Last time, the Stargate program was brought out of mothballs to contend with the evil Apophis and his Jaffa soldiers. In comes Colonel Jack O’Neill, Captain Sam Carter, and eventually Dr. Daniel Jackson, and turncoat Jaffa soldier, Teal’c, to fight Apophis. With Apophis stealing people close to the team (Daniel’s wife, Jack’s surrogate son) and the discovery of being able to dial the Stargate to other planets in the galaxy, the team is off for adventure!
Welcome to the “sexism is bad” episode of Stargate SG-1, as the team arrives on a planet where the men treat their women as actual property. Too bad for Carter that she gets kidnapped to be sold off to a rival village leader, the team has to retrieve her, and she has to fight the evil village leader for her freedom. Look, this is by no means the strongest episode of SG-1 for many fans (hell, the producers of the show aren’t fans of this episode), but its not a complete wash either. More the trouble is the execution of the premise, which yes, we need to talk about more in the notes below.
–So this is a weird case of bad luck, in the writer of this episode (the third one) was also a credited writer on the third episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which if you don’t remember, involves some questionable stuff as well (“Code of Honor”, if you’re so inclined to see it). And it’s also one of those cases where the concept gets failed by how it’s brought to life.
–Bluffing someone by giving away modern technology (in this case, a gun with one clip of ammo) is a trick, that many episodes of Star Trek have taught me, never ends well. And really, you need to mention “challenge to the death” up front when suggesting challenging a evil village leader to a fight.
–Speaking of a Star Trek conundrum, this episode ends one involving interfering with a clearly misogynistic culture with “screw it, let’s change this society anyway” with one fight.
–I’m glad the team’s all cool with a kid kidnapping a grown woman, selling her for another girl he’s in love with (and who he doesn’t get in the exchange), and then blaming it all on “the madness”. Suuuuure, “madness”.
–“What is an ‘Oprah’?”
“The Broca Divide”
SG-1 arrives on a planet where there are two types of humanoids: the very highly evolved and the extremely primitive. Before long, the team discovers these primitives were people infected with a virus that made them that way, but wouldn’t you know it, the team is infected with the same virus and starts devolving themselves. So Teal’c and Jackson are tasked to return to the planet to find a cure, and have a few complications along the way. Also, an infected Carter tries to seduce an unsuspecting O’Neill, so there’s a little something for everyone in this episode.
–I’m not sure about the feasibility of a planet with the same side of it being permanently in the dark, but I get it, this isn’t a ultra realistic show.
–This is the first episode with Dr. Frasier, who would be one of the longer running supporting players in SG-1‘s run.
–Teal’c at least asked politely for a blood sample from the “untouched” before knocking someone unconscious and taking it from them.
–“Thank you, sir. I pride myself on my deductive reasoning skills.”
–“I cannot be certain you are back to being yourself. You referred to me as ‘Lucy’.”
“The First Commandment”
The team is out to retrieve sister team SG-9 from a primitive planet (again?), and discovers a horrible truth about SG-9’s leader. Hanson, the team’s leader, has gone all Kurtz from Apocalypse Now and has made himself the God of all the cave-dwellers there. Also, he wants to start up a Goa’uld shield to protect his “people” from the sun’s radiation, because, you know, it’ll kill them. Add to that Carter’s prior relationship with Hanson, and you got trouble for SG-1 the minute they try to recover the mad team captain.
–Well, that makes one to the “Failed Boyfriends of Samantha Carter” list with Hanson. And this one got to fiancé level, so he’s fares relatively better than other Carter boyfriends. Excluding getting killed by being tossed into a no-way trip through the Stargate, of course.
–Teal’c trying to smile. Priceless. Also, he does decent sketch work.
–Daniel with a do-rag: not an uncommon occurrence on this show.
–“Let’s go see the wizard.”
–“We could have stopped her.” “We would have failed.”
SG-1 arrives on a planet full of attractive people who are having a hundred day celebration. By “hundred day celebration”, I mean “hundred day lifespan”, and after O’Neill sleeps with one of the people there, is doomed to the same fate (if slightly faster). While the team struggles to find a cure, O’Neill becomes older and starts to discover the planet’s god is not all he’s supposed to be. It’s a solid episode of SG-1 to end this round of minicaps on, even as the majority of it is Richard Dean Anderson getting to play around in pretty effective old age makeup as grandpa O’Neill.
–Hmmm, “replicating nanobots” are responsible for the rapid aging, huh? I have a feeling we’ll come back to the subject of replicating robots eventually in the run of SG-1.
–Daniel knows something about child birth. Also, guys, immediately look to your only female team member like she’s an expert on pregnancies?
–“Outside of a slight prostate problem I won’t bore you with details about, it’s not bad.”
–“From now on we eat rations.” To be fair, O’Neill, you got space STDs than just being drugged with rapid aging.
–Teal’c’s Indeed Counter: still at zero.
NEXT TIME: O’Neill is replaced by a dangerous double in “Cold Lazarus”, searching for allies leads SG-1 to a connection to the Norse gods in “Thor’s Hammer”, Jackson must rescue someone who went through the Stargate decades earlier in “The Torment of Tantalus”, and Teal’c has to save his son in “Bloodlines”.