Here we are again, this time with a two-parter that sees the Goa’uld be Goa’uld and the Tok’ra be corpses.
We start on the Ha’tak of walking gay stereotype Zipacna who it turns out is meeting Osiris, who since her introduction in The Curse has built up a substantial powerbase, and wants to recruit her into the army of the previously unknown but advanced Goa’uld who he reveals to her shock to be Anubis.
Still in the dark about who this new Goa’uld is the SGC and the Tok’ra instead turn their attentions to the System Lords, who are currently planning to hold a summit to discuss the current situation after the deaths of Apophis and Cronus, which the Tok’ra want to exploit to kill all the leading Goa’uld in one move which will hopefully forever destroy their powerbase. The plan is to have Daniel pretend to be a servant to one of the Goa’uld and infiltrate the meeting to carry out the plan. The SGC send SG-1 and SG-17 to the new Tok’ra base so that SG-1 can plan the attack while SG-17, a new team, receive orientation on the Goa’uld and their current powerbase. It turns out that the plan is to use a synthetic form of the memory altering chemical released by the Reol in The Fifth Man to plant Daniel as a loyal servant of Yu who can then sneak aboard the summit ship where he’ll release symbiote poison to kill them all while Jacob/Selmak keeps a cloaked Tel’tak nearby to extract him once the act is done. While Daniel comes to term with the ethical issues of such an attack O’Neill is instead shocked by the fact the Tok’ra are actually doing something for a change.
While Jacob and Daniel are on their mission it turns out that the Goa’uld have found out about the new Tok’ra base and a fleet is on the way to attack, with the Tok’ra and SG personnel trapped by an incoming wormhole. The SG teams decide to help the evacuation as best they can by helping with the removal of supplies while the Tok’ra create more tunnels to hide in.
On the mission Jacob and Daniel successfully infiltrate the palace of the Goa’uld Yu and manage to jab the Goa’uld with the memory altering substance, making him see Daniel as his most faithful servant. Daniel and his new master then travel to the Goa’uld space station that will serve the summit. On board Daniel is able to mingle with the Goa’uld and their human servants easily and finds their behaviour odd, with it turning out the meeting is focused less on their wars with each other but rather attacks on them by an unknown Goa’uld and that an emissary from this new Goa’uld is on the way. Daniel prepares to use the poison as this new Goa’uld arrives but relents when it’s revealed to be Osiris, whose host is his former flame.
At the Tok’ra base the enemy fleet arrives and begins bombarding the planet hoping to destroy or gain access to the base, causing casualties in the tunnels below, with SG-17 getting caught in a cave-in along with many Tok’ra. The control room is also later hit by the bombardment, killing the Tok’ra leader and releasing the symbiote Lantash, Martouf’s former symbiote, who seeks refuge inside Lt. Elliot. Outside O’Neill, Teal’c, and a Tok’ra operative find that the Goa’uld have begun landing large amounts of troops who have already breached the Tok’ra tunnels. On their way back the three are attacked by Gliders, with the Tok’ra operative killed in the process.
Back on the summit station Daniel hides away to talk to Jacob but is confronted by Osiris in Yu’s private quarters whereupon she threatens him with a knife. Daniel however is able to jab her with the memory substance and get her to leave peacefully. Daniel attempts to get Jacob to scrub the mission but Jacob instead convinces him to continue with the plan. Daniel and Osiris return to the meeting where the Goa’uld gives the others an ultimatum, join Anubis or die. Daniel relays this information to Jacob who reveals that Anubis was outcast and supposedly killed by Ra and others for crimes that even they found too extreme.
Meanwhile at the Tok’ra base SG-1 are split up, with Carter trapped with the injured Elliot/Lantash while O’Neill and Teal’c are busy dealing with Jaffa patrols wandering the complex. O’Neill and Teal’c are able to find crystals used for building tunnels which they use to create a new entrance for the others who are trapped and eventually make their way to the surface.
