Back again, this time with the start of season six, which sees the show on a new home and an expansion of the SGC to really deserve being under the Air Force.
The season kicks off in high fashion, with SG-1 on the run from a group of very angry natives on an unknown planet as they attempt to get back to the SGC. The team easily make it through but the latest recruit to the team, Cpt. Hagman, has been hit by a tranq dart and falls unconscious on the gateroom ramp. Elsewhere on the base Jonas Quinn has been settling in to life on the new planet, still exiled from the Kelownans, but has been stuck on the base for three months to get his clearance. Carter however decides to bring Jonas along to see the finally complete prototype of the X-302, Earth’s completely self-built space-defence fighter, along with the rest of the team.
Meanwhile O’Neill is being harassed routinely by both Hammond and Colonel Chekov over the continued under-staffing of SG-1, with Chekov wishing that a Russian gets the slot on the team as part of the continued sharing of the facility. Despite both Americans wishing the opposite of Chekov, Hammond is starting to get annoyed by O’Neill rejecting every candidate, with Hagman having been the 9th to fail so far. Jonas however is making it fairly obvious that he wants to join the team and redeem himself for his role in Daniel’s death, talking about it with both Carter and Teal’c. The issue of SG-1 recruitment is interrupted however by the arrival of Bra’tac who informs them that Teal’c’s wife is gravely ill causing both Jaffa to head off-base immediately.
Soon after Teal’c leaves however the SGC receives a connection from off-world that doesn’t seem to be sending anything but the wormhole remains open, blocking all Gate activity, with it not disconnecting even after the 38 minute window. After investigating Carter finds that the Gate is slowly building up a charge that will eventually overload, taking out most of North America, giving them only a few days to stop it. Only to make matters worse for Carter Dr. McKay shows up on base to help with the situation while still being his arrogant self.
Off-world it turns out Teal’c arrived too late, finding that his wife has died and that his son Rya’c blames him for it seeing his fight against the Goa’uld as pointless. Rya’c starts attacking his father with a Staff but Teal’c refuses to respond, with the fight only being broken up by Bra’tac who admonishes Rya’c for his actions. After the funeral that night Teal’c attempts to reconnect with his son but is still rebuffed by the angry youth. The next day the settlement is visited by another group of Free Jaffa who has brought word that the Tau’ri are under attack by Anubis.
After some hours, with the Gate still on and no way to stop it, O’Neill and Carter decide to attempt using the X-302 with an experimental hyperdrive to fly to Abydos and use the Gate there to seek help from the Asgard. Jonas and McKay however both agree that the test won’t work, likely causing the deaths of O’Neill and Carter in the process. Hammond however decides to go ahead with the test, with Carter’s backing, given that this is now their only chance of saving themselves. While the initial escape from the Earth is successful the hyperdrive fails to work, sending them out of the window almost immediately seeing the mission scrubbed.
By the time the Jaffa attempt to contact Earth the attack is already underway, meaning they can’t contact the SGC. Instead Teal’c, Bra’tac, Rya’c, and another Jaffa called Shaq’rel attempt to locate and travel to the planet housing the weapon Anubis is using to destroy Earth’s Stargate. On route to the planet however they’re attacked by Death Gliders who know where they are despite being cloaked, with Shaq’rel sending the others to the planet where the three manage to successfully take out the enemy Jaffa who ambush them.
After returning to the SGC Carter and O’Neill try to help work on the problem again, still coming up with no solutions. Instead however the SGC is contacted by a hologram of Anubis, speaking in nothing but generic phrases, who promises doom for all. Despite the grim threats McKay comes up with the idea of using a device to send and electromagnetic wave through the Gate, hopefully knocking out whatever device is on the other end, though Carter is less supportive of the endeavour. As Carter predicted the plan doesn’t work, only instead causing them to have absorbed more energy from the weapon and the EM field to go awry electrocuting Carter. McKay however is shocked by the failure and Carter being injured, leading him to apologise to her in the infirmary when she regains consciousness.
On the planet controlled by Anubis the three Jaffa manage to find Anubis’ weapon that the Goa’uld is using to attack the Tau’ri. Sending Rya’c away to safety, Teal’c and Bra’tac however find that the weapon is surrounded by an energy barrier but are captured by Anubis’ forces as they attempt to go around it. Tired of waiting Rya’c goes to find his father and mentor, seeing that they’ve been captured. Given that a direct attack would be suicide the teenager instead follows the sound of Death Gliders, finding their landing site where he steals one of the unattended craft.
