Today the team face some party crashers and also face the danger of the fourth wall.

Uninvited

Synopsis

Landry is hosting a get together at O’Neill’s old cabin for the team with Mitchell managing to arrive on time only to be told that the rest of the team are going to be late for a variety of reasons with Teal’c offworld assisting SG-3 hunt down a creature that’s tearing people limb from limb, Vala and Carter still at the SGC, and Daniel in the UK researching the Ori. Those at the SGC decide to stay longer to sort out the monster issue, with Vala trying to get Teal’c to help sell it on the open market.

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SGs 3 and 25 head back offworld with the SGC’s resident aliens Teal’c and Vala to try and find out just what is doing the killing, only for SG-25 to be almost slaughtered in an attack by the creature. When Vala retreats to get backup from the SGC, soon joined by Teal’c who’d been looking for her, she’s attacked by the beast which the pair of them manage to kill.

At the cabin retreat Mitchell is still uncomfortable around Landry, not used to the idea of fraternisation with superior officers off-duty, but begins to open up about his issues with the SGC and his own problems trying to fit in. After they both turn in for the night they almost shoot each other when woken by what they feared was strange noises outside and come morning find themselves stranded due to the bad weather having blocked the way out. Landry decides to fill the time by going bird-watching in the nearby forest while Mitchell goes for a run only to come across a panicked hunter who’d been attacked by a creature and whose friend was killed by it.

Still cutoff from the cabin the rest of SG-1 decide to wait at the SGC and watch the autopsy of the creature they’d killed, only for a giant leech creature to crawl out from it. The autopsy concludes that the actual creature used to be a little marsupial and that the leech likely caused it. Another SG team returns from offworld to find that they’d been attacked by a similar creature on another planet from the first attacks, pinpointing that the cause of the creatures seems to be SGC in origin. Carter is able to pinpoint the source of the leeches to the Sodan Cloaking Device.

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At the cabin the road is finally reopened to make way for the police but also unfortunately the makeshift militia of hunters in the area. Mitchell and Landry decide to lend a hand in the woods, with Landry revealing his history of having to evade North Vietnamese troops after being shot down while a pilot. Their stories are cut short however when the creature attacks and kills another hunter. Eventually the hunters are able to catch something, a Trust Operative with the missing Sodan Cloaking Device from Area 51.

The rest of SG-1 head to the cabin after the discovery of the Operative and fears that there’s still a creature on the loose, proved to exist when the Sheriff is mauled to death just outside the cabin. Along with several other SG teams they begin to search the park for the creature. Eventually, in the middle of the night, they manage to kill two creatures who attack the group and believe it’s the end of it. The team finally begin their get together at the cabin, with even Landry joining in a game of poker.

Analysis

I do like this episode even with its flaws as it does something that the show has largely avoided over the years but have started exploring more over the Ori saga which is that the entire episode situation is caused by the SGC themselves. Most of the time the show is very quick to find some way to blame something for what has happened, a Goa’uld experiment perhaps or maybe rowdy locals. Even the discovery of the Ori is partly the Ancient’s fault given how they didn’t destroy or leave a warning about the Ancient Communications interface. Here however the fault is admitted to be all down to the fault of the SGC, having decided to play around with the Sodan Cloaks simply because they thought they knew better than the Sodan. It’s fun to watch the show admit that maybe intervening all the time has slightly gone to their heads, with the result being that maybe they don’t always know best but sadly think they do (a trap many sci-fi shows have fallen into but never gotten out of).

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This placement also works as a good way to explain why an all powerful McGuffin can’t be used by the team to solve lots of problems. The show has recently used “getting destroyed in the very next episode” as a reason to say why something can’t be used again after it saved the day once but this statement that the Cloak is poisonous and even the fix makes it dangerous feels more believable than it either getting blown up or left at Area 51 for all of time. It joins other good McGuffin killers on the show such as the power armbands eventually being seen as a virus and rejected by the body and the recall device blocking use of Goa’uld ships both seen back in season 4.

The episode also serves to give some more depth to Landry as a character. Up until now the new commander of the SGC hasn’t really been explored as a person all that much, with the only real facts we know about him being his love of quoting people and that his daughter is the very rarely seen chief surgeon at the SGC. Now however we see that despite the job he doesn’t particularly enjoy using violence as a result of his experience of being the one hunted in the Vietnam War and that he enjoys relaxing as much as possible in fairly laidback activities outside the office. It’s still a shame however this has come about a season late as by now he’s not really had much airtime compared to previous leaders of the base as they never gave him something to do.

Overall Uninvited is a relatively fun little episode that largely exists to explain away the Sodan Cloaking Device’s non-use by the team. It does however also add much-needed backstory to Landry who has been a blank slate up to now though sadly not enough to give him more depth at this point.

Assorted Musings

· With even the US Army getting an SG team now they missed a trick not having more international ones, like a Royal Marines Commando or French Foreign Legion team.

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· That drumbeat when someone other than the commander finally sits in The Chair.

