Earth's Stargate Program isn't the only group in the Milky Way that's interested in the Ancients' Destiny. What's worse, this long-time foe may have a spy among those closest to the Icarus project.
While sleeping in his quarters, Nicholas Rush has flashes of memory. In the memories, he sees the number 314 and meets with a group near an abandoned warehouse. He goes to Everett Young's quarters and tells him about the dream. He sees himself giving files about the Icarus project to the group. They have a Tel'tak parked in the area, which leads Young to suspect the Lucian Alliance. When Young asks Rush why he'd dream of himself doing this, Rush tells Young that he saw his reflection during the dream: it's that of David Telford.
Young calls in Matthew Scott to speak about his own experience of memory bleedover from Telford. Scott's experience was nowhere near as vivid. Scott questions the wisdom of accusing Telford of being a traitor, so Young explains that Telford spent a year undercover in the Lucian Alliance. Eight months in, a Lucian Alliance attack on a Tau'ri Base killed 37 people, which Telford knew was coming but did not report. Telford claimed it necessary to protect his cover, and was let off the hook. However, knowing that the Goa'uld have brainwashing technology, and that the Lucian Alliance have much of their technology, it's possible he was compromised. Scott points out that no one can be trusted if that's the case.
In the control interface room, Young enters. Eli Wallace wants to tell him about the data he and Rush have been going over, but Young tells him to take a break in order to talk with Rush privately. Knowing that Telford is scheduled for a switch with Morrison in a few days, Rush offers to switch with Telford and try to make contact with the Lucian Alliance, arguing that he is the best suited since he has Telford's memories. Young agrees, warning Rush that he won't have any backup. Later, he is met by Camile Wray, who wants to know why Morrison's spot was taken by Rush. Young refuses to answer, but assures her that it's important.
Once the switch takes place, Rush poses as Morrison. Meanwhile, Telford notices that he's not in the body he expected. He asks where Young is, and Scott tells him that Young is busy. Telford asks about why he's inhabiting Rush, and Scott claims that Rush needed to consult with some scientists on Earth about technical problems. Telford easily sees through him. He requests military fatigues, so Scott leads him out. Young sneaks in behind them to use the stones, asking to speak with Jack O'Neill. Young speaks with O'Neill about Rush's activities, telling O'Neill to have Rush tailed in case it is actually Rush who is the spy. When Jack questions why Rush would choose now to frame Telford, Young merely claims that this will ensure they get results either way.
In the mess hall, the crew holds a baby shower for Tamara Johansen. Chloe Armstrong gives TJ a U.S. Air Force shirt for the baby, and Hunter Riley gives her a toy truck he managed to construct out of various spare parts. Eli is taking pictures with his iPhone. Adam Brody and Dale Volker pull Eli aside, wanting to know about the plan Rush and Young have going. Eli doesn't know much about it, having been left out the loop just as they have. Telford comes by to get Wray.
Rush is dropped off at Morrison's home, tailed by Daniel Jackson. He goes inside, then makes his way around the back. He travels to Telford's house and breaks in, searching for anything incriminating. After a fruitless search, he finds a candle holder with a hidden compartment. Inside is a safety deposit box key, labeled 314. Telford has a receipt for District of Columbia Mutual bank. Rush goes to the bank and retrieves the box, in which is a cell phone. The dialing history has only one number listed, so he calls it. He pretends to have information for those on the other end, and they arrange a meeting. He is picked up in a black van.
Telford speaks with Wray on the observation deck, who tells him that she's being kept out of the loop. Young comes in and takes Telford to Brody's bar for drinks. Telford sarcastically points out Young's upstanding leadership at the revelation. Young merely states that he's making things work, and couldn't stop the crew anyway. The strong concoction is a bit too much for Telford, and he declines any further helpings, citing that they are both on-duty. Young dismisses the excuse, since there's no one around to discipline them, and hints that Telford might reveal something if drunk. He wants to clear the air about attacking Telford in return for Telford trying to sabotage Young's relationship with Emily. Telford believes he should just let it go, since he never reported Young. Young knows Telford no more wants the situation revealed than Young does. Telford believes Young to be a disgrace for sleeping with an officer under his command. Young counters that, in spite of that, he's on Destiny and Telford isn't, believing Telford expected to have command as a reward for his time as a spy in the Lucian Alliance. Telford doesn't want to talk about it and gets up to leave. Young says that the Telford he knew would have never sacrificed 37 people to protect himself, and asks what changed him. Telford merely thanks him for the drinks and leaves. Young radios Scott.
Rush is brought to the meeting site. Daniel is hiding on one of the rooftops, photographing those present. Jack calls on the radio to tell him that Samantha Carter, commanding the George Hammond, is unable to beam anyone in the area up due to a jamming signal blocking them. The strike team is ready to move on Daniel's order. Another SUV drives in and a woman steps out. She recognizes that Rush is not Telford, since he didn't use the proper code word when reporting in, and demands to know who he is. Rush denies her accusations, but when she asks him for her name and he can't answer, he is knocked unconscious. She deactivates the cloak on her Tel'tak and has Rush dragged inside. Daniel calls in the strike team, but they are too late.
