SGU 1.18 "Subversion" Episode Guide

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Col. Telford is suspected of espionage after Dr. Rush has a disturbing dream about a covert meeting with the Lucian Alliance. Col. Young investigates the matter with the help of Gen. Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

Haunted by a disturbing dream, Rush seeks out Young to tell him that he had visions of Colonel Telford working as a spy for the Lucian Alliance, the group that attacked the Icarus planet. The two form a plan to have Telford switch consciousnesses with Rush again, so that Rush can attempt to contact the Lucian Alliance in order to confirm their suspicions.

Young speaks to Scott about the issue, since he also had residual memories from Telford, and Scott is incredulous at the accusation. Young then shares with Scott the knowledge that Telford was once a spy in the Lucian camp, and while there, he knew about a deadly plot to attack a Stargate base, and did nothing. Young backpedals, saying he thinks it may not be Telford's fault—there are known methods of brainwashing, and Telford may be a victim of them.

Once Telford is onboard the Destiny, Young goes to General O'Neill—at great risk—to tell him about the plan and have Rush tailed.

Since he shared Telford's memories, Rush has a relatively easy time finding what he needs in Telford's house: the key to a lock box, and in it, a cell phone with a suspicious phone number. He calls and arranges a meeting, with unseen surveillance always close behind. The Lucians take him to a secret location, and waste no time telling him that they know he's not really Telford, but someone who switched consciousnesses using the communication stones. When he denies it, they stun him and drag him into a cargo ship—totally concealed from view—and abduct him. The Earth security forces try to save him, but are too late, and report the scene back to O'Neill. Dr. Daniel Jackson urges the General to sever the stone connection to save Rush's life, but Young asks for more time with Telford—he hopes to get the information he needs—and O'Neill agrees.

Back onboard Destiny, Young confronts Telford on his involvement with the Lucians, to no avail. Their heated standoff comes to blows, and Scott and Greer have to rush in to break up the fight. Young decides to amplify the pressure, and brings General O'Neill onboard via the communication stones. His presence causes Telford to confess he was a spy, and believes in the Lucian cause. Young asks permission to use unconventional methods of information gathering. O'Neill consents.

But things are getting more dangerous for Rush, as Kiva, the leader of the Lucian operation, isn't buying his cover as Telford, and begins using alien torture devices on him to get him to give up his real identity. Rush is no match for his interrogator. Once Kiva learns that he is Dr. Nicholas Rush, she immediately brings him to the center of their operation: A planet with similar geological attributes to the Icarus planet, thus able to dial the ninth chevron to Destiny. They've already done the bulk of the engineering using Rush's work (stolen by Telford), and they force Rush to complete the final steps in their plan.

Young, having tried every humane tactic available to him, now turns to torture on Telford. He seals the man off in a room by himself, and has Brody vent the air from the room. With his chance at survival slipping away and Young looking coolly on, Telford staunchly refuses to surrender.

'Modified by Solutions.


Opening Credits:

Special Appearance by:

Guest Starring:

Closing Credits:


