Today we finally see the end of the Goa’uld System Lords and the Replicators.

Synopsis

At a Goa’uld space station the remnants of the System Lords are met by the representative of Ba’al who once again demands their surrender which the Lords once again refuse. Both however receive word of another presence, Carter, who has arrived via Tel’tak. When Lord Yu goes to speak with her Carter suddenly kills him, revealing herself as her Replicator counterpart, before killing everyone on the station.

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Elsewhere SG-1 are joining Bra’tac on his Ha’tak in the launching of a mass wave of surprise attacks on the Goa’uld, this being the dying breath of the Jaffa Rebellion which has been growing weaker by the hour. While waiting for word from an ally they’re joined by another Ha’tak which opens fire on them with upgraded weaponry. As they attempt to evacuate they find the true source of the upgrades, the Replicators who have already gained a massive foothold in the Milky Way. As they evacuate Daniel is beamed away by the Replicators.

At the SGC Jacob/Selmak arrives with Tok’ra intel on the Replicator fleet and their advance across the galaxy. Using the Tok’ra intelligence network, which Jacob/Selmak has nicked the access codes to, the SGC can pinpoint the location of all tagged Ha’taks in the galaxy. As they watch the tags quickly begin fading, showing that the battle is not going well for the Goa’uld and therefore in the end themselves too. The rest of SG-1 and Bra’tac arrive back on Earth soon after to bring more bad news, including the fate of Daniel as a Replicator prisoner and that the Jaffa Rebellion is seeing the Replicators as a biblical plague caused by their betrayal of the Gods. In private Teal’c and Bra’tac decide to plan one last attack on the Goa’uld, the seizure of the Temple of Dakara.

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Later on Thor arrives to provide help with the situation regarding the Replicators. Until now the research into cracking the new cipher has been unsuccessful so they take the drastic step of relinking their Replicator components to the rest of the swarm, hoping it will give them access to the codes needed to shut them all down. Eventually the task succeeds but needs to be tested on a larger level, with Thor taking them to engage Replicator-infested ships.

Meanwhile on the Replicator command ship Daniel is confronted by Replicator Carter who immediately resets to hand in the head torture. Soon after this begins Daniel seems to find himself contacted by Oma Desala who wants to save him again. Oma also attempts to help Daniel access his hidden memories as she says there is a way to defeat the Replicators hidden in them. Eventually however Daniel uses a trick phrase from Maternal Instinct to realise that “Oma” is in fact the Replicator probing his mind. By them however the Replicators have already learned of the new way to attack the Replicators and infest Thor’s ship, with the Asgard beaming Carter back to Earth before they’re overwhelmed.

On an unknown Jaffa-controlled world Teal’c and Bra’tac meet with the remnants of the Rebellion and suggest their plan to assault Dakara. While the other commanders are sceptical the desperate situation and Teal’c’s conviction sways them to the cause.

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Back at the SGC Jacob/Selmak and O’Neill watch helplessly as more and more of Ba’al’s domain and resources falls to the Replicators due to his decision to fight the Replicators as if they were another Goa’uld. Jacob/Selmak proposes that they work with Ba’al given the situation but O’Neill, having been tortured by the Goa’uld, refuses. Soon after this Ba’al himself dials the SGC and makes contact via hologram, wanting to discuss the Replicator threat with them, and asks for their help with the bots. While Jacob/Selmak attempts to work with Ba’al, O’Neill decides to insult his adversary, driving him off. After he breaks contact Ba’al goes to see his true master, Anubis, who is shown to have escaped his frozen fate.

Above Dakara the rebel fleet arrives to find only a token force of Ba’al’s Jaffa guarding the planet just as they predicted. This force decides to surrender after a brief fight and is detained by the rebels, leaving them in command of the Temple. Soon after however Ba’al’s/Anubis’ forces break off from the Replicators and head for Dakara, with the entire thing having been a trap to lure in the final remnants of the Rebellion and defeat them once and for all. Unknown to them all Replicator Carter is also headed there.

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The SGC receives word from Ba’al who has decided to betray Anubis, wanting the SGC to destroy the Temple of Dakara after he reveals that it’s an Ancient weapon that can be used to destroy all life in the galaxy and that Anubis intends to use it. Given the news the two Carters journey with an SGC team to the Temple and find a wall written in Ancient nearby that they attempt to decipher. The writing seems to turn out to be gibberish that none of them are unable to translate. Carter however realises that parts of the wall can be rotated, revealing that it’s in fact a complicated combination lock.

Back in his head Replicator Carter continues to try and swing Daniel to her cause, promising him many things including the survival of Earth and immense knowledge, but none of them have much of an effect. While this conversation goes on for a while Daniel reveals that he is slowly learning how to interfere with her control of the Replicators and works on blocking her access entirely.

In orbit above Dakara Ba’al finally arrives, finding little of the rebel fleet present before being hailed by Teal’c. Teal’c however presses upon him the fact that if they attack then he’ll be forced to find the Ancient weapon himself and then hold off both Anubis and the Replicators alone, causing Ba’al to hold his forces back for the moment. Pretty soon however the clam ends and battle commences, with the rebels being forced back in short order.

