Here comes yet another two episodes and today we see the Tau’ri reveal their biggest boon yet.
We start with Carter being accosted by a civilian journalist named Julia Donovan who is asking for answers regarding a non-Congressional approved project called “Prometheus” which is taking up several billion in funding as well as a sample of trinium she has obtained. Despite Carter denying everything the SGC decide to keep tabs on the journalist and send Major Davis to talk her out of running the story but is unsuccessful. While Donovan has nothing but a codename and giant money spend, which makes it seem like any bloated and poorly regulated DOD program, they fear if she keeps digging she’ll reveal a lot more than just this one codename. In the end the SGC goes over her head and to her much easier to bribe higher-ups, with her producer Al agreeing to a plan that’ll give Donovan the reveal but the Air Force get to keep the tapes until they choose to release them and basically burying the story for good.
Some time later Donovan Al, along with a small camera crew, are brought out to the desert to a mysterious hut along with Carter and Jonas. After being revealed as an elevator the group descend to reveal a giant spaceship, the X-303 Prometheus. While Carter gives Donovan and Al the tour the camera unload their equipment to reveal they have Zats, taking out their Air Force guards, and are attempting to steal the ship for an unknown party. Carter realises that the situation is funny and goes to see what’s happening on the Bridge, running into the cameracrew but is able to make her escape when they attempt to draw on her and lock herself in a storage bay but is unable to warn the others who are quickly captured by the camera crew. While Jonas had been able to slow down the others by starting a diagnostic program and hiding the control crystal Al sells them out, handing the crystal over to their captors. The camera crew stops the process but also triggers an overload in the hyperdrive to use as a bargaining chip with the SGC.
Outside O’Neill arrives to take over negotiations, no one looking at his track record when it comes to negotiations, and receives the demands from the hijackers which is to release both Colonel Simmons and Adrian Conrad from custody. O’Neill also receives word from Carter who’s managed to get an old radio working and inform those outside of the situation. O’Neill and Davis ask Carter to cut her way out of the storage unit and break key systems to stop them from stealing the ship as it’s space-worthy even in its unfinished state. Unwilling to take a chance the team outside have Conrad and Simmons brought to the site anyway under heavy guard.
Back in the ship the camera team, now suspected to be rogue NID agents, find more sabotage by Jonas including software settings being changed. One of the agents threatens to kill Donovan if he doesn’t reset them, killing Al when he tries to take command of the agents revealing he was in cahoots with them all along. While Jonas attempts to delay further it’s too late as Conrad has been brought on board, allowing the Goa’uld who controls him to fix the issues. The ship attempts to take off, with Carter in an unfinished section, forcing her to hurry to the nearest section that has an airlock which she barely makes before the ship reaches orbit.
Outside the team try to look for ways to help Carter and the others on the ship. Realising that key sensors and other systems are still unfinished O’Neill decides to take a Death Glider along with Teal’c to the ship and board through one of the landing bays. Once inside the two of them manage to help Carter deal with the NID agents wondering the halls and work their way to the Bridge. Conrad however is able to finally get the hyperdrive working and the ship jumps to an unknown location before they are able to stop it. On the Bridge itself they find the remains of a scuffle when Conrad attempted to take care of the others, finding Conrad dead and the female NID agent wounded while Simmons is still alive and now likely a Goa’uld. O’Neill and Teal’c attempt to hunt him down, getting ambushed and attacked by him not long after. O’Neill however is able to open the nearby airlock which sucks the Goa’uld out into space while the two of them hang on for dear life until the airlock reseals.
While the team have stopped the NID the ship is floating in deep space at an unknown location leaving the team stuck. Thankfully though Thor shows up in another ship but it turns out that he’s there to ask for their assistance as the Asgard homeworld has been overrun by the replicators.
Prometheus is a seminal moment in the history of the show. For almost 6 years now the main aspect of the show has been Earth trying acquire advanced technology to put it on an equal footing with whatever the Goa’uld throw their way and now finally they have that in the form of the X-303 (later BC-303), Earth’s first hyperdrive capable spaceship, allowing it to now take on the Goa’uld in ship to ship actions and go to places not on the Stargate Network with ease, no longer reliant on their allies to get them out of a jam if they need a ship.
In comparison to the awful Trump-like gaudery of the Goa’uld vessels and the sleek and curved style of the Asgard ships the Tau’ri vessels take a much more angular and Spartan appearance, dominated by long angular corridors and an almost all grey colour scheme, showing it’s more militaristic origins compared to the other races. From the looks of it the vessel is more designed as an aircraft carrier as opposed to the battleship setup others use, with more space for fighters in landing bays that dominate the structure as opposed to any obvious traditional weaponry. How this’ll work in a straight up fight remains to be seen.
Despite the setting in what essentially marks the future of the show the main thrust of the episode actually deals with a much older plot thread, with it returning to the days of the NID being one of the main villains. Here we see them almost in a final last gasp attempt to stay afloat, with them reliant on the help of an aging TV producer as opposed to serious backing of government funding, by stealing the Prometheus and flying it away from Earth. Instead Simmon’s ego gets the better of him with the Goa’uld inhabiting Conrad attempting to take him out and while Simmons fights him off initially he ends up becoming host to the very Goa’uld he’d tried to take advantage off before being thrown out the airlock almost immediately after by those he once tried to have killed.
Overall the episode does what the first half of season 6 hadn’t done yet which is cutting ties with the Showtime past of the show and setting out what it’ll be like on the Syfy channel, with the show finishing off older unresolved plot threads while now being dominated by big spaceships and alien plots as it goes forward with the older plot in this case being literally flushed out of the airlock.
