"Cold Lazarus" is the seventh episode of the first season of Stargate SG-1.


While searching a yellow desert planet, the SG-1 team finds a pit filled with broken blue crystals. When Colonel Jack O'Neill wanders off alone and touches one, he is blasted backward and knocked unconscious. A duplicate of himself is created to examine the Tau'ri, and it returns to Earth with the rest of the SG-1 team, who believe it is the real O'Neill. The duplicate O'Neill explores O'Neill's past life outside of the Stargate Command complex, and it soon becomes an unwitting threat to society.


On an exploratory mission of P3X-562, SG-1 find a strange planet of bright-yellow sand dunes littered with smashed blue crystals. None appear to be intact. Colonel Jack O'Neill goes off to explore out of eyeshot of the rest of the team.

Cold Lazarus 1

Jack from the crystal entity's perspective

When he does so, he encounters a blue crystal that hasn't been smashed, and staring into it, he tentatively reaches towards it.

Suddenly, it blasts him backwards, leaving Jack lying unconscious in the sand.

Jack O'Neill (Unity)

Crystal Jack.

Instantly, a replica of him is standing over him, apparently manifested by the blue crystal, or transformed from the blue crystal. Captain Samantha Carter calls for Jack to return through the Stargate, and the replica ("Crystal-Jack") goes, leaving the unconscious and real, flesh and blood Jack behind.

Back on Earth, Crystal-Jack does not appear to be hostile, and seems to have a purpose that it doesn't even quite know itself. It seems confused but focused. No-one else on the base works out that he is not the real Jack. He leaves the base that day and returns to the home he left many months ago.

This was where he lived with his wife Sara and their son Charlie. Charlie killed himself accidentally, using Jack's gun, and Jack never forgave himself for it; he and Sara split up. Crystal-Jack now returns to this house and speaks to Sara. She is shocked to see him. Crystal-Jack asks to see Charlie, and Sara asks him if this is his idea of a sick joke, but it is obviously not. She runs back inside the house, upset.

Crystal-Jack is invited in by Sara's father and allowed to look around Charlie's old room. He has flashbacks of the love that used to permeate the house, as he nestles himself amongst Charlie's belongings. Sara finds him crying in the room.

Jack and Sara talk for a while and later go to a park where they sit and continue their conversation. Sara seems to wish that Crystal-Jack would say he wants to get back together, but they are both still very upset about the death of their son. At this moment, Crystal-Jack suddenly falls to the ground, bolts of blue electrical energy arcing from him into the ground and the bench.

Meanwhile, back at Stargate Command, Carter analyzes the smashed crystals they brought back, and she and Teal'c confirm that the damage was done by Goa'uld Staff weapons. One of the more intact crystals suddenly speaks to her, assuming a human-face-shape for a moment. They realize that the crystals are a strange alien race that must have been destroyed by the Goa'uld (this explains the initial reaction to Jack, blasting him away, as humans and Goa'ulds are alike in form).

Cold Lazarus 2

Crystal Carter

The crystal using Carter's face explains that their race is composed of energy, they call themselves the Unity and relate the tale of how once a Jaffa was killed by accident by one of them and the Goa'uld in revenge gathered all the crystal Unity together and slaughtered them.

It also warns them that they are running out of energy now that they are on Earth away from their planet, and when they do there may be a dangerous radioactive reaction.

Cold Lazarus 3

The real Jack O'Neill in the Embarkation Room

At that moment, the real Jack O'Neill returns from the planet, having awoken, and they all realize that the other one, Crystal-Jack, must have been a crystal like this one.

The SGC is immediately searched and they discover that he has left the base.

Cold Lazarus

Crystal-Jack talks to Sara about Charlie.

Sara has taken Crystal-Jack to the hospital. She is tending to him when he bursts out in electricity again and the hospital is cleared. SG-1 and the police arrive and evacuate the area, ionizing particle radiation is reaching dangerous levels. Sara has a very confusing moment as the real Jack runs past her into the building as she is led out.

