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Teal'c: My Lord! Shall I enact your final instructions?
Ba'al: No, you idiot, save me!
Unlike The Ark of Truth, which acted as the "true" series finale, Continuum is a standalone story. As SG-1 and General O'Neill attend the execution of the System Lord Ba'al (or so they think), the real Ba'al goes back in time to destroy Earth's Stargate as it is transported by sea to the United States -- coincidentally by Cameron Mitchell's Identical Grandfather. While the Stargate is saved, everyone aboard the ship is killed, resulting in it being stranded in the Arctic and the Stargate lost. As the Tok'Ra city vanishes around them, SG-1 rush for the Stargate to find a different Earth -- one where the Stargate program was never launched, now defenseless against Ba'al, who used his knowledge from time travel to defeat the other System Lords.
Stargate: Continuum provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Baal to Apophis:
Apophis: May your reign last days, and your death years!
Baal: (chuckling, glances at Teal'c) That's very good, isn't it?
- Affably Evil: Where the other System Lords rule through terror, demand absolute worship, brutally suppress any rebellion, and betray everybody at every opportunity, Ba'al respects his subjects and minions, keeps his promises, and wishes to conquer Earth peacefully and for mutual benefit. It's not so much that he has a greater respect for life than his contemporaries, so much as that he's realized how stupid and counterproductive the old way of doing things was. His inability to get back into the paranoid, spiteful mindset of a System Lord might explain how Qetesh's betrayal caught him by surprise.
- Awesome Yet Practical: So you've discovered that a Stargate wormhole which is routed through a certain type of solar flare (a real freak occurrence) becomes something of an accidental time machine. Suppose you want to build a purposeful time machine? Build some kind of freaky Star Trek Machine that recreates the conditions of a solar flare by inverting the polariton variant? Nah. Build a giant astronomy network and watch for one of the galaxy's 100-billion-some-odd stars to oblige.
- Backed by the Pentagon: The Navy, long jealous of the Air Force's role in the series, got their own here, including a submarine breaking the ice.
- The Navy is then also given jurisdiction over the Stargate, to Carter's horror.
- Benevolent Alien Invasion: Ba'al genuinely intends to do this, where in exchange for acknowledging him as Supreme Leader, he'll let Earth remain as a self-autonomous protectorate in his dominion, even allowing them access to Goa'uld technology as a show of good faith and mutual co-operation. The other System Lords clearly think he's gone insane.
- BFG: Vala takes one to the execution... ahem... extraction of Ba'al from his host, just in case.
- Bond One-Liner: Ba'al drops one when he kills Apophis.
Ba'al: That's actually rather good, isn't it? (draws his sword)
Ba'al: Did you plan to say that when you walked in? (slices off the top of Apophis' head)
Or did you just come up with it off the top of your head?
- Boom! Headshot!: How Mitchell finally kills Ba'al.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Ba'al. He really should have seen the betrayal coming. Although one could argue on Ba'al's defense that he had actually been infatuated with Qetesh's host Vala to the point where he might have forgotten or overlooked just how much of a liability Qetesh really was.
- Dead Little Sister: Subverted. Daniel assumes that the O'Neill of the altered timeline also lost his son to a gun accident many years ago but it turns out that he's alive and well. This only serves to disgust alternate O'Neill that Daniel would suggest something so horrible, and enhances his refusal to believe their story.
- Delayed Ripple Effect
- For Want of a Nail
- Gondor Calls for Aid: The Russians show up just as a squadron of Gliders are about to vaporize our heroes.
- Grand Finale: The Ark of Truth resolved the Ori arc, Continuum resolves the Ba'al arc.
- Heroic Sacrifice: SG-1 certifies and laminates their Badass Crew card when the five of them get wasted one-by-one holding off Qetesh's Jaffa hordes. A Crowning Moment of Awesome as well.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Claudia Black was pregnant while filming, so they filmed her character in loose dresses, from certain angles, and holding a BFG, to hide it.
- Identical Grandson: And his grandfather's identical best friend in Cam's locker room picture.
