Eli Wallace's plan to dial Earth using power of the star is about to be executed when it is interrupted by the discovery of the shuttle piloted by Dr. Nicholas Rush, who has traveled back in time after the plan was executed but went wrong.
A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base by the Lucian Alliance, and are now trapped there. Dr. Nicholas Rush breaks the master code and discovers the Bridge. After the rest of the crew discovers the bridge, Rush asks Colonel Everett Young to embrace Destiny's mission. After a failed Alliance invasion, Homeworld Command believes an attack on Earth is being planned. Young is grief striken over the death of Sgt. Hunter Riley. The Ancient shuttle left on Eden has been returned to Destiny in perfect working order. After a battle with the Berzerker drones, Destiny is badly damaged. Despite the Nakai pathogen being removed from Chloe Armstrong, she retained the knowledge gained during her infection.
A meeting is held to discuss the condition of Destiny. Dr. Adam Brody and Dr. Dale Volker explain that all of Destiny's systems have accumulated significant damage, in addition to significantly reduced life support capability. Furthermore, they have no spare parts with which to repair it. Virtually every system is running at minimum safety levels, with no redundancies. At the moment, the ship is just barely able to continue. Colonel David Telford wants to know what their options are. Dr. Nicholas Rush argues that they need to simply carry on, since they can't do anything to solve the problem. Eli Wallace, however, believes he and Ginn were able to devise a means to dial Earth while Destiny is recharging inside a star. Rush vehemently opposes this plan, as Eli's plan fails to consider the conditions inside the star while dialing. He is also concerned that it could destroy the ship. Lt. Matthew Scott doesn't see how that's a problem, since they won't be aboard, but Rush asserts that it is for those who believe in the mission. Telford thinks that no one on the ship would want to stay, but Rush merely asks Colonel Everett Young if he still believes in the mission. Young's opinion hasn't changed, but he doesn't see how they can complete it in a ship that's on its last legs. Rush has a more optimistic approach, labeling Brody and Volker "defeatists", but Young insists that he has to look to the safety of the crew first. Rush walks out.
Rush heads to the bridge, only to find MSgt. Ronald Greer there waiting for him. Greer informs him that he's been barred from the bridge or anywhere else the ship can be controlled from. In Young's quarters, Young informs Telford and Camile Wray that they will reach a star to recharge in 18 hours, where they will attempt to dial Earth. Young opens the door when Rush knocks, having anticipated that he would come upon finding that he couldn't get to the bridge. Young explains that he didn't want Rush to lock out the dialing program, though Rush insists it never occurred to him. Wray informs him that Eli is using the Long-range communication device to run his calculations by the scientists on Earth. Rush reiterates that his plan does not and cannot account for the unpredictable nature of conditions within a star, and establishing a connection could rip a hole in the fabric of space-time. Telford deems Rush to be crazy, but Young is willing to hear him out. Rush asks for a chance to speak to the crew, hoping to convince them of the importance of staying to complete Destiny's mission. He also asks that Young stand by him during this, to reinforce the importance of the request. Young agrees to both, much to the surprise of Telford.
In the Control interface room, Dr. Bill Lee, inhabiting Eli's body, is admiring Eli's work, noting that a lot of smart people on Earth couldn't figure it out. Brody admits that Eli is one of the smartest people he's ever met, though he'd rather not tell Eli that. Eli returns to his body, having confirmed his work. He also overheard part of Brody's comment, which Brody unconvincingly tries to attribute to Einstein. Scott interrupts so they can inform Young.
Destiny drops out of FTL near a star. Rush meets with Young in the gate room. Young asks if Rush can keep the ship running, specifically the minimum number of people he would need to do so. Rush believes 12 would be enough, including himself and Young. He shows Young a speech he has prepared, in case Young has anything he wants to add to it. Telford suddenly calls in from the bridge, requesting the presence of both Rush and Young.