Once inside, SG-1 find Crystal-Jack slumped in a corner, dying. Crystal-Jack explains that he was able to see into Jack's memories and thoughts, and, after incapacitating him, saw that he was not Goa'uld. He wanted to help Jack get better so he searched for Jack's pain, and found the death of Charlie in his memories to be a far greater pain than any physical one. Crystal-Jack thought that if he could somehow bring Charlie to Jack then he would get better but he didn't understand the concept of permanent death of humans because there is no permanent death amongst the Unity.

Jack replies that Charlie is gone, but Crystal-Jack disagrees, saying that Charlie is always with Jack and touches his chest over his heart, and at that moment, he changes into an identical duplicate of Charlie. It is a very emotional moment as Jack sees his son again. They now have to take Crystal-Charlie out of the place. Jack walks him out, and Sara can't believe her eyes. Jack explains it's not really Charlie, but they hug each other and whisper that they "were pretty great together", "the greatest" in fact.

Lastly, Crystal-Charlie is brought back to the SGC, and he and the rest of his crystalline race are to be returned to his planet so that he won't die. Jack walks him up the ramp to the open Stargate and they step through together.


Appearances for Cold Lazarus




Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Carter: I'd love to get this into the spectrometer at Stanford.
Teal'c: What is a "Stanford"?

(Teal'c is watching TV)
Jackson: Teal'c... we need your help.
Teal'c: (switching off the TV) Your world is a strange place.
Jackson: So's yours.

(after Teal'c blasts a crystal with his staff weapon)
Harriman: What the hell is going on down there?!
Teal'c: You received permission for me to fire my staff weapon in the Gate Room?
Carter: (unconvincingly) Oh yeah!
Jackson: (also unconvincingly) Absolutely!

(Hammond and the rest of SG-1 are watching O'Neill on a computer monitor in an observation cell.)
O'Neill: (looking up at the camera) Come on, get me outta here! Tell you what, (pulls up a chair) let me put it nicely: (stands on the chair, shouts into the camera) Get me the hell outta here!
(Carter gives a slight chuckle.)
Hammond: If that isn't O'Neill, I wanna know who the hell we're looking at.

(about Teal'c's staff-weapon)
Hammond: Teal'c, you'll have to leave that here.
Teal'c: I have seen your world, I will need it.

Teal'c: Chicago, the Windy City. Home of the Blackhawks, the Bulls, the White Sox.
O'Neill: Don't forget the Cubs.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode takes place several months after the events of "Children of the Gods". Security footage of O'Neill in his holding room shows some of the events of the episode taking place on May 9th.
  • When the real O'Neill returns to Earth, the Iris deactivates automatically when it gets his IDC. However, other episodes have shown that the code just signals that it's safe for the technician on the other end to open the Iris. MSgt. Walter Harriman mentions in "Heroes, Part 1" that an automatic IDC system was tried for some time; this could have been one of those instances.
  • This is the first time something from the Stargate was able to make it past the SGC and threaten the lives of civilians, though unintentionally.
  • Cold Lazarus is the title of the final play in a four-part series by Dennis Potter in which scientists in the 24th Century extract memories from a cryogenically preserved head from the 20th Century. The painful nature of these memories chime with those that Jack O'Neill's doppelganger experiences and probably accounts for the choice of episode title.


  • When SG-1 returns from the planet and are in the Briefing Room with Hammond talking about the crystals, they zoom in on the fake O'Neill and you can see Teal'c and Hammond behind him turn and look at each other and their lips move like they are talking to each other but Dr. Daniel Jackson is the one speaking.
  • In the beginning three minutes of the episode, when the crystal O'Neill reaches down to pick up the real O'Neill's weapon, his boots are not fully laced and when he emerges from the gate in the next shot they are laced to the top.
  • Charlie's room features the Lego set 6190 Shark's Crystal Cave, which was released in 1996 whereas Charlie died the year prior.

Other languages[]

  • French: Double (Double)
  • German: Die Auferstehung (The Resurrection)
  • Italian: Clonazione (Cloning)
  • Spanish: Espejismo (Illusion)
  • Czech: Zmrtvýchvstání (Resurrection)
  • Hungarian: Kristálytükör (Crystal Mirror)
  • Polish: Zimny Łazarz (Cold Lazarus) or Kryształy (Crystals)

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