Stargate SG-1: Season Five
By Dwip June 16, 2015, 1:15 am Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

Fresh off the climactic confrontation at the end of the last season, this one wraps up a couple of plotlines…and then mostly just keeps the others running, with no completely galaxy shaking events until Between Two Fires and Summit. That’s not a bad thing – there are plenty of really good one shots in this season, including 2001 and Proving Ground, and a couple that aren’t so hot.

Individually, these episodes have a lot going for them, but it’s not until the last half of the season that things start to really pick up, and it won’t be until next season when things get really crazy.

JAFFA, KREE! THERE ARE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

Enemies

“What was it?”

“I don’t know…but it sounds eerily familiar.”

Fresh off blowing up a sun, SG-1 and their ship wind up blown way off course with Apophis in tow and no way back…until the Replicators show up. Oh dear.

Boy is this one all over the place. Is everyone going to be stranded? No, wait, is Apophis going to kill everyone? No, wait, are Replicators going to kill everyone after killing Apophis? No, wait, is brainwashed Teal’c going to kill everyone for Apophis? No, wait, probably Replicators are going to kill everyone including Apophis and brainwashed Teal’c.

This was a pretty good way to bring the Replicators back, open the season, and send out our old buddy Apophis, who goes out in hilarious fashion with Replicators crawling all over his personal shield. Love it.

Some other things:

– Man, gonna miss Apophis being all swank. Truly the most fashionable Goa’uld.

– I’m a little less interested in the whole brainwashing thing. We’ve been to that well a few times already, and it’s getting old.

– I’m sure nothing could come of this Replicator ship crashing into a planet thing.

– Or the giant super Replicator.

– Man, the eyepro they have to use when fighting Replicators just looks dumb. I think you need a helmet or something to really pull off looking operator like that.

– Love the bit where Jack and Daniel are just waiting for Sam and Jacob to do stuff, so they’re rolling a tennis ball back and forth.

– Also the bit where Apophis runs out with all his Jaffa to fight the Replicators, then runs away and lets all his Jaffa get killed.

– This is my first episode in about a month. I’ve missed this.

Threshold

“If Teal’c won’t hear the truth in words, he must learn of it another way. The only way left to us.”

Remember how Apophis brainwashed Teal’c last time? Yeah, it’s about time we dealt with that. Good news is, Bra’tac has some ideas. Bad news is, they may be lethal.

In which we reprise the time worn trope of the deathbed flashback to tell the story of Teal’c’s rise to become First Prime of Apophis before deciding to help out SG-1 on their first trip to Chulak way back in Children of the Gods. On the one hand, it’s never really been clear to me why they can’t just do the zat trick from the last several brainwashings, but never mind. This episode retroactively makes Children of the Gods an even better episode than it already was, gives us some interesting tidbits about Jaffa life, and shows the weird moral tightrope Teal’c had to walk in service to Apophis.

I never for a moment bought the whole might die thing, but it’s a good episode nonetheless.

A couple things:

– The whole kung fu movie bit between Bra’tac and Teal’c in the snow amused me.

– Apophis in hella spiff golden feathered armor amused me even more. I’m seriously gonna miss this guy.

– I did not miss Teal’c’s wife. I’m not entirely sure why, but she grates on me hard.

– Fresh off watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World I spent the entire episode thinking about this. Yeah.

Ascension

“Don’t turn it on. …Ah! What’d I just say?”

“I know!”

“So, now what?”

“I have heard of a place where humans do battle in a ring of jello.”

“Call Daniel.”

Despite being told not to touch the alien thing on the planet they’re on, Sam touches the alien thing on the planet they’re on and winds up unconscious on the ground. She’s fine, but seems to have picked up an alien stalker. Oh dear.

What I guess they were trying for here is to put a bit more of a human face on the whole ascension concept after the rather mystical Oma Desala stuff last season.

What we actually get is an episode with a really creepy stalker vibe for Sam, and seriously, socially awkward ascended being or not this guy should have been on a watchlist, not having Sam smile at him. It’s really hard to get past the really uncomfortable creepy feeling watching these two interact all episode, and I’m not even a woman. This is not a favorite.

That said, a few things.

– Orlin’s little ascended to de-ascended back to ascended trick will be important much later.

