So after 1 year, 3 months, and 16 days we’ve finally reached the end of the show.

Now onto the movies for the next two weeks.

Dominion

Synopsis

We begin off-world with Vala in a tavern playing an unknown card game, playing a man for his cargo ship. Despite the improbably odds she wins the bet only to be caught cheating in the process. While Vala first tries to talk her way out of it Adria appears and disarms the men. The two sit down to have a heart to heart of why Vala is on her own in a tavern, with Vala revealing that after an SG force was ambushed when she had a dream of a Stargate address they began to distrust her as they falsely see her as having been manipulated by Vala. Eventually growing fed with her treatment Vala escapes the base and goes back off-world to restart her life as a smuggler. Feeling sorry for her mother Adria decides to take her on a journey to try out the address Vala thought of but the others refused to believe only to find an SGC task force waiting on the other side. The task force is also then ambushed by Ba’al who takes Adria as a prisoner for himself.

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Prizeless the SG force goes back home with Daniel having to try and explain the situation to an understandably hacked off Vala. It turns out the whole thing was a reuse devised by Vala herself and they’d recorded a message beforehand to explain it. Vala tells herself that she’d agreed to have her memories altered so that they could fool Adria into a trap, with the Stargate addresses she’d “dreamt up” being part of the fakery. The loss of Adria however leaves them in a bit of a rut until Agent Barrett returns with information of a clone meeting off-world, only for the team to find everyone dead from symbiote poison including a dozen Ba’al clones. The story is confirmed by a lone surviving Ba’al Jaffa who uses Tretonin.

On board Ba’al’s Ha’tak the two adversaries verbally spar before Ba’al reveals his plans for Adria, implantation with a Goa’uld symbiote to seize control of her armies. SG-1 via the Odyssey soon arrives to try and stop Ba’al and hijack Adria for their own plans only to find they’re too late and that Adria is now host to one of the Ba’als. Ba’al initially tries to bargain for staying in Adria’s body but the team refuse, instead calling in the Tok’ra to remove Ba’al from Adria and kill the symbiote while replacing it with a Tok’ra one. The plan goes wrong however with Ba’al releasing a toxin into the body that’s slowly killing Adria, leading to a recommendation of artificially upping the dose to allow a quick death. As they attempt to up the dose however Adria awakens and knocks out everyone in the room but Vala before sealing the room. Adria reveals to her mother that she can’t die yet as she needs time to ascend.

The rest of the team attempts to break into the room but Adria uses her powers to delay them from getting through the doors. By the time they make it in Adria’s fully ascended, the team once again having missed the chance to deal a fatal blow to their enemy.

Analysis

So here we come to the end of the major faces of the bad guys as far as the series goes, a final bow out from both Ba’al and the Goa’uld along with Adria for the Ori and it’s a pretty good one.

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One of the great parts of the episode is the bait and switch of the first 15 minutes. It really does play it straight that Vala was ostracised by the team, made all the more believable by the using of the IOA once more as the boogeyman with them getting in the way and wanting to lock Vala in Area 51 much like they’ve attempted to do in the past. This of course is all aided once again by the excellent acting on display that really does sell the betrayal of the others for the longest believable time. As per usual however this whole aspect ends up going tits up with Ba’al making his appearance soon after, correctly predicting and then reacting to the team’s plan. Once Vala returns to the SGC this leads to one of the most memorable appearances of the character where she ends up having a conversation with herself via the computer. It’s a delightful little sequence that sees her go through all her usual emotions of mocking and flair, using the opportunity to try and claim a pay rise on top of her actual plan, combined with yet more of driving Daniel up the wall.

Ba’al’s part of the episode however feels relatively squeezed in, as though it wasn’t initially part of the plan but was forced in due to the cancellation situation. As usual however the classic showman villain is there, grinning like a Cheshire cat as he explains to Adria what’s about to happen now that’s he’s beaten the others. Baccarin later on does a great impression as the Ba’al controlled Adria that does match the mannerisms of Simon with those same sly smiles and pomposity. It feels however too short to do the character justice however, with him appearing and then flash, removed completely as we move into the final act of the piece. For such a longtime villain it’s a pretty shallow final appearance that is thankfully resolved by the second TV movie but if we hadn’t gotten that I’d probably feel more bitter about this.

