10.08 "Memento Mori" Episode Guide

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Vala is kidnapped by agents of the Trust, who are working under orders from the Goa'uld known as Athena. As they try to read her memories for clues to finding an ancient treasure, an accident causes Vala to forget who she is and where she came from.

Guide | Transcript

SciFi.com Official Summary

During a special dinner out with Daniel, Vala is abducted by one of the leaders of the Trust conspiracy: Charlotte Mayfield, a.k.a. the Goa'uld Athena. Athena knew Qetesh, the Goa'uld who once occupied Vala's body. Now, Athena uses a brutal device, a "memory machine," to dredge up Vala's traumatic memories of her time as a Goa'uld host, searching for Qetesh's knowledge of the Clava Thessara Infinitas, an Ancient treasure map.

SG-1 and their fellow SG teams quickly deploy to five suspected Trust hideouts. On cue, they raid them all. SG-1 finds only an empty warehouse, but SG-15 strikes gold. As they battle their way to the room where Vala is being held, however, one of their zat-blasts hits the memory machine, which feeds back into Vala's mind. Disoriented, Vala escapes as the building blows up behind her.

Days pass with no sign of Vala. SG-1 faces the possibility that she died in the blast — but Daniel refuses to quit searching. For her part, Vala can't remember anything about her identity or her past. She winds up in a diner, where the gruff but kind owner offers her a job. For two weeks, Vala works as a waitress — until a couple of thieves try to rob the place. To everyone's shock — including hers — she puts up an expert fight, leaving the thugs bruised and bleeding on the floor.

When Vala can't remember her real name for the police report, the cops release her picture to the public. SG-1 and Athena both see it, but Athena's people beat SG-1 to the police station by seconds and seize Vala. Mitchell leaps onto a motorcycle and sets out in high-speed pursuit. He catches up to Vala just as she escapes her captors and gets shot in the shoulder for his trouble. Vala, who still has no clue who he is, steals a car and forces Mitchell to drive her to a motel, where she cuffs him to the bed and demands answers. But Mitchell's story — that Vala is an alien who helps a team of Earth adventurers explore the galaxy — sounds absolutely crazy to her.

SG-1 tracks Mitchell's subcutaneous transponder to the motel. Unaware that they're being shadowed by more of Athena's minions, Carter, Daniel and Teal'c raid the motel room but find only Mitchell. Vala has fled — with her enemies once more in pursuit.

Modified by Solutions.

NOTE: It is in this episode that Vala becomes an official member of SG-1, making the unit a team of five members.