– Ok, the basement Stargate doesn’t make much sense, but it’s funny.

– What in God’s name was up with Sam this episode? Is ok with creepy stalker alien, hides creepy stalker alien from team, she was seriously acting like an abuse victim or something. As I’ve said, it’s disturbing.

– Also, yes, yes, Pentagon wants new alien weapon. Whatever. That subplot cannot save this episode.

– What can save this episode, and indeed elevates this episode from horrifically bad to awesomeness, is that this is the home of the single best Teal’c scene in the entire show, quoted above. Also he has seen Star Wars a lot.

But I mean, seriously. This is amazing.

The Fifth Man

“Hold on, who’s Lieutenant Tyler?”

“What do you mean ‘who’s Lieutenant Tyler?’ He’s a member of SG-1.”

“What?”

“You assigned him yourself last month, sir.”

“Tyler, sir, we’ve been training him for weeks. This is his third mission.”

“Major, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

It’s looking bad. SG-1 is facing a horde of Jaffa. Carter, Daniel, and Teal’c are about to dial out, but Jack and Lieutenant Tyler are completely cut off. Things are looking grim as the Jaffa close in.

Wait, who the hell is Lieutenant Tyler?

In which an alien species develops a memory-altering chemical as a defense mechanism from having everyone try to kill them, which makes the Goa’uld try to kill them. Which makes one of them tag along with SG-1 because…actually I don’t remember why.

We’ve done all of this before, of course, the drugging and the gunfights and things, and this one was ok as far as all of that went. It just didn’t go all that far.

A few things.

– We’ll never see the aliens again of course, though we will see their chemical a couple times.

– Teal’c gets to Arnold a cannon from a death glider, so that’s pretty cool.

– This is not our first encounter with the delightful Colonel Simmons (that was in Ascension), but he’s going to be slightly more important from here on out. In fact he’s probably the most important part of this episode.

– You may also recall Lt. Tyler from his many, many other turns as a secondary character on this show, including that one guy from Rules of Engagement and Chaka.

Red Sky

“We may have inadvertantly…totally accidentally…caused a foreign element to enter the K’tau sun.”

SG-1 gates to a world peopled by Norse settlers who worship Freyr of the Asgard. Only, small problem. The Tau’ri Franken-DHD had a couple safeties turned off, so they kind of sort of dumped a bunch of plutonium into the sun. But that can be fixed, right?

I probably should have used the shot I took of the guys in swank hats and way too much red filter, but any chance I have to take pictures of Sam explaining complex science with random objects is too good to pass up.

The whole sun thing is mostly just an excuse to set up an episode about the meaning of faith in the face of challenges to that faith. Thus you have a little bit of steadfastness, a little bit of zealotry, and SG-1 standing outside the entire thing to various degrees.

I must confess that, as an atheist myself, I have a bit of trouble with leap of faith episodes. I get the fanaticism and the terrorism well enough as social phenomena, but I really don’t get why, when faced with their sun blowing up, everyone doesn’t just evacuate to Earth when offered. Maybe I’m just not Heaven’s Gate enough. I dunno.

Some stuff.

– Again, the hats are amazing, as are the other getups.

– “Hey, let’s just build a rocket!” “Ok!”

– Hey, we get to meet some more Asgard! Their high council even! And they’re sneaky little guys.

– Jack seems a bit more…crotchety than normal. At least after two episodes of Sam being all weird we’re switching up a bit.

– That said, when Jack goes berserk on the fanatic guy is a great scene.

Rite of Passage

“Cassandra! What are you doing?”

“I have to go.”

“Honey, you’re not well enough to go anywhere.”

“I have to go into the forest.”

It’s Cassandra’s birthday, and she’s going to get her first kiss from a boy! And it’s so electric, the light blows up and she passes out. Maybe it’s the kiss, or maybe it’s the retrovirus implanted into her people generations ago by Nirrti as a genetics experiment. One of those.

So the retrovirus angle is fun and all, but the main two impacts of the story here are to bring Nirrti back in ominous fashion and to explore all sorts of fun stuff about Cassandra and Janet Frasier’s mother/daughter relationship. A little coming of age teenage drama, a little bit of “you’re not my real mom!” foster parent stuff, and so on. I am not now nor have I ever been a teenage girl, but by and large I dig it. The drama seems legit, and Nirrti is suitably devious and ominously evil by turns.

