Back again and today wee say goodbye to two longtime characters on the show.

It’s Good to Be King

Synopsis

The team have received word that the war between Ba’al and the rest of the System Lords has turned more into a slaughter for the System Lords, leading to the survivors reopening their domains to planets long abandoned, one of which the Tok’ra placed Maybourne on which makes him a threat to SGC security. SG-1 head to the planet finding that their longtime friend/foe has already risen up the ranks of the native society, becoming King Arkhan. It turns out that according to the locals Maybourne has accurately predicted several events as of late, leading to him being seen as a prophet. Taking the team for a “little walk” he shows them an Ancient ruin that contains an obelisk that tells of events that will happen in the future, with all of them having come true. Maybourne used the knowledge to tell the villagers what would happen in the future but spoke of them as his visions. Maybourne also has Daniel read a passage that speaks of the return of the Goa’uld who will be stopped by a group of outsiders, who Maybourne believes is SG-1. In the woods nearby Teal’c also makes a discovery, finding a Puddle Jumper with what appears to be time-travel tech.

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Given the Ancient turn on things the team call on O’Neill to join them off-world to help with the Goa’uld situation and the Jumper. While Maybourne initially refuses to try and get his people off-world he follows O’Neill’s advice when reminded that the prophecy says nothing about how many will die in the coming fight. As Maybourne goes about attempting this, O’Neill is forced into the Jumper to try and get it working but after several attempts is unable to get it working, instead deciding it should be destroyed. Before the C4 can be placed however the team are taken captive by some of Arkhan’s subjects who believe the team are there to kidnap him.

After being brought back to the village O’Neill chats with Maybourne, who still hasn’t told the people what’s to happening as he’s actually grown to care for them while serving as their leader. Eventually however he finally tries to tell them that they need to leave and just how he gained his advanced knowledge, expecting reprisals from his subjects. The people however choose to still support him as he’s actually used much of his Earth knowledge to improve their general lives with items such as crop irrigation, medicines, and legal codes. As the team aim to try and get the people off-world however the Goa’uld finally arrive, blocking their escape.

When the Jaffa forces finally arrive in the village the team split up, with Carter and O’Neill attempting to use the Jumper to their advantage while Teal’c and Daniel keep an eye in the village. Despite this however the Jaffa find both pairs of the team, though O’Neill is finally able to get the Jumper started with Carter’s help and move it to orbit which also provides a distraction for the others in the village to successfully revolt against their occupiers. In orbit O’Neill manages to use the Jumper’s weapons to take out a Goa’uld Ha’tak, once more adding to SG-1’s collection of Goa’uld kills.

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As the team leave O’Neill offers Maybourne the chance to return home but his friend refuses, saying he’d miss his people and more importantly his wives.

Analysis

And here we have the final conclusion of one of the longest running arcs from the show that saw two characters go from bitter rivals to occasional allies to eventually good friends.

This episode is the final one to feature everyone’s favourite former NID member, Harry Maybourne. First introduced back in season one Maybourne was the face of the “other side” of the Air Force, the careerist bastard everyone in the Forces despises for their two-faced twattery and uncaring attitude towards others in the uniform. In many ways however he was radically different from other NID officers both before and after in that he was more the product of his environment than deliberately snobbish, with him even in his earliest appearances giving O’Neill in particular off the books advice.

Added to this the man had true integrity and loyalty to those around him, even if his self-preservation got in the way sometimes, with his devotion to the NID in part being out of his belief that they were all working towards protecting the Earth, going so far as to congratulating Carter on her skills when he previously refused to believe her story. After the NID hang him out to dry however he turns to those who have in the past actively worked with him for the common good, the SGC themselves. While at first this relationship is very much quid pro quo, with it being a partnership between himself and O’Neill, it slowly evolves over the course of the series with both genuinely looking out for each other and the rest of the team. One such event is during Desperate Measures where Maybourne comes out of hiding to help the team find Carter, knowing he was responsible for her current predicament.

In the final part of his arc we see that Maybourne is very much tired of all the intrigue and cloak and dagger trickery and simply wants a new start for himself. While this initially goes wrong Maybourne is given the second chance he wants on a new world with a more primitive society. While he initially consciously takes advantage of the situation almost immediately, if only subconsciously to begin with, he acts much more altruistic to the people of the planet, providing them with tools and knowledge to better themselves with. Eventually even consciously his sense of duty and honour is further reawakened when he actively tries to save “his people” from the Goa’uld with the help of the SGC, even putting his own life in danger in the process. Despite this some of the personal gratification remains, largely in the form of him taking multiple wives as King.

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It’s this growth as a character along with the retention of some of his worse qualities that made Maybourne such a compelling character in that he was remarkably human in the world of SG-1. Not only that but his relationship with O’Neill was always fun to watch, with both having a love-hate friendship with each other that saw some of the best conversations on the show.

Outside of this character finale the show also makes a nice setup to both the season finale and Atlantis with the placement of the time-travel Jumper. Not only will this provide the ability for the finale to take place but it’s also an item that doesn’t get explained for a few episodes on the spinoff in the form of its first alternate-timeline episode.

In the end the episode is a memorable one from the season, seeing the finale departure and resolution for a character we all grew to love in a way that is both deserving and funny at the same time.

Assorted Musings

· This is RDA’s first time “off-world” since the start of the season.

· Love the little Monty Python reference in this episode with the crown that’s blink and you’ll miss it.

 

Quote of the episode: “I guess congratulations are in order, you made General.”

“You made King.”

