Back with another two episodes tonight. The first showing off Jonas’ first mission off-world and the other a 45 minute North Face commercial.
We begin with the team along with Jacob/Selmak, Major Davis, and an engineer in a Tel’tak on the way to a Ha’tak that has parked itself near Earth but has since remained stationary. As they approach Carter is able to identify it as the ship that kidnapped Thor while Jacob says there are no lifesigns aboard, leaving it a mystery as to how the ship managed to get there in the first place. Most of the team heads aboard while O’Neill orders Teal’c and Jonas stay on the Tel’tak and keep in contact with the SGC for now. In the control room Jacob finds that the ship was abandoned but the self-destruct was activated and then stopped midcount with no source of the fault in site. All they keep hearing however is a weird static noise throughout the ship.
The team, as per usual, split up with Carter and Davis attempting to shut down the self-destruct entirely, O’Neill and the engineer taking stock of the systems, and Jacob keeping watch on the bridge. Carter and David however find their objective blocked by blast damage and failed life support, requesting help from O’Neill while the engineer ignores orders to return to Jacob and goes walkabout. O’Neill helps the others break into the computer core to turn off the self-destruct, with none of them aware that the engineer has just been killed by Anubis Jaffa who were hiding on the ship. After a while of radio silence O’Neill heads of to find the missing engineer, only to find his now cold corpse, with Jacob taken out as well just as O’Neill attempts to warn him of the threat, with the Jaffa tampering with the Ha’tak controls.
On the Tel’tak Teal’c tries to calm the eager recruit that is Jonas, who feels he’s still hated by O’Neill and is just there to screw over the Russians. Their conversation is interrupted however by the arrival of the Jaffa from the Ha’tak who attempt to take control of the vessel, damaging the transport rings in the process, meaning the rest of the team can no longer be ringed off the mothership. Given the situation the two crewmembers head back to the SGC to plan a rescue mission.
On the Ha’tak it begins to approach the Earth’s atmosphere as the Jaffa have taken the ship out of orbit. Given that they have no way to ring off the team stuck on the Ha’tak are forced to ride it out as the ship plunges through the Earth’s atmosphere and crashes into the ocean off Alaska. While they survive re-entry the ship takes damage, with key systems damaged as a result, and has begun to be flooded by the surrounding ocean. As O’Neill and Carter attempt to make repairs they end up trapped in a rapidly flooding corridor, only to be released moments from before drowning by an unknown force.
At around this time the team are joined by Teal’c and Jonas who have arrived with a rescue party in a small submersible that docks with the stricken ship. Carter argues against immediate evacuation however as she realises that the static they’ve been hearing is actually Thor, whose consciousness has been trapped in the ship ever since being captured by Anubis. While most of SG-1 fix the computer to bring Thor with them Jonas is told to escort Jacob and the rest of the rescue party to the submersible. The rest of SG-1 become trapped however as the flooding worsens and doors begin to seal all over the ship. Instead they attempt to exfiltrate via the Glider bays but are unable to open the doors from their end. Jonas decides to ignore orders and swims through the flooded sections to activate the forcefields to vent the flooded sections and allow the team to escape, before using ring transports to regroup with them in the hanger bay, with all of them managing to escape in two Gliders before the ship self-destructs.
The episode Descent largely functions as a tying together of both the end of season 5 and the just aired two parter of season 6, allowing the show to re-introduce the character of Jonas as a member of SG-1 and give him time to shine.
The majority of the plot from the episode is largely the aftermath of the final episode of season, Revelations, which saw Thor temporarily captured by the Goa’uld Anubis and held aboard his Ha’tak. Here that same Ha’tak returns, complete with Thor’s mind imprint, and much like every Ha’tak they capture it ends up causing the team nothing but grief before being blown to pieces (how any of these guys are trusted with equipment is beyond me). The perils that the team encounter, such as flooding, are in the end used as a way for Jonas to prove his worth to the team by saving the day as while he had been added to the team the episode before the writers were thankfully aware it read more like he got the job to stop the Russians than anything else.
Jonas seems to feature in all the best parts of the episode, with one of the other highlights being the conversations he has with Teal’c aboard the Tel’tak. Compared to the other parts these scenes are obviously light on the scenery but the fun of watching Teal’c’s slightly stressed face as he has to deal with what is essentially an overexcited puppy can’t help but amuse. Plus the whole affair has the nice juxtaposition of the original outsider helping the new alien try and fit in with the team, in particular its military nature.
