Today we view the time SG-1 decided to start playing around with time-travel and the time they decided ending the season with a clip show was a good idea.
We start with the team getting ready for a mission off-world, with Carter checking the dialling program due to how close they’re going to the sun but is satisfied. Hammond comes over and takes an interest in a minor cut on her hand before handing her a note only to be opened on the other side. Finally ready the team head through the Gate only to seemingly end up back in the Gate room before it fades to show them underneath a rocket engine about to fire, which Teal’c seemingly disables with a Zat blast, causing them to be arrested by US Airman in old uniforms and placed in detention.
In detention the team begin to plan how they could get out of the situation, with Carter having to hold back the others who believe they could stop the Goa’uld prematurely which could hold unintended consequences. They’re interrupted by a group of Airman, who ask if they’re soviet spies in Russian to which Daniel stupidly replies to in Russian, and O’Neill is brought before a commanding officer to be questioned. Despite multiple attempts to scare him into answering O’Neill follows Carter’s advice and keeps everything a secret, going so far as to mock the officer by claiming to be characters from Sci-Fi shows that hadn’t been made yet or were still relatively unwatched. Clearly unimpressed the officer has the team transferred to another facility.
During transport off base a lieutenant, revealed to be a young George Hammond, creates a problem with the truck after reading the note Carter had which was his older self asking his younger self to help them. Despite going so far he wants to know what is going on but they only go so far as to prove their identities by revealing private details about Hammond’s life which convinces him to help them knock out the other guards and secure their gear, which O’Neill destroys for safety apart from a single Zat and a GDO, before giving them petty cash which O’Neill promises to pay back with interest before zatting Hammond too to prevent him suffering repercussions.
The team, deciding their only course of action is to find Catherine Langford to obtain the location of the Stargate, attempt to hail a passing car and are able to halt a passing hippy bus who welcomes them on-board, assuming them to be military deserters trying to avoid deployment to Vietnam, as they head cross country to New York, stopping at various cities along the way. After several days travel Carter finally works out what the clue wanted them to do which is dialling a wormhole through a solar flare which was what caused them to time travel in the first place. During this discussion however their new friends overhear them, questioning what they mean about travelling through space. Unable to tell them the full truth they instead go with the line that they’re aliens in hiding trying to head home. Despite being slightly sceptical the hippies agree to help them get back home.
After confirming the second solar flare Daniel and Carter, pretending to be German archaeologists/scientists, talk to a young Catherine Langford to try and find out where the Gate currently resides, who reveals it’s in an old armoury in D.C locked away as a relic of the Second World War. On the way to D.C though the hippies ask to come along with, revealing that they’ve been drafted to fight in Vietnam and are already planning to cross the border to Canada to avoid fighting, but the team refuse not knowing what effect it could have on the future if they did. After saying goodbye the team head into the armoury, quickly dispatching the guards and finding the Gate in a convenient upright position where they use the engines of several trucks to power the Gate. A group of other guards however here the commotion and investigate, almost preventing the team from entering the Gate but they manage to make it through.
The team emerge in a now mothballed SGC to be greeted by an elderly woman, who Carter works out is a much older Cassandra who is there to send SG-1 back to the correct time of the late 90s to arrive back in the correct SGC only a few hours after they left where Hammond reveals his side of the story and that O’Neill owes him $539.50.
So here it is, SG-1s first foray into the world of time-travel and boy was it a doozey. Not only did it have a plot that felt like it could have consequences at large for the show but it backed this up by having the whole thing connected across the timelines, with General Hammond relaying the warning he got back through time and the team having to work out where the Gate went between ’45 and ’94, with the decision to play the ‘time-travel is relative’ view straight away with them being able to effect things in the past. It plays this time travel plot against a chase and ticking clock like many of the episodes this season, with the team first having to break out of custody after they’re assumed to be Soviet spies (fears Daniel does nothing to allay) and then getting to the Stargate before a certain date.