On the bridge, Volker explains that Destiny has detected a shuttle, which has altered course to intercept. Stranger still, Dr. Nicholas Rush is trying to signal Destiny from it. It's clearly not being faked, since Destiny's shuttle is docked and the signal is in real-time. They have yet to respond to his hails, so Rush decides to answer. The second Rush warns against dialing Earth, as the crew will die if they do. When Young points out that Rush is already on Destiny, the second Rush explains that he has traveled back in time approximately 12 hours, based on Destiny's arrival minutes before. To prove it, he cites the conversation that he and Rush, in the main timeline, had prior to entering the bridge.
In the gate room, Scott muses over the fact that they're suddenly going home after they had just committed to the mission. He's excited to see his son. Chloe Armstrong mentions introducing Scott to her mother, which Scott claims makes him more nervous than going through the gate. Eli asks if they'll still hang out upon returning to Earth. Chloe says they will, and Scott thinks they should have a reunion every year. Eli's thoughts, however, were for more regular visits. Lt. Vanessa James notes that it would depend on if Eli is stationed on Earth. Eli is convinced that it will be, having never considered that Stargate Command would ask him to join upon returning. Lt. Tamara Johansen assures him that he would have a place with all of the SGC's top scientists, specifically naming Dr. Daniel Jackson, Colonel Samantha Carter, and Dr. Rodney McKay, the latter of whom James apparently dislikes. Young calls Scott over the radio, having him and Greer report to Shuttle Bay 2.
The second Rush docks the shuttle as Scott, Greer, Telford, Young, and the first Rush arrive. Upon exiting the shuttle, Rush tries to attack Telford, blaming him for killing the crew. He then collapses. Young calls TJ to treat his injuries. Wray joins her.
As TJ treats him for his injuries, Rush explains that he was burned after failing to stop an overload. The air eventually became so toxic that he had to abandon it. He speculates that Destiny must have passed near a solar flare during the dialing attempt, somehow sending the entire ship back in time. The first Rush seems amused by his double's presence, which the second Rush attributes to fascination. He doesn't think the first Rush would feel the same if he'd gone through the same events. Rush quips that he won't have to. Wray and Telford advocate trying again, hoping to learn from the second Rush's mistakes, only for him to angrily state that the only mistake was trying. TJ also points out that it will, relatively, be the same attempt if they try to go ahead. Rush jokes that it won't be entirely the same; if he and his double stay behind, continuing the cycle, they'd eventually have an entire crew.
Young asks for an explanation of what went wrong, so the second Rush relates his version of events. He gave his speech asking the crew to stay on the ship, believing that it would be a waste to throw away something the Ancients spent a generation developing. Young asked for ten volunteers, not including himself and Rush. Greer stepped forward first, followed by Volker, TJ, Chloe, Scott, James, Varro, three Lucian Alliance members, two other SGC personnel, and finally Eli. Telford spoke up, countering that the crew has no obligation to finish Destiny's mission, nor should they be expected to given how advanced the Ancients were. As he saw it, the only end for Destiny would be the day it finally died. He considered taking everyone by force, an idea which Greer quietly discouraged. With no way to convince them, Telford organized those who were returning to Earth. Rush explains that they all died after that.
Wray still advocates trying to learn from the mistakes of the first attempt, but Rush explains that Eli's program relies on precise timing; it would be the same attempt. He continues his story at Young's request. The connection was established and Telford went through first. Immediately after that, however, the connection destabilized and couldn't be shut down. Unable to fully stabilize the connection, the rest of the crew went through while Rush tried to keep the wormhole stable. Having run over the time Eli allotted, power began to build toward an overload. Young ordered everyone through, but Rush had to stay to make sure the wormhole remains active. Rush found himself alone. Once he worked up the nerve to use the communication device, he learned that Telford was the only person to get through safely. Young calls off the attempt to dial Earth, and orders the group to the bridge. The first Rush muses that he'll now have someone to hold a decent conversation with.
As Destiny circles the star, the time-displaced Destiny comes into view. Eli blames himself for the deaths of the future Destiny crew, while Chloe believes that rescuing her is what led them to this situation in the first place. Brody, however, is more focused on the damage the second Destiny has sustained, which is confined to the engineering spaces. He runs for the bridge. On the bridge, the second Rush believes they should board the other Destiny. Telford sees the value in retrieving its food and supplies, but Brody, having just arrived, explains that Rush's point is to salvage spare parts. Young holds up his radio to point out that running was unnecessary. Young points out that Destiny is already heading away, while the second Destiny is falling toward the star. Rush explains that they can do a short FTL jump, then use the Stargate. Since Destiny has no fixed point of origin, it can dial any gate. Telford offers to lead the salvage team, and the second Rush wants to join, since he knows what systems were damaged. Young is hesitant given his injuries, but both Telford and the first Rush support the idea.