Guest Stars


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Production Notes

  • "Episode 8 is going to be the Vala story I pitched (which came to me after a carafe of sake last Friday night) and we'll be getting around to breaking that one tomorrow. Ivon [Bartok, DVD Features] was in the room today, recording it all for a possible season 10 special feature." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, November 28, 2005.
  • "So, I've started work on Memento Mori, which I believe is slotted for the 8 spot. I'm only into the first act and, ideally, would love to get it done before the family comes to visit on the 23rd. This one will also be a lot of fun and have already done a little research on memories, a certain war goddess from Cronos's neck of the woods, and Caribbean deli menus." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, December 14, 2005.
  • "Finally, Memento Mori. I'm still smiling at the Vala-Mitchell scenes, anticipating the fan reaction to the "dinner date" debate, and am curious as to whether Ben [Browder] knows how to ride a motorcycle." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, December 21, 2005.
  • "On Monday, I'll be getting notes on Memento-Mori and preliminary indications are the first draft is in pretty good shape." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, January 19, 2006.
  • In answer to whether or not Daniel will be showing more patience and compassion toward Vala in Season Ten, Joseph Mallozzi stated, "There are some really nice moments along these lines in Morpheus, Counter-Strike, and Memento Mori." (SG1Solutions, January 20, 2006)
  • "Currently I am shooting footage for a Director's piece on the episode "Momento Mori." It's a great script with lots of actions and adventure, so I am pretty pleased to be on set for this one." — Ivon Bartok, Producer of DVD Special Features, GateWorld Blog, May 11, 2006.
  • "Vala is seen doing an unusual job (for her that is) but quickly she returns to her old ways. When out on a sort of date with Daniel, she's drugged and kidnapped. Stargate Command manages to get a few possible locations where Vala might be, and multiple SG teams go looking for her. She manages to get free without the help of the SG teams, but she has memory loss. Some powerful people are still after her." — Spoilerfix.com, May 14, 2006.
  • TV Zone visited the Stargate SG-1 set on May 2, 2006, and witnessed the filming of some of the scenes for Memento Mori. They shot a scene in the motel Accent Inns across the street from Bridge Studios about which Ben Browder made this comment, "Mitchell is handcuffed to a bed with Vala standing over him. That's pretty much all you need to know." — Ben Browder (Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell), TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • "...After that is Memento Mori, a much more Earth-based, grounded story that focuses heavily on Vala. It explores her feelings of isolation and sense of belonging as well as the connection between her and Daniel Jackson." — Joseph Mallozzi, TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • Filming on May 2, 2006, was a stunt coordinated for this episode by Dan Shea. "In this particular scene, Mitchell commandeers a motorcycle and zooms through traffic and pops wheelies as he chases a car that has absconded with Vala. In order to shoot this, we're taking over a major roadway, Highway 91. When I first heard this, I thought, 'You've got to be kidding.' But, yes, we'll be taking over two lanes of this highway, and as I said, our hero will be popping wheelies and weaving around cars. At the end of the chase, which we'll be shooting on another day and at a different location, we're going to roll the car. The Vala character will be inside the car and she'll elbow the person in the backseat and then kick the guy in the front seat, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. We'll then cut to an exterior of the rolling car." — Dan Shea, Stunt Coordinator, TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • General Landry has stern words for a Trust operative named Weaver, played by Brendan Beiser (Agent Pendrell of X-Files). — TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • Michael Shanks, who plays Daniel Jackson in SCI FI Channel’s original series Stargate SG-1, told SCI FI Wire that the series will play down the potential romance between his character and Claudia Black’s Vala as the series kicks off its 10th season this July. [...] “In order to justify Vala there in a regular capacity this season, we’ve had to tone that down a little bit,” Shanks said in an interview, referring to the characters’ sexual tension. “We’re doing a lot of balancing right now. We’re trying to find the fun of it, and we’re trying to find the push-pull in a more practical, kind of friendship situation. There’s an episode where Daniel and Vala go out to dinner to talk about her personal growth, so to speak, and there’s all the innuendo and misconception that can happen in that kind of situation.” [...] Shanks added: “So there’s a lot of fun in that. What we’re doing is trying to keep the joke alive without killing it. And it’s always fun when you work with somebody like Claudia, who’s so good at playing with you and playing off you and who just gives you so much all the time. It’s been a lot of fun doing that.” — Michael Shanks, SciFi Wire: 'SG-1's' Shanks Talks Romance, June 2, 2006.
  • According to James Bamford, fight coordinator, Mitchell is riding Bamford's own personal bike — a "Honda CBR RR 600.....2003 model." — James Bamford, Gateworld Q&A, August 23-24, 2006.
  • "The show involves a Deli named Sol’s Diner, but when you watch the show you’ll notice that the character who plays the deli’s owner is called Sal. And he explains it by saying that he bought the place from a guy named Sol. Weird and hilarious, to be sure, but also necessary to fix a problem. You see we had already cleared and made signs up for Sol’s Deli, but the best actor from the auditions looked a lot more Italian than Jewish. So they named him Sal and Joe added that explanatory line. And, ironically, we later found out he's actually Jewish." — Alex Levine, script coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, September 8, 2006.
  • "I spoke with Joe about the episode… he said that when he originally pitched the episode he pitched Vala working in a shoe store, not a deli. Personally, I think the shoe store would have been great, but the deli works too." — Alex Levine, script coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, September 8, 2006.
  • "Also in Memento Mori, there were some hilarious outtakes of when Mitchell is discovered handcuffed to a bed in a hotel room. Of course those didn’t make the cut… but I can tell you the cast had a great time adlibbing their reactions to finding Mitchell in such a compromising position." — Alex Levine, script coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, September 8, 2006.
  • "The show is also stunt-heavy, featuring a car crash/roll-over, a motorcycle chase, and a high fall in a warehouse. Apparently Ben Browder was all set to actually ride the motorcycle for the chase, but the insurance company wouldn’t have it, so he had to step aside for the stunt driver. By the way, the stunts will be the subject of one of Ivon Bartok’s behind the scenes featurettes on the DVD’s when they come out next year." — Alex Levine, script coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, September 8, 2006.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 18:22, 25 April 2006 (PDT)