A later than normal two episodes today but it has been a rather unusual couple of days here in Blighty. Out of the two episodes we have one where Teal’c turns into the fly and another where Daniel has to help someone give birth yet again.

Secrets

Synopsis

The episode begins with the team having re-established contact with Abydos exactly one year from the pilot as agreed, with Daniel and Teal’c heading there to update them on the fate of Sha’re and Skaara while O’Neill and Carter have to attend a medal ceremony with the President of the United States. On arrival they talk with Kasuf, Sha’re’s father, that they haven’t found her but Kasuf leads them to the village where they find a heavily pregnant Sha’re. Sha’re reveals that, while she is still possessed by the Goa’uld Amaunet, she has returned to herself as the child would die if controlled by the Goa’uld and that the child is Apophis’. Unable to deal with this turn of events Daniel walks out.

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Meanwhile in Washington O’Neill and Carter are at the social before the medal giving but are surprised that Hammond is there with Carter’s father, Jacob, who is a general in the Air Force. Despite being proud of her getting the Air Medal he is clearly dismissive of their cover careers of ‘deep space telemetry’ and instead reveals his true purpose there, that he has pulled strings to get Carter into NASA. Carter clearly doesn’t want to go given her job at the SGC but unable to tell her father the conversation gets ugly as she rejects his offer, clearly hinting at a troubled relationship with him.

Back on Abydos Teal’c, who is recognised by Sha’re not as her captor but as the Shol’va, tries to convince Daniel of the fate that not only awaits the child but also that of Sha’re and puts forward the idea of taking her to Earth. Daniel angrily rejects this, knowing she’d be the NIDs plaything but agrees when Teal’c compares it to the alternative of leaving her at the hands of Apophis. Daniel and Sha’re share a moment before heading back to the Gate with Kasuf’s blessing.

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At a bar in D.C O’Neill is confronted by a journalist who has managed to find out about the Stargate from a source but has also recorded O’Neill and Carter talking about the Stargate Program. O’Neill tries to dismiss the conversation as misunderstanding and leaves. He confronts Hammmond about this and they both agree they have a serious problem. They, along with Carter, discuss the potential fallout of disclosing the Gate and agree that the leak is likely politically motivated rather than an errant member of the SGC.

At the temple on Abydos Teal’c, Daniel, and Sha’re attempt to leave but a ship lands on the temple. Amaunet however suddenly takes over and loses control again, causing her to go into labour. This prevents them dialling in time before a landing party arrives, headed by Heru’ur, who have come for Amaunet. They hide in a cave, with Daniel staying to look after Sha’re while Teal’c goes to keep the Jaffa away, with him saving Kasuf in the process.

O’Neill meets with the journalist to find out more of what he knows. The journalist, clearly obsessed with how it’ll effect his career, reveals that he knows extensive details including about SG-1, Apophis’ attack on Earth, and their standing orders. O’Neill starts to leave to plan what to do next. However as he walks up the steps he notices a speeding car that hits and badly injures the journalist, who before dying accuses O’Neill of having him killed. Carter meets with her father again who reveals he has cancer, with his string pulling being him wanting to see his daughter fulfil her childhood dream of being an astronaut. Still bound by her job she tearfully rejects his offer again, causing Jacob to walk out.

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Back in the cave Sha’re has almost given birth to the child, with Daniel encouraging her to give birth despite her desire to not leave again. At the moment of birth however Amaunet takes over again while a Jaffa walks in with both demanding the child. The Jaffa zats Amaunet before revealing himself to be Teal’c, thereby providing a way for them to hide the child who they place in the care of Kasuf.

At the SGC Hammond is performing the medal ceremony, as the President had to pull out, with O’Neill and Carter. After everyone but O’Neill leaves Hammond tries to assure him that the journalist’s death was an accident but neither really seem to believe it entirely.

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In the temple Teal’c, once again in full armour, brings Daniel before Heru’ur to discuss an alliance against Apophis, something Heru’ur laughs down. The Gate begins to dial with the 2 guards and Teal’c flanking the Gate but Teal’c manages to take both of them out but is injured in the process. O’Neill, confronting a shielded Heru’ur, finally tests his ‘slower moving object’ theory from The Nox and throws his knife at him, which passes through and impales his hand before he rings away. Before they can celebrate however Apophis then dials in, forcing them to hide. Amaunet walks in, returning to Apophis and relays the lie that Heru’ur took the child, and proceeds to leave with him. Amaunet however sees Teal’c and Daniel hiding but doesn’t give them away for unknown reasons. O’Neill asks if Daniel is ok, who replies that he isn’t but will be.

Analysis

The two plots of this episode together largely exist to set up the rest of the season, with the Carter and her dad plot setting up the mid-season two parter The Tok’ra and the Daniel plot setting up the multi-season arc of the ‘Harcesis’ child.

For me the Daniel plot is fairly boring in nature, largely being relegated to just ‘Sha’re giving birth’ and allowing them to have a moment as wife and husband before it goes back to Goa’uld domination which is nice but largely falls flat for me as Sha’re as a character is one who never really appears (like many from the film) and therefore there is little emotional connection, especially with ‘Goa’uld possessing my partner’ isn’t something many can sympathise with.

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The Carter plot on the otherhand is much more relatable to the audience with arguments with parents being something most can relate too. It also lays the groundworks for Jacob Carter’s introduction and placement in the series with him nearing death via cancer and wanting to patch things up with his daughter before he passes.

