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[Season 2, Episode 1]
Reviewed Second Week, September 2000
Reviewed 31st January 2002 [Thursday]
The SG-1 team are still trapped on the Ghoul ship. However, they discover that Teel'c is not the only disaffected Jaffa. This leads to yet more action-adventure, as opposed to proper SF.
At the climax, someone reports that people all over the USA are apparently reporting a huge fireball in the night's sky. How there can be fire in a vacuum is unknown, and how something three hundred miles up can be called huge is also a mystery.
It turns out lucky for Daniel that he visited the alternate reality in a previous episode.
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The team rescue some civilians from a lo-tech world under Ghoul attack. Captain Sam Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) is taken over by a Ghoul.
References are made to a couple of Season One episodes - Kowalski was taken over by a Ghoul, and Colonel Maybourn would willingly disect a team-member if he could gain info on the aliens by doing so.
After all the security risks that have passed by, they are only NOW considering the installation of bio-sensors! Also, the General announces the introduction of three new SG teams (10-12).
The alien claims to be a good ghoul - part of a Resistance set up to fight the ruling System Lords. But there is another Ghoul on Earth, a specialist assassin ...
The four main characters fall foul of a highly advanced civilisation. They are sent through the Stargate to an underground prison colony on a barren world called the Dante. There they are taken under the wing of the head prisoner, Linnea ( Bonnie Bartlett ). However, the other prisoners - even the most violent ones - are terrified of her. Yes, there is more to her than first appears.
General Hammond takes his first step through the gate, to personally negotiate with the aliens.
The team go through the Stargate to explore a luxurious garden. They discover living bodies in stasis, in some hi-tech seats. The team themselves then get ensnared in the machines ...
Colonel McGuyver and Teel'c find themselves in 1982, on a Green Beret mission to capture a Russian agent. McGuyver's best friend was killed on the mission, and now he is forced to re-live it. He repeatedly tries to change it, but every time he fails. He also has to suffer Teel'c's horrible haircut.
Dr Jackson is given the chance to show Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) to his parents. Instead he shows her the parents dying in a horrible accident.
The team realise they are being watched by cloaked observers. Dwight Shultz ( Star Trek: TNG ) pops up, introduces himself as the Keeper, and tells them they have the chance to relive their worst experiences and see if they can make a difference.
The team land on a world inhabited by Teel'c's people, the Jaffas. Daniel saves their Princess ( Heather Hanson ) from jumping off a cliff, but by doing so he blows their cover and gets them captured.
They are thrown into the mines, but because Daniel saved the Princess she chooses him as her consort. After a couple of sessions in the Ghoul healing sarcophagus, Daniel decides he wants to stay and marry the girl.
The story is a metaphor for drug addiction - like the typical 1980s just say no message about recreational substances.
This is a sequel to a Season 1 episode, Thor's Hammer. They get a message from friendly aliens they discovered in the other episode. It turns out that the aliens have been invaded by the Ghouls. Naturally, SG-1 decide to lend a hand. Yes, the top four SG experts head off into a Ghoul-infested warzone with no kind of backup!
Because she was once host to a Ghoul, Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) can use Ghoul technology. She and Daniel try to activate an ancient piece of Alien weaponry. Although Daniel is an Egyptologist he can read Norse runes! Meanwhile, O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) and Teel'c ambush Ghoul patrols.
The team discover an device. When they bring it back to base, they discover it is an alien fungus capable of exponential growth. It feeds on energy, which is a bit of a bummer considering the nuclear bomb codenamed Wildfire has accidentally been activated. Aound familiar, anyone? Even the codename is straight from Andromeda Strain .
The good thing about this episode is that it gives Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) something to do. She also gets a potential love interest, a young lieutenant. Or is he just a redshirt intended to get our
Teel'c's son has been taken by Apophis, and the team have to rescue him. However, the boy has been brainwashed ...
The babelicious female doctor Fraser ( Teryl Rothery ) pops up again.
Daniel returns to the homeworld of his wife Shauri, because a year has passed since the events of the Pilot episode and the natives will have uncovered the stargate. He discovers that she has returned there too. Her human personality has returned, but only because she is pregnant with Apophis' child.
Meanwhile, Colonel O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) and Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) attend a function in Washington. Carter bumps into her father, a General who is dying of cancer. Lots of foreshadowing for future episodes.
General Carter realises how unlikely it is that O'Neill, a Colonel in Special Forces, would be working in deep space radar telemetry. He is not the only one. A journalist (Chris Owens - X-Files ) is investigating SG-1.
Teel'c is stung by a giant insect. The creature's venom makes him undergo a genetic transformation.
It turns out that SGC has a rival military organisation, a Men In Black operation named the NID. They may be responsible for the assassination of the journalist in Stargate SG-1 [Season 2, Episode 9] Secrets. Their operative, Colonel Maybourn, commandeers Teel'c and takes him off to Area 51 to be dissected - err, healed. He escapes en route, and gets to the city. Yes, so much for Stargate secrecy.
