Season 9 finale! Which of course will end on a cliffhanger... *sigh* :p
The town is awaiting the return of Arthur and his knights who set off on a quest to find the Sangraal (a.k.a. Holy Grail). They believe that he will return once someone succeeds in pulling the sword from the stone... because yes! There is a sword in a stone in the centre of Camelot!!! :o)
"Only he who is pure of heart and true of spirit can pull the sword from the stone."
The team is surprised by the hostile reaction they get from Meurig and others when they ask about Merlin... because the villagers now believe Merlin to be a wizard of darkness! In any case he hasn't been seen since Arthur's departure, and no one dares enter his library for it is cursed. Any who enter shall be killed by the Black Knight! Of course Cameron scoffs at this, he imagines it's just another test like the one they faced in Avalon. They manage to convince the village historian to help them get in, and discover, yes, a library! Lots of books to go through! Except Cam also finds a hidden passage which leads to a chamber with an Ancient device. They turn it on... and back in his home the historian finds himself face to face with the Black Knight. Woops!
As they confront an angry Meurig about the "curse", trying to convince him there's no magic involved... they disappear in a white flash as they are beamed up to the Odyssey! Talk about timing... Teal'c and Carter leave with the Odyssey to the new "supergate", while Daniel and Cam return to the library to keep looking for the weapon... Daniel finds clues by looking up the Black Knight in Merlin's book, and after several different combinations on the machine he manages is to activate a Merlin hologram and make another treasure appear!
"Greetings friend. I am Merlin. The prize you seek, like the pendulum swing, marks the passage of all that is before you."
Meanwhile Cam has raced up to the village to fight the Black Knight. He's getting his ass kicked until Valencia, Meurig's daughter to whom Cam had given some fencing pointers earlier, bravely walks up to the stone and pulls out the sword (earlier she had said it was "only for the young men of the village") then throws it to Cam who can finally defend himself. He still can't defeat the Knight... it takes Daniel destroying the control crystals in the machine for the Knight to disappear. Daniel figures out that the "weapon" must be the pendant Merlin is wearing in the hologram and all other depictions of him, but even after going through the entire treasure twice he and Cam come up empty... until Meurig informs then (when asked) that the pendant is precisely what Arthur and his knights went on a quest to find: the Sangraal... also know as the bloodstone (so bright red jewel)! He says they journeyed to three distant lands: Castiana, Sahal and Vagonbrei.
Cameron: "Wait a minute, we're talking about the Holy Grail, right? Every movie I've seen that's a cup!"
Daniel: "No, the notion that the Grail was a cup, a chalice, particularly the one used by Christ at the Last Supper was a late addition to the myth. Singular accounts describe a dish, or platter, or in the case of von Eschenbach and other Middle Eastern influenced chroniclers, as a stone that fell from the heavens..."
Of course our team doesn't have time to go searching for those "distant lands" just now because they're beamed away by the Korolev and taken to the "supergate". Carter is at the gate itself trying to install a crystal that will allow them to dial out to a) stop the Ori from dialling in and b) send along Merlin's weapon (sangraal) had Daniel and Cam brought it because the Asgard were able to decipher some of the information contained in Arthur's mantle (phase-shifting device from previous episode) that the weapon might be "an energy transfer device, similar to a zero-point module except that the energy is channelled not from subspace into ordinary spacetime, but rather, into the dimension occupied by ascended beings." The energy would be a form of interference that would eliminate any ascended beings in the Universe it was activated in... Sadly they don't have it, Sam can't get the crystal activated in time, the Ori ships come through the "supergate", and all hell breaks loose while Vala watches from one of the ships right as she goes into labour... to be continued of course!
Elements from Arthurian Legend
- Sword in the Stone -> probably not supposed to be the "real" Excalibur since "Arthur" would have taken it with him on his Quest... but still that image of a special sword which can only be pulled out of the stone by someone worthy.
- Camlann -> Meurig tells them a different version of the battle of Camlann. He says Arthur defeated Mordred (instead of both being fatally wounded/dying), and then he and his knights set off on a quest.
|Merlin, with the Sangraal around his neck|
- Merlin -> Here thought to be a wizard of darkness, reference to the fact that in Arthurian lore Merlin was believed to be the son of a demon! They also reference his prophetic visions, although of course for the science-fiction element this leads SG-1 to believe Merlin might have had a time travel device.
- Holy Grail -> No longer a cup or chalice or even a platter, here's it's a stone in a pendant that is actually a highly advanced piece of technology capable of wiping out beings who live as pure energy on a higher plane of existence!
- Grail quest -> by Arthur and his knights in search of the Sangraal, whereas in the Legends I believe Arthur stayed in Camelot to rule and it was just his knights who went on the quest.