Finally we have Adria and while the episode together is rather good how the story handles Adria is once again the team catching the stupidity curse. I don’t know why but the show recently has had this habit of overcomplicating things when they could instead just deal with it much simpler. In this case they decide to at first try a plan to keep Adria alive and somehow convince her to turn back even though it’s failed up till now. They had the perfect opportunity to just kill her but missed it because of complexity. For a show that is normally so good at simple plans to get the job done it’s so annoying to watch them crux themselves for no reason but “plot”. Despite the issues with the plot though the Mother-Daughter stuff is still interesting to watch given the complexity and issues there so it’s not a complete waste.

Overall an episode that is great with the character moments and has an interesting little twist but drops the plot ball in the final act.

Assorted Musings

· Ba’al kills himself quite a lot it seems.

· Oh look the Tok’ra, remember them?

 

Quote of the episode: “And you’re probably thinking everyone around you has gone completely…wonko. With the exception of Daniel who, let’s face it, was always a little bit…”

“Vala!” – Vala and Daniel

Unending

Synopsis

The team are passing the time on the Odyssey, heading for the Asgard’s current homeworld with Landry also on board, with Mitchell and Teal’c sparring while Vala continues to drive Daniel up the wall. They soon arrive however where they are soon met by Thor who explains that the Asgard want to give the Tau’ri the sum of their collected knowledge as the Asgard have hit a final dead-end with their cloning tech and will soon die out forever, with the Asgard choosing mass suicide as opposed to dying out slowly to avoid someone finding their technology. Before Thor leaves after installing the Asgard’s knowledge base he speaks with Carter, acknowledging that the Tau’ri have become the Fifth Race.

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The farewells are cut short however when multiple Ori warships arrive, having tracked the Odyssey to the Asgard. The Asgard’s mass suicide however evens the odds when the destruction of their planet takes out two of the enemy vessels leaving only one left. Using the newly installed Asgard weaponry the Odyssey easily cuts through the Ori shields and takes out the warship. Believing the fight to be over the Odyssey heads back for the Milky Way only to find that whenever they drop out of hyperspace the Ori are able to quickly deploy vessels to their location as well. Fearing a connection the team attempt to decouple the new Asgard core from the ship but this forces them to drop out of hyperspace and hold their ground as long as possible. The attempts to do this fail however forcing Landry to order them to prepare the ship for self-destruct if they can’t decouple the core on the next try.

As they reach their destination the ship beams all personnel but the team and Landry to the surface and attempts to hold the Ori at bay. This as expected goes badly wrong as the ship’s shields are quickly depleted. Just as the Ori close in to destroy the vessel the team find that Carter has managed to set up a time-dilation field around the ship that’ll keep the deadly blast at bay while Carter attempts to build a “phase-shifting” device that’ll allow the ship to move out of phase and flee to safety. The rest of the group however are upset when Carter says this could take months to accomplish. The team attempt to settle in for the long-haul as best as possible, especially when they find out Carter’s initial plan won’t work as intended.

As the weeks turn to months most of the team undergo personal changes of their own in the confined space they now occupy with Mitchell unable to cope with being pent up, Landry creating a small garden, and Carter deciding to learn to play the Cello. The most intimate change of all however is that of Daniel and Vala who end up dealing with their thing and start a romantic relationship.

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Soon the months turn to years and the members of the team soon succumb to issues of being trapped in the ship for who knows how long but still stick together and try to keep going as they celebrate multiple holidays and celebrations over the course of their voyage. Soon however the years begin to pile on and two decades later Landry begins to feel the effects, finding himself increasingly bedridden as a result. Later the general succumbs to the effects of age and passes away leaving SG-1 to carry on as best as possible.

