Another two episodes today. One pretty awful to be honest and one so camp and stupid that I can’t help but love it.

Fire and Water

Synopsis

This episode opens with general bureaucracy at the SGC over coming deployments. The Gate however unexpectedly activates with SG-1 minus Daniel coming back through the Gate with the team stating that Daniel died on the mission. The three of them are taken for further testing in the infirmary with all of them displaying symptoms of shock and a sensitivity to light. At the debrief with Hammond they reveal that Daniel died in a sudden burst of flame and the rest of the team took cover in the nearby water and after they recovered they went back through the Gate. During his debrief O’Neill becomes assertive that they can’t go back when Hammond mentions the possibility of sending another SG team to recover the body of Daniel. The SGC choose to hold a military funeral for Daniel in the Gateroom in full regalia and, due to the lack of a body, simply place a wreath through the Gate as a memorial to him. At the same time in an unknown location, presumably on the planet from earlier, Daniel Jackson wakes up and calls out for the others.

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Back on Earth the SGC have moved to O’Neills house for a wake in memory of Daniel, something that Teal’c finds confusing. During the party however O’Neill begins experiencing flashbacks to Daniel’s death, pouring a drink causing him to see the bubbling water after Daniel died, causing him to smash up Hammond’s car in anger. Later at Daniel’s apartment Carter experiences the same flashback as O’Neill after looking at Daniel’s fishtank. The three of them decide to return to the SGC as they begin expressing doubts about Daniel’s ‘death’.

On the planet Daniel meets an unknown alien who quickly signals he wants him to decode some unknown writing on the wall. Daniel manages to decode the writing as wanting to find out about something’s fate. The alien gets angrier as Daniel reveals his lack of understanding and leaves. After the alien returns he demands information about his mate who died during the fall of Babylon with him accusing Daniel of serving the Goa’uld. After a screaming match he once again leaves the room.

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Back at the SGC they perform medical scans on the team and find that they all have near the same abnormality in their brains, questioning the validity of his death. The Gate activates again and all three expect Daniel to return but it’s instead another team returning. When O’Neill begins to tell Hammond they have to go back he suddenly experiences a painful headache and is returned to the infirmary. In an experiment by playing beach sounds, that O’Neill finds ludicrous, Teal’c experiences the same flashbacks as the others have had. Discrepancies in their tale of events begin appearing, such as a missing three and a half hours in their memories and a determination to prevent others returning to the planet, so the SGC try hypnosis on Carter to find out the truth as to what happened. In her memories they discover that the alien met them on a beach who, after learning who they are, knocks them out and experiments on them. Later however they emerge from the water from where they returned to the Gate.

Back in screamtown the alien returns once more and demands answers. Daniel asks for some kind of reference point which turns out to be an ancient ruler of Babylon that was most likely a Goa’uld. The alien once again accuses Daniel of serving the Goa’uld yet again. In a bizarre turn in what can only be described as severe Stockholm Syndrome Daniel demands that the alien effectively torture him for information, because hey why not? During the torture Daniel begins to demand to stop but the alien turns up the torture repeatedly to get more information from him until he finds out from Daniel that his mate was killed. More screaming follows.

On the surface the team have returned to the planet and make it to the shoreline. Once again the alien emerges from the water and Daniel follows him. They team and the alien chat for a while (with all the torture not being mentioned) before the alien returns to the water. The team begin the long journey back to the Gate, revealing to Jackson his apartment has been cleared out.

Analysis

This episode is thankfully the last truly shite one the show ever put out. Sure in the future there will be a couple of weaker ones and subjectively bad ones but never again does SG-1 ever go so stupid. The main resolution of this episode is entirely down to Daniel deciding to be tortured because hey it’s not like he could’ve just tried to escape or anything else. Nope just agree to be strapped into the torture machine.

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Also this is an episode that in the grand scheme of the show does nothing at all. It doesn’t advance the season plotline in anyway shape or form nor do they get anything out of their trip to the planet. Instead everything boils down to a fish wanting to know what happened to another fish. No backstory is expanded upon nor are any of the characters developed beyond their current position as the only one who experiences anything is Daniel himself and all that amounts to is torture to reawaken his knowledge of Babylon.

Overall this was an awful filler episode that just boggles the mind in terms of basic characterisation as Daniel makes decisions that are against his nature as a person and much of it doesn’t have any purpose beyond the 45 minute run time.

Assorted Musings

· I want to know how the big blue fish was on Earth with no one ever writing down ‘and oh by the way 4000 years ago a massive blue fish was in Babylon’.

Quote of the episode: “You should get that window fixed” O’Neill to Hammond after breaking his car window.

Hathor

Synopsis

This episode starts with an unknown team of archaeologists in a Mayan temple in Mexico. They find Egyptian hieroglyphics and a Sarcophagus, leading one of them to comment on Daniel Jackson’s ideas of old Earth cultures being related. The sarcophagus opens to reveal Hathor, a female Goa’uld, who demands to know where Ra is, killing them when they don’t answer to her satisfaction. The Sarcophagus makes its way to the SGC and an Airman reports that an unknown woman attempted to access the base looking for the Stargate, who is revealed to be Hathor. Hammond, Daniel, and O’Neill move to interrogate her. Daniel removes her restraints but while thanking him Hathor breathes an unknown substance onto him before demanding to know where Ra is yet again. Hathor wants to ‘bless’ Hammond, who initially refuses but agrees to with Daniel’s persuasion. O’Neill and Hammond leave the room, allowing Hathor to interrogate Daniel for information, which includes revealing he killed Ra, a fact which Hathor celebrates before seducing him further.