“It’s not a contest.” – Maybourne and O’Neill

Full Alert

Synopsis

O’Neill arrives home from work, ready for poker night with some people he knows, only to find his front door open and former Vice-President Robert Kinsey helping himself to O’Neill’s scotch. While O’Neill initially decides to call the police on his enemy the politician says he has information relating to the fate of the planet, leading O’Neill to hear him out instead. It turns out that Kinsey has been contacted once more by The Trust, who want to push the US and Russia into another Cold War to make another grab for control of the Stargate. While Kinsey once more tries to paint his actions as for “God and Country” O’Neill believes he’s doing it just for petty revenge, either way they agree to stop The Trust.

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With Kinsey on-board the team decide to bug him while he meets with The Trust at a rural Estate. Just as Kinsey meets with the other members of The Trust the team lose contact with their mole, his last words being in horror to the contents of a box. By the time the SGC strike team move in there’s no trace of either Kinsey or The Trust, likely having beamed out to The Trust’s Al’kesh. Given the sudden dead end Carter decides to improve the Prometheus’ sensors to give the ship a chance to locate them while Daniel goes to Moscow to try and figure out what’s going on in Russia.

At the SGC the US Armed Forces are placed at a higher state of alert after the Russians also increase their alert status, pushing both closer to the possibility of war. The Russian representative on base, Colonel Checkov, reports to O’Neill that voices in the Kremlin are pushing the increased alert status after fears the US administration has been infiltrated by the Goa’uld. The Chinese soon join the Russians by also increasing their alert status pushing the US to go to DEFCON 2, one step before general alert and readiness for a full-scale nuclear war.

In Russia Daniel is apprehended soon after arrival in the country as a result of the increased alert status. After the Russians holding him confirm he isn’t a Goa’uld they reveal to him that Kinsey is in Russian custody and has been implanted with a Goa’uld, with his mission being an attempt to meet and kill or implant General Kiselev who is Russia’s Minister of Defence. Daniel soon gets the chance to interrogate Kinsey himself, finding that the Goa’uld works for the System Lords and that the plan is to push the world to nuclear war with the intent of seizing the Ancient Outpost in Antarctica following the destruction of both sides. The interrogation is cut short however when Russians attempt to kill both the Goa’uld and Daniel, with the two of them being beamed to the Prometheus just in time. This however confirms the Russian fears that the US is controlled by the Goa’uld, seeing them go to full alertness which the US reciprocates by going to DEFCON 1.

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At the SGC both O’Neill and Checkov find themselves as the only people who can avert nuclear war after both of their governments break off official communications. Checkov uses his contacts inside the Kremlin to allow both of them to directly talk to the Russian President. This allows the SGC to fax evidence Carter has found that shows Kiselev has shown a recent remarkable recovery in his eyesight and members of the General’s staff have had close contact with the Goa’uld, showing that both sides were compromised in an attempt to create a war. While the Russian government stands down Kiselev attempts to launch a missile with his troops but is eventually stopped by loyalist forces.

In orbit Kinsey is able to escape after The Trust attack the Prometheus. Finding the opportunity to ring over to the Al’Kesh both the host and symbiote are able to get their revenge on the group who tried to kill them, taking out The Trust members on board the ship moments before the Prometheus is able to destroy the ship with Kinsey along with it.

Analysis

And here we are following on from the end of the previous finale of a well-loved character to the finale of one we all just loved to hate.

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Senator Robert Kinsey was always a self-interested politician, very much a pastiche of those we all see on the TV and just want to be rid of, claiming to be doing things for his country when all that got bigger was his paycheque. Over the course of the last 8 seasons Kinsey has never shown any sign of reforming his ways, only looking for a new faction to side with until they stop benefitting him or vice-versa and thankfully this final appearance sticks to this tradition. Initially the conniving man once more tries to make out he’s doing this for some higher purpose but in reality just wants revenge on yet another group he cut ties with.

And then, he dies. No amazing send-off or big finish, he just looks inside a box horrified and that’s it for a man who always wanted to come out on top. I think it’s fair to say it’s the sort of ending that such a slimeball character deserved, with the final juxtaposition being that he was ended by the exact threat that O’Neill warned him about all the way back in season 1; Goa’uld who came from ships.

Oh well, at least while trapped in his body the symbiote kills The Trust like he wanted to.

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Outside of this we see the show once again put forward a theme that initially seems to be, politicians are stupid so let the military deal with it. Before this has seen the US Government filled with the likes of Kinsey, corrupt self-obsessed idiots, while the Armed Forces, with perfect personnel, should be in charge. Here however we see both sides both good and bad, with the politicians at times refusing to engage in diplomacy to avoid losing face publicly and the armed forces being responsible in part for the conflict getting so close to war in the first place. It’s only in the end where a coalition of both sides military and civilian politicians are able to maintain communication that logic and evidence wins out to stop the possibility of war.

Overall it’s an episode that gives Kinsey a fitting end, where he’s robbed of his political knack, and sees one of the most believable destruction of Earth plots yet.

Assorted Musings

· While Kinsey is never confirmed killed, the fact he doesn’t ever appear or get mentioned again in the main timeline pretty much implies he was killed in the events of the episode.

 

Quote of the episode: “Think of it this way. If you don’t do what they want, they’ll kill you. If you don’t do what we want, we’ll let them.”

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“Why, that’s as good as pulling the trigger yourself! I thought Stargate Command didn’t do that sort of thing.”

“Well, we’re under new management.” – O’Neill and Kinsey