Eventually the 20 years turns into 50 and the ship ends up being an old folks home. One day at mealtime during a discussion that suggests Mitchell is suffering from memory issues Carter reveals that she finally found a solution to their predicament but they no longer have the power needed to do it. As Carter’s laughs at the irony of the situation Mitchell realises that they can use the energy from the Ori beam outside to power a reverse time effect that’d undo the time-dilation and send them back to just before the ship is forced into their situation but to stop history just repeating itself someone needs to stay and be sent back. Teal’c, given his Jaffa constitution, agrees to go back as it will have little effect on his life as he can still live many more decades. Before the plan goes ahead Vala and Daniel share a touching farewell.

The time-dilation plan is soon put into effect and Teal’c is sent back in time to just before the original field is created as planned, giving Carter the solution her older self came up with which allows the team to escape with all the Asgard’s knowledge. Soon back at the SGC Vala proceeds to pester an amused Teal’c as she tries to guess what happened, asking who she “hooked up with” and listing all possibilities but Daniel. They’re interrupted however as the team prepares to venture out once more, with the team sharing “Asgard Knowledge” of common idioms for fun while they wait for the Stargate to finish dialling. As it finishes dialling the team head out on their latest mission.

Analysis

So here we are at the end of it all with the finale of season 10 and here the show decides to go back to what made it so good with a 45 minute episode where we watch the team live a life they’ll never remember.

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Before we get to the slow character stuff however we pay a fond farewell to the Asgard. These small grey aliens had been one of the show’s most formidable allies and friends of the team over the years, with Thor and others helping get them out of a jam when needed. Unfortunately however their long-running issues with their own cloning processes have finally hit a narrative dud and, combined with the ending of the series as a whole, this was a good time for it to end as a race to be honest. The last time they appeared was at the end of season 9 in the trouncing at the hands of the Ori as the show didn’t know what to do with them now the Goa’uld were dealt with. Instead of just dying off however or being forgotten by the show they go out in a blaze of glory destroying two Ori warships with them.

Then we get onto the really good stuff featuring the team trapped on the Odyssey for 50 years and this was the best decision the show could’ve made for a finale. The show has always been at its best when it focuses on the characters and what makes them tick and that’s usually only a few minutes worth of story per episode. Here however we get nearly an entire episode’s worth and nearly all of it is great. The story puts a realistic emphasis throughout on the team struggling to cope with their seemingly endless situation in ways that feel believable for the characters such as Daniel and Carter exercising their minds, Mitchell feeling the itch to keep running, and Vala relying on others to help anchor her down.

While all the character changes are good, though Teal’c is a bit underrepresented, the best is easily Vala and Daniel’s relationship that is established in the episode pretty soon after they’re trapped. Daniel’s rant about Vala and his own issues is both humorous and touching as he finally stops bottling up his lingering issues regarding Sha’re and her death as well as talking about all the problems he’s had with Vala so far that he kept hidden out of being a good friend. Likewise Vala finally breaks down the “act” she had going to tease Daniel and reveals the actual truth of her feelings for four-eyes. The slow montages that follow show the smaller moments they both share such as Christmas aboard the ship and growing into being an actual old married couple rather than just sounding like one. For a show that has avoided showing these sort of pairings for many seasons now so explicitly it’s a nice piece of fanservice.

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Obviously however there is the one weakness of this episode and that’s the old person makeup. I know they’re meant to be 50 years in the future but they look practically dead.

Finally after Carter as usual finds some timey-wimey way of getting out of the situation and the team get back to the SGC for a final sequence that sees everyone so obviously on the verge of tears as it was the final shot they ever did for the show and it really is heartfelt in that they didn’t try to hide the emotional send off like others have done over the years. In many ways it’s the perfect end to the series. There’s no final big mission or last hurrah but instead the team continuing their mission ever onwards.

A great episode, a great sendoff, a great show.

Assorted Musings

· Look at the cast all misty-eyed at the end there.

· I’m not crying, you’re crying!

 

Quote of the episode: “I’m going to go crazy and I’m taking you with me.” – Vala