Carolyn Lam

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Dr. Carolyn Lam

Summary

Dr. Carolyn Lam is a civilian physician assigned as the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC. She is also the daughter of Gen. Hank Landry. Described as stubborn by her father, Dr. Lam has a very no-nonsense and sometimes cold demeanor, though there are brief moments of a dry sense of humor. However, she also exhibits a great deal of concern for her patients, both at their bedsides and in her efforts to maintain their health. She first appeared in the episode 9.02 "Avalon Part 2".

Character Biography

Personal and Professional History

Carolyn Lam grew up the child of Kim and Hank Landry, an Air Force officer (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). Her father, Hank Landry, disappeared days, sometimes weeks at a time for his work, and he was unable to explain why due to its classified nature (9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). Because of this, Carolyn became resentful and eventually estranged from her father (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). Her mother divorced Landry after twelve years of marriage (10.18 "Family Ties"). Her parents stopped speaking entirely approximately three years before Carolyn arrived at Stargate Command, and only Carolyn was communicating with her (10.18 "Family Ties, 9.05 "The Powers That Be"). Based upon the way Landry references Lam in conversations with others (to Vala in 9.02 "Avalon Part 2" and to the Prior in 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"), Lam appears to be Landry's only child.

Carolyn became a medical doctor. At some point her studies and experience must have included surgical knowledge, because she was able to competently work on a Jaffa after he suffered a critical staff weapon injury (9.08 "Babylon"). She also spent time at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (9.05 "The Ties That Bind").

Eventually, she was approached by General Jack O'Neill to become the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Stargate Command (SGC) (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). She admitted she couldn't resist the opportunity working at the facility. However, at the time she accepted the job, she did not realize the new commanding officer of the SGC would be her father, Major General Hank Landry. She worked at settling into the facility, but admitted she wasn't sure if she'd ever get used to the place. She rented a place in the Cimarron Hills district of Colorado Springs area and admitted to her father she was not certain how long she would stay (9.05 "The Powers That Be").

One crisis that occurred early in her tenure of CMO was when Dr. Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran activated the Ancient Communication Terminal (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). Her first notice of the experiment was when Col. Cameron Mitchell called for a medical team because the two had collapsed. She vented her ire on Dr. Bill Lee for "messing around" with the device before she was able to determine the medical risks and status of the pair–who were already an object of concern because they were linked by alien technology, kor mak bracelets, that caused them to collapse if out of proximity of each other for any length of time.

Daniel and Vala remained in some kind of induced dream-like coma. Lam monitored their condition. At one point Vala went into full cardiac arrest, and despite Lam's efforts, died. Lam immediately focused her efforts trying to disconnect Daniel from the kor mak bracelet before he perished as well. Fortunately, Vala revived (due to events happening in the Ori galaxy). Lam, Lee and the medical team monitored the spikes in Daniel and Vala's condition with concern. At one point, Lee noticed Daniel's condition changing (9.03 "Origin"). As Lam checked his vitals, Daniel and Vala awoke and warned Lam of the danger of the Ori and Priors before lapsing back into their comas. She immediately reported their warning to Gen. Landry, who was hosting a Prior in the SGC briefing room. Daniel and Vala both went into full arrest again. Lam and her team attempted to stabilize the pair while Col. Mitchell and Teal'c took action with the Ancient Communication Terminal. Lam was about to shock Daniel's heart when the destruction of the device caused Daniel and Vala to revive.

Unfortunately, their experience with the Ancient Communication Terminal had an unknown side effect on Daniel and Vala. Even after Vala released the kor mak bracelets, the pair remained linked. An hour after Vala left, Daniel collapsed and remained unresponsive until Vala returned to the SGC (9.04 "The Ties That Bind"). Lam monitored Daniel and was present when he awakened. Eventually, the effect wore off on its own.

Dr. Lam had to deal with an epidemic when Col. Mitchell reported the inhabitants of P8X-412 were falling ill after a visit from a Prior (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). Dr. Lam led a team to the planet, all wearing hazmat gear. Despite all their actions, Lam's team was unable to either stop the spread of the plague, nor cure the victims. Col. Mitchell also succumbed to the disease Lam pronounced the community leader, Azdak, dead, and informed Dr. Jackson that Azdak would only be the first casualty. The Prior cured the population, including Mitchell, when the villagers submitted to the Ori.

When the Sodan Jaffa warrior Volnek was discovered with a staff blast injury, he was brought to the SGC, where Lam worked for nine hours in surgery trying to save the Sodan's life (9.08 "Babylon"). She was unable to save Volnek's symbiote and was forced to place the Sodan Jaffa on tretonin. Even after finishing the surgery and being exhausted, she remained by Volnek's side until she was more certain of his recovery.

Lam's next treatment of an alien entity was when SG-1 recovered Khalek from a stasis pod on P3X-584 (9.09 "Prototype). She noted that Khalek's physiology was similar to that of the Ancients. They later discovered that Khalek was an experiment by Anubis mixing both Ancient DNA with that of his own pre-ascension DNA. Lam was surprised when Dr. Jackson suggested terminating Khalek's life and that the group was seriously considering the idea. Lam was later injured when Khalek broke free and shot her with a zat gun.

Lam was fascinated with the results they had recorded while Khalek was using his telekinetic abilities. From their results, she believed his abilities could be controlled with a dopamine inhibitor and inserted a shunt into the base of his skull, which would inject a massive dose directly into his system if he took any further violent action. She witnessed Mr. Woolsey's interrogation of Khalek and the prisoner's manipulative tendencies and precognition ability. Later when Mitchell and others were injured from Khalek's second escape attempt, she and her team treated personnel for various injuries.

