Today the show goes back to school and then has some 80s action.
The war between the SGC and the Lucian Alliance continues to heat up as the team sabotage a vital kassa transport as it moves through an unknown star system. Despite being detected the team manage to plant the explosives and escape just as it goes up. The Lucian Alliance leader Netan decides to take a more unconventional approach to fighting back by putting a bounty on the heads of SG-1 themselves.
Back on Earth the team have all split up to go to various off-base excursions with Carter with Dr Lee at a conference, Daniel researching the Ori, and Teal’c off-world helping the Jaffa. Mitchell himself is unexpectedly joined by Vala on a trip to his high school reunion when she begs him out of desperation to get offbase for at least something to do. While Mitchell promises not to embarrass Mitchell upon meeting his parents she rather explicitly puts forward the charade they’re together when he disappears for a moment, leaving the whole experience rather uncomfortable for the son. Vala continues to make things awkward for Mitchell when she pries into his crush on an old high-school sweetheart who’s also attending.
At the reunion itself Vala is continuing to drive Mitchell up the wall by making comments to the other guests that make them seem delusional and jeopardise the somehow still secret SGC while also beginning to plan Mitchell’s death with the help of an insurance salesman. Mitchell instead decides to catch up with his sweetheart Amy and finds that she’s divorced and had a thing for him too. Unfortunately for Mitchell’s dating life Landry calls to warn him, unaware that two hitmen have already infiltrated the reunion. One of the two however takes out the competition first before making his presence known to Mitchell.
While Vala continues to explore the world of the high-school reunion with Mitchell the others of the team soon find themselves attacked by bounty hunters at their various locations though all are dealt with in due course, in Daniel’s case with the help of a local bus. Guessing that the attacks are likely coordinated and that Mitchell and Vala will be attacked next the others regroup at the SGC and head for the reunion as fast as possible, hurried when the reunion hunter fakes a call for help as he intends to take in all of SG-1 himself.
Returning to the dance hall the bounty hunter is spotted by Vala, who’d been off drinking with Mitchell’s friend Darrell, and identifies him as Odai Ventrell and assumes he’s there for her. With Darrell’s help Vala attempts to distract Ventrell and hit him with a vase only for the plan to fall apart when he has a personal shield. As Ventrell holds the entire auditorium hostage the rest of SG-1 beams in. Thinking he’s got his prize Ventrell deploys transport rings through the roof and transports them to his waiting ship, only for it to be revealed that the rest of the team were using Carter’s hologram system and had been laying in wait on the ship the whole time. The team however convince Ventrell to go after the bigger prize, the Alliance’s leader Netan, knowing that the failure to eliminate SG-1 will see a much bigger price put on his head and that if he goes now he can get a head start. This prediction comes true for Ventrell when he manages to make it to Netan and claim the prize.
Back on Earth Vala says goodbye to Mitchell’s parents, with them perplexed to find the two supposed lovers now very angry with each other. Mitchell tries to have a moment with Amy only for it to be interrupted by Vala messing with the horn in the nearby car. Amy does however promise to visit him soon, leaving Mitchell and Vala to begin the long road trip back to the SGC.
Bounty is an episode that lives or dies in its ridiculousness, an episode that along with the next one seems to be the show just taking the opportunity to do whatever it wants to do no matter just how strange it is compared to the rest of the show and for me this does end up working.
This newfound freedom the show has is thankfully focused around Vala as Claudia Black definitely has the best ability to play the stupidity of the episode without becoming a joke while the rest of the cast portray the straight men for her to bounce off of. The main one of these ends up being Mitchell’s old friend Darrell who has taken a shine to the reformed criminal, attempting to spend time alone with her throughout the night and being charmed by her strange personality, and plays as a reversal of the old teen movie cliché with him as the one interested in the strange outsider. This ends with a rather hilarious plan to foil an experienced bounty hunter with a case of mistaken drunk identity that falls apart as expected with a somewhat half-arsed throw from Vala.
The most ridiculous point of the show however was when they pretty much blow the whole secret of aliens and the US Military being involved to an entire hall full of drunk reunion goers and this is where the whole thing almost unravels but in a strange way I think this works for the show in that it’s the extreme logical endpoint for a show that has spent 10 years revealing to pretty much everyone on Earth and off-world that they meet the existence of the SGC and telling them exactly who they are so why not just burst into a bloody hall full of people like big damn heroes and then just leave like it’s nothing. Besides it seems they all agreed to keep schtum so no harm no foul for them.
Outside of this we also have a harkening back to the season 8 episode Covenant in the form of the conference that Carter and Dr Lee attend to be able to pass off yet more advanced tech stolen or gifted by other races as US Military R&D division work. This is one area of the show that got a look in a few seasons ago but now it seems to have forgotten a lot of the Earth based content with the benefits of the SGC going back to citizens of the world. It’s a shame really when that part of the show gave us the US-Russia tensions and The Trust aspect of the show which resulted in a lot more depth and realism to go alongside the traditional sci-fi adventure romp.
Overall though even with that look in the episode still remains almost entirely focused on just having fun and it does achieve that for itself though it still remains a move that doesn’t go down well with all viewers.