Our heroes race against time to save Teel'c - if the venom kills him, his body will be transformed into a swarm of the insects. This could become an infestation of global proportions.
Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) has a vision, possibly related to her encounter with Jolinar in Stargate SG-1 [Season 2, Episode 2] In the Line of Duty.
SG-1 go to the world, and contact the Tok'Ra - the rebel Ghouls led by Sarah Douglas . This is a direct sequel to previous episodes.
Carter recognises one of the Tok'ra. He is Martouf (JR Bourne - Teen Wolf ), a potential love interest.
Back on Earth, Carter's father is in the final stages of lethal cancer. General Hammond pays his old friend a visit. Unfortunately, due to fear of surveillance Hammond cannot divulge the real details of Carter's misson.
SG-1 are held prisoner by Sarah Douglas . Carter's father has terminal cancer, and one of the Tok'Ra parasites needs a new host. Hmm, I wonder how they will sort this one out.
Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) finally works out that the Tok'Ra's spare symbiote could cure her father's cancer, thus solving both problems at once. But will General Carter agree to what O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) described in the previous episode as a Faustian pact?
SG-1 go looking for Colonel Conners (Roger R Cross - First Wave ) and SG-11, who went missing while assigned to a mining exploration mission on a supposedly uninhabited world. They discover a group of Coastal Salish indians who were transported there centuries ago from North America.
Earth needs trinium, a vital mineral that is plentiful on the new world, so they can build defences in case another Ghoul invasion fleet attacks. However, in order to get the vast quantities necessary, environmentally unfriendly strip-mining would have to be employed. The natives, and their guardian spirits (including Christina Cox ), are none too pleased about this.
General Hammond decides that the ends justify the means. Bad mistake. He blames the NID for coming up with the idea, which makes them convenient scape-goats while the SGC remains the morally upright face of the Military-Industrial complex.
SG-1 re-visit a friendly planet. The weather-control system, the Touchstone, has been stolen. As a result the planet is facing a huge natural disaster, and SG-1 are held responsible. Unfortunately the natives have relied on the super-technology for nine hundred years, and have no idea of how to deal with normal weather. To coin a phrase, Let them get coats.
Midwest USA is struck with natural weather disasters, as if someone is amateurishly messing around with alien super-tech that has been calibrated for an entirely different planet's weather system. It seems that someone in the US military-industrial complex has been using the second gate to steal technologies from friendly planets. SG-1 head over to Area 51 to investigate.
Colonel Maybourne of the NID has been transferred to Area 51, and is in charge of the spare stargate. His job is to ensure that it remains crated up, like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark . Of course, he has already been set up as a villainous type.
This puts the SGC in a difficult position, both legally and politically. As a US Military unit they cannot operate on American soil, and if they get into a shootout with a rival US government agency it could be disasterous. This means Hammond must order the team to hold their fire, and as a result a simple situation becomes much more complicated.
Colonel O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) looks through an alien viewer and somehow his mind is affected. His brain works at 90% capacity (far more than the average human), and he can only speak in a form of Latin. Daniel, supposedly the world's top ancient linguist, needs to look up a book to translate. Even stranger, it is implied that aliens (the Gate-Builders) spoke Latin! However, since one alien race, the Asgard, apparently influenced the Vikings (a thousand years after Rome was founded) this is not so surprising.
In his quest for a cure, O'Neill discovers a race of non-humans who appeared in a previous episode.
SGC receives an ultra-slow communication through the Stargate. The transmission is from a world that is on the event horizon of a Black Hole, and the SG team on it are doomed. Worse, the Stargate is jammed open and the Black Hole's gravitational field is permeating through the wormhole ...
Daniel Jackson is off-world on a mission, so he misses all the fun this week.
A backup Special Forces unit led by Colonel Frank Cromwell (Marshall Teague - Babylon 5 ) enters the base by the elevator shaft. He has history with Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) - they served in the same Special Forces unit together, until Cromwell left O'Neill for dead on a secret mission in Iraq. They have to do the grunt work themselves, despite being the highest rank of officer below Brigadier-General.
Major Davis (Colin Cunningham - Falling Skies ) takes Hammond to the nearby airfield, where he is sent to Washington DC to meet the POTUS. Since the Black Hole is warping the space-time continuum, no plot-hole is created when the the time-scale stops making sense.
Attacked by rival Ghoul System Lords, Apophis seeks sanctuary on Earth. This makes the SGC do some soul-searching about how they should treat enemy prisoners.
Apophis is dying, and there is nothing Doctor Fraser ( Teryl Rothery ) can do about it. The Tok'Ra advise the SGC to give Apophis to his enemy, a rival System Lord named Sokar.
