Back again with O’Neill and the team. This time we see Kinsey try to gain more power and the team dealing with escaped prisoners.
The episode begins with a meeting of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with Colonel Chekov trying to appease the Chinese regarding the cover story of a lost Russian submarine during the events of Small Victories at the start of season four, though the Chinese representative is having none of it. The ambassadors to the United Kingdom and France intervene, also relaying that these days all they seem to hear is whatever story the Americans sell as “the Truth” which the Russians peddle as well. The meeting is interrupted by the arrival of General Hammond and Major Davis who have come to explain what this is all about, which it turns out is finally revealing the Stargate Program to their Earth-based rivals/allies.
The reps. of the People’s Republic of China, UK, and France refuse to initially believe this but start to come around, with the UK more pissed off at the fact the Russians knew before they did rather than it being kept a secret in the first place. The meeting slightly unravels due to the bizarre claims that are being made but is interrupted by the arrival of Senator Kinsey. While the Senator initially backs up the claims made by Hammond and Chekov his true motive soon becomes clear, blaming SG-1 for many of the threats they now face. While the combined efforts of Hammond, Davis, and Chekov are able to defend SG-1s reputation and actions Kinsey just moves his focus onto another area of issue, military control of the Gate, with the revealing of the X-302 and X-303 prototypes angering the PRC in particular who see it as a direct threat against them. Kinsey however suggests a compromise, handing control of the SGC to the NID.
Both Kinsey and Hammond attempt to convince the others of the benefits and flaws of the NID respectively but cause little more than more arguments over what to do with the SGC but reach no conclusion. During a following recess Chekov tries to get the PRC on board, appealing to their economic acumen by upping the benefits of letting the US pay for everything while they share the benefits. After the break Hammond deploys his “ace up his sleeve” which is getting Thor to beam down and back up the SGCs argument, blowing Kinsey out of the water and getting the other nations to back the current situation.
Given the nature of Disclosure as a clipshow episode there’s not really that much to say regarding the episode but there was some nice political interplay at the center of the new material.
This time the politics are of an international level and the constant secrecy of the SGC immediately comes to haunt them, with the other nations first non-believing and then fearful of their ability as a military force due to the advances they’ve made in the last few years. This provides the perfect opportunity for Kinsey, who will soon get command of the NID, to try and get control shifted from the Air Force to the NID under the tale of “civilian management” which the others are almost willing to do.
The common theme of civilian politicians being self-serving idiots against the more mission focused and collective good of the military, which obviously has some major ethical issues, is played at the foreground once again in the episode, with the final line of the episode where Kinsey congratulates Hammond on playing the game well shows how little care there actually is for the goodness of the situation and rather just another attempt to gain more power for themselves. It’s the military who once again save the day, but rather this time it’s in the form of Thor rather than an armchair general somewhere, with the Asgard Supreme Commander essentially threatening an ending of relations if the current arrangement doesn’t continue.
Overall the episode on the surface is a glorious win and punishing of the conniving Senator Kinsey but under the surface does have some controversial tones towards supporting military rule.
· “The government of China has no interest in keeping secrets from its people” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
· Surprised by how not pompous the French are.
· The fact the UK never had knowledge of the Stargate is questionable as Egypt was under British control from the mid 1800s to after the Second World War, meaning they would’ve either carried out or had knowledge of the dig that uncovered it in the first place.
Quote of the episode: “I’m sure it was, Commander”
“Supreme Commander.” – Kinsey and Thor
The team are off-world conducting scientific observations of a nearby atmospheric conditions, with O’Neill and Carter setting up a telescope. They’re interrupted however by first the discovery of personal effects near the setup point but then also by Jonas and Teal’c who have discovered a crashed spaceship of unknown type but with markings that match Ancient Celt. While looking at the craft however they’re confronted by three humans, who claim to be survivors from the crash. As SG-1 prepare to help them repair the ship the collected group are soon attacked by two aliens of an unknown race whereupon they kill one of them but one of the survivors is injured as well before the other attacker is driven off by an audio defence system on the ship.
Given the situation O’Neill and Teal’c stay to hunt down and capture the other attacker while Carter and Jonas head back to Earth with the injured crewmember to gather backup and inform Hammond about what is going on. While Carter returns to the planet with SG-15 Jonas stays at the SGC to research the origins of the crew from the injured crewmember Tanis. While researching old Celtic and Scottish records Hammond comes to Jonas to reveal that someone tried to access a terminal in the Infirmary, leading Jonas to let Tanis “seduce him” to work out her motives.
