Here we are again. This time we have to pretty decent episodes but nothing that special, one about browridges and the other about religious nutters. So let’s enjoy.
The Broca Divide
We begin with SG-1 and SG-3 (A Marine Team) going through to a planet suspected of being that which Apophis and co fled too after the Children of the Gods to find a forest covered in darkness and are soon attacked by cavemen who are quickly driven off by weapons fire. They follow them back to the camp to find them about to force themselves on a hostage before another group drives the cavemen away.
The new group introduce themselves as the ‘Untouched’ from the ‘Land of Light’ where they explain that those of them who become the ‘Touched’ degenerate into primitive peoples while the Untouched live as an antiquity-age civilisation who tell them that the Goa’uld haven’t visited for many decades. Given this O’Neill wants to head back to Earth while Carter and Daniel want to learn more of the culture and the divide between the two groups on the planet. Despite getting his way however Hammond reveals that the SGC has been tasked to review scientific and cultural value as well from now on, as well as purely military applications.
At the briefing however one of the members of SG-3, Lt. Johnson, appears agitated and attacks Teal’c for being a ‘Goa’uld’ but is easily subdued by those in the room and later on while checking the Gate Carter and Daniel witness two of the staff who subdued Johnson fighting in the meeting room above before going through the window and falling to the bottom of the gateroom, killing one of them. After checking on them Carter develops an itch.
We switch to O’Neill who is currently getting changed in the locker room where Carter appears, wearing a ‘tanktop’, and forces herself on him. O’Neill subdues her and takes her to the infirmary where several personnel are already under observation for the same bizarre behaviour, with Dr Janet Fraiser describing them as behaving like primitives. O’Neill has also developed an itch by this time. He meets up with Daniel in the control room where they discuss Sam. When Daniel says he’s going to see if she’s ok O’Neill becomes defensive of her and proceeds to attack Daniel, requiring several men to restrain him.
After testing the rest of SG-1 Dr Fraiser concludes that it’s a virus or parasite that inhibits higher brain function while also inducing primitive behaviour by activating more simplistic parts of the brain with only Daniel and Teal’c so far being immune, Teal’c due to his symbiote but with no idea why Daniel is unaffected. Hammond seeing no other choice locks down the mountain and asks for a military quarantine with anyone attempting to escape be killed and then burned by a Hazmat team.
Daniel and Teal’c ask, with Frasier’s backing, to be sent back to not only get information from the Untouched but also blood samples from them to identify why they’re immune. Hammond, seeing no other option, allows them to proceed. Upon arrival they find that the Untouched has dumped an afflicted woman in the forest and are once again attacked by the primitives, with Daniel being taken away by them. Teal’c, only finds his glasses and decides to proceed with his mission.
By this time the SGC is close to collapse, with Hammond now confined in solitary with O’Neill, and Fraiser running out of places to store people. The primitive O’Neill requests more sedative which suppresses the effects and allows him to communicate with Fraiser. On the mission Teal’c manages to make it to the Land of Light to request their help but they refuse to get involved and instead prefer to think of the Touched as dead and demand Teal’c leaves. Instead he knocks out the guards and forcibly takes a blood sample from them.
After he returns to the SGC Fraiser concludes that the parasite/virus feeds on histamine so thinks a large injection of anti-histamine should cure them. After talking to him O’Neill volunteers for it, waking up shortly after completely cured, almost getting locked up again for saying ‘Lucy I’m home’ which Teal’c takes as a sign of insanity. The SGC is quickly brought back up to working order with the staff, including Carter and Hammond cured, who return to the planet with dart guns to cure the Touched, which now includes Daniel. After darting everyone they prove to the Untouched that they’re cured by showing them a recovered Daniel.
As the rest of the Touched return Carter apologises for her earlier behaviour, with O’Neill replying he hopes her scar heals, otherwise she’ll never wear that tanktop again.
This episode, while not one of the best of the first season, is still a pretty good one as it introduces Dr Janet Fraiser to the show, who becomes one of my favourite as it goes along, as the caring but strong-willed head of the infirmary of the SGC.
In terms of plot it’s fairly basic, with it being a typical ‘alien disease outbreak’ from many science fiction shows that have come before It and exists mainly to function as an example of the fact the SGC itself can come under direct threat as a result of off-world missions and the fact that anything could come back through the Gate with a team.
The costuming of the episode is pretty stupid though, with the head of the Untouched looking pretty stupid with his mid-rif baring straps and hat but I do like the clear distinction they have between the two cultures with the uneducated primitives being in the darkness and the antiquaty inspired population living in a golden tinted land of light.
There’s not too much character development in the episode but that’s not really a bad thing as the previous episodes have been pretty heavy in that regard. Instead this is pretty much the first time we see the standard SG-1 episode’ SG-1 meeting some monster of the week and them beating it will throwing around goofy dialogue.
