that the Curia counselors opposed to the change still have much leverage with the public. They can get more off-world if necessary, but agrees with Jack's assessment that it's about saving face. Turning security back on, she proposes an exchange to them: the Tau'ri would supply trinium and in exchange they will get a Tollan ion cannon. Outside they inform Samantha, Teal'c and Narim of this and the latter is shocked since it goes against everything the Tollan stood for. However back at the SGC Carter informs them that not only can she not reverse engineer the cannon's technology as it is too advanced, one cannon is not enough to defend Earth; Tollana requires nine, but the size of Earth means they would need a minimum of 38, which leaves Jack and Daniel stunned.

The next day SG-1 return to Tollana with a sample of trinium and are met by Narim, who claims to the guards that he was sent to escort them, but this is a lie so he can talk to them alone. He has been going through Omoc's personal effects which he is responsible for, and found Omoc's health monitor scanner, a device that also keeps a health record of the user. However it revealed that not only was the man in perfect health, health officers took over 10 minutes to reach Omoc when he had his heart attack which is simply not possible, as the system has a response time of five minutes maximum. Careful to not be overheard by anyone else, especially security officers, the evidence has led Narim to believe that Omoc was murdered.

Daniel and Jack take the trinium to Travell and somewhat reluctantly inform her that they would require 38 cannons instead of one. Travell says that she will discuss it with the Curia. While they wait outside, Daniel and Jack discuss the implications of Omoc being murdered just so Earth could be offered cannons. While Daniel is apprehensive of how far they may take the deal to get to the truth and Jack is mystified why murder was committed at all, he assures Daniel that since they know something is going on, they'll proceed very cautiously.

Narim takes Samantha and Teal'c to his house, at which Daniel and Jack will arrive later after their meeting. His home's AI system greets him which sounds exactly like Sam; it is clear from his dignified, if embarrassed reaction that he would have changed the voice system beforehand if he had anticipated Sam visiting. On her asking about it, he replies that he had hoped she wouldn't notice. They begin looking through the minutes of Curia meetings, which is public record, to find any evidence of disagreements between Omoc and the Curia. Daniel and Jack arrive and tell them that they are getting all 38 cannons much to Narim's disbelief. Teal'c then finds an official protest in the records from Omoc after an unscheduled test of the ion cannons two months previously, but no further explanation. Narim is shocked to realize that there are almost two hours of notations missing from the meeting's records, which is a heinous crime in their laws. He only knows this because Omoc was supposed to come over for dinner that day and was late; the record says the meeting ended in late afternoon, but Omoc arrived at Narim's right after it ended. An official protest of policy could not possibly be erased because it would be filed with every governmental branch and level, far beyond the Curia's control; it would take a massive conspiracy just to accomplish it. Narim also recalls Omoc being very angry and ranted about the unfairness of random testing on the people for his entire visit, which Narim thought to be strange for him to get so upset over an ion cannon test. Back at the SGC they inform General Hammond of all this and Samantha recommends tagging the trinium with a radioactive isotope which would allow them to track it, which Hammond approves.

They return to Tollana and inform Narim about this and they ask him to help them break into Travell's office to uncover the truth. As Travell was the one that approached them about the deal, there is no way that she is not involved. Narim is reluctant, but they point out that by deleting meeting minutes, the Curia was already prepared to commit one of the highest crimes possible. They finally convince him that investigating is his civic duty by informing him that Travell was able to turn off the security in her office, which he tells them is a severe violation of the governmental conduct code. Among Omoc's personal effects is his data device which would contain his security code; as one of the highest ranked counselors, he was able to access the security in the building Travell's office is located. Hopefully the code wasn't deactivated yet. Jack also asks for Tollan sidearms and at least one phase device, which enable the Tollan to walk through solid matter. Narim reluctantly agrees.