At the summit Osiris privately meets with Yu, attempting to get him to support the motion of allowing Anubis back into the fold and ignore the Protected Planets Treaty which Yu refuses. At the following meeting Yu however stays true to his word and doesn’t vote for Anubis to rejoin the System Lords while the others then proceed to vote him in before they all finish the session by ritualistically eating symbiotes. At the next meeting Osiris goes on to reveal that the Tok’ra base is currently under attack by Anubis’ forces. Knowing this Daniel attempts to trap and kidnap Osiris but is caught by Yu. While the two Goa’uld fight Daniel steals and escape pod and is successfully picked up by Jacob, but the mission itself has failed.
Back on the Tok’ra planet the rest of SG-1 are carrying a wounded Elliot in an attempt to retask a Tok’ra beacon to alert incoming ships to what has happened there and their location. Daniel and Jacob arrive in a cloaked Tel’tak but are attacked by Gliders and crashland nearby to the others, leaving them all stranded with no seeable route to escape. The two groups meet and try to plan a new way out involving the unused symbiote poison. Elliot however decides to volunteer to commit suicide with it to take out the Jaffa army around the Gate on the planet. The two-parter ends with the others going to hide and Elliot waiting to be captured as Jaffa horns sound nearby and troops march ever closer.
So here we have another two parter from season five and boy didn’t that end quite dark compared to the rest of the show, with the young fresh-faced recruit Proving Ground only two episodes ago committing a suicide bombing to save the others.
The two-parter does a lot to fill in the “big bad” gap left by the death of Apophis at the start of the season, introducing a few other big Goa’ulds at the summit itself and also finally getting around to naming our previously mysterious new foe for the SGC, the formerly dead Anubis. It says something that we’re told this Goa’uld was so evil that even people like Ra teamed up to kill him and dispose of him, and these were people who tried to nuke Earth. His threat as an enemy is also well-documented in the episode with him somehow obtaining the location of the secret Tok’ra base despite no believable reason as to knowing how he got it, which he claims is down to a tortured Tok’ra. Also adding to the evilness we see that many of the human slaves, especially those most indoctrinated, are looking forward to the idea of being implanted with symbiotes at the end of the summit just to be in with a chance of greatness.
On the flipside of this we have the Goa’uld Yu who continues to present himself as surprisingly noble, for the Goa’uld that is. Despite getting offered power and wealth and the removal of the SGC and Tok’ra as a future problem he still refuses to make a deal with Anubis, instead choosing to honour his arrangements with the SGC and Asgard. Whether this is down to just decency or also his personal experience with Anubis a millennia ago is yet to be seen. This decency however comes back to haunt him by the episodes end where he ends up with a 6 inch blade in the stomach from Osiris as Daniel attempts to kidnap her and his ultimate fate is left ambiguous for now.
Lastly we also see the Tok’ra get virtually eliminated as a force on the galactic stage in a sudden strike by Anubis’ forces. Here all that they worked for is destroyed as the entire base is cut down before it can evacuate, with even Lantash who’d been saved from death before finally succumbing to fate. The episode’s ending as well as previously mentioned is incredibly dark, hinting towards the future of the show. Up until now most of the fighting has been skirmishes or hit and run affairs but from here on the show becomes more and more a resemblance of a traditional military campaign as Earth and others devote more and more resources to the cause.
In conclusion the two-parter is pretty much the break between the first half of the series and the latter, with the revealing of the new key enemies going forward from here on and the shift in tone from almost entirely light and whimsical to a darker and more cynical affair but still comedic at its core.
· It’s a shame we don’t see distinct Goa’uld styles show in this episode, such as African or Celtic Goa’uld. Instead we continue with the Egyptian affair alone.
· The Tok’ra seem to largely exist simply to get slaughtered on mass.
Quote of the episode: “Yeah, you’d think a race advanced enough to fly around in spaceships would be smart enough to have seatbelts on them.”
“We just prefer not to crash.” – Daniel and Jacob