Sokar starts to bombard the SGC's protective iris by aiming a high-powered energy weapon through the stargate. Eventually it will destroy the iris, and possibly the SGC itself. But if the SGC surrenders a detainee to hostile powers, they will be guilty of an immoral act.
This is the body-swop episode - yes, as in every SF TV show there had to be one sooner or later. Here it happens because of a device created by a civilisation on another world. O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) and T'eelc swop, which allows Christopher Judge to play a more interesting character than the usual T'eelc!
The problem is that Daniel has swopped with the device's creator. The creator's body (played by Michael Shanks, under lots of makeup) is old and dying, and he wants to stay in Daniel's young, healthy body.
SG-1 land in a desert populated by naked human-looking types who have streaks of silvery body-paint. This is the first actually non-human aliens since early in Season One.
For the first time so far, SG-1's presence causes illness among an alien culture. Doctor Fraser ( Teryl Rothery ) actually mentions that it is a wonder this kind of thing does not happen more often.
The team retrieve a small boy, who claims that his invisible mother speaks to him. He knows things such as the events in the episode Spirits, and the team are perplexed. Especially when he claims that his mother came to warn them of an imminent attack by an army of invisible aliens ...
The Aliens' plan is to defeat the ghoul by killing all potential hosts. That means not only the extinction of all humans in the galaxy, but also other species such as the Unas. This is a great example of playing the long game. After all, the Ghouls can use their Sarcophagi to prolong the lives of existing hosts.
Since the boy's Mother is of a species that only Ghouls can detect, the SGC call in the Tok'Ra for support. Much like the System Lords, the Tok'Ra are on the look-out for new hosts. One would think that the SGC and rest of the US Military could select fatally injured military personnel with high enough security clearance.
The final shootout happens when SG-1 go up against a team of the invisible aliens. Luckily the SG guys have Tok'Ra technology and regular troops to back them up. However, the troops' camoflage seems to be the equivalent of Star Trek redshirts: all the troops get blasted to hell, while the SG-1 get through it without a scratch. Hmm ...
This episode was written by series co-creator Brad Wright. The team go through the stargate when it is affected by a solar flare, and find themselves back in 1969. Since last season made possible travel into parallel dimensions, this is a natural step.
Carter warns them not to alter the timeline, because of the Grandfather Paradox. However, the storyline itself uses the Bootstrap Paradox - twice! The take on time travel here is that, as in the film Terminator , the timeline is already set in stone. Towards the end it smacks a bit of the logic used in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure , but it is all good clean fun.
The team are interrogated by a Cigarette Smoking Man, who apparently has a videotape of Teel'c using his hand-blaster. This reviewer was under the impression that videotape was not widely used back in 1969, even by Cheyenne Mountain CCTV security, but this is a small quibble. They break out, and despite the fact they have inside help the security is still unbelievably lax. Especially for suspected Soviet spies at the height of the Cold War.
The team try to thumb a ride. Unfortunately the woman is Sam Carter, who has a man's clothes and haircut. She does not even take off her jacket, which would have certainly proved to passers by that she was female.
They eventually hitch a lift with a couple of hippies on their way to some concert in upstate New York. Yes, SG-1 head for Woodstock and disguise themselves as hippies. Teel'c in particular is hilarious!
There are a couple of Star Wars references - Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) claims he is Luke Skywalker (and the CSM seems to recognise the name, eight years before ANH was released!), and Daniel uses the term A galaxy far, far away in a subtle yet hilarious scene.
Back in the modern day, Hammond says that O'Neill owes him five hundred dollars - the original amount O'Neill borrowed in 1969, compounded with interest. Of course, O'Neill spent it all on the 1960s clothes that he and the team are wearing. Such good-quality original 1960s clothing would be worth a lot in a vintage store, and O'Neill might actually be able to turn a profit on the deal!
Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson - Legend (1995) ) is cryogenically unfrozen and discovers that he is in the year 2077. The officer in charge tells Jack that he is the only survivor of SG-1. Jack has amnesia, so the medics stimulate his memories as an excuse to show clips from previous episodes. There is a theme, however - the questioners want to know about the Nox and the Asgard, the super-powerful alien races who defeated the Ghouls.
Jack may be brain-damaged, for that is the only explanation for his inability to spot odd discrepancies. In a prior episode we see the future, where the Stargate is active but mothballed and the iris is nowhere in sight. Secondly, the team is debriefed after every mission. Therefore General Hammond's records would have included full details of everything SG-1 encountered, along with findings of follow-up missions by other teams.
This is a flashback episode with a difference. To start with, it actually has a plot. Secondly, as a Season finale it is actually the first half of a two-part story.
Jack is not as stupid as he seems. Not quite, anyway. The plot is stolen from 1960s James Coburn film 36 Hours, and was used to similar effect in Battle of the Planets. We also get to see more of Hathor ( Suanne Braun ) - her name is in the start credits so this is hardly a spoiler!
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