Back on the planet Carter gets to work trying to get the crashed ship to work along with the leader of the survivors Aden while the others continue the search for the other alien, who returns to collect something from the body of his comrade. While O’Neill almost gets the chance to confront the third survivor Lyle immediately opens fire on it, causing it to run away. O’Neill and Teal’c find the alien’s makeshift camp, finding items from the ship and a pouch containing many icons similar to that on the other’s corpse which appear to be dogtags of some kind. O’Neill and Teal’c manage to once again hunt down the alien, who identifies himself as Warrick, and claims to be the captain of the ship Sebrus.
On the ship Carter is able to get the ship’s electronics working, finding that the ship is in fact a prison transport. When Aden comes back she confronts and restrains him with zipties. He claims that he is the captain and let the prisoners out of statis during the storm to keep them alive. Carter is still suspicious however when Aden refuses to give her the location of her radio. After finding it and attempting to contact the others she is knocked unconscious and restrained by Lyle.
Back in the forest Warrick tells them a story similar to what Aden told Carter back on the crashed ship but claims that his crew was transporting the three others who are all hardened criminals to a penal colony. However during a meteor storm they brought the prisoners out of stasis and the ship crashed. While many of the crew had initially survived the crash the three prisoners overpowered and killed all but Warrick and his First Officer who were away gathering supplies at the time and have been hunted by the prisoners ever since.
At the planet’s Stargate Jonas and Tanis arrive back from the SGC to discover the unconscious Carter by the crashed ship, only for Jonas to be captured himself with the three prisoners intending to use him to escape through the Stargate to a new world. Near the forest O’Neill, Teal’c, and Warrick approach the crashed ship and rescue Carter before chasing the others to rescue Jonas. At the Stargate Jonas gets SG-15 to stand down to let the prisoners go but are almost stopped by the arrival of the rest of SG-1. Jonas gets O’Neill to stand down, drawing his commander’s attention to his GDO, revealing that the planet the prisoners have dialled is the SGC where upon arriving they’re taken immediately into Air Force custody. Sometime later they return the prisoners to Warrick and his repaired ship and the two sides depart having made friends with each other.
Forsaken is an episode that starts with the basic premise of a crashed ship and survivors which has been a constant in the history of Sci-Fi but here turns it on its head.
What starts as a fairly simply tale of the team helping out another group of humans against the evil aliens, who initial description sounds a lot like that of the Predator from the film of the same name, it’s only two thirds of the way in that things become off and the team question just what the “survivors” have told them with two of the three trying to flirt with the team and the other quite clearly violent towards outsiders. It’s then the veil is lifted and the truth of the ship comes out, with the aliens having been the last survivors of the crew and that the three they’d been helping were in fact ruthless criminals who had hunted down the others without mercy.
The tale is essentially based on the classic moral of “don’t judge a book by its cover” and it’s one that the team take into consideration on most of their missions, with the Tok’ra becoming a case of “the cover was right”, but here it’s put into sharp focus with Jonas using underhand tactics to get information from Tanis who was also using underhand tactics on him, Carter surreptitiously checking information on the ship to find out the truth, and O’Neill and Teal’c deliberately trying to only wound and capture the aliens to check their side of events. In fact for much of the episode Jonas had worked out the truth but was on Earth and unable to relay it to his comrades on the planet.
One of the more interesting parts of the episode I find is just how much effort went into creating a race who only ever appear in two episodes, with unique weapons and vehicles along with all the prosthetics. The only episode I’d say is comparable to such a degree is New Ground from season three that also had a vast array of one episode only creations.
Overall the episode is a very good one, with Jonas having a lot to do rather than just existing as “the new guy” which has been seen previously, and a nice twist to the episode that isn’t exactly a shock but is played out well in terms of the story.
· That audio weapon is like the high pitch machines they use to deter teenagers from loitering.
· I’m surprised those three were able to overpower what would’ve been a considerably larger force.
Quote of the episode: “The Celts were formidable warriors in their time. Their descendants may be valuable allies.”
“You’ve seen Braveheart too often.” – Teal’c and O’Neill