In the dark of night, Teal'c and Jack track the trinium to a warehouse where they find a large number of devices being stored. Narim, Daniel and Samantha successfully get into Travell's office and look through her computer. They discover that a Goa'uld mothership entered orbit above Tollana and the ion cannons fired, but were ineffective. However, the records show that the ship left peacefully afterward, which Daniel and Samantha find hard to believe. They then find records of the devices the Tau'ri trinium has been made part of, which are weapons of mass destruction that utilizes the Tollans' phase-shift technology, and a video of a weapon test. Travell then unexpectedly arrives with security guards and lets them know that there are more in the building (so escaping is unlikely). Narim demands to know what is going on and it is revealed that the Curia is being manipulated by Tanith, in the service of another Goa'uld, into building the bombs or else Tollana will be destroyed. When Teal'c and Jack arrive at Narim's home (apparently where everyone was to meet up), two security guards are waiting for them but are successfully taken down. They realize this means that Travell is on to them.

Narim shares a glance with Sam: she and Daniel split off in a different direction as a distraction while Narim activates his phase device and jumps through the wall with security guards chasing him. It is already daylight elsewhere when he is grabbed by Teal'c and Jack and pulled into the foliage they're hiding in. He tells them everything to which Jack says that they have to destroy the weapons so that the Goa'uld cannot get their hands on them but Narim is really the only one that can effectively do so. Narim is very reluctant since it would mean the destruction of Tollana, but Jack points out that Earth and many other worlds will be sacrificed for Tollana's safety, and that Narim knows he must do the right thing. In the meantime, Travell receives an update on the search for Narim and orders them to track him through his health monitor; a security officer points out that is a violation of their laws, but she cuts him off, snapping for it to be done. Tanith leaves for his ship, and tells Travell that once the rest of SG-1 is caught, he wants Teal'c to be sent up to him.

Tanith's attack on Tollana 1

Narim destroys the phase-shifting weapons.

Back in Travell's office Tanith contacts her and demands the first shipment of weapons which Travell informs him that they will make. But before they do, Tanith tells Travell to activate one of the weapons and send it to Earth in 30 minutes which shocks Travell. Sam and Daniel confront her with the fact she was well aware of what the weapons would be used for, just not that the Goa'uld would force her to pull the trigger. The Curia is being used as pawns: since Earth is under the Protected Planets Treaty, the Goa'uld cannot attack it themselves without facing the wrath of the Asgard. Travell tiredly states that she didn't have a choice, but Sam frankly responds that she did. After Jack and Teal'c are caught trying to disable the weapons, security guards bring them to Travell's office but they reveal that while the guards have been concentrating on them, Narim has been able to move freely - especially since they had his health monitor with them. Narim takes control of an ion cannon, destroying the warehouse and the weapons. Realizing this Travell and her guards leave, abandoning SG-1 in the locked office but Narim comes through the wall and rescues them. Outside the Goa'uld start destroying Tollana and Narim tells SG-1 to get to the Stargate. They ask him to go with them but he wants to stay with his people and help while they fight an un-winnable battle: it's the least he can do for forcing the situation.

Back at the SGC Hammond debriefs them and try to determine who was controlling Tanith but they do not know. If there is one bit of good news out of the whole fiasco, Teal'c states that the Goa'uld do not share their technology with each other, so Tanith's master will have the only ships with ion-impervious shields. Walter Harriman informs them they are receiving a communication from a Tollan long-range communication device. It is Narim, who reports that the Stargate is destroyed and all defenses are failing, while ships that are trying to escape the planet are being shot down. He tries to say something he wants them to know, but the transmission is cut off before he can finish.


Appearances for Between Two Fires





Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Narim: Counselor Omoc was well aware that he had very few true friends. He was not concerned with trivial relationships. In his testament, he asked that his memorial be attended only by those whom he respected.
Jackson: Uh, no offense, but what are we doing here?
Narim: He may not have shown you much warmth or affection, but I can tell you Omoc had a great deal of reverence for all of you.

Hammond: Narim gave you no other indication that something might be wrong?
Carter: No sir, everything was fine.
O'Neill: For a funeral.
Jackson: You have to admit it did seem a little strange there were so few people there.
O'Neill: Hey! You knew him. What's strange?
Carter: Whatever he knew, I'd be willing to bet that Omoc's warning has something to do with why Travell wants to meet tomorrow.