Finally we have a much smaller subplot which is the journalist angle, which plays to the fears of government conspiracy many have, with the slightly self-interested journalist dying in a suspicious car accident moments after telling O’Neill he’s going to publish the story no matter what. The episode itself suggests the leak may have been political so I wouldn’t put it past someone like the NID first leaking and then killing him to show the SGC the power they have.

Overall a small little episode that functions mainly to lay the path of the show in both the short and long term and not much else.

Assorted Musings

· I do love how they skip over any semblance of Sha’re’s agency or what planning is needed to go back to Earth with Kasuf just going ‘she’s my daughter, she’ll do what I tell her’.

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· With how Jacob is portrayed in this episode and the rest of the series it does undermine his backstory of trouble with family somewhat when he’s such a nice guy.

· That little insult about the film with Kurt Russell’s O’Neil having no sense of humour was a nice little fourth wall breaking.

Quote of the episode: “Alright if you’re gonna go ahead with it, I want make sure you get one thing right. It’s O’Neill. With 2 L’s. There’s another Colonel O’Neil with only one L - he has no sense of humour at all.” – O’Neill

Bane

Synopsis

The episode begins off-world on a seemingly recently abandoned world. The team wonder what the cause could be but are suddenly interrupted when a mosquito like creature lands on Teal’c’s back, which O’Neill tries to shoot, and is stung by it before it flies off. A swarm of the creatures appear forcing the team to run for the Gate. In the infirmary Teal’c, whose symbiote normally helps with wounds, is getting worse by the minute. After analysing the wound Fraiser not only confirms that the symbiote isn’t working but that also DNA from the insect is in his blood.

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Hammond, on Carter’s advice, invites a civilian expert, Dr Harlow, onto the base to help work out what’s happening. Quickly they find that the original sample of Teal’c’s blood has seen all his DNA converted to that of the creature and that the symbiote is only slowing the process, not stopping it. At the same time O’Neill tries to provide Teal’c with company who states that he’d rather die than become whatever the change is turning him into. O’Neill is called into the briefing room to meet with Hammond who also reveals the presence of Harold Maybourne, an NID officer, who wants to take Teal’c to a lab to be studied, with Carter finding that it was Harlow who informed the NID in the first place.

Maybourne and Harlow have Teal’c placed in a biohazard and chains and transported off-base. However while in the truck Teal’c suffers a painful reaction and breaks out of his restraints and subdues everyone on the truck, before removing his symbiote and running into the woods. The others make it to the truck and grab the symbiote before it takes anyone as host, taking the others back to the SGC. O’Neill uses the opportunity to take charge of the search for Teal’c so that they can help their friend. Carter and Fraiser meanwhile are struggling to keep the symbiote alive as they don’t know why it’s dying.

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In the command room O’Neill, Daniel, and Hammond are setting up the search when Teal’c gets back in touch via the radio, only telling them to stay away before abandoning it to run away. Teal’c makes it to Colorado Springs and hides in an abandoned building, with his condition is already worsening. While it gets worse one of the local kids, a young girl, finds him and tries to help him, with her keeping his location a secret and bringing him something to eat.

At the SGC the rest of SG-1 for the moment decide to go back to the planet to get a sample of the insect’s DNA and venom so that Harlow, who they trust to help them, can work to find a drug to reverse the effects. The team make it back with one of the bugs following and they manage to secure it for study. The team show footage to Hammond and Harlow of a human resident of the planet in a cocoon from which many of the insects suddenly burst out of, hurrying the search for Teal’c if only to stop the planet quickly being overrun, with Hammond able to get the police to report to them rather than the NID.

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In Colorado Springs NID troops find and start searching the house where Teal’c and the girl are but are only able to find her. When questioned however she expresses disdain for Maybourne and keeps Teal’cs presence a secret. Upon return however she finds Teal’c is now in a cocoon like state.

At the SGC Carter and Fraiser are trying to figure out why Teal’c’s symbiote is dying as they aren’t able to find a solution. O’Neill decides to quip about using a defib ‘like you see on ER’ and they realise that they need to introduce a small electric current similar to the one in the human body to keep it alive. After it works and O’Neill basks in his glory he receives a call from the girl who informs him of Teal’c’s location. An SGC team is able to retrieve him and bring him back to the SGC where his symbiote is reintroduced and is able to reverse the effects of the insect. Harlow, aware of what the NID could do with the specimen, sadly tells them that the specimen and data will be destroyed in a ‘lab accident’ after Teal’c recovers so that they can’t use it.

A few weeks later Teal’c returns to the abandoned house with Daniel to find the girl and give her a new water gun to thank her. Teal’c, using her old one, decides to play in the old house using Daniel as a target to his dismay.

Analysis

This is more of a standard run of the mill episode for the show, with the main theme being a race between the NID and the SGC to find Teal’c and study or save him respectively. As a result much of the episode is a power play with Maybourne on one side and O’Neill on the other.

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Other than that there’s a smaller angle focusing on how those outside the SGC bubble are effected by their actions, with both a civilian scientist and a child dragged into the previously mentioned race between the two, with the child being able to immediately work out who the ‘good guys’ are due to her street smarts while the scientist is oblivious to the NID’s true nature until he sees it first hand.

Overall a good episode that doesn’t break the mould but at least tries to a thriller angle to the show that for once sees Teal’c as a victim of circumstance rather than as the person who usually gets away unscathed.

Assorted Musings

· Even a child can see through Maybourne’s act. His face when she says he smells funny is something to behold.

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· I think this is the only time on the show that O’Neill’s science solution actually works.

Quote of the episode: “Sir, request permission to beat the crap out of this man.” – O’Neill