And here we are with the start of season seven, with the reintroduction of Daniel Jackson and the departure of Jonas Quinn.
We start on a ruined Ancient world as three men walk through a series of ruins sharing old stories. Suddenly they’re disturbed by the appearance of a naked man who doesn’t know who he is, revealed to be Daniel Jackson.
Meanwhile at the SGC Jonas is still working on the translation for the tablet found on Abydos, finally reaching a solution after changing the wording he used with the city being the “City of the Lost” rather than “The Lost City”. This came up with the address of Vis Uban, an Ancient city that came down with a plague before it was completed. The SGC send around 3 SG team, including SG-1, to the planet and finding a human settlement in the ruins. Outside one of the other team stumbles into a now dressed Daniel. When brought back to the central settlement O’Neill and Carter each attempt to jog Daniel’s memory but to seemingly no avail but Carter is able to convince him to come back to the SGC.
Returning to the SGC the team try to jump his memory by reintroducing his things to him and he slowly begins to remember things about his life, such as the name of his former wife Sha’re. At the same time exploration of the ruins continue, with Daniel realising that both his old and Jonas’ new translations are off, which reveal that while the city is of immense archaeological value it’s still not the “Lost City” they’re looking for which instead refers to a city that had all history deliberately removed to hide it from unknown forces. Jonas however realises that Anubis will find Vis Uban anyway soon enough and that they should prepare a trap against him with the help of the Tok’ra and Yu, using an F-302 to basically copy the Death Star attack from Star Wars on Anubis’s mothership while Daniel and Jonas look for information inside the mothership beforehand. Even with this coalition towards it no one seems to think it’ll work.
About a week later the plan is set, with a makeshift runway and F-302 set up on the planet. As Anubis arrives the fighter takes off while Daniel and Jonas use transport rings to sneak aboard the flagship. Things start to quickly go wrong however, with the two intruders quickly locked in the computer room while Yu in his extreme old age forgets the plan and goes against it. O’Neill and Carter in the F-302 however are able to pull off their part of the plan and Daniel is able to get out of the room but the flagship survives if crippled and Jonas is captured by Anubis’ forces.
The episode ends with Jonas in a similar position to Thor two seasons ago, with him about to be tortured by Anubis.
Fallen not only sees the return of Daniel Jackson to the main team but also to me marks a major shift in the show’s structure and the start of the transition from mostly straight Sci-Fi with lots of humour to a show about being humorous that has some serious episodes.
The main plot of the episode initially deals with the return of Daniel Jackson to the lower planes without any of his memory and the team having to deal with that. Much like season six this provides a new opportunity to reintroduce characters and key events, such as Daniel’s former wife who hasn’t been mentioned for several seasons now and O’Neill’s kid for even longer. While this could help newer viewers it seems a bit pointless given how the season six was meant to provide that in the first place with Jonas’ introduction while the two characters they do namecheck are so far in the past even diehard fans have likely stopped caring about them.
The latter half of the plot however is where the tonal transition starts, with the episode turning into a pastiche of A New Hope that features the team launching a small fighter assault on the flagship and destroying it in the exact same way as Death Star. The show goes to great lengths to point out just how stupid a plot this is, with it being called out as more stupid than anything they’ve done previously, which includes named references such as the blowing up of a sun and unmentioned ones such as the Armageddon parody from season five. In classic SG-1 fashion this makes the stupidity more accepting unlike other shows as it goes “yeah this is stupid, we know it’s stupid, just go with it” rather than trying to convince the audience they just don’t get it.
We also get the introduction of another plot point that’ll come into play this season which is Yu’s failing health. Until now he’s been an unconventional ally of the Tau’ri, with both sides helping each other due to shared opponents. Now however he’s growing old and senile, lashing out at his most trusted lieutenants rather than be patient as he once was. This’ll go on to play major role in the power balances to come.
Overall the episode fulfills what it sets out to do well, reintroducing Daniel to viewers after a season away and making fun of other sci-fi properties. It’s only downside is some rehashing of early season six as introduction to the show but outside of that is a great, action-packed opener to the season.
· Locals speaking English and another language. Really?
· Christ how many lost cities of the Ancients are there?
· Obvious CGI clone of the RotJ Death Star II power room is obvious.
Quote of the episode: “Ok, everyone who thinks this is absolutely an insane idea raise your hands. C’mon be honest.”
(Everyone in the room, including the Tok’ra and Carter raise their hands) – O’Neill
The episode picks up almost immediately after the previous one, with Anubis bringing Jonas to the bridge after torturing/interrogating him. While Jonas initially gloats about the loss of Anubis’ superweapon the Goa’uld reveals their current location is Langara, Jonas’ homeworld and the source of naquadriah. At the SGC O’Neill and Carter return after their successful mission only to be contacted by the Kelownans telling them Anubis is there.
