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[Season 3, Episode 1]
Into The Fire
Reviewed Second Week, September 2001
Reviewed 4th March 2002 [Monday]
This is the second part of the cliffhanger story from the end of last season. The team are prisoners of Hathor, who wants to use one of them as a host for a new ghoul. This is O'Neill's biggest fear.
The Tok'Ra get word to General Hammond, who has to resort to using Major Davis (Colin Cunningham - Falling Skies ) to give exposition. Hammond sends every available SG team through for a rescue attempt. Since half of them are off-world on other missions he can only use SG teams 3, 5, 6 and 11.
The rescue is simple, but Hathor's forces have fortified the approaches to the Stargate. Finally, a Ghoul who takes Stargate security seriously. The problem is that Hammond is refused permission to send reinforcements. Yes, the President - in a message passed via Major Davis - orders the SGC to abandon FIVE of its SG teams!
Meanwhile, Teel'c escapes to his homeworld and tries to raise an army of Jaffas. Apophis may be gone, but his son rules in his place. Breytag has been left for dead.
As you can imagine, since this is the first episode of the Season (and the second part of a two-parter) the budget is well above average for a TV episode. There are big shoot-outs with lots of extras and SPFX - a nice Season opener indeed.
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The Tok'Ra have lost track of a particularly dangerous Ghoul, Seth. He was last seen on Earth, and he may still be there.
The climax is the ATF facing off against a Cult ... Hmm, that sounds familiar. The Cult's compound is north of Seattle, which allows for some nice Canadian scenery.
As befits the villainous stereotype, the Ghoul does not gain the loyalty of his followers honestly. No, he floods his compound with a brainwashing gas. All that SG-1 has to do is zap the Cultists to change their loyalties!
The best part of the episode is when Teel'c tells a Jaffa joke. Yes, they DO have humour after all!
The US Secretary of State for Defence visits the SGC to make a speech. Captain Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) is officially promoted to Major. Her cow-orkers get nothing, but nobody cares because they are only men.
The ceremony is interrupted by the Asgard, who teleport O'Neill away. They warn him that the Ghouls are planning a new invasion of Earth. The Asgard fleet is employed in their own galaxy, fighting an enemy worse than the Ghouls. However, they have arranged a peace conference with the Ghouls.
The Ghouls send three System Lords - one Greek (Kronos), one Indian (Nierti), one Chinese (Yu). O'Neill is assigned as Earth's representative. The treaty offered is one where Earth's technology is subject to limitation, and Earth loses its Stargate.
Teel'c has a grudge against the Greek System Lord. His father was once First Prime of Kronos, and his execution was Teel'c's motive for serving Apophis. Perhaps, if killing Kronos was Teel'c's primary motive, he should not have defected to the SGC until AFTER Apophis had done it.
The rules of the negotiations are that no weapons are allowed on the base. One of the System Lords is attacked, and there are several suspects - Teel'c, Carter and even the other System Lords!
SG-1 discovers the rotting corpses of nine minor ghouls. When they get back to the SGC Daniel begins to hallucinate.
Doctor Frasier ( Teryl Rothery ) is out of her depth when Daniel exhibits the symptoms of severe schizophrenia. She ships him off to an off-site psychiatric facility, where he is warehoused in a rubber room. The problem is that the staff there do not seem to have security clearance, so he is limited to solitary confinement so that he does not become a security risk.
After visiting Daniel, Teel'c becomes sick too.
The team are on a world with advanced technology. The locals have managed to increase the society's ability to learn, but the team do not think to ask how (or what the cost is).
The locals assign one of their Learners, an early-teens girl, to instruct Major Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) in the use of a piece of technology. The team get close to the Learners, which increases the shock factor when they learn how the society works. The Learners have nanites in their brains that absorb the knowledge. At puberty the nanites are removed and re-distributed, but the Learners are left with permanent brain damage.
Jack kidnaps the Learner girl and takes her to school, where she can mix with other kids socially. We are reminded that O'Neill lost his own son, who was a similar age, and does not want to go through it again.
The have visitors from an alternate universe, where Kowalski (Jay Acavone) survived and Samantha Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) is Jack O'Neill's widow.
The team manage to get into the alternate universe, and take on that universe's Apophis and Teel'c. They are blatantly eeevil - they wear goatee beards. The Jaffas include Ty Olssen ( Supernatural ) - and yes, he has a goatee too!
SG-1 are captured by an armoured bounty-hunter, a Boba Fett type (but without the rocket-pack). He is Cyrus Bock (Sam J. Jones - Flash Gordon himself)!
The bounty-hunter's starship is of an old Ghoul design, upgraded with cloaking technology. It can travel at twice the speed of light, which is great for interplanetary travel but as Carter points out it would take ten years to return them to Earth.