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Production Notes

  • "I eventually made my way back up to the offices and where I chatted with Brad about episodes 18, 19, and 20. He and Rob have some fantastic notions for the stretch run that promise to cap off SGU’s first season with a bang! And plenty of surprises." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 22, 2009)
  • "I spent some time pitching out some ideas that didn’t really go anywhere but it looks like I’ll be writing episode 19 that Exec. Producer Brad Wright had a terrific idea for the other day." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 24, 2009)
  • "I’ll start thinking about 19 – which dovetails nicely into 20, our thrilling season finale." — Joseph Mallozzi (May 31, 2009)
  • "Today, we set aside an hour to talk stories – specifically, the back half of SGU’s first season. ... Finally, Paul and I are going to start thinking about #19 and #20 as it now looks like we’ll be the ones to put the capper on SGU’s inaugural season." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 3, 2009)
  • "Paul and I are presently hammering out episodes #19 and #20. It remains to be seen who will be writing which one." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 6, 2009)
  • "Well, damn. Normally, when I’m given the green light on a story idea, I can head off on my own, spin it and beat out an outline inside of a week, but I seem to have hit the wall with episodes 19 and 20. Part of the problem rests with the fact that, when I break a story, I start at the beginning and work my way through. Unfortunately, the idea pitched out for episode 19 is fairly complex and full of TBD’s (“To Be Decided’s” for those not in the know). Paul suggested we work backward from episode 20, but that is easier said than done given that 20 is fraught with TBD’s as well. Working backward is the right idea, but our starting point should actually be season two. Sometime in the next two weeks, we’re going to have to sit everyone down and establish a game plan for the back half and beyond. That way, we can all head off on hiatus with a script assignment – and, more importantly, come back from hiatus with SGU’s first season stories locked down." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 14, 2009)
  • "Well, after several weeks of talking about it, we finally sat down and did it – the writers set aside their other work (editing, outlines, autobiographies) and their differences (the Binder-Gero feud is legendary) to gather and break Episode #19. And, in under two and a half hours, we were done. Not only did we have a terrific story with not three, not four, but five FULL acts, but Robert Cooper had come up with an episode title none of us hated (which, trust me, is a major achievement). Can’t reveal the name yet but, as Carl noted, if you switched out a single letter, it would have the same title as an episode of Atlantis." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 22, 2009)
  • "...we all got together (along with the visiting Martin Gero) to break episode 19. Inside of two and a half hours, we were done: The tease and all five acts." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 26, 2009)
  • PG15 writes: "Are you writing episode 20? Is Paul writing episode 19?" Answer: "Yes and yes." — Joseph Mallozzi (June 29, 2009)
  • "Paul has already gone to script on episode 19." — Joseph Mallozzi (July 12, 2009)
  • "Well, I finally did it. I finally started writing the season finale. Next to writing any of the first three and a half acts or doing the re-writes, actually starting the script is one of the hardest parts of the process. This morning, I decided to tackle the Tease (aka Teaser, aka Cold Open, aka Lord Pimsley’s Lugubrian Cache-Entrée). After a discussion with Paul – who is writing the penultimate episode which segues neatly into mine – I had a game plan." — Joseph Mallozzi (July 15, 2009)
  • "Paul is apparently into the second act on his script." — Joseph Mallozzi (July 22, 2009)
  • "As promised in yesterday’s comments section, I reveal to you the title to Episode #19. Those of you who guessed Subversion – guessed correctly." — Joseph Mallozzi (July 28, 2009)
  • "Somewhat slower going on Paul’s script, Subversion, Episode #19. I assume he’s finished Act I by now." — Joseph Mallozzi (July 29, 2009)
  • Joseph Mallozzi's script for the finale, episode #20, might become two scripts, in which case, "Subversion" will become episode #18, the current #18 will become #17, and the yet-to-be-written #17 will be moved to the next season. "If my fellow writer-producers feel that I have two strong scripts then, yes, Subversion will become episode 18." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 2, 2009)
  • "...Paul has been finishing up his first draft of Subversion..." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 13, 2009)
  • "The final half-dozen scripts are in play and we’ve been busy writing, revising, reading, and critiquing. ... Paul’s first draft of Subversion is very good and beautifully sets up the last two episodes." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 17, 2009)
  • Concerning the moving of "Subversion" from #19 to #18: "Hey, finally received notes on both scripts today. Thankfully (and most importantly) everyone agrees that it’s a two-episode story." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 21, 2009)
  • "On my way out, I conveyed my frustrations to my writing partner Paul who, working on his own rewrite, had to deal with frustrations of his own today in the form of the incessant BEEP-BEEP-BEEP of the construction equipment across the street." — Joseph Mallozzi (August 26, 2009)
  • Major D. Davis writes: "Is Alex Chapple directing Subversion?" Answer: "Yes." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 2, 2009)
  • Madwelshboy writes: "What episode is currenly filming? What will be filming next?" Answer: "Shooting Lost. Next up, Subversion." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 16, 2009)
  • "About to enter the production meeting for SGU's episode, "SUBVERSION". The final piece of the prep puzzle...." — James Bamford, Twitter (September 21, 2009)
  • "Well, we’re in the home stretch. We’re shooting Subversion and prepping our final two episodes, Incursion I and II." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 22, 2009)
  • "Shooting episode 18 of #SGU Having a blast today with RDA and LDP and JWS - We do have a lot of actors with 3 names." — John G. Lenic, Twitter (September 25, 2009)
  • "To those of you asking, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of Richard Dean Anderson on the lot. However, in the event I was to confirm it (which I’m not), I’d say he was in great spirits yesterday when he joined us for lunch in the writers’ room – joking away, his charming old self, simply happy to be back. IF he is back. Also, in the event he has returned for a guest spot(s), it’s possible he could have started shooting his scenes today." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 25, 2009)
  • Sprinkles writes: "Also Joe I noticed on IMBD for Michael Shanks and RDA that they in an additional episode of SGU : Subversion, knowing how unrealiable that site can be any chance of confirmation from your good self?" Answer: "I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor. However, if I were to confirm (which I’m not), I’d say Michael was on location today and in excellent spirits following his several weeks of shooting in Tasmania." — Joseph Mallozzi (September 28, 2009)
  • "Last day of Subversion tomorrow, off Tuesday, and then it’s all Incursion I and II until wrap!" — Joseph Mallozzi (October 4, 2009)
  • "And then in Subversion, near the end of the season, we’ll see myself and Richard Dean Anderson helping out with an investigation where sabotage took place back on Earth." — Michael Shanks, TV Guide Magazine (November 16, 2009)
  • "Subversion, meanwhile, is a real winner: Jack, Daniel, Rush in deep, the Young-Telford showdown, and a few surprises including a guest spot [by] franchise fave and past blog guest Mike Dopud." — Joseph Mallozzi (December 18, 2009)
  • "Finally, a few of you expressed a desire to see us pay off some of the story elements introduced in the series opener. Who attacked Icarus Base? Why? And how the hell did they find out about Earth’s top secret project? We’ll get all the answers in a three-part season ender that offers conspiracy, cameos, cosmic influence, intrigue, suspense, running and gunning, bullets and betrayal, and at least two downright horrible ways to go." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 28, 2010)
  • "Justice kicks off a run of terrific episodes, culminating in a taut, fast-paced three parter that closes out SGU’s inaugural season." — Joseph Mallozzi (January 29, 2010)

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 17:30, 29 July 2009 (UTC)