 

Quote of the episode: “It is ironic that not so long ago the mere presence of a Goa’uld on Earth have been cause for great concern.”

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“Seriously who’d ever think that we’d have bigger fish to fry, or that you’d use the word “ironic” in a sentence.”

“Indeed.” – Teal’c and Carter

200

Synopsis

We begin with the team finally meeting the fourth of the Alliance of Great Races, the Furlings, only for the planet to immediately come under attack from the Goa’uld and be destroyed. It turns out however this is an elaborate opening for the Wormhole X-Treme film, Martin Lloyd’s next big project, and the team have been made “technical advisors” on the thing against their will. Not happy with the current draft the team begin suggesting their own ideas for the show with Mitchell suggesting a zombie apocalypse on the base and Vala ripping off both Wizard of Oz and Farscape while Carter suggests the fun “incident” from their own adventures with the time O’Neill was invisible. Instead Martin continues with his terrible ideas, such as an impossible escape from the Goa’uld (which they don’t even show), ripping off Star Trek, and the mountain itself blowing up.

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The episode then shows a pilot for Stargate Universe, a version that’s younger and edgier with lots of sex and gunfire. To pass the time the rest of the team decide to take the mickey out of Mitchell by implying that O’Neill got Mitchell’s mum pregnant during 1969. When Martin returns to reveal that the actors are holding out for better pay they instead suggest he does a Team America version. Soon after O’Neill shows up in a twist everyone saw coming, making time for Teal’c to suggest his own detective show to Martin. It turns out O’Neill has largely showed up because he misses the place (though won’t admit it) but suggests the film ends with the team going fishing. Vala has another shot by suggesting finishing the film with the wedding of a certain leading couple on the show. Before the session can go any further it’s revealed that the Gate is finally repaired, with everyone going to celebrate Mitchell’s 200th trip through the Gate with even Harriman going thereby revealing it’s another fiction. Martin however reveals that Wormhole X-Treme has suddenly been renewed.

To finish we cut to the filming of the 10th season and 200th episode of Wormhole X-Treme, with the cast revealing to the camera some of the concerns over the year where Martin pats himself on the back for writing it, Fake Tapping wanting to direct an episode of the show or have a baby, Fake Shanks glad the writers brought him back after quitting the show didn’t work out for him, and Fake Browder overemphasising his ability to swear so they’d “forget” about Fake RDA. The episode closes out with Fake Judge talking about the importance of Science-Fiction as a genre and quoting Isaac Asimov.

Analysis

So here we are, the 200th episode and what a brilliant thing to watch. This is definitely one of the things I look forward to every time I watch through the show as it’s just a non-stop love-in of the show’s history and TV Sci-Fi in general. From niche shows like Farscape and Firefly to big shows like Star Trek the whole of the genre ends up getting the piss taken out of it in a fun and friendly way as they point out the glaring holes in common plots and techniques that get taken advantage of by writers.

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The way the episode is structured into all these loose vignettes that are just a mix of the insane to downright ridiculous are also a real joy to watch as the characters place their reactions on them, with the overuse of zombies getting redflagged while the idea of just blowing up the base for the awe factor of a trailer also lambasted. The small touches in some of these vignettes make them works of genius to watch again and again, with the puppet strings being removed if you go through the Gate or the teen-schlock dialogue of totally not what Stargate Universe ended up being.

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It’s funny how some of the things they do mock ended up being the biggest criticisms of the third Stargate show.

One of the best parts has to be the ending 5 minutes, which doesn’t really have anything to do with Stargate at all really but the show within the show where the “cast” instead just make comments about the cast of the real show in a long series of interviews. Not even the real-world cast are able to avoid the ribbing of the 200th episode with several quite disparaging in any other circumstances judgements about each member of the cast being made such as Michael Shanks’ decision to quit during season 5 getting shown as a failed career move or Amanda Tapping wanting to do more behind the camera being an uncaring decision to sabotage production almost.

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Overall this comedic and somewhat self-parodying tone avoids the common pitfall of grand milestone episodes turning into too much of an egorub for the show which can sometimes come across as smug rather than celebratory. I mean what other show would include a scene that was deliberately mocking the fact they referenced a race in a single line in season one and then make the parody opening about them.

In the end the episode is the perfect way to send up 10 years of a beloved show that never took itself too seriously. It’s funny and endearing to watch, especially given how the show was cancelled soon after, as all the cast and crew just have fun with everything they’ve built over the years and that’s what you want this sort of thing to be, fun for everyone.

Apart from Jonas Quinn, he isn’t here.

Assorted Musings

· Dogs driving cars? Now they’ve gone too far!

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· I love how they got RDA in to play himself as invisible.

· That terrible film “points in space” drawing.

· The fact that the O’Neill showing up was actually spoilt in the trailer for this episode.

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· I still think to this day Teal’c PI should be a real show.

 

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Quote of the episode: “Science fiction is an existential metaphor that allows us to tell stories about the human condition. Isaac Asimov once said, “Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.” – Grell, the Robot