Brody, Volker, and Dr. Lisa Park outline which parts they need to find and where to find them. Once the ship drops out of FTL, the gate is dialed. Eli declares the atmosphere to be safe. Upon reaching the second Destiny, both Rushes assess the conditions. The shields will fail in 40 minutes. The group is split into teams and begins salvage operations. In addition to spare parts, food, weapons, plants, medicine, and anything else useful is taken. Wray offers to contact Homeworld Command. As she leaves, Eli muses that they probably think the crew is dead. Young insists that it didn't happen, at least not to them, but Eli still blames himself, knowing that they would all be dead if it weren't for Rush being unexpectedly flung back in time.
The second Destiny hull begins to rupture as it gets closer to the star. As the teams retreat to the gate, the second Rush comes upon a power relay for the weapons. If they salvage it, they can double Destiny's weapon capability. He begins disconnecting it, and Telford agrees that it's worth the risk. The first Rush decides to leave and come back with the proper tools, warning his double not to touch the damaged relay, which still has power running through it. Park leaves with him. Telford comes in behind them to check on the second Rush. Telford insinuates that Rush tried to sabotage the dialing attempt and made a mistake which killed the crew, which Rush adamantly denies. When Telford pokes Rush in the chest, continuing his accusations, Rush angrily shoves him off and blames Telford for their deaths. He realizes too late that he has just pushed Telford into the damaged relay. Telford is electrocuted to death, to Rush's horror. He flees the scene.
The first Rush explains what his double is doing to Scott. Scott decides to follow Rush to retrieve him. Wray returns to the gate room, having had little time to debrief before the second Telford insisted on switching with someone, preferably himself, to learn what happened. Rush and Scott find Telford dead, while the second Rush is nowhere to be found. Scott reports this to Young. Rush believes he knows the whereabouts of his double and runs off. Young orders Scott to retreat, since the shields are about to fail. Rush finds his double at the interface chair. The second Rush tells him Telford's death was an accident, and insists that the story he told about his experiences was true. Knowing he can't go back to Destiny without them believing he purposefully murdered Telford, he intends to sit in the chair. The first Rush helps him, then abandons ship with Scott. The second Destiny is consumed by the star.
On the first Destiny, Rush claims not to have found his double, though he admits that he probably did not stay simply to go down with the ship. Young believes that Rush must be happy that they collected spare parts to continue the mission, but Rush's mind seems to be elsewhere.
Brody: We've run the simulation a dozen times. It works.
Lee: (In Eli's body) So, the gamer came up with power-flow algorithm.
Scott: Eli, yeah.
Lee: I got to say, you know when we tried to solve this back on Earth, there were a lot of smart people in that room.
Brody: Yeah, well don't tell them I said this, but he's arguably the smartest person I've ever met. (Eli returns to his body) You all right?
Eli: I'm fine. I'm back.
Scott: What do they say?
Eli: The math works, so we're on. (to Brody) Who was the "smartest person" you were just talking about?
Brody: Yeah. He was…he was pretty smart.
Eli: But don't ever tell him you said that?
Young: Can you keep this ship flying?
Rush: Yeah, with help.
Young: Then I need an absolute minimum number of personel you need to do it.
Rush: Well, as many as possible, obviously.
Young: I need a number.
Rush: I'd say a dozen.
Young: Plus you and me?
Rush: My friends… Well, yes, perhaps that's, uh, an overstatement. But we are, at least, shipmates who have, up until now, shared great adversity. I know a lot of you, probably most of you, also share the hope of going home. It is a fact that the conditions inside a star bode very poorly for the sustained viability of a wormhole, and I owe it to you all to tell you that.
Telford: Stop trying to scare people and get on with this.