Elsewhere on Yu’s fleet Teal’c is still in captivity, only to be met by Yu’s First Prime Oshu. In private Oshu reveals his fears that Yu is dying and going senile in his old age, expressing that even he has doubts now of the idea of him as a god. While Oshu is unwilling to break his oath to his master Teal’c reminds him that billions will die and Yu’ legacy destroyed if his growing mental illness effects his war against Anubis. Teal’c is able to convince his peer that they should make contact with Ba’al, allowing him to command the fleet as a combined opposition to Anubis and thereby protecting Yu’s legacy at the same time.
Meanwhile O’Neill and Carter arrive on Langara, arriving inside a Kelownan military bunker that the Stargate was moved to with it becoming clear the planet is effectively hostage for naquadriah after a show of force by Anubis’ forces. They quickly make contact with Daniel, still on the run inside Anubis’ ship and his ability to avoid the sensors ticking down rapidly. During the meantime the military commander Hale reveals that the planet had gone to war and Kelowna had used the naquadriah bomb on their enemies, forcing them to the table almost immediately. In fact the representatives of all three nations were in the city when Anubis arrived to sign a peace deal. SG-1 use this as an opportunity to force the Kelownans to open up to the other nations about the Stargate.
By the time the representatives of the Andari Federation and Tirania Confederacy arrive Teal’c has also been released by Oshu and allowed back to the SGC and onto Langara to coordinate strategy between the loose alliance of System Lords and the SGC. While they get the three nations to agree to a joint operation O’Neill goes back to Earth to get reinforcements, avoiding the rules by bringing them as “technical advisors”. Carter in the meantime work out why Anubis is ransacking local museums, with the Goa’uld trying to grab a crystal that contains information on the naquadriah experiments by previous Goa’uld.
Meanwhile up above attempted tests by Anubis to use naquadriah as a new power source leads to damage of the shield’s power systems, allowing Jonas to escape his cell and him and Daniel to try and escape. The two manage to successfully reach a ring transport and use it to travel to a set of rings in the museum below, arriving just in time to save Carter and Teal’c who were cornered by Jaffa as they attempted to grab the crystal Anubis was after. Before they can celebrate after returning to the bunker however they’re confronted by Her’ak where it’s revealed that Hale had sold them all out. After obtaining the crystal from him Her’ak kills the traitorous commander. At that moment however the System Lord fleet arrives and quickly destroys Anubis’ flagship, also causing the bunker to be hit giving SG-1 the chance to fight off Her’ak and his Jaffa. While they win the day both Her’ak and Anubis are able to escape via various means.
Sometime later at the SGC Jonas, with Daniel back and his believed debt over Daniel’s death repaid, decides to leave the SGC and rejoin the Kelownans to help foster better relations on his planet between the former rivals on his world.
And here we have the end of the three parter started at the end of season six and the ending of the first replacement of a major cast member on SG-1, something that’ll become sadly now become the norm as longstanding castmembers stand down due to health and family reasons, with the departure of Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn.
Jonas Quinn was never going to be a fan darling at the time the show aired. Daniel had become one of the most popular figures on the show amongst fans and Michael Shanks departure saw a large backlash against the show by those who wanted him back and I can see why as Daniel is a great character and is well-played by Michael Shanks but here’s the thing, I really liked Jonas as a character and actually preferred him to Daniel. For the first 2 or so seasons I think it’s fair to say much of Daniel’s role was essentially Mr Exposition, being the character to explain what a culture is and what language they speak. As the seasons passed he definitely grew but he never grew out of that role until he became quite serious by the end of season 5 when he left.
Jonas on the other hand was a breath of fresh air. While he did to some degree fill the role of exposition with regards to historical information he came at the show with a fresh, starstruck naivety which helped recapture some of the lost wonder and sparkle after a couple of darker seasons. This is a show where the world was the oyster and season six, which noticeably took a break from the Goa’uld arcs, brought back some more of the interesting and experimental episodes. This refresh definitely helped reduce some of the fatigue from watching yet another Goa’uld attack on the Tok’ra or so forth. It’s a shame we only see the character once more but don’t worry, as next season sees the introduction of a character who apart from O’Neill becomes my all-time favourite on the show.
Back to this episode it on Anubis having used Jonas’ knowledge to find out about the naquadriah on Langara and decides to attack, easily subduing the planet. The planet calls for help from the SGC to save them, who themselves work alongside the System Lords to defeat their common foe. Here the episode slowly becomes a story of Langara, which was introduced as a warring planet, finally coming to peace and learning to work together. We see traitors get their just desserts and the bad guy defeated by a grand coalition showing the value of teamwork. All this works as a great send off to the character of Jonas who felt his purpose outside of making amends for Daniel’s death was to find something out in the galaxy that could give his planet a chance at peace.
The only real weakness the episode had was pacing at times. The sudden turn of Hale from ally to traitor was on a pin and didn’t really have a chance to sink in given he was killed about 30 seconds later.
Overall the episode was a great one, seeing a resounding defeat for Anubis after the events of the last two episodes and a satisfying send-off for a great character.
· Anubis basically causes his loss by experimenting with naquadriah in the first place.
Quote of the episode: “As for the rest of you, you will be publicly executed as an example to all who would defy their god.”
“Does it have to be public?”
“I could kill you now.”
“Publicly’s fine.” – Her’ak and O’Neill