The only part of the episode that struck me as odd was the inclusion of Major Davis in the first half of the show. This has nothing to do with the acting or lines but rather the fact that Davis has always been a backseat officer, merely liaising with the SGC during times of extreme danger on behalf of the Pentagon, so it doesn’t make sense for him to be there on a routine scouting mission while also making his absence during the Redemption two parter all the more noticeable.
Overall the episode is still a very good one, putting Jonas at the forefront right off the bat to get audiences better acquainted while still mixing it with the usual array of one-liners and sarcastic comments from O’Neill.
· Teal’c still doesn’t get Earth phrases does he?
· While the Asian Jaffa was a bit of a new one I did like how they avoided falling into the trap of only having Asians for Yu and instead having them serve under the more diverse army of Anubis.
Quote of the episode: “I mean, those of us who are not originally from the planet earth need to stick together, right?”
“Are you suggesting an alien conspiracy?” – Jonas and Teal’c
We start back in Antartica with a female scientist, Dr. Francine Michaels who is rocking a nice grey North Face fleece, talking to Carter back in the SGC about the coming winter season. However they’re interrupted by two other doctors, Harold Osbourne and Norm Woods who are both rocking nice puffy North Face coats, who claim they’ve found something in the ice. The team along with Dr Fraiser are sent to join them, all rocking matching black North Face coats, and are shown a large block of ice that appears to have a human of some kind buried inside which Michaels has named Ayiana. The other two doctors on base, now sporting matching black North Face fleeces, reveal that she dates back millions of years and therefore could prove humans evolved on another world.
Dr Fraiser, now in a black North Face fleece, does analysis of the body’s tissue along with Michaels and Jonas, both choosing black and grey North Face fleeces as part of the ensemble, and find that it almost matches that of a human. The team begin melting the ice to reveal the body beneath, only to find that her pupils react to light showing that she’s still alive. O’Neill, in an olive drab and black North Face fleece, cranks up the heat in the room to speed up the process and the team attempt to get her body started again, bringing her to consciousness. Given her age Osbourne and Woods head back onto the ice to take another core sample from the site they discovered her in.
Jonas and Michaels head back into the lab and try to communicate with Ayiana who isn’t able to understand what they’re saying but they find her injuries that were on her while in the ice have already healed. The team attempt to quiz her some more about things she may recognise such as the Stargate only to once again be met with non-answers but believe she may be a living Ancient. Later though Michaels falls unconscious, with Fraiser fearing Ayiana, who has since joined the club by wearing a fuzzy red North Face fleece, may be carrying an unknown contagion that may begin effecting others as well. One by one the rest of the team begin falling ill in the same way as Michaels, including Osbourne and Woods with the latter also suffering frostbite from exposure. Ayiana reveals her healing abilities however by not only fixing the disease in Woods but also restoring his frostbitten foot, falling unconscious herself in the process.
While Ayiana is able to keep healing people who fall ill she herself is dying each time she does it. While she tries to heal everyone she falls unconscious before she can help O’Neill, who has become incredibly sick over the previous few hours. Not long after a biohazard team finally arrives and is able to transport them back to civilisation and onwards to the SGC. While they attempt to keep both of them alive Ayiana soon dies and O’Neill doesn’t look to last long either. With his chances of survival low Carter is able to convince him to accept a Tok’ra offer of being blended to heal him despite his reservations regarding their symbiotic allies. The episode ends with O’Neill being shipped off-word to an uncertain fate.
Right well that was an episode and it was 45 minutes long but outside of that I can’t really tell you much about it. They were in a research base and there was a woman with magic powers but it was just so bloody dull.
First off can we please just talk about the fact the episode was one long North Face commercial. Every character always wore at least one item of North Face gear that helpfully had the logo on front and back so at least one was always visible. It ended up getting to the point you could make a drinking game out of it.
In terms of the plot it honestly just wasn’t that good. Like all of SG-1 it was cliché-ridden but this time it wasn’t in a good way. Instead of the usual taking the piss it tried to play it straight and it really suffered as a result. A woman healing a character through her hands like some kind of magic was just bizarre and thankfully never gets brought back for the Ancients in the future.
The one good thing I will say about the episode was the lengths they went to to make the set realistic looking, such as actually lowering the temperature close to freezing to make it so their breath was actually visible and not poorly done CGI.
Overall it’s a very middling episode with not much too it, existing more to set up a later episode for O’Neill.
· Ayiana will make a brief cameo at the start of Stargate: Atlantis as she’s left behind by the others.
Quote of the episode: “Doh!”
“What is it O’Neill?”
“I forgot to tape “The Simpsons”.” – O’Neill and Teal’c