Here we are, the final two episodes of the first season. One a clipshow and one prepping for season 2.
We start in the infirmary directly after the events of the last episode, with Daniel explaining the threat to others and the differences between the two realities. Hammond interrupts with news that a US Senator, Robert Kinsey, is launching an investigation into the SGC as he sees it as a waste of money and that despite the President’s backing of the Program Kinsey, as head of appropriations, is able to cut all funding to the SGC.
Upon arrival at the Briefing Room it becomes quickly clear that Kinsey has already made up his mind regarding the Program, referring to the Stargate as a drain, as he declares that its secretive nature and poor risk/reward ratio to be a clear sign it should be shelved, the only thing that hasn’t stopped him being the President demanding he conduct a proper review first. After verbally sparring with O’Neill Kinsey, despite singing the praises of the military, is revealed to have a hatred of the military being autonomous in nature, brushing off the contributions of the others as well, even so far as putting that “God” himself will save them from the evil Goa’uld.
The senator leaves the base dissatisfied and intending to shut down the Program, forcing the SGC to be shut down, only staying active long enough for the teams off-world to return home, and leaving Teal’c stranded on Earth.
Well this was a clipshow episode so not much to talk about really but given our current political situation on both sides of the Atlantic I can’t help but find Kinsey even better than usual. He pretty much the embodiment of the conservative Senator, a person who will pay lipservice to the men and women of our armed forces but has a hatred and dislike for anything they don’t have absolute control over and also feel the need to believe themselves more knowledgeable about military matters than the general staff of the forces. Also they feel the need to bring ‘God’ into everything, such as Kinsey genuinely believing that God will save the day like some terrible evangelical film. As a character in general however he comes across as a bigoted, self-righteous fool who refuses to change their preconceived views on a matter and will launch kangaroo court measures to at least make it seem they’re being ‘balanced’.
· The fact that the Program only costs $7.4 billion a year laughably makes the SGC more affordable than the F-35 Fighter Program, which is expected to cost over $1 trillion over its life. (http://breakingdefense.com/2016/03/curren…
· Kinsey is a piece of shite. Still better than Trump though.
Quote of the episode: “And let me tell you something. This time there really are barbarians; they’re called Goa’ulds! And they really are at the gate. That one!” -O’Neill
Within The Serpent’s Grasp
Again this one starts almost immediately after the previous one, with the SGC getting ready to shut down completely. Hammond and O’Neill reminisce about the SGC and argue about what to do, with O’Neill still pissed at being shut down while Hammond is angry at being abandoned by senior Air Force and Armed Forces officials and the politicians who previously backed him.
SG-1 meet in the now mothballed control room and debate what to do next, deciding to go rogue and proceed to the coordinates Daniel returned with, barely making it through the Gate before Hammond and base security stop them. They arrive in a dark structure of Goa’uld design, finding weapons in nearby crates that include ‘Zats’, a handheld weapon similar to a taser or stun gun. While talking however they hear a growing noise and are hit by an energy pulse that knocks them to the floor and attempt to dial home but the Gate fails to connect.
A team of Jaffa enter the room and activate an object that causes a metal ball to float inside the Stargate. Teal’c refers to it as a communication device, similar to a television (with O’Neill breaking the 4th wall by asking if it gets Showtime, the channel the show aired on at the time). Now able to find their way out the room they begin to explore the facility, while avoiding the patrolling guards, finding a room with a Sarcophagus, confirming Goa’uld presence, and a window that reveals they’re not only on a spaceship but are also travelling FTL.
At the SGC Harriman informs Hammond that the team did go to the coordinates of the attack. Despite initially being against it, Hammond decides to send a team, led by SG-2, to provide backup but the Gate doesn’t connect. Back on the ship SG-1 continue exploring, eventually finding a Glider bay which confirms the attack is real and that they’re heading to Earth. Carter however, after getting help from Teal’c, believes it’d take a year to get to Earth as the ship is only going 10 times the speed of light according to the Jaffa.
At the bay they arrived in a gathering of Jaffa is taking place. The ball activates, revealing Apophis who is speaking to the ship and that they must follow his son’s orders. The Sarcophagus opens, revealing that Skaara has indeed been implanted with a Goa’uld, called Klorel, as the commander of the ship. The team observe this and decide to split up, with Carter and Daniel to place C4 charges around the ship while O’Neill and Teal’c attempt to capture Klorel. They succeed, going so far as to zatting him to speak to Skaara, but are quickly captured by a group of Jaffa.
The two of them are brought to the Gate bay again and shown before Apophis, who orders Teal’c’s symbiote removed and then having him left to die slowly. While Klorel initially follows this he relents after O’Neill begs him not to, instead taking them to the control room. They stop the ship, revealing that they’re already passing by Saturn and are nearly ready to attack Earth itself. Carter and Daniel attempt a rescue of the others which is successful, but O’Neill is forced to kill Klorel after he attacks Daniel with the hand device, also killing Skaara. The team don’t have time to mourn however as they look up to see the Earth in window.
At the SGC they receive word NASA has picked up two objects passing Saturn, confirming that the attack is coming, with the SGC becoming the control hub for the Air Force and the other branches mobilising.
For the season finale I’d forgotten just how devoted to a setup this episode is, with little to no conflict from the second half we’ll see on Saturday present. Despite that however it’s still a great episode, with the return of Skaara from the opening episode, the culmination of the events started back in the feature film, the team cut off in an enemy ship with no backup and no way of retreat, and an enemy hell bent on their annihilation.
Despite this however there are some issues with it as it never really clicks fully into the show’s continuous world, with the introduction of the Zat that would see the ‘disintegrate’ feature removed, features of the Ha’tak that wouldn’t be seen again and the idea that there are only a handful of them, and Teal’c’s backstory suddenly becoming smaller, with him stating he never served on a Ha’tak before.
While there are these little discrepancies though it does set more of the Goa’uld power structure in place, in particular their use of spaceships that serve as battleship, aircraft carrier, and landing craft combined and hierarchical command system even amongst the Goa’uld themselves.
Overall this is a nice little episode that sets the scene for Season 2 by putting the Earth in peril and SG-1 seemingly unable to save the day.
· God the visual effects in this episode of the Ha’taks really aren’t that good, with that weird yellow sheen to the ships that looks odd.
· While the relationship between different Goa’ulds was put forward a few times this season, such as Klorel/Apophis or Hathor/Ra, this stops getting mentioned as the seasons go on, instead more focused on the Goa’uld as individuals rather than family.
Quote of the episode: “If the coordinates are for a Goa’uld world which is not on the Abydos cartouche, the Goa’uld will most likely not expect us. I believe a medical attack could be successful.” “Surgical attack, Teal’c. It’s called a surgical attack.” – Teal’c and O’Neill