The odd couple of things.

– Magnets!

– Every time I watch this I think “Man, Cassandra grew up fast!” and then I realize she’s been with us for four years.

– I mean, I wish I could move chess pieces with my mind.

– And I do so enjoy opportunities for Dr. Frasier to be a badass.

– Being an alien must be really fun for the dating life of a teenager.

– As always, I enjoy the little moments that show how important these people are to each other. Sam and Janet and Cassandra, obviously, but Jack has some moments in there too, as does Daniel with Janet. It’s one of the things that really makes this show work, I think.

Beast of Burden

“This animal comes from an excellent bloodline! He can crush grain at the stone mill from first light to day’s end! He can haul any cart with any load, any distance! And he has spirit!”

A camera set up by Daniel to monitor his Unas buddy Chaka and gang catches Chaka getting abducted by some guys with staff weapons and zats and frontier getups. Clearly SG-1 is going to need to rescue Chaka, but in the process they bite off a bit more than they can chew.

This would be the one where Stargate SG-1 tackles the issue of slavery in about the most nuanced fashion you can expect from the subject matter. It’s pretty obvious the slavers are bad dudes, or at least the slave trader is, and despite his justifications that way back in the day the Unas kept his bunch as slaves, it’s pretty hard to get behind multi-generational cycles of pointless hatred as an outsider.

Which means that we all get to cheer when the Unas get jailbroke and the bad guys get what’s coming to them.

Things:

– I think I’ve mentioned before that I really love the Unas episodes. In particular, the thing I like in this one is that they’re wonderfully expressive even with words we don’t know and a totally alien face. The fact that they shine a light on our notions of culture and race are, of course, an added bonus.

– It’s also hard to get more inspirational than an oppressed people fighting for their freedom against their oppressors. The ending of this one makes me want to run out and like, join the Union cause or something.

– All of that said, some interesting moral and logical knots for our heroes. Jack continues his change from help the natives Jack to something much colder and emotionally distant from such things, while Daniel for once is the kill everybody moral crusader who arms the slaves so to speak.

The Tomb

“I mean, I doubt anyone’s even stood here for 3,000 years.”

“Well, I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”

“Whatcha got there?”

“Empty pack of cigarettes. They’re Russian.”

“Yes, you go down the dark hallway alone and I’ll wait in the dark room alone.”

In an ancient ziggurat on another planet dedicated to Marduk, SG-1 discovers traces of a secret Russian expedition. This in turn brings in the Russians, who do not always work well with our heroes. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

(I mean, this is a great 3D model for 2001)

The basic premise here is a horror movie. The gang gets stuck in an ancient tomb with some creepy spider alien thing that eats people. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good horror movie, compounded by the fact that I dislike horror movies at the best of times. There’s lots wrong here – awful lighting, bad choices in cinematography, and bad choices by just about everyone involved. That noise might be the alien spider thing? Let’s not tell anyone about it! That noise might be the alien spider thing? Let’s go off by ourselves! That noise might be the alien spider thing? Let’s split up into very small groups for no good reason!

I could go on. Leaving the generic boring horror thing out of it, much more interesting is the interplay between the Russians and Americans. There are points on both sides – the Americans are kind of speaking for everyone here, but the Russian attempt at Stargate travel has been pretty dismal. And of course there’s the renewed Russian desire to participate. That part’s pretty neat.

A couple of things:

– Again, I really did like the Russian colonel pointing out the arrogance of the American monopoly on gate travel, justified though it may be.

– The obelisk Daniel spends most of the episode examining is very reminiscent of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, which I have seen in person and wrote a report on. Yes, I nerded hard at this fact.

– I enjoy the fact that the elite Russian commando unit shows up with an extremely beat to hell 1960s vintage AKMS rifle.

– It is nice to get the odd appearance by a Mesopotamian Goa’uld, especially one as apparently cunning as Marduk. I dig the Egyptians, but it’s nice to step outside of that sometimes.

Between Two Fires

“Very nice.”

“Very…intimate.”

“Counselor Omoc was well aware that he had very few true friends. He was not concerned with…trivial relationships. In his testament, he asked that his memorial be attended only by those whom he respected.”

“Ah, no offense, but what are we doing here?”

