|SG-1 Season 5|
|Season 4||Season 6|
SG-1 trains a group of four young Stargate Command recruits (Lt. Kevin Elliot, Lt. Jennifer Hailey, Lt. Carl Grogan, and Lt. Satterfield) for the rigors of off-world missions using several life-like scenarios. However, they fail to complete their latest two missions, and the leader already considers himself a "wash-out" for leaving one of his team (Grogan) behind during a simulated explosion.
Colonel Jack O'Neill receives a phone call from Major Samantha Carter, warning him about a situation at "Sierra Golf Charlie"; he consequently attacks the personnel that met him near the training area; one of the opponents manage to shoot him back. The trainees offer their help, stating that they're all that's available.
Infiltrating Stargate Command, they use the armory to stock up on stun weapons and back-up "live ammunition" handguns. Reaching Carter's lab, they find out that the entire SGC, including the rest of the SG-1, appears to be under a sort of Goa'uld mind control last seen on the planet Argos (identified as P3X-8596).
The plan is to have the cadets shut off the gate, and then destroy the device. However, when outside the Embarkation room, O'Neill recalls them, ordering them to fall back to the lab where he is.
On their next sortie, they retrieve Carter, and upon returning to the lab come to the conclusion that O'Neill has been "infected."
On their third attempt, they manage to reach their goal: they disable everybody in their way (including Dr. Daniel Jackson and rig the supposedly mind-controlling device with C-4. When it doesn't explode (it was clay, not C-4), SG-1 and Major General George S. Hammond reveal that the whole thing was a very elaborate ploy set up by SG-1, Hammond, and the SGC personnel; the "real" bullets were in fact blank ones. They congratulate the lieutenants.
Hailey, however, is still in the Embarkation Room, trying to finish her part of the mission. Suddenly, the Stargate engages and opens a wormhole that turns out to be releasing deadly radiation. Hailey tries to manually override the Iris, but is electrocuted in the process and passes out. The leader of the team of cadets, Elliot, ignores Hammond's orders to evacuate and runs into the room anyway to attempt to rescue his fallen teammate. She turns out to be not only fine, but also a part of this last training exercise. SG-1 congratulates the cadets again, and all four members are told that they have a bright future in the SGC.
Elliot: (after seeing Dr. Jackson on the monitor) Looks like their leader is Dr. Jackson.
O'Neill: I always knew he wanted that office.
O'Neill: What's your excuse?
Satterfield: I didn't believe Dr. Jackson was a Goa'uld.
Carter: Why not, Satterfield?
Satterfield: I don't know, Ma'am. That was just my instinct.
Hailey: She thinks he's cute.
Carter: Try to remember when you were in their shoes.
O'Neill: I wore boots.
- The set for the training ground warehouse was previously used in the Stargate SG-1 episodes "Tin Man", "Watergate" and "Beneath the Surface".
- The plot is similar to that of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Lower Decks".
- This episode was originally short so the scene in which Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter are eating in the Mess hall discussing the recruits was written and added.
- Elisabeth Rosen appears as Lt. Jennifer Hailey, who originally appeared in the episode "Prodigy".
- Courtenay J. Stevens appears as Lt. Kevin Elliot, a role which he would reprise in the episodes "Summit" and "Last Stand".
- David Kopp appears as Lt. Carl Grogan, who would return in Season Five episode, "The Sentinel".
- Grace Park, Lt. Satterfield, is better known as Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, Sharon "Athena" Agathon and other Number Eights on Battlestar Galactica.
- This is Michael Shanks' 100th Episode.
In other languages
- French: L'Épreuve du Feu (Ordeal by Fire)
- Italian: Terreno di Prova (Proving Ground)
- Spanish: Terreno de Pruebas (Proving Ground)
- Official Stargate SG-1 site. MGM. Visited June 8, 2006. Most of site requires Flash.
- Screenplay (PDF). Distributed by MGM. Prepared by Casablanca Continuity (2001-09-21). Linked to from Official Stargate SG-1 site.
- Summary from GateWorld. Visited May 7, 2006.
- Review from GateWorld. Reviewed by Morjana Coffman. Visited May 7, 2006.