Rush: The Ancients did not devote the efforts of an entire generation to build this ship on a whim. Neither was Destiny named on a whim. Over a million years ago, the Ancients discovered the complex structure buried deep within the background radiation. The fingerprints of an intelligence that existed very near the beginning of time itself. Destiny was launched in search of that intelligence. Who knows how close we are to finding it. How close we are to learning, in the Ancients' words, "the destiny of all things." I don't pretend to know when that's going to be, in which stars it will happen, or even how that will change our view of the universe. I only know that Destiny has come this far and if we abandon her now, there'll be no coming back. All of that knowledge will be lost, forever. I believe this journey is the reason I'm here, but I can't hope to do it alone. I ask you to come with me.
Young: Now, I, uh, I believe that those of you who want to go home deserve that chance. But I joined Stargate Command for a reason so, I too am willing to stay aboard. What we are looking for are ten volunteers, so I am asking: those of you who want to be here, please step forward.
Telford: All, right, listen to me! You've already accomplished the damn mission! Our goal was to investigate the ninth chevron address and you've done that. Now, I do not deny that there once was a mission, but if it was as important as Rush claims it to be, they sure as hell couldn't expect us to do it. There is no noble voyage to save the universe or to meet God or whatever it is that Rush has sold you on! There is only the day that this ship dies.
Alternate Rush: I'm telling you, we need to get over to that ship.
Telford: It might be worth the risk if we can salvage ammunition, food, supplies—
(Brody runs onto the bridge)
Brody: No, no. That's not what he's talking about.
Young: Well, what is it then?
Brody: Spare parts. I had the same idea. I ran the whole way, too, so… (Young holds up his radio and shows it to Brody) Hmm!
Telford: How much time do we have before we're out of range?
Young: Well, we can't take a shuttle. The other ship is too close to the star, and Destiny is accelerating away.
Alternate Rush: We can arrange a short FTL jump. Use the Stargate.
Telford: It's the same 'gate. Can it dial itself?
Brody: I don't see why not. Destiny's address isn't based on a fixed point in space. We'll have to input the distance calculation, but you… (looking at Alternate Rush and Rush) …guys should be able to work that out, right?
Rush: Yeah, between me, Eli and me.
Wray: Where's the other Rush?
Rush: I don't know.
Young: You told Scott you knew where he went.
Rush: I was wrong. I went looking for him, couldn't find him.
Young: Well, maybe he decided to go down with the ship.
Rush: Doesn't sound like me.
- Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush/Nicholas Rush
- Louis Ferreira as Colonel Everett Young/Everett Young
- Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott/Matthew Scott
- Elyse Levesque as Chloe Armstrong/Chloe Armstrong
- David Blue as Eli Wallace/Eli Wallace
- Alaina Huffman as Lt. Tamara Johansen/Tamara Johansen
- Jamil Walker Smith as MSgt. Ronald Greer/Ronald Greer
- Ming-Na as Camile Wray/Camile Wray
- Mike Dopud as Varro/Varro
- Patrick Gilmore as Dr. Dale Volker/Dale Volker
- Peter Kelamis as Dr. Adam Brody/Adam Brody
- Jennifer Spence as Dr. Lisa Park/Lisa Park
- Julia Benson as Lt. Vanessa James/Vanessa James
- Bill Dow as Dr. Bill Lee
- Lou Diamond Phillips as Colonel David Telford/David Telford
- Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as Pvt. Darren Becker/Darren Becker
- Michael Karl Richards as Major Peterson
- Michael Cound as Twinning Double
- Dan Pelchat as Twinning Double
- Jon Johnson as SSgt. Trasolin/Trasolin (Uncredited)
- Vera Mendoza-Cuadra as Airman Metner/Metner (Uncredited)
- Sean Kohnke as Lindsay/Lindsay (Uncredited)
- Simone Bailly as Lincoln/Lincoln (Uncredited)
- Greg Zach as Hamilton/Hamilton (Uncredited)
- Tracy Shier as Peece/Peece (Uncredited)
- Chris Cheng as Scientist/Scientist (Uncredited)
- Mandip Sandhu as Scientist/Scientist (Uncredited)
- Marie West as Scientist/Scientist (Uncredited)
- Joshua Bazinet as Scientist/Scientist (Uncredited)
- Lani Gelera as Destiny crew person (Uncredited)
- ? as Penhall
- While discussing how Eli Wallace will be guaranteed a position at Stargate Command upon their return to Earth, Lt. Tamara Johansen, Chloe Armstrong, Lt. Matthew Scott, and Lt. Vanessa James compare him to Colonel Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson and Dr. Rodney McKay. TJ notes that she and James have met McKay and he kept staring at James in a manner that she found offensive. It would later be revealed in "Seizure" that they had met at Stargate Command.