SG-1 gets invited to Tollana to be a part of Omoc’s funeral. And it turns out he was the swing vote in the council prevented the Tollan from giving Earth advanced technology. Or…was he?

In which we send off the Tollan in a really politics and intrigue heavy episode. And I like it. I wasn’t a big fan of the Tollans back when they were introduced, and they were still kind of jerks to the end, but nevertheless, I kinda liked them. Not too many people out there who are friendly to our gang.

Things:

– I love that when Sam gets the hologram from Narim, she has to turn it around in her hand to make it face her. Nice touch.

– Narim having Sam’s voice as his house computer’s was a little more creepy than cute though. Narim’s a good guy and all, but come on.

– I wasn’t real shocked by the whole Tollan bomb reveal, and the fact that the council was doing something shifty and killed Omoc over it seemed pretty obvious about 5 seconds after Narim thought of it, but to see Tanith standing there was pretty wild. Wasn’t expecting it at all. The hint at a secret master will of course become highly relevant later.

– For our final episode of Tollan tech looks silly, those little hand laser things.

– Also on things looking silly, the female Air Force dress hat Sam wears is hilariously awful, which I’m pretty sure everyone I’ve heard talk about the issue agrees with me on. Seriously, US military, what were you thinking.

– As weird as I find Narim, that final radio call was sad. I will miss the Tollan.

2001

“Break out the fishing gear, General. Our job here is done.”

“I take it your mission was successful.”

“In a word, sir, yes.”

“You’ll find that we are a very patient people, Ambassador.”

Great news! SG-1 has just discovered a new group of people, the Aschen! And they’re going to give us everything we ever wanted technologically! Our worries are over!

This a wonderfully tense episode, given what we know of the Aschen from last season’s 2010. It’s the classic “No, don’t do it!” as they go ahead and do it anyway. While not quite as over the top evil here as they were in 2010, the Aschen in 2001 benefit strongly from the resonance of how evil they were in that episode, as well as the viewer’s knowledge that the bucolic agrarian world they’re on is what’s going to happen to Earth if this treaty goes through.

Love it. The Aschen are great villains.

Things:

– Speaking of villains, Kinsey shows up. Man, I love to hate that guy. And by this point, you can tell that whatever principled point the guy may have once had, by this point, he’s just going at Jack and SG-1 out of pure spite and hate.

– Fresh off Narim taking one for the team, Sam kills another potential suitor when Joe also takes one for the team. Meanwhile, the hot and heavy romance arc between she and Jack has cooled off a lot. Good for his life expectancy.

– Yokel farmer. Now with 200% more yokel. And 100% more ironroot.

– Also man, that black hole planet sure gets around, doesn’t it?

– When did Sam change her hair again?

Desperate Measures

“I’ve been telling the police about ninjas for years, you think they listen?”

At a random checkpoint in a Russian forest, a Jaffa is abducted by rogue Russian military forces. In the US, Sam is abducted by a white van full of masked men. Rogue NID? Maybe.

So, there are an awful lot of layers to this one. Rogue Russians, Maybourne, NID, some zillionaire tech tycoon, all piled together in ways that aren’t actually what half the people involved think. The NID wasn’t behind this, Adrian Conrad was behind it using Maybourne. The NID just saw their opportunity that Jack so thoughtfully handed them. Our heroes are fallible people. I like it.

Some things:

– I do so love the Earth episodes with everyone playing secret agent.

– I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that hobo be a hobo in something else. Who gets cast as a hobo extra?

– Ninjas!

– The Russian Stargate program is like the gift that keeps on giving.

– If Jack and Maybourne did a spinoff buddy cop show, I’d totally watch every episode of that.

– This is probably a good time to mention that needles freak me out, and needles that kill people really freak me out. So this episode had some fun moments in that regard.

– In which it is shown several times that Sam kicks ass. We’ve come a long ways from Emancipation and where our reproductive organs are.

– Boy is the Adrian Conrad faction totally out of its league.

– Love the Simmons reveal at the end.

Wormhole X-Treme!

“Try reversing the polarity!”

“It’s not working!”

There’s a new sci-fi show on TV, and it’s more than a little like the real Stargate program. Who could possibly…oh. Right.