· I can’t help but laugh at the “Singles scene” line, especially given where it ends up in Atlantis season 5.
· I see the bounty hunter scene in the Milky Way isn’t what it used to be.
Quote of the episode: “I’m married.”
“Oh, you’re kidding.”
“It’s something I don’t like to talk about much. He’s a religious zealot bent on total domination of every human being in this galaxy.”
“So you’re separated?” – Vala and Darrell
The team are planning to head off for another planet that may hold the location of an Ancient trove that Ba’al is after, though Carter is still away on other business. The rest head to this new planet finding themselves in what they first think is some kind of temple only for Mitchell and Teal’c to find that they’re inside a museum on the other planet and there’s some kind of fancy party going on. The team attempt to back out and follow the proper first contact procedure but find that the DHD is a fake which leaves them stranded until the scheduled dial in by Landry. Unfortunately for them they’re stumbled upon by a pair of lovers who react poorly which somehow ends with the team taking hostages out of those who failed to escape in time with the team being seen as “Rebels”.
The museum is quickly placed on lockdown and though the team simply try to explain to the planet’s authorities that it’s all a misunderstanding the situation basically becomes Die Hard, only with the team now becoming East German terrorists and Daniel Hans Gruber. The team offer to allow medical aid to come in and remove an injured guard but accurately predict that this will turn out to be Special Forces in disguise and add them to the hostage count. While discussing what to do now a museum researcher named Cicero agrees to help the team, having believed that the Stargate was a portal from his studies. With Cicero’s aid they begin to successfully play the part of the “Rebels” and start to find a way to dial home as soon as possible.
Unfortunately for the team one of the museum’s security guards is still inside the building and thinks himself a loose cannon, even ignoring his own people’s instruction to not get involved. Mr McClane ends up stumbling on Mitchell, Vala, and Cicero as they attempt to access an old Goa’uld bomb from an exhibit to use as a power source and takes the two SG-1 members hostage only for Cicero to give them back their equipment as soon as John’s back is turned allowing the two of them to easily take him hostage. When they’re gone however Cicero decides to leave and go to the forces outside, hoping to keep them at bay and de-escalate the situation. Needing John’s code to get into the case they arm the device to fool him but it turns out Vala had actually armed the bomb and can’t turn it off.
Outside the leader of the siege decides to reluctantly move in as the political situation won’t change and still fears those inside to be Rebels despite Cicero’s claims. The team are able to get a connection just as the military breach, leading Teal’c and Daniel to flee their way back to the Gate. Just as the team prepare to go through however they’re caught by armed troops and taken captive. The leader however agrees to let them go back through the Gate after Mitchell convinces them that it’ll be less trouble to do so but decides to have the Gate sealed away and the incident covered up given the unstable situation on their planet.
Again just like the previous one Bad Guys is an episode that just lets loose and have fun with itself but this time rather than just playing parts of the show’s history to an extreme and thereby absurd dimension here they instead just full on parody one of the most well-known and influential action films ever made.
The episode is probably one of the more divisive of the season given how it depicts certain characters, the chief change of course being the usually calm and diplomatic Daniel doing his best evil baddie act. Personally I’m rather a fan of this turn for the character as for seasons 9 and 10 this has been a man slowly driven up the wall by Vala and that combined with the unknown weapon stunning can easily become him snapping and just letting loose, going so far as to complain that the hostages aren’t portraying their role well enough for the expectation. By the end of the episode he’s throwing out cliché film slang left right and centre without a care in the world and it’s a joy.
Even the side-characters play their ridiculous roles well, with two female hostages absurdly focused on which one of them gets a certain co-worker than the fact they’re held at gunpoint while a local politician suddenly tries to start a fightback from the hostages only to be immediately stopped by a rather intimidating Teal’c. The best of all however has to be the show’s version of John McClain pretty much portraying the mentality of likely every rent-a-cop who’s ever seen the film, hoping to be the hero and take down the baddies in whatever place they’re guarding even though they’d likely screw it up. His capacity for self-delusion is really something that in the end sees him abruptly see himself as the hero despite only moments previously seeing that he’d been wrong the whole time.
The only real serious part of the episode is the finale when we suddenly have the leader of the military forces quietly covering up the whole incident for the government. This isn’t the first time the team has caused a major incident by randomly appearing on an advanced world so this is probably the best move for the time being. His character is also remarkable as he’s the only non-cliché in the episode, instead being the sole voice of reason who wanted everything to turn out as well as possible, only reluctantly storming the building when his superiors refuse any negotiation and quietly lets the team go back through the Gate as it’s the simplest and likely best option.
Despite that small piece of seriousness however the episode is a non-stop blast of parody action that I can’t help but enjoy in the last few episodes of the show with it pulling off a fun look at a piece of media that’s still ripped off to this day.
· Admittedly I’d probably have just shot Little Miss Screams-A-Lot.
· Well Vala let everyone down a lot this time.
· Can’t wait
for the post mission report on this one.
Quote of the episode: “There’s a seventy percent chance that if we dial manually we will be able to establish a connection and a fifty percent chance that the bomb will just go off.”
“That’s a hundred and twenty percent.”
“Well there’s some crossover where we establish a connection and the bomb goes off.” – Vala and Mitchell