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


The Goa'uld Klorel crash-lands on the planet Tollana after his fleet is destroyed in battle. Klorel, the son of System Lord Apophis, took Skaara's body as a host in the first episode of Stargate SG-1, "Children of the Gods". The Tollan hold a trial (called a "Triad" in their culture) to decide who should be given sole control of Skaara's body.

A member of the Tollan Curia (the governing body of Tollana) presides over the hearing. Daniel Jackson and 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, 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 favour, 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.

Immediately afterwards, Zipacna uses a small Goa'uld 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.


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  • The urban outdoor scenes of Tollana were shot on the main campus of Simon Fraser University (S.F.U.) in Burnaby, a small city just east of Vancouver. The same university location would be used again in the Fifth-Season episode Between Two Fires when the SG-1 team visits Tollana once more.
  • A banner hanging near Skarra/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 quarters. The banner in Lya's chambers is not that of a Stargate glyph, but assumedly is the symbol for The Nox.


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