Another two episodes today, with a send up of Michael Bay and another of Goa’uld Bin Laden.

 

Fail Safe

Synopsis

 

The episode begin with a lone astronomer trying to phone the local government having discovered a new asteroid on a collision course for Earth but believes he’s being fobbed around by bureaucrats, only to be interrupted by the arrival of unmarked government SUVs. Later at the SGC the team are being briefed regarding what to do about the asteroid, having bribed the astronomer to stay quiet, and try to decide if the Asgard could help, being the only ally still in good condition. Their attempts to get help from the Asgard go badly however after O’Neill causes a diplomatic incident when they continue to throw bureaucratic hurdles in the way of actually doing anything.

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With all of their allies of no help the team instead attempt to salvage what’s left of the crashed Tel’tac from Last Stand and use it as a method of delivery for a bomb to the asteroid while the SGC begin evacuation of key staff to the Alpha Site just in case. The repairs however are success and manage to reach the Solar System with only 210 minutes to complete the mission. On approach to the bombsite however the Tel’tec’s engines fail leaving them approaching with only a few manoeuvring thrusters to help them with it looking like the end for them until they manage to stop just before crashing into the bottom of a deep crater, though the SGC reads this as the ship having crashed and the team having been killed on impact.

While the team now have no way to escape the asteroid they decide to continue the mission anyway, with Teal’c and O’Neill exiting the transport with the bomb. Meanwhile however Carter decides to do digging on just why their approach was so bad, finding that the asteroid isn’t what it appears. Before she can reveal further the asteroid passes through the Asteroid Belt, seeing the ship hit by small meteorites which pierce the hull forcing Daniel and Carter to hide in the escape pods. Worried by the silence Teal’c and O’Neill return, patching up the hull cracks and restarting life support for the others. Upon rescue Carter reveals they need to stop the bomb as the asteroid is made of naquadah, meaning that it must be a Goa’uld attack on Earth, and the bomb will destroy the Earth if it goes off.

Teal’c and O’Neill rush back to stop the bomb but find that the deactivation code no longer works, with the system having been hit during the meteor shower. They instead have to cut the detonator by hand, finding that the dumb idiots who built it made every wire the same forcing them to guess the order in which to cut them which they somehow achieve against all odds. With no options left Carter and Daniel come up with a risky plan of attempting to use the transport’s engines to send the entire asteroid into hyperspace, bypassing Earth all together.

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The team attempt the audacious plan, succeeding in the process, but find themselves now trapped on the clapped out transport. The team are however rescued by a Tok’ra transport, with their ally finally actually responding to requests for help.

 

Analysis

 

If any other show out there had basically copied the plot to the Michael Bay film Armageddon they’d have likely put together a complete cringefest that was agreed was best forgotten by fans as soon as possible. Stargate SG-1 however, much like every other parody or send up it does, is so blunt and ridiculous that it not only makes it work but also work brilliantly.

The plot is stupid and makes no sense but I can’t help but love it because the references and the cast make it work regardless. The idea of a tense moment being based around a bomb being built with a deliberately stupid wiring system or the timer being easy to break makes no sense in a serious show but here, where the joke is that it’s stupid it works great. Also Carter somehow managing to make a giant asteroid warp through the Earth, who cares as long as O’Neill quips about how close it is.

Outside of this much of the story is the usual affair, with Earth’s allies once again not helping, with the Asgard refusing to get involved even though it’s clearly a Goa’uld plot right from the beginning. It’s around this time you start to support O’Neill’s growing distrust of their “friends” given how they keep letting the SGC down when they need them the most, usually for events that would make a good television episode it just so happens.

Overall the episode is a fun and stupid one, with a plot that is “Blockbuster Movie: The Television Show” and the cast just running with it.

 

Assorted Musings

 

· I like how the guy made the discovery yet waited until daylight to phone it in.

· O’Neill once again doing the diplomacy is somehow not immediately a bad idea.

 

Quote of the episode: (O’Neill) “And after that I kinda lost my temper.”

“What exactly does that mean?”

“Let’s just say Jack made a reference to Freyr’s mother.”

