"Pretense" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Stargate SG-1.


The Tollans ask for SG-1's help when Klorel crashes on their new homeplanet, Tollana. They need SG-1 to help assign Skaara/Klorel's fate. They must perform the triad, where they argue against the Nox and Zipacna of the Goa'uld. Meanwhile, Teal'c and Major Samantha Carter believe that Zipacna is using the triad to distract them whilst his Jaffa work on crippling the Tollan defenses to enslave Tollana.


The Goa'uld Klorel crash-lands on the planet Tollana after his fleet is destroyed in battle. His glider narrowly escapes destruction at the hands of two Ha'tak, which are destroyed by the Tollan surface based defensive ion batteries. Klorel, the son of System Lord Apophis, took Skaara's body as a host. When they were rescued, Skaara temporarily had control, and asked for asylum before passing out. The Tollan, being neutral, hold a trial (called a "Triad" in their culture) to decide who should be given sole control of Skaara's body.

Tollana Stargate

A member of the Tollan Curia (the governing body of Tollana) presides over the hearing. Dr. Daniel Jackson and Colonel Jack O'Neill serve as Archons (defense attorneys) for Skaara and Goa'uld Lord Zipacna serves as Archon for Klorel. The Nox woman Lya serves as the third, neutral, Archon. The Tollan install a symbiote silencer onto Skaara/Klorel, allowing the conscious minds present to change freely and thus allowing both parties to speak.

Daniel and Jack argue that the Goa'uld are evil, parasitic invaders of an innocent human's body, and that Skaara has the right to it. Lord Zipacna argues that the Goa'uld view humans as inferior beings, and just like humans breed and cull cattle or other animals they view as inferior, so too do Goa'uld do as they please with humans.

Meanwhile, Major Samantha Carter and Teal'c discover that Jaffa are marking the Tollan ion cannons as targets for attack. They inform the Curia of their findings, but the Tollan aren't worried.

The trial concludes with Lya casting the deciding vote in Skaara's favor, declaring: If Skaara lives, Klorel will still live, and yet if Klorel wins, Skaara's conscious life will come to an end (as the symbiote completely suffocates the host's mind), along with his free will, and this does not count as life in itself. The body is awarded to its original owner, Skaara. The Tok'ra are then summoned to remove Klorel, at which point he will be free to go and seek out a new host.

Zipacna's attack on Tollana

Immediately afterwards, Zipacna uses a small Long range visual communication device to order a nearby Goa'uld Ha'tak to destroy Tollana's ion cannons. However, the attack on Tollana fails, as SG-1 destroy the Goa'uld mothership with an ion cannon that Teal'c asked Lya to hide.

The Tollan are for the first time immensely grateful to SG-1. Skaara returns to Abydos and Klorel is returned to a Goa'uld homeworld.


Appearances for Pretense





Sentient Species





Notable quotes[]

Narim: I am here to deliver a message from our highest governing body. Colonel O'Neill, the Tollan Curia request the presence of you and your team for Triad.
(gives Jack a device)
O'Neill: I feel like I'm being served.

Carter: But there wasn't a gate on Tollana?
Narim: The Nox and the Tollan were able to devise a way to get us there.
O'Neill: Of course you were.
Jackson: Way smarter than we are.
(team goes through stargate)
Carter: So you built that Stargate?
Narim: Yes.
Jackson: Way smarter than we are.
O'Neill: Ours is bigger.

Narim: No harm will come to you. The Tollan will guarantee it.
O'Neill: Is that a "money-back-if-you're-not-completely-alive" guarantee?

Skaara: I'm very happy to see you. All of you.
O'Neill: What just happened? What's the deal?
Narim: The Tollan designed the device worn upon his chest. It suppresses the Goa'uld's ability to silence his host. The Goa'uld and host are free to speak at will. The device cannot be removed as long as Klorel and Skaara are our guests. The indicator on the front prevents one from pretending being the other. Red indicates it is Klorel who speaks. Blue, Skaara.
O'Neill: Nice device. We'll take a dozen.
Narim: As you may recall from our last encounter, it is forbidden for the Tollan to give our technology to anyone less advanced than our own.
O'Neill: Still got that arrogance bug, I see.

