This episode is part 2 of 3; it is preceded by "Politics" and followed by "The Serpent's Lair".

"Within the Serpent's Grasp" is the twenty-second episode and the season finale of the first season of Stargate SG-1.


The Stargate Program is shut down after Senator Robert Kinsey's visit, but SG-1 still plans to stop the Goa'uld invasion. They gate to what they think is the Goa'uld home world, but soon discover they are on a Ha'tak vessel, led by Apophis and Skaara, now host to Klorel. The ships are also now heading straight for Earth.


Senator Robert Kinsey has shut down the Stargate program. Major General George S. Hammond went to him twice, and the second time he was thrown out of Kinsey's office. He went to the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even the President of the United States himself, but it would be political suicide for any of them to override the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Within the Serpent's Grasp 1

SG-1 in the empty Control Room

Knowing that the slaughter seen in an alternate reality could happen also in this one, Dr. Daniel Jackson convinces his team members to violate orders. They arm themselves, dial the address Jackson got in the alternate reality, and after sending a MALP to confirm the conditions on the other side are safe, rush through the Stargate.

They find themselves in a large room, and at first, they don't know where they are. Daniel sends the MALP back while the others explore the room. They find crates containing Staff weapons and an until-now unknown type of Goa'uld hand weapon, Zat'nik'tels, which they take with them.

Suddenly, there is a strong movement, and all the members of the team, except Teal'c, are thrown back. Upon Teal'c's instruction, the team attempts to dial Earth, but the Stargate fails to activate, despite the fact that it worked minutes before when the MALP was sent back. Hidden doors open, and SG-1 hide as Jaffa march in. They bow before the Stargate as a large ball rises into the center of it and connect to Stargate with some kind of energy using Stargate to activate long range communication. The Jaffa leave.

After they've gone, Teal'c explains the ball is a Goa'uld Long range visual communication device.

Within the Serpent's Grasp 2

SG-1 discover that they're in hyperspace.

SG-1 soon discover that they have gated not to a planet but to a Goa'uld mothership which was in orbit of a planet. It launched into hyperspace towards Earth after their arrival, invalidating its Stargate's point of origin.

On Earth, Major Louis Ferretti is ordered to bring them back, officially for court-martial, but because the ship jumped into hyperspace, the coordinates are no longer valid and the Stargate does not activate.

Within the Serpent's Grasp 3

Serpent Guards patrolling the hallways of Apophis' Ha'tak

SG-1 hides in the Death Glider bay and realizes they are on an attack ship headed to Earth. They also notice that Jaffa are heading to a gathering.


Klorel (Skaara), Apophis' "son" and the leader of the ship

Sneaking back into the cargo room, they watch a large meeting in which they overhear Apophis state that they are getting closer to Earth before unveiling his son, Klorel, who is inhabiting Skaara, the leader of this ship until Apophis rejoins them.

Colonel Jack O'Neill orders Captain Samantha Carter and Daniel to plant C-4 all over the ship while he and Teal'c attempt to capture Klorel, in the hope that Skaara can fight the Goa'uld within him.

They succeed in capturing Klorel, but Skaara is only able to assert control briefly, after one painful shot from a Zat gun (two shots kill). He asks O'Neill to forgive him for "what he is about to do," but before he can elaborate, the Goa'uld takes back control. When guards enter, they surrender rather than kill Klorel, who brings the two into the cargo room and contacts his father. Apophis is pleased, and orders Teal'c and O'Neill's immediate execution. When asked if there are other humans aboard, Klorel makes a typical Goa'uld mistake of overconfidence, declaring "I assure you, father. There could be no more."

Skaara seemingly exerts some influence, however, as Klorel disobeys his father's orders and delays their execution, bringing them to the Pel'tak (bridge) to witness the destruction of Earth, where they see the ship exit hyperspace near Saturn. Carter sets a timer on the C4, and she and Daniel try to free their friends.

Back at the SGC, Walter Harriman informs Hammond that Cairn Deep Space Radar has picked up two large blips heading toward Earth. Every branch of the United States Armed Forces is mobilized, and Hammond orders the Stargate Operations room converted to a command and control center.

On the way to the Pel'Tak, Carter and Daniel witness Death Gliders preparing for launch. They make it to the Pel'Tak and successfully take out the guards, but Klorel grabs Daniel, knocks the gun out of his hands, and uses a Kara kesh on him, intending to kill him.

When Klorel doesn't stop, O'Neill is forced to kill Klorel/Skaara.

Apophis' attack on Earth 1

SG-1 on Apophis' ship

Looking through the window, SG-1 sees Earth, and as the camera goes into space and pans out, a second ship is seen.



Appearances for Within the Serpent's Grasp





Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Teal'c: (at the fourth wall) If the coordinates are for a Goa'uld world which is not on the Abydos cartouche, the Goa'uld will most likely not expect us. I believe a medical attack could be successful.
O'Neill: Surgical attack, Teal'c. It's called a surgical attack.

O'Neill: (referring to a group of Jaffa) I always get a happy, tingly feeling when I see those guys.

Jackson: (staring at a huge floating sphere) Teal'c, What is this?
Teal'c: It is a Goa'uld long range visual communication device. Somewhat like your television, only much further advanced.
O'Neill: Ya think it gets Showtime?

O'Neill: (trapped on a Goa'uld starship) I suggest the two of you figure out how get us back home.
Carter: Sir, the only way to do that would be to turn this thing around and go back to where we started.
Jackson: Right, I'll just go tell the pilot...

O'Neill: (confronting a Jaffa) Hey! How're ya doing? Ah, seen a bathroom around here?


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • Teal'c introduces Zat'nik'tels and how they operate. This is one of the few uses of the zat-disintegration property before it is discarded by the producers. Previously, the only Goa'uld hand-held weapons known to the Tau'ri were the much longer Staff weapons.
  • Skaara/Klorel were originally supposed to die in this episode when O'Neill shot him, however, after many fans expressed a dislike for Skaara's death, they used computer generating technology to put an image of Skaara/Klorel into a scene where he had not originally been filmed, making it appear that Skaara got off the Mothership safely.
  • Assuming that Captain Samantha Carter's estimate of the length of the trip at ten light-years is correct, and very generously assuming that SG-1 spent six hours on the ship during this episode, that would mean that a Goa'uld Ha'tak is capable of speeds up to at least 14,600 times the speed of light, possibly up to 87,600 times light speed if the trip only lasted an hour.


  • Upon sending the MALP through to the Ha'tak, Carter notes that the room is dark and that the MALP must switch to infrared to see anything. In reality, the room should be brightened by the active Stargate.


Other languages[]

  • French: Dans Le Nid Du Serpent (In the Serpent's Nest)
  • German: Die Invasion, Teil 3 (Invasion, Part 3)
  • Italian: L'Incubo Si Avvera (The Nightmare Comes True)
  • Spanish: A Merced De la Serpiente (At the Serpent's Mercy)
  • Czech: V sevření hada (Within the Serpent's Grasp)
  • Hungarian: A kígyó szorításában (Within the Serpent's Grasp)
  • Polish: W uścisku węża (In the Serpent's Grasp)

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