In which Marty and Tanner and the gang get a follow-up episode, and we use the 100th episode to make fun of the show in epic fashion. And it’s pretty good. Not my favorite of the humor episodes, but they go to some impressive lengths to send up just about all of the little oddities over the past five years of SG-1. I’m amused.

A couple things.

– I love the reactions everyone has to their rip-off characters.

“We’ve already established that one shot stuns and two shots kills. Nick just shot everybody twice.”

“So, three shots disintegrates them!”

“Ok, you know what? I’m gonna pretend you didn’t say that, because that is quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard you say.”

– So, so many in-jokes. So many.

– This is Agent Barrett’s first appearance. Who knew he’d come back.

Proving Ground

“These, and other cliches, will be available to you all for one more day of training.”

The SG teams require new blood from time to time, and now it’s Jack’s turn to shepherd a new group of recruits, including one Lieutenant Hailey, through a rigorous testing course. And it’s not going well. And then it turns out there’s a foothold situation at the SGC. Oh joy.

There are a lot of tests within tests within tests in this one, and it’s fairly amusing, especially once the audience gets let in on it and can judge the newbie team while they’re also being judged by Jack and the gang. There are a couple of spots where they really should have figured out that it was a test, and I’m not sure how blanks send a man spinning through the air with blood, but all in all I dig it.

Things.

– Lots of episode callbacks. Prodigy of course, but also Brief Candle from way back in the first season, and the Intars are from Rules of Engagement. I do so enjoy how this series makes use of its own continuity.

– Hailey sure grew up a lot in between Prodigy and now. And Kerrigan sure did get clearance for whatever reason.

– We’re…almost back to old times between Jack and Sam, so that’s good.

– And we’re totally back to old times with Daniel. The chair bit was amusing. In fact, this is the first episode of this season maybe where I’ve felt the old group dynamic.

– Too bad we never go on to see Hailey again, though we do see Elliott and Grogan (for some reason), and of course Satterfield will later leave the SGC to join the crew of the Battlestar Galactica.

48 Hours

“Where’s Teal’c?”

“I don’t know, sir. He was right behind me.”

SG-1 is suddenly surprised by Tanith and some serious Jaffa support. During their escape, Teal’c stays behind to get his revenge, slaying the hated Tanith. Unfortunately, the gate gets caught in the explosion, trapping Teal’c inside the gate’s buffer. And now it’s a high stakes race against time to save him before politics forces the gate to restart, killing our favorite Jaffa.

There’s some weird stuff going on here, but let’s ignore that for a moment because this episode has some great stuff in it. Inner workings of the Stargates, check. Seriously high stakes politics, check. NID skullduggery, check. A whole host of new and returning characters including the introduction of everyone’s favorite Atlantis scientist, check. There’s a lot going on in this episode, and I gotta be honest with you, I like it.

Things:

– I mean, that’s one way to get rid of Tanith I suppose. If I remember my commentary right, it has to do with money negotiations and nobody getting along with Peter Wingfield, which after Highlander I find confusing, but who knows. Point is, what a shitty end.

– It’s Rodney McKay! God what a douche. Well, we’ll see him later.

– Everything with Simmons just gets way more ominous after the whole shooting Jack in the back thing. Also, what an asshole.

– God I want a Jack and Maybourne spinoff series so much.

– The Russians sure do play hardball. And aren’t entirely wrong.

– And what a convenient way to get rid of Earth’s DHD.

Summit

“The deaths of Cronus and Apophis created a power vacuum that the remaining System Lords have been trying to exploit. Over the past few months they’ve suffered heavy losses and expended an enormous amount of resources fighting amongst themselves.”

“Let the good times roll.”

“Unfortunately, the good times may be coming to an end. They’ve declared a truce, and now it looks as if they’re going to have a meeting to discuss the establishment of a new order.”

The Tok’ra have a plan. The Goa’uld are having a huge summit meeting to discuss whoever has been beating them all up lately, and wouldn’t it be great if we could, say, infiltrate their meeting and unleash a poison lethal to symbiotes that would wipe out the Goa’uld in one fell swoop? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, this isn’t a big plot-moving episode or anything. Although, to be fair, most of it is just exposition and setup for the next episode, which while very tense does tend to get a little talky at times. A bit of explosion and chaos at the Tok’ra base (gee, that’s new) helps a bit, but since the Tok’ra half of the episode was a bit hard to follow, it lacked a certain punch.