- This episode marks the death of the Colonel David Telford from the main timeline, the twenty-first loss of the Destiny expedition, after Senator Alan Armstrong, Sgt. Curtis, Andrea Palmer, Cpl. Gorman, Sgt. Spencer, Dr. Jeremy Franklin, Cpl. Rivers, Airman Chen, Sgt. Hunter Riley, Ginn, Simeon, Michaels, Henderson, Dr. Robert Caine, Peter, Val, Dana, Rachel, Vince Kwan and Dr. Norris. However, the Telford from the alternate timeline where Destiny went back in time remains alive and on Earth and subsequently effectively takes the dead Telford's place.
- Scott speaks the phrase "There but for the grace of God", by English preacher John Bradford referring to the distinct possibility that, if only a bare few occurrences had been different, one's own reality could have walked the same path as any other one. "There But for the Grace of God" was also the title of a Stargate SG-1 Season 1 episode in which Dr. Daniel Jackson traveled to an alternate reality.
- Colonel David Telford's presence at Homeworld Command during the timeline of the present Destiny indicates that the future Destiny was sent back in time prior to Telford stepping through the Stargate. Otherwise, the timeline would have been reset by the future Dr. Nicholas Rush's warning and the alternate Telford wouldn't exist. This suggests that Destiny's Stargate connecting to Earth inside the star was enough to send the ship back since Telford left only a few seconds after the connection was established.
- When the alternate Rush recounts the events that lead up to Destiny's destruction, he explains that MSgt. Ronald Greer, Lt. Tamara Johansen, Chloe Armstrong, Lt. Matthew Scott, Dr. Dale Volker, Dr. Adam Brody, Lt. Vanessa James, Eli Wallace, Varro, and two other Lucian Alliance members chose to stay behind on Destiny with him and Colonel Everett Young to continue the ship's mission.
- Destiny now has two working Ancient shuttles after gaining the shuttle from the future Destiny. The crew was also able to gain another Ancient maintenance robot as well as double their complement of weapons, ammunition, medicine and kino's.
- This episode is similar to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Time Squared" in which the USS Enterprise-D discovered a Type 15 shuttlepod, the El-Baz, containing a version of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who had been sent back in time six hours, from an alternate timeline in which the Enterprise was destroyed.
- While collecting items from the Armory, at 33:27 Scott jokes that "Getting hot, huh?", to which James replies "Yeah, but it's a dry heat." This is likely a reference to an almost identical exchange between Frost and Hudson in James Cameron's Aliens movie.
- Spoiler: In the later episode "Common Descent", it is revealed that the Destiny crewmembers who went through the Stargate after Telford did not actually die, but were instead sent to another planet 2,000 years in the past, these survivors going on to found the colony Novus while they waited for the Destiny to return for them. This is not unprecedented, as previous SG teams had observed the effects of a wormhole passing through either a star or a solar flare. In some cases the wormhole can jump through time and space and connect to a different gate; this was a major plot device in the television film Stargate: Continuum.
- This is the last of fifty-four episodes of Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Universe written by Brad Wright.
- Presumably, since radio waves cannot travel through a nine-chevron gate connection, the Destiny crew would have had to let Homeworld Command know ahead of time when they were planning to dial in to Earth so that the Iris on the Earth gate could be opened. However, because of the temporal effect, the connection was made several hours earlier than they planned. Colonel David Telford never should have made it through the closed iris.
- Hungarian: Ikerhajó (Twin Ships)
- Russian: Две "Судьбы" (Two "Destinies")
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