The bounty-hunter has been hired by So'Kar, the new arch-villain, to capture a rival Ghoul named Keltar. Even Teel'c has never heard of this rival, but apparently his bounty is twice that of the entire SG-1 team.
SG-1 arrives on a medieval-looking world that has somehow got Christian religion. Daniel identifies their written language as Middle English, pre-Chaucer, and their religion as being early Roman catholic. This would mean the people's society originated circa 1215, give or take a century, and had been stagnant ever since. In all fairness, their spoken language has evolved to the level that it is now compatible with modern-day American English.
The local people are held in terror by a beast called the Unas, which serves the ghoul So'Kar. We learn from Simon the Monk that So'Kar calls himself Satan, and demands that humans be handed over to him as sacrifice. The locals use this as an excuse to get rid of anyone who they do not like. Criminals and other burdens can be democratically removed from society. For example, an apparently brain-damaged woman named Mary ( Laura Mennell ) is next in line to be sacrificed. Since the village's' most advanced medical procedure is trepanation, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
The local religious leader, the Canon, uses hi-tech weaponry to capture SG-1. He subjects Teel'c to the standard medieval witchfinder tests ... Yes, it turns out that being a genetically-engineered super-soldier has its down side. A pity the good guys cannot manage to defeat the remarkably flimsy restraints. They do not even try, although brute force would undoubtedly work.
SG-1 meet a strange new team, SG-X. And since no such team works for General Hammond, they know that something is wrong. Well, they should.
It turns out that Apophis still has some minions who have not heard of his death. Well, they have also not heard that Teel'c is a traitor to their cause. They believe that Apophis is a god, and therefore immortal. Nobody points out that gods regularly kill each other, and that an enemy like So'Kar could easily take out Apophis.
The plot appears to be some kind of Gun Control metaphor. Strangely, nobody in SG-1 volunteers to go gun-less. This illustrates a certain kind of hypocrisy in the show. It is about professional military personnel who regularly slaughter Jaffa cannon-fodder. After all, how many times have they taken POWs alive? And yet in this episode, Apophis' minions are revealed to be brain-washed conscripts who are barely old enough to shave.
SG-1 tracks down Sha'uri, Daniel's Ghoul-possessed wife. After all, with Apophis dead she has inherited his military assets. There is a huge pitched battle with the Serpent Guards. Luckily, someone has mounted a .50-calibre belt-fed machine-gun atop one of the MOUT robots that is used for exploring new planets. Unfortunately this is not used in any subsequent episodes. However, O'Neill uses it to good effect against the Jaffa and their human wave tactics.
While O'Neill saves the day, Daniel tries to reason with his woman. Teel'c has to intervene to save his friend ...
Back in Cheyenne Mountain, Daniel decides to quit the team. However, he has visions of his wife. She wants him to find her child, the Harsisis.
The SG-1 team arrive on a world where everyone has amnesia. They can all somehow remember how to speak the English language, however. Pictures of the peoples' elders have been found, but there is no sign of the elders themselves. Neither are there any children - or any photos of the children.
It appears that the collective amnesia was caused by the Destroyer of Worlds, whom SG-1 released from the Dante prison-colony.
Daniel gets on rather well with the planet's female Minister of Health. He mentions to her that he recently lost his wife, which dates this episode to just after Forever In A Day. Unfortunately, in TV shows this kind of romance is always doomed - but the writers go a nice way about it.
Sam Carter's father has been captured by the Ghoul So'Kar and taken to his prison planet. Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) has Jolinar's memories, and since Jolinar had actually managed to escape from there she is the one with the best chance of succeeding in the rescue attempt. SG-1 and the Tok'Ra representative tag along as well.
The Tok'Ra rep is Martouf (JR Bourne - Teen Wolf ), Carter's love interest. Since she is channelling the memories of his dead lover Jolinar, there are things she does not want him to find out.
The episode ends with a cliffhanger and the reappearance of an old enemy long believed dead.
SG-1 are interrogated by their old enemy, who uses a halucinogen on them and forces them to relive traumatic memories.
Teel'c gets back to the Tok'Ra, who decide to destroy the planet to kill So'Kar instead of trying to rescue SG-1!
Meanwhile, the old enemy plots to overthrow So'Kar.
SG-1 arrive back from a mission, and Doctor Frasier ( Teryl Rothery ) gives them sedative injections. Yes, something strange is afoot in the SGC.
Teel'c and Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) are taken off to the cells, as apparently the Ghoul proteins in their bloodstream render them immune to the aliens' sedatives. Carter escapes from the SGC, and calls for help from one person she usually would never trust - Colonel Maybourne of the NID!
