Here we are with another two episode with the first adding more to the Goa’uld and Asgard while the latter is a rushed effort at mental illness.
The episode begins in the Gateroom with Secretary of Defence Arthur Simms giving a speech congratulating the SGC on its work so far where it is revealed that the ceremony is also to see Carter promoted from Captain to Major. O’Neill takes the podium to give a speech on her promotion but is suddenly teleported away, causing the base to go into lockdown, while it’s revealed O’Neill has been teleported to Thor’s ship in orbit who is there to inform them that the Goa’uld System Lords and Asgard are to sign a treaty regarding the protection of Earth, similar to other planets protected by the Asgard. The team, Thor, and Hammond reconvene back in the briefing room on the base where he also adds that not only will the negotiations take place at the SGC but that O’Neill has been chosen as the Earth’s representative.
Later in his lab Daniel briefs the team, SecDef Simms (who’s staying for the negotiations, Hammond, and other diplomats about the three Goa’uld representatives who’ll arrive at the SGC, their identities being Cronus, a mortal enemy of Apophis and a ranking member of the System Lords, Yu, another ranking member of the System Lords they haven’t met yet, and Nirrti, the Goa’uld who wiped out SG-7 and the inhabitants of Cassandra’s planet. The levels of the base used for the summit are cleared of weapons as part of the negotiations, though some (including Teal’c) are wary of removing all defensive capabilities.
Soon after arrival of the Goa’uld problems quickly arise, with the Goa’uld offended by the quality of rooms and the surveillance equipment in them (which is agreed to be removed) and Teal’c having bad blood with Cronus, who had Teal’c’s father killed after he failed to win a battle. Despite these issues the conference starts but that also quickly ends after the Goa’uld begin arguing amongst themselves who then walk out after O’Neill causes an insult. Given the unexpected break Thor decides to fill O’Neill and Daniel in about his situation, revealing that the Asgard are at war with another group (who they don’t reveal) and that they haven’t been able to effectively counter the Goa’uld as a result, leading to the poor-implementation of the Protected Planets Treaty on other planets like Cimmeria.
After Daniel sends a ‘grovelling apology’ to the Goa’uld the conference reconvenes where the treaty reveals just what the Tau’ri are expected to agree to, including accepting Humans exist to serve the Goa’uld and the giving up of the Stargates on Earth. Surprisingly the SecDef is agreeable to the terms if it ensures being left alone by the Goa’uld, an opinion the President also agrees to. Before the conference can be reconvened to sign the documents the base goes on alert, with a heavily injured Cronus and Teal’c found in one of the room, seemingly having attacked each other. With little evidence to prove otherwise the other Goa’uld believe that Teal’c attempted to assassinate him and attempt to leave, taking Cronus with them, meaning that Earth is likely to be attacked by the collective forces of the System Lords without any assistance from the Asgard. Given little option the SGC detains Nirrti and Yu.
It is around this time Teal’c awakens and reveals his side of the story, claiming that Cronus invited him to his quarters and they were both attacked by an invisible force. This story however is unlikely to convince the others, leaving their only option to save Cronus’ life with the Goa’uld healing device. The device works, with Cronus quickly recovering but agrees with the SGC that it won’t make any difference if the others have already claimed it was a Tau’ri attempt on his life. O’Neill however makes an agreement with Cronus where he’ll give him the attempted killer in return for keeping the Stargates.
At a meeting with Yu and Nirrti O’Neill accuses Nirrti of not only lying about being able to save Cronus but also having the ability to turn invisible. Despite denying this Yu attacks her, causing her to turn herself invisible and snatch and M-16 from one of the guards, intent on killing Yu. This fails, with the team manging to capture her. Having kept their side of the bargain, and getting Yu’s support, Cronus agrees to the treaty and the amendment for Earth to keep the Stargates, leaving with the warning that while Earth is safe if they are captured off-world they’re liable to be killed.
Fair Game is an episode I enjoy a lot as it adds a lot of worldbuilding to the show that up to this point has been fairly empty. Remember until now the only Goa’uld the team have actually met properly are Apophis and Heru’ur and their minor conflict between the two of them, although Nirrti’s forces were briefly seen back in season one, while for the Asgard they’ve only been regarded as being a long way away with no real detail to that other than having an alliance a long time ago with three other races.
Now we have three new Goa’uld introduced in the form of Cronus, who is largely your run of the mill evil guy who seems to respect sheer power and victory as the only measure of success and is quick to punish failure, Nirrti, who is a Goa’uld scientist who is interested in special projects such as asymmetrical warfare, and Yu, who is not only the first Eastern inspired Goa’uld but is also a more calm and measured Goa’uld compared to the others with him only reacting to what he sees as dishonourable acts. This adds some much needed variety to the pool of bad guys and added complexity that shows that the Goa’uld have different goals and mindsets which helps to explain why they’re so bad at working together, with Yu being the most willing to talk to both the Tau’ri and Asgard while others like Apophis and Nirrti straight up despise them as below them.
