And here we are, having finally made it to celebratory episode number 100.

Desperate Measures

Synopsis

The episode begins with a Russian truck passing through the countryside only to be stopped by another group of troops. While this initially appears to have been nothing more than a security check it turns out to be an ambush, with the soldiers in the truck quickly being eliminated and the other group taking their prize, a Jaffa prisoner. At around the same time in the United States and unmarked van filled with men in black abduct Carter as she’s going to her car outside a gym, with a nearby homeless man witnessing the event. During a following search O’Neill is able to bribe the homeless man for information with a promise of National Geographic magazines.

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O’Neill, with no other sources, decides to make contact with the one man he wished he’d never have to talk to again, Harold Maybourne, by leaving a message on one of the forums NID agents use to communicate. They run into each other at the homeless man’s hideout when O’Neill drops off his magazines. While Maybourne doesn’t have any specifics he points them towards ‘User 4574’, also known as Col. Simmons, as having more information. This once again hits a dead-end, with Simmons throwing out the old spiel of the usefulness of the NID but does link Maybourne to Carter’s disappearance through a major money transfer for services unknown.

Back at the SGC they run the new information through the database and also link it to Adrian Conrad via his business interests. It turns out that Conrad is interested in the Stargate Program, having bought information and a symbiote from Maybourne and a bunch of rogue Russian Army troops. O’Neill moves in on Conrad’s assistant, only to capture a surprised Maybourne who was also following the Conrad lead to find Carter’s location. Maybourne denies any involvement in the Carter kidnapping, having thought that the symbiote would be used for medical study alone (plus he was getting paid for the good work). The two of them break into the office of the Doctor who made the pickup to find that Adrian Conrad is dying.

Elsewhere Carter is put under a series of tests by unknown individuals. The Major attempts an escape from the facility when left alone but gets lost inside the facility’s maze like structure only to run into the man who had her captured, an incredibly ill Adrian Conrad. It turns out that the doctors know that placing the symbiote within Conrad will leave him controlled towards the Goa’uld but they believe Carter knows of a way to remove the symbiote once it heals someone, which isn’t the case. Nevertheless they go through with implantation and decide to keep Conrad contained until they can remove it, also deciding to cut Carter open to seek the answers they need.

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Having worked out the location Carter is held at, an old dilapidated hospital, Teal’c and Daniel meet up with O’Neill and Maybourne to rescue their colleague. The four of them move in to search the facility, dealing with the guards along the way, with O’Neill and Maybourne managing to stop the doctors just before they operate on Carter. Teal’c and Daniel on the otherhand find Conrad’s assistant dead and the now Goa’uld Conrad has escaped. O’Neill and Carter decide to head out to support the others while Maybourne promises to watch the doctors, later restraining the doctors and escaping himself when the others leave having kept his promise to save Carter. O’Neill heads into the sublevels and manages to stop Conrad before being shot by an unseen assailant, revealed to be Simmons who extracts Conrad to use for his own ends.

After recovering at the SGC O’Neill is adamant that it was Maybourne who betrayed him, with the others not so sure of anything other than a Goa’uld is likely loose on Earth. At an unknown facility Simmons begins negotiating with the Goa’uld for unknown information.

Analysis

So here we are again with a new villain being introduced to the franchise. Now to the mix of camp aliens and the Russkies we now have big business to contend with. Seriously it seems the closer you are geographically to Cheyenne Mountain the more untrustworthy as an ally you become, with only the Asgard in a distant galaxy being the only ones so far not to stab the SGC in the back.

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Here we also see the return of Harold Maybourne, once again using his advanced knowledge to inadvertently ruin SG-1s day. This time it’s due to him selling a symbiote to an American conglomerate, thinking it’d just be used to get a headstart in the medical field. Instead it’s used to make Carter’s day shit and turn a dying, desperate man into yet another major threat. However, as testament to his growth as a character, Maybourne repeatedly goes out of his way, and the law, to help out the team to rescue Carter, knowing he’s largely responsible for her current predicament. This however doesn’t stop him slipping away once the Major is rescued, having cleared his conscience to a suitable level.

Sadly other enemies are largely wasted, with both new enemy Conrad largely restrained to a table and Simmons being in one scene only to re-emerge at the end of the episode to put two in O’Neill’s back. They could’ve had some more interesting parts but most of the episode it seems was devoted to it being this search for Carter as opposed to fleshing out the characters involved.