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On the planet below the Carters finally crack the code and open the wall, finding the Ancient weapon hidden within. Upon inspection they find that the weapon’s function in similar to that of Replicator disrupter technology and that they may be able to use it to take out the Replicators while leaving everyone else intact. Carter realises however that the only way for the weapon to truly be effective is to use the Stargates to send out the signal across the entire galaxy and that the only person with the knowledge of how to modify the Gate Network in short order is the Goa’uld currently bearing down on them. The two sides agree a parlay and begin to work together to defeat their mutual enemies.

The SGC, expecting contact with their teams off-world are attacked by a foreign signal that shuts down operations and opens the Iris, revealed to be an attack by the Replicators. The base begins immediate lockdown and evacuation but finds themselves locked out of the self-destruct. O’Neill and Reynolds are also forced to go back for Silar, who along with five others has become trapped behind a blast door. Upon rescue the group find themselves cut off from the escape tunnels by the Replicators, forcing them to instead try and retreat through the Gate.

Above Dakara the Replicators finally arrive and engage Ba’al’s forces. Knowing their fate is sealed with Ba’al’s, the rebels soon join with their former oppressor to buy time for the others. The fighting forces Ba’al to sever transmission with the Carters, with both sides wishing the other an awkward good luck. Replicator forces soon break through the defensive line and begin an assault on Dakara itself. When all seems lost the Replicators stop activity all over the galaxy as a result of Daniel finally stopping Rep. Carter for a short period of time before she seemingly kills him, buying just enough time for the others to finish the weapon and activate it, wiping out the Replicators for good.

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Immediately after this both Bra’tac and the Free Jaffa attempt to move on each other, with the later gaining an upper hand. Before Bra’tac can finish Ba’al off however he beams out to an unknown location. Even with the Goa’uld surviving the Free Jaffa Nation has been born. The only question left is what happened to Daniel.

Analysis

And here we are. After 8 seasons and 168 episodes we finally arrive at the conclusion that this show was always about, the Tau’ri-Tok’ra-Jaffa Alliance finally overcoming the Goa’uld and ending their reign of terror across the galaxy.

The story of the two parter focuses on the sudden arrival of the Replicators into the galaxy, immediately causing the endgame scenario both the Asgard and the Tau’ri have long feared but also opening up a new opportunity for the Jaffa Rebellion who, since their introduction, have been facing defeat after defeat as their small numbers and fragmented command chain are no match for the more organised Goa’uld they’ve gone up against. Now, with the end nearing they decide to make a desperate mission to take back the location of their initial enslavement centuries ago to break the image of the all-powerful Goa’uld once and for all. This is a very grand spectacle premise and the show thankfully delivers on just about all accounts.

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Season 8, as a result of the changes to Richard Dean Anderson’s contract and available hours, has until now been a much more slow and intimate affair, focused more around the SGC than ever before with very few space battles and off-world affairs. Here however all the content that was held back until now is released in a 90 minute greatest hits of the whole show. We get a series of spectacular space battles, the SGC once again attacked, the characters running around to save the day, and the victory to ride out to the end of the season.

If there’s one problem with the spectacle it’s the sheer amount it tries to squeeze into 90 minutes. The season was yet again meant to be the final one (haha) so the inclusion of both the Goa’uld and Replicators really steals time from both. Respectively this sees the Goa’uld surrender be more of an afterthought to the episode while Replicator Storyline removes most of Rep. Carter’s story with most of their screentime being just the usual machine swarm going all over the place. It’s a shame really as both groups have earnt their screentime by now so to have it reduced by having them compete for time is a real shame.

Despite this however the episode does make some time for new character direction, especially when it comes to the SGC’s new prime adversary Ba’al. Ba’al, who has grown from generic baddy number 23 to a character who is more willing to do what is needed to come out on top, here actually swallows his pride and not only listens to the Tok’ra on tactics but also helps Carter fix the weapon to destroy the Replicators, putting his own ships on the line to do so. This change in characterisation is built on in the final two seasons, with Ba’al becoming the main Goa’uld adversary but also their ally on multiple occasions.

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In the end this combined episode functions as the spectacular end to the Free Jaffa storyline as well as the Replicator threat on SG-1. While it does cut character development and motivation in some areas to make time for all the storylines it thankfully makes up for this with sheer spectacle and the resolution, with it feeling like the day has finally after so long been won by the good guys.

Assorted Musings

· The Goa’uld really did do a good job of making the Jaffa useless without commanders.

· The Dakara trap is basically RotJ.

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· The more I rewatch this show and Battlestar Galactica the more it seems clear that the Mass Effect games borrowed heavily from them as the final weapon from Mass Effect 3 seems familiar to the Dakara weapon.

 

Quote of the episode: “I expect to be put in your Will.”

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“Already in it Sir.”

“Ok, that’s.... weird” – O’Neill and Silar