So last season ended with SG-1 getting to meet the current troubles of their allies, the Asgard. It’s the robot insects known as the Replicators, who assimilate technology and, true to their name, replicate more of them. In order to keep a Replicator-infested Asgard ship from landing on Earth, the team sets it to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. The team (minus Daniel, who’s bedridden and unable to enjoy the fun of fighting a new alien race) appears to have escaped the burning ship via Stargate, but for all their efforts, a Replicator survives the crash and is now on Earth! Where did the team end up, and will they be back in time in stop the Replicators from taking over the planet? Obviously, yes, but let’s see how we get there…
SG-1 returns home a week after the Asgard ship crash, and before they can get some well-earned downtime, gets wrapped up in more Replicator hijinks. O’Neill and Teal’c raid a Russian sub that is infested with the things, while Carter joins Thor to stop an oncoming Replicator incursion to the Asgard homeworld. As can be expected, both groups of heroes run into some serious problems trying to fight this new enemy. This is a pretty strong opening for the season, as it continues the Replicator threat, but doesn’t completely end it, as we’ll see later on.
–So we get a quick explanation as to why the team’s been missing for a week (the time between this and the last episode), as in the second gate took a while to hook up, they’ve been stranded on another planet, and Thor hitched a ride home. Oh, and Teal’c grew some blonde chin hair…for some reason.
–A fun note from the commentary track for this episode (expect more pieces of trivia from them as they are regularly in the DVDs from here on in), is how that Carter and O’Neill scene where he tries to leave for his vacation in last season’s finale is mirrored here as the team is recalled for another mission.
–That is filming done in an actual Russian sub, although its was borrowed at the time during a goodwill tour of Canada.
–Once again, Daniel has to sit out going on the sub this episode because of the appendix operation from last season’s finale (which in itself was written when the actor himself had appendicitis).
–“We kicked their asses.” “They had asses?”
“The Other Side”
An SOS through the gate brings the team to a compound in the middle of a war, and from the military leaders inside comes a very tantalizing proposition. If SG-1 provides them with general resources, they’ll be provided with advanced military technology. As great of a deal it seems to be, it’s the secrets behind this war and the tech itself that change SG-1’s mission in a dramatically shocking way. Turns out the team is about to help the bad guys of this conflict!
–Another Trek alum appears with Rene Auberjonois (Odo from DS9) as Alar, the head of the Eurodeans. It’s a safe assumption he meets with the horrible end of slamming against the gate iris like his “volunteers” did at the beginning of this episode. Which, by the way, is a really dark moment for O’Neill to order that iris closing, knowing what would happen.
–It’s a nice and pivotal moment in the story to see a simple wording by Alar regarding Teal’c (“He’s not like us.”) completely change O’Neill’s willingness to go through with this deal.
–That’s a pretty grim end to the episode, with the team basically making it possible for the Eurodeans to get slaughtered by their enemies (the supposed good guys of this war). But then again, they are killing the equivalent of space Nazis, so that softens the blow.
–“He’s concealing something.” “Like what?” “I don’t know. He is concealing it.”
–“I thought I ordered you to get a life.”
The Tok’ra arrive at SGC with some new tech they would like SG-1 to test: some alien bracelets that enhance human abilities. They end up becoming more powerful and faster, but there are downsides to all of this, like the team’s pumped up behavior and possible health trouble. With the bracelets seemingly stuck, they go on a mission to destroy a secret Apophis project that shows the real limits of their new power. Let’s just say those things didn’t come with a warranty or instruction manuals.
–The Tok’ra scientist, Anise, is played by Vanessa Angel, who is best known for Kingpin, almost becoming warrior princess Xena, and for the Weird Science TV show, which I confess I may have watched more than one episode of back in the day.
–Great visual joke in Carter’s big novel writing with the computer having to catch up with her superspeed typing after she pauses for a break.
–Oh, the dream of eating 4 steaks without the fear of gaining a insane amount of weight.
–Good thing Teal’c is sent down to the enemy planet to help get the energy drained SG-1 out of there. Also, those super arm bands fell off and probably were blown up in that base explosion. Plus, keep that scene with O’Neill and Carter in your back pocket, because it comes back (along with something we don’t see in this episode) in a future episode.
–“Teal’c, I’m really sorry.” “You are not.” (pause) “He’s right about that.”
A former peer of Teal’c’s, a priestess named Sho’nac, comes through the gate seeking the aid of the Tok’ra. Sho’nac’s symbiote has apparently been turned, and will reveal what it knows of the Goa’uld, if the symbiote is given a new host. While it seems the Tok’ra will take this proposal, there is a secret regarding the symbiote that threatens to be just as dangerous. That secret and the fallout of it put Teal’c in the middle of a very delicate situation in this dark and twisty episode.
–So the reveal of Sho’nac’s symbiote to be actually evil was a surprise once it used its new host to murder Sho’nac, but the added twist of the Tok’ra knowing it and feeding it false information while they gain Goa’uld intel secretly is one more jab of the knife in this situation.
–My fading knowledge of the Highlander TV show came in handy in noticing the actor who plays Methos on that show here as the host of the traitorous Goa’uld parasite.
–Um, I’m not clear about the current status of Teal’c and his wife, but did he just forsake that with Sho’nac at the SGC, because I think he did.
–Anise’s wardrobe this episode is both less and more than it was last episode, if that makes any sense.
–“Bra’tac…you’ve done something with your hair.”
NEXT TIME: A mind-controlled assassin brings paranoia to a crucial summit in “Divide and Conquer”, SG-1 must find escape from a time loop in “Window of Opportunity”, a rogue Stargate leads the team to a waterworld in “Watergate”, and Daniel’s abduction by an alien is not all it appears to be in “The First Ones”.