Stargate SG-1: Brief Candle and Cold Lazarus
Stargate SG-1 – Season One – Episode 6 – Brief Candle
Some online wikis for Stargate SG-1 claim this is the 9th episode of the series, yet on the DVDs it’s the sixth episode.
SG-1 visits a paradise village filled with beautiful people who worship the ancient Greek hero, Pelops. While taking part of in the festivities and evening meal, a beautiful woman approaches Jack O’Neill and offers him a special tray of food, just for him. Seduced, Jack O’Neill spends the night with her, only to discover when he wakes up that everyone else except for SG-1 is still asleep, and in fact, everyone (except for SG-1) fell asleep at the same time, roughly sundown. Jack discovers that according to local custom, him and the woman are now married…and what’s more, he’s aging rapidly. It seems all the people on the planet have a lifespan of only 100 days, so they try to make the most of it.
Going back to Stargate Command, Captain Carter and Dr. Janet Fraiser discover that there are nanites in Jack’s blood and the other planet people. After Jack O’Neill appears to age roughly 50 years, SG-1 returns to the planet, discovers that the nanites are only active within the confines of the village (whom the Greek god had told them not to wander away from at fear of death), and after finding and shutting down the power source, reverse the aging process on Jack O’Neill and everyone else.
And Jack walks away from a very beautiful woman…
Another sci-fi plot cliche episode, but very well done. The aging effect done on Richard Dean Anderson was particularly convincing. This is also the first episode in Stargate SG-1 to talk about nanites, who play a very important role later in the series.
And I’m not joking about Jack O’Neill’s wife being very attractive.
O’Neill: Um, do things feel a little… off here?
Jackson: Are you crazy? It’s a paradise!
O’Neill: Yeah, sure, have an apple, what could happen?
Nice Biblical reference right there. The plot idea that by simply disobeying their “god” they could have freed themselves from the rapid aging nanites is interesting. How much of the things in our lives do we avoid doing because we have been convinced by God or the gods that we should’t do these things? Does God withhold any good thing from us? I’d argue no, but many would disagree. I also see illusions to the Old Testament laws in this episode; it’s not avoiding shellfish that makes one righteous or not, those were simple dietary laws to keep the Jewish people safe. They had no bearing on righteousness or salvation.Stargate SG-1 – Season One – Episode 7 – Cold Lazarus
Cold Lazarus is another one of those episodes that deals with topics or characters from the original theatrical film. It’s an extremely important episode for the character of Jack O’Neill.
Visiting an alien world, SG-1 discovers a desert filled with blue crystals. When Jack O’Neill gets too close to one, he’s damaged and thrown unconscious. Yet a moment later, Jack O’Neill is standing over Jack O’Neill, and eventually this new Jack goes through the Stargate with the rest of SG-1.
On Earth, New Jack is confused and distraught. He goes to visit his ex-wife, looking for his son, only to realize that his son died years ago. It turns out the real Jack never forgave himself for Charlie’s death; Charlie shot himself with Jack’s personal sidearm. After catching up with Jack’s ex, New Jack begins to convulse and shoot blue electricity. Back on base, Captain Carter realizes that the blue crystals are in fact sentient and need to return to their home planet or they will die. Roughly around this time, the real Jack O’Neill comes back to Stargate Command and has to prove he is the real dead.
Together, SG-1 tracks down the New, Crystal Jack. Crystal Jack realized that he had damaged Jack O’Neill, and attempted to repair the damage. The physical damage he could repair, but not the emotional damage, and so had gone to see Sara and Charlie. After Jack realizes he needs to forgive himself for the accident, Jack escorts Crystal Jack back through the Stargate and to his people.
I don’t know how I’d handle the death of my only child. Especially by one of my own possessions. I’m reminded of other stories of people’s kids killing themselves accidentally by firearms…or that one tragic story of the father running the child over with the family van. It must be just utterly awful and tragic. It is tragic.
This episode goes a long way toward pushing the Jack O’Neill character forward. From this point on, all movie related plots have pretty much been resolved. Jack finds his peace and can move on with his life.