And here we are at the end of season 7 and the beginning of where the show will branch off in two directions.

As a note I have finally decided what to do about Stargate Atlantis. From now on this series of posts will see Saturday be SG-1 night (starting this Saturday with season 8's New Order Parts 1 & 2) while Wednesday will be Stargate Atlantis (starting with Rising Parts 1 & 2).

Synopsis

O’Neill is at home getting ready for work only to be called by Daniel who has something to share with him but O’Neill instead uses him to try and get solutions for a crossword he’s working on, only to misunderstand his reply. On arrival to the base it turns out that the SGC is prepping for a big op, with the crossword having been a bet between Carter and O’Neill to pass the time, with the mission being to have O’Neill once again use the Ancient Repository to find the location of the Lost City in the archives. Problem is that time is against them with both Earth-based politicians working against them and the Goa’uld off-world closing in on the Lost City.

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Elsewhere in D.C Dr Elizabeth Weir, a world-renowned diplomat, is trying to get to a meeting with the President, only to be offered a lift by Kinsey. The Vice-President uses the opportunity to already poison Weir’s opinion against the SGC, in particular the fact it’s still under military control. Weir’s still unannounced assignment is revealed to be taking control of the SGC with immediate effect. While Weir initially tries to turn it down the President, Henry Hayes, is able to convince her to take the opportunity.

Meanwhile, unaware of Weir’s incoming role, the SGC begins the operation by sending SG teams 1, 3, and 5 to the ruins to find the Repository. While they try to grab the Repository without using it the planet comes under attack from Goa’uld forces in orbit, forcing O’Neill to once again use the device and then blow it to stop Anubis from using it too before successfully retreating back to the SGC. While waiting for the effects of the Repository to start the team take some time off, still believing the SGC will be business as usual.

During the R&R each of the team slowly turns up at O’Neill’s house with increasingly bad excuses for being there and the team end up hanging out together and talking about their past experiences on the team. Shortly after the team experience an unexpected guest in the form of General Hammond, who is there to reveal that he has been removed from command of the SGC effective immediately and that a civilian, Dr Weir, has been placed in charge while the SGC itself is effectively mothballed for three months. All suspect that Kinsey likely has some shadowy role in all this and that Hammond will use his time in D.C to try and find out exactly what is going on.

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The team return to the SGC to find Weir setting herself up, well aware she’s facing a frosty reception for replacing a popular longtime commander of the base. Daniel is the first to meet her, with Weir slightly shocked that even Daniel is giving her a hard time of it. Daniel attempts to convince her of the immediate nature of O’Neill’s condition and search for the Lost City but Weir tries to block it, saying that things will be done in due time. Just then Bra’tac arrives at the base, bringing word of Anubis’ movements. It turns out that Anubis is already moving on Earth immediately, leaving only 72 hours before the main Goa’uld fleet arrives. Unfortunately for the SGC Kinsey decides to intervene once again, seeing the Anubis claim simply as another attempt to stop him controlling the SGC, and attempts to swing Weir to his way of thinking but privately tirades her when she agrees to help the team.

In the aftermath of this Hammond arrives in Washington to talk with Hayes, who it turns out is an old friend with Hayes having been in the Air Force in the 60s. While Hammond initially thinks he’s heading for retirement Hayes surprising him, wanting to keep him around to help with the coming battle. Anubis however only sends a couple of Ha’taks to begin with, to test what strength the Tau’ri currently have. When the Goa’uld see that no response has been used they proceed to attack remote military targets, with one Ha’tak taking out an entire US Carrier Group.

Back on base Teal’c decides to leave with Bra’tac to summon what Jaffa help they can for the coming battle while Daniel waits for O’Neill’s Ancient to get better and hopefully he’ll once again lead them to an Ancient secret. It turns out however that O’Neill had already given them the answer they were looking for, having written the Stargate address they were looking for in his crossword before starting to randomly pack stuff for no reason. Thankfully Teal’c is able to secure a Tel’tak to take them to the planet’s location as the coordinates no longer work. On the journey O’Neill and Carter share a moment as O’Neill gives command to Carter.

After arriving at the planet the team beam down to find an Ancient structure buried under the surface, containing only a single chair that lights up when O’Neill sits on it. Having activated it O’Neill naturally manages to create a breathable atmosphere and then uses it to activate a holographic map that shows them the location of the Lost City, Antarctica, meaning that the team will have to go back. Before leaving however O’Neill takes out a power source from the chair. As Bra’tac attempts to ring them back aboard however the old Jaffa is stabbed by the Jaffa who acquired the ship, revealing himself to be a traitor. Thankfully however the traitor isn’t aware of Bra’tac’s lack of symbiote, meaning he is able to survive the attack and kill the traitor. After bringing the team back aboard O’Neill is able to reuse the healing abilities of the Ancients to save his friend’s life.