In the mess hall, TJ is alone, crying. Chloe comes in to comfort her. TJ is upset that her baby won't have a normal life on the ship. Chloe assures her that they might get home, and regardless everyone on the ship will be there to help her when she needs it.
At Homeworld Command, Daniel briefs Jack and Young on the Lucian Alliance members present at the meeting. Daniel suggests disconnecting the stones, but Young wants to interrogate Telford. Daniel argues that Telford still has rights, but Young insists that they knew what they were getting into when this started. O'Neill lets him do what he needs to do.
Young confronts Telford about his involvement with the Alliance, telling him about the memory bleedover from the stones, but Telford denies everything. Young decides to let him sweat it out for a bit. Greer offers to try persuading him, but Young denies the request. When Young returns, Scott thinks he should come in, but Young insists that this situation is on himself and no one else. He shows Telford a picture of a fire suppression team which burned to death on Icarus Base, claiming Telford murdered them as surely as if he'd done it personally. He says that they already know him to be a traitor and a murderer, and can now add "coward" to the list. Telford attacks Young in a rage. Ronald Greer runs in and tackles Telford, hitting him several times before being dragged away by Scott. Young orders them both out. They talk about the outpost that was attacked; Young tells him about one of the soldiers that died. He tells Telford about how he could have been brainwashed, and to give him a gate address if there's still some part of him that wants to help.
On the Tel'tak, which is now in hyperspace, Rush awakes in chains. Still posing as Telford, he tries to convince Kiva that he broke protocol on purpose in order to be taken off Earth, claiming that he was under suspicion. Kiva is not convinced, but commends him for the story. She asks for her name, which he couldn't answer before; after a short pause, he tells her. She then asks for Rush's name. She claims that she's just trying to do what is best for her people. Rush sarcastically retorts that she's made a good first impression to that effect. She has Rush tortured, and laments having to use something so primitive; she has brainwashing technology, but is uncertain of the effects it would have if used on Rush in Telford's body. She continues the torture, which Rush manages to resist. She assumes him to be either Young or Scott, given his resistance. Rush believes that she'll kill him if he tells her what she wants to know. She tells him she won't, and he gives up his name when they move to torture him again. In return, Kiva shows him their destination: an Icarus-type planet. They have duplicated Earth's research into dialing the ninth chevron, but lack the equation to regulate the power.
On the Icarus-type planet, Rush is introduced to Olan, their lead scientist. He begins to help them with dialing the ninth chevron, but stalls, claiming that Olan's crude work may require them to start from scratch. Kiva has Olan killed for his incompetence, and Rush admits he was stalling. She warns Rush that he is out of chances. As Rush works, Varro asks him what it's like on Destiny. Rush simply describes it as a rustbucket, then asks what will happen if he cannot dial Destiny. Varro states that Kiva promised not to kill him; Varro will personally kill Rush should that happen.
Wray argues with Scott and Greer about Young's treatment of Telford, but gets nowhere. Young exits the room and heads for the communication room to contact Homeworld Command. Young brings O'Neill in using the stones. O'Neill briefly highlights having been given the body of a Corporal, then is led to Telford. Telford tells O'Neill about what he's being put through; O'Neill knows, except for the part about Telford being attacked. O'Neill tells him to come clean, the gate address having been a bust. Telford claims that it doesn't matter since they can't stop it, but doesn't elaborate on what "it" is. Telford accuses the Tau'ri of leaving the humans of the galaxy to fend for themselves after defeating the Goa'uld, then being surprised when something like the Lucian Alliance formed. He says that people will do what they have to in order to survive, something Young should be familiar with. He claims that they act without care to those they harm, and that Destiny was meant for all mankind, not just the Tau'ri. O'Neill has heard enough, and Young asks to go to the next level. O'Neill agrees, and Young has Riley disconnect O'Neill. Young orders Brody to vent the atmosphere in Telford's room. Eli and Wray separately argue against it, but Brody complies. Telford has five minutes until he suffocates, unless he talks. Telford doesn't believe he'll do it, but Young insists that this is for the greater good and doesn't back down. Telford refuses to talk, demanding to be released.
O'Neill: Everett, I'll have you know I'm missing a national security briefing for this.
Young: Sorry about that, sir.
O'Neill: Well, if you'd ever been to a national security briefing, you wouldn't say that.
Durring the interrogation of Colonel Telford
Telford: We take what ever we want! We do what ever is good for us, regardless of the impact on other planets! What makes us so special?
O'Neill: I know what makes me special.
- The episode aired on the Ukrainian television station K1 TV before the English version aired in the U.S. and Canada.
- Due to the Victoria Day long weekend ("May Two-Four"), this episode was delayed one week in Canada on the Space channel.
- This marks the first time General O'Neill uses the communication stones to come aboard Destiny.
- The episode was originally slated to be the 19th and penultimate episode of season one. However writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi wrote the season one finale as a two-parter; Subversion will become the 18th episode and the previous episode, "Pain", will be aired as the 17th.
- It has been confirmed that the Lucian Alliance will reprise its antagonistic role in this episode.