· Teal’c lack of Earth knowledge once again comes to light, not understanding many phrases such as ‘leper colony’ or O’Neill’s quotes and references.
· Carter’s stupid costume for when she was touched was pretty funny and I can’t help but think it might be a reference to other sci-fi clichés where a female team member would lose a lot of clothing and suddenly get with the lead.
Quote of the episode: “I cannot be certain you are back to being yourself. You referred to me as “Lucy”” – Teal’c
The First Commandment
We open this episode with two unknown SG personnel on the run to the Stargate from an unknown threat. One of them gets hit by a dart and tells the other to go on before being surrounded by the natives and two other SG personnel. One of the two other SG people executes him and tells them to burn the body, seeing the Stargate shut down in the distance.
We skip to the next day where SG-1 have gone to the planet in search of the team, where they find the survivor of the team, Lt. Conner, who had been hiding near the Gate and stumble on the remains of the other man. Conner informs them that the other two SG personnel, Captain Hanson and Lt. Baker, went native with Hanson posing as the god of the natives. O’Neill tries to have Carter go back to Earth due to her previous relationship with Hanson but chooses to stay as she knows him. They choose to wait till nightfall as the planet offers little protection from the sun’s radiation, making it easy to burn.
After making camp Conner reveals the depths of Hanson’s insanity, with him disappearing for several days and demanding the people build him a temple, with all who disobey being left to burn to death in the sun. Later that night the camp is attacked by the natives who are driven off by weapons fire but not before they snatch Conner.
The next day the team head to the valley in which the temple is being built and observe the humans being used to build the temple, along with Conner and several slaves tied to stakes. They talk about Hanson’s condition and discover he is using a combination between Christian messages and brute force to maintain control of the humans of the planet. While O’Neill goes to get intel Carter decides to leave the others after she sees Baker beating one of the humans and is captured after she punches him, ending up brought before Hanson and his harem. After talking with him it becomes clear that Hanson has lost touch with reality truly believing himself to be their saviour and god and that sacrifices of the humans must be made to rebuild the planet. Carter manages to grab an M9 but is unable to bring herself to kill him.
The rest of the team find a human, Jamala, and try to convince him to help them and that Hanson is simply a man but he believes that Hanson to be a god who will ‘make the sky orange’. Teal’c informs the others that he has seen the Goa’uld use such a device before that did turn the sky orange which Daniel suspects acts as a shield against radiation. It turns out that Hanson not only thinks the same but has the device depicted and demands Carter fixes it.
The rest of the team put together a plan, with O’Neill disguising himself as a slave to find Conners while Teal’c, Daniel, and Jamala find the second device, which Teal’c says has to exist as the shield works as a pair. Teal’c and Daniel proceed to where they think it should be and find ancient ruins with the device buried inside. At the digsite O’Neill eliminates a guard and rescues Conner but is captured by Baker and other humans and is brought to Hanson where Carter has just finished fixing the device.
Jamala informs Teal’c and Daniel that Hanson has made everyone gather at the Stargate, which he has placed flat and called the ‘gateway to the underworld’. He plans to send O’Neill and Conner back to Earth but without sending a GDO signal, meaning they’ll be killed by the Iris upon entry. Jamala and Daniel arrive, with Jamala killing Baker with Teal’c’s staff weapon. Daniel proceeds to convince the humans that Hanson isn’t a god and signals Teal’c to activate the other device to show them this. Hanson attempts to take Carter through the Gate but is overpowered and thrown through the Gate by the natives.
Before heading back through the Gate Carter is torn due to the fact she had the chance to stop Hanson earlier but O’Neill assures her that she did the right thing and that killing him would’ve been wrong. Daniel dials the Gate and they head home while the natives look on under the now orange sky.
I’ve never really been the biggest fan of this episode, not because it’s bad but because it’s always been a bit slow for me but it does have a good story behind it. The main focus of the episode is showing what the Goa’uld are like but this time with it being a human who has taken on the persona of a god and forced the natives into servitude but this time using the Christian Bible as the source of his power rather than Ancient Egyptian mythology.
It also functions mildly as a criticism of US policy towards serving troops and veterans with the mental issues and conditions of both groups being ignored as it’s easier to put it down to the job rather than properly screen them, with Hanson’s clear delusions and megalomania previously overlooked and instead put in command of an SG team with deadly consequences.
· For a planet with a deadly sun the natives don’t seem that much of a fan of wearing clothes.
· The fact the second device works still is fairly convenient don’t you think?
Quote of the episode: “Hey, how’re ya doing? You know we’d love to stick around but some braindead sycophant left my buddy out here to die so we’re out of here” – O’Neill