O'Neill: In exchange we get?
Travell: A Tollan ion cannon.
O'Neill: One of those... big honkin' space guns that shoots Goa'uld ships out of the sky?
Travell: Yes.
O'Neill: Cool.

Narim: As you know another world once destroyed themselves because we shared our technology with them. That's why we had so strongly resisted sharing what we know with more primitive societies.
O'Neill: You know we prefer "less advanced" if you don't mind.

Hammond: Colonel, under the circumstances—
O'Neill: If you're going to recommend, sir, that I continue to be suspicious and skeptical...
Hammond: I wouldn't waste my time.
O'Neill: Good thinking, sir.

Hammond: What you're sensing as trouble could be simple internal political wrangling.
O'Neill: I understand that.
Hammond: Or we could be walking into a minefield.
O'Neill: Thank you sir. These little chats of ours always bring me great joy. And serve to ease my mind.

O'Neill: We just don't feel one cannon... is gonna work.
Jackson: You see, one doesn't go so far in protecting an entire planet.
Travell: Yes, that was discussed by the Curia.
O'Neill: Well we've come up with a solution you may not have considered.
Travell: Yes.
O'Neill: Give us more than one.
Travell: How many would you require?
Jackson: Thirty.
O'Neill: Eight.
Jackson: Thirty-eight. Total.
Travell: I see. Well I understand your dilemma. Please, give me some time to present your demand to the Curia. (she leaves)
O'Neill: That went well.
Jackson: Mm hm.

Jackson: You think Narim's right about Omoc?
O'Neill: I think this thing smells worse and worse by the minute.
Jackson: Are you're still willing to proceed?
O'Neill: Well, I think it's the only way we're going to find out what's really going on.
Jackson: The question is, how far do we go?
O'Neill: Well, all we know is that these people might be willing to part with some very powerful weapons. I have no problem with that.
Jackson: Oh—no surprise there.
O'Neill: At worse, some people disagree on some philosophical level that I don't even care to understand.
Jackson: Actually, worst, they killed someone to make sure this would happen.
O'Neill: Now, see? That makes no sense to me.
Jackson: So we push on blindly then?
O'Neill: Blindly, yes, But we still have our slightly-heightened sense of smell.

Jackson: So, who are you taking orders from now?
Travell: Apparently the one he serves has no name.
Tanith: Oh, he has a name. The likes of you are simply forbidden to know it.

Carter: Aren't you coming with us?
Narim: My actions have forced my people to fight a battle we may very well lose. The least I can do is stay and fight with them.
O'Neill: Thank you. Good luck.
Carter: I hope this isn't goodbye.
Narim: Go.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode includes the first mention of Anubis, who Tanith (who is manipulating the Tollan) alludes to as his mysterious new "master". His name would not be revealed until "Summit".
  • When Narim is looking up Tollan curia meeting notes, one of the meeting headlines read "Should earthworms be genetically engineered to live on Tollana"?
  • The urban outdoor scenes of Tollana were shot on the main campus of Simon Fraser University (S.F.U.) in Burnaby, just east of Vancouver. Omoc's funeral took place in the Academic Quadrangle, with other scenes being shot in Convocation Mall and the Robert C. Brown Hall. The same location was previously used for the third-season episode "Pretense" when the SG-1 team visited Tollana for the first time. It has also been used by Battlestar Galactica as their location for Caprica and in Andromeda.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Tollans, they are mentioned later as being wiped out in "Fail Safe" and "The Warrior".


  • When the Ion cannon shoots the building containing the Phase-shifting weapons, several people are visible in the street and they do not react to the large explosion right beside them.

Other languages[]

  • French: Traquenard (Trap)
  • Italian: Tra Due Fuochi (Between Two Fires)
  • Spanish: Entre Dos Fuegos (Between Two Fires)
  • Czech: Mezi dvěma ohni (Between Two Fires)
  • Hungarian: Két tűz között (Between Two Fires)
  • Polish: Między młotem a kowadłem (Between Hammer and Anvil)
  • German: Der Kampf der Tollaner (The Battle of the Tollans)
  • Catalan: Entre dos focs (Between Two Fires)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Between Two Fires. 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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