On the other side with the Asgard we finally get an explanation as to why they’re awful at enforcing the Protected Planets Treaty which is meant to stop unchecked Goa’uld aggression. This explanation is that the Asgard are busy in their own galaxy where they’re under attack from another group supposedly worse than the Goa’uld and are unable to commit forces to the Milky Way as a result. It’s a nice juxtaposition to the godlike depictions of the Asgard we’ve had so far, with them being able to remove an entire Goa’uld army in one swoop but unable to help due to their own concerns, going so far as to leaving Earth to its fate if attacked en-masse by the Goa’uld.
Overall this a great little episode that largely functions as a worldbuilding exercise that removes the focus on Apophis to some degree and reveals the previously assumed allied Goa’uld to be much more disconnected and hostile to each other.
· I like how O’Neill gave his entire speech without realising he’d been teleported away.
· “We can’t have any weapons on base” immediatel show shot of machine guns in the Gateroom.
Quote of the episode: “Excuse me, sorry for interrupting. What just happened?” “Well, apparently we said hello, insulted each other, and broke for recess.”– Daniel and O’Neill
Here we start with the team off-world exploring a series of tunnels before discovering a bunch of dead bodies, seemingly killed physical means. Upon closer examination they find these individuals to be Goa’uld, in particular an alliance who tried to take on the System Lords. Daniel picks up a Goa’uld tablet to try and work out what they were doing there but it appears to be non-functional, leaving them to head back to Earth with what they have.
Upon return Daniel slowly starts to act strange, with him first hearing voices while showering and then seeing SG-7 as corpses as they return from off-world. While at first seeming like the effects of tiredness his hallucinations become worse, with him imagining an active wormhole in his cupboard from which a corpse emerges and tries to pull him through. This event causes him to black out and be put into the infirmary upon which he starts ranting about how the Goa’uld on the planet are infiltrating as energy through his closet. After examination from the chief psychologist and Fraiser they conclude that Daniel is having a schizophrenic breakdown from Stargate travel, with most SG members also suffering severe headaches which are a common sign of Schizophrenia. Despite hopes that his symptoms would stabilise Daniel gets worse, with him hallucinating a symbiote taking over O’Neill who he then attacks, leading him to being confined to a psych ward. During the attack however something appears to be moving in Daniel’s head.
The rest of the team later visit Daniel at the psych ward who has deteriorated rapidly, with his vision suffering as a result, and once again begins to suffer delusions, hearing footsteps getting closer and closer and claiming ‘they’ are coming to get him before he sees a corpse stand up behind the others who he tries to attack before being restrained by Teal’c. However he witnesses something go from himself into Teal’c before hearing Ma’chello’s voice. After this event Daniel begins to rapidly improve but the doctors refuse to listen.
Back at the SGC Teal’c begins to suffer the same effects debilitating effects that Daniel did, with him collapsing upon return to the base and being put into isolation just in case, where Fraiser reveals his symbiote is dying. Daniel is later also brought back to the base after telling O’Neill that he believes that the thing was a Ma’chello anti-Goa’uld weapon, with test results confirming that he’s returned back to normal supporting his hypothesis. Given that the hand device was the only source of the parasites Fraiser and Carter decide to experiment upon it, with parasites emerging when they try to activate it. The parasites however breach the gloves and infect both of them, along with O’Neill who was also in the room.
A short time later O’Neill and Fraiser begin to suffer acute symptoms due to being infected by multiple parasites, with them hallucinating Carter as a Goa’uld. The parasites in Carter however leave her body where they quickly die, being unable to effect her. They conclude that the protein marker left over when a Goa’uld symbiote dies must kill the parasite and resort to using Carter’s blood to synthesise a cure which quickly kills off the parasites in both O’Neill and Fraiser and are later able to save Teal’c the same way.
Legacy as an episode is a fairly average that tries to use a new concept, the idea that the Stargate may be causing severe mental illness, but it gets rid of it about halfway through and I think it suffers as a result. The idea of a 2 parter where you saw the SGC have to cope with limiting missions and personnel while also finding a cure to what was happening could’ve been a new take but instead the episode has a feeling of being rushed as a result, where we get a lot of questionable science, with them curing everyone through an injection of blood which is presented in effectively a montage that lasts a couple of minutes at most, preventing us from seeing what is at stake.
Also while Shank’s acting makes sense with his slow descent into madness and then recovery compelling and looks good on screen the rushed ending has very over the top and bizarre acting, with RDA reduced to rocking on the floor for several minutes while they have Teryl Rothery (Fraiser) start pulling her top open and yelling manically, having the effect of removing the suspense and drama from the scene.
Overall Legacy is an episode that, while interesting on paper, suffers in execution with a flawed pacing that ends up rushing the final third.
· That psych ward really does have terrible patient care.
Quote of the episode: “I’d like to apologize in advance for anything I may say or do that could be construed as offensive as I slowly go nuts!” – O’Neill