“We’ll discuss Colonel O’Neill’s diplomatic shortcomings later” – Hammond and Daniel

 

The Warrior

Synopsis

 

We begin in an encampment off-world where Teal’c and Bra’tac witness a charismatic Jaffa of the name K’tano making a speech to a crowd of ‘free Jaffa’ proclaiming that they will fight the Goa’uld and create a free planet for all. Upon returning to the SGC the two ask for the help of the Tau’ri in helping supply the Jaffa now as they’re both in need for new allies. While the SGC agree to help out O’Neill is more sceptical, well aware that they’ve been burnt in the past by helping others whose offer was too good.

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The group arrive with supplies to the planet, finding that Rak’nor the Jaffa who saved Teal’c from Apophis is there also. While finding that the camp is indeed under-equipped the Jaffa there are kept in good order despite the conditions, training for the fight to come. The human members of the team however feel that the training is too drive, with O’Neill stopping a pair of sparring Jaffa when one almost severely beats the other. The disagreement is interrupted however by the arrival of K’tano, who returns with a bunch of Zats from a raid on Anubis’ forces and a hero’s welcome. While K’tano agrees to an alliance like the others he shows mockery of the Tau’ri weapons compared to theirs (despite the fact they’ve killed hundreds of Jaffa by now at the cost of only a couple of dozen SG personnel to Staff weapons) those this mockery is tempered during a following weapons test.

While both sides agree to the idea of an alliance in principle issues between the two sides quickly develop, principally around the issue of Teal’c. While Teal’c is increasingly entranced by the appeal of K’tano’s forces while O’Neill is increasingly wary of the fanatical ways of K’tano and the utter devotion his followers have in him. This is shown out the following day as K’tano willingly walks into the open during a firefight calling for the enemy Jaffa to surrender though the tactic surprisingly works. Later that day however O’Neill calls off the alliance when he sees K’tano deliberately send a group of Jaffa on a suicide bombing mission without batting an eye, though Teal’c decides to stay with the Jaffa agreeing to carry out an attack on Yu’s homeworld believing the Goa’uld to be weak.

The attack on Yu goes wrong as predicted by O’Neill, with Teal’c being captured and brought to the Goa’uld while all the others are killed. While Yu has the chance to kill Teal’c he instead sets the Jaffa free, telling him that a Ha’tak K’tano claimed was successfully captured by his Jaffa is actually still under Yu’s command and K’tano is not who he appears to be. Teal’c rushes back to the planet to confront K’tano, challgeing the Jaffa to a fight to the death for command during which K’tano reveals himself as not being the former First Prime to the Goa’uld Imhotep but rather the Goa’uld himself but is then killed by the Jaffa when showboating. The revelation however is interrupted by the arrival of the Ha’tak, with the Tau’ri managing to rescue most of the free Jaffa and bring them to the Alpha Site for safety but the cause of the Free Jaffa is still set back.

 

Analysis

 

The main point of the episode The Warrior should be fairly clear to viewers as a tale of the dangers of radicalisation. The mainstay of the episode revolves around the appearance of an incredibly charismatic leader in the form of K’tano who, despite his sudden emergence is able to convince large swathes of Jaffa to follow him in a very short amount of time. His ability to spin a tale is so great that even Teal’c, a man who is very aware with being betrayed, is taken in by his falsehoods. Like many cult or religious leaders in the real world K’tano is able to get his followers to fear not even death as long as they serve him, sending good soldiers on suicide bombings for seemingly little or no benefit for the movement as a whole with no one questioning the methods.

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On the other hand you have O’Neill, a cynic who constantly questions the decisions made by the potential ally who finds himself marginalised by his team who almost begin to look up at K’tano also in admiration similar to what happened on Earth with Set years ago. It’s only when O’Neill’s refusal to deal with people like K’tano is proven the right call at the very end of the episode do people start listening to him. Even the Goa’uld Yu comes off in a favourable light, understanding the dangers of people like K’tano to the established order given how little he values life even compared to other Goa’uld.

Overall the episode is one about charisma and how it can be used to abuse your followers, with a character similar to the Jihadis that the US was fighting at the time presented as the main villain of the piece as opposed to the traditional foes of the likes of Yu.

 

Assorted Musings

 

· Rick Worthy’s performance as K’tano/Imhotep is one of the best one offs the show ever has in my book. The guy really does have talent.

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· Naquadah, despite previously being rare as fuck becomes increasingly common nowadays.

 

Quote of the episode: “I see you are one who speaks your mind O’Neill.”

“Yes, which is why I don’t say much.” – K’tano and O’Neill