· For NID agents they sure know a lot about the X-303 controls.
· Well at least they can keep the reporter quiet much more easily now all her friends are dead.
Quote of the episode: “Sir, based on the amount of time we spent in hyperspace, I’d estimate we’re at least twelve hundred light years from Earth.”
“How does that help us?”
“Ah, it doesn’t.” Carter and O’Neill
The episode picks up immediately where we left off, with Thor having rescued the team and request their help in fighting the replicators. It turns out that the Asgard deliberately trapped the replicators in a time-dilation field that’d slow down time for them to such a point that the Asgards could use the millennia following to find a solution. However the trap doesn’t seem to have worked and they have no idea why, which is why the Asgard need the team to reach the trap and fix it, hoping that their crappy old ship compared to the Asgard and replicators allows them to go unnoticed. Before they even get a chance to confirm their participation Thor tows the ship back to Earth, “borrows” the entire SGC armoury and most of the food stores, dumps off the prisoners and Air Force staff, and then begins towing them to the replicators.
At the SGC the team are shocked by the sudden turn of events but are relieved when a hologram of O’Neill is beamed in courtesy of Thor so that he can explain the situation. While they approve the mission the Air Force and SGC refuse to allow O’Neill to rename the ship the Enterprise forcing them to essentially use the name Prometheus much to O’Neill’s annoyance. Given the long wait O’Neill decides to join Jonas and Teal’c in the store room and pig out on ice cream where they discuss the philosophy of the replicators until they arrive ahead of schedule. At that point Thor tells them he can’t go any further or else he’d attract the replicators attention but does reveal that the time-dilation field did work but that instead of slowing time it has in fact sped it up, causing time to pass far faster inside the field.
No alone the team take the ship past the replicators, who as predicted ignore them due to their primitive technology. On the planet’s surface they find the planet has been entirely flattened and covered with replicator blocks apart from a single structure where the time-dilation device now resides. Inside however they’re disturbed by a man who tells them others are coming moments before they arrive. The leader of the group tells them to stop what they’re doing and reveals that they are replicators. Despite attempts to destroy them with shotguns their weapons appear to have no effect unlike what happens to the smaller forms. The team however are restrained by the human-form replicators, with the leader thrusting his hand into O’Neill’s skull.
The two of them then converse inside O’Neill’s mind, represented by an unlit version of the gate room at the SGC, before attempting to break his mind by making him watch his worst memories before taking him through the Gate “to every place you’ve ever been”. Sometime later the team wake up on the Bridge of the Prometheus with all their gear and no idea who moved them there. The team, knowing how great the threat is decide to blow the hyperdrive but are instead met by one of the human replicators, who calls himself Fifth, and admits he had carried them all back to the ship one-by-one and have been invited to dinner by their leader, First.
At the dinner the human-form replicators reveal that they used nanites to create themselves and then stop the time-dilation field. First reveals that Fifth, who is the most humanlike of the bunch, was an attempt to fix the “flaws” in Reese, the android who created the replicators, while the others are committed to the standard replicator cause. While First wants to continue torturing the team for information Fifth instead volunteers to connect with Carter, using it as an opportunity to reveal that he wants to escape from the others who he views as evil. Carter gets Fifth to help them fix the device in return for helping him escape and the device is set by Carter. O’Neill however, while stating to set it for 5 minutes instead signals her to set it for 3, betraying Fifth in the process.
While the others return to the ship Fifth attempts to delay the others, with First telling him they’ve betrayed him. While Fifth refuses to believe this initially he checks the timer, finding that they have indeed betrayed him, moments before the device activates. While the team have successfully escapes Carter in particular is worried by the decision to betray Fifth but is shot down by O’Neill who reminds them just what he is.
So here we are right away after the last episode with the Prometheus being used to good use on the show and showing it’s worth. Before this episode it was hard to get the Asgard involved except for long-distance due to their war with the replicators. Now with the addition of the Tau’ri’s own warship they can head off to help them themselves for a change.
The story of the episode introduces a move forward for the longrunning enemy of the replicators. Until now they’ve been beatable but their numbers were the issue while now we see a large-scale increase in their threat by the inclusion of the human-form replicators who are not only resistance to traditional weapons but are also capable of far more intelligent and complex behaviours than their smaller peers, with the ability to flip a time-dilation field they had only just encountered and turn it to their benefit. What probably makes them such a threat however is their sheer lack of empathy or really any emotion, instead only caring about the replicator desire to consume and move on. This is shown by their disdain for Fifth who, despite being one of them, shows empathy with the team which they see as a sign of weakness.
Despite this the more shocking part of the episode has to be the willingness of the team to betray others in this episode. Previously the team have been willing to see everyone as individuals rather than as their race but here O’Neill decides to betray Fifth simply because he’s a replicator despite the fact he was helping them. Even the more caring members of the team follow this decision even if they later protest it. Given how O’Neill was the leader of the decision it appears that the abuse that his symbiote committed by taking control of his body and the previous situation with Reece the android still has a lasting effect on him.
Overall while the episode may have seen the team save the day it was at the cost of their word and by betraying someone who was vulnerable to manipulation which may come back to the haunt them in the future.
· So the replicators has fixed the time-dilation field but not built an army already?
· Why didn’t they just bring a bomb to destroy the planet?
Quote of the episode: “Suffice to say you might want to get upstairs and punch one on the old speed dial.”
“Two, then.” – O’Neill and Hammond