In the briefing room Hammond and the rest of SG-1 are deciding what to do with her, before Daniel returns and confirms that she is a Goa’uld who believes herself to be Hathor, before proceeding to sing her praises about her being a ‘friend of Earth’. The other members of the team think this is all rubbish however Hammond, having been compromised agrees to bring her in for a briefing. Upon entering Hammond asks O’Neill to bring her water, an opportunity Hathor uses to compromise O’Neill as well, deeming him the ‘Special One’, making him the Stargate equivalent of Jose Mourinho. Carter and Teal’c continue to be distrustful of Hathor but the others, already under her influence, overrule their decisions, and proceed to provide her with a room (without guards) and other comforts. When left alone with Daniel again Hathor anoints him the ‘Chosen One’ and presumably tasks him with destroying the evil Lord Voldemort, and during further conversation reveals herself as the queen who presumably birthed many of the current Goa’uld, and wants to use Daniel to create more.

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Carter again tries to get O’Neill to back her up but proceeds to counter her points about her concerns over letting her walk about freely. Following this she does more research following Daniel’s ideas and finds links between many different symbolic gods similar to Hathor and relays this to Fraiser who thinks she may be using some kind of drug to make the men on the base her followers. The two of them and the female staff on the base arm up and plan to take back the base. Teal’c emerges, causing suspicion from Carter and gals, but wants to help stop Hathor from taking over the planet and that his status as a Jaffa protects him from the drug. The ladies find a near catatonic Daniel in Hathor’s room but are forced to leave him when they learn of Hathor’s location. They find her in a bath in the locker room and guarded by the men of the base who quickly disarm the Girl Guides Collective.

O’Neill momentarily comes to his senses and questions Hathor’s true motives and attempts to interrogate her. However he is quickly once again drugged by Hathor and turned into a Jaffa by Hathor’s bikini.

The Woman’s Hour team are locked in one of the dorm room by the guards and Fraiser, informing them of the drug’s effects, convinces the others to basically seduce the guards into coming inside for a little fun and are quickly dispatched. Others try to halt them in the corridor, including Hammond (who is knocked out by Carter), but are dealt and they proceed to free Teal’c before once again going to the locker room, this time finding it empty bar O’Neill and the tub now filled with Goa’uld larvae. However Hathor emerges from the tub, causing the team to fall back and observe her place O’Neill in the tub to be turned into a Jaffa before leaving him to his fate.

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The Femme Fatale Squad quickly move in and rescue him, finding his chest pouch empty but that he will still die due to no longer having an immune system, meaning they have to leave him in the Sarcophagus. Guards emerge however firing at them, putting a couple of rounds into Teal’c and Fraiser before Hathor stops them. O’Neill emerges from the Sarcophagus, causing Hathor to fire her hand device at it, causing it to overload and detonate, with the others barely escaping. O’Neill and Carter grab tranq guns before heading back to the locker room where they tranq the guards while Carter uses an M9 to shoot Hathor and set the tub alight, killing the larvae. However Hathor’s apparent death was a distraction which she uses to Gate to Chulak while those on the base now return to normal.

During analysis of the tub by Fraiser and Carter in the aftermath of the incident, which may involve a lot of Daniel’s DNA being found to O’Neill’s revulsion, Hammond appears. Carter tries to apologise but Hammond informs them that he’s put both Carter and Fraiser in for commendations due to their conduct in saving the base.

Analysis

Hathor has always been an episode that has been divisive amongst fans with many loving it but others openly hating it but for me personally I’m one of the former. This is an episode that takes the ‘girl power’ shtick, similar to what we had seen in Emancipation, but instead of playing it serious it has fun with the concept and as a result actually works.

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The trashy villain made to look like Cleopatra who seduces men to do her bidding, the women being the only ones unaffected and also using seduction in an almost softcore way to get the men to let them go, and the overall pisstaking of the men on the base are all done stupidly that they almost look straight out a Carry On film but work because that’s the point. The women in the end just do their jobs and are seen as equals, there’s no stupid knife fights, constant derision of women or the other ‘adversity’ show you see in other episodes that try to scream ‘women are strong’.

I did like how they referenced a lot of the plot back to the film with the main villain being a former lover of Ra and now wants to fight him and other Goa’uld and that she chooses Daniel and O’Neill for their purposes specifically because of what they did to Ra.

Also this is finally the first Carter focused episode that hasn’t been built around her relationship to a man, with Emancipation about her being viewed as scum by random Mongol men and The First Commandment about her ex-boyfriend. Instead the focus for both her and Fraiser is focused around them being forced to take control of a situation but also mention and reflect on the shite they’ve gotten for being women in the Air Force over the years but that they deal with it and move on rather than breakdown emotionally to make you feel sympathy.

Assorted Musings

· The scene where Hathor emerges from the tub is clearly backwards given how her hair behaves.

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· The fact that the Sarcophagus blows up after a single hit by the Hand Device is odd given how it was sturdy enough to survive 2000 years in a jungle without breaking down.

Quote of the episode: “Why do I feel I’m in a women behind bars movie”– Carter