Major Davis (Colin Cunningham - Falling Skies ) also makes an appearance. Can Carter trust anyone? Has the SGC really been taken over by aliens, or is Carter merely suffering from halucinations brought on by a dangerous chemical spill?
SG-1 are summoned to the Tollan homeworld. O'Neill's surrogate son, taken over by a Ghoul in the Pilot episode, is a prisoner of the Tollan. Now he is on trial.
SG-1 must argue the case that the boy has the right to his own body. A Ghoul lawyer, Zipacna (Kevin Durand - The Strain ) argues that the Ghoul parasite should be allowed the body. A neutral party, a Nox babe (happy, smiley, birds-nest hair), must be allowed to decide the boy's fate.
Can the Ghouls be trusted to keep their part of the bargain? Will there be an exciting shoot-out at the climax of the show?
SG-1 travel through the Stargate to a paradise world. They step through the gate and instantly find that they have returned to the SGC. Despite having fifteen hours of missing time, and physiological changes (such as an addiction to steaming-hot coffee) they are not immediately quarantined.
SG-1 discover that they have been implanted with a cybernetic personality named Urgo (Dom Deluise - Cannonball Run) who has all the irritating comic-relief attributes of Neelix in Star Trek: VGR ! Only they can see him, and an operation to surgically remove the chips will result in permanent brain-damage.
As Teel'c points out, this AI is basically a parasitic life-form. But it is still a life-form, so killing it might be considered murder.
SG-1 are on an away mission to a lo-tech human civilisation. The human village is bombarded by meteorites, so SG-1 try to evacuate the villagers back to the SGC. Luckily the meteorites are as big as cars, so they can destroy a village but not create an extinction-level event.
Unfortunately a meteor buries the Stargate before O'Neill can get through. He has to face the future and prepare to spend the rest of his life there. Luckily he gets to spend time with Michele Greene .
Carter ( Amanda Tapping ) is upset at losing Jack. She assures Doctor Frasier ( Teryl Rothery ) that it will not be a problem. Meanwhile, Teel'c volunteers for a suicidally dangerous mission to save him.
SG-1's negotiations with the Tollan break down because the Tollan's Prime Directive forbids them from giving technology to Earth. O'Neill decides to steal a Tollan weapons-neutraliser. Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing that SG-1 stopped the NID team from doing.
O'Neill is forced to take early retirement by Hammond. With O'Neill's prior record of insubordination, this is the straw that broke the camel's back.
Now that O'Neill, Earth's foremost expert in off-world expeditions, is unemployed he is headhunted by Mayborn and the NID!
The SGC computer's cold-calling system discovers a world where archaeologists recently uncovered their Stargate. SG-1 travel through, but discover the planet is scene of a religious war. The locals believe that a Ghoul created human life on their world, and are keen to cover up the existence of the Stargate.
Teel'c escapes, but is blinded. The others are kept in electrified tiger-cages. Despite having been captured many times by majour villains like the Ghouls, this is one of the team's closest calls yet.
Apophis is on the warpath, massacring Jaffa who formerly served him. Breytag survives when Teel'c's homeworld, Chulac, is targeted. They realise that Apophis must be after his son - the Harsesis child.
Back in [Season 3, Episode 10] Forever In A Day, Daniel Jackson promised to protect the Harsesis child. Also, it has been born with all the knowledge of its Ghoul ancestors. SG-1 work out what planet the boy is hidden on. They try to get there before Apophis' forces do. However, they discover that the planet has defences of its own.
The team discover a temple, and a Buddhist monk (Terry Chen - ) who teaches Daniel the power of mind over matter. There is also a female alien, Oma, who appears again at the end of Season 5 .
Hammond sends along SG-5 for backup. They are commanded by Coburn (Steve Bacic - Andromeda ).
The team travel to another world, where the MOUT has detected a Mayan-style pyramid a kilometre tall. They discover a human skull carved out of solid crystal. The skull zaps Daniel - not only does he become invisible, nobody can hear him and he can walk through solid objects.
Daniel's only hope is his Grandfather, who discovered a similar skull in Belize in 1971 and is now in a home for the Mentally Disturbed.
Thor of the Asgard summons Jack O'Neill. Thor's ship has been overrun by robotic spiders known as Replicators. They have aimed the ship towards Earth, and plan to invade ...
Carter and Teel'c ignore O'Neill's direct order, and beam themselves aboard the ship in order to help. Unfortunately the Asgard built the ship too well, and it resists their attempts to destroy it.
Daniel Jackson is left back at the SGC, where he urges General Hammond to use restraint. Major Davis (Colin Cunningham - Falling Skies ) from the Pentagon is also present, and his job is to give the worst case scenario. If SG-1 fails to blow up the ship that they are aboard, then the US Military must throw everything they have at it.
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