Back on Earth after his show of force Anubis makes his presence known to the White House, demanding surrender which Hayes refuses to give. Afterwards Kinsey attempts to save his own skin while the others decide to stay and fight, with Hayes revealing he has a special assignment for Hammond. Kinsey, the coward he is, tries to flee through the SGC to the Alpha Site but Anubis beats them to it, blocking access to the Gate and attempting to send weapons through it. Weir, in conjunction with Hayes, decide that using Prometheus to cover SG-1s mission is their best bet for survival.

SG-1, having arrived in the nick of time back to Earth, attempt to start drilling through the ice of Antarctica using a modified ring platform only to come under attack from a large collection of Death Gliders and Al’kesh bombers. Just at the last second however the Prometheus, commanded by Hammond, and squadrons of F-302s arrive to cover the team as they continue the mission, eventually deciding to launch a suicide run on Anubis’ new mothership. Under the ice the team find a chair similar to the one found on the alien planet and power it with the core they brought with them. As O’Neill attempts to get the chair working Kull supersoldiers begin to ring down the same way, with the rest of the team holding them off. Finally O’Neill activates the chair, revealing that the Ancient weapon comprises of many hundreds of drones that O’Neill uses to wipe out the force attacking Earth.

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While the Earth is saved O’Neill is put into suspended animation to prevent his death from the Ancient knowledge in his head until one of their off-world allies can help him.

Analysis

And there we have it, the ending of yet another season of the show and in this case seemingly the end of the long running Anubis saga. In a season that was meant to be the last this was the supposed grand finale until the last second recommissioning, leading to all the pros and cons that go with the territory.

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The story that largely spans across the ~90 minute episode is one of the team desperately trying to track down the Lost City while also dealing with the political machinations back on Earth once again, this time in the form of a new leader of the SGC Elizabeth Weir. The plot moves along at breakneck speed which is understandable given how the episode was originally meant to be a movie which meant a lot of stuff had to be cut to bring it back down to time and in places it unfortunately show, especially in the second half.

While the first half sets up the Earth situation prior to the attack rather well the second half has to deal with Earth, Anubis, and the team’s mission to and from another world. This makes the team’s mission in particular feel very rushed with them arriving on said planet only to almost immediately arrive back at Earth in the time it took Anubis to just get to Earth. Several set pieces were also cut such as the destruction of the Nimitz Carrier Group by Anubis. The final scrap above Antarctica however isn’t as rushed compared to the previous section which thankfully stops it ending on a rushed note.

The episode is very action-heavy and understandable given this need to end lose threads from the show and set up the spinoff (then believed replacement) Stargate Atlantis. The episode opens with a brief action that would usually conclude most ordinary episodes, featuring multiple SG teams taking on enemy fighters. Here however this proceeds into a series of encounters which includes beaming down to alien planets, the arrival of the enemy fleet, a spectacular battle above Antarctica, and then the final destruction of the fleet itself. Even now many of the effects are still impressive (except for the dreadful looking Prometheus) which isn’t surprising given the budget the show had.

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In terms of the characters this marks the last main appearance of everyone’s favourite subterranean US Air Force General. It was no secret at the time that Don S Davis wasn’t in the best of health and this was his finale from the show, both in character and in real life. Over the course of the show Davis had brilliantly portrayed Hammond as a true Officer of the Air Force, with the General showing great concern for the people under his command, and someone who would gladly take the fall if it meant protecting those around him.

While initially this had meant simply Air Force personnel at Cheyenne Mountain this later grew to him going out of his way to help not only the SG teams cut off off-world but also longstanding allies with nowhere else to turn. He was also willing to play the political game when needed, at times essentially blackmailing elected officials who wanted to grow their own power at the expense of everyone else. For a character who was initially a hard ass who almost nuked Abydos he didn’t half grow on you.

In terms of the new character of Dr Weir, who’d go on to head the Atlantis Expedition, for someone who was meant to be a new civilian edge to the show she quickly ends up becoming a younger Hammond and goes through the same character arc only in a very short period of time. Initially there to conduct a review of the base in all its bureaucratic glory she quickly forgoes all tradition and disregards her political masters to side with the team on their mission. Given how every other would be commander of the base has done nothing but screw everything up it was nice to see a talented leader in charge, even if replacing Hammond in the process. If anything it’s a slight shame the conflict between political and military command and related issues weren’t explored any further in depth but there’s only so much you can do in an episode.

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Overall the episode is an action-packed finale to a season that has seen a ramping up for a final conflict between the Tau’ri and Goa’uld. While visual elements and characterisation remain good throughout noticeable issues with the plot are there due to real-world issues regarding the show’s future.

Assorted Musings

· It seems this episode finally tries to explain just how the Gate stays open for certain amounts of time which is by sending a radio signal through it constantly.

· Tel’taks seem to be good for almost anything.

· Between now and season 8 Weir decided to undergo drastic plastic surgery.

 

Quote of the episode: “Thank God. Pizza.”

*Sees it’s Hammond*

“Well you’re not the usual delivery boy.” – O’Neill