Overall however it’s a decent episode, make quite watchable by O’Neill and Maybourne’s continued friendship/rivalry.

Assorted Musings

· Daniel turns so fucking slow when he zats the guards that he should’ve been overpowered really easy.

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· This hospital seems more like a creepy old manor than a former place of care.

Quote of the episode: “I played a lot of hide and seek as a kid. I could always find anyone, anywhere, but they could never find me.”

“Because they didn’t want to.” – Maybourne and O’Neill

Wormhole X-Treme!

Synopsis

We begin with a shot of a spaceship waking up in Martian orbit and starting to move towards Earth. At the SGC they learn that the ship must be related to the pod that Martin, the strange Alien from Point of No Return, and they decide to find him. It turns out however that Martin has come up with an idea for a TV show about a four-person military team heading to other planets via a giant disk and it’s now in production. This show is called “Wormhole X-Treme!”. The team witness a trailer for the new show and laugh at the obvious parodies of themselves, with O’Neill incredibly violent, Daniel a massive pacifist, Carter as someone who speaks technobabble, and Teal’c as a silent giant robot. Hammond confirms that the Air Force is happy with the show going forward as it’ll act as cover if anyone tries to reveal the actual Stargate Program, that is if it manages to stay on the air.

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O’Neill heads to the studio where they’re filming the show, under the guise of an Air Force consultant, to find that Martin doesn’t remember him and that he’s once again being fed memory altering meds. Instead O’Neill ends up getting involved onsite in having to deal with the petty squabbles between management and the actors over what they see as stupid decisions regarding the show. Teal’c is sent to help out O’Neill in keeping tabs on Martin, disguising himself as a cook only to find no one likes his food.

Elsewhere Carter and Daniel keep surveillance on Martin’s house in case any of the other aliens turn up again, finding there are already cameras placed in the house. The two of them are interrupted by the arrival of others who they trace back to a warehouse that’s revealed to be a base for an NID detachment.

Back in Martin’s trailer O’Neill helps the struggling writer go through his script before trying to jog his memory as to what happened last year, which Martin incorrectly assumes is an attempt at a show pitch by the Colonel. Martin is called to set, with O’Neill secretly following, with the two of them captured by Martin’s former crewmates who restore Martin’s memory. The three of them try to find a controller to the alien ship, only to be told it’s on set by the propsmaster who is also unknown to them an NID plant.

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Heading to the set they are once again confronted by Martin’s former crewmates. It turns out that while they initially attempted to get by their former leader was killed by shadowy forces some time previously, leading them to wanting to escape Earth and go somewhere else. O’Neill, feeling sympathy for them knowing they’re likely to become NID test subjects, gives them the controller so that they can escape as they initially wanted.

Analysis

So here we have it, the celebratory 100th episode and what could’ve been an annoyingly smug love-in was instead made into a wonderfully fun in-joke laden romp through a somehow even more campy fake version of the show.

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Right from the get go no one controlling or in front of the camera is spared this slight dig from the script, with the actors portrayed as egotistical idiots who generally couldn’t put two and two together and the directors and producers being maddening control freaks who constantly compete with each other when it comes to visuals and direction. In fact by the end of it the only sane people are set seem to be some of the minor staff on the outside.

Outside of this the in-jokes come thick and fast, with characters wondering why they don’t just fall through the floor when out of phase or how the Zat ‘3 shots disintegrate’ rule was a terrible idea that never got used well. In fact the entire idea of Wormhole X-Treme! As a show is one giant in-joke, referencing the fact that for many years and even to this day people still think that the show Stargate SG-1 is actually a cover for secret space travel out of NORAD.

Overall while the show has no real plot outside of the jokes it’s a great way to celebrate the intricate history the show has already created for itself by lightly mocking the last five seasons while celebrating how they even managed to get this far.

Assorted Musings

· During the background of one of the studio shots a fully animated Asgard can be seen surrounded by staff.

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Quote of the episode: “I’m Christian Bocher. I’m portraying the character of Raymond Gunn, who portrays the character of Dr. Levant, which is based on the character Daniel Jackson portrayed by the actor Michael Shanks, originally portrayed by the actor James Spader in the feature film. Are you okay?” – Christian Bocher