Things and stuff:

– You know, I’ve never thought about how much money closing the iris saves them on special effects for the wormhole.

– I just had a weird thought comparing the thought process of the Tok’ra’s desire for one major battle against the Goa’uld to the IJN strategy in the Pacific war versus the more spread out USN effort being comparable to the Tau’ri strategy such as it is. I blame alcohol.

– Hey, it’s Lt. Elliott from Proving Ground.

– Is this the first time the Tok’ra haven’t been on some crapsack planet?

– Yu jokes remain the best thing.

– And we’re already synthesizing the chemical stuff from The Fifth Man.

– I mean, Osiris is nice and all, but man, Zipacna is great.

– First Ba’al appearance!

– Still love Jack’s conflicted emotions at the whole Lantash saving Elliott thing. Good, but…bad.

– Most of this is what happens when I watch Stargate with alcohol.

Last Stand

“I am here to represent the vote of another.”

“Whom do you serve?”

“Anubis.”

“What!?”

“You lie!”

“He is dead!”

“That is what you assumed after you attempted to murder him.”

As Anubis gets welcomed back into the ranks of the System Lords, things are getting pretty dicey for Daniel at the Goa’uld meeting. And it’s not much better on the Tok’ra planet, either.

I admit, I wish I was that stylish.

And the thrilling conclusion, which I’d love to talk about except that only one really big thing happens, which is Anubis showing back up as a System Lord. Symbiote poison was neat and all but kind of went out with a whimper. Still surprisingly little action for a two-parter. But some things are like that.

– In which I spend most of the episode just watching it because cool.

– Hey, Ba’al gets lines!

– Tok’ra bases look super hokey. Also the crystals thing gets increasingly weird.

– Ok, the whole Goa’uld cannibalism thing is wild.

– Also man, Osiris is great at being evil.

– Between Osiris, Zipacna, Ba’al, and Tanith, this season is crawling with cool Goa’uld.

– Oh shit, Yu just got stabbed! Yu need to get to a hospital! Or a sarcophagus, I guess.

– You know, for being lashed together, the stretcher they put Elliott on is really nice. Ah, props department. I am wise to your ways.

– Boy is it lethal to want to get with Sam. It is one way to release the symbiote poison though.

Fail Safe

“I’ve seen this movie. It hits Paris.”

An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, and it’s up to SG-1 to stop it by rewiring that Goa’uld transport they crashed last episode and planting a nuke on the asteroid. Wait, I have seen this movie before. It was terrible.

There are certain episodes of this show that just completely fail to grab me, and this is one of them. Maybe it’s just a reflection of how much I hated Armageddon, but while I suppose that at some point Stargate had to do the nuke an asteroid thing, the whole episode just seems derivative and boring apart from a few choice Jack lines.

There is, however, the bit with the hyperspace field that’s neat, and also the revelation that Anubis just tried to blow up Earth with an asteroid. That’s worth something, I guess.

The Warrior

“My name is K’tano, the once First Prime of Imhotep. A false god! A false god who has died by my own hands! Now I am free! I am a free Jaffa! If you have come to this place, then you wish to know freedom as I do. If you have come to hear me, then you know in your heart and in your mind that the Goa’uld are not gods.”

Great news! A Jaffa named K’tano has raised an army of rebel Jaffa and wants to ally with the Tau’ri. Considering Earth is running short of allies in this thing, an army of Jaffa could be just the thing. Assuming we can manage K’tano himself and his messiah complex.

There’s a lot going on here. Obviously this is where the Jaffa rebellion, hinted at for several seasons, really gets off the ground with like an actual army and everything. Big enough that it’s even subject to a multi-System Lord conspiracy. It’s also a good study in cultural differences, with Jack attempting to impose his own system on the Jaffa and getting some pushback for it, right or wrong. And then there’s Yu, who appears to be playing his own game.

Jaffa episodes tend to be hit or miss, but this one fires on all cylinders. I dig it.

Stuff, things:

– Man, K’tano sure does have a high Charisma score, doesn’t he?

– Man, the Tau’ri sure have whacked a lot of System Lords by this point, as K’tano so helpfully rattles off.

