Stargate SG-1: Solitudes and There But For the Grace of God
This Stargate blog was supposed to go up yesterday, but since WordPress scheduling failed to post my Friday night blog, that blog became my Saturday blog, and this one got pushed back to Sunday. Either WordPress scheduling failed, or there was some interruption between me pressing “Publish/Schedule” and it actually going live. I thought it had gone live. I checked to be sure it had gone live. And it appeared to have gone live. But it didn’t actually go live.
If I had made such a mistake on a job, I’d be fired. Ha ha. Hmm…
Stargate SG-1 – Season One – Episode 18 – Solitudes
A relatively simple episode that nonetheless has gone on to be one of the most important episodes in the Stargate SG-1 franchise…
SG-1 is under attack and fleeing back to SGC through the Stargate! But as they enter the Stargate, a mysterious power surge occurs, and Teal’c and Daniel Jackson make it through the Stargate to the SGC, but Jack O’Neill and Sam Carter are sent through another Stargate into a vast frozen cavern with the Stargate half buried. Worse, Jack breaks his leg. Every attempt by Carter to dial home is a failure, and Jack is slowly freezing to death and suffering the pain from his broken leg and potential inner bleeding.
Back at SGC, it’s theorized that power blasts from Jaffa staff weapons caused the power surge, but still no one knows where Carter and O’Neill are. Daniel theorizes that they have to be somewhere between the planet they as a group were coming from and Earth, so they begin exploring, finding nothing…until Daniel wonders if maybe they gated to Earth after all. It turns out that there was a second Stargate on Earth, this one buried in Antarctica; they find it by comparing seismic charts, noticing that Colorado Springs (Cheyenne Mountain) and Antarctica are experiencing the same seismic events at the same time. General Hammond and the rest of the AirForce then fly to Antarctica to rescue Carter and O’Neill.
This second Stargate eventually becomes the main Stargate when the original is lost. In fact, there is quite a bit of shuffling of Stargates on Earth, mainly between America and Russia. As a plot point, they’ve gained a lot of traction out of having a second Stargate on Earth…and besides, whose to say what else ain’t buried in the snow and ice? Duh Duh Dunnnn.
Episode is also notable for having Carter make a MacGuyver joke, a direct shot at Richard Dean Anderson who played MacGuyver for years.
Stargate SG-1 – Season One – Episode 19 – There But For the Grace of God
This episode marks the first of a four part storyarc on Stargate SG-1, although it’s not directly billed as being part one, doesn’t have a to be continued, etc. It stands on its own, but works best through the opening of Season Two of Stargate SG-1.
Exploring a planet that appears to hold a museum of objects, or maybe a science lab of objects, Daniel Jackson touches a strange device before noticing a rippling mirror. Like an idiot, he touches the mirror, and discovers the rest of SG-1 headed back to SGC without him. After gating back to Earth, his initial “come ON, guys…” is cut off after the whole SGC trains guns on him and demands to know who he is and how he got SG-1 clearance codes.
Turns out Daniel Jackson has been sent to an alternate reality, one where Daniel Jackson never joined the Stargate Program, Sam Carter isn’t in the AirForce, Teal’c is still first Prime of Apophis, and Jack O’Neill is the general in charge of the whole program. But things are even more messed up on this Earth, for Earth is under direct attack from the Goa’uld. The Goa’uld launched massive spaceships to come to Earth and have been systematically destroying the planet. Daniel manages to convince everyone he’s not a fraud, that he’s from a different Earth, and they should let him return to the alien planet to switch dimensions via the mirror so he can warn and save his own Earth; this would mean giving up their one chance at retribution to the Goa’uld (second chance, really, as Daniel Jackson, upon his arrival, gave them the Gate address to the Jaffa homeworld, and O’Neill sent a nuke through the Stargate and blew it up).
The SGC has one chance at gating out. In order to buy time, Jack O’Neill meets with the commander of the Jaffa forces storming the SGC, a Jaffa by the name of Teal’c. O’Neill tries to convince Teal’c to give them some time, that Teal’c is a good man…Jack even shows him mission footage that Daniel brought through the Stargate with him, showing Teal’c working alongside the humans. But Teal’c is unpersuaded, mainly because he had already received word that Jack O’Neill had ordered the destruction and death of his homeworld and family. In an act of retribution, Teal’c guns down Jack O’Neill.
The rest of the SGC hold off the Jaffa as long as they could. They manage to dial the gate, and just as Daniel Jackson is running through, Teal’c arrives in the gateroom and shoots him, clipping him in the arm with his staff weapon. SGC’s fail safe then goes off, destroying Cheyenne Mountain. On the alien planet, Daniel retraces his steps and repeats the process to switch dimensions by the mirror. In the “real” reality, multiple SG units are searching for Daniel; he calls out and then collapses from blood loss.
Back on Earth, Daniel Jackson recounts what happened, and while others are skeptical, he is insistent that an invasion fleet is coming, and it’s only a matter of when.
Epic episode. It’s fun to see the differences between our regular SG-1 members and then the alternate reality versions. This episode marks the culmination of things hinted at in earlier episodes, especially in relation to Goa’uld retaliation for the events of the Stargate movie and missions since then.
The look of regret in Jack’s eyes when Teal’c informs him he knows his planet and family are destroyed is poignant. It’s a subtle reminder to the audience that violent retaliation, even in war, is not often the best option. Teal’c, while stunned at the knowledge of him that Jack (through Daniel) possesses, is still grief striken, and won’t hesitate to gun down anyone in retribution. And there was a nice moment for scientist Sam Carter, both with her engagement to Jack O’Neill (foreshadowing!!) and her willingness to buy time for Daniel by blowing herself up and some Jaffa with some grenades.
Good episode. Really sets the stage for the season finale.