Back at the SGC with time almost up the plans are becoming increasingly desperate. Jonas however gives Carter a headstart on a plan when he enquires about how they got the Gate into the mountain in the first place, leading her to realise that they don’t need to shutdown the Gate but only get it far enough away from Earth for it to either disconnect or not damage the planet when it explodes using the X-302, which O’Neill will pilot. The initial plan is unsuccessful however as O’Neill runs out of fuel too early and begins falling back to Earth. Carter, Jonas, and McKay however jury-rig a plan of using the hyperdrive to send the unmanned X-302 far enough away from Earth with the Gate attached which ends up being successful.
Back on the planet Rya’c, now in control of a Death Glider, manages to eliminate the patrol transporting Teal’c and Bra’tac to detention before continuing onward and destroying the device Anubis was using to attack the Gate. Despite his success he is forced to crashland as another Death Glider damages his craft.
In the aftermath the SGC begins to pack up their operations, believing that they can’t use the second Gate for fear of being attacked again. Instead however they hear word from Teal’c and the Free Jaffa aboard Shaq’rel’s Tel’tak they that successfully destroyed the weapon and that the Russian Gate can therefore be used, which the Russians gave them in return for Hard Currency and the plans to both the X-302 and an unrevealed X-303 plus having a permanent presence on SG-1. O’Neill however counter-offers with offering the Russians their own team while the free spot on SG-1 goes to Jonas, who O’Neill feels has proven himself.
So here we start with the opening two parter of season 6, suitably called Redemption. The episode title is clearly a reference to the changing nature of characters within in the episode such as Jonas trying to make up for Daniel’s death, Teal’c having to redeem himself in the eyes of his son, and McKay earning his redemption after exile in Russia.
Out of all of these the most engaging and well-rounded is that of Teal’c and Rya’c. Since being sent off-world with his mother all the way back in season two Teal’c’s family has largely existed off-screen as Teal’c has been busy fighting for the freedom of not only his family but also his people. This has clearly had a major effect on his relationship with his kid, with the difficulties amplified by his son’s teenage attitude issues. Over the course of the two episodes both end up proving themselves too each other, with Teal’c proving that his cause is worthy while Rya’c proves himself that he isn’t just a child. In the end the two are able to put aside their differences and commit to seeing each other more often than they used to, especially as Rya’c decides to go with Bra’tac and take a more frontline role in the growing rebellion.
Elsewhere the episode largely focuses around the continued advancement of the SGC as an organisation. Clearly their funding has been put to good use over the last three years where they’ve now been able to take what they’ve learned from the Goa’uld ships to create their very own space fighter in the form of the X-302. The ship itself clearly shows its Goa’uld origins with a wing design that, while more angular, clearly resembles that of the Death Glider and can clearly carry a heavy load while still remaining agile in both atmosphere and space. Outside of this development there’s also references to a yet shown X-303 which will be shown later on this season.
The continued issues of geopolitics on the show rears its head once again throughout the episode, with Colonel Chekov being a pain in the arse in his attempts to put forward the Russian view on events, this time demanding a Russian presence on the SG teams. While until now they’ve been in a pretty poor bargaining position due to the loss of the DHD the Russians are able to get a good deal when they end up with the only Gate left on the planet. This season in particular sees a number of episodes where the growing suspicions of other Earth nations outside of the Russians start to appear, including allies of both sides who want to know what’s going on.
The episode however ends as always with the day saved and a new fresh faced team with the addition of Jonas Quinn, just so happening to mirror the show’s move from Showtime to Sci-Fi, and setting the stage for the season ahead as the team set out to deal with the growing threat of Anubis who has seemingly too advanced technology while Hammond has to deal with both politicians and militaries wanting their share of the SGC. Overall it remains one of the more memorable openings of the show with some good character buildings, great visuals, and a plot that actually fills the two episodes just right.
· I love how Teal’c looks up in awe at the new ship.
· Jonas still needs to work on crossing his fingers it appears.
· I like how lots of the SGC scenes keep a ticking clock just in the background to signify the danger they’re in.
· Why have Carter kiss McKay? It makes no sense.
Quote of the episode: “You sure you want to take this with you, Sir?”
“We’re closed for business. I was supposed to retire five years ago. We don’t know how long it’s going to be before we can re-establish a Stargate program, if ever.”
“Actually, I just meant it says “Property of U.S. Air Force” on it.” – O’Neill and Hammond