– Jack and Sam’s little demonstration, and the “this is a weapon of terror and this is a weapon of war” speech is pretty much the perfect summation of the Goa’uld vs. Tau’ri philosophies. And it’s why the Goa’uld are losing.

– I like how Sam is constantly smirking.

– Boy does K’tano walking up to that Jaffa in the ambush take some balls.

– Also love how Teal’c shows up with some Jaffa for like 5 seconds and reverts to full on Jaffa mode.

– Boy is that little interlude with Yu shocking in that he’s not immediately torturing the crap out of Teal’c. This, of course, raises all sorts of questions about what kind of game Yu is playing here.

Interlude with Yu just sounds so romantic, doesn’t it?

– Gotta hand it to Imhotep, he doesn’t go small. Also, that moment when you realize all the little pieces of foreshadowing hidden throughout the episode.

– But I really could have done without the slow motion fight scene.

Menace

“Why did you bring me here?”

“Well, I suppose there’s no easy way to tell you this but the civilization on your planet was destroyed.”

“How?”

“We don’t know.”

“We were sort of hoping you could tell us.”

“I, uh, I was asleep!”

On a dead world, SG-1 finds a perfectly preserved android girl. Who is she? Why was she there? Maybe they should have left well enough alone.

And the Replicators are back, in their most fascinating episode yet. What a neat twist for why the greatest scourge of multiple galaxies came about. And what a creepy buildup as we and SG-1 slowly realize what’s really going on with Reese and the Replicators. There’s even a really good old times Jack vs. Daniel showdown and a debate on the consciousness of androids. Not bad for one episode.

And things:

– There’s some very subtle foreshadowing when they insert the crystal into Reese and it makes a Replicator noise. Creepy.

“I don’t think she knows she’s a robot.”

“How is that possible?”

“Well, the last time your consciousness was copied into a robot, you didn’t figure it out right away.”

– More foreshadowing when Reese starts playing with all the lab technology.

– The moment when Jack picks up the Replicator piece is seriously ominous.

– And then Reese makes Daniel a Replicator, and even after seeing the show several times I’m screaming “DANGER DANIEL ROBINSON DANGER” at my screen. Replicators are terrifying.

– Which is not to say the whole Reese making a Replicator army in her cell isn’t scary in the least.

– I mean, the eyepro continues to look hokey as all getout.

“You’re lying. And lying is BAD!”

– Good job, Daniel. You made a robot girl cry.

– And what a great Jack and Daniel moment there at the end. Nicely sums up what each of them is all about.

The Sentinel

“Colonel Greaves gave me his word!”

“He LIED!”

You may recall those NID offworld teams from, well, the many times they screwed things up. And surprise, this time they messed up an ancient artifact protecting a world from the Goa’uld, and surprise, there are Jaffa everywhere. Oops.

So, I dunno. I think we’ve seen this one before. Like, oh, I don’t know, what’s that episode. Thor’s Hammer. In Season 2. But I guess that was long enough ago we have to do that over again? With more sarcasm? And a vaguely uplifting ending? And pretty colors?

Yeah, I dunno. This one just strikes me as straightforward and derivative of much better episodes from earlier seasons. It vaguely redeems the NID guys but takes the easy way out in doing so by killing everyone. The people they’re saving are all insufferable idiots, and the best I can say of the experience is that it’s over. Yay.

Things:

– So the missile trick is pretty neat.

– And I miss the sarcasm the NID guys have.

– And Daniel’s holding up the knife and being all “Which end do the bullets go into again?” was amusing. He’s come a long, long ways since the movie.

– I seriously hate the people of this world for being dumb and want them all to get enslaved by Jaffa.

– I did like the orbital bombardment. The CGI in this show has been taking enormous leaps and bounds recently.

– Huh, apparently Grogan from Proving Ground was in this one. Shows you how engaged I was.

Meridian

“This is incredible. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Jonas Quinn, I’m Special Advisor to our High Minister.”

“You’re not gonna take the fall for this. I don’t care what’s at stake.”

“Why do you care?”

“…Because despite the fact that you’ve been a terrific pain in the ass for the last five years, I may have…might have, um, grown to admire you. A little. I think.”

“That’s touching.”

While helping with some kind of new element on a new planet, Daniel takes a massive dose of radiation. He’s almost certainly going to die, and the only thing that can be done is to try and let him go out in honor.