- Instant Death Bullet: Averted. Despite receiving a bullet right to his forehead courtesy of Cam, Ba'al's Goa'uld resilience means that it still takes a couple of seconds before he's dead, leaving him just enough time to wonder what the hell went wrong with his plan.
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake:
O'Neill: That was the plan, right? Get rid of the last of the bad guys and then... cake.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Arguably why the otherwise Dangerously Genre Savvy Ba'al got a sword through the back.
- Mook Face Turn: Teal'c again; counting "Moebius", this makes it the third timeline in which he sided with SG-1. Stargate SG-1 seemed to make a point that any timeline that didn't result in the Go'auld conquering Earth HAD to include a defecting Teal'c. No Teal'c defection, no Earth victory.
- It was averted with respect to Teal'c and Ba'al. Teal'c never betrayed Ba'al, and sided with SG-1 to avenge his lord's murder. It was played straight with his presumed betrayal of Apophis.
- Nobody Poops: Because SG-1 flies across half the world in fighter jets without stopping. It's never said if they were intending on flying all the way to Antarctica in those jets, but they get diverted to Russia in the end.
- Peggy Sue: The plot executed by Ba'al.
- Precision F-Strike: When apparently left to freeze with a frostbitten leg in the middle of the Arctic, Dr. Daniel Jackson can say only one thing: "Oh, shit."
- Later, when Jackson is being interviewed he asks his interviewer "Who would make this shit up?"
- Red Herring: Major Davis can be seen walking into Stargate Command during the opening sequence. Considering he was normally the bearer of bad news on the show, you'd expect him to have a major part in the plot to follow. Nope. He's just a walk-on.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: For some reason, all of SG-1 are physically Ripple Effect Proof even when the world crumbles around them. Hand waved away by being "outside of our normal-space time in the wormhole when the timeline deteriorated." Though they presumably weren't outside of space time while they were running for the gate with time rippling and removing buildings and people around them.
- San Dimas Time: Apparently, Ba'al's meddling with the Stargate occurs "simultaneously" with the execution.
- Sharpened to a Single Atom: The blade held by Ba'al (an later Qetesh) is "only one atom thick", thin enough to cut Ba'al clean in half.
- The Oner: The movie starts with one.
- The Slow Path: Cam has to wait a few years near the end of the movie.
- The Starscream: Qetesh.
- Talking to Themself: At one point, Daniel Jackson contacts his alternate timeline self on the phone to tell him he knows the thing he wrote is true (basically the alternate timeline version of Daniel Jackson was a failed author who wrote a theory on the effects of wormhole travelling and was dismissed as a crackpot).
- Taking You with Me: Teal'c with Qetesh at the end.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Basically, the only answer to the question "Why does time travel work this way in this movie?" is "Because." It's a nice Continuity Nod, however -- Ba'al's Time Machine itself makes perfect sense within the show's continuity, as it uses long-established rules about how Stargates work, and doesn't really require any Applied Phlebotinum that hasn't already been seen in the series.
- The Time Traveller's Dilemma: Explicitly referenced, and this is why SG-1 isn't allowed to revert the timeline -- but obviously, they do it anyway. Of course since they've proved they live in a multi-verse where every possible thing that can happen will happen, it's strange that no-one ever seems to suggest moving as a solution.
- Throw It In: Daniel Jackson getting frostbite on his foot and then having it amputated was not in the original script. It was added in to give an explaination for his absence in the Arctic travelling scene (Michael Shanks, the actor for Daniel Jackson, was unable to make it for the arctic filming scenes due to a schedule conflict at the time it was supposed to happen, and the only scene he could film it was when they first arrive on the boat).
- Trust Password: Subverted twice:
- O'Neill refuses to buy it, partly because what Daniel tries to use as proof happened very differently in the alternate timeline.
- Landry believes Mitchell even without the recitation. He has, however, presumably been shown several days worth of interviews of each of them where they've been trying to slam the Trust Password into the face of everyone they come into contact with.