Despite going for a serious main plot they add in the usual levity alongside it, with O’Neill as usual taking the piss by first claiming to be Captain Kirk and then Luke Skywalker when interrogated and Teal’c unintentionally sounding hippy-like in his explanation for his emblem, that is also used to conclude the episode with a throwaway line about ‘paying him back’ used to tie up the whole experience despite only just having once again explained the deep and serious potential fallout of messing with time.
I think the most interesting thing about the episode was the deliberate juxtaposition of placing the team, all of whom are lifelong military personnel (bar Daniel), in a situation where they’re not only reliant on the notoriously anti-military Hippy movement but come to behave like them, with them all donning various stereotypical counterculture clothing to hide their SGC uniforms. This reliance between the two groups is something that reflects the heart of the show where even only two seasons in we’ve seen the military focused SGC become friends and allies of technocrats, environmentalists, and fifth columnists all to fight the common enemy and come to understand one another despite those differences.
Overall a great episode that not only does a good job with the handling of time-travel as a plot device but also once again reflects the ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ message the show tends to portray.
· The male Hippy, Michael, seems to be unable to say anything that isn’t a stereotypical Hippy phrase.
· Despite it being a good idea the show later scraps the ‘arriving in the same location’ mechanic of time-travel and instead uses a better ‘arrive at the relevant Stargate’ approach to how time-travel works.
Quote of the episode: “I’m Major Robert Thornbird. And you are?” “Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.” “Your dog tags say otherwise.” “They’re lying.” –The interrogator and O’Neill
This time we start with a group of unknown futuristic-looking individuals activating a cryopod, which opens to reveal a confused O’Neill whom they inform that he is at the SGC, the year is 2077, and that the rest of his team are dead. The leader of the SGC decides to take him on a short tour of the improved facility, revealing that they now have off-world colonies as well. Despite knowing this the SGC don’t know who defeated him or how the others died and instead want to know what happened from O’Neill himself using a device to playback memories to learn what happened but also if he knows any weakness of the Goa’uld the SGC missed.
After numerous playbacks O’Neill grows tired and is put under sedative to rest. The leader and assistant then open another cryopod to reveal Daniel and then another to reveal Carter who are both told the same story as O’Neill, revealing that they aren’t SGC personnel at all and the whole thing is an elaborate setup by unknown parties.
Elsewhere Teal’c awakens inside the real SGC to be greeted by Fraiser and Hammond who inform him that he has spent the last 3 weeks unconscious and are both wondering where the rest of SG-1 are. He reveals that when they arrived they were immediately attacked by a group of Jaffa from various factions but he has no idea where any of the others are. Though Teal’c requests to go find them Hammond refuses having deployed a number of teams had UAVs already to no avail, leading Teal’c to resign from the SGC so that he can continue to search for them by himself. Despite the acrimony at his decision Hammond still has an honour guard set up and personally says farewell to Teal’c and wishing him luck finding the others of his team.
At the unknown facility O’Neill prevents himself from being sedated, staying conscious to overhear the leader and his assistant talk in Goa’uld, revealing the true nature of his captors. After escaping the cryoroom he makes his way through the supposed SGC, finding that the lift opens to reveal a Goa’uld complex manned by the guards Teal’c described earlier, and makes his way to the other cryo chambers, rescuing both Carter and Daniel. The trio makes their way to the Gateroom, finding the Gate to be a fake, where they are found by the leader of the charade, the Goa’uld Hathor, who reveals they are building their forces to attack the System Lords but need information SG-1 possesses about the disposition of the other Goa’uld and their GDO codes. When they refuse however she reveals her intent to have one of them implanted with a symbiote.
So yes for some reason they chose to use a clip show as the season finale of season two. Despite that it’s quite a nice setup for next season, with the team help hostage by the Goa’uld at an unknown location and Teal’c heading out alone to try and find them.
Other than that there’s not much to say for obvious reasons.
· They really didn’t think through having the attendant fall on Amanda Tapping’s legs as she visibly moves them despite being sedated.
Quote of the episode: “Oh, I was so hoping never to see you again.” – O’Neill upon seeing Hathor