And then Daniel actually dies kind of for real. That’s new.

Unlike last episode, there’s certainly a couple things going on here. Daniel comes to term with death and ascension, of course, and SG-1 pays tribute to their fallen friend. In the face of that, the whole subplot with the Kelownans maybe blowing themselves up with naquadria bombs is almost throwaway.

Stargate toes a fine line with spirituality. On the one hand, all the ancient Egyptian mythology and false gods stuff takes a rather agnostic if not atheist interpretation of things. And then there’s ascension, which as far as we know at this point is basically Daniel going to Heaven. So there’s that.

Even having seen this one several times previously, and knowing that this isn’t quite the end still doesn’t diminish the power of Meridian, or the power of the acting therein as everyone draws on relationships built up over five years in a show built on relationships to show what Daniel Jackson meant to them and us. This is a big moment.

There is stuff here. Also, things:

– We’ll probably never see Jonas again. Oh well.

– Probably naquadria will never be important either.

– Also dig the “we need to make sure you aren’t space Nazis” callout.

– Many times now, Jack has gone to bat for Daniel. Rarely to this level. Which, you know, fitting.

– Man, it’s been ages since we’ve seen Sam try using Goa’uld hand devices.

– Full body gauze must really suck.

– Also, Daniel makes a Tollan reference to Jonas. Neat.

– You know, Kelownan scientists, what did you think was going to happen trying to set off an elemental reaction with you guys all standing right there? Also, I don’t think radiation quite works like that.

– Daniel’s whole self-doubt thing kind of comes out of nowhere but I think makes a lot of sense, actually.

– I have love how nonchalant Jack is about being sucked into Daniel’s little dream world.

Welp, right on about that time again.

Daniel Jackson Death Count: 7
Killed by Ra in Stargate
The Nox (01×08) where he gets shot by an Apophis Jaffa
Alternate reality Daniel bites it in There But For the Grace of God (01×20)
Alternate reality Daniel bites it offscreen in Point of View (03×06)
Future Daniel gets shot a few dozen times by Aschen lasers in 2010 (04×16)
Robot Daniel gets his head shot off in Double Jeopardy (04×21)
Killed by radiation poisoning in Meridian (05×21) but ascended

Daniel Jackson Presumed Dead: 4
Children of the Gods (01×01) before Jack clues everyone in about Abydos
Fire and Water (01×13) before everyone realizes he was captured by Nem
Shot and left for dead in The Serpent’s Lair (02×01)
Thought killed on some planet but actually captured by Hathor in Out of Mind (02×22)

“I’m gonna miss you guys.”

“Yeah, you too.”

Revelations

“Your presence here is a violation of the Protected Planets Treaty, and you must withdraw immediately.”

“I don’t think so.”

“If you do not withdraw immediately I will be forced to open fire.”

“Yes, I suppose you will.”

The Goa’uld run up, challenge Thor himself, and capture him. And it turns out things are way worse than we thought they were. Oh dear.

Lots of heavy lifting going on in this one. We mourn Daniel. Anubis gets revealed, and he’s got some serious bad stuff going on though we’re not sure what. The Asgard are at least doing ok against the Replicators, but by the way they’re dying. This is all mostly just setup for next season, but it’s engaging and entertaining setup.

There are things:

– Man, Daniel’s lab is cool. And Sam’s got a point re: Daniel.

– Thor! Noooooooooooo!

– You know, considering that at time of writing I’ve just lost a good friend myself, all of this stuff about mourning Daniel is a bit hard hitting.

– Sudden walking Heimdall.

– I like the meta joke where they fake kill Thor in lieu of fake killing Daniel. Because, you know, voice of Michael Shanks and all that.

– “They’re clones, sir, all of them.” “Well, that explains a few things.”

– And here’s the other big revelation – the Asgard are dying.

– And then SG-1 ringed aboard the Death Star and blew up the shield generator and fought Darth Anub…wait.

– So, if they ring on board at the same time as Anubis, how do they, you know, not run right into Anubis?

– And now, let us show you cool CGI by walking through Sam!

– And now it turns out Anubis is on a whole other level than your usual Goa’uld. Oh dear.

– Yu just knew Yu would never give in that easy.

– Boy, I forgot how Star Wars homage this episode is.

– Jack knows.


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