Lam's biggest medical crisis was when members of SG-6 returned from a world dominated by the Ori (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1"). After their return, Col. Barnes fell ill with a mysterious disease that had all the hallmarks of the plague she witnessed on P8X-412. Since the plague had mutated from the DNA of a different Prior, Lam was unable to screen for it in their post-mission checkups, and the plague's carrier, Lt. Fisher, went out into the general population of Colorado. Fisher unwittingly spread the disease before being returned to isolation in the SGC. Based on how the Prior plague was spreading, Lam concluded the disease was persistent and airborne. Lam coordinated with the CDC and was in charge of treatment for the patients, but with no cure, she was unable to provide anything more than palliative care.

The ascended being Orlin returned to human form to warn the people of Earth of the danger of the Ori. To retain as much ascended knowledge as possible, Orlin returned as a child. Orlin was beginning to suffer from memory lapses and was overly tired as he tried to help them develop a cure to the Prior plague. Though explaining she was not an expert on neurology, using the brain monitor recovered from the lab on P3X-584, Lam was able to diagnose that Orlin's brain cells were literally dying in the effort to try and hold onto the information for as long as possible. Orlin was consciously trying to retain the knowledge, and Lam could do nothing to stop the degenerative effect.

Several personnel perished from the plague, and the disease spread to other continents. Even Lam's father, Gen. Landry, was infected after he confronted the Prior face to face (9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). Eventually, the Prior Gerak was turned by Teal'c against the Ori and used his powers to heal everyone on the base, including Landry. Based on information provided by Orlin, and the antibodies from the cured people at the SGC. Lam was able to develop a vaccine that would hopefully prevent the Priors from being able to use the plague as a weapon.

Lam also double checked the blood samples taken from Mitchell when he was accused of murder on Galar (9.12 "Collateral Damage"). She found evidence that he had been knocked unconscious from an electric charge.

When two SG-1 teams appeared on the base, she performed physicals on the team members (9.13 "Ripple Effect"). As she later reported to Landry, she found both teams were identical and could not determine from her tests which one was the SG team from their reality.

When Dr. Reimer, leader of the field medical unit Red Team reported they and SG-1 had been exposed to an infection that caused stage four sleep, and eventually death, Lam sent medical supplies, including several stimulants to the quarantined groups (10.02 "Morpheus"). Another unit in hazmat recovered the teams, and based on research conducted by Dr. Reimer finding the source to be a parasite as well as a speciman of an indigenous lizard, Lam's staff was able to develop a cure.

When members of SG-25 was attacked by beasts infected with an interdimensional creature, Vala Mal Doran assisted Lam by using the Goa'uld healing device (10.05 "Uninvited") After Vala lost and recovered her memory in an overload of the Goa'uld Memory Device, Dr. Lam treated her, eventually clearing her for active duty (10.08 "Memento Mori").

Dr. Lam treated injured survivors of the bombing at the Jaffa summit of Dar Eshkalon (10.17 "Talion"). Teal'c in particular had to have three surgeries, and Lam was concerned he may have been paralyzed from his injuries, but he luckily made a full recovery. Lam also monitored Bra'tac's critical condition as he recovered from his many injuries, and was very pleased when he regained consciousness and could breathe on his own again. After Teal'c's showdown with the man who ordered the attacks, Arkad, he was once again treated in Lam's infirmary.

Hank Landry

Carolyn's relationship with her father has changed over the course of her tenure at the SGC. At first she was very cold and distant with Gen. Landry, attempting to react to him on a purely professional level. She rebuffed his attempts to reconcile (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.05 "The Powers That Be"). Lam appeared visibly shocked that her father supported her decision to go to P8X-412 and his obvious pride in her (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). The nature of their professional and personal relationships continued to cause conflict. She became visibly upset at Landry's orders to take whatever action was necessary to disconnect Daniel and Vala even with her concerns to be cautious because of the way it was linked to her patients (9.03 "Origin"). Another moment of strife was when Landry asked to be informed when a patient she spent hours trying to save was awake so that he could be interrogated (9.08 "Babylon").

The daily contact with her father started to thaw the estrangement, and Carolyn was able to tease him during a stressful time. When he complained about being called in so many directions, she responded by saying: "Hey, you wanted to be a general" (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1"). This comment paralleled one he made to her when she was frustrated at the lack of progress on P8X-412: "Hey, you wanted to be a doctor" (9.05 "The Powers That Be"). Landry seemed to take the remark as good-natured teasing by his smile as they parted ways.

The resentment Carolyn had been feeling for the years her father and the job that prevented him being there as she was a child finally burst forth when Landry was dying of the Prior Plague (9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). Carolyn spoke with her mother during the crisis and was unable to reassure her because of the classified nature of Lam's own knowledge. Carolyn was finally able to realize the conflict her father had dealt with for all these years and she admitted to Landry both the source of her resentment and her empathy to his position while he lay in the isolation ward. After Gerak healed all of the SGC personnel, Lam appeared visibly relieved when she first checked on her father's vital signs.

After this crisis, Lam and her father appeared to have made a full reconciliation. Lam harbored no lingering animosity, merely surprise, when her father suggested getting back in touch with her mother after they had not spoken for five years (10.18 "Family Ties"). Carolyn offered to act as intermediary and arranged a dinner for the three of them when her mother passed through town. She was stunned her father didn't share her excitement, and became more dubious when he was trying to beg off due to a work crisis. However, Landry did show up and Carolyn witnessed a very amicable reunion between Hank and Kim.

Episodes

Gallery

Lam about to restart Daniel's heart
Lam and Mitchell
Landry and Lam discuss Barnes's condition
Lam shares lunch with Landry
Lam goes off-world in a hazmat suit
Lam talks openly to her dying father

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--Aurora Novarum 22:15, 08 Jan 2006 (EST)