O'Neill: Well, this just became a piece of cake, a walk in the park, a day at the beach.
Jackson: An accident waiting for a place to happen.
O'Neill: Mr. Negative... yes.
Carter: Sir, what makes you so confident?
O'Neill: Because Lya is a fair and insightful person who will vote our way. Besides, she likes us.
Jackson: Lya likes everyone. That's the Nox way.
Teal'c: The Nox are not in conflict with the Goa’uld. You may recall they saved Apophis when you attempted to eliminate him.
O'Neill: So, what do we have on this fine, Goa'uld fella?
Teal'c: Zipacna was one of Apophis’ most loyal underlords.
O'Neill: Well, I don't believe for a second he's come to talk Klorel out of here.

Travell: Do the human archons wish to respond?
O'Neill: Yeah, ma'am, you betcha!
Jackson: Um... we do, your Eminence.

O'Neill: Skaara, you once told me you'd rather die than live another day as a Goa'uld. Why?
Skaara: What I suffer each day is worse than death.
O'Neill: For example.
Skaara: (upset) I remember the demon stretching out my hand to kill Daniel, the husband of my sister. There was nothing I could do to stop it. And I have seen many more, far worse atrocities than this.
Zipacna: I demand that the human stay on topic!
O'Neill: It is on topic. You just want to avoid talking about all the nasty stuff he's witnessed.
Zipacna: The host witnesses nothing, since nothing of the host survives.

Travell: Do the human archons have anything else to say?
O'Neill: No, I think the Goa'uld made our case quite clear. (taps the screen with the Ha'tak in orbit)
(Travell smiles)

Travell: You disregarded my warnings.
O'Neill: Mine too. Well done.
Travell: If you were my subject I would be forced to discipline you. However you are not one of my subjects.

Carter: I thought the Nox were pacificists.
Lya: I only hid the weapon. I did not fire it.
Carter: Ah. Pretty fine line you didn't cross.
Lya: Yes it is.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This is the last episode to feature the Nox. They are mentioned again in the episodes "Shades of Grey" and "Paradise Lost". Given comments in "Shades of Grey," Earth manages to establish some form of diplomatic relationship with them after this episode which is threatened in "Shades of Grey".
  • A banner hanging near Skaara/Klorel's jail cell shows the point of origin for his home planet, Abydos, which is a pyramid surrounded by 3 moons, as well as Apophis' snake symbol. A similar banner, showing the Tau'ri symbol is found in SG-1's quarters. The banner in Lya's chambers is not that of a Stargate glyph, but presumably is the symbol of the Nox.


  • Towards the end of the episode Colonel Jack O'Neill's dog tags are hanging outside his T-shirt but there is only one visible. Dog tags come in pairs with one on a shorter chain that can be removed should the serviceman be captured or killed, and one that remains on the body at all times on the longer chain. O'Neill is missing the one from his longer chain, it does not appear in shots from in front or behind him.
  • The close shot of the Tollan Stargate and the way it appears in the long shots are completely different.
  • In the opening sequence, the two Ha'tak ships are fired upon from multiple locations, and it is apparent that they are a significant distance apart, so by targeting just the cannons within walking distance for the duration of the Triad, it would be impossible for the Jaffa to target all the cannons that are in range of a mothership in space. While it would reduce the city's defensive capabilities (especially against Death Gliders), the mothership would still be destroyed immediately after firing the volley at the city based cannons.
  • During the Triad, Zipacna's argument that the Goa'uld consider themselves more advanced and more intelligent than humans goes largely unchallenged, despite the fact that it is repeatedly established in this episode alone that the Tollan are far more advanced than them.

Other languages[]

  • French: Simulation (Pretense)
  • Italian: Inganno (Deception)
  • Spanish: Pretexto (Pretense)
  • Czech: Záminka (Pretense)
  • Hungarian: Színlelés (Pretense)
  • Russian: Претензии (Pretenses)
  • German: